wears the trousers magazine

incoming: black tambourine
March 4, 2010, 2:00 am
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Black Tambourine
Black Tambourine

[Slumberland; March 29]

Hard to believe that early ’90s shoegaze/twee-pop outfit Black Tambourine never released a proper album. Formed in 1989 as a side project by members of Whorl and Velocity Girl, they lasted a mere two years yet somehow remain among the most celebrated progenitors of American indie-pop. They were, after all, one of legendary label Slumberland’s first signings (an act of brilliant self-serving by band member Mike Schulman, who also co-founded the label). This new collection of odds and ends was overseen by Black Tambourine singer Pam Berry, a founder member of the still-going-strong Chick Factor zine, and features all of the band’s established catalogue plus six unheard songs. From the vaults come two unheard demos, along with four songs recorded by the band especially for this definitive release. Two are original numbers the band would play live back in the day but never had a chance to record, and the others are covers: Buddy Holly’s ‘Heartbeat’ and Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’. Available digitally and in a deluxe 12″ gatefold vinyl package.

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incoming: jenny owen youngs
March 2, 2010, 5:13 pm
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Jenny Owen Youngs
Last Person EP

[Nettwerk; March 2]

Nearly three months after the video for the title track appeared on YouTube, this new six-song digital-only EP from Jenny Owen Youngs sneaked out into the world today. With previously unreleased material including four tracks from last year’s Transmitter Failure [review] recorded live “in the Basement” and a “re-think” of another album track, ‘Dissolve’, it’s one that fans will want to snap up.

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the raincoats follow bikini kill in crowdsourcing archive
March 2, 2010, 1:29 pm
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Influential post-punk outfit The Raincoats have taken inspiration from Bikini Kill’s recently opened archive blog and are calling for fans to contribute their own personal stories and reflections of the band. In case you need a reminder (!), The Raincoats were formed thirty years ago by Ana da Silva and Gina Birch who met as students at Hornsey College of Art, London. An evolving list of band members has included Palm Olive and Kate Korus from The Slits (and later The Mo-dettes), drummer Ingrid Weiss, Vicky Aspinall on violin and photographer/manager Shirley O’Loughlin. The band released five LPs, and went on to become much lauded inspirations for Kurt Cobain, Kim Gordon and the riot grrrl movement as a whole, beaming a blindingly great path through music’s wider, male-dominated annals.

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incoming: jen olive
March 2, 2010, 12:31 pm
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Jen Olive
Warm Robot

[Ape House; March 29]

Albuquerque resident Jen Olive has a number of self-released works out under other names, but has forgone comfortable anonymity to release this latest album via a recently inked deal with Ape House, the label owned by XTC’s Andy Partridge. The singer-songwriter was born in California but enjoyed a nomadic upbringing with her lounge singer mother and trombone playing father. A move to Albuquerque brought her directly into the arms of her father’s “crazy jazz family” (her uncle is the lead saxophonist for the Count Basie Orchestra), and the city itself played its own part in the conception of Warm Robot. Says Jen, “The depth and character of the place is in the old indigenous families, and you can’t help but be influenced by the culture. It’s very different, there’s not a lot of conventional Americana here.”

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incoming: melissa etheridge
March 2, 2010, 10:45 am
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Melissa Etheridge
Fearless Love

[Island; April 26]

For her tenth studio album, Melissa Etheridge is working with a concept. As she explained in a recent interview with Spinner, “There are only two vibrations in the world and you’re either making a love choice or a fear choice.” Ditching the working title of ‘Songs Of Fear & Love’ because her daughter Bailey thought it was “too many words”, suggesting Fearless Love as an alternative. Produced by John Shanks, this is Melissa’s most rock-oriented album in years. “I wanted to make a record that’s a hundred miles an hour all the time,” she told Rolling Stone back in October. “There’s a couple of ballads on it, but the majority of it is just really slamming.” The title track is available now as a digital single. Watch the video below.

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incoming: zola jesus
March 1, 2010, 6:39 pm
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Zola Jesus
Stridulum EP

[Sacred Bones; March 8]

Presumably named after Giulio Paradisi’s 1979 sci-fi stinker, more commonly known as ‘The Visitor’, this EP is the latest despatch from prolific young songwriter Nika Rosa Danilova and, as the super-striking artwork indicates, it promises to step up the production values from last year’s wonderfully lo-fi The Spoils [review]. Opening track ‘Night’ has been making waves as a free download [here]. If it’s indicative of the EP as whole, we’re in for a sweet gothic treat.

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robyn planning three new albums for 2010
March 1, 2010, 6:25 pm
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It appears that three is most definitely the magic number for everybody’s favourite Swedish popstar, Robyn. Having been bombarded with countless editions of her career rejuvenating 2005 self-titled album and multiple re-released singles, the patience of her stalwart fans will be rewarded with not one, not even two, but three new albums set for release in the next twelve months. And we thought Laura Marling was being ambitious!

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