Two Empty Cellar artists released amazing records this week. First, The Cairo Gang stokes us down a new 10″ e.p., Island Brothers, in equal collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy on Drag City; and then, Tim Cohen releases both a full-length LP/CD, Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick, and a 2×7″ e.p., Bad Blood on New York’s Captured Tracks label… sick dawg…
Let’s start with the Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang vinyl:
“Bonny & Cairo and the gang sing for a good cause — for once? — with the profits from your purchase going to facilitate and educate Haitian access to clean filtered water in these times of disaster and disease. For more information, go to www.edgeoutreach.com. The music? Fan-gasms for fans of The Wonder Show of the World and Beware. Two songs and three photos for your ten inches.” – Drag City
If you saw Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang on their most recent walkabout, then you probably saw the band that cut these tracks. An all-star cast featuring Ben Boye on piano, Danny Kiely on bass, Van Campbell on drums, and the lovely Angel Olsen on harmony vocals.
Oh, and incase you have not stumbled upon the ecstatic review posted on Dusted’s “Still Single” blog for The Cairo Gang’s Holy Clover single, then you can read it here: “nothing less than transporting genius… devastatingly perfect… otherworldly”.
Moving on, we have two SOLID releases by the ever prolific Tim Cohen:
“Tim Cohen’s third solo release, Magic Trick, finds him still fighting off the demons of a restless musical mind. In the 12 songs collected here, Tim traverses a wide range of conflicting moods while somehow always reenforcing his songs with messages of hope and positivity. “Don’t Give Up”, “I am never going to die”, and “Flower” are perfect examples of the upbeat melancholy that has defined his solo work to this point. Joined by fellow Soul searchers James Kim (Kelley Stoltz band), Noelle Cahill, and Alicia Vanden Huevel (Aislers Set), along with other supportive friends, Cohen has taken long musical strides on this third LP, in terms of arrangement, recording, and overall risk-taking. Recorded at home on the reliable tascam 388 during breaks from a busy touring schedule with The Fresh & Onlys, “Magic Trick” captures almost every moment of solitude, longing, and wonderment that passed through Tim’s foggy mind throughout his transient 2010. “Magic Trick” is a record for all seasons, and should be listened to in the earliest morning.
To coincide with the release of “Magic Trick” we have a double 7″ with poster sleeve that plays at 33 1/3. Recorded during the same fruitful period the produced Magic Trick, all eight tracks are exclusive to this release and continue in the homegrown, earthy pop that we’ve all come to know and love from the Fresh & Onlys frontman. One record is black and one record is white on this 2×7″ EP.” – Captured Tracks
These are two amazing records by Tim… possibly the best yet! If you don’t believe us, then read the Pitchfork reviews. We’ll have these in at the endless nest store soon…
…and if you find yourself at SxSW next month then catch The Sandwitches live, March 17th at 8pm at the Mexican Summer x Gorilla vs. Bear – SxSW showcase!.
More on Mrs. Jones’ Cookies by Sonny Smith:
“Like the sapphire Schethiya, The Sandwitches, the crown jewels of the Archangel Lucifer, fell from Heaven. Is there any question the distinctive singing of Grace Cooper & Heidi Alexander represent mercy & severity? Roxanne Brodeurs’ beats the brazen pillars of the Flesh? Their latest effort is a sanctuary of spiritual illumination crossed with earthly splendor, a hushed witness to the perfect virtue of equilibrium, a flaming sword for the listener to thrust into the coronet of their adversary.
The ten songs on Mrs. Jones’ Cookies stand as a doorway leading to the House of God. The music of these three cascade in and out like active and passive expressions of the Divine Energy. Sometimes high, sometimes low, Sulfur and Salt, Good and Bad, Light and Darkness, that, when placed in the proper chamber of initiation graft into one androgynous creature that blazes forth eternal verities revealing temporal truths.”
Engineered by Donny Newenhouse, mastered by Paul Oldham, and featuring guest appearances by San Francisco swingers Shayde Sartin, Dic Stusso, and James Finch Jr, Mrs. Jones’ Cookies come in CD and LP flavors. All LPs include a complimentary digital download.
Pre-order your own copy from the Endless Nest Store.
“On Wednesday, February 9th, four of San Francisco’s best bands come together for a night of rock and roll to benefit the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco.”
February 9, 2011
Great American Music Hall
8pm, $13 adv/$16 door, All Ages
More info from local sponsor: The Bay Bridged
Yesterday, Drag City sent out their January Newsletter. That newsletter contained the following exciting announcement:
“Don’t walk away thinking February’s just about Six Organs of Admittance! Because that’s not the whole truth — it is, but it isn’t. Because there’s also the biggest little Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy single to date! What makes this so big? The songs are about the same length, and there’s only two, so…well, one thing to consider is that this single is a big 10″ record! And that those two 10” sides are wrapped in big full-color photosleeve. And that inside that sleeve is a full color insert with another amazing photograph. But what really makes this record a big one is that “Island Brothers” b/w “New Wonder” is a charity record, with the money that is made from the record earmarked for donation to the EDGE Outreach organization who are striving at present to bring water purification education to Haiti. They need it down there, where a year after the earthquake, they’re suffering from an outbreak of cholera for the first time in a century. The people of Haiti need a lot of aid, and they need a lot of clean water as well, as do we all. These two songs by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang are powerful musical testaments that will fit well on the turntables of fans, collectors and everyone else as well. And they’re for a good cause too. So get ready to help.”
These Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Cairo Gang releases are amazing. Written, recorded and released in the spirit of true collaboration and do-gooding, they are as much a Cairo Gang release as they are a Bonnie “Prince” Billy release. Pick up a copy of their debut LP, The Wonder Show of The World to see how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.