This Just In: Hymns and Hymnal

This post is long, so I’ll spare a traditional intro and get right into it.

Various – Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music 1923-1936  3LP:
Tompkins Square is one of the best archival labels around. This box set is a great introduction to collecting early American music that labels like TS meticulously compile. [MLE]

“Work, play, pray – the lifecycle of the rural America that created our greatest generation of country music, 1923 to 1936. These volumes survey songs of labor and occupation, hardship and loss; dance tunes, comic numbers, and novelties that provided distraction and fun; and the hymns and sacred pieces that reached beyond the raw material of daily existence for something enduring. Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard features 19 previously un-reissued sides and is largely drawn from the collection of the late Don Wahle of Louisville, Kentucky. A hillbilly 78 collector for many years, his records were hours away from the dump when producer Nathan Salsburg recovered them. Compiled and annotated by Salsburg with accompanying essays by Sarah Bryan (editor of the Old Time Herald), Amanda Petrusich (New York Times; author of It Still Moves), and John Jeremiah Sullivan (Southern editor of the Paris Review; author of Blood Horses and the essay collection Pulphead).”


Benoit Pioulard – Hymnal LP:
I’ve been a huge Benoit Pioulard fan since first hearing Précis years ago. This guy’s seemingly unstoppable at creating sounds, and everything he does is solid. Despite not having a solo full-length release in 2012, there was the Orcas ST album, a collaboration with Rafael Anton Irisarri, which served well to tide me over until Hymnal’s release this month. Pioulard crafts ethereal haze-pop so well, all you have to do is close your eyes to be transported elsewhere. [MLE]

“Hymnal is the fourth kranky album by Thomas Meluch under his musical alias Benoit Pioulard, following Précis (2006), Temper (2008) and Lasted (2010). It was written and recorded throughout a year spent in southeastern England and on the European mainland, during which the ubiquity of religious iconography and grandiose cathedrals became an unexpected muse.

Raised as a Catholic but never especially pious, Meluch drew on this aspect of social history as the basis for Hymnal‘s 12 chapters. He notes a particular preoccupation with the ways that faith offers a sense of solace and belonging in an existence that inherently provides none, framed in a context of tradition, ritual and the notion of the eternal.

Themes aside, Hymnal contains some of Meluch’s most expansive instrumental works (‘Knell,’ ‘Gospel’) and fully realized pop compositions (‘Hawkeye,’ ‘Reliquary,’ ‘Margin’), making for a rich and dynamic long-playing arc. Also featured are string arrangements by kranky label mate Felix and guitar work from ambient maestro Kyle Bobby Dunn.” -kranky


Yikes! Tons more stuff like…
100 Flowers – S/T LP
Aphex Twin – I Care Because You Do 2LP, Richard D. James Album LP
Arcade Fire – Funeral LP, Neon Bible 2LP, The Suburbs 2LP
Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety LP
Baroness – First & Second LP
Beastie Boys – Check Your Head LP
Black Lips – 200 Million Thousand LP
Catholic Discipline – Underground Babylon LP
Ciccone Youth – Whitey Album LP
Ornette Coleman – Free Jazz LP
John Coltrane – Coltrane Jazz LP
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind LP
Dead C Vs. Rangda – S/T LP
Death In June – Snow Bunker Tapes 2×10″
Deerhunter – Cryptograms/Fluorescent Grey LP, Microcastle 2LP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange 12″
Depeche Mode – Delta Mirror LP/CD, Some Great Reward LP
Egyptian Lover – King Of Ecstasy LP
Serge Gainsbourg – Initials B.B. LP
Guided By Voices – Islands 7″, Trash Can Full Of Nails 7″
Lee Hazelwood – Trouble Is A Lonesome Town LP
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? LP (stereo AND mono)
How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion 2LP
King Khan & BBQ Show – S/T 2LP, Invisible Girl LP
LCD Soundsystem – S/T LP, This Is Happening 2LP, Yeah 12″ (reissued!)
Led Zeppelin – Mothership 4LP Box
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See LP
Nails – Abandon All Life LP
Nas – Illmatic Deluxe LP
Natural Snow Buildings – Snowbringer Cult 2LP
Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane… LP, On Avery Island LP
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix LP
Radiohead – The Bends LP, Hail To The Thief 2LP, I Might Be Wrong LP, In Rainbows LP, OK Computer 2LP, King Of Limbs LP
Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania 2LP, Dog Poison LP, Master’s Bedroom LP, Putrifiers II LP, Sucks Blood LP, Warm Slime LP, Singles Collection 1 & 2 2LP
Real Estate – Days LP, S/T LP
Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin – Reverse Shark Attack LP
Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse 2×10″
Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation 4LP Box, Goo 4LP Box, Murray Street LP, Smart Bar Chicago 1985 2LP
Spacemen 3 – Perfect Prescription LP, Sound Of Confusion LP
Stereolab – Dots And Loops 2LP
The Strokes – Comedown Machine LP
Sugar – Copper Blue/Beaster 2LP
Sun Ra – Atlantis LP
Twinsistermoon – Snowbringer Cult LP
Various – Feeling High: The Psychedelic Sound Of Memphis CD
Various – Hot Music From Cuba 1907-1936 CD
Warm Soda – Someone For You LP
Bill Withers – Just As I Am LP, Still Bill LP
Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse LP