Landlocked Music

Behind the Counter: Landlocked Music (Bloomington, IN)

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

Landlocked Music in Bloomington, Indiana has been around since 2006 and has since proved to be a staple in the small college town. The store has hosted a number of notable in-store performances and curates a collection of music to satisfy almost any taste. With its fifth anniversary coming up in March of 2011, we spoke with Landlocked c0-owner Jason Nickey and got the inside scoop on one of the Midwest’s top record stores. A message to any straightforward rock-‘n’-roll bands from Bloomington: get in touch with Nickey; he doesn’t believe that you exist.

What was your motivation for starting a music store? / What is your background in music?

I had no choice, really. It’s the only thing I’m fully qualified to do; I’m otherwise unemployable. All I ever did at any other job I ever had was talk to people about music and records and try to discover new stuff I hadn’t heard yet. So it was probably inevitable. Also, at a certain point, when you’ve acquired a certain quantity of recorded music, it’s the next logical move.

I worked in record stores all through college, and I’ve worked a bit on the distribution side of things, as well as some writing for magazines, websites, etc., and deejaying at college and then community radio. All of those experiences have come into play to some degree. Also, finding a partner was key. It would be near impossible to do this alone. I’m sort of the behind-the-counter guy; my partner is the marketing/social-networking guy, broadly speaking.

Jason Nickey holds the Flamin' Groovies' Shake Some Action
Jason Nickey holds the Flamin' Groovies' Shake Some Action

Black Mountain

The Groove Seeker: Black Mountain’s Wilderness Heart

On a weekly basis, The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.

Black Mountain: Wilderness HeartBlack Mountain: Wilderness Heart (Jagjaguwar, 9/14/2010)

Black Mountain: “Wilderness Heart”

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Thanks to endless comparisons to bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, and tagged as a band obsessed with ’70s stoner rock, Vancouver-based rock outfit Black Mountain has a lot to live up to.  But beyond the umbrella terminology and exhaustive retro comparisons, the group doesn’t receive enough credit for striking a modern chord with mainstream and underground-minded audiences alike.

Cosmos Records

Behind the Counter: Cosmos Records (Toronto, ON)

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

For more than a decade, independent record store Cosmos Records has supplied the Toronto area with hard-to-find vinyl releases. In addition to its flagship Queen St. West location, a sister store specializing in hip-hop and soul records opened down the street in 2005. Owner Aki Abe is known for his encyclopedic knowledge, an expertly cultivated record selection, and his downtown-Toronto nightclub, Una Más. Below, Abe answers a few questions, and Cosmos employees show off their favorite records.

Cosmos Records
Aki Abe holds Machine: s/t

What was your motivation for starting a music store? / What is your background in music?

In the late ’80s, I used to wholesale rare disco and soul LPs to Japan, which paid for my college tuition. I always seemed to obsess about something, whether it was rare action-figure erasers in grade two or obscure soul LPs I’ve never seen. If I didn’t open a record store, my apartment would’ve burst. I have no background in music.

Dan MacAdam: Sonic Youth poster

Posters & Packaging: Dan MacAdam’s Industrial Archetypes

Operating his printing and design practice under the name Crosshair, Dan MacAdam has taken a unique approach to poster art while working with the screen-printing medium for more than 15 years.

His recent work fully integrates the text — which is generally minimal — into the visual context of the image instead of displaying the text and image as two separate entities. Thus the image as a whole appears natural and undisturbed as it provides information to the viewer. In essence, instead of reading, the audience is viewing and absorbing the design.

Dan MacAdam: Wilco concert poster
Dan MacAdam: Wilco concert poster

An Albatross: Kinetic, Epic Psych-Grind

In addition to adding psychedelic and poetic passages, An Albatross has finally captured its powerful live performances with its newest full-length, An Albatross Family Album.

Contest: Win Two Tickets to See Marco Benevento in Chicago

Following an auspicious solo debut last year, post-jazz keyboardist Marco Benevento (of Benevento/Russo Duo fame) recently released Me Not Me, another solo outing that mostly features personalized versions of cover material.

Click onward for a chance to win two tickets to see Benevento’s trio in Chicago this Thursday, April 9.

For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis

For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis
by Storm Thorgerson & Audrey Powell
Hardcover, $45, PictureBox
[presently available for $20 directly from Picturebox here]

For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis (Picturebox)
For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis (Picturebox)

You have definitely seen the album art of Hipgnosis, the now-revered British design group that created the art for most of your favorite classic records of the 1970s. Houses Of The Holy, Dark Side Of The Moon — both theirs.

Much has been published about the work of Hipgnosis’ co-founders Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, whose photography backgrounds fueled their work. However, For The Love of Vinyl documents over 60 of their projects in detail — offering insight into the environment in which these works were produced. These histories are often as interesting as the album art.

What We’re Seeing Saturday: Doppler Shift, Bustle in Your Hedgerow

It would have been killer to see Femi Kuti & Positive Force on Saturday, but the Afrobeat star’s US tour has been postponed until he recovers from illness.

The cancellation, at least, gives us a chance to catch two other strong options: the heavy, beat-driven jazz-rock of Doppler Shift and the keyboard-fueled Led Zeppelin covers of Bustle in Your Hedgerow.

Weekly Music News Roundup

Amon Tobin makes up half of a new project called Two Fingers; Witch goes on tour with Earthless; Dan Deacon posts a preview of his new album; Converge and Supermachiner each has a new album for ’09; Kronos Quartet is giving away 50 pairs of tickets for its performance in France this month.

Read about these and 11 more news bits in our weekly roundup.

Marco Benevento’s New Album Covers Leonard Cohen, Led Zeppelin, Deerhoof

Jam keyboardist Marco Benevento (Benevento/Russo Duo) is releasing another solo album on February 3, only this time, covers outnumber original material. Benevento’s solo debut, Invisible Baby, was a passionate release from his post-jazz trio, but it certainly didn’t include any renditions of Deerhoof songs.