Our love for Woods should be no secret around these parts by now. With each year, the band ages like a fine wine—constantly refining their songwriting and studio material, while taking their live improvisations further and further toward the cosmos. On April 15, Woods returns with a new album titled With Light and With Love on their own Woodsist label. You can hear the first song from it, titled “Leaves Like Glass,” below.
Last week, the Fader premiered the latest video from Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker and his band of Freaks. Set to the lyrically revealing “Step Right Up,” the video was filmed on location at a Phish concert on their 2013 Summer Tour (can you tell which venue?). About the location choice, Bleeker says “It is my opinion that Phish has the most enthusiastic concert-going music fans in the world. The choice to shoot this video in the parking lot of one of their shows this summer was simple. This was the only large crowd I could think of that would lovingly embrace and interact with a man in an antler helmet without a moment’s pause. ” “Step Right Up” comes off Alex Bleeker & the Freaks 2013 release How Far Away, available via the good folks at Woodsist.
Catch Alex Bleeker and the Freaks live when they perform our post-Phish late-show at Mercury Lounge on December 30.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1SuaOrHFEY#t=19]
Jonathan Rado, the significantly stabler half of Foxygen, has released the second track off his debut solo album, Law and Order. It sounds like something Lou Reed might have dreamed up if he was trying to imitate Johnny Cash and June’s vocal teamwork, as Rado and some unknown female voice trade off on reverb-soaked, yet equally dry and dusty, vocal lines. Strings and brass fill out the back end of the tune, recalling the instrumentation of Rado’s other band with a ramshackle imperfection that belongs right at home on the Woodsist label.
Law and Order is out September 3 on Woodsist.
Behind a nondescript East Williamsburg tenement at 229 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY lies Woods‘ home, recording studio, creative refuge and beloved shithole–Rear House. But after 10 long years the band will say farewell to the former live-in practice space turned ramshackle recording studio, which has also housed bands like Real Estate, Ducktails, The Babies and other members of the Woodsist family. To mark the occasion, Woods are releasing a new single on July 9 featuring a cover of The Kinks’ tune “Gods’ Children,” along with a re-recorded version of “Be All Easy.” “God’s Children” comes from the soundtrack to the 1971 British film Percy, while “Be All Be Easy,” originally from 2011’s Sun and Shade, was re-recorded to capture the live form the song has taken since it’s original release. Both are the first to feature new drummer, Aaron Neveu, formerly of Mmoss.
Woods hits the road next month for a tour that includes stops with Parquet Courts and Alex Bleeker & the Freaks. Full dates below.
Adding pedal steel to a track almost always makes things sound better. This track is no exception. “Leave on the Light” is Bleeker & co.’ first true foray into alt-country domain, although they’ve beat around the metaphorical bush for quite some time, and it’s a doozy. As Bleeker tells us, “the name is sort of a pun, a tribute to Levon Helm.”
The song comes from their new LP “How Far Away” out May 28, 2013 on Woodsist.
While Alex Bleeker spends his days as the bassist in popular indie rock band Real Estate, he also moonlights as the guitarist and frontman in his own band, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, which takes more from Crazy Horse, the Grateful Dead and Little Wings than The Feelies or Yo La Tengo. Over the past several years, Bleeker has performed sporadic shows in New York and Brooklyn either solo or with a rotating cast of musicians that has, at times, included members of Real Estate. During that time he also released a 7″ and an EP on Underwater Peoples, and will now release his debut full-length, titled How Far Away, on Woodsist in the Spring of this year. Stream “Don’t Look Down,” the lead track on the album, below.
How Far Away comes out May 28 on Woodsist.
Catch Alex Bleeker and the Freaks alongside Quilt and Weyes Blood at our show this Sunday at Glasslands Gallery. RSVP.
Three years after Matt Lajoie began Herbcraft as a bedroom recording project, the Portland, Maine-based band has evolved into a more collaborative project and will release its third long player, The Astral Body Electric, on March 5 via Woodsist. The album was recorded direct to tape by Doug Tuttle (Mmoss) in an 18th-century New England barn and “aurally massaged” into the 4th dimension by Matt “MV” Valentine with his signature “Spectrasound” mastering technique. Hear the first track, “No Land,” a psychy stew of Lajoe’s shimmering guitar, Dawn Aquarius’ wah’ed organ riffs and jungle flutes, below.
As summer turns to fall, Woods have graced us with the first video from their most-excellent forthcoming album Bend Beyond. Directed by Adarsha Benjamin, the video for “Cali In a Cup” was filmed on Super 8 at and around this year’s Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, CA. Check it out below and catch Woods on tour this fall.
Order Bend Beyond via Woodsist.[youtube http://youtu.be/D8SuI7BqKP0]
The other night, some friends and I were discussing the geography of the contemporary psych revival. It’s obvious that, while places like San Francisco and Bushwick will probably be on your radar, others such as Minneapolis or Kentucky are more likely to be left off. Jovonates, one of the latest additions to Woodsist’s Hello Sunshine subsidiary, hail from Lexington, KY, where they recorded their new LP Things Are Different Here in the back of a local skateshop. On the album, Jovonates journeys through stoned-out kraut grooves reminiscent of Neu! or Can, while laying atop space guitar riffs and cyclical psych trances in the vein of Ash Ra Tempel. The album drops October 11 on a limited 500-edition vinyl release, but until then you can watch the video for one of the songs below. Pre-order Things Are Different Here via Insound.
For the past week, Woods and Kurt Vile have been on tour together in Europe. At each of these shows, a limited Woodsist 7″ is being sold containing a new song from both Mr. Vile and Woods. Over at Pitchfork, you can listen to a song off Woods’ half of that 7″ called “Skull,” which is also the name of singer/guitarist Jeremy Earl’s art book.
Click here to listen to “Skull.”
Also, check out a song off Vile’s half of the EP called “In/Out Blues” via Disco Naivete.