Joseph Childress – Self-Titled (Out October 6th)

Joseph Childress- Self-Titled album Art

“Each consecutive moment takes Childress closer to the edge of breaking. The song works through emotions that have no boxes built to contain them. …there are big skies on this album, but none bigger than here. Cracked with lightning, it is proof that Childress can sling songs with the best of them.” – Raven Sings The Blues

Presenting Joseph Childress’ debut album, S/T. Following his 2013 collection of home recorded demos, The Rebirths, the tracks on this self-titled album are borne from Joseph’s adventures throughout the West: working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, riding trains and living out of his car. His poignant lyrics about loneliness and the western landscape are right at home in a rich band setting that defines itself on the record’s opening track “My Land.”

Joseph Childress
Photo by Tandra Froehlich Childress

Childress traveled to Portland to record with veteran Americana musician and producer Mike Coykendall – known for his work with artists such as M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Jolie Holland, and Old Joe Clarks. Tracking joseph’s guitar and vocals solo to 1″ tape. Additional musicians Aaron Robinson (Linda Perhacs, Sean Rowe, Bridget St. John), Joey Ficken (Swords), Tom Lucas (Crooked Jades) and Coykendall layered guitars, percussion, fiddle and bass to create a hearty mountain band that pivots between spartan folk, gritty pop, and outsider americana. The results are a close sound that follows in the tradition of the 70’s troubadour vibe (think Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Kate Wolf) and modern songwriting practitioners; such as, Jason Molina, Cass McCombs, Kevin Morby and Will Oldham. But, don’t come here looking for a cheap Dylan impersonator. This album is permeated with authenticity as it surfaces acid-laced memories and emotional landscapes. Joseph explains, “I tried to keep it very organic, not a lot of special treatments. My goal was to make it sound as if we were playing in your living room.”

“There’s something magical about a musician capable of entertaining merely on the power of voice alone.”
– Austin Town Hall

In tracks like “White Castle Creek Mother” and “I Am the Dust”, Joseph’s acoustic guitar and vocals hang in the air with such intimacy that you do feel that he’s playing in a small room just for you (in fact Joseph was living and composing in a closet bedroom in San Francisco at the time these tracks were recorded). In the song “Leaving the Barren Ground” Joseph paints a picture of bitter heartbreak with verses that have a weary sincerity rivaling Nebraska-era Springsteen. Joseph’s romantic despair and cautious optimism are a snapshot of a modern journeyman’s life, a man who is confronting the myths of the West while attempting to create his own. Coykendall’s production, with the mixing assistance of Chris Arnold (The American Opry) and mastering by Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers), clears a spot for you along the rafters of an old barn somewhere deep in the Oregon night, allowing you to peer down and witness Joseph and his band playing for no one but themselves.

“to be young is to be sad is to be alive, and Childress here is alive to the edges of his being.” – Flood Magazine

Out worldwide on October 6th of this year on LP/CD/Digital. Physical editions come in gatefold packaging featuring artwork by David Wilson. Vinyl LP is available in standard black vinyl and a single limited edition pressing of 200 copies in coke bottle green.

Pre-order Joseph Childress – Self-Titled HERE

Track Listing:
01. My Land
02. Footsteps
03. White Castle Creek Mother
04. Whispering Tide
05. Leaving The Barren Ground
06. I Am The Dust
07. 11 Mile Canyon
08. 10,000 Horses
09. Virginia Bound
10. Rebirths



Introducing San Francisco’s The Lovebirds!

Introducing – for the very first time – The Lovebirds (San Francisco) on Empty Cellar Records! Founded by Thomas Rubenstein and Eli Wald of Melters Records, The Lovebirds make superb jangly power pop with grit…

“San Francisco’s The Lovebirds make the kind of fuzzy, hook-filled indie rock that was all over college radio in the mid-’90s: think Teenage Fanclub’s sense of melody with Pavement’s sense of tuning.” – Brooklyn Vegan

Man, I don’t ever go out nowadays. I don’t know what to say, I’ve got the blues. Usually though when I am creepy crawling, I’m out to catch The Lovebirds, they being San Francisco’s best new guitar band. I’ve been watching them carve up the dank air of many a fine Mission saloon for about a year now and they always have the edge. They’re Of and Raised in SF and they’re youngish. All of them jam their instruments with technique and style, in accordance with the Old Ways. They have a budget Scott Gorham riff inside a jangly scorcher called “Filled With Hate,” which is about leaving Los Angeles for San Francisco.

You can go pretty far nowadays on the idea of a Band, but The Lovebirds don’t have time for that shit. Whether you wear denim, leather, or tie-dye it’s only worth about an El Rio drink ticket if you don’t know how to write the tunes and The Lovebirds wear a cloak of many colors. The guitars weave together beautifully, leads, hooks and riffs arranged like an American cheese platter. The rhythm section takes the cheese and deftly makes a deli sandwich, playing with smarts and panache. This is the kind of band that you can smoke weed with the drummer outside the bar and talk in-depth about the annexation of Hawaii and then walk inside, look the guitarist straight in the eye and say, “R.E.M is better than Teenage Fanclub” and he’ll still drive your fool ass home. They’ve even got a dude in the band who says funny shit on stage. You can take one look at them and know they learn things from books and write songs with instruments (no, seriously).

“They’re packing a satchel full of chiming chords here, but rather than throw a nod to SF’s ’60s roots, they channel College-ready literate charmers and powerpop dandies alike, drawing a line from the Groovies on down to Elvis Costello and Teenage Fanclub waiting in the wings.” – Raven Sings The Blues

These songs have tons of moves and NOBODY puts moves in their songs anymore besides The Cacamen, and that was only one move, once. Moves are great, they’re like skate tricks you can put in your songs. Seems to me, the only move a band will pull nowadays is the downward dog, am I right? The Lovebirds are punk, but in the classical sense, not the ebay sense. They dare to believe that R.E.M is better than Big Star. Just kidding, they’re not there yet. But this is an excellent start. I end in verse:

A bouquet of riffs from The Lovebirds
On a chilly Francisco night
Was thundering through my laptop
I was homeless came morning light

-Herbal Caen

Charlie Ertola – Bass
Eli Groshelle – Drums
Thomas Rubenstein – Guitar & Vocals
Eli Wald – Guitar & Vocals

Recorded Summer 2016 by Peter Avery at Secret Studios, San Francisco CA
Mixed by Glenn Donaldson and Edmund X
Mastered by Mikey Young
Insert Artwork by Sam Woo Staar
Jacket Artwork by The Lovebirds

Limited to 300 7″ records at 45rpm

Pre-order Filled With Hate HERE

Track Listing:
01. Filled With Hate
02. Streets of Rage
03. Ready To Suffer
04. Up and Down

Tour Dates:

7/5 – Portland, OR @ Black Water
7/6 – Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge
7/8 – Vancouver, BC @ Troll Town (Under The Bridge / Spartacus Books if Raining)
7/10 – Portland, OR @ The Church Bar
7/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Ave



Aaron Diko & Friends – DDCT (8/11)

“Like the more electronically imbued facets of POW!’s sound to the most motorik of pop provocateurs both classic & contemporary—DDCT abides by a code of mind expanding electronic experimentation that illustrates an intuitive approach to the artistic process.” – Impose

Get-ting back to familiar zones for a change of scenery, Bay-area electronic musician Aaron Diko (former synth wiz in the band POW!) returned to the Circle City in his home state of Indiana to record DDCT -or- a series of solo works and collaborations with friends Landon Caldwell (Creeping Pink), Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester (Burnt Ones).

Bring the gang over. Plug them all in to one another and flip the switch. Results of recording upstairs on borrowed time with a room full of hardware and optimistic intentions. Sequencers, drum machines and hand-moved knobs clash with analog synths and crisscrossed signal paths. Direct-in guitar overdubs rub shoulders with rhythmic happenstance. If we’ve gotta do this, then let’s say it sometimes carries the pace and menace of genre milestones like Eno’s Music for Films record. Other times these tunes tread the same highways and byways once drove upon by the likes of Ralf und Florian-era Kraftwerk, early Tangerine Dream and some of the more playful kosmiche ilk of that time. Although this road is for sure more pot-hole infested, billboard-bedecked stretch of Midwestern interstate than autobahn, any day. Straight shot all the way across and looping around the more dense and busy spots.

This music was recorded to half-inch tape over the course of three humid days in a house on the near-East side of Indianapolis, Ind. and was mastered by Sonic Boom (Spectrum, Spacemen 3, E.A.R.) at New Atlantis. Aaron Diko’s DDCT is out 8/11 on cassette from Empty Cellar Records and Medium Sound.

RIYL: Harmonia, Ariel Kalma, Cavern of Anti-Matter, JD Emmanuel, Bitchin Bajas

Order DDCT here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ddct

Music by Aaron Diko
w/ Landon Caldwell, Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester

A
1. The East Side Whisper Company
2. Tracks
3. Peace + Quiet
4. Sneaking Out
5. Thirst

B
6. Dollar Store Candle
7. Hidden Alley
8. 10th Street Drag
9. Jumping The Fence
10. Nocturnal Blanket
11. AM Drift

Music By Aaron Diko
w/ Landon Caldwell, Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester

1,3,4,6,7 AD MT
2,9 AD MD LC MT
5,8,10 AD
11 MT

Recorded and mixed August 2016 in the near East side of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Produced by Mark Tester
Mastered by Sonic Boom at New Atlantis



Earth Girl Helen Brown – MARS (Cassette)

“This thing is bristling with big-credit guests (Ty Segall, Nora Keyes, Jack Name, Shannon Lay … see below for complete list!) but more importantly it’s bristling with charm, personality, originality, commitment and—because this record never stops at four things when it can try five—conviction, too.” – LA Record

Empty Cellar Records and the Earth Girl Helen Brown Center for Planetary Intelligence Band are pleased to announce the summer installment of the E.G.H.B.C.P.F.I.B. 2017 seasonal series, MARS. Featuring Heidi Alexander, Tahlia Harbour, Sonny Smith, James Finch Jr., Jamin Barton, Tim Presley, Ty Segall, John Dwyer, Jack Name, Dave Sitek, David Cousin, Warren Hugel, Dylan Hadley, Mikal Cronin, Nora Keys, and Shannon Lay. MARS is concerned with the topic of war.

Available from Empty Cellar Records on limited edition 100% post-consumer recycled cassette tape 7/28. All proceeds benefit organizations committed to the cessation of violent conflict, the promotion of peace, and the dissolution of the military industrial complex.

Order here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mars

Track Listing:

1. Attention
2. Tommy D. & the Atomic B.
3. Vanishing Spray
4. Flower of Darkness
5. Oh! What A War



Ryan Wong – More Milk (Cassette) 8/4

Though Ryan Wong’s boyish charm might be obvious to anyone who’s seen him perform solo or with his group the Cool Ghouls, what might not be obvious about the artist behind More Milk is that he is, in fact, lactose intolerant. What’s up with that? What kind of milk are we talking about anyway?

Photo by Michael Bordelon

Well, sometimes a songwriter in a rock group has a jolt of creativity that results in some great numbers for the band (that’s the milk), and then even more ideas that might have to find their way into another icebox (more milk). While there’s a delicate acoustic sketch or two on this home-recorded cassette, don’t let Wong’s easygoing attitude or vocal style belie his ability to turn a great idea or two into a fully ambulant creature of a tune. Ryan—handling guitar, bass, and keys with a rotating cast of bandmates and roommates filling in on percussion and woodwinds—makes it happen. Just try to listen to the two-note, triple time trill that drives “Good Lovin” without imagining approaching an overcast San Francisco day with a Mr. Natural stride.

If you should stroll into a club in the Mission on a chilly evening or find this tape in your dealer’s deck, why not slow down and take it in for a moment? There’s a little something in these six songs for the deadheads, for John Cale obsessives, and for tough rockers in derby jackets and boots who like to eat mushrooms, sit in the grass and listen to the Emerson Brothers. I’m willing to bet there may even be something for you—Ryan’s probably holding and has plenty to go around.

-E. C. Wald

Ryan Wong – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Casio
Alex Fleshman – Drums, Percussion
Richard Harkins – Drums
Seth Snyder – Flute

Order here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/more-milk

Track Listing:

1. Day Dreamin’
2. Shopkeeper Rag
3. Travel Light
4. Good Lovin’
5. Milkin’ In
6. Eel River