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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.

album cover MURDER IN THE FRONT ROW (OIMOEN, HARALD & BRIAN LEW) (Bazillion Points) book 39.95
Subtitle: "Shots From The Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter". From the same folks who brought us the lavish Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries tome, and Thomas Gabriel Fischer's Only Death Is Real, comes another treat for any dedicated headbanger. A 272 page hardcover photo book with over 400 early pics of such Bay Area (and Cali) thrash metal legends as Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Possessed, Slayer, Death Angel, Possessed, Testament, Vio-Lence, Suicidal Tendencies, and many many more, often several of 'em all together in the same photo. Color and black and white shots, live in action on stage, from the mosh pit, at parties, or ragin' out on the streets. Lotsa long hair, denim jackets, sleeveless t-shirts, beers, sneers and smiles.
Love the shots of Cliff Burton always lookin' badass (and the rest of Metallica all baby-faced). And the one of Lars smashing a Men At Work album on a parking meter. In addition to this treasure trove of rare photos documenting this legendary scene, there's also personal reminiscences of the Bay Area Thrash heyday from a bunch of the movement's key participants, including members of Exodus, Testament, and Vio-lence, as well as zinester/scenester/namer-of-Metallica/radio DJ Ron Quintana, and of course the two fearless photographers who captured on film all the frenzied fast fun times found here. Essay titles include: "I Washed Dishes For Metallica" and "Thirty Years Ago, Music Sucked" (but then there was thrash)...
Good times!! Definitely a nostaglia-fest for anyone who was here back in the day, and hopefully inspiration for young 'uns looking at it now...

album cover MY MISSION My Mission magazine 8.50

album cover NARDWUAR THE HUMAN SERVIETTE / BEV DAVIES A 2007 Punk Rock Calendar (Nardwuar The Human Serviette / Mint) calendar 12.98
If you've been following the escapades of guerilla interviewer, garage rawk maestro, indie radio / TV personality and proud Canadian Nardwuar The Human Serviette, you already know that he mystifyingly gets himself into the most coveted and cursed of situations. And while in the heat of many moments he's had plenty of things seized and/or destroyed -- videotapes (Quiet Riot, Sebastian Bach, Tom Green), records (Sonic Youth), touque (Sebastian Bach) -- he's also been on the receiving end of some truly amazing stuff (a piece of art by and from David Lee Roth to name just one!). And for this calendar, he's gained an all access pass to the photo archives of legendary punk rock photographer Bev Davies. She was once hailed by Stiff Little Fingers as "The best photo taker in the whole world". Yup, the great championer of all things Canadian and old school punk (as well as innumerable other subjects of course) follows up his crowning achievement -- the stupendous Nardwuar The Human Serviette 'Doot Doola Doot Doot' double dvd -- with this cool document of the pre-'82 punk scene as shot through the shutter of Ms Davies. The 40 pages contain so much more than a 13-month calendar! There's an ongoing interview/commentary from Nardwuar and Davies with loads of hilarious 'back in the day' stories, extra photos, stickers... oh yeah, and the photos!! The Subhumans, Motorhead, Avengers, Black Flag, Adam and the Ants, D.O.A., Johnny Thunders, The Clash, Pointed Sticks, The Go-Gos, Dead Kennedys, Gang of Four, Ramones and Duff McKagen (eons before GNR and Velvet Revolver, back in his Fastbacks days)!

album cover NEELY, TOM Your Disease Spread Quick (Robotic Boot) comic book 6.00
For those of you who missed out on the ultra limited Melvins A Senile Animal box set (which is probably most everybody), we managed to get a handful of these super limited comics, by aQ customer Tom Neely, which came in the box along with a belt buckle and a bunch of other stuff. The comic is amazing, inspired by the album, which means it's bizarre and twisted and fucked up and garish and beautiful. For those of you who have yet to see Neely's art (you very well might have and just not known it as he does a lot of commercial stuff too), you're in for a treat, classic and old fashioned, but just a bit tweaked and damaged.
This Melvins comic is the tale of a horse, who loses his head, some sort of spectre, plenty of gore and blood and vomiting, a bandaged worm man with a very powerful tongue, being chased by little legged dots, a bar full of vampires and historical figures, a wolf in grandma's clothing, a long journey across a black sea in a rickety rowboat, a strange mountaintop female cyborg, a giant eagle, a city wrapped in living tendrils, more removable heads and a horde of horses. Sure it sounds insane, it's a comic based on a Melvins record!!! The back cover has a funny Melvins parody ad, and the inside back cover has bios of both Neely and the Melvins.
If you love the Melvins, you'll probably want one of these, and odds are we won't be able to get more once we sell out.

album cover NEGATIVLAND Death Sentences Of The Polished And Structurally Weak (Seeland) cd + book 22.00
This one's been in the works for so long I was sure it was only to be a pipe dream. Death Sentences is really two almost completely independent Negativland projects combined as one for release. The book, a collection of photographs of junk yard automobiles and their contents, is the brain child of Richard Lyons -- one of the founding members of the group and an on again, off again contributor in recent times. Lyons spent years visiting junkyards (remember he's the auto obsessed maniac behind the O.T.E. "Starting Line" show), digging through battered cars for tell-tale documents that might give insight into their former owners. Each page contains a scanned image of a letter, or other -- primarily hand written -- short memo overleafed with a photo of the now demolished car from which it was retrieved. All of this handsomely packaged within a sleeve mock-up of an accident report. The book is at once impossible to put down and difficult to trudge through. Not because it's poorly put together (on the contrary, like most Negativland releases, it's gorgeously laid out and beautifully packaged), but because the contents are so incredibly depressing. Several letters are apparently written from prison, or rehab, with the author's pledge that this time when they get out they'll straighten up and fly right. This contrasted with a demolished car, some from brutal accidents, windshields containing shattered buldges where the occupants once sat, reposed in a bleak and overcast auto graveyard in the Pacific Northwest (one of the most depressing areas of the U.S., for those unfamiliar with our messed up little country.) The disc, for its part, is a bit of a departure for Negativland. One might refer to this as their "instrumental" album, for while there are voice tapes processed and buried within the mix, there isn't a narrative driving the album like pretty much all of their albums have had in the last 10 years or so. In a way, Death Sentences brings Negativland back to the beginning of their career with their eponymous release of 1980. Which makes one wonder if the band, having become so bogged down in copyright this and fair use that, is either trying to reinvent themselves or if Death Sentences is in fact their swan song. Its success as an album is perhaps best judged by one's tolerance for freeform electronic improv. While there are moments of cohesion here, for the most part the disc sounds like someone crossfaded together all the improv segue sections from Negativland's live shows. In the end though, even if the CD isn't your cup of tea, the book more than carries its weight for the set. In that case you can view the inclusion of the disc as a free bonus to your purchase of the book.
RealAudio clip: "Pack It Up"
RealAudio clip: "Don't Fool Me"

album cover NELSON, DAN All Known Metal Bands (McSweeny's) book 22.00
We had been hearing about this book for a while. While we were intrigued, we definitely had mixed feelings about it. What is it? Simply a list of metal band names. No logos, no information, other than names, lots and lots of names. More than 50,000. So the question is then, WHY? That's a tough one to answer. It's a pretty book, and the list is of course impressive. Page after page, silver metallic ink on matte black paper (of course), all housed in a gorgeous blue, black and metallic gold hardcover, it's not really readable, unless you're some sort of metal rain man, and it serves no real purpose, you could maybe look up some metal band you like and see if they're in there, but then what? Nothing really. The first strike is calling it All Known Metal Bands. Metalheads by their very nature are obsessive, so that's just begging for an onslaught from 'readers' of all the bands NOT included, and believe us, there are plenty. If Rolling Stone can't do a feature on the best song ever, or the 50 guitar gods, without getting THOUSANDS of people writing in telling them who they forgot and chastising them for leaving out so and so, well just imagine essentially telling metalheads, this is a list of all known metal bands. It might have worked better as a website, some sort of evolving online art project. But wait, there already is something like that. The Metal Archives, the ULTIMATE resource for metal, band bios, albums, album covers, logos, reviews, it's a lot like Wikipedia for metal. And we can't help but think, that -anyone- could have 'written' this book, after spending a few hours on Metal Archives. Which has us thinking that it's hard to believe the 'author' didn't do just that. And we're not alone. Have a look at Cosmo Lee's Invisible Oranges (one of the best heavy music blogs out there!):
Yep, we're not alone. In fact when we first heard about the book, we all immediately thought "Oh, like Metal Archives." Except minus everything but the names of the bands. There is some sort of cool stuff, for instance bands with the same name just get listed as many times as there are bands, no way to tell them apart, no countries listed, just the name. Over and over and over. Normally that would be annoying, but in the context of this project, it's actually kind of cool. Bands called Hellbound? The list reads:
Yep, there are eight. And so it goes. Ten Leviathans, etc. Interesting to see what the popular names are.
So take away the pointlessness, remove the hyperbolic title, and assume that these names weren't all just yanked from Metal Archives, and you've got a pretty cool, sorta dumb, little object, that as metalheads, we almost feel obliged to own. So yeah, we bought one. You probably will too. But then, we love metal, and we love books, we love lists, and even though we really shouldn't, and if called on it will claim not to, we sort of love this here book. But only sort of.

album cover NEW YORK NOISE: ART & MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND 1978-88 (Soul Jazz) book 39.95
If you love those Soul Jazz New York Noise compilations as much as we do, then you too probably imagine yourself in some dark sweaty smokey NY nightclub back in the day, witnessing some of that music happening right before your ears. The intensity, the passion, the fury, the inventiveness, the funk, the junk, the howling, freaked out, glorious NOISE. Well, thanks to Soul Jazz, you no longer need to just imagine it.
New York Noise, the book, collects tons of photos, anecdotes and artwork from 1978 to 1988, giving us at least a tiny glimpse into a scene that has had us so sonically smitten. Any one from that era you can thing of is represented. Punk rock, post punk, classical, noise, new wave, no wave. Musicians, writers, performance artists, dancers, scensters, any one who was anyone. An eye popping collection of live shots, formal portraits, casual snapshots. Lots of Christian Marclay, from installations, to live performances with his record player guitars, some amazing live shots of Suicide. DNA live, Laurie Anderson with her duct taped violin bow, Lydia Lunch, Diamanda Galas, Ut, Philip Glass, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, Madonna, Ann Magnuson, Robert Longo, Rhys Chatham, Z'ev (wielding some crazy playable metal sculptures), Glenn Branca, ESG, William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, Lester Bowie, Run DMC, John Lurie, Frightwig, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Richard Hell, Rock Steady Crew, Bush Tetras, Kim Gordon, LL Cool J, Tom Verlaine, Spalding Gray and so so so many more.
Lots of the photos with accompanying text, tales of drugs and debauchery, wild nights out, and unforgettable performances. Like all Soul Jazz releases, gorgeously assembled, lovingly researched, and expertly laid out. A massive oversized soft cover coffee table book, with a plastic style cover and a Japanese style obi.

album cover NICHE HOMO Issue 4 magazine 4.98
As much as we love progress, and new fangled gadgets, and the web and MP3's and YouTube and Netflix and downloads and iPods and all the various things that make life easy and exciting and make us feel like we're already living in a sci-fi future, we definitely dread the day where physical media ceases to exist. We like to think that could never happen, cuz who wants to live in a world without record stores, and movie theaters, and magazines, and newspapers, and lps and cassette tapes. And of course ZINES!!! Sure zines may seem like they're already dead and gone, but there are a few folks keeping zines alive, heck, there's a vintage zine store right down the street from aQ! And there's still loads of modern zines that rule: Salt, As Loud As Possible, Savage Damage Digest, Rape & Honey, and now Niche Homo, who are currently on issue number 4, and whose features should have most aQ-ers all in a tizzy. Ramleh, Sic Alps, Homosexuals, Thee Oh Sees, c'mon! There's also plenty of cool random stuff, articles, columns, illustrations, comics, all super well written and fun to read, and all laid out old school photocopy style and stapled in the middle. WAY recommended. Long live the zine!!!!

NO DEPRESSION #26 magazine 3.95
Jimmie Dale Gilmore on the cover, plus Beachwood Sparks, Neko Case, Chris Cacavas, Camper van Beethoven, etc.

NORDIC VISION #14 magazine 6.98
Everyone's favorite metal magazine. Dodheimsgard on the cover, with Darkthrone, Immolation, Godflesh, and more. Ridiculously brutal reviews and bizarre nonsensical writing to the point of being surreal. Plus their newest and silliest feature; a 'sexy death goddess' will pose for readers per their suggestions (hopefully they'll heed my suggestion in a future issue and she'll dress up like a Hot Dog On a Stick girl!!).

NORDIC VISION issue #16 magazine 7.98
More "entertainment for maniacs" from this seminal Norwegian black metal magazine. Cover stars: Gorgoroth ("What an astonishing and Devilish album 'Incipit Satan' really is. That's what we think, and therefore Infernus and Tormentor had some questions to answer"), plus Notre Dame, Necromantia, Impaled Nazarene, Necrophagia, Carpathian Forest, and more. The Gorgoroth interview is demented, as they somehow answer all the questions in even more bizarre a manner than they were asked. And, as usual, there's a ton of reviews written in the now-infamous fucked up Nordic Vision vocabulary, as well as their dumb "Sex & Satan" pictorial feature, and the "Soundcheck" department where black metal celebs like Fenriz, Shagrath, Samoth, Maniac, and Frost rate current releases. Another eccentric, silly, fascinating issue of our favorite Norwegian metal magazine. Sample editorial comment: "We have dived into the Necro World of bands like Necrophagia, Necrodeath, and Necromantia."

NORDIC VISION issue no. 15 magazine 5.98
"Entertainment for Maniacs". Indeed. Here's the latest issue of Norway's slickest black-metal scene-zine. A must for all fans of the genre, also for fans of the totally ridiculous prose in their by now notorious review section (due not only to the English-as-a-second-language problem, but also to general weirdness on the part of the writers. A sample: "They went to Romania to record this record, when in reality they should have travelled to Mongoland. Extremely non-action music without highlights, just again and again showing us how little creativity the band have in each of two many songs." And that's one that actually makes a lot of sense...) This issue features interviews with Darkthrone, Satyricon, Angelcorpse, Dark Funeral, and more. The interviews with Norwegian bands like Darkthrone are always great 'cause the Nordic Vision guys are buddies with them and thus have some other-than-usual questions to ask. A final warning: the cheesecake "Sex & Satan" photo section is too dumb for words. Readers are invited to write in with suggestions about how the model should pose...Andee already emailed a request for her to dress up like a "Hot Dog On A Stick" girl. So if anyone wants to pre-order issue #16, let us know.

album cover NOTTA LOTTA LOVE (Evil Twin Publications) zine 4.50
Notta Lotta Love is the title of the fourth My Evil Twin Sister publication, Evil Twin being the joint project of identical twins Amber Gayle (writing) and Stacy Wakefield (design / bookmaking). Notta Lotta Love is my favorite of the series (I'm Windy). Due to Amber's unpretentious, down-to-earth writing style, it reads like a novel even thought it's just 44 pages and is simply a series of remembrances, told in chronological order, of Amber's lovers. She observes hippies, flirts with fellow Green Tortoise passengers, dates a German who wears designer underwear, falls in love with naturalists and raw foodies... Something about the way Amber writes, her sweet, genuine, brutally honest tone, makes me love this. While I can't speak for the guys on our list, I suspect some of you ladies may really find a lot to identify with here. Lovely.

album cover O SIRHAN O SIRHAN MAGAZINE Issue #1 magazine 7.98
This brand new indie magazine from Brooklyn is off to quite a running start! It's packed with lots of cool art and music to read about, look at and listen to. This debut issue includes an article on Henry Flynt, interviews with Animal Collective, People's Mary Halvorson and 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, drawings by Devendra Banhart, a photo diary by Deerhoof and a cd by Jorge Boehringer (Core of The Coal Man).

album cover O'HAGAN, SEAN & JEAN PIERRE MULLER The Musical Paintings Volume 1 (Drag City) book+cd 17.98
High Llamas fans, you probably don't want to miss this! Indeed, you're probably already well aware that band leader Sean O'Hagan composes plenty of lovely music outside of his main band, right? But you probably weren't able to attend the various aural art installations he and Belgian pop-artist Jean Pierre Muller have collaborated on for the past half decade, were you? This new book+cd set, though nowhere near the actual experience of being in those environments, will have to do!
The 5.5"x6" 96-page hardcover book is filled with full color photo documentation of the first two installations' preparation, Muller's touch-sensitive art pieces as well as the attendees interacting with them.
The cd features O'Hagan's unmistakable soft-focus space age cocktail hour soundtracks which formed the interactive sonic loops in the installation. Their burbling dreaminess make for quite a languid contrast to the immediacy of the eye-poppingly vibrant paint and collage visuals!
MPEG Stream: "Almond Return"
MPEG Stream: "Ocean No Ocean"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Who Takes A Feather (Map) book + 3" cd 20.00
We are down to our last two copies and pretty sure we won't ever be able to get more, so act fast. This is a gorgeous collection of Tara Jane O'Neil's drawings, paintings and prose all beautifully printed and published in a really nice oversized soft cover book, imported from Japan. Psst, there's also a lil' 3" cd tucked away in the back cover too, with three brand new exclusive tunes!!

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Wings, Strings, Meridians (Square Root Books / Yeti) book+cd 14.98
Wings, Strings, Meridians is the latest release of audio and visual art by aQ fave Tara Jane O'Neil. The book is filled with her paintings, photographs and drawings. In the back of the compact 6" square softcover is a cd -- her tenth solo album!
Open your (or someone dear's) eyes and ears to the wonders of TJO. The pages are filled with loose tangles of thin, rough black lines shaded in earthy hues blurred in spots as if by rain or tears. Sometimes stark, sometimes busy, the images are populated by furry and feathered critters, human figures and abstract forms. Likewise, her music is an impromptu comforter woven from thread bare dusky melodies. Pretty great!
MPEG Stream: "Pearl Into Sand (Live)"
MPEG Stream: "Blue Light Room (Discovery 4-Track)"

album cover OAKEN THRONE Number Five - Summer 2007 magazine + cd 7.00
The same people who have been going on and on about the death of the record store, have also been heralding the end of print media. But you know what, screw them. Who wants to spend their whole life sitting in front of a computer? Listen to music at your desk, shop for mp3's, read that article on the laptop... whatever. Sure that stuff is convenient, and we all partake a bit, but nothing will ever replace your local record store, thumbing through bins of lps or digging through stacks of cds, just like a gorgeously designed and laid out magazine will never be replaced by a website. Especially a magazine as gorgeous and jam packed with black metal weirdness as Oaken Throne.
Beginning life as a super strange, WAY oversized zine, impossible to ship, and difficult to display, but brilliant in its obstinacy, Oaken Throne has just gotten better and better, easily the best magazine devoted to underground black metal and strange heavy musicks. With amazing writing, great art, and some of the most stylish, but subtle layout and design of any magazine we can think of. The cover is always metallic silver on black, inside, the ads are often as striking as the illustrations accompanying the articles (which makes sense considering one of the two OT head honchos designs many of the ads as well). But Oaken Throne is not just another pretty corpse painted face. Nope, it's packed with articles and interviews on and with some of the most infamous artists in the black metal (and generally heavy) underground.
This time around, a bunch of AQ faves: Asunder (featuring John from Weakling), Harvey Milk, Wold, Portal, Moss, Coffins, Caina, as well as some other amazing groups who have yet to get reviewed on the AQ site: Acrimonious, Adorior, Archgoat, Blacklodge, Cult Of Daath, Dapnom and Necromorbus...
Tons of killer photos and yet another amazing illustration from AQ pal Justin Bartlett (whose art has also adorned a bunch of SUNNO))) and SUNNO))) related records). In addition to all that, there are a bunch of record reviews too... easily one of the best mags, metal or otherwise going today...
This is the first issue that includes comes with a cd, containing tracks from each of the bands featured in the magazine, none of them exclusive or rare really (except maybe the Asunder track, recorded live on KFJC) but a pretty killer metal mixtape (er... cd) for sure... As always, totally recommended and essential.

album cover OAKEN THRONE Number Four - Winter 2006 magazine 5.00
Finally a new issue of the mighty Oaken Throne magazine, and they continue to gradually expand their scope, moving slowly and slightly further away from their position as thee ultra grim and ultra true "Elite Black Metal Skripture" and toward a much more varied and AQ like tome. We're certainly not complaining obviously, but there must be a whole lot of troubled true black metallers, as most of the two intros by editors Ben West and John Mincemoyer are spent apologizing for / explaining the lack of grim corpsepainted hordes and explaining the new shift.
But as far as we're concerned, Oaken Throne just keeps getting better, focusing on black metal, but expanding enough to allow for other blackened musicks. This time around, the line-up reads almost like an AQ list: Black Boned Angel, Celestiial, Thralldom, Graves At Sea, Wolves In The Throne Room, Nachtmystium, Villains, L'Acephale, Temple Of Baal, Withered and Vorkreist. All the articles are super in depth are gorgeously laid out (as is the whole magazine), well written and interesting (one of the pieces, the Black Boned Angel one was written by our very own Andee) most with killer photos and/or amazing illustrations (including the most bad ass drawing of Wolves In The Throne Room by AQ customer Justin Bartlett).
Also includes tons of reviews (also super varied and all over the map, from Solar Anus to Bone Awl to Dead Raven Choir to Mrtyu to Moss To Nadja!) and the cover is that immediately recognizable and super striking, silver ink on matte black paper, and once again, the Ben West designed tUMULt ad on the back cover (he also designed the I Hate Your Band poster!) looks so cool, it's almost nicer than the actual magazine cover!
One of our favorite magazines and of course HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

OAKEN THRONE Number One - Winter 2003 magazine 4.50
Awesome new black metal magazine. Grim and Elite and very very big. Well, tall actually. In fact this magazine is so big (a foot and a half high) you will probably have to have it shipped separately. Worth it though. Gorgeous matte black cover, silkscreened in silver metallic ink. This is the debut issue and has features on/interviews with Antaeus, Manticore, Destroyer 666 and Arkhon Infaustus as well as a handful of reviews (inlcuding local black metallers Ludicra!). Very cool.

album cover OAKEN THRONE Number Six - 2009 magazine + cd 10.98
It's finally here, the latest issue of one of the best magazines going, Oaken Throne, specializing in the grim black metal underground, but gradually expanding their scope to cover all things dark and heavy and droney, definitely our kind of rag, and yours too judging from how many we sell, and how many emails we've been getting asking about this new issue.
The latest issue has indeed arrived, and is mindblowing as always, bigger than ever, now a perfect bound 7" x 7" book style mag, the covers printed silver metallic ink on black cardstock, as always, a gorgeous tUMULt ad on the back cover (designed by OT designer Ben West) and inside tons of aQ faves and then some.
Canadian black metallers Akitsa, French metallic post rockers Aluk Todolo (featuring members of Gunslingers and Diamatregon), Swedish black metal duo Avsky, long time aQ favorite, Dialing In, weird black doomscapers Gnaw Their Tongues, Polish black metal folk freak Dead Raven Choir, legendary death metallers Immolation, Swedish black metal supergroup IXXI (featuring members of Ondskapt, Lifelover, Dimhymn and Zavorash), Dutch brown metal weirdos Lugubrum, Nordvargr's black metal incarnation Vargr, legendary Polish black metallers Throneum, German blackened death metallers Necros Christos and Swedish death metallers Necrovation. The layout and design is fantastic, with illustrations by Justin Bartlett, Ben West, Adam Watson, Scott Langlais, Chris Parry, as well as tons of striking photography, plenty of reviews, and loads of ads for stuff you need. Pretty much ace all the way through. And as if the magazine on its own wasn't enough, it also comes with a cd featuring a track by every single band covered in this issue, two of 'em (for now at least) exclusive to this comp.
The price of OT has gone up slightly, but holy shit is it ever worth it. This is the kind of magazine you'll save forever, that will sit on your bookshelf with the BOOKS, not in a pile with the rest of the magazines, OT is something you'll read over and over, and odds are, eventually you'll need to at least check out all the artists covered. So totally recommended. We're already looking forward to the next issue!

album cover OAKEN THRONE Number Three - Spring 2006 magazine 5.50
The return of Oaken Throne, one of the best, if not the only, magazines focusing on the true, the grim, the real underground black metal (as well as other heavy musicks). As much as we loved the crazy oversized format of the last few OT's, everyone is a little relieved that this new format is much more managable (and no longer requires an extra shipping charge!). Size change aside, Oaken Throne is still gorgeously black, printed in silver, and is still chock full of some of the best and weirdest metal around. This time: Ancestral Fog, Ofermod, Ondskapt, Xasthur, Otesanek, Bunkur, Eternal Majesty, Averse Sefira, Bolt Thrower, Malhkebre as well as tons of record reviews. They continue to explore the phenomenon of "religious" Black Metal perhaps less skeptically than we might, but we do find those discussions interesting, if a little bit disturbing. This 'zine is super well written, well researched, tons of photos, and a gorgeous layout. Sad that all the "real" music mags are so shitty and poorly written and ultimately pointless while the folks with a real passion for music, and a totally original grasp of the music they're writing about, as well as a keen eye for design and layout are doing zines. Not that there's anything wrong with zines. But let's say we take all the money wasted on Rolling Stone and Spin and Hit Parader and stuff like that, and give it to all the folks who could DESTROY given enough money and resources like Ben and John from Oaken Throne, Kevin from Salt, the guys who do F.T.Y.K.P., Jon from Astronauts, and all the other folks keeping the underground alive.

album cover OAKEN THRONE Number Two - Winter 2004 magazine 5.00
Super limited reprinting of issue 2 of the mighty Oaken Throne. Got about 20 of these, probably can't get more so don't snooze!!
The return of the only true, cult, black metal magazine out there. Immediately recognizable because of its unwieldy format (17" by 5" or thereabouts) and its gorgeous silkscreened silver on black cover. This time around there's articles on / interviews with SF black metallers Ludicra, the mighty Watain, Crebain (who had a recent split with Leviathan on Andee's tUMULt label), Unearthly Trance, Atomizer, Gospel Of The Horns, Hell Militia, and of course Leviathan. As well as some record and demo reviews. Well written, and nicely laid out. With some serious financial backing these guys could easily topple the Terrorizer / Metal Maniacs / SOD / PIT / BWBK metal mag monopoly in one fell swoop. Be sure to peep the gorgeous tUMULt ad on the back cover, designed by Oaken Throne designer Ben West. Wow! Maybe even nicer than the actual cover!
And remember, that due to the magazine's size, unless you want it folded up, you're gonna have to spring for a little extra postage for it to be shipped separately. But well worth it!

album cover OBSCURE GIANTS OF ACOUSTIC GUITAR A Set Of 37 Cards (Tompkins Square) trading cards 17.98
This just might be the perfect stocking stuffer this year for that music nerd in your life. A gorgeous collection of old school style trading cards, each one featuring as the title suggests, an obscure giant of the acoustic guitar, just check out the artists included: Peter Walker, Sandy Bull, James Blackshaw, Harry Taussig, Steffen Basho-Junghans, George Stavis, Robbie Basho, Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Davy Miller, Richard Crandell, Sean Smith, Peter Lang, William Eaton and more more more. In fact, it more than lives up to its title, as we didn't recognize a whole bunch of these obscure giants, and even some of the ones we did know, we weren't all that familiar with: Sam McGee, Lena Hughes, William Tyler, Nathan Salsburg, Daniel Bachman, Craig Ventresco, T. Damien, Richard Osborn, Scott Witte, Wilburn Burchette, Suni McGrath, and still so many others. The art by Seattle artist Shana Cleveland is gorgeous, and the cards are housed in a nice heavy printed box, and each card has an extensive and detailed history of each artist on the back of the card, along with various recordings and other info, so you can track down recordings by all of these folks. We only wish it had come with a cd featuring tracks by some or all of the artists on the cards, but as it is, it's pretty goddang great, and like we mentioned, the perfect size for that special someone's stocking!

album cover OLSON, MARK The Salvation Blues (Hacktone) book + cd 17.98
Ahhh, a sound so immediately familiar and homey, like a warm summer breeze, rustling leaves and big billowy white clouds in a vibrant blue sky, a sound we hadn't realized just how much we had been missing until that voice, and those melodies washed over us again...
The Salvation Blues is the first record in what seems like forever from original Jayhawks vocalist Mark Olson, and while the Jayhawks did continue on without him, and while we still dug those records, it was just never quite the same. There was just something so magical about the interplay between Olson's voice and that of his partner in the Jayhawks Gary Louris.
And post Jayhawks, Olson went on to play in the Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers with his wife Victoria Williams, which took the twang and jangle of the Jayhawks in a slightly different direction, and made it even more rustic and countrified, laid back and dreamy...
But here we have a sort of return to the glorious old Jayhawks days, especially considering the fact that Louris joins Olson here, contributing harmony vocals, which immediately gives the sound of The Salvation Blues a distinctly Jayhawks vibe. And we're loving it. Not as rocking as the Jayhawks, not as mellow and country as the Creekdippers, but the perfect mix of the two, the focus on Olson's gorgeous voice, weathered and weary, but still so rich and expressive, the music, subtle but super hooky... a gorgeous blend of the Beatles, the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, a dreamy timeless twangy country pop. Jayhawks fans will be in heaven for sure.
Packaged in a miniature hardcover book, complete with dust jacket, book of lyrics and photos, and a digipak style cd case affixed to the inside. So fancy and lovely. And SUPER LIMITED, eventually to be released in regular packaging, but for now we have the swank book version.
MPEG Stream: "My Carol"
MPEG Stream: "Clifton Bridge"
MPEG Stream: "Poor Michael's Boat"

album cover ONG ONG Issue 4 magazine 6.98
Issue #4 of this Seattle zine has arrived! You simply seldom see this sort of lovingly handmade, cut'n'paste publication these days! Features include stories about Grouper and Blue Cheer, animal facts, assorted other writings, comics, collage, drawings, and reviews of gigs and... beer! The 52-page zine comes in a plastic sleeve which also corrals a handful of odds'n'ends -- some screenprinted stickers and a cd-r of educational, spoken word and children's LP obscurities. Limited to 450 copies!

album cover ONG ONG ZINE Issue #3 (Ong Ong Press) magazine 5.98
Ong Ong! The third issue of this Seattle-based zine comes packaged as a goodie bag of sorts. Not only do you get the zine which has interviews with Grey Daturas and Slim Moon, but there's also a crafty chaotic mish mash of stories, stickers, comics, flyers, pictures and a compilation cd with music by The Vonneguts, Western Graves, Na, Ghost Family and Ear Venom! Limited to 250 hand-screened, hand-cut, and hand-assembled copies! We only have a handful, so snooze not!

Dan Wu's personal musings on Asian American-ness filtered through media, movies, and music. Film, music, and periodical reviews (including a full page on Genghis Blues), plus an interview with AQ's very own Windy Chien and also Mike Park of Skankin Pickle/Asian Man Records.

album cover OTT, CHRIS 33 1/3 Series: Unknown Pleasures (Continuum) book 9.95
Former Pitchfork scribe tackles this definitive gloom classic. A glimpse into the darkness behind the darkness.

album cover PACCHU, FRICARA Stories Of The Old (Fonal) 7"+book 17.98
FINNISH MUSIC FREEKS HEADS UP!!! A brand new release from a name you may not recognize, but you definitely know some of the bands he spent time in: Avarus, Anaksimandros, Maniac's Dream...
Fricara Pacchu may have a pretty illustrious Finnish underground musical resume, but weirdly enough, he began his musical career as a rapper, though you'd be hard pressed to tell from this, his debut solo 7".
And while you can definitely hear some of the above mentioned bands in these three songs, the sound is something else entirely, much more jangly and poppy, three little chunks of druggy, dreamy psychedelic confection. The opening track has a bit of a Krautrocky groove, some Eastern sounding sitar-like buzz, and swirling clouds of trippy FX, but they're wrapped around some sunshine-y jangle, it's like Avarus playing Olivia Tremor Control. The second track is more lo-fi and druggy, a gorgeously plodding tripped out drift of woozy piano, still MORE effects, spidery guitars, all coated in morning dew and dappled with sunlight.
The flipside is a bit less poppy, a sort of noisy soft industrial, lots of smeared grind and clank, but piled atop lovely melodies and hazy ambience, and distant moaning guitars, and with a strange staticky rhythm holding it all together. It definitely reminds us of our favorite Finnish free folk, but also like the Storm Bugs or some lost recording you might hear on one of those deluxe Vinyl On Demand reissues. A gorgeous slab of damaged experimental psychpop jangle, we can hardly wait for a full length.
The packaging is extra special. Included with the full color sleeve is a thick eye popping book of Pacchu's artwork, 7" x 4", stapled but on thick matte paper, drawings, collages, photos, squiggles, snakes, motorcycles, garish colors, intricate patterns, negative images and more. Folks who dug the Glomp books of Finnish art will definitely dig this too, and the images in the booklet seem like what you might see if you closed your eyes and played the record. The perfect visual analogue for Pacchu's druggy trippy soundworld.
Funnily enough, both Allan and Andee independently reviewed this, each unaware that the other was also writing a review. Whoops. The above is Andee's, below is Allan's for comparison (turns out their duplication of effort was remarkably similar, which is as it should be we suppose!):
First off, that cover art makes this pretty hard to resist. A simple painting of a weird-looking furry cat sitting next to a daisy... with the artist's incongruously black-metal suggestive logo floating overhead. That this 3 track, 11 minute 7" is from Finland, and on the ever-reliable Fonal label, is also a good thing. Fricara Pacchu being a member of such illustrious underground Finnish outfits as Anaksimandros, Avarus, and Maniacs Dream is further reason to be interested. But the proof's really in the pudding, or in our business, the music, so let's take a listen....
First track "Bianca's Beachparty" is an uptempo, uplifting utterly psychedelic instrumental home-recorded techno-disco number that immediately makes us think BOREDOMS. Crunchy, burbling synths zig and zag over a steady, insistent rhythm. Magic. We're sold. The other two tracks, "Upsidedown Wind" and "Text-Message From Beyond", are equally cool, woozy instrumental space-outs, not quite so "techno" tho. And what's also pretty cool is the 42-page, full-color booklet of Pacchu's cartoon/comic/collage art that comes with this 7"! Lots of insane eyeball-joy to be had here. If you liked those Glomp books we've listed, you'll dig this. This 7" package is presumably limited, we have just a few and may or may not be able to get more...

PANCIERA, MARIO 45 Revolutions (Hurdy Gurdy) book 139.00

album cover PARTISAN Vol.1 Spring 2012 magazine + cd-r 20.00
Partisan Gallery is a too little known gem in the local San Francisco arts scene despite having killer shows by Liz Harris (Grouper), Emily Prince, Lindsay White, Nate Boyce, and Sean McFarland, among many others. Located in proprietor Chris Fallon's Guerrero Street apartment, the exhibits he puts together take on the feel of social gatherings while at the same time allowing an artist to push more experimental ideas that wouldn't feel as interesting in a regular commercial space. The exhibitions often feature exciting musical performances or a specially created limited edition multiple.
Despite a limited zine Fallon created a couple of years back, this new magazine is the first in what is planned to be a quarterly publishing venture, and the first issue is quite stunning. Modelling the format on vintage artist-produced publications from the seventies like Aspen or Heresies, Partisan Vol. 1 features visual and written contributions from Margaret Tedesco, Devendra Banhart, Will Rogan, Marcella Faustini, Jennifer Locke, Renee Van Trier, Rob Spector of Bronze and Muscle Drum, Tauba Auerbach, and even a cameo by Andy Warhol.
Comes with a cd-r of music from Arp, Glasser, Water Borders, Van Rivers (Henrik Von Sivers of Fever Ray and Glasser), The Best Bits (Andy Cabic of Vetiver Thom Monahan and Zach Cowie), Lloyd Center Mall Trick Or Treat Band (Keegan McHargue), The Same (Jamie Reeder of Helado Negro and Tarantula), Words, Wav Dwgs and Muscle Drum, among others.
Beautifully printed in a tall 17" x 11" format in mostly black and white but with a middle section in full color. If you want to get a vibe of what's really happening art wise in San Francisco, this is a key introduction! Limited to 500 copies!

PATTERSON, ARCHIE Eurock: European Rock And The Second Culture (Eurock Publications) book 45.00
This, my friends, is a not a book, but a tome. Over 700 pages, collecting together almost every important piece of writing that appeared in Archie Patterson's Eurock 'zine during its existence from 1973 to 1990, and more. Eurock magazine was all about prog / psych / krautrock / space rock / electronic stuff (in later years, entering into New Age territory to be sure), not just from Europe actually but from around the world. The earlier material is particularily cool 'cause Eurock's coverage of bands like Amon Duul and Can is like reading a current magazine's stuff about Godspeed You Black Emperor! or Acid Mothers Temple...it puts things then and now into perspective. There's tons of obscure lore in here to uncover -- paging through at random I found articles about Ash Ra Tempel and Area, a piece on '70s Yugoslavian rock, a recent interview with Magma's Christian Vander, a review of a 1980 Rock In Opposition festival, and even an interview with our favorite '70s Italian prog band Osanna! In addition, as a special bonus, this book includes a seven-page appreciation of Amon Duul written in 1971 (for Creem magazine) by famous rock crit Lester Bangs, that I for one have always wanted to read. Basically, this book, I mean, tome, is highly recommended to all weird kraut / psych / prog music fiends!
NB: All of this and more (excepting some new pieces and the Bangs article), I believe, is also to be found on the still-available Eurock cd-rom production "Golden Age" that we reviewed on AQ list #105 -- but we have to say that the book format is far superior for reading and browsing, though of course it lacks the multi-media content etc. I'd pick this up a lot more often than I'd pop the cd-rom into my Mac.

album cover PAYSAGE D'HIVER logo patch patch 8.98
Got just a few of these left, but figured we'd relist it since we're listing the two new cd reissues...
Super cool embroidered patch from one of our favorite black metal bands. Black and white and silver, the band's logo frosted with snow. Your denim vest wants one of these soooooo bad. We only have a tiny handful of these so don't be too bummed out if they're gone before you get one...

album cover PEANUTS: THE ART OF CHARLES M. SCHULZ (Pantheon) book 30.00
Brand new book out covering the art of Charles M. Schulz of Peanuts fame. This is a GORGEOUS book! It was designed by star book graphics guy Chip Kidd, who was also responsible, among many other things, for the gorgeous packaging on the Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library book. The Schulz book is the same size and also features a cool dustjacket -- instead of a foldout poster like the Ware book, it's simply a little shorter than the book itself, so a strip of the b&w hardcover shows thru above the full color dustjacket. Oh so nice. And the contents are super interesting -- there's old postcards and scrapbook drawings and Peanuts dolls and toys. The older strips are often pictured not cleaned up and modernized, but were scanned in as is, with yellowing newsprint and wrinkles, and random pencil marks on them. Quite an artifact, this book!

album cover PENNY-ANTE: AN ART / TEXT COMPILATION! BOOK #1 (Penny-Ante) book 11.98
Penny-Ante is an amazing new literary / art journal with contributions from artists, writers and a ton of musicians, mostly from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland area. The contributors alone should get loyal AQ customers foaming at the mouth, with art and/or text from Devendra Banhart, My Morning Jacket, Josephine Foster, Xiu Xiu, Marissa Nadler, Tarantula AD, Ariel Pink), Don Bolles (from the Germs), 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Leslie Q, Daedelus, the Double, Residual Echoes, Hawnay Troof, the Six Parts Seven, the American Analog Set, Aids Wolf, Idaho Falls, XBXRX and that's -just some of the musicians. Tons more writers and artists, a huge 300 page journal style soft cover book, with tons of amazing art, short stories, poetry, lyrics, postcards, drawings, photographs, lyrics, interviews, prose, illustrations, and probably some other stuff we didn't notice. But we just got it and it's huge and jam packed with all kinds of stuff. First in a series, we're not even halfway through the first issue and we're already chomping at the bit for the next one.

album cover PERNICE, JOE 33 1/3 Series: Meat Is Murder (Continuum) book 9.95
Back in stock! This amazing series of books seems tailor made for AQ customers and music obsessives (oh wait, those are the same thing right?). Each book is about a single album. Not the artist, but the record, and all the stuff that went on before, during and after. Music geek nirvana eh? Not sure if everyone's familiar with Mojo, a British magazine that combines the best elements of the Wire, with the best parts of Rolling Stone. Mojo manages to publish articles that are so interesting and readable it almost doesn't matter who they're about. The most recent issue had a huge article about Primal Scream that had Andee and Allan thinking maybe they should re-investigate a band they both considered crap. Also in the same issue, there was an article about the decline and disintegration of the Doors focusing on their dismal final album The Soft Parade. But somehow after reading the article, we were all dying to hear it! These 33 1/3 series books kind of have the same effect. They are totally readable and really fascinating. Especially if the subject is a record you love. But it's not necessary, you might just find yourself suddenly interested in a record you never cared about. That's pretty cool. We'll try to list all of them as quick as we can, but we have to read 'em first! The first batch includes books about seminal albums by the Kinks, Love, Dusty Springfield, Pink Floyd, Neil Young and the Smiths. Future volumes will cover My Bloody Valentine, Prince, Abba, Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Radiohead, Jethro Tull and more. This here is the fifth in the series and the one most folks have been asking about, the Smiths' Meat Is Murder, written by Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers, Chappaquiddick Skyline, Old Tobacco, and the Scud Mountain Boys. Unlike the rest of the series, Pernice chose to write a novella. That's right, fiction. Some of you might be bummed to not learn all about studio squabbles and guitar tone and all that juicy stuff, but this is a pretty great little chunk of fiction. Awkward adolescence, unrequited love, crushes and first bands and how punk rock and the Smiths changed everything. Recommended.

album cover PERNICE, JOE Two Blind Pigeons (Ashmont Books) book 10.95
A book of poetry and prose from Joe Pernice who you know as the leader of Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquidick Skyline, and the Pernice Brothers. Joe's a writer and a poet and we were able to get hold of a precious few copies of his debut book, a slim 40-page volume of terse, quiet words from one of our favorite musicians. Here's 'After the Last Supper':
"Christ sweating bloody bullets in the trellised garden. A sesame seed wedged in his teeth the least of his problems, and already the apostles sleep beneath a dream-coat of stars.
"As if the whole world depends on it, the scent of camel stirs on the back of a breeze. Christ lights up a Camel, his face ghostly in match light. The horizon flickers with the distant bonfires of campers, thrill seekers, and execution buffs. The desert is one gigantic party, the biggest of the season, complete with commemorative mugs, crucifigurines, the works. All around, dueling sitars bang out popular tunes under the ivory moon. Buckets of drunken laughter and throes of multitudes copulating in the dunes.
"Christ rubs his aching temples, wonders if he's just pissing against a fierce tide. He'll be glad when all the hoopla's died down. It's been a frustrating couple of years, to say the least. He could use some real R and R: A secluded tropical island where they wait on you hand and foot... shelled quahogs drenched in lemon butter... mile high cocktails with names impossible to spell."

PERRY, LEE SCRATCH People Funny Boy (Payback Press) book by David katz 22.95
459-page exhaustive biography of the Upsetter himself, one of the most important figures in reggae music. Wow.

album cover PERSONAL BEST Issue #2 magazine 11.98
Second issue of this fanzine done by notorious Nordic noisician Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkammer, etc.). Super nicely put together (it looks like a "real" magazine), but definitely a fanzine in its enthusiasms... Marhaug and a few friends go one-on-one in in-depth interviews with such interesting contemporaries/colleagues as Incapacitants, Earth, FNS, Attila Csihar, Don Dietrich (of Borbetomagus), and more...
80 pages or so, squarebound, color cover, color interior (with lots of cool photos/graphics), on a nice matte paper stock, kinda like a double-size, Marhaug-curated edition of The Wire, but the content is ALL interviews (well, and ads). And the interviews are quite interesting. And go in some strange directions...
A new fave 'zine!

album cover PERSONAL BEST Issue #3 magazine 14.98
Third (duh) issue of this fanzine done by notorious Nordic noisician Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkammer, etc.). Super nicely put together (it looks like a "real" magazine), but definitely a fanzine in its enthusiasms... Marhaug and a few friends go one-on-one in in-depth interviews with such interesting contemporaries/colleagues as Svarte Greiner, Pumice, Phill Niblock, Graham Lambkin (of The Shadow Ring), Moe, Will Guthrie, Carl Michael Eide (of Ved Buenes Ende fame!!) and more...
96 pages or so, squarebound, color cover, color interior (with lots of cool photos/graphics - the Pumice piece is actually done in the form of a comic strip), on a nice matte paper stock, kinda like a double-size, Marhaug-curated edition of The Wire, but the content is ALL interviews (well, and ads, which are interesting too - the back page is a full page ad for an upcoming Reynols 20th anniversary 7 cd box set on Marhaug's Pica Disk label!!!). And the interviews are quite interesting. And go in some strange directions, indeed...
Still new fave 'zine, heartily recommended to anyone into experimental drones, noise, black metal, cool artwork, and other weirdness. Only five bucks more than a copy of The Wire and well worth it.

album cover PETTERSON, TOBIAS & ULF HENNINGSSON The Encyclopedia Of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979 (Premium Publishing) book+cd 54.00
Ok, this item has a fairly self-explanatory title, eh? Also, here's the subtitle: "From Psychedelic Experiments To Political Propaganda". Interested? If so, then all that really remains for us to say is, yeah, you should seriously consider picking this up, it's really well done and a good value for the money. Physically, this is a gorgeous tome, and all signs point to it being quite accurate and thorough information-wise.
If you're at all like us you're aware that in recent years the spate of reissues from the Swedish psych / prog scene -- like for instance the whole amazing Parson Sound / International Harvester / Harvester / Trad Gras Och Stenar axis -- has been pretty thrilling. Having a guide to both the bands we've heard of and the many, many more that we haven't is pretty great. Also if you're like us you LOVE books full of pictures of record sleeves, wherever they're from and whatever they are. And this book's got tons of album covers, many of them psychedelically sensational, reproduced in full color!
Plus there's loads of factual info for those curious about the bands, or for record collector types trying to figure out what the original vinyl is worth. Each entry consists of info on the band's line-up, a descriptive paragraph discussing their music and history, as well as a detailed discography. Algarnas Tradgard, Arbete & Fritid, Aunt Sally, Charlie & Esdor, Bo Hansson, Kebnekajse, Life, November, Mikael Ramel, Pugh Rogefeldt, Samla Mammas Manna, Trettioariga Kriget, Turid... they're all here and of course plenty more we'd never heard of before.
In addition to this A-Z of bands, there's a band member index and label discographies as well, with that of the Silence label being the most impressive. And, there's also an introductory essay dealing with the political dimension shared by a lot of the music from the Swedish scene. Apparently, in Sweden there was a difference between "prog" with one g and "progg" with two g's, with the former referring as usual to progressive rock bands like ELP and Yes, latter being a distinctly Swedish concept of (not-necessarily virtuosic or complex) music that reflected the ideals of the left-wing Movement of the times.
All in all, very intriguing and tantalizing, leaving us to look at the those album covers and begin dreaming record collector dreams!
235 pages, hardback, 8 1/2" x 12". Full color EVERYWHERE, and lots of cool b&w photos too. A deluxe production indeed. And there's a bonus cd included as well, featuring the obscure jamming psych band Baby Grandmothers, with three previously unreleased live tracks from 1967 (different from the stuff on their archival Subliminal Sounds cd release also reviewed this list).
If only there was a book like this for EVERY cool musical scene past and present...
NB. mailorder customers, be aware that due to the size and weight of this book, it counts as more than one item for freight purposes -- so any order that includes this book will ship UPS at the 3+ items rate of $6.50 for shipping & handling.

album cover PHOSPHOR MAGAZINE Issue No. 111 magazine 13.98
Phosphor is German magazine that is "searching for the edges of progressive, experimental and electronic music and experimental dance theatre," and also appears to be quite active in promoting a number of cool events and radio broadcasts in their native country. There aren't any features, interviews, or articles; rather, Phosphor is jam packed with informative reviews of The User, Ken Ikeda, Pole, T. Raumschmiere, KK Null, Komet, Glenn Branca, etc. Touch Records was also kind enough to supply Phosphor with a sampler cd-r from their exceptional catalogue with tracks by Ryoiji Ikeda, Locust, Fennesz, Hazard, Oren Ambarchi, Philip Jeck, Chris Watson, and more.

album cover PIRATE CAT RADIO The Ladies (And Gentlemen) Of Pirate Cat Radio 2010 Calendar (self-released) calendar 19.98
Radio stations are a dying breed. In fact, real commercial radio stations are basically dead already, at least if you're into weird underground sounds. And it seems like record stores, newspapers, magazines, movie theaters, are quickly following radio into an overflowing cultural graveyard. But we can help, by supporting all the things you love, buying records from your local record store (or us!), seeing movies in your local arthouse theater, renting movies from the cool video store in your town instead of Netflix, subscribing to the magazines you love instead of reading them online, ditto for newspapers, and of course radio. Which continues to thrive, and live on, just in a different guise, college radio is of course alive and kicking, KUSF, WFMU, KFJC, we could go on and on, internet radio too, and of course, PIRATE RADIO. San Francisco has a rich history of pirate radio, our very own Allan even used to have show on pirate radio. which brings us to this here calendar, published by the fine folks at Pirate Cat Radio, who need your support. Listen if you can, on the web (piratecatradio.com) or on the air at 87.9 FM, visit their cafe in the Mission here in SF and eat and drink while a DJ spins, but most of all, donate, or buy one of these calendars. EVERYONE needs a calendar, and yeah $20 seems a bit steep, but you're not just buying a calendar, you're supporting this amazing radio station, who were recently fined $10,000 by the FCC, in a seemingly endless battle for the airwaves, or at least the right to broadcast freely on those airwaves.
You probably have your own pirate radio station in your town, do a little digging, or just set your dial for Pirate Cat Radio and show them some love. Plus, who couldn't use a calendar jam packed with tattooed and pierced ladies and gents, hamming it up, getting all dolled up, and mugging for the camera, plus a schedule so you can tune in and see what all the fuss is about!

album cover POPOFF, MARTIN The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal Vol. 1: The Seventies (Collector's Guide Publishing) book + cd 23.95
Strangely enough (or not?) for someone who spends a lot of their time writing music reviews, I just LOVE to read music reviews. And if it's reviews of old heavy metal records, even better! And there's few reviewers whose reviews I get as much of a kick out of as those of Canadian heavy metal opinionmeister Martin Popoff. Back in 1997 he wrote a book -- a tome, in truth, with 3,740 reviews -- entitled The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal, itself an update of Popoff's previously published opus Riff Kills Man: 25 Years Of Hard Rock & Heavy Metal (a mere 1,942 reviews in that one). And that wasn't enough. So now he's back, revising and expanding his ultimate heavy metal review resource into not one but three volumes, one per decade of metal, starting with this one, devoted to pretty much anything that rocked out and exhibited some degree of heaviosity in the '70s! And some relevant late '60s albums sneak in too. Hundreds upon hundreds of albums are covered here, each getting a paragraph-or-two review and ratings on not one but two 10-point scales: first for heaviness (which in Martin's world seems more akin to "metalness") and a second for simply just how much Martin likes the album in question. These two scores often correlate but not always. And of course it's not clear that these faux-scientific numerical rankings are a good idea, since it leads to silly comparisons... Blue Cheer's Vincebus Eruptum gets a "6" for heaviness (I woulda gone higher!) while he gives the same rating to Jo Jo Gunne's Jumpin' The Gunne. And they actually both get the same quality rating too, both 6's. Huh? But that is part of the charming eccentricity of this book and its author. Agree with him or not, he'll still get you stoked on some great music.
That's the best thing about this -- that despite the title, it's not really a "collector's" guide. That is, it's not at all about what's rare and valuable and hard to find and that sort of thing. Sure, the occasional ridiculous eBay price gets mentioned, and Martin will bring up some peculiarity of a reissue or whatever if he thinks it's interesting. But what this book is REALLY about is the music, something that most "collector's guides" barely ever even seem concerned with amidst concerns about rarity and monetary value. Sure, Martin's a collector, i.e., he's got lots of records. And so am I. But the motivation for the collecting -- and review-writing -- is an abiding love for the "Greatest Music In The World" (as Martin puts it, and I won't argue) and a desire to share that excitement. So don't come to this book expecting to read a lot about different vinyl pressings and suchlike, thank god. And indeed, part of Martin's mission here is to dispel some collector's myths. He wants to examine some so-called "collector's holy grails" and see if they really stand up against the more popular, better-known bands in the heaviness stakes. Some do, but the point he's making is that just 'cause something costs $500 for an original pressing doesn't mean it's in the same league musically as, say, the Scorpions LP you can still pick up for relatively cheap at a flea market. Kind of a record-collector reality check. And that's good...although of course I'm still drooling over some of these hard-to-find obscurities regardless! And that's what this is for too... covering as it does everything from the obvious (Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen...) to the obscure (Buffalo, I Teoremi, Leafhound, Bang, Jerusalem...). And Martin devotes a bit of space at the beginning of the book explaining how the definition of heavy metal in the '70s is a bit broader than in later decades, as he includes in lots of stuff that the average headbanger today wouldn't consider metal, from hard rock (Foreigner, Aerosmith, Foghat...) to punk acts (The Stooges, DMZ, The Damned, The Saints, Sex Pistols...) to some harder prog and krautrock. But "heavy metal" meant something a little different back in the '70s anyway (as any reader of Black To Comm 'zine will confirm).
There's very few omissions I could think of (and lots of stuff in here I'd never even heard of before!). He even includes an appendix listing bands that you might think (from the name or album cover) are heavy that aren't! And after hours of reading I've only come across one factual mistake. Opinion-wise, there's more to argue with -- as I said, I don't always agree with his reviews, but they're enthused and amusing and even if he trashes an album I personally love I still read it with a chuckle. For a music (and heavy '70s rock) junkie like me, this is a real can't put down page turner like some people find the latest Stephen King or John Grisham. His style is sportswriterly colourful, sometimes just a little crazed, and real conversational. I shouldn't make this review any longer than it is already by quoting from Popoff's prose, but here's a sample from his (10/10) review of Black Sabbath's Sabotage: "...a tour de force from a quartet improbably tormented by the demons of genius and more probably towel-whipped by the gnomes of stupidity." Nice.
Getting into this guy's music n' metal-mad mind, with all his rankings and charts and appendices and personal reminicences is amazing. And as a fellow-review writer, can I just say how freaking impressed I am with his accomplishment here? Pretty much essential for any historical-minded metalhead or retro-rocker who likes to read! Oh yeah, plus there's a bonus cd comp with tracks from the Monster records reissue roster.

album cover POPOFF, MARTIN The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal Vol. 2: The Eighties (Collector's Guide Publishing) book + cd 28.95
Reading this -- and when we got these in Andee and Allan were doing nothing but -- makes us think that maybe we should replace everything in our metal section with only '80s metal reissues. Get rid of all the '90s and beyond black/death/grind metal, and only stock the big hair, big melodies stuff from the '80s, all the LA Sunset Strip and NWOBHM discs we can get. Whaddya think? Let's rock!!
Ok, maybe we're getting carried away but that's what this book is all about, getting carried away by fannish enthusiasm for the glory days of METAL.
It's the second volume in Canadian metal scribe Martin Popoff's rewrite/update of his original book of metal reviews that came out in one volume some years back. The first volume of the new edition, The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal Vol. 1: The Seventies (which is already, sadly, out of print!) we listed a year ago and we've been waiting anxiously for this volume ever since. Well it's here and even bigger and better than we imagined. 432 pages! Literally thousands of reviews!! You'd be hard pressed to think of an '80s metal band not covered. In the M chapter, for instance, you'll find the biggest of the big four Metallica as well as the more obscure likes of Manilla Road, Malice, and Max Havoc. And Popoff is quite catholic in this endeavor, not neglecting any subgenre of '80s metal from pop to thrash to grunge to crossover...even Husker Du makes the cut!
If you've read any of his previous books you'll know Popoff to have an idiosyncratic, conversational writing style as well as his own sometimes quirky take on things. We certainly don't agree with all his reviews. But we LOVE reading them. Moreso than the '70s volume, which served as resource to find out about a lot of records we'd never heard of before, this one has a bigger nostalgia factor due to our age. Those of us (that'd be Andee) who grew up as metalheads can spend hours and hours looking up old favorites (Icon! Helix! Black n' Blue! Tokyo Blade!) that you otherwise would never ever ever probably hear about ever again. For that in itself -- being a record guide devoted to the unhip, unheralded, but goshdarnit still totally amazing or at least hot rockin' -- we salute Popoff's effort. He deserves a medal. A metal medal. Authoritative, exhaustive, obsessive, encyclopedic, opinionated and most of all (if you're a metal fan) endlessly entertaining! His 1-10 scale ratings are sure to be the cause of some fun arguments too (and we see that Popoff has revised and expanded not only his actual writing but his ratings as well -- we're happy to note that his assessment of local SF legends Brocas Helm has gone up a few notches, their Into Battle LP now rating several points higher than it did in the older edition of this tome.)
Sure, we here at AQ write a lot of reviews too but we've got to bow before his achievement, this massive task to which he has seemingly devoted a good part of his life. Indeed, we can't even imagine how Popoff will top this with the next volume due, devoted to the '90s. He's got to be slaving away on that right now, and as soon as it's out we'll let you know... Apparently that's going to be it for him, he'll retire after that, and any volume four devoted to the current decade will have to be handled by a protege!
Includes a cd sampler of '80s Metal Blade artists including Cirith Ungol, Lizzy Borden, Bitch, Nasty Savage, and Slayer.

album cover POPOFF, MARTIN The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal Vol. 3: The Nineties (Collector's Guide Publishing) book + cd 28.95
Here it is at last. Martin Popoff has laboriously reviewed the heavy metal albums of the '70s, the '80s -- and now the '90s. What a madman. This new book weighs in at 520 pages. THREE THOUSAND SEVENTY THREE reviews. 3,073!!! Good grief. If anybody knows how hard it is to write 3,073 reviews, we do! We bow in honor of Popoff's achievement. And remember, this is volume three in a series (which, as far as Popoff is concerned, stops here, though perhaps an ambitious and/or foolish protege will take up the torch and at some future date produce a book of '00s reviews). The '70s book had 1,162 reviews. The '80s one 2,528. So this is the biggest yet.
So, what's in here, besides just about everything? Well if you're familiar with Martin's other books, you know that he's a very entertaining and idiosyncratic writer. And very opinionated too of course! As he should be, that's what makes this interesting. Just 'cause we don't always (often?) agree with him, that doesn't mean we don't absolutely love reading his reviews. And same goes for reading his reviews of albums that we couldn't care less about (which, this being the '90s book, and so big, there's plenty of in here). You'd think, from our current perspective, that this '90s volume would have tons of the church-burning wave of Scandinavian black metal, and a whole lot of the gory death metal scene of the day. Well, that stuff's in here, for sure, but so's plenty of other styles of metal and bands now less revered. You gotta remember, Martin wrote a lot of these reviews back IN the '90s, for his original Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal (before his 3-volume revision, now completed). And he wasn't that into black metal then, nor was it clear how significant that particular musical movement would become.
What was popular then (and popular with Martin) was the last gasp of the heyday of the hair metal bands. Also the rise of grunge and other forms of alterna-metal. So, although there's only one review of a Burzum album (out of their seven records of the '90s), there's reviews of such (deservedly?) forgotten acts as Mind Funk, Mr. Big, Dangerous Toys, Paw, Big Chief, Saigon Kick, Jackyl, and Mordred. You also get to read about the sad, late-career failed comeback attempts of many '80s hair metal stars, and still-strugglin' '70s acts too (there's three Nazareth reviews!).
This sounds like a criticism, and maybe it is if you're ONLY interested in "extreme metal" (as opposed, to, ferinstance, the band Extreme, which gets a 10 out of 10 for their III Sides To Every Story album from 1992). But remember, there's over three thousand reviews here. And we like being reminded of stuff like Enuff Z'Nuff and Warrior Soul and Circus Of Power and Love/Hate and Masters Of Reality and the SEVEN studio albums Motorhead released in the nineties... And don't worry, the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar and Marduk etc. all get covered -- basically if a band had an album out on Century Media or Nuclear Blast or Relapse or even Necropolis or Red Stream, it's in here. We also noticed that Martin has upped his scores (awarded on a scale of 1 to 10 for each album) for a lot of the black metal stuff since the original book -- though Mayhem's classic De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas still gets a 0, though Martin allows he would now give it a 7 but feels that the zero is almost more of a compliment to this "near-genius wretch of an album". It's like the anti-ten, that the inverted-cross crowd should appreciate.
And at this point we know and love all of Popoff's reviewing quirks. The Canadian Content, of course. The weird idea he has that bands get BETTER with each release (when everybody knows that most of the time the first album is the best). And then there's his personal "Top 100" list. Which is INSANE. Try this on for size: Popoff's personal favorite best "Heavy Metal" album of the '90s is... wait for it... tad dah, Rhythmeen by ZZ Top! What?? Now, actually that's a pretty cool album (sez Allan) but it sure ain't the best heavy metal disc of the '90s. Heck it's not even heavy metal!!! (And it's not an ironic Chuck Eddy "Tina Marie" move either). So who let this guy write a book about heavy metal? Well if you read it, you'll understand. By the way, the #1 '90s metal album that fans picked in an internet poll conducted by Popoff is a much more sane choice: Megadeth's Rust In Peace.
Granted, this book could at least have been a lot smaller if Martin had restricted his definition of metal just a bit (does Primus really need to be in here?) but again it's written from the perspective of where the "industry" was going back in the '90s... all over the place, basically. So let's leave you with some more names of which this book will perhaps spark fond memories (or not): Sepultura, My Dying Bride, Helmet, Machine Head, Kyuss, Therapy?, Danzig, Porno For Pyros, Pitch Shifter, Skyclad, Tiamat, Monster Magnet, Crowbar, Asphyx, Last Crack, Paradise Lost, Pantera, Four Horsemen, Fudge Tunnel, Therion, Type O Negative, Annihilator... like we said, good grief, there's so much! Jesus Lizard's major label records, and five U.D.O. albums, and all the cool Earache stuff like Godflesh and Carcass and Cathedral and Entombed, and all the Iron Maiden in decline discs, and Metallica's Load albums, and Joey Belladona (ex-Anthrax) solo, Vince Neil solo too, and even Allan's favorite obscure Canadian speed metal band Dogs With Jobs! Maybe the '90s weren't the metal decade that the '80s were, but there was no shortage of the stuff (and its variants) and if you were into it then you'll get a kick out of this book that's for sure.
Oh yeah, of course this also comes with a bonus cd of "nineties rarities", courtesy the Metal Blade label, including tracks by Gwar, Six Feet Under, Skrew, King's X, Cannibal Corpse, and Amon Amarth...

album cover POPOFF, MARTIN Worlds Away: Voivod And The Art Of Michel Langevin (Spider Press) book 49.00
Here it is, at last. The long rumored ART BOOK from Michel Langevin, aka Away, the drummer and visual conceptualist for pioneering Quebecois avant-thrash-metal geniuses Voivod. Away's artwork, the ultimate in sci-fi school binder imagery, helped define his band's unique appeal. Heck, although the music was amazing, one of the other big reasons to buy a Voivod album was to get all that cool artwork, it got to the point that their cds had a piece of Away-art in the booklet for each song, one per page...
We first heard he was putting a book together a few years ago, it was supposed to be published by the Troubleman label, or at least that's what we'd thought, but nothing ever materialized, and then suddenly out of the blue a few weeks ago we got an email from Martin Popoff, the Canadian metal scribe responsible for the three massive Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal volumes we've reviewed in the past, saying that HE was doing a book with Away, and now here it is!
A hefty, hardback, 12"x9" coffee table tome, 184 pages, in full color when appropriate, Worlds Away is what we've been waiting for. TONS of his artwork, of course. Stuff you'll remember from the albums of course, but also sketchbook pages, flyers, demo tape covers, logos, picture discs, as well as art he's done on commission for other bands... Eye candy for Voivod fans oh yeah. And then there's the text, Away interviewed by Popoff, chapter after chapter delving into the world of Voivod, the music, the art and their connection. The early years stuff is surprising but not surprising as we learn about his artistic inspirations as a kid in the '70s (Magma album covers, Gene Simmons' boots...). The history of the band is traced, their evolution from raw thrashers to spaced-out art rockers, along with the evolution in Away's creative / technical process. Turns out the cool monochrome, sorta low res images from the Nothingface album look like that 'cause of the memory limitations of the computer he was using, for instance. Also we get the story behind the 3-D art for The Outer Limits album (which almost didn't happen). We probably don't need to go on, those of you who want this book probably already know it.
FYI, since these aren't cheap, and we're not a bookstore, and it's pretty much for fans only, we only got a few. So if and when we run out it will remain to be seen if we can get more.

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PREWITT, ARCHER Sof' Boy Econo Combo Comic (Fantagraphics) comic 5.95
I really cannot express the extreme jubilation-then-plummeting-bummerness I felt when I saw that we'd received a "new" issue of Archer Prewitt's brutally hilarious comic. But alas, it wasn't new at all! No, it's a special reprint of the first (and only) two issues together. Well at least for everyone who missed them the first time around, here's your second chance. Of course you may be thinking "isn't she over-reacting just a wee bit?" And well, all I can say is "see for yourself." Oh my, hee hee... Okay!

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