Thursday, October 21, 2010

Music News & Notes

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS To Release 'Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol. II: The Solstice Bare'

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS are set to release "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol. II: The Solstice Bare" on November 23 via Martha's Music/Rocket Science Ventures. This physical-only four-song EP is a limited-edition, beautifully packaged CD and deluxe 12-inch vinyl picture disc with the four songs — "The Fellowship", "Freak", "Tom Tom" and "Spangled" as well as an unreleased B-side track, "Cottonwood Symphony".



The officially licensed, Ronnie James Dio Rock Iconz limited edition statue by KnuckleBonz is now available for pre-order.  Limited quantities ship late 2010.

A portion of all proceeds from  go to the "Stand Up and Shout" cancer fund in honor of Ronnie James Dio. The sculpture of Dio is displayed with his signature devil horns and iconic crouched stance. KnuckleBonz is honored to be creating a tribute piece of Ronnie James Dio, widely recognized as one of the most powerful singers in all of heavy metal.

All figures in the Rock Iconz® series are limited editions and the Ronnie James Dio statue is very exclusive with only 3000 pieces slated for production. This is an officially licensed product. A portion of all sales from  will be donated to the "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer Fund created in honor of Ronnie James Dio.

For all DIO fans, we wanted to pass along information that donations to the Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer Fund are now being accepted by going to Your generous donations will go to cancer research, screenings and various cancer programs.

The Dio statue by KnuckleBonz is created using a team of highly skilled artists to sculpt a remarkable likeness. The limited edition figure will be cast in a poly-resin and hand-paint in fine detail. Each sculpture in the Rock Iconz series is hand-numbered and displayed on an attractive wooden base.


The Sword ""(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears of Fire 12" Hexagonal Picture Disc "

The Sword have proved themselves to be one of the most revered bands of the past ten years. Following up the release of their latest album, Warp Rider, the band have teamed up with Metal Club for the early release of a special 12″ hexagonal picture disc featuring the Warp Rider track “(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears of Fire” and a b-side of the Bron-y-maur stomp of “Farstar.” Only 3000 of these are being created by Kemado Records and you can get it at Metal Club stores starting on 10/26.


Queens of the Stone Age "Queens of the Stone Age vinyl reissue"

The highly-sought after, out of print debut release from QOTSA has been recreated by Joshua Homme as it was initally envisioned, with the reinstatement of three tracks that were initially cut from the record. The 180 gram double vinyl gatefold package will be available exclusively at Metal Club stores on 11/26 (with a download card included). Track listing: “Regular John”, “Avon”, “If Only”, “Walkin’ on the Sidewalks”, “You Would Know”, “The Bronze”, “How To Handle A Rope (A Lesson in the Lariat)”, “Mexicola”, “Hispanic Impressions”, “You Can’t Quit Me Baby”, “These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For”, “Give The Mule What He Wants”, “Spiders and Vinegaroons”, “I Was A Teenage Hand Model” In Stores: 11/26/2010

Vinyl review : R.E.M. – Chronic Town

Artist – R.E.M.

Title – Chronic Town

Format – Vinyl EP

Label – IRS

Year – 1982

Short record, short review. This five song EP was R.E.M.’s first major release after their 1981 single “Radio Free Europe” (and that single sounds a hell of a lot different than the album version they put out a few years later).

I picked this up for $12.50 at Joe’s Record Paradise  in Silver Spring, MD, a shop I used to visit at their old Rockville location before I left for college. The record is in good shape with quiet grooves, although i’m pissed at myself for damaging the sleeve when peeling off the pricetag. With the needle down, the guitars ring and chime appropriately and Stipe’s mumbling follows suit. Bill Berry’s drumming on the first few tracks, especially on “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” are really muted and indistinct; the cymbals mush together and sound like those maracas you made out of an oatmeal box filled with rice back in 2nd grade art class. Side B’s percussion has much better definition and push, but the cymbals are still kinda dialed down. I guess we can’t really expect world-class sonics from a debut EP.

Acoustic flaws aside, this is an excellent first record that nicely lays out the style they pursue on their next two LPs. Some smug British dude  wrote that R.E.M.’s stuff from the first half of the eighties was just Stipe “…mumbling gibberish into his fringe over tinny old Byrds riffs”, but I think that their work from that period was some of their best. Everything after Monster is entirely forgettable. Speaking of irrelevant musicians, Stipe should team up with Moby and do a tour of bald vegan white dudes with serious opinions about things.

Music – B+

Sound – B

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Fen Crash Chart Party and Play Puppet Master For "Miracle" Video

Vancouver, British Columbia’s progressive alt-metallers Fen has been seeing their first single from Trails Out of Gloom, “Find That One,” getting a remarkable amount of radio airplay, namely on WPMD (Los Angeles, CA), WVBR 93.5 (NY), WKGB 92.5 (NY), WEOS 89.7 (NY), and The week of October 11th, 2010 showed an even greater growth of support from the music listening community as “Find That One” was seen resting at #19, snuggly between the likes of Bad Religion, Jimmy Eat World, and Arcade Fire on Immensely Modern Alternative Internet Radio’s Top 20 chart.

"It's a first for us to be charting among bands whose names we've heard of,” said guitarist/vocalist Doug Harrison, “For us it's good, no argument there. But the other bands are probably wondering who the hell we think we are, trying to nuzzle with them in the top 20. Sorry, Known Bands, you're just too cuddly to resist."

Meanwhile, Fen has been enthusiastically putting the final touches on their first official video for the follow up single, “Miracle.” Currently, with all of the video footage shot and the puppet “actors” taking five, the band and production team of Mind of a Snail Co ( are feverishly editing the images and preparing to have the video available for viewing in November. While we await the final product, here are some still shots of the “actors” at work:

More information from Fen will be coming along soon, so stay tuned!

"Consistently enchanting from start to finish, Trails Out of Gloom is one of the more rapturous releases you're likely to encounter in quite some time. It is fantastic in every way. Highest possible rating, 16/16." -- Progressions Magazine

For further information or promos for Fen, please contact:

John Rancik
Ripple Music