Dog Gone Presents: Best of 2013

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Well folks, here we are again looking back on another year gone by. Fresh out of the frost, here’s the list of albums that received the most play around these parts in 2013. You’ll also find a mix containing some of our favorite songs from 2013 at the bottom.

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The Entrance Band – Face The Sun

Four years on from the release of their previous full-length, LA psych juggernauts The Entrance Band returned with an album built upon the personal struggles and spiritual transformations experienced by all three band members during the extended period of gestation. Balancing both sides of the journey toward the light, Face the Sun finds The Entrance Band in a more transcendent, melodic space while maintaining a hauntingly beautiful darkness in its undercurrent. Songs like “The Crave” and “Year of the Dragon” depict the introspective journey through the tunnel of addiction and sorrow, while “Fine Flow” and “Fire Eyes” channel a more cosmic side with the interplay between guitarist Guy Blakeslee and bassist Paz Lenchantin at near subliminal levels. A journey to the depths of the darkness can be known to strip away the heart and soul of a band, but in the case of Face the Sun it seems as though the members have returned to the surface with a brighter and more inspired outlook than ever before.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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White Fence – Cyclops Reap

Once again, in 2013, the ever-prolific Tim Presley released an album loaded with lo fi, garage-rock nuggets that sound like they could have been released over 40 years ago. Recorded during a 4 ½ year span and largely inspired by the loss of his father, Cyclops Reap strips away some of Presley’s trademark punk murk, making way for a more spacious, folk-inspired sound. Surely one of the finest to come out of the White Fence cannon.

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Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

These two young California sons managed to meld the ideas they’d been crafting while separately away at college into a beautiful piece of ‘60s inspired paisley psych-pop. As history often shows, combine two unique songwriters, especially one who possesses a highly volatile personality, and magic is bound to happen. However, tragedy and conflict are often bound to follow.

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Endless Boogie – Long Island

There aren’t too many bands that still embody the old New York spirit the way Endless Boogie has for the past decade. Long Island, the band’s third proper release for No Quarter, unapologetically churns and tunnels its way through the group’s signature, riff-caked groove, tugging at their namesake for 80 minutes of stoned-out bliss. You either love ‘em or you don’t. They certainly don’t give a shit.

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Steve Gunn – Time Off

For nearly 15 years, New York-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn has existed on the periphery of the contemporary avant-folk scene, acting as a solo artist and touring member in Kurt Vile’s Violators, as well as one-half of the Gunn-Truscinki Duo. But on Time Off, Gunn’s immense talent comes into full view as he leads a trio of old pals through a series of six extended folk journeys that touch on everything from Pentangle to Fahey to Indian Ragas to the Grateful Dead. Gunn’s soft, slightly haggard voice is showcased on songs like the heady acoustic jam “Lurker,” while the guitar interplay on “New Decline” would have Bert Jansch and John Renbourne singing praises. The title, Time Off, perhaps is not so much a suggestion that these songs were recorded during a particular downtime, but rather a nod to the music’s timelessness—where time can simply be switched off leaving music as the only dimension in which events may take place.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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Wooden Shjips – Back To Land

For Back to Land, the new album by West Coast Psych amblers Wooden Shjips, leadmen Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin packed up and moved to Oregon to record their first set of tracks outside of the Bay Area. With the lush climate and natural surroundings inspiring their musical direction, the pair tapped into a more grounded, organic sound without diverting the course of their modernist space-psych core. Throughout each the album’s eight tracks, a distinctly brighter flag flies atop the Shjip, as melodies step out into the forefront, washing away much of the sledge-y murk that cloud their previous recordings.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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Night Beats – Sonic Bloom

Recorded in a Tacoma, WA warehouse, Sonic Bloom album perfectly captures the Beats at their drugged-fueled, raved-up best.

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Ty Segall Sleeper

California’s garage rock son turns in his electric and fuzz pedals for a simple acoustic on the emotionally-charged, introspective Sleeper LP. Recorded following the loss of his father, Sleeper showcases the unadulterated beauty of Segall’s knack for melodious songwriting.

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Kevin Morby – Harlem River

Harlem River is the debut solo album from Woods bassist/Babies guitarist Kevin Morby. Aided by a stellar cast of backing musicians, along with the help of Rob Barbato’s (Darker My Love) impressive production work, Morby delivers an intimate collection of songs that touch on the loneliness, addiction and hardships of a touring musician. Having joined Woods before he was legally allowed to drink in bars, Morby’s tale rings with the wisdom and experience of a man who’s spent the better part of his life on the road.

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Fuzz – S/T

For the past several years, Ty Segall has largely existed as a solo artist. But with Fuzz, his latest project formed together with high school friend and Ty Segall Band guitarist Charles Moothart, it seems the lone wolf has finally found a pack in which to roam. Heavy psych of the highest order.

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Video: Night Beats – “The Seven Poison Wonders”

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The Night Beats embark on a Gonzo style journey down the West Coast in their latest video for “The Seven Poison Wonders.” The video finds them in the midst of an encounter with a hitchhiker who turns out to be a road-demon in disguise, presumably depicting their everyday life on the road. Directed by Brendhan Bowers, all footage was shot on 16mm colour negative film thru WA, OR, and CA state.

“The Seven Poison Wonders” comes off their excellent new album Sonic Bloom out September 24th via The Reverberation Appreciation Society and Burger Records. Preorder the album NOW. Night Beats play The Silver Dollar in Toronto on September 5, Brooklyn on November 9 and New York on November 12 (full list of dates below).

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Night Beats – “Outta Mind”

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It’s been a while since we heard something new from one of today’s best psych bands, the Night Beats, who’s members we last saw dressed in sloppy drag roving around the fields of Austin Psych Fest. Several months before that, they were pooling sweat and handing out mushrooms from the stage at the Knit. Well, these Austin-based lads that tap into that city’s psychedelic past better than perhaps any other, are back with a new record entitled Sonic Bloom. Recorded in a Tacoma, WA warehouse, the album, which perfectly captures the Beats at their drugged-fueled, raved-up best, is set for release on September 24 via the Reverberation Appreciation Society in conjunction with Burger Records. The first track, “Outta Mind,” is now streaming below. You can, listen below.

Video: The UFO Club – “Wolfman”

The debut full length from The UFO Club, a collaboration between The Black Angels’ Christian Bland and Nights Beats’ Lee Blackwell, is one of our favorite releases to come out of 2012. Re-imagining 50s pop through the prism of 60s psych, the pair pay homage to the legendary UFO Club of Pink Floyd-era 1960s London. Watch the video for the song “Wolfman” off their new LP below.

You can stream / listen to and buy the album in the format of your choice on the Austin Psych Fest website.

NEW MUSIC: The UFO Club ~ “July”


The UFO Club is a group led by The Black Angels’ Christian Bland and Night Beats’ Lee Blackwell that takes a note from each of the aforementioned groups and twists it through a hazy lens of 50s pop and 60s psychedelia. Earlier this year, they released their debut 10″ on Austin Psych Fest’s in house label in June and it sold out before it could even hit shelves. They’ve now followed up that 10″ with a proper self-titled full length that pays homage to the British psych scene of the 1960s, much of which passed through the legendary London haunt from which the group takes its name. Reverb swamped feedback and hazy Barrett-style rants soaked in mushroom tea mesh with tinny garage anthems on this 11 track masterpiece. Stream album track “July” below, realize how good it is, then buy the album here.

Visions of Austin Psych Fest


As many of you know, the 5th annual Austin Psych Fest took place last weekend with one of the best festival lineups in recent memory. This year’s APF featured over 50 bands from all walks of the psych genre, including Brian Jonestown Massacre, Woods, The Black Angels, The Black Lips, Meat Puppets, Olivia Tremor Control, Golden Dawn, Thee Oh Sees, Wooden Shjips, Dead Meadow and many more.

Set across two adjacent venues—with a courtyard/hippy bazaar between—attendees could easily navigate between the shows to check out at least part each band. Over the course of the weekend, there were lots of familiar names to check out and a few impressive new discoveries as well. Some personal favorites were sets by Tuareg guitarist Bombino (from the same community as the members of Tinariwen), Woods, Sun Araw, MMOSS and Quilt. All in all, the food was good, weather was perfect, and tall boys were only $4.

Below you’ll find a series of AFP videos from some of my favorite performances.

Bombino

MMOSS

Orange Revival

Quilt

Woods

Entrance Band

The Paperhead

Night Beats