What I Got at the Post Office Today by Chuck P

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All of our DJs receive hundreds of CDs a month to consider for airplay. In this regular feature, KCRW DJ Chuck P catalogues his musical bounty from the Post Office each week.

Back from London! The weather was actually better there than here. Weirdness. Sunny skies every day and temps in the mid 60s. There were moments I actually had to take my hoodie off because I was too hot. What are the odds?

Huge, from what I was told. They’re down to the low to mid 50s during the day now, so I’m counting those lucky stars… highlights for me were Tower Of London (bloody), Westminster Cathedral (holy) & Rough Trade Records (legendary). There, I saw a presentation on African Architecture that blew me away. They were selling these box sets of books that included photographs from the presentation, and if those boxes weren’t bigger than my suitcase, I would have picked one up to bring home. At least I’ve got the memories.

So much new music at the post office this week, they had to give me mail bins to carry it all to my car! Needless to say, the haul yielded some prizes for sure. On to the countdown…

1) Vinyl! – Lots of good stuff. A thank you 12″ from Voltaire Records featuring Tussle and Publicist; a new 7″ from Superhuman Happiness (thanks for the CD version as well); a new 7″ from the folks at White Iris Records called Oberhofer; and a new 12″ from Zun Zun Egui called Fandango Fresh that sounds a little like Gentle Giant on acid… or, at least more acid.

2) Charalambides “Exile” – One of my favorites from the mid-90s and onward, this expanding and contracting collective is back down to a duo (the core of Tom & Christina Carter) and keeps raising the bar with every release. They transcend most adjectives that I can think of to describe them, but avant garde is probably the easiest direct line for most to follow. Their double LP Market Square from the mid 90s is still one of my all time favorite double LPs. “To the top of the stack, does this one move.” – Yoda

3) Chris Joss “No Play No Work” – On the opposite side of the street from the previous is this funky ass shakin’ new release from Joss. Loved the last release Monomaniacs, so I’m expecting some good stuff here!

4) Dntel “Life Is Full Of Possibilities” – reissue of this classic. A classic not only because it’s a great record, but also significant in that it documents the first collaboration between Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. That song is called (This Is) The Dream Of Evan & Chan. It was probably the most popular track on the album, and it became a great single with lots of remixes. It was so well received, they created a new band called Postal Service. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. All those killer remixes are included here on a bonus CD. Another great reissue package from the folks at Sub Pop.

5) Laura Veirs “Tumble Bee: Sings Folks Songs For Children” – In the great tradition of Lead Belly and Ella Jenkins, Laura Veirs defies convention once again by assembling a brilliant collection of children’s folk songs. Is there anything this woman cannot do? Her version of Led Zepplin’s “The Ocean” on a recent tribute blew me away, but this release is shaping up to be another fave. Looking forward to playing this one for you.

Honorable mentions include new CDs from Gospel Music, Forest Fire and Tim Hecker. Plus, got a couple of CDs from Rough Trade while in London that I’m really excited to play for you. More on that this Sunday night.

Chuck P.

(@chuckp8 on twitter)