remembering storm thorgerson

We all know not to judge books, records, movies, et cetera, by their covers, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard. For better or worse, cover art incontrovertibly becomes part of your experience of whatever you’re watching, reading, or listening to. Good art is magnetic, it adds a little extra something; bad art, on the other hand… well, you know, think about the recent uproar over the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito cover. The internet era’s having made album art an almost-obsolete art form might level the playing field when it comes to music, but it also takes away quite a bit of the fun – picking up a beautiful, iconic record is frankly pretty thrilling. It’s like if you could pick up the Mona Lisa, then manhandle it while you listen to a musical version. Or at least, that’s what it’s like to check out album art by Storm Thorgerson, the British graphic designer whose intense, surreal, one-of-a-kind artwork adorns records by artists from Led Zeppelin to Ween, who passed away this week at 69 after a long fight with cancer.

Thorgerson and the studio he co-founded, Hipgnosis, created images that have since become larger cultural touchstones, whether they be humorous (like Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother), creepily surrealist (like the Cranberries’ Bury the Hatchet), or postmodern twists on more traditional album artwork (like Peter Gabriel’s 1978 self-titled release). Most iconically, Hipgnosis designed seventeen album covers for Thorgerson’s close friends in Pink Floyd, including the now-classic refracting prism that covers Dark Side of the Moon (above). On Thorgerson’s website, you can peruse a slideshow of some of the collages, manipulated photographs, and illustrations he and Hipgnosis designed for a diverse array of artists (our personal favorite is their cover for Black Sabbath’s 1976 release Technical Ecstasy), or watch and listen to this great 2010 interview, as Thorgerson speaks about his own creative process, especially when it comes to creating his tongue-in-cheek artwork for Pink Floyd.

deerhunter are putting a new record out

we’re all freaking out today about deerhunter’s new record monomania which comes out may 7 and about this amazing accompanying press photo. as is typical i aspire as a writer to the cryptic weirdness of the statement they made about it. i’m listening to cryptograms on repeat in celebration as usual

tracklist looks like this:

01 Neon Junkyard
02 Leather Jacket II
03 The Missing
04 Pensacola
05 Dream Captain
06 Blue Agent
07 T.H.M.
08 Sleepwalking
09 Back To The Middle
10 Monomania
11 Nitebike
12 Punk (La Vie Ante?rieure)

deerhunter have a new bassist josh mckay (though i already miss josh fauver) and a new guitarist frankie broyles who used to be in a great band called balkans. he also played drums with lotus plaza last year and he has his own project that sounds a lot like oldschool lotus plaza (which is not a problem for me). keep in mind that this brings deerhunter’s guitar count to three so get ready for your face to melt the fuck off.

i thought the titles “the missing” (which is the lockett track on the record) and “nitebike” sounded familiar so i went back in my truly embarrassing deerhunter bootleg archives and remembered they were both played live with lotus plaza and atlas sound respectively; those links are to downloads of the shows that include those songs on nyctaper if you want to check them out. “the missing” is “unknown 2″ in the lotus plaza recording.

remember the black lips said it was really punk and brad said something about bo diddley.

we will keep you posted on this.

MP3: Strange Relations-Endurance

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Minneapolis trio Strange Relations have returned with yet another brilliant, stormy single. Despite the fact that they have yet to release their first EP, members Casey Sowa, Marisa Helgeson, and Andrew Shaw have wasted no time in captivating the Minneapolis scene with their stunning live presence.

Writing in Reverse is proud to premiere Endurance, a thunderous display of technical prowess that combines everything we love about dream pop, shoegaze, and math rock in to one. Featuring crisp rhythms, haunting vocals, and a gliding guitar groove, Endurance is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Make sure to catch Strange Relations when they play The Turf Club this Saturday, January 26th in support of Philadelphia sensations Free Energy, and keep watch for their debut EP, coming winter 2013.

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writing in reverse favorites of 2012

Below are our favorite records/eps/songs/videos/shows of 2012. They aren’t the best or the worst, just the ones we personally loved the most. Please check them out — we linked to streams when we could find them. You may notice lots of overlaps, but that’s just because we’re friends who talk to each other about music all the time. Tell us what we missed!

Caitlin

R E C O R D S

naomi punk the feeling
nu sensae sundowning
ty segall twins and slaughterhouse
metz s/t
lotus plaza spooky action at a distance
tame impala lonerism
liars wixiw
cold pumas persistant malaise
menomena moms
the soft walls s/t
grass widow internal logic
dan deacon america

E P s

footwork +jbvm
chastity belt
 fuck chastity belt / dude
wimps  demo
kithkin takers & leavers ep
makeup monsters nervous case
each other heavily spaced
blessed state demo
ubu roi demo tape / babe demo
weed gun control ep
hags cool evil ep

S O N G S

naomi punk “trashworld”
lotus plaza “eveningness”
roomrunner “undo”
ff “deadhead”
eric copeland “double reverse psychology”
screaming females “doom 84″
white lung “i rot”
disappears “joa”
hausu “bleak”
ty segall “slaughterhouse”

V I D E O S
(i didn’t watch many music videos this year)

naomi punk “burned body”

P R E V I O U S  R E L E A S E S
(records from years past that i had newfound appreciation for in 2012)

talbot tagora lessons in the woods or a city
nirvana insecticide
the birthday party s/t
my bloody valentine eps 1988-1991
cluster & eno s/t
quilt s/t

B E S T  P H O T O  O F  L I L  B U B

lilbub1

Genevieve

R E C O R D S

naomi punk the feeling
cold pumas persistent malaise
lotus plaza spooky action at a distance
grimes visions
nu sensae sundowning
menomena moms
broken water tempest
the soft walls s/t
ty segall and band twins and slaughterhouse
tame impala lonerism
metz s/t
diiv oshin
divine fits a thing called divine fits
purity ring shrines
the men open your heart

E P s

makeup monsters nervous case
kithkin takers and leavers
dan rossen silent hour / golden mile
azealia banks 1991
footwork +jmbvm

S O N G S
these aren’t necessarily singles, although many of them are

makeup monstersspirit
tame impalaelephant
kirin j callinanwiiw
naomi punkburned body
pollenshelping hands
lotus plazamonoliths
diivdoused
grimes + majical clouds “nightmusic
grizzly bearsleeping ute
thee oh seeslupine dominus
divine fitswould that not be nice
prince ramaso destroyed
ty segall + white fencei am not a game
savageshusbands
the soft wallsblack cat

V I D E O S
you can probably tell watching these that i was really into westerns this year

doldrumsshe is the wave
azealia banksliquorice
twin shadowfive seconds
king krulerock bottom
naomi punkburned body
honorable mention – diiv’sdoused” video just because i’m in it

the best picture of lil bub, no matter what cait and gunnar say:

Gunnar

R E C O R D S

naomi punk the feeling
nu sensae sundowning
father john misty fear fun
tame impala lonerism
toy s/t
melody’s echo chamber s/t
beach house bloom
mac demarco 2
frank ocean channel orange
cold pumas persistent malaise 
llying lotus until the quiet comes
parquet courts light up gold
merchandise children of desire
tops tender opposites
how to dress well total loss
dent may do things
young man vol. 1

E P s

haim forever
rhye open
pure bathing culture s/t
noir cœur jahnimal
αtμ<3 (v)
imaginary family hidden
saåad confluences

L O C A L  S I N G L E S

carroll“sticks”
gloss “front porch”
strange relations “ghost world”
olsen twinns “2+2″
prissy clerks “bruise or be bruised”

S I N G L E S

melody’s echo chamber “i follow you”
unknown mortal orchestra “swim and sleep (like a shark)”
wild nothing “shadow”
no regular play “rain all day”
αtμ “what you like”
djemba djemba “oh yeah that’s cool (phillip rablais remix)”
is home is “promise?”
velveteens “chico”
king tuff “stoned and alone”
naomi punk “linoleum tryst”
toro y moi “so many details”
young man “fate”
le1f “wut”
mykki blanco “haze.boogie.life”
kate boy “northern lights”
hundred waters “thistle (starslinger remix)”
korallreven “sa sa samoa (elite g’z remix)”
doldrums “she is the wave (ft. guy davis)”
blue hawaii “in two”
solar year “night and day”

L O C A L  A L B U M S

01. olsen twinns found things
02. prissy clerks bruise or be bruised
03. the velveteens s/t cassette
04. nice purse slumber girls
05. the miami dolphins capri sun
06. france camp your leather
07. vacation dad livin
08. the mystery train s/t
09. pony trash s/t
10. food pyramid mango sunrise
11. leisure birds globe master
12. claps glory, glory

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Video: Clean Eugene-Hand$ome Phantom

Clean Eugene is the alias of bedroom musician/videographer Max Fisher, a full-time student at the University of Wisconsin Madison who happens to have a lot of free time on his hands. Despite releasing two EP’s consisting  of ambient, drone, and experimental soundscapes, Clean Eugene has never played a live show. Additionally, it’s quite clear that music isn’t his sole aspiration, as he’s entered in to prime video mashing territory with his new film project Hand$ome Phantom. The piece relies heavily on clashing clips from what appear to be 80’s commercials ripped from poorly retained VHS tapes. Though you shouldn’t expect a live show any time soon, the recordings alone are enough to make you hope that someday soon, Clean Eugene will grace the stage. Download the Clean EP for free via the Clean Eugene Facebook page.

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