Another Goddamn Sales Pitch

Sticky

Look, I have a book out in active sales right now. This is just a gentle reminder that if you haven’t purchased a copy of it yet then I do not know what the hell you’re even doing with your life. It’s out there, living it’s life, no cellphones, just words living in the moment. Why are you denying it the chance to take you a wild, dirty, frightening ride? Look at that cover. Just look at it. Slickest cover that’s ever graced one of my works, that’s for sure.

Don’t take my word for it, take Ray Litt’s. Her review for Dirty Little Bookers kicked off with the following:

“Zaple has a sweeping, smooth way of crafting descriptive narrative. He is an expert followthrough-er, leading you through paragraphs like a foul-mouthed gondolier. I was continually impressed, many times stopping for a satisfied exhalation before pressing on into the next dark, dark alleyway.”

Interested? Sure you are. Check it out here:

DIGITAL FICTION

AMAZON

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Consumer Guides?

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They’re a lot of work when you’ve got a thousand other commitments, so I might switch to doing monthly, or at least bi-weekly? The text mining stuff gets repeated reads and is more in line with skills I’m developing to exchange for money, so I would really prefer to do more of them, but I also love music and this is the last year of the 2010s and so there are retrospectives and context to think of for 2019. I just haven’t been enthused this year, beyond a few key records (Sharon Van Etten I’m looking at you), and it’s hard to muster up the get-go to, you know, plow through it. So, be on the look out. Or don’t. I’m not a cop.

Consumer Guide March 8th/2019

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Sigrid – Sucker Punch

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(March 8th on Island Records)

Europe has always had pop figured out cold, Northern Europe doubly so. Norwegian singer Sigrid’s debut follows in this tradition, trading in solid pop sensibilities that don’t chase any particular trend or try to reinvent the wheel. It plays it safe, but that safety is also so well done it feels like it might be something more. It’s also distressingly wholesome, but the message – good things come to those who love themselves – needs to be heard more.

Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1

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(March 8th on Warner Bros. Records)

Literally the Imagine Dragons of indie rock, if you can stomach such a thing. I never have been able to, but there are stronger constitutions out there than mine, I’m sure.

Sasami – Sasami

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(March 8th on Domino Recording Company)

An interesting debut from the one-time Cherry Glazerr member, this one is quiet and intimate while managing to to call forth some real heavy power when it needs to.

Amanda Palmer – There Will Be No Intermission

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(March 8th on Cooking Vinyl Records)

The stark nudity of the record cover is a metaphor, for the ultra-confessional proceedings offered here by the Dresden Dolls singer. Imagine if Mark Kozelek had something useful to say, and it might sound something like this.

Sundara Karma – Ulfila’s Alphabet

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(March 8th on RCA Records)

Combining Wolf Parade with Eighties Bowie is interesting, and…that’s pretty much where it ends.

Meat Puppets – Dusty Notes

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(March 8th on Megaforce Records)

Their version of country-punk was innovative thirty plus years ago but in this day and age when country is grudgingly allowing again for dissonant voices it rings a little hollow.

William Basinski – On Time Out Of Time

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(March 8th on Temporary Residence Records)

It sounds like two supermassive black holes colliding 1.3 billion years ago.

Literally.

Because that’s what it is.

Literal, inescapable doom.

Townes Van Zandt – Sky Blue

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(March 7th on Fat Possum Records)

A collection of demos from the 22-year-dead balladeer of the dusty forgotten highways and the decaying dive bars, barely more than shacks themselves. Sparse, desperate, doomed American music.

Dido – Still On My Mind

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(March 8th on BMG Records)

Pretty, too polished, but pretty. I actually like it more than her big hit album from 2000 or whenever, the one everyone knows because of “Stan”.

Stella Donnelly – Beware Of The Dogs

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(March 8th on Secretly Canadian Records)

Frank, blunt, and sexual, like Lily Allen emerging sharper than ever from the #MeToo era. It will make some people uncomfortable. Be extremely wary of the people it makes uncomfortable. Four stars only because it kind of meanders after the highwater mark of “Boys Will Be Boys” before coming in strong again at the end.

Maren Morris – Girl

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(March 8th on SME Records)

Excuse me, wasn’t this supposed to be a country album?

Helado Negro – This Is How You Smile

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(March 8th on RVNG International)

Weirdly exuberant for such an insular, spacey record. This is how you know they found that good stuff.

Nick Waterhouse – Nick Waterhouse

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(March 8th on Innovative Leisure Records)

Devoted to a certain time and place – America, 1963 – but maybe a little too on the nose for much of it’s run.

 

 

Consumer Guide, March 1st/2019

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Royal Trux – White Stuff

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(March 1st on Fat Possum Records)

When a band comes back after twenty years to release a new album I expect them to play it safe but there’s such a thing as taking it too far. White Stuff is fine, especially if you were into the band Back In The Day, but it sounds like a rewrite of older, better stuff with no attempt at trying to move forward at all.

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Consumer Guide, February 22/2019

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Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

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(February 22nd on Rocket Recordings)

Like a soundtrack for apocalyptic times, Wraith veers between pounding industrial, jazzy, introspective diversions, and moodier alt-psych excursions. Like the zee, it changes when you don’t look at it for too long.

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Consumer Guide, February 15/2019

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Woman’s Hour – Ephyra

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They broke up after their acclaimed 2014 debut but managed to stick together long enough to put together this enchanting, disturbing synth-pop confection. Nineties Bjork and Oughts-era The Knife with a gauzy layer that crinkles uncomfortably like human skin when you press it slightly.

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Consumer Guide, February 8th/2019

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Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere

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(February 8th on Anti-Records and Epitaph Records)

Cass McCombs is great because his heady folk rock gets Americana and jammy but just before that gets three-Phish-sets-at-Bonnaroo obnoxious he veers off into another territory entirely. One day we’ll probably think of him as a Great Lost American Songwriter but you could just discover him now, too, it’s never too late.

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Consumer Guide: February 1st/2019

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Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Smells Funny

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(February 1st on Rune Grammofon Records)

The worst thing about fusion has always been how seriously it’s practitioners take it. It’s basically all the power of both jazz and rock ‘n’ roll put into a tuxedo and made to look for respectability among the moneyed classes of the world. The Hedvig Mollestad Trio, however, wants no such respectability. Their fusion is haunted by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix, and as such it’s explosive, heavy, and outfitted with guitar lines that whip and strangle as much as they slither and caress.

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Consumer Guide: January 25/2018

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TOY – Happy In The Hollow

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(January 25th Tough Love Records)

Low-tempo Krautrock with a seriously languid groove. If Faust was secretly a bunch of goddamn hippies they would sound like this.

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Consumer Guide: January 18/2019

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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – De Facto

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(January 11th on Sonic Cathedral Records)

Psychedelic noise-rock that walks the thin line between being artistically and willfully difficult. Avoids becoming lost in a gauzy haze by virtue of an excellent rhythm section that knows instinctively how to ride a groove.

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Consumer Guide, January 11/2019

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You Tell Me – You Tell Me

(January 11th, 2019 on Memphis Industries)

Field Music and Admiral Fallow, together at last, or something. Like chocolate and peanut butter for people who think Eighties post-Genesis pop was fuckin’ keen.

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