http://www.itstartshear.com/ starts TODAY

The album that’s a website, the website that’s an album: Peter Broderick’s http://www.itstartshear.com/ is released today, and the accompanying website is live from now. Explore the website to watch videos, see photos and learn more about the individual tracks.

The Sunday Times crowned the CD ‘Album of the Week’ and wrote -

The Oregon musician follows two must-have albums, Home (2008) and How They Are (2010), with another that will no doubt receive similarly rapturous reviews — whose enthusiasm will do nothing to bring Broderick to the wider audience he deserves. This may suit him, as he is reportedly reclusive and introspective, but it is scandalous, so beautiful and original is the music he makes. The man who, on How They Are, sang a song from the perspective of a battery chicken (and, in the process, created one of that year’s most moving songs), here uses the domain-name title track as an exploration of intimacy, anonymity, alienation, the personal and the impersonal — its starting point the isolating side of online interaction — to a hypnotic guitar figure and beat, giving way to a chanted delivery of the title that is both alluring and utterly bleak. Minimalism and pointillism are used in a way that makes the sudden interjection of, say, strings absolutely breathtaking. Blue is Broderick’s version of a song written by his then teenage father, which he found on an old tape and has lovingly restored, Broderick’s reverbed voice intoning his father’s words. Trespassing honours another bird, in this case one the musician ran over on a country road. Again, detailing is everything: a simple strummed guitar pattern beneath Broderick’s plaintive singing. Truly exceptional. – DC

Feline Friday #4

FELINE FRIDAY
by Casey Dienel

My rascal is named Cricket.

I wish I could take credit for her clever name, but she was already a Cricket when I met her. I worried I might give her an identity crisis if I changed it and I’ve always thought it suits her. She never meows, but kind of coos and chirps like a pigeon. She has many nicknames: Goose, Duck, Rickets, Budji (not sure where that last one comes from?).

I adopted her from a shelter as a kitten because she looked up at me dopily with her saucer-cup eyes and I couldn’t say no. I was a goner. Up until then I had been largely ambivalent towards cats, but now I am a full-fledged Cat Lady. I love how expressive her face is and her need to be anywhere in the room where the people are, preferably seated on some kind of “throne” where she can survey all of the activity. I call them “Cricket Traps.” That could be a soft cashmere sweater, a balled-up afghan on the floor, a pile of pillows, or best of all, a cardboard box.

She’s a touch vain, especially about her bushy raccoon tail, but most of all she’s very affectionate. Little bits of string or tape send her into a frenzy. She loves to play hide & seek.

The Drift Record Shop

We at Bella Union are big fans of independent record stores. As it happens I have a lovely friend called Rupert who runs a fantastic store in Totnes, Devon. It’s called Drift. Rupert is a great supporter of independent music and helps connect a lot of people with great records.

I asked him a few questions -

The Drift Record Shop

HI RUPERT, can you tell us about your lovely record store?

At the moment it’s not much bigger than a living room, but we cram in a couple of thousands albums on CD and vinyl. We listen to everything we can and then cherry pick our favourite bits. I just wanted to make the record shop I always wanted to walk into. Welcome everyone in and play them something amazing.

We’re actually moving to a much bigger shop this April. We’ll be all set and open before Record Store Day. Bella Union exclusive info that is!

What’s the best thing about running a record shop?

Spending all day in a record shop! The nicest bit is people drop in all day to hang out and listen to music. Then people that don’t know we’re there stumble in and look amazed that they’re in a record shop… in a rural country farming town. People must say “it’s so nice to be in an actual record shop” about five/ten times a day. Makes you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile.

What’s on the stereo at the moment?

I’m listening to a few forthcoming bits today. Really liking Willis Earl Beal (out soon on XL) and the Dirty Three album (on the Bella!) – Field Music is my album of the month, and the new Earth album (“Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II”) is a real game changer. Oh! and also had Robert Ellis on quite a lot.

Who’s your favourite customer?

I’ve got a couple of guys who turn up once a quarter and just bust a hole right through their credit card. It’s always fun when they are about as you can tell them about EVERYTHING that is currently rocking the stereo and you don’t have to worry about wether they can afford it. I love the record of the week guys as well. One guy moved to Belgium and still buys a record every week! My favourite of the year so far was a fairly young girl who’d been given a voucher for Christmas. She came in and listened to a few things (which is testament to how cool she is as I doubt I would have commanded the shop stereo at about 13 years old) – After about an hour she bought Count & Sinden. I gave her a tote bag as I thought she was so cool. I see her all over the place with it and her obligatory MASSIVE headphone on. I reckon she’ll probably be running the shop for me in about five years.

What other record stores would you recommend?

Jamie at Rooster in Exeter is a great guy, old school vinyl shopping. Rough Trade (both!) is always a pleasure and considering they are such a big deal the staff are always super nice if you chat to them. Intoxica (London) is just amazing, I listen to a LOT of music and I still know pretty much nothing when I walk through their doors… I always leave with a few treats. Brighton has a great record buying scene also and I think the guys at Rise are doing great things. I went to Amoeba in California and just couldn’t understand what was going on… that place is bigger than my local supermarket.

What are you excited about?

Palace Music re-issues on Vinyl (Later this month) and finally having a bit more shelf space!

Anything else?!

Yep. This guy is a good friend and didn’t tell me for ages that he was working on an album, then I heard it! Pretty special.

We post all the things we’re listening to not he drift blog here: www.driftrecordshop.com

You can buy them online here, but we naturally prefer it if you come see us!