Tomorrow is the third Saturday in April, which means that independent record stores across the world will face an influx of limited-edition vinyl, avid fans, and rabid audiophiles. With myriad releases hitting shelves, we’ve provided you with some of our most anticipated picks to make Saturday’s shopping (relatively) quick and painless.
Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.
Located in the central borough of Berlin is the unsuspecting, quirky graphic-design studio and gallery Bongoût. The owners, Christian Gfeller and Anna Hellsgård, have long been infatuated with music, so the prospect of producing music-inspired visual art came naturally to them when they began collaborating on graphic-design projects in 1995.
“When Anna and I first met,” Gfeller reminisces, “we both owned massive vinyl collections. Over time, and due to several house moves, the non-vital part of the collection was cleaned – but we still own a few thousand records. Music plays a very important part in our lives – not just the music itself, but the whole cultural surrounding.”
The two designers are particularly fond of obscure punk, noise, lo-fi recordings, black metal, world music, and electronica. These eclectic influences are clearly discernible within Bongoût’s artwork. The duo has created posters and album covers for a diverse set of genre-defying clients like Black Mountain, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and PJ Harvey.
Shawn Knight, a.k.a. designer and illustrator Pinky Blaster, has created art and music since an early age. Followers of the Detroit music scene may recognize his name – previously of the band New Grenada, Knight now performs in the high-energy punk band Child Bite. The band is notorious for its wide range of instruments, humorous live performances, and its members’ impressive facial hair.
While in high school, Knight began playing in punk and metal bands. These two genres influenced him heavily while he was growing up; he notes both Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys as significant influences. Knight got his start designing local band fliers and posters, and he continues to use live music as an opportunity to expose his artistic skills — though now at a national level.
As the season’s wintry punishment eases (it cracked 50 in Chicago this weekend), more and more artists are getting back in their vans and braving the roads for packed and sparse crowds alike.
Here’s a list of tours on our radar, including dates from The Bad Plus, Fucked Up, Orange Tulip Conspiracy, P.O.S., Secret Chiefs 3, Young Widows, and more.
Pummeling mid-tempo rock icons The Jesus Lizard will briefly reunite; idiosyncratic rapper Busdriver performs live with a jazz band tonight; minimalist folk group Phosphorescent has recorded a disc of Willie Nelson covers. Read on.