Big School Records – In Session


If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr you may have heard (via big announcements) that I’ve decided to fire up my own record label. If not, the logo over to the right might have given it away. I chose not to properly scatter the confetti until I had the first physical release in my hands. Last Friday, 251 precious slabs of wax arrived at my work with the unmistakable Pirates Press logo stamped on each box…so here I am.

There’s no greater feeling than being able to support and promote artists/musicians who I’ve either enjoyed for many years or have just made acquaintances with through various outlets. Maintaining has been a treat in of itself but, nowadays, words only seem to go so far in a music blogging world over-saturated with voices/opinions/plagiarism. I wanted to use a different outlet to get myself involved with musicians and promoting artists I love via the record label is definitely the next logical step for me as an enthusiast. I expect to ride this feeling out as far as you, the listener, allows.

The first release is the latest full-length from Scranton, PA’s Kid Icarus, whom I’ve been following for many years as they’ve progressed from Eric Schlittler’s outlet for lo-fi experimental musings on up to their current-day 4-member lineup. American Ghosts is being released on a limited run of 250 LP’s on white vinyl with reverse-board jacket – $15 in the US and $20 world postage-paid. Today is the official release date for the LP so orders will ship immediately. Head over to the web store to grab a copy. For those who prefer digital downloads to vinyl, you can purchase the album from their Bandcamp page and iTunes (coming soon).

I’d like to thank everyone who, not only strung together the necessary ingredients for this release, but for all parties involved with nurturing my habits and obsessions since early childhood on up to my ‘grey years’. This includes friends, family, readers of BTID, my Soulseek posse, countless numbers of bloggers who’ve inspired me to keep giving everything I have back to the music community.

It definitely doesn’t end here – in the coming months you can expect new releases from Shy Mirrors (LP), The Gifted Children (7″), Deirdre & Conor/Kitchen Table, Illinois (digital) and Graham Repulski (7″).

Kid Icarus – Bicycle Spokes

Shy Mirrors – I’m Not Around

The Gifted Children – Please Freeze Me

Deirdre & Conor/Kitchen Table, Illinois – Love In Philadelphia

Graham Repulski – Mongrel Pie

Follow BSR on Twitter and Facebook and spread the good word!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Updates, Vinyl Love

Special Monday Morning Tape – #115


Nursesfever dreams
(taken from their 2011 release Dracula)
Argyle Johansenyou try
(taken from his 2011 release Argyle Johansen And His Inner Demo(n)s)
Something Fierceafghani sands
(taken from their 2011 release Don’t Be Cruel)
Peter Wolf Criersetting it off
(taken from their 2011 release Garden Of Arms)
Fionn Regan100 acres of sycamore
(taken from his 2011 release 100 Acres Of Sycamore)
The Piney Gir Country Roadshowlucky me
(taken from their 2011 release Jesus Wept)
(taken from their 2011 release In Your Face Thieves/Chestnut Attic)
Banquetssound of money
(taken from their 2011 release Top Button, Bottom Shelf)
Barn Owlturiya
(taken from their 2011 release Lost In The Glare)
(taken from their 2011 release If…)
(taken from their 2011 release Sundress EP)
Wiretreemake up
(taken from their 2011 release Make Up)


Basia BulatIt Can’t Be You (Yours Truly)


Leave a Comment

Filed under Special Monday Morning Tape

{MIXTAPE} August 2011


Original artwork by Kale Ogle
(don’t pass up a free download of his Moon/Ruin project as well as a rad video for My Demons)

Disc One

1. Umecaptive
(taken from their 2011 release Phantoms)
2. The Wiggly Tendrilsbeat the indie drum theme song
(recorded upon BTID request!)
3. Shy Mirrors i’m not around
(taken from an upcoming 2011 release)
4. Piebald we believe in karma
(taken from their 1999 release If It Weren’t For Venetian Blinds, It Would Be Curtains For Us All)
5. Eleanor Friedberger i won’t fall apart on you tonight
(taken from her 2011 release Last Summer)
6. Iceage broken bone
(taken from their 2011 release New Brigade)
7. Obits you gotta lose
(taken from their 2011 release Moody, Standard and Poor)
8. Moon/Ruin cosmic w/o logic
(taken from his 2011 release Ocean EP)
9. Cults abducted
(taken from their 2011 release Cults)
10. Idaho the space between
(taken from their 2010 release You Were A Dick)
11. Beat Radio teenage anthems for the drunken boat
(taken from their 2011 release Teenage Anthems)
12. Turf War cheers to the year
(taken from their 2011 release Years Of Living Dangerously)
13. Piston Mahlathini & The Queens nomacala
(taken from the 2010 compilation Next Stop…Soweto Vol. 1-3)
14. Deirdre & Conor / Kitchen Table, Illinoislove in philadephia
(taken from an upcoming 2011 release)
15. Johnny Cash orange blossom special
(taken from his 1968 release At Folsom Prison)
16. Little Sur barbarosa
(taken from their 2011 release Little Sur EP)
17. Black Books green screen
(taken from their 2011 release Black Books EP)
18. Mount Kimbie would know
(taken from their 2010 release Crooks & Lovers)
19. Warm Weather the dance
(taken from their 2011 release Dances EP)
20. Brown Recluseimpressions of a city morning
(taken from their 2011 release Evening Tapestry)
21. The Jezabelsendless summer
(taken from their 2011 release Prisoner)
22. The Dirty Nil fuckin’ up young
(taken from their 2011 7″ release Fuckin’ Up Young)
23. Iróiusual pop line (populous remix)
(released as a digital single only)
24. Dinosaur Jr.thumb (live)
(taken from their 1991 release Whatever’s Cool With Me EP)
25. Gray Youngvermilion
(taken from their 2011 release Staysail)
26. Alexa Woodwardweary
(taken from her 2011 release It’s A Good Life Honey If You Don’t Grow Weary)
27. The Deloreansintermission: thanks, y’all!
(taken from their 2011 release American Craze) (167MB)

Disc Two

1. White Denimriver to consider
(taken from their 2011 release D)
2. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks tigers
(taken from their 2011 release Mirror Traffic)
3. Long Walks On The Beach literally crazy for you
(released as a digital single only)
4. Shady Blazeno fear
(taken from his 2011 release Distorted)
5. Touchy Mob nice place to crash my plane
(taken from his 2010 release No EP)
6. Kindercastlepale noon
(taken from their 2011 release Number B)
7. Boston Spaceships christmas girl
(taken from their 2011 release Let It Beard)
8. Sebadoh magnet’s coil
(taken from their 1994 release Bakesale)
9. Dum Dum Girls coming down
(taken from their 2011 release Only In Dreams)
10. Neverest Songs paper trumpets
(taken from his 2011 7″ release Paper Trumpets)
11. Dylan Trees victoryville
(released as a digital single only)
12. Pokey LaFarge & The South City Threehard times come and go
(taken from their 2010 release Riverboat Soul)
13. Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse valerie
(taken from his 2007 release Version)
14. Still Corners cuckoo
(taken from their 2011 release Creatures Of An Hour)
15. Cut Off Your Handshollowed out
(taken from their 2011 release Hollow)
16. EXITMUSIC the sea
(released as a digital single only)
17. Campfiresamelia
(taken from the 2011 V/A release Chicago Compilation)
18. The Kills future starts slow
(taken from their 2011 release Blood Pressures)
19. Tuurksbone orchard
(taken from their 2011 release Bisbee)
20. Super Furry Animals(drawing) rings around the world
(taken from their 2001 release Rings Around The World)
21. Alexa Woodward pale blue line
(taken from her 2011 release It’s A Good Life Honey If You Don’t Grow Weary)
22. The Points Northstone walls
(taken from their 2009 release I Saw Across The Sound)
23. Jenny Owen Youngsgreat big plans
(released as a digital single only)
24. Kids On A Crime Spreetrumpets of death
(taken from their 2011 release We Love You So Bad)
25. Apparat ash/black veil
(taken from their 2011 release The Devil’s Walk)
26. Loney, Dearmy heart
(taken from his 2011 release Hall Music)
27. Keith Freundthe ortzi
(taken from his 2011 release Constant Comments) (196MB)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Mixtapes, The Best Things In Life Are Free, The Super Mega BTID Hype-o-tronic Capacitor

Mini-Beats – August 2011 – Edition 48

CultsCults (2011, Columbia) ♥♥♥½
:this comes very close to being deserving of the abundance of hype its received over the past year; mostly culled from singles that have slowly emerged over the past year and then rounded out with a few other tracks that fit nicely in with their easily digested 60’s pop á la Jesus & Mary Chain (Stoned & Dethroned era…) by way of Spector: (buy vinyl)
Okkervil RiverI Am Very Far (2011, Jagjaguwar) ♥♥½
:Will & Co. have fallen into a category of classy, sophisticated, story-telling pop-rock that, while capable on a literary level, puts little to no focus into the actual music itself; I must have listened to this 3 solid plays through and not a single note displayed staying power which does not bode well: (buy vinyl)
Point Juncture, WAHandsome Orders (2011, Mt. Fuji) ♥♥♥
:Portland collective who have not changed their m.o. over the years – warm, organic dream-pop with unpretentious intentions and boy/girl vocal tradeoffs; you can pick up 2 of their earlier releases gratis here; I wrote a review for the Juxtapony EP review here and featured several of their songs on monthly mixes: (buy vinyl)
Warm WeatherDances EP (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
:exceptional indie-pop with Beach Boy influences and multi-part harmonies abounds; their sound is highly reminiscent of Vampire Weekend with nods to Afro-beat guitar rhythms and percussion but this is hardly a knockoff band; available as a free download here – go get it!:
The Nighty NiteDimples EP (2011, Graveface) ♥♥♥½
:new project for Paper Chase ringleader John Congleton will have you wondering what the difference between the two projects is and the answer is…nothing; 4 songs presented in such a dark and eerie manner that only John can conjure up including a tasteful Magnetic Fields cover to round out the EP: (buy vinyl)
IdahoYou Were A Dick (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:the king of all sad shit, Jeff Martin, returns with his first album since 2005’s spectacular The Lone Gunman and the formula hasn’t changed…ethereal soundscapes peppered with minimal amounts of piano plucks and guitar atmosphere and Jeff’s forlorn vocals; not going to top the finer moments of his past but I still expect to see this on a few year-end lists: (buy vinyl)
BattlesGloss Drop (2011, Warp) ♥♥½
:a mess of an album if I were to say so myself; contrary to what I’ve been hearing Tyondai Braxton is most definitely ‘missing’ from this equation; occasionally you’ll hear an interesting Books-like embellishment but that and the ‘human element’ of cameo appearances does very little to keep this in rotation: (buy vinyl)
Other LivesTamer Animals (2011, Play It Again Sam) ♥♥♥½
:turns out this is the same group of musicians who recorded under the Kunek moniker about 5 years back and released a pretty decent instrumental LP (go here for a very interesting back-story on lead singer Jesse Tabish that involves his old band and the All-American Rejects…); anyways, if you are familiar with Kunek this is only slightly different so I’m puzzled about the name change; RIYL Shearwater, Bon Iver: (buy vinyl)
The Loose SaluteGetting Over Being Under (2011, Graveface) ♥♥½
:breezy pop with a slight bit of twang featuring a few former(?) members of Mojave 3; really, really loved their debut EP back in ’04 but since then they’ve re-worked their style to a harmless (though ineffectual) sound: (buy vinyl)
Little SurLittle Sur EP (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
:a sparkling gem of a folk EP here with lots of warm melodies, banjo and rustic campfire vocals (courtesy of Olivia Gerber); available as a free download on their Bandcamp – highly rec’d!:
ObitsMoody, Standard and Poor (2011, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥♥
:not nearly as dissonant as Drive Like Jehu or as propulsive as Hot Snakes but this is still pretty fantastic garage rock ‘n roll packed tight with hooks and Rick Froberg’s signature howl; sure to please fans of Dirtnap and In The Red Records catalogs!; RIYL Marked Men, Mind Spiders, The Catheters: (buy vinyl)
RefrigeratorDangerous (2011, Shrimper) ♥♥
:this isn’t the electric/eccentric ‘fridge of old on the classic Shrimper catalog but merely a shell of its former self with Allan Callaci only wielding an acoustic guitar and a lyric sheet; this comes off as too much guy-and-a-guitar-in-a-dive-bar for my liking; if you need a reference point think a decaffeinated version of Dean Wells (Capstan Shafts) but not nearly as good as that sounds:
IceageNew Brigade (2011, Dais) ♥♥♥½
:once the foreboding intro ends we’re all treated to an onslaught of buzz-saw guitars and angsty post-punk energy; this is raw & messy art-punk descended from the Times New Viking-via-Wire school of thought and its likely the most veritable Danish export of the last ten years aside from maybe the Copenhagen Wheel…: (buy vinyl)
Brown RecluseEvening Tapestry (2011, Slumberland) ♥♥♥½
:one of my favorite local Philly acts returns with another great collection of psyche and paisley pop with simple but enlivened arrangements and indelible melodies; RIYL Essex Green, Belle & Sebastian, the direction Of Montreal should’ve taken their music: (buy vinyl)
Ringo DeathStarrColour Trip (2011, Club AC30) ♥♥♥½
:as heard before on x blog, this Austin group are wholly derivative of the Jesus & Mary Chain/My Bloody Valentine/Pale Saints school of sound but these songs are just too good to pass up and cast off as mere lesser-thans…feast and prosper!: (buy vinyl)
Eleanor FriedbergerLast Summer (2011, Merge) ♥♥♥♥
:a whimsically diverse and accessible offering from one (major) half of the Fiery Furnaces (whom, for the record, I’ve never liked…); it feels like Eleanor has successfully culled bits and pieces of the last 3-4 decades and churned out one of this year’s finest LP’s: (buy vinyl)
BraidCloser To Closed EP (2011, Polyvinyl) ♥♥
:I’m sad to announce that I cannot endorse this ‘modern’ version of a band I’ve held dear and true to my heart for the past 15 years; these 4 songs don’t have much oomph/life/energy behind them: (buy vinyl)
Black BooksAn Introduction To EP (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
:I was quite impressed with this debut 4-song 10″ and ashamed it took me so long to listen to it after featuring ‘The Big Idea’ on the June 2011 mixtape; fans of sleepy dream-pop (this guy) will love this; RIYL Beach House, Band Of Horses: (buy vinyl)
Colin StetsonNew History Warfare, Vol. 2: Judges (2011, Constellation) ♥♥♥♥
:I’ve gone on record numerous times to decry my hatred for the saxophone…however, Colin’s left-field skronking and ‘circular breathing technique’ adds a human element that takes this instrument to an entirely different level; it even works when he’s accompanied by avant-songstress Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond on a few passages; given that I don’t travel too far into the depths of experimental music this could very well be my favorite release of the year in that realm: (buy vinyl)
Nick JainaThe Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone (2011, Hush) ♥♥♥♥
:Nick has finally topped what I thought to be his master work (read my review of 2005’s The Bluff Of All Time) and I would’ve never expected it to arrive in such a way – 10 different female vocalists, including BTID faves Laura Gibson, Luze (Y La Bamba), Amanda Spring (Point Juncture, WA), Jolie Holland & Corrina Repp, tackling an eccentric array of genres ranging from alt-country ballads to jazzy lounge and even playful (dare I say) twee sounds on ‘The President Of The Chess Club’; I kept trying to turn it off and move on to the next album in my queue but it kept pulling me back in…:
White DenimD (2011, Downtown) ♥♥♥½
:when these boys from Austin aren’t raising hairs with flute-driven psyche numbers their getting their 70’s hippie folk jam shiz on; WD have managed to take sounds I’m typically not impressed with and turn them into something tangible and impressive; glad I took a friend’s advice on this because I found nothing of note on their last Daytrotter; RIYL Dr. Dog, Blitzen Trapper, Black Mountain: (buy vinyl)

1 Comment

Filed under Mini-Beats

Special Monday Morning Tape – #114


Gauntlet Hair
top bunk
(taken from their 2011 release Gauntlet Hair)
Male Bondingtame the sun
(taken from their 2011 release Endless Now)
Siskiyoutwigs and stones
(taken from their 2011 release Keep Away The Dead)
Chappobodies coasting
(taken from their 2011 release Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess)
Comet Gainan arcade from the warm rain that falls
(taken from their 2011 release Howl Of The Lonely Crowd)
Evangelistaartificial lamb
(taken from their 2011 release In Animal Tongue)
Blitzen Trapperlove the way you walk away
(taken from their 2011 release American Goldwing)
Jens Lekmanan argument with myself
(taken from his 2011 release An Argument With Myself EP)
Halloween, Alaskaempire waist
(taken from their 2011 release All Night The Calls Came In)
Gold Beachdiving bell
(taken from their 2011 release Habibti)
Born Goldalabaster bodyworlds
(taken from their 2011 release Bodysongs)
Lutherthe communion
(taken from their 2011 release Siblings and Sevens)

ObitsYou Gotta Lose


The Japanese War EffortSummer Sun Skateboard

Leave a Comment

Filed under Special Monday Morning Tape

A Kick In The Pants # 8 – Army Coach

While I suppose I could open with a line like “From the ashes of Team Stray” I don’t think that’s appropriate (albeit complimentary, as Team Stray released albums in my Top Tens of 2007 and 2008, respectively). The previous band never burned out, and Army Coach is already way beyond the flickering flames of a new act. Musically the group is rooted in 90s indie rock. Crunchy and amped to Dinosaur Jr./Superchunk levels, but catchy and accessible enough for college radio airplay. At various points Tom (singer and bassist) and Eric (drummer) nod to their past outfit, as the songs sometimes reach levels of speedy/poppy punk, but that’s just one facet of the overall sound. Take into account Andrew’s ripping mini-solos, the Steve Malkmus-esque lyrics with a John K. Samson delivery, and the production wash reminiscent of Hum and you’ve got a whole new beast. Ironically, the song that best encompasses what the band can accomplish is “I Am A Failure.” It’s off their digital EP which can be had for a mere 2 bucks via paypal direct from the band ( – Mark H.

I Am A Failure

Leave a Comment

Filed under A Kick In The Pants, Reviews