The Smell of Incense — A Curious Miscellany
(September Gurls SGCD 36, 2005/2009, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-08-09A Curious Miscellany is a compilation of TSoI singles, cassettes, and demos of covers recorded by the band in the early- to mid-90s. As such this is an excellent collection of music recorded before, during, and just after their first release All Mimsy Were the Borogoves. The only previously unreleased song is their excellent cover of Czar’s “Tread Softly on My Dreams,” which is alone worth the price of the album. For those of you unfamiliar with their early non-album releases, this archival compilation showcases TSoI’s superb psychedelic re-interpretations of obscure and not so obscure songs by Jefferson Handkerchief, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Merrel Fankhauser’s HMS Bounty, Fifty Foot Hose, United States of America, and the Incredible String Band. In addition, there is the Norwegian folk song “Varulv” from singer Bumble B’s only solo album and the demo of “Christopher’s Journey” off Mimsy that has a somewhat different mix than on the album. As per the title, this is a curious collection of music that does not necessarily flow from one song to the next, a problem with most compilations. Taken individually the songs are great, complete with sitar, fuzzed guitars, and other psychedelic elements. I would have much preferred it if the band had released an album of new material with A Curious Miscellany as a companion piece, as it has been three years since their last release Of Ullages and Dottles. Anyway, this will suffice.
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more