Behind the Counter: Dusty Groove America (Chicago, IL)

Located at 1120 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago, Dusty Groove America is one of the nation’s top independent record stores. What started with “a few college DJs at WHPK, 88.5 FM on the south side of Chicago” is now a vinyl mecca with an up-to-the-minute online store, specializing in hard-to-find reissues. In a recent Q&A for ALARM, owner Rick Wojcik answered a few questions and selected a few of Dusty Groove’s top CD reissues (pictured below).
 

Gene Shaw Quintet: Breakthrough

Gene Shaw Quintet: Breakthrough

Which albums has your store sold the most over the past month?

It’s not like we have any real “hits,” since we don’t sell much contemporary music, like indie rock, which would make it easier to talk about in terms of big records that have defined a season. Every day we add hundreds of different new titles to the racks, usually just one copy at a time, so we’re less likely to have this sort of focus than other stores.
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Behind the Counter: Goner Records (Memphis, TN)

Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.

Memphis, Tennessee’s Goner Records specializes in punk, soul, blues, funk, and heavy-metal LPs and 45s, with a label that is home to some ALARM favorites. What other record store can boast its own annual rock-‘n’-roll festival exhibiting bands from all across the globe?  Shop owner Eric Friedl (of The Oblivians) spoke with ALARM and shared the story behind Goner.

Goner Records co-owner Eric Friedl holds Junkpile Jimmy: Alberhill (self-released)

Goner Records co-owner Eric Friedl holds Junkpile Jimmy: Alberhill (self-released)

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Behind the Counter: The Corner Record Shop (Grandville, MI)

Each week, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.

The Corner Record Shop in Grandville, Michigan started out in a tiny corner room behind an old Dutch bakery.  Eleven years later, owner Steve Williamson and his “no judgment” staff cater to young and old alike, offering their talents in the two-room spot with an audio-repair shop, stereo showroom, and venue (still in the works). Employee Brian Beckwith shares some thoughts with us.

The Corner Record Shop

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Listen to MiM0SA’s dubstep remix of a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic

LA hip-hop producer MiM0SA has been busy.  The artist has recently performed among artists like Flying Lotus, Benga, and Skream, has appeared at festivals such as Coachella, Decibel, and Burning Man, and was even featured on BBC radio, all while preparing to release his new mini-LP, Silver Lining (Muti), due October 4.

MiMoSA: “I Put a Spell on U”

Nina_Simone-I_Put_A_Spell_On_U_(MiM0SA_Remix)

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Mayan metal quartet Yaotl Mictlan to feature Aztec dancers, Chicano artist at release party

On Saturday, September 4, Salt Lake City’s Yaotl Mictlan celebrates its newest album, Dentro Del Manto Gris de Chaac, its first for Candlelight Records.  Officially available as of August 10, the album delivers metal ferocity with Mayan imagery inspired by the founders’ native heritage.

The release performance will take place at Bar Deluxe, demonically located at 666 S. State Street in Salt Lake City.  The event will showcase Chicano artist Veronica Perez, alongside presentations by traditional Aztec dancers.

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Trentemøller’s video for “…Even Though You’re With Another Girl”

Danish producer/multi-instrumentalist Trentemøller has debuted a video for the song “…Even Though You’re With Another Girl” from his exceptional new album, Into the Great Wide Yonder. Featuring the vocals of Josephine Philips (Darkness Falls) and directed by Adam Hashemi, the dreamy, cinematic imagery recalls the suspense and mystery of film noir.

The song has also been released as a single — presented in a variety of remixes within two limited 7” and 12” discs — featuring Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Pantha Du Prince, and Mikael Simpson.

Trentemøller is featured in ALARM’s newest book, Invisible: Overlooked Albums and Unseen Artists, due out Sept. 7.

Trentemøller: …. Even Though You’re With Another Girl (Official music video) from SEN Music TV on Vimeo.

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The Black Heart Procession works with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Eluvium on new EP

Brooding indie rockers The Black Heart Procession have announced a limited-edition mini-album entitled Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit, to be released on October 12 (Temporary Residence Limited). The EP will include three new songs, a collaboration with reggae/dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry, and a 10-minute orchestral reconstruction of the song “Drugs” by ambient artist Eluvium.  Listen to the EP’s opening track below.

The Black Heart Procession: “Blank Page”

black-heart-procession-blank-page

Additionally, in celebration of the album release, The Black Heart Procession will tour this fall alongside label-mate The Books (coming off its recent, stellar performance in Chicago’s Millennium Park).

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Yann Tiersen to release next studio album on Anti-

Multi-instrumentalist / composer Yann Tiersen won acclaim for his beautiful score in the hit French film Amelie. Though the film features pop-based rolling melodies, it was a bit of a departure from his early work, which blended classical, folk, and post-punk sounds. Tiersen’s new album returns to that earlier style, employing a wide array of instruments and spanning many genres.

The result of a two-year creative process, Dustlane will be released on October 12 by Anti-, which put out Sage FrancisLi(f)e (featuring Tiersen’s collaboration on “The Best of Times”). Tiersen plays classical instruments like acoustic guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, and banjo, while adding harder sounds with toy drums, electric guitars, bass, and synthesizers. Lofty vocal choruses contrast dramatic narration by Matt Elliot (Mogwai, Blonde Redhead).
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Design studio Sonnenzimmer teams with Insound for “10 for 10”

Chicago screen-printing studio Sonnenzimmer is an ALARM favorite. Its portfolio boasts a long list of tastefully simple poster art for bands including Yeasayer, Vox Arcana, and the Weakerthans, featuring top-notch illustration, packaging, and design. Teaming up with music-merchandise site Insound for its “10 for 10” promotion, Sonnenzimmer is now offering 10 original band posters and T-shirts.

The Insound 10 for 10 succeeds last year’s “Insound 10 Classic” project by Mike Perry, and it features some indie-rock darlings. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Beach House, Neon Indian, Liars, Titus Andronicus, Broken Social Scene, Girls, The Mountain Goats, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Owen Pallett are all involved.

The limited-edition shirts are made by American Apparel, and the posters are signed and numbered by Sonnenzimmer, limited to 125 copies.

Be sure to check out ALARM’s feature on Sonnenzimmer in ALARM 35.

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Serengeti channels Bill Swerski’s Superfans in video for “Perculators”

A new music video for “Perculators” by Chicago rapper Serengeti, produced by Jel (Themselves) and Odd Nosdam, can be seen below. The video pokes fun at Chicago stereotypes, complete with Chicago-style dogs and old-school references to Chicago athletes such as Horace Grant, Maury Buford, and Bill Buckner.  The chorus of “those are the Bs on the Bears” is particularly brilliant.

More collaborative projects by Jel, Odd Nosdam, and Serengeti are soon to come, with a project in the works for 2011.

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Folk experimentalists Pillars & Tongues to tour Midwest and West Coast

Adding to the 250 performances across North America and Europe that folk experimentalists Pillars & Tongues have delivered within the past three years, the Chicago-based trio is now headed west on a month-long tour promoting its latest release, Lay of Pilgrim Park (Endless Nest).

Starting in the Midwest at the onset of September, the group will travel across the country, closing the tour with a Daytrotter session on October 3.

Read music editor Scott Morrow’s review of Lay of Pilgrim Park on This Week’s Best Albums and listen to a track from the album.

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Brian Eno teams with Jon Hopkins, Leo Abrahams for Warp debut

English ambient pioneer Brian Eno has partnered with fellow crossover artists Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams to release his next album, Small Craft on a Milk Sea, out November 2 on Warp Records. The album, available as CD and high-quality download, will also be available in a limited-edition or collectors’-edition box set, both designed by Eno.

We don’t know how Small Craft on a Milk Sea will sound yet, but Hopkins and Abrahams are excellent picks for collaboration.  Hopkins’ 2009 album Insides made our list of 50 unheralded albums from last year.

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