Today’s Track of the Day is off Horoscope, the newest EP by Los Angeles producer Diego Herrera, released in August under the Suzanne Kraft name on Young Adults. Young Adults is the recently launched, vinyl-only sub-label of Friends of Friends, and so far Kraft is featured on both of their releases. His track “Jus U” is featured on YA001, while Horoscope is YA002. His previous release, 2011′s Green Flash EP, put out on Running Back, operates distinctly in the post-disco mode; little surprise, given some of the artists he was sharing a label with. Horoscope, by comparison, doesn’t sample old disco records as extensively—still, if you dig “No Worries,” both releases are worth your time.
Chin Chin was a three-piece group from Biel, Switzerland, that first came together in 1982 around the lineup of guitarist Karin, bassist Esther, and drummer Marie-Anne. Their first release was the “We Don’t Wanna Be Prisoners” 7″ in 1984, which they followed a year later with Sound of the Westway, on which today’s Track of the Day can be found. The record came out amid a broader resurgence of DIY pop, taking place particularly in the UK with what would become the C86 scene, and the group got some attention from NME journalist Everett True that they then seemed to parlay into solid touring work for a few years, most notably with C86 alums The Shop Assistants. Still, Sound of the Westway was Chin Chin’s only album release.
Sound of the Westway was out of print for quite some time after its 1985 release, but in 2010 it saw reissue through Slumberland and Mississippi Records—so you should be able to track it down on LP without too much trouble. All said, if you’re a fan of the period, it’s a record worth familiarizing yourself with.
Today’s Track of the Day gives me a chance to scratch an entry off my summer backlog. Dreamin’ Wild was the only LP released by brothers Donnie and Joe Emerson—first in 1978, and then earlier this summer in a handsome reissue package by Light in the Attic. The brothers grew up in rural Washington and recorded the album in their home studio, a plot of farmland their father reportedly spent $100,000 converting into a usable recording space. 17-year-old Donnie wrote and produced the record, while 19-year-old Joe contributed the drums (just about everything else is Donnie). (The LA Times goes into more detail about the Emerson family, if you’re curious.) Don, Sr. also paid for the construction of Camp Jammin’, a performance venue on the Emerson family farm with a capacity of 300 and all the comforts of a rock club that doesn’t happen to be way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, the album—and Camp Jammin’—didn’t reach its audience as intended; the Emerson family lost most of their 1600-acre farm as a result.
Yet in the past five years, Dreamin’ Wild has attracted increasing attention among the thrift-store and mix-tape set, likely due in no small part to the record’s unusual outsider-art-meets-AM-pop vibe. Ariel Pink’s been stanning for the Emersons for a few years now and covered their “Baby” on his latest album. You be the judge. Regardless, it’s a record that deserves the attention, so check it out if you like what you hear.
This past Monday was the first Rock Show meeting of the year, and the staff started big with a look at underground rock in New York from 1960 – 1978. After the jump, get yourself educated with the pages the Rock staff taught from:
No Time Left to Start Again/The B and D of R ’n’ R is the name of conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg’s newest piece, now on display at the Art Institute’s Modern Wing through January 6 of next year. It’s assembled from decades of rock ‘n’ roll ephemera, purchased at flea markets and garage sales: amateur photos, clipped-out newspaper obituaries, and images of old records. The artifacts are then photocopied, laminated, and hung on peg-boards.