Chunklet founder, Henry Owings, releases The Speaking Canaries cassette

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Our old friend Henry Owings, founder of the pop culture magazine, Chunklet​, just released a recording of cult-rock band, The Speaking Canaries called Platter Base Must Be Constructed of Moon Rock on cassette. Owings was digging through old recordings with Don Caballero bassist, Pat Morris when he stumbled across the demo cassette.  The Speaking Canaries (also called Thee Speaking Canaries) was the side project of Don Caballero’s drummer, Damon Che. As a big fan of the lesser known band, Owings asked if he could release the recording as a cassette.

The Speaking Canaries’ sound differs quite a bit from the progressive, math rock of Don Cab. Che’s love for 70s and 80s hard rock became the driving force behind the Canaries’ releases.

While we at Morphius don’t have any affiliation with Don Cab or Speaking Canaries, we do have a love for those deep-cut, cult rock albums like Platter Base Must Be Constructed of Moon Rock and appreciate Owings’ sentiment toward them.

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Although we miss seeing new copies of Chunklet in the paper magazine format, we love their commitment to current, critical and hilarious music and cultural critique. While they never released their 20 issues with any sort of consistent schedule, their unabashed and relentless parody of the music industry became a favorite amongst music cynics.

You can still read Chunklet for a dose of humor or cult music news, like the great Corporate Office prank call to Wendy’s, which Chunklet has now released on vinyl or a Speaking Canaries mini-documentary.

We wish Henry Owings all the best and hope to see him soon in ATL.

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My Gold Mask on tour supporting new album, Leave Me Midnight

Pitchfork said of My Gold Mask’s Gretta Rochelle, “Like Karen O, Gretta Rochelle runs on a rheostat, transitioning smoothly between low-wattage sultriness and floodlit blare.” You’ll seldom find a better compliment for a front-woman these days than the comparison to one of indie-rock’s heaviest hitters, the multi-talented lead of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. My Gold Mask’s gritty brand of sultry and sticky rock n’ roll has picked up some buzz from not only Pitchfork but also Pretty Much Amazing, Magnet, Fader, Off the Radar and more.

The charismatic duo just wrapped up a series of shows in Austin for SXSW supporting their new album Leave Me Midnight and is getting ready for a Spring/Summer tour of the US that includes a stop at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly and The Middle East in Boston. Make sure to check out their tour below, as well as their website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and all that jazz.

Head over to or Amazon.com to snag a copy of Leave Me Midnight (out on vinyl March 19) as well as other titles like the acclaimed EP, A Thousand Voices. 


Tour Dates

April 4th – Dekalb, IL – Otto’s

April 6th – Kansas City, MO – Middle Of The Map Fest

April 13th –  Cincinnati, OH –  MOTR

April 26th –  Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews

June 25 – Philadelphia, PA  – Kung Fu Necktie

June 26 – Boston, MA – The Middle East

June 27 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory


Here’s a killer video for “Burn Like the Sun” which is a track form Leave Me Midnight.

-Taylor
 

The Death Set drop video in honor of departed band member, Beau Velasco

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In 2009 the Brooklyn based, Australian born art-punk band, The Death Set, lost one of their founding members, Beau Velasco. His death obviously shook the band to the core – so much of what they represented was conceived and nurtured by Velasco’s artistic vision. Now nearly four years later, the band has released a beautifully moving video for the song “I Miss You Beau Velasco” off of their critically acclaimed 2011 release, Michel Poiccard (Counter/Ninja Tune). The tribute video compiles a series of vignettes dedicated to Beau’s memory and has several cameos including Santigold, Dan Deacon, Spank Rock, High Places, XXXChange, Japanther, Best Fwends, Trouble Andrew and Vice Cooler of XBXRX. Portions of the video were filmed in the Morphius building including a scene with Branden Funkhouser, David Andler, Johnny Siera, and director Jay Buim in the control room of Lord Baltimore Recording Studio (1:57 mark), where The Death Set mixed/mastered their first two releases, the EP To and the follow up, Rad Warehouses, Bad Neighbordhoods.

Morphius is better off having known Beau and we are thankful for the music he shared with us and the way he continues to inspire The Death Set. The band is currently in Austin playing a few SXSW shows in support of their upcoming four song EP, King Babies (Dim Mak Records).

Head over to thedeathset.com for more info on their tour and their new EP. Morphius.com still has a few original edition copies of their EPs To and Rad Warehouses, Bad Neighborhoodson on CD as well as a very limited edition Japanese import version of their early material on vinyl 12″ (Limitations Can Make You Creative) and a self-titled 7″ released by ModularThe To CD release includes a limited edition poster designed and autographed by Mr. Beau Velasco Velasco himself.  (yeah, that’s really how his license listed his name)  The Rad Warehouses release includes a canvas backpatch with the Death Set logo designed by Nolen Strals (of Double Dagger). Pretty amazing collectible stuff, from an incredible band.  You can also get their titles on CD and MP3 from Amazon.com.

We really miss you Beau.  Thanks for all you left here with us.  Hope you’re out there somewhere enjoying the video as much as we are.

Taylor

Liz Meredith LP is rich and fulfilling

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Courtesy of Flickr.com

“Liz Meredith LP [features] two luxuriant, sidelong immersions into subtly shifting moods.  [It’s] a gorgeous plunge into a plaintive mood, a place where rising and falling electronic textures and drawn-out viola lines cast soothing shadow plays on the brain. The glistening Side B clings to the ears the longest, the sound of a slow, cinematic fade-out that takes nearly 20 minutes to move from a tight close-up to a widescreen vista, every increment recalibrating the emotional kick of the image being branded on the mind’s eye” – Baltimore City Paper

Baltimore City Paper‘s Bret Mccabe said that Liz Meredith has a “versatile presence in local avant music, playing her string brio in High Zero/Red Room lineups and delivering hypnotic solo sets.” We here at Morphius couldn’t agree more with the praise of her most recent effort, and first solo record, Liz Meredith LP. The album has intense, yet lucid ambiance, providing the listener with not only an enjoyable but cathartic experience.

Listed as one of the Top 10 avant-garde and experimental albums of the year by City Paper, Liz Meredith LP is a must have for anyone fascinated with musical texture. Head over to lizmeredith.com for a chance to listen to the album or find out where to see Meredith’s music in person. In fact, Liz will be playing The Red Room tonight at 8:30 PM. Go to here for more details.

– Taylor

Fire Talk Records

Brooklyn has a slew of indie record labels – spitting out countless acts of rock, noise, rap, garage, lo-fi, and punk persuasion. I’m sure I missed a genre or two. One of the good ones is our friends, Fire Talk Records. They’re responsible for the pop and electro sounds of a few very poignant artists especially including Woodsman, which is the brainchild of Firetalk head Trevor P, but have also released some serious gems by artists like Heaven’s Gate, Flower Orgy, Blackbird Blackbird, and Tennis, who has since signed to Fat Possum and had breakout success with Cape Dory.  It all started for the husband and wife duo from Denver with the 7″ release of South Carolina on Fire Talk.

Take a look at some of the videos (plus a single) below and see how dedicated the artists of Fire Talk are to not only their sound but also the visual aspect of their art…often trippy, trance-y, and always creative effort is what you should expect from all these folks. If you feel like learning more about Fire Talk, head to their tumblr.

Go to Morphius.com or  iTunes if you’re interested in picking up some Fire Talk vinyl, including Blackbird Blackbird, Woodsman, Birthdays and more.

-Taylor

The Death Set, a little ‘For Everyone’

courtesy of rcrdlbl.com

On Sunday October 21st, the Australian punk band, The Death Set, had the following Facebook status: “After 7 years of broke ass touring we just got $$paid$$!!!!” Google recently aired a commercial for the new Google Chromebook, in which the band’s delightfully catchy but raw tune, “Negative Thinking” was used as the soundtrack.

Here’s a look at the ad. Notice the tagline “For Everyone” – which perfectly describes The Death Set’s infectious and searing art punk.

We here at Morphius are delighted to see this hardworking and talented band finally reap the benefits of years of touring, all starting with the release of To (Morphius/Rabbit Foot) in 2005. It was the blueprint of To and songs like “Negative Thinking” that would lead to The Death Set’s signing with Ninja Tune/Counter Records in 2008 to release their first full length, Worldwide.

In 2009 guitarist and co-songwriter, Beau Velasco passed away in his NYC studio. Much of their following release, Michel Poiccard, was dedicated to him. It is an electro-pop infused punk album and more progressive than their previous work. Michael Byrne of Baltimore City Paper said the album was “the best thing the Death Set’s ever done.”

The Death Set has played over 500 shows from Australia to North America, including slots with The Beastie Boys, Japanther, Matt & Kim, and hundreds of other national acts, including a recent CMJ showcase in NYC. We’ll certainly keep you updated with upcoming tour plans. Head over to their site, thedeathset.com, for more info on the band and a look at some of their great videos, including the NSFW, avant-garde “Chew It Like A Gun Gum.”

Morphius.com still has a few original edition copies of their EPs To and Rad Warehouses, Bad Neighborhoods on CD as well as a very limited edition Japanese import version of their early material on vinyl 12″ (Limitations Can Make You Creative) and a self-titled 7″ released by Modular. The To CD release includes a limited edition poster designed and autographed by the late Velasco.  The Rad Warehouses release includes a canvas backpatch with the Death Set logo designed by Nolen Strals (of Double Dagger). Pretty amazing collectible stuff, from an incredible band.  You can also get their titles on CD and MP3 from Amazon.com.

-Taylor

Flying Eyes back in action at Lord Baltimore

Photo from their sessions at Lord Baltimore via kickstarter.com/projects/theflyingeyes/the-flying-eyes-new-album

Baltimore based psych-rockers, The Flying Eyes, recently self-funded their upcoming album with a very successful Kickstarter campaign. The album is being recorded at Lord Baltimore Recording Studio with producer/engineer Rob Girardi, who has produced the likes of Beach House, Arbouretum, Celebration and more. We’re stoked to have them back in the studio, but even happier to see so many folks step up and donate to such a great Baltimore band. Their  blend of rock n’ roll stretches across 1970s retro influences Zeppelin/Sabbath/The Doors, to modern bands like The Black Keys and even fellow Charm City roots-rockers J Roddy Walston and the Business .

We’ve had the pleasure of distributing their last two albums The Flying Eyes and Done So Wrong, both available digitally on iTunes or on CD and vinyl from Amazon.com.

The Flying Eyes will be opening for legendary psych rock pioneer, Roky Erickson, at Ottobar on November 11th. Erickson, who led 60’s band 13th Floor Elevators through the first wave of American psychedelic rock, spent most of the last three decades troubled with serious mental illness but recently revitalized his career with the 2010 release True Love Cast Out All Evil, backed by fellow Austin indie-rockers Okkervil River.

Make sure to look out for The Flying Eyes as-of-yet-untitled album, which is slotted to drop in spring ’13. In the mean time head over to theflyingeyes.com to check out their last two albums, a video for “Overboard,” and more. If you want to check out The Flying Eyes in action, visit the German site WDR Fernsehen for their full Crossroads performance in Germany from March 2011.

We’ll see you at Ottobar on November 11th!

– Taylor DeBoer