Powertool Records Stocking Stuffers   18 Dec 2013

Powertool Records

Powertool Records Stocking Stuffers

Happy Silly Season from Powertool! We’ve released music from all over various musical spectrums this year, and we’ve put together a list of albums that should pretty much suit all tastes. Looking for Christmas gifts? After some summer holiday listening? Sure thing…
Voted one of the Best of 2013
One Man Bannister ‘Evolver’
This album has rocked many peoples’ worlds this year, and impressed Beatles’ fans and non-fans alike! Matthew Bannister’s unique take on the Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ album has started appearing in Top Albums of 2013 lists and is very much worth checking out. Included in the top albums of 2013: Graham Reid – Elsewhere; Under the Radar (scroll down to Russell Brown’s picks).

Playing tomorrow!

Ghosts of Electricity EP Release Party with Goon and Identity Slip
Earlier this year Powertool Records unleashed the powerful new EP from Ghosts of Electricity, ‘Don’t Try’. Now you can experience their live energy first hand as they celebrate the EP’s release at the Nectar Bar (upstairs at the Kingslander) on Thursday December 19.

New Releases

Enclosures ‘Scotch Mist’
Upon first listening to Enclosures’ new album ‘Scotch Mist’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d unearthed a long-lost Flying Nun album. Echoes of the 3Ds, Chug and Look Blue Go Purple reverberate in what has been described by one listener as “a glorious noise”. And then you may be surprised to learn that only one of the band hails from New Zealand – Enclosures are Melbourne-based, and the other 3 of the quartet have their origins in Australia. Here they are featured on music blog Mess and Noise: http://www.messandnoise.com/news/4621738
Enclosures on Bandcamp: http://powertoolrecords.bandcamp.com/album/enclosures-scotch-mist-2013

River’s Edge – ‘Cambridge Town’
Chris Baigent of River’s Edge has been writing songs with a distinct New Zealand flavour for the past 10 years - songs influenced by homegrown musicians such as David Kilgour, Chris Knox and The Clean; while other influences include songwriters Neil Young, Paul Kelly and Bob Dylan. The band’s debut album, "Head First" featured the single Come On Let’s Go Baby, which reached No. 5 on the 95bFM Top Ten. Inspiration for the new album ‘Cambridge Town’ came from Baigent’s residence in London and then Cambridge, where he began writing whilst studying Bob Dylan's entire record collection. These songs emerge from a fresh-faced “Kiwi” experiencing life abroad for the first time; and Chris says, “I guess you could call this album my ‘thesis on Dylan’”. And, most appropriately, Baigent has been living in New Zealand's own Cambridge for the past two-and-a-half years.A music video for ‘Love Speak’ has also just been released:(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-ucY_pcXRM)

Eclectic sounds from 2013

We have some great value compilations - a fine way to check out our artists in case you'd like to further investigate their albums...
Kaleidoscope World Series 27 & 28 (all in one!)
A bumper crop of new songs by: George Henderson and Matthew Bannister (New Existentialists - Matthew Bannister), Jed Town (Peacemaker), Julian Hansen (Twinkie), Tony Baldock ex-Surburban Reptiles (Anti Social Network)...along with Powertool faves Come Down Kid, Used To Be Apes, Ghosts Of Electricity, Malcontent, River's Edge and Jennie La Bombe. Add to that some UFO regulars - Jackal, Goon, Tweed, Little Lapin, Freaky Meat, Bluebird Avenue, Carved From Flames and Antony Weller - and there is something there for everyone. A veritable Kaleidoscope of styles.

Drill 28/I Have No Idea 2
NZ/US collaboration featuring a zine plus a 19-track compilation: Nick Raven, One Man Bannister, Sugarbug, Sandra Bell, Factory Kids, Arrica Rose, Rough Church, The Picture and the Frame, The World Record – and many more. The NZ half of the ‘zine is edited by Andrew Maitai of Powertool Records; the LA half by Kiwiphile Greg Franco of Rough Church.

Drill 27/I Have No Idea 1
The first instalment of the US/NZ collaborator zine/CD. The album features: Nick Raven, Come Down Kid, Gold Medal Famous, Sandra Bell, Rough Church, Seasons, Black Watch plus many more. http://drillmagazine.bandcamp.com/album/drill-magazine-no-25


Dan West ‘Hot Corners’
Californian musician Dan West’s songs echo the moods of LA, reflecting sunshine and angst in equal parts, mixed with strong traces of psychedelia; the lyrics are wry and observant. West was an integral member of LA’s Paisley Underground movement in the 1990s (Wikipedia: The biggest band by far to grow from the Paisley Underground was the Bangles; Mazzy Star also had ties to the genre. Prince was hugely influenced by the sound – his label Paisley Park Records was named after the movement, and he wrote ‘Manic Monday’ for the Bangles) and he describes his new album ‘Hot Corners’ as a “collection of greatest hits you’ve never heard”, spanning an 11 year period. West is also engaged to international Powertool artist Azalia Snail (LA).

A. J. Sharma – ‘You Are A Traveller’
A J Sharma is a familiar figure in the Dunedin underground music scene and this year released his new album ‘You Are A Traveller’. As specialist vinyl record label Epic Sweep eloquently put it, “”Criminally under-rated songwriter A.J Sharma has been releasing music since the early 1990s. Not a world away from Alastair Galbraith’s singular vision, on this single Sharma’s typically sparse acoustic accompaniment is somehow taken in new more layered directions.” Get his 7” here. Sharma wrote all the songs, but notes that the words of track 1 are from Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s poem "Hut near desolated pines". The unconventional tracklisting is an aesthetic pleasure in its own right too.

Sugarbug ‘Flutterbye’
The long –awaited album by the Wellington band fronted by main songwriter Sean O’Leary (except for Do Your Thing, which was written by The Clean – and David Kilgour from The Clean really loved their version). Four songs from this album reached number one on Wellington’s Radio Active: Bunny's on the Run, Just Another Drop, Lost in Space and Do Your Thing (which was also number one on Dunedin’s Radio One for eleven weeks straight). Sugarbug played two 'Big Day Outs' and have also supported the following bands/musos: Pavement, Tanya Donnelly, The Clean, Dimmer, Shihad, The Headless Chickens, The 3D's, H.D.U, The Chills, The Verlaines, Bike, StereoBus, Bailterspace, Garageland, Superette and others. A lovely jangly pop gem.

Brother Love ’20 Years in a Rockin’ Boat’
NZ psych-rockers Brother Love this year celebrate 20 years in the rock and roll undergrowth. Formed in Christchurch in 1993 by ex-Axel Grinders Marty Henderson and Patrick Fagan, the group found early success releasing vinyl on US cottage labels, and were then able to tour the States twice in 1996 and 2000. These releases garnered them an international following which led to, among other things, support slots for Dead Moon and Sebadoh and an appearance on the soundtrack of local feature film “Snakeskin”. They subsequently also had releases on German psyche-rock label September Gurls, Their last album, “The Gospel According to Brother Love”, was released in 009, followed by ‘The Funhouse EP’ in 2011. Now Powertool Records celebrates Brother Love’s birthday with “20 Years in a Rockin’ Boat”, a collection spanning their adventurous history and covering their myriad sonic styles.
The Brother Love live experience is visiting Auckland’s Golden Dawn on Saturday January 25th 2014.

Nick Raven - Love&Lomography
Nick Raven’s had a huge year. He’s just signed to US label Custom Made Music, with his debut album 'Love&Lomography' released there (and in New Zealand) on vinyl and cassette. He's also been featured on the website of US music magazine Ghettoblaster: http://ghettoblastermagazine.com/2013/video-premiere-nick-raven-love/ and was selected to play at the Going Global Music Summit recently - in front of 15 international music industry delegates. Here's his appearance in Graham Reid's 'Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire': http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/thefamouselsewherequestionnaire/, in which Graham says: "Elsewhere wouldn't be telling you this if Raven's album was only ordinary, but it isn't. It exists in a lovely world between downplayed neo-psychedelic folk and classic acoustic Seventies rock (with a touch of drone for added exoticism). Some have detected a whiff of the Chills reimagined in a dreamy acoustic manner." He's also just finished a new EP, due for release early next year; it's being produced by renowned producer/engineer Greg Haver. And he's recently released a new music video for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z44ZU-XsUto

Factory Kids ‘Cried Off’
This year we released the fantastic album ‘Cried Off’ from UK/US duo Factory Kids. The album mixes a strong indie-pop songwriting sensibility with a cinematic approach to arrangements – ear-catching tunes swathed in swirling layers of sound. US music website Caught In The Carousel coined a great term for them - “post-luminous pop”: http://caughtinthecarousel.com/the-post-luminous-pop-of-factory-kids/ As a special treat, they’ve also made a special free mixtape which features a couple of unreleased tracks of theirs, plus a selection of their own favourites and influences.
And this video was directed by Dylan Mulick, who's worked with Marnie Stern, A Place To Bury Strangers, Pop Levi, The Meek and The Black Lips amongst others.

Transcendental Learning Collective ‘Shift’
Transcendental Learning Collective (three guitars and a laptop) play minimal grooves with maximum repetition - some of it may even induce dancing. Their debut album ‘Shift’ has received great reviews from Graham Reid atwww.elsewhere.co.nz and Craig Haggis at Porky Prime Cuts.
Visit YouTube for the video: MUNT IN E7

Gold Medal Famous ‘100% Pure’
Gaining a reputation as our wildest avant-garde electronic dance/pop group, Gold Medal Famous are set to release their new homage to dance music, the “Free Body Culture" EP early 2014, plus a new album - "Album of national significance". They’ve been releasing a string of danceable new songs – but if you want to know what the fuss is all about, and you can’t wait for the new EP, make sure you check out their most recent album ‘100% Pure’.
100% Pure

Michael O’Leary ‘Fences Fall’
“Stunning tracks energised by O’Leary’s great lines. Take it neat or take it on the road” – Michael Gifkins
Michael O'Leary is a New Zealand publisher, poet, novelist, performer, and bookshop proprietor. The songs on O’Leary’s album ‘Fences Fall’ are described as a Kiwi re-invention of the folk traditions and boldly literate rock music associated with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Beatles, Irish folk song, and the seminal sounds of blues and country. Much acclaimed in literary circles, Michael O’Leary is described by Dr. Neilson Wright as “… a powerful writer who never falls into mediocrity and consistently shows a strain of genius.” A trustee of the Poetry Archive of New Zealand, he also runs the Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop (E.S.A.W.) which has published works by Hone Tuwhare, David Eggleton, Elizabeth Smither, Greg O’Brien, John Pule and others.

The music for the songs on ‘Fences Fall’ is by singer-songwriters Helen Dorothy, Kayte Edwards, Niels Gedge, Francis Mills and Al Witham, with instrumental numbers by Gilbert Haisman and Brian Romeril. It was recorded atRoss McDermott’s Soundsgood studios in Paraparaumu.

Plexuz ‘The Human Condition’
Plexuz are an Australian-based 5-piece (featuring ex-pat New Zealanders) who swing between originals and covers; their CD ‘The Human Condition’ is out now on Powertool Records. The band has been together with various personnel since 2008; they’ve played the Adelaide fringe festival as well as touring New Zealand. Future plans include a tour of Eastern and South Australia under the Powertool Records banner in 2013.


Sandra Bell ‘Ampelmann/The Miners’
Sandra has toured the US with Peter Jefferies and Alastair Galbraith, released albums on legendary New Zealand label Xpressway, and on US, Belgian and German labels worldwide. And who is the Ampelmann? He’s the little man shown on pedestrian signals in the former German Democratic Republic. ‘The Miners’ is a poignant song dedicated to the 29 Pike River miners who lost their lives in 2009 (and family members of other lost coalminers)…and to Sandra’s grandfather. She is accompanied by Catherine Parman on banjo. Ampelmann/The Miners on Bandcamp

Mark Airlie ‘Fiona’
Mark Airlie has led Wellington bands Feet Like Fins, Attic Stair and Mark Airlie & Attic Stair. He’s been playing and recording under his own name for 10 years now and has produced a number of solo works including the totally instrumental 'House With Unseen Guests'. From his 2005 EP ‘Peril Not A Pearl’ the songs Grappling Iron and Tarquin The Portmeister were featured on two compilations from Florida label Sexy Killer Records (Vols:1 & 3) alongside selected East Coast US underground bands. He says that the thread that holds his 3 new songs together is life, love and human error – lost potential and falling short of one’s ideals. Yet at the same time there is a cathartic effect – Airlie hopes this little set of recordings may comfort people with loss or grief, or who have trouble 'fitting in' in life. As the German author Hermann Hesse said: 'I would not exchange any of my 'bad days' for 'good ones'’…as I truly learned from the bad days.'


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