August 3, 2012

Today's Hotness: Pedro The Lion, Ringo Deathstarr

Pedro The Lion

[Playing a little post-vacation catch-up here, with massive help from long-time friend of the blog Vanessa Deroo. We're pleased to welcome her writing to these electronic pages, and hope we'll be able to wring more out of her as her new, busy English lifestyle permits. -- Ed.]

>> It's hard to believe so much time has blown past, but we suppose we're at a point now where the name of David Bazan's mothballed project Pedro The Lion may not ring a bell with younger indie fans. But for those of a certain age, Bazan's defunct slowcore act -- which issued its debut long-player It's Hard To Find A Friend 14 years ago -- means intimate and scorched songs contemplating misplaced trust, broken faith and unsteady redemption. Over an 11-year span from 1995 to 2006, Seattle-based Pedro The Lion released five LPs, from the aforementioned flawless and raw debut LP to the electrifying finale Achilles Heel; a number of EPs and singles complete the Pedro The Lion catalogue. "Bad Diary Days," from It's Hard To Find A Friend, is an all-time favorite song of this blog's executive editor, we should point out. Thankfully, more indie fans will be able to discover for themselves the smoky magic of Pedro The Lion, as stalwart indie concern Jade Tree Records announced late last month that it will reissue this fall It's Hard To Find A Friend, The Only Reason I Feel Secure, Winners Never Quit, Control and Achilles Heel. Four LPs were remastered from the original sources by long-time co-conspirator TW Walsh; Winners Never Quit, the band's first and perhaps finest conceptual collection released in 2000, was remastered by John McCaig. The reissues are due from Jade Tree Oct. 30 and are available for pre-order now. A bundle of all five LPs packaged with a turntable mat and limited edition 10" by 10" print by Bazan is also available for a cool USD$70, but only until Aug. 31. Stream "A Mind of Her Own," the climax of 2000's Winners Never Quit, via the Soundcloud embed below. -- Vanessa Deroo, correspondent

>> Austin-based shoegaze heroes Ringo Deathstarr are wrapping a successful, fan-backed album campaign that we've followed closely here at Clicky Clicky headquarters. The trio announced in late July that its second long-player is titled Mauve; it will be issued by Sonic Unyon in the US and Club AC30 in the UK Sept. 24. The album release will be preceded by tour dates in Japan and South America and will coincide with a massive North American tour through late October. According to a Facebook post the trio will be in Boston Oct. 19; we expect UK and European dates are also in the cards. The 335 fans who supported the release via the PledgeMusic funding campaign will likely receive the record prior to the completion of the planned West Coast leg, but perhaps not before the release of the pending first single from the set, "Rip," an open invitation to noisy dreams which got premiered on Pitchfork here last month and which you can stream via the Soundcloud embed below. A stream of another track, a "drone in D flat" called "Girls We Know," was made available exclusively to pledgers and showcases the doomier, later JAMC-influenced side of Ringo Deathstarr. Mauve was produced by fronter and guitarist Elliot Frazer in Austin and Los Angeles earlier this year, in between touring with such luminaries as Smashing Pumpkins and the mighty Johnny Foreigner. The Deathstarr's full-length debut Colour Trip was one of Clicky Clicky's favorite records of 2011. -- Vanessa Deroo, correspondent

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