16 January, 20192018 has been a great year, I hate to make balances but it has certainly been the year I've been drawing the most.
Counting only the artworks I did for People In A Position To Know, a set of 25 for ''Bad Ocean'' by S.M. wOLF, another set of 25 for ''Easy Not Easy'' by Graves, a set of 48 for ''Heartache Essentials'' by Floating Action, i reach quota 98 different artworks... but this is not all, there are the best sellers ''The Breakthrough Album'' by Wio and ''Inner Truth'' by Good Horsey... and all the other orders and a bunch of new cassette releases... and some trades finally completed (because I always like to listen to stuff on other labels)... and the two exhibitions in Amsterdam where I presented something like 50 pieces, certainly one of the highlights of the year. To show my artworks and feel the interest of strangers in what I'm doing was a beautiful experience, something I will never forget. Yes, 2018 was the year I drew the most and slept the less but 2019 promises already to be another great year for my label.
On January 2nd I was drawing a bunch of artworks for ''When Will We Take Mercy On Ourselves'' by Bob Bucko Jr... The New Year has started exactly in the same way the previous ended: drawing artworks for my beloved releases.
There are also already a lot of things slowly cooking in the oven.
John Davis is coming to Italy. No, I'm not kidding. He is touring Europe and I have been able to find a couple of venues where he will be playing next March. It's a real satisfaction since I've been following him forever. And a success as I'm not a tour manager or a professional organizer.
I have devoured my copies of both his solo and Folk Implosion recordings. You will read 50 / 50 on the cover of the ''Electric Idiot EP'' meaning that the contribution of John and Lou is equal but the balance isn't right in my opinion. I'm still convinced that the influence of John in certain Folk Implosion recordings is higher than the 50%.
The tour will touch 7 european cities and two in Italy:
Pop-In, Paris, 3/23
Larry’s Corner, Stockholm, 3/24
Leipzig, Germany 3/26
Godot Art Bistro, Avellino Italy, 3/27
Pecora Nera Country Pub, Cassano delle Murge, Italy, 3/28
Donau 115, Berlin, 3/29
Gaukurinn, Reykjavik, 3/30
Pecora Nera rules. It is one of my favorite places in the world. Top quality food, the best craft beers, good live music and the owners are awesome. Godot Art Bistro is a really cool venue. I have had a look at the shows and the artists they hosted in the past and if I were living in Avellino I'd be there every night.
I'm literally ticking down the days.
John will be accompained by two Cicadas (and Mike Ladd who is going to open the shows) and they will perform old and new songs from John's repertoire.
if this is not already enough, Almost Halloween Time Records is releasing a new LP by John.
''Outside A Small City'', a collection of guitar instrumentals, a walk in the fields and the country roads of North Carolina populated by vultures, mobile homes, crushed cans of Bud Light, shadows, trees, lights and leaves.
The record will be available during the tour and on preorder here. A limited edition of 100 copies with hand drawn covers, all different.
The album has been already sent to the pressing plant and is expected soon.
I'd also like to spend a few words about all the other vinyl releases announced here as forthcoming:
Here's an update about their status:
''I Am The World's Richest Man'' by Charlie Mcalister - test presses were approved last December and I'm waiting for the records. It's a matter of days so if you have preordered a copy you will hear from me soon, if you still haven't ordered yours, I recommend you do it now because this record is beautifully sad.
''The End Is Nye'' by Douglas Kramer Nye - is ready to be sent to the pressing plant.
''Elizabethan'' by Bingo Trappers is ready and it is brilliant!!!!
- A tribute compilation to my favorite record label ever. I guess you can imagine what I'm talking about...
- LP by Jonathan Nankof
19 October, 2018Lovers Turn to Monsters is the never ending and constantly evolving solo project of Scottish 30 year old Kyle Wood. His music deals with the usual existential topics of life,death, love, music, movies, and comic books. Across a backdrop of emotive lo-fi inspired pop... ''Better Weird Than Dead'' is a supernatural collection of songs. Kyle recorded and produced the album while a malevolent possessed chihuahua was talking to him through a mystifying oracle. Based on a true story... For this series I'm going to draw for you a portrait of Carol Anne Freeling. Limited to 50 copies.
12 October, 2018IT'S HALLOWEEN TIME, it's Almost Halloween Time. I've finally found what I want to do in my life: compilations of songs by my favorite artists. Having a look at the tracklist of this double cassette release, I see only a couple of names missing.
A1 C. Worth - Backbones, Neckbones
A2 Charlie Mcalister - Sea Goblin
A3 Furniture Three - Apple Valley Death Investigation
A4 Citizen Electrical - Seasons Shifting
A5 Matthew Edward Clarke - Creeping Feeling
A6 Charles Dingus - Hack Frauds / Lackluster Blockbuster
A7 Will Simmons & The Upholsterers - The Bomb
A8 Kids of the Atomic Age - Texas
A9 Caleb Fraid - Deer Park
A10 Cougheteria - The Ghosts We Know
A11 T.E.V. - Graveyard Bongo Boogie Woogie
B1 Refrigerator - Another Ghost Town
B2 Nutrition Fun - Mauvais Sang
B3 Mr. Microwave - No More Screem Queens
B4 Hoops - A Monster at Home
B5 John Davis - There's One Time of Year When Everybody Thinks It's Okay to Beg
B6 Restaurnaut - I Was Possessed (By A Ghost)
B7 Hochenkeit - Coach Randall (666)
B8 Painted Faces - Hippy Halloween
B9 Bingo Trappers - City of Diamonds
B10 Goosewind - Vrykolakas
B11 Tiffany Boulanger - American Nightmare
C1 Ed Rooney - Thriller/Chiller (excerpt)
C2 Chris BjornnVThat's What You Get For Living in a Place that's Haunted
C3 Bob Bucko Jr. - We Are Not All Monsters
C4 Wio - Summer of 69 Square Meters of Serpula Lacrymans
C5 Nicole Kidman - Virginia
C6 Black Cum - Hungry 4 Flesh
C7 Gladhands - No Fear™
C8 Monogamy - Last Year's Costume
C9 Plundershop ft. Michael Overman - Michael's Letter to the South Southern Carolinians (Live on WUSC, Columbia 2007)
D1 Neil A. - Dungeons & Dragons is for Adults
D2 Home - Ghost: A Ghost Story by Home
D3 Wica Intina - To Essentially Become Again a Stranger
D4 Corpse Calypso - Summer
D5 Marijean - Untitled
D6 Phil Yates - Ninjas vs. Zombies (Let's Keep Our Heads)
D7 The Debts - A Song to Lift the Veil
This is a partnership with the fine folks at Chthonic. A soundtrack for your Halloween parties that you can enjoy 365 days a year. You can order your copy here and you can choose the monster that will haunt your dreams. I'll portrait it for you.
The comp is also available from Chthonic here in a different version.
This compilation would not have been possible without the help of my dear friend Jonathan.
5 October, 2018Shortcut Freaks are like an inactive volcano right now, they haven't touched music for years now and this collection songs is from 15 or 20 years ago.
Back then Blackbean And Placenta Tape Club was one of the sexiest labels around, releasing hundred records on beautiful vinyl, photocopying artworks on colored cardboards, recycling used jackets and exploring differnt styles and genders of music.
BBPTC must have been quite popular in Japan, as there is a long list of japanese artists that have worked with them.
Shortcut Freaks are one of them and they had their first 12'' released by BBPTC.
There was an article about Orange Cake Mix on a japanese magazine, Shortcut Freaks thought it was cool and they sent a letter and a demo tape to Mike L. An answer came and it was funny, Mike L. had cut the address on the envelope which was in japanese and had it pasted to a new enevelope to send his reply.
I, sincerely have no idea of what Shortcut Freaks are singing in their songs but I love their music which is some sort of lo-fi groovy japanese DJ music, underground hometaping drum'n'bass that is completely nutso. What am I going to draw for this? I'll find out copy per copy.
4 October, 2018Caleb Fraid is a living legend of the hometaping diy lo-fi movement with releases on his own label Doormat, TX and Unread.
We've been talking about working together since 2010 when I was moving the first steps in the world of handdrawing artworks and I'm happy as a pig in slop to finally have the chance to draw a set of artwork for him.
Caleb is at his best, the past years has seen him in true songwriting form, pumping out song after song, one per day, every day. Something similar to what I do, draw a cover every day, one per day. Let's call them healthy exercises.
I like Caleb Fraid's music a lot, I own many of his releases, solo efforts and projects with other people. I have even offered myself to release a boxset with 365 of his songs. This is not happening now, but who knows, maybe in the future.
This is a collection of 15 songs. I'll illustrate some of the lyrics.
29 September, 2018Amsterdam here we come. Please join me in Amsterdam on November 1st at Plantage Dok. I will have some drawings to show and Bingo Trappers and Mongrell are performing. It is going to be fun.
Halloween is around the corner and so I have tons of news for you.
The test presses of ''Elizabethan'' are fantastic. The new chapter in Bingo Trappers history is almost ready and it is one of their best. I've just given the ok to the pressing plant.
I'm never tired of working at new projects and that's why I have embarked myself in many many things:
- ''Water of Life'' by Rudy Ciavarro. This is almost ready too. I have known Rudy for years and this is our first collaboration. For his book I draw a set of four, and you can have a look here.
- ''Plague'', I did the artwork for the new Brainwashed album. I have really enjoyed working with Scott at ''Heirus'' so I had no hesitation when he asked me to draw something for his new collection of songs. The album will be out on Halloween, isn't that the best release date?
- a Halloween compilation featuring lots of my favourite artists. A corelease with the fine folks at Chthonic. Two hours of music that you can enjoy on October 31st as well as everyday because it is always almost halloween time. Home, John Davis, Refrigerator, Charlie Mcalister, Bingo Trappers and many many more. A limited edition of 50 copies with handdrawn covers. Order your copy now and don't forget to request the portrait of the monster haunting your dreams.
5 September, 2018If necessary I will not sleep all Fall and Winter long.
I have already shouted at the four winds some of the new projects slowly cooking in the open... but not all.
''When We Will Take Mercy On Ourselves'' by Bob Bucko Jr is out today.
Bob Bucko, Jr. resides and records in Dubuque, Iowa, a quarter mile from the Mississippi River. Relentlessly touring and uncompromisingly prolific, Bucko, as Joshua Tabbia from Already Dead Records as pointed out, ''has spent the last several years establishing himself as a widely varied experimental artist. His output is consistently engaging and eclectic, while somehow never pulling the same punch twice''. He has released 3 LPs on Captcha Records, as well as dozens of tapes and CDs on labels large and small - including his own Personal Archives imprint - since 2011. This is not a debut on Almost Halloween Time Records, as Bob has already contributed a couple of tunes to the Crock Rot compilation. Standing at the intersection of songform, free improvisation, and psychedelia and crossing genres with blatant disregard, each BBJr album is reflective of its own inner logic. On ''When Will We Take Mercy On Ourselves'', Bucko returns to his 4-track roots, using pawnshop guitars and consumer electronics to convey the fragile and often fractured pathways between thought and emotion. Recorded in the fall of 2016 on a wicked bender, and amidst budding political turmoil in America, ''When Will We Take Mercy On Ourselves'' lays bare personal fears and failings against the backdrop of late capitalism’s crumbling empire. This cassette release is limited to 50 copies. All with a unique hand drawn artwork.
2 September, 2018Fall is probably my favourite season of the year and that's why I'm working on several new projects.
- A series of illustrations for ''Water of Life'', a book of comic poetry and prose by Rudy Ciavarro.
- New album by Bingo Trappers. How long have I been waiting for this? Five years have passed since ''Sister Planet'' came out. Waldemar and Wim are in perfect shape and this new album is amazing. Bingo Trappers at their best, believe me. For this release I've teamed up with some of the finest record labels around: Morc from Belgium, Grapefruit and Unread from the United States. A limited edition of 250 copies, the record will be available worldwide and will come out in two different editions, one with screen printed artworks and one with hand drawn artworks (I'll take care of this myself). Approximate release date: middle of October. Can you wait this long? The edition with hand drawn artworks is very limited, 50 copies only and if you want to be sure to have one, you can preorder it here.
- New album by Douglas Kramer Nye. Five years for the new Bingo Trappers, six years for the new Douglas Kramer Nye. Time runs fast. ''No Good Samaritan'' is one of the hidden gems of the Almost Halloween Time Records entire catalogue and I'm really happy that my path has crossed that of Douglas. It's really exciting to work on this new collection of songs. Very limited again and available for preorder here
- ''I am the world's richest man'', new album by Charlie Mcalister. I've just received the master amd it saddens me and it makes me happy. I often think at Charlie's failed trip to Bari. Charlie once sent me an email. He wanted to come to Bari and stay here for months, we would have been hanging together around Italy. The idea was to record a new album and I was so excited at the thought of finally meeting one of my heroes. We almost meet each other. He would have stayed at a house in the countryside. I had found a used tascam machine that he could use for recording, my grandpa homemade banjo that he made while he was prisoner in South Afrika during the second world war, some of my friends would have been is backing band, a really talented guitarist, a violinist and some horn players too. Charlie had not enough money and the trip was delayed, postponed and it never happened in the end... to our great disappointment. To spend months together with one of my favourite artists. Charlie told me he had had some troubles with the law before, I never investigated, it wasn't a trouble for me. Had he killed someone, I would have given him a roof and food the same. I sent him videos from Bari, to get acquainted with my city and its habits. We're strange, we eat raw octopus, we bite the octopus on the head when it is still alive to kill it and we throw it on the rocks to make it tender and we eat it without cooking it, a practive that makes sushi look pale. And sea urchins, we've got them also, as they come out from the sea, without cooking. Charlie wasn't too much impressed. It's hard to realize that Charlie is no longer with us, that this trip will never happen, that we will never meet. ''I Am The World's Richest Man'' is the follow up to ''Umpo Scuzzi'', we were talking about this a few weeks before he left us. I knew he was working at a bunch of new songs, I did not know he had almost completed them. This collection of songs has been assembled by Charlie's close friends and I'm forever in debt with them for this. These songs came from 4 tapes which were mixdowns of songs, and none were the final. Celie has chosen the best versions based on Charlie's notes. Thank you Celie and thank you Will for all your effeorts and for making this happen. I miss Charlie, but luckily he left me with his tapes and his music to listen to. And now this...
You can preorder the album here
Please also visit Spew Geyser to know about all the projects, archival, new releases and book production.
1 September, 2018I could not be more proud to announce that some of my drawings will be presented at Studio Smit Shows in Amsterdam this September. Back in 2011 when I started hand drawing every single artwork for every single copy of ''Wooden Bird'' by The Kitchen Cynics, I'd have never imagined I would have gone so far. Seven years later, with more than 60 albums released, I have completed more than 1.300 different artworks, collaborated with a lot of my favourite artists and record labels, shipped my works all over the world (from Greece to Germany, from Alaska to New Zealand, from Israel to Japan) and never grown tired of this. Could I draw 24 hours a day, I'd do it, could I use both hands, I'd do it. It has never been easy, but it has always been rewarding. The positive feedback I've recieved all these years from friends, fans, strangers, makes me want to continue forever. This exhibition happening in Amsterdam is something I would have never imagined when I started. I will be presenting only a small selection of works, 12 pieces that I have drawn especially for this exhibition... because you know, of all the 1.300 artworks I have drawn, I have only kept ten for myself, maybe...
29 June, 201825 artworks for Graves done, 25 artworks for S. M. Wolf done, all preorders of Wio, Good Horsey and The Debts LP done, what is going to trouble my sleep now apart from orders and a few trades? Seth Kaufman and Mike at People In A Position To Know have asked me to release a set of 50 artworks for Floating Action's new album.
''Heartache Essentials'' picks up exactly where ''Is It Exquisite'' left off. It's a an amazing brilliant album.
Floating Action are named after a vintage Gretsch bass drum pedal and is the pseudonym of Seth Kaufman from Black Mountain, NC. Musician, songwriter, producer, Seth Kauffman has collaborated with My Morning Jacket, Angel Olsen, Dr Dog, The Black Keys, Lana Del Rey and Ray Lamontagne. Isn't that a fantastic, crazy resume already?
Folk, soul, southern-rock, gospel, surf, and bedroom lo-fi coexist in this record creating a warm and lushly anachronistic sound that is uniquely Floating Action.
''Heartache Essentials'' is a co-release with People In A Position To Know and IPreferPi.
A limited edition of 50 copies with hand drawn unique artworks inspired by the lyrics of the songs contained in the album. Just to give you an idea, this time you will see portraits of Jose Canseco and Angel Olsen dealing with aching hearts, Ford Ranger and Count Ossie. 25 copies are available from me and 25 copies will go to People In A Position To Know and will be available at a reasonable price for the american market... maybe will be is not correct as I've just been informed by Mike that he has already sold all his copies. But don't worry, you can always order one from me and the album is also available in other versions from Piaptk and I don't exclude there will be a second edition of hand drawn artworks in the near future, because I love this album and Floating Action a lot.
PREORDER YOUR COPY NOW!!!!!
21 April, 2018There is a saying in Italian that translated would be something like 'Who sleeps doesn't catch fishes...' meaning something similar to the English one 'The Early Bird gets the worm'. April and spring in general have always been for me that season of the year when I would rather spend hours in bed sleeping then going out. Not too warm, not too cold, drowsy, sleepy and dozy but life has changed a lot from when I was a university student and I could afford a little nap in the afternoon or a late wake up. The hours I spend in bed are every day less and to keep drawing I'm waking up early every morning. It's a healthy exercise, like footing for those who like running or eating fruit. In the last few months I've been really productive and I've embarked myself on several new projects. Today I'll tell you about one in which I was dragged in by my good friend Mike at People In A Position To Know. To draw a set of sleeves for the forthcoming S.M. Wolf LP. For those who don't know them, S.M. Wolf is the creature of Adam Gross from Indianapolis, IN, former front man for group Amo Joy and it's a fuzzy, psychedelic, power pop band. S.M. Wolf new album is titled ''Bad Ocean'' and it's a voyage into that dark place within a person that they try to keep at bay. So I'm waking up early every morning to draw/catch creatures from the bottom of the sea that are wearing winter clothes. This is going to be an edition of 50 copies (25 that will be available through my website and 25 that will go to Mike and will be available through People In A Position To Know). It's a customizable project, when ordering, please don't hesitate to request a portrait of your favourite sea creature or to post the picture of your favourite sweater.
23 February, 2018''I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.'' - Edgar Allan Poe
It is official, I'm insane. As if I hadn't already enough things to draw, as if I hadn't already enough problems, as if it was easy to figure out what to draw on the sleeve of one of the more than sixty releases that are out on my record label right now and that has been just ordered, as if I had plenty of time to draw and dedicate myself heart and soul to something new, as if I was having enough sleep, I'm doing it again... I've accepted a new project. Draw a set 50 sleeves for the reissue of ''Easy Not Easy'' by Graves. The call came from Mike Dixon at People In A Position To Know and when the red phone in my office rings, there is only one possible answer: ''Yes, sure, I'll do it.'' I love People In a Position To Know, all their releases are unique, wondrous, Mike has never ceased to amazed, picnic plates and x-rays that you can spin in your turntable (where did he get all those x-rays from?), he has created new formats (I'd like to see the faces of the people working on discogs, they are certainly having hard times with him), he is an innovator and a landmark. There is not in this world another label like his. And this project I've accepted is for something big: Graves!
''Easy Not Easy'' originally came out in 2006 on Hush Records, and it is, like Mike has so nicely descibed, nothing more nothing less than ''a total unknown classic of hook laden, smooth, relaxing, sexy, wxperimentally and understatedly kooky beauty and masterful songwriting.'' For this series I'm going to draw boats, icebreakers, artic landscapes. 25 copies will go to People In A Position To Know, 25 copies will be available for sale on my website (23 actually, because I'm going to keep a couple ones for me at least). Very limited, very essential!
24 January, 2018Extravagant, bizzarre, excessive, Doctor and the medics, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, Commodore 64, the fall of the wall, the Challenger disaster, the Chernobyl cloud, Salman Rushdie sentenced to death, Tienanmen square, the scream of Marco Tardelli and the 1982 World Cup. Even if you weren't born in the 80's you probably already know what I'm going to talk about. Today I'm going to announce the release of ''Eat This Eighties'' by de portables, a tribute to one of the most controversial problematic decades in music, characterized by the massive use and abuse of electronics and synths, simple refrains that will enter your ears and remain stuck in your head for days and days, but also by the post punk, rock and more obsure colourfully mind altering issues. de portables presents here a brief anthology of the those years, and they do it in their own style as always. Not simple cover songs that you will listen in the pub around the corner performed by a group of nostalgics, but their own interpretation of worldwide known classics and hidden gems that makes you wish the 80's never come to an end. I've never been a huge fan of Pet Shop Boys, I kind of hated them, but here we have a wonderful rendition of ''Rent'' and you start thinking they weren't that bad and you wish de portables will cover more of their songs. How great would ''Domino Dancing'' or ''It's a Sin'' if our favourites would embrace the instruments again? And do you know Sinead O'Connor repertorie in depth? I honestly don't, but maybe I should explore her catalogue... de portables ''Troy'' is even more dramatic than Sinead ordination as a priest being a woman with a Roman Catholic background. This is a pleasant return, after the acclaimed '' It's Time To Leave This World Behind'' from 2012 (Almost Halloween Time Records) and it's follow up ''The Killing Horizon'' (9000 Records). This tribute comes out on cassette, a relic for many, but a format that has apparently won its battle against technology. Who buys compact discs anymore? Every single copy, this is an edition of 50, comes with a unique hand drawn sleeve. This is for all those of you that don't turn the radio station when you listen to The Cars or XTC, this is for you that turn the station when you listen to Erasure or Nena. The 80's like you have never heard.
16 November, 20172017 is the year, I'm more than happy to welcome Plundershop to our family. For those who don't know him yet, Plundershop started recording on boomboxes and handhelds back in the 90s, he graduated to four-track later. All of his early material was self-released until he discovered shrimper tapes in a local record store and figured out that other people were making music at home too. Via shrimper he started gathering addresses and writing other home-tapers, trading and submitting songs to comps on many closet labels. His most recent stuff is recorded in logic on macbook with two cheap microphones and a handful of partially functional instruments. ''Pink Into Grey'' has been laying in a drawer for a couple of years, only me and Plundershop himself had access to this songs as far as I know. It's time to open that drawer finally and release this wonderful collection of songs. In the style of Almost Halloween Time records, this is a edition of 50 cassettes with hand drawn unique covers. All different.
21 September, 2017September, the latest swims, sunsets and sundowns by the sea, bonfires, grape harvest and time for new releases. Autumn is just around the corner and I am more than excited to announce the release of ''An Echo Through A Kind Tree'', the perfect soundtrack for the end of summer. Wica Intina is one of the nom de plume used by Dakota Brown, an artist, musician from Tennessee who has been recording under the name Sheep Bella Tine. ''An Echo Through A Kind Tree'' is the debut on Almost Halloween Time Records, a collection of Intimate, melancholic songs, written, and recorded in the summer of '17 except, ''Against the sky, and ahead of the wind'' that was originally going to be included in Wica Intina first full length LP due sometime at the end of '17, but that he has decided to donate us.That was written, and recorded in the summer of '16. ''These have all been brought to life in the last year which for me has been incredibly life changing. For the better, and for the absolute worst, but I'm beginning to understand that this is simply how it is, and this is simply how we as artists, musicians, or whatever you most identify with at the end of the day channel our own phosphorescent selves. These are simply four pictures that I've managed to bring back from those times.'' - Dakota says.
''When you see that those black eyed susans have come back once again to end and begin again, you'll see that we must also do just that.''
For this series, limited to 50 copies, I'll be drawing portraits of Dakota Brown himself. All will be different.
15 September, 2017When I was a kid, summer was the season of the horror movies on TV.
Jaws, Halloween, the Nightmare series, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Night Of The Living Dead, The Thing, The Evil Dead passed on the screens and when my parents were sleeping or they were out, I was wide awake with my brother watching them.
The sleepless nights that followed such views are still a vivid memory.
I would not watch these movies again today, because I know that I will probably be disappointed by them, what was scary for little Luigi is now just something to laugh about compared to the news on tv. Like when the Exorcist came back in a director's cut version a few years ago. I went to the cinema and laughed all the time and went out for a beer or two and had a very good sleep.
But I love those movies and if I run a record label called Almost Halloween Time, there must be a reason, so I'm very pleased to welcome to the family the last effort by Painted Faces ,a brilliant post-punk/freak folk/experimental rock opera called RETURN TO THE VAULT OF FEAR, an odissey in the freak world. featuring a message for Bev Marsh, a ghost living in a guitar case, gargoyles and a failed attempt to commit suicide.
This is a corelease with Already Dead Tapes, I have only 75 copies available for sale, and all with come with a hand drawn unique sleeve, inspired by a horror classic.
14 September, 2017The project is ambitious and I need your help. Almost Halloween Time Records is going to release 5 new LPs by the end of this year. This is the crazy deadline I've fixed and this is my hope. I don't like preorders very much, I usually don't like to spoil surprises but the cookies have been baked and have been cooking for very long now and it's time that you all can listen to these gems.
- Inner Truth by Good Horsey. It is no secret that I'm a huge fan of Mark Szabo and I've been desperately trying to contact him for years, like a truffle hunter. The opportunity to talk to him came unexpectedly last year when a friend of mine posted on facebook the picture of a mysterious tape by Mark called Szabotage. This tape was missing in my collection and I asked him info. Then I got his address from another friend and I sent him a letter, rigorously hand written where I requested a a copy of Szabotage and I offered myself to release his next album. When he wrote me back I was over the moon. The opportunity to listen to some new material by Mark and the promise of more to come. Mark had accepted my offer to release his next album and after a few months I received a collection of songs by one of my favourite Szabo's incarnations: Good Horsey. I could have never hoped for more. New Good Horsey stuff, a collection of songs that had been apparently lying in a drawer for years waiting for a small Italian record label to release them in 2017. The album is ready to be pressed and it is awesome. I'm about to contact the pressing plant. This is going to be a limited edition of 100 copies, with hand drawn sleeves. Release date is October, halloween time, so please preorder your copy now.
- Montavilla by The Debts. After ''The Desert'' cassingle, I'm releasing a full lenght by The Debts. I wanted to release ''The desert'' on vinyl already, but seven inches are idle objects and none seems to be interested in them anymore, so I decided to release it on cassette, but I had fallen in love with the music of these guys and I knew the appointment was only delayed. When Dane sent me Montavilla, it was love at first hearing and I've spent days listening to this album, while I was working on other projects, when I was relaxing in my apartment, through the streets of Puglia, every occasion was perfect to listen to this album. I don't see any other possible format for this album than vinyl. This is going to be another limited edition of 100 copies with hand drawn sleeves and the release date is November, just after halloween. You can preorder your copy now.
- Wio's new album. I'm not kidding! I'm serious. After several tapes on Studio Muscle, Zoologic, Cactus Gum, Toothpick and Unread that I've consumed to the bones, after ''I Can See Where I Am Now'', the milestone of the wafflerock. the universally recognized masterpiece of the belgian lo-fi pop, after its follow up on (K-raa-k)3 that has never left my car cd player since the time of its release, after a very long pregnancy and gestation, after many emails, beers, visits to belgium, encouragements, stalking and bullying, I'm excited to announce this new album is going to see the light of the day. The demo versions of the songs contained in this album have been in my possession for years, the final versions are in my hands now and Wio has done the magic again. If the demo versions were awesome, the final versions are stellar. This is going to be a limited edition of 100 copies and the sleeves are going to be hand drawn. If you don't want to miss the plane, it is better you preorder your copy now. Release date is November.
The other two projects will remain top secret for now, but you won't be disappointed and if you preorder one or all of the above albums you will help me to release the other two before the end of 2017.
2 August, 2017We're doing it again! I'm really happy to announce that We're collaborating with People In A Position To Know once more. When Mike calls, I'm not able to say no and this time he has invited me to corelease the new LP by Floating Action! How could have i said No? No matter how many sleepless nights will cost me to hand draw 100 different covers in addition to those I'm hand drawing for other projects. Floating Action is the creature of Seth Kaufman, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Black Mountain, NC who has been recording amazing music for over a decade, who has collaborated with My Morning Jacket, Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen, the Black Keys, Dr Dog, Band of Horses, Ray LaMontagne, etc, who has released such fantastic acts as ''Hold Your Fire'', and ''Research'' (both on PIAPTK).
Listen to the first single, Don't Desert Me, here...
Is It Exquisite is being issued on vinyl by a team of record labels: Almost Halloween Time, PIAPTK, OK Recordings, Baby Gas Mask Records, and Ipreferpi Recordings.
AHT will have 50 copies only. All will come with hand drawn unique artwork. For this release I will play on a unifying theme, a geodesic dome where different objects will make their appearance.
PIAPTK will be the US Distributor for the Almost Halloween Time versions. They will receive 50 copies!
PICK ONE UP HERE!
1 August, 2017Scott is a real good friend of mine and one of the reasons why I'll never grow tired of hand drawing covers for my own record label. He is really passionate and he encourgaes me all the time and he is the owner of a collection of my drawings and records that is constantly growing. He is also a really talented musician recording under the Brainwashed moniker. His music is some some sort of Improvised & semi-loop-based surrealist dark ambient, experimental, & electronica music. Scott has a really good ear and we share the same interest in many obscure projects and labels. Drawing something for him was exciting. ''The Arrival On Planet Heirus'' is his sixth full-length, a concept album about a day on a planet named Heirus. The idea for the artwork came one morning when i was having a lonely breakfast in a hotel in Athens, Greece.
You can stream the album here
And I don't exclude i will draw more things for him in the future!
27 May, 2017Ladies and gentlemen, I've always wanted to release a compilation of unreleased tracks by my favourite bands and finally the dream has come true. Back in 2016 I was contacted by C. Worth because I had been identified as ''an artist/performer/ friend/advocate /patron/connoisseur of Unread Records & Tapes & its mastermind, Mr. Christopher Fischer''. I am indeed a huge fan of Unread records, the proud owner of many of many many of their releases and a friend of Chris, so I was invited to organize a celebratory package, a tribute to Unread 200th release.I had no hesitation and I joined the party. The project was ambitious, the final result is something definitive. Almost every Unread recording artist was contacted, in some cases harassed, and invited to donate a song. But C. Worth, Brantley Fletcher, Nick Dolezal, Joel Huschle and I, the editors, curators of the comp. went further and started to invite people and artists we thought could have fitted, artists we thought were in the chords of Christopher Fischer and Unread records and that have never been on Unread. The compilation grew bigger and bigger, day by day, the bulk of contributions was impressive and the compilation ended to be the monster that it is now: a 3xC90 cassette tapes compilation. And this has happened in the course of a few months. Unbelievebale. I haven't received negative answers apart from a couple of invitations that were left unseen, unheard. Everyone was happy to contribute a song... and the collection of songs here is terrific. I couldn't have imagined something better than this. Take a look at the names and the tracklist:
A1 Kids of the Atomic Age - You Gotta Friend
A2 Bingo Trappers - Topple from the Perch
A3 I AM THE LAKE OF FIRE - I AM THE WARNING ANGEL
A4 Leaaves - Lily
A5 Nutrition Fun - Down in Denver
A6 Nathaniel Hoier - Smoke and Mirrors
A7 Noah Sterba - Corporate Women
A8 Edward Gray - Haunted Shoes
A9 Graham Repulski - Malcolm's Ex
A10 Caleb Fraid - Cans Are Kites
A11 Joe Kile - Eugene
A12 Furniture Three - Carolina in My Mind
A13 -- GG Interlude 1 (Come Over Sometime) --
A14 C. Dingus - I’m No Fischer
A15 Bob Bucko, Jr. - Traveling Song
A16 Allen Callaci and Franklin Bruno - State Trooper
B1 Swampwalk - All I Want / Space
B2 Navy Gangs - Wide Awake
B3 George Willard - You Think It's All Right (But It's Not)
B4 David Nance - Ambulance
B5 Staffers - Thought I Could Do It Turns Out I Couldn't!
B6 Wholewheat - This Ain't My Life
B7 C. Frank - Stagnant Fear
B8 Rake Kash - Zloty
B9 Jerk - The Jain You Ganed
B10 Chauchat - Great War
B11 John Thill - Impunity
B12 GG - You Always Hurt The One You Make Love You
B13 Hip Replacement - Were U Sitting Too Close to the Magnet Again?
B14 Will Simmons - Insomnia, Parts 3 & 4
B15 -- Martian Interlude 1 --
B16 C. Worth - Eve and Autumnal (For Chris Fischer)
C1 The Crazy People - Sugar High
C2 Dirty Swears - Death Rattle Blues
C3 Restaurnaut - Down the River Is...
C4 Wio - To Unread Is Not a Word They Say
C5 Jeff Fuccillo - Mutts and Rutts
C6 Mark Johnson - Drove Me Home
C7 -- Crazy Interlude --
C8 Phil Yates & The Affiliates - You Make Me
C9 Skeleton Man - Rising Tides
C10 Joey Pizza Slice - Lunchtime
C11 The Debts - The Twelfth Chime
C12 -- GG Interlude 2 (500 Flavors) --
C13 Mean Spirit'd Robots - Green Lights
C14 John Davis - Amanda
C15 Handmedown Satellites - Misbegotten Reverie
C16 The Crazy People - Sugar High (Reprise)
D1 The Ham Stains - Illegal Smile
D2 Spirit Duplicator - For Unread, 20 Years Later
D3 Charlie Mcalister - Rip Van Winkle
D4 A John Henry Memorial - Widowermaker
D5 Simon Joyner - I'll Fly Away (Demo)
D6 Ramon Speed - Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis
D7 Eloine - Doorknob Fruit
D8 Plundershop - Texas, You Told Us So Already
D9 Space Capsules - Relief
D10 Jarbaby - Odd Bless +++
E1 Safetycntrl - An Apple Stole My Hedddd
E2 Nicole Kidman - The Sweat Pours Into Your Socks
E3 Das Torpedoes - Juche
E4 Chernobyl USA - Baby Blue
E5 Hamstrings - Sloggin' Thru the Turd Bog
E6 Monogamy - Hot Tears
E7 Church of Gravitron - Simmit Simmit
E8 Jozril Dahl - Microtape, GA
E9 M A T H - Why Is This So Hard?
E10 Lovers Turn to Monsters - Vassar
E11 -- Martian Interlude 2 --
E12 The Wrong Wizards - Ex-Summoner Tooth Vs. Red Capricorn Suit
E13 Surfeit - Doing Drugs
E14 :3 - I Am A Rain (Demo)
E15 Voost Viszt - Zhai Nan
E16 Charlie Mcalister & The 5000 Watt Compressed Air Band - Waterin Jug
F01 -- GG Interlude 3 (Supernatural Forces) --
F02 Anna McClellan And Razors - I Swear
F03 Will Simmons & The Upholsterers - Not So Good
The compilation titled ''Crock Rot'' and features some of my favourite artists, that are for the first time on Almost Halloween Time Records: John Davis, Franklin Bruno, Allen Callaci, Simon Joyner, Wio, Jeff Fuccillo, Plundershop, Caleb Fraid, David Nance, Noah Sterba, Mean Spirit'd Robots and I Am The Lake Of Fire. It features old friends of Almost Halloween Time Records: Charlie McAlister, Space Capsules, Ramon Speed, Monogamy, Nicole Kidman, Math, Restaurnaut, Phil Yates, Autopilot, Will Simmons, Ed Gray, Bingo Trappers, Rake Kash, C. Worth, Furniture Huschle and : 3. It features artists with whom I've just started to collaborate: The Debts and Lovers Turn To Monster and artists that I'd like to work with one day.
For this series that is limited to 50 copies, I will draw three unique sleeves per copy (for a total of 150 different sleeves, as if I had not already enough things to draw for the other releases). The drawings will be inspired by the songs.
26 May, 20172017 is the year I will go bankrupt, but at least I will have released a lot of music to console me and light my days.
I've got lots of projects that I will not reveal for superstitious reasons because I've got to admit that I'm superstitious...
After the brightening release of 'Emilia' by C. Worth, I'm really excited to announce the entry into the Almost Halloween Time Records family of The Debts. Isn't this a wonderful start of the year already?
The Debts are a low fidelity folky band that has its roots deep in Omaha, Nebraska and that teams for this release: Dane Sybrant, Brooke Sybrant, Nicole Blauw and Kevin Shaw. They have donated us two songs, one recorded on a Tascam 4-track in what I beleive is a haunted Motel in Wray, Colorado and one recorded live at the White Eagle Saloon in Portland, Oregon. This comes after several cassette albums on Unread and one LP on Shrimper just to give you an idea of what to expect from these guys and is part of the series of the cassingles Almost Halloween Time Records has been releasing in the course of the years. 31 copies and all the sleeves will be different, hand drawn, hand numbered, unique. Cattails, Typha, Muddy Waters, Missouri River and Salt will populate the sleeves for this series.
8 February, 2017It's finally here and it sounds great on my turntable. Almost Halloween Time Records and I are really happy to welcome C. Worth in our family. A really talented guitarist from Pennsylvania with releases on some of my favourite record labels of all times (Unread, Union Pole and The Robert Harden Recording Co.). ''Emilia'' is a collection of improvised nocturnes and lullabies written for a little girl. I've played her the album several times and the response has been great. She loves these songs and we have spent evenings listening to them. In the tradition of Almost Halloween Time Records I'll draw all the sleeves. One of a kind for a total of sixty different drawings.
18 December, 2016Orange Cake Mix is the nom de plume of Connecticut resident Jim Rao. A prolific singer/songwriter, Rao began scribbling lyrics and humming his own melodies as a child; in the early '90s. I discovered his music years ago when I was exploring the Blackbean and Placenta Tape Club catalogue and in the course of the years I've been able to collect some of his many album and cassettes. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with Jim. Of Broken Dreams and Better Days is out today, a collection of 12 songs originally recorded in the 90s that have been closed in a drawer too long. I'll hand draw 50 different sleeves for this album.
16 October, 2016I still can’t believe I’ve got the opportunity to work with an artist that has played a leading role in my education as an adult listener. What I am now is a combination of all the great albums and cassette tapes I’ve listened in my life. Wearing headphones, in my room, singing along, driving through the streets of Bari with tapes and cds in stereo, going to live shows. I’m not able to say how many hours I’ve spent listening to songs by Eric Gaffney or with Eric Gaffney playing instruments, singing. These would probably amount to months, years. To give you just a small idea of Eric's influence in the lo fi home-taping scene: Eric has been recording on cassette since 1981, he founded 'Grey Matter' in 1983, wrote songs, drummed, started performing at hall shows, was part of the Western Mass Hardcore scene, drumming, writing lyrics, making a fanzine (Withdrawal), writing scene reports for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll, was the Lead singer of 'No Preservatives,' at age 16, he co-founded Sebadoh (and it's not a secret that Sebadoh is one of my favorite bands of all times), after leaving Sebadoh, he embarked on a solo career' recording some many great albums on cassette and cds, He currently sells music via his Bandcamp page and has sixteen records digitally distributed worldwide!!!! And believe me, these are all great. 'Land of Make Believe' is his first full length vinyl LP!!!! And I'm really proud to announce that Almost Halloween Time records is finally doing him justice!!! This is a limited edition of 110 copies, 25 available directly from Eric and 85 available from me. Both editions come with exclusive, all different hand drawn sleeves. Eric is drawing the ones for his copies and I’m drawing the ones for mine. Illustrations inspired by his lyrics that will see moose, beavers and mice, Phil Spector, Amazonian flies and other phantasmagoric characters taking the scene. As usual, I won’t have all the 85 sleeves ready at the same time and I will draw most of them as I receive orders, so please don’t hesitate to place yours if you want to see a Possum peeping out a commode triumphing on your copy.
Here's what Erick Mertz (Bearded UK) says about this collection of songs: ''His newest release, Land Of Make Believe is a record that exists outside of time. This is the kind of gem-laden collection that reminds you why you loved lo-fi rock in the first place. The raw riffs of 'What An Attitude' feel like they could have been cranked out of one of the many beer filled troughs at Satyricon, his sneering critique of his dead-eyed neighbors on 'America’s Drug' is raw and blissfully wise ass in a post punk tradition. Gaffney lays everything bare on 'Lake Of Make Believe' (as he does on every recording) from his well heeled sense of humor 'Howlin’ Krishna' to his keen ability to pay homage to '60’s garage on 'No Telling Why' to a dose of downtrodden blues on 'Bouquet For A Siren'. This is the kind of variety which makes him such a rare and precious gem.''
If you are in the U.S. and want to order ''land of make believe'' Lp from Eric...
19 August, 2016Back in 2015, L Eugene Methe asked me to reproduce a black and white version of ''The Stone Breakers'' by the french painter Gustave Courbet, the master of realism. This is my attempt at reproducing the painting. I don't remember how many hours I spent working at this project but if I think of myself drawing it now, I imagine myself wearing the very same expression of Courbet in his self portrait, also known as ''The Desperate Man''. This drawing is the front cover of the new RAKE KASH album and I'm really excited to hear the news that the record will be out soon.
25 August, 2016It is my pleasure to announce the release of ''Semifloral'' , the new EP by Monogamy, the creture of Ann Arbor, MI multi-instrumentalist D Alfred Lyons backed up by two new members Toni Wang (keys and vocals) and Sam Johnston (bass, synth, vocals). A collection of noisy pop songs and synth melodies that captures a lot of anxiety, doubt, and self-contempt. Recorded by the local music legend Fred Thomas at his Life Like Studio. Here's what the author has to say about the EP: ''I’m so proud of all of these songs… I’m astounded that those sounds came out of a project that just started with me having no one to play music with in high school. The lyrics are probably the best I’ll ever write.'' This is a corelease with Citizens Of The World Media and Side Wound Worship. Almost Halloween Time Records is releasing ''Semifloral'' in a limited edition of 50 copies with hand drawn sleeves, all different, attempts at illustrating the lyrics of this collection of songs. The EP is also abvailable via COTWM (50 copies printed on angelic gold jackets) and SWW (100 copies printed on skull white jackets.
26 June, 2016It's with infinite pleasure that I'm finally ready to announce the release of ''Driver'', the new album by the belgian band Autopilot. 275 copies ready to spin on your turntables, 135 with handdrawn, unique, one of a kind sleeves, 140 with professionally printed sleeves. A collection of 16 songs, whose lyrics I'll try to illustrate for you. It is going to be fun and I'll go crazy in the end, but it's Almost Halloween Time Records and someone has to do it. Active from the early 90s with tapes on the glorious Studio Muscle label, featuring one member of de portables... years in the making. The first time I've listened to this collection of songs was 2012 and since then I've listened to this collection of songs so many times in my car and at home, so many times that now certain places or certain memories are strictly connected with this album. Stuck in the traffic under a bridge in Bari... makes me always think of Bertrand singing that ''He will never be a mexican no matter how hard he tries''!!! I've always found this album perfect, exciting, beautiful, from the very first listening. Back in January 2015, I've met the Autopilot guys personally, seen them perform live and got the confirmation that this record absolutely had to see the light of the day, it would have been a crime to leave it unrealesed, closed in a drawer somewhere. ''Driver'' is for fans of Sebadoh, Pavement, for genuine indie rock fans and waffle lovers!!!
25 June, 2016I'm a nerd, I know, but it's not my fault if I'm so in love with Shrimper Records. I've recently added a ''new'' old cassette to my collection. A Very old one and I'm happy as a child. I don't know much about this band apart from their name ''Jive'' and I don't think a google search will help me to shred some light on this obscure piece of the 90s. With Shrimper it was love at first listening and time hasn't changed my feelings, how could be otherwise if they continue releasing great stuff (woods, john thill, donovan quinn!!!). My - not so secred hope/plan is to collect them all. It is not easy and I will probably fail, but I'm gonna try. Some of you probably has a box of old tapes in the garage, basement or cellar. Don't let the dust bury your tapes and help this poor crazy man realize his obsession. Show me your Buzzsaw, Fip Placard, Refrigerator tapes!!!!!
27 April, 2016When Mike Dixon of People In A Position To Know asked me if I wanted to work with him at the release of American Monoxide's new album, I had no hesitation. PIAPTK is one of the most revolutionary record labels around, I'm crazy about their stuff, lathe cuts, unique releases, spectacular artworks, every new releases overpasses in greatness and originality the previous, amazing! Mike and I have been trading some stuff in the course of the years, boxes loaded of phenomenal records by Golden Boots and American Monoxide among the others. And hearing after hearing and listening after listening I've fallen in love with the work of Dimitri Manos. So when Mike offered to work together with PIAPTK at the release of Dimitri Manos' last effort, I was on cloud nine. I'm supposed to draw 100 sleeves for this project, in advance, before I receive orders. And I'm going crazy... American Monoxide is the solo lo-fi home recordings of Dimitri (member of Tucson's Golden Boots, Crab Legs and Philly's Dr. Dog), His music described as ''Straight to tape trashy jams and trashy instrumentals'', ''weird electronic feel good summer jam''. Dimitri and Mike have gathered together all their favourite labels to co-operate at the release of ''Web Content'', all of them are encouraged to create their own variant/version of the album with special features. Here's the list of all the fine folks involved and what their version will look like:
PIAPTK - Bonus Lathe Cut
Almost Halloween Time Records (Bari, Italy) - hand painted covers!
Soild Gold (Tucson) - Soild Gold Style Bootleg Cover
Baby Gas Mask Records (Tucson) - Library Style Mylar sleeves with Bonus Cassingle with unreleased track
Hocus Bogus (Tucson) - Bonus Zine with Lathe Cut cover!
Lazy Boy Recording Co (Lynchburg, VA)- TBD
Wooden Tooth Records (Tucson) - Cassingle with bonus track
Shot By A Fan (Austin) - Bonus video content!
31 January, 2016If you ask me what will remain of the 90's, among the dozens of artists, albums, cassettes and record labels I have venerated and adored, I'll certainly name ''Interplanetary Music'' by the National Heroes. Some might erroneously think that lo-fi indie rock was an american exclusive (Sebadoh, Pavement, Diskothi-q, Refrigerator, Nothing Painted Blue) but we have had great representatives here too and National Heroes are certainly the best british lo-fi indie rock combo of the 90's if you ask me. They have sadly and guilty been understimated and undervalued, almost forgotten but I have just been informed that Cargo Records is going to reissue and finally put under the spotlights the only LP ever recorded by National Heroes. Originally released by Theme Park, after a series of cassettes on some of the greatest tape labels of the time (Catsup plate and Traumatone) and a bunch of 7''s, almost impossible to find nowadays. I'm really happy and excited about this reisssue, a lot of people will finally have the opportunity of listening to this great band but it is also time that these guys return on a stage and record something new because I have worn out my copy of ''Interplanetary Music''. I know for sure Matt Seigne is still active, as I have release one cassette of his and we're talking about releasing more, I don't know about Bill Dunmore. Will this reisssue mean the return of the great National Heroes?
30 January, 2016I'm really excited to announce the release of Warm Pursuit by this really talented artist called Magi. Out on cassette, limited to 50 copies. Every single copy comes with a hand drawn sleeve, always different, inspired by the obscure lyrics of the songs. In the style of Almost Halloween Time Records. I don't know much about Magi but I'm in love with his music. He has a tape out on Juniper Tree Songs other than this cassette and he has received several positive reviews. Noise pop, outsider rock, chamber freak folk and ambient lo-fi electronic dark chillout, this is how they describe his music. Listen to the song Water and you will understand why I'm in love with Magi.
3 January, 2016The first series of Feast Of The Upright Bass by Joe Speedboat is officially sold out after having portraited a lot of my firends (Michael Dixon, Mike Andriani, Ingwio D'Hespeel, Wim Lecluyse, Lobke D'Hespeel, Jelle Vanlerberghe, Jürgen De Blonde, Scott Meade, Christopher Fischer, Stief Marreyt), myself and some perfect strangers. Only two portraits left to be drawn to complete all the 31 copies but I'm going to keep these last two for myself. One must feature a bird for the unwritten rule that wants at least one copy featuring one feathered creature. I've been talking with Joe Speedboat about a possible reissue and they seemed excited. I'll probably change the point of view of the stage if this will happen.
23 August, 2015Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm really excited to announce the forthcoming release of Live In Osimo from Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot and Built In Sun). A limited edition of 100 copies, released in collaboration with Analog Ghost Recordings, featuring unique hand drawn sleeves and the recording of a wonderful live show I've been really lucky to attend last fall in Osimo.
You can pre-order your copy now.
22 August, 2015I've been loving Simon Joyner's music for years now and drawing an illustration for this book is really a dream come true. You can pre-order your copy now from Magic Helicopter Press.
28 March, 2015It's with great pleasure that I announce the release of 'A Crooked Thorn' by Restaurnaut. This is his second release on Almost Halloween Time Records and the first lathe cut we have ever released. So I'm really excited. Restaurnaut does make horse music and I love what he does. Through the years and the works of some of my favourite record labels such as Blackbean And Placenta Tape Club, Folktale and People In A Position To Know I've grown a passion for these weird objects called lathe cuts. They sound great and they look beautiful. The one here has been cut by my dear friend Carlos that runs the wonderful Analog Ghost Recordings label and shares with me the same love for music. We've known each other for years, but we have finally seen each other last summer in the United States for the first time. We met at a Refrigerator, Wckr Spgt, Lou Barlow show in Pomona. Could have ever been a better place to finally meet one of your friends? I don't think so. This lathe cut is born that day. Restaurnaut was there too, we saw each other for the first time. 'A Crooked Thorn' is a limited edition of 40 copies and all the sleeves are going to be handdrawn in the style of Almost Halloween Time Records.
15 March, 2015Spring is here again, trees are blooming and we have two new releases coming out this month. I can't be happier. Tonight I'll introduce you with ''No Need To Beg'' by Phil Yates And The Affiliates. I'm waiting for a big box to officially release this but I've already painted sleeve number one so here's a preview... a portrait of Lizzie Borden inspired by one of the songs in the album. It wasn't easy to portrait Lizzie and I've had to ax the first attempt before I was happy with my drawing. Next one will feature a Pontiac station wagon. The LP is going to be a limited edition of 110 copies with handdrawn sleeves, all different - in the style of Almost Halloween Time Records. Phil Yates And The Affilities will bring you ear candy from Burlington, Vermont with their Indie power pop.
Phil Yates, not the Phil Yates of Midnight Guitar Moods fame, is a Burlington, Vermont based singer-songwriter who used to call Los Angeles, Chicago, Columbia, SC, and Springfield, IL home. When not performing, he teaches in the mathematics department at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, and sporadically DJ's a show called ''Spork!'' on the college's radio station (WWPV 88.7 The Mike).
Describing his sound as ''too folky for the rockers and too rocky for the folkers,'' Phil blends (at least what he thinks are) clever lyrics with melodies full of hooks. On his EP Tumble Stairs, digitally released on Revolution Road in May 2011 and physically released on his own in June 2011, Phil went into the studio with a band full of friends to build on his songs. Two of the tracks, ''Ninjas vs. Zombies (Let’s Keep Our Heads)'' and ''The Bottom of an Urn'', appear in the movies Ninjas vs. Zombies and Ninjas vs. Vampires, respectively. ''The Gift of Love'', a song whose verses were written by his friends in the lo-fi legends of southern California cassette culture Wckr Spgt, also appeared on the compilation Smooth Sounds: Various Artists Play the Future Hits of Wckr Spgt. This compilation was in honor of the 20th anniversary of Shrimper Records and features bands like The Mountain Goats, Sentridoh, So Many Wizards, Jad Fair, Simon Joyner, Amps For Christ and Franklin Bruno covering Wckr Spgt songs. Wckr Spgt, in turn, covered the Phil Yates penned tune ''Honeycomb'' for their Today I Saw Turtles EP that came out in April 2011. In May 2012, Phil went into the studio with The Affiliates and recorded the single ''Could You Be The One?'' for the movie Ninjas vs. Monsters. The song was mixed and mastered by Matt Rogalsky (Memory Device, Kingston, Ontario), who worked on PS I Love You's 2012 release, Death Dreams. In February 2013, Phil Yates & The Affiliates released Oh So Sour, the follow-up full-length album to the Tumble Stairs EP. Oh So Sour was played on various college radio stations around the U.S. and Canada, even reaching #20 on the charts for Radio1190 (Boulder/Denver, CO) in April 2013.
Over the years, Phil has had the opportunity to open for a variety of acts. He has played with The Mountain Goats, The Babies, The Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, Franklin Bruno, Wckr Spgt, Ann Beretta, Mary Prankster, and The Push Stars. Phil has also shared a basket of chips and salsa with The Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider.
27 January, 2015It's nice to have internet at home. I'm back and there are a lot of cookies cooking in the oven for you
Super secret projects and things that are already in an advanced phase (LP by Phil Yates and The Affiliates and a lathe cut)
A few months ago I've also drawn a set of five sleeves for a 7'' by Grey Waves coming out on one of my favourite record labels: People In A Position To Know on January 30th. You can see what I've drawn in the gallery section here under Grey Waves.
From the last time I wrote here the italian postal service has raised all shipping costs fares but it's gonna take a while since I update all the paypal buttons here, so if you order now you will save on shipping. It sounds like a good deal.
11 January, 2015Back in Bari, back to my drawings and brushes. The Luigi Fest has been a success and I feel really lucky to have been there with you and see bands and people that I have been wanting to see live on a stage for years, to meet old friends and new ones, people I have portrayed on the sleeves of the Joe Speedboat tapes too. It's something I will never forget. Thank you very much for all this, for the friendship, the good beers and all the talks we have had. I have really enjoyed all your performances, listen live to songs I've been playing many many times while drawing things for you has been exciting. The addition of Philippe Guslain to the schedule has been a beautiful suprise. One of the first releases on my record label has been an album of The Ordinary Seaman. I love the belgian (dutch) language and it's nice to listen to someone singing in belgian (dutch). I might not understand what he is singing but I like what I hear. Wio is an old friend of mine, I've met him on my first trip to belgium, seen him a couple of times on stage and loved and wore all his records, time hasn't changed my feelings, I always think he is a great musician and love his music a lot. Mote's album has come out of the blue, I thought the had disbanded, I did not know they were still active and It has been wonderful to see them on stage. Powerful, intense, pure. It was nice to see Annelies perform live again. One of the first tapes on AHT is by her, beuatiful piano songs, the first vinyl lp is by her (Zent One) and I've followed her on Morc and other labels. I've really enjoyed her set. It is really beautiful to see how you all contribute to other projects. Lobke and Jelle on stage with Annelies. Hans and Jurgen on stage with Mote. Autopilot: I've devoured their demo, listened to it many many times while driving through the streets of Bari. It's a bomb and I'm happy to have been the cause of their return on stage after twelve years if I've understood well. Why so many years? Kohn was mind blowing, luckily I recorded his set and I'm going to listen to it again and again. Joe Speedboat, the rising star of the belgian lo-fi scene, with Jelle speaking a perfect italian. One of the weirdest requests I've got in matter of sleeves was portraying all speedboat memebers for a guy. Lots of fun, it was great to see all the sleeves I've did for them projected on the wall (Thanks!) Lots of work, but also great fun. de portables ruled, so many talented musicians in a single band. Listening to the songs of It's Time To Leave This World Behind live has been beautiful, thank you very much for this, I'm a lucky fan, you even performed Haut Gay Emoticon smile Thank you guys. Uh, and Wio's cover version of that italian classic, that's another highlight.
I'm back to Bari with a lot of projects for the new year, try to convice the Autopilot and Wio to finally give a follow up to their last albums (I'm ready to use the brute force, like closing them on studio and throw away the key), wait for the new albums by de portables, kohn, annelies and mote, work on that idea with joe speedboat, draw some sleeves for Philippe Guislain, reissue Kohn and Joe Speedboat tapes with new sleeves, the first AHT releases to be reissued, organize a Luigi Fest III in Bari.
30 November, 2014I'm still without an internet connection at home, I have a lot of pictures and videos that I'd like to upload from Antonietta's and my trip to the United States. It has been a wonderful adventure that we will never forget. The first Almost Halloween Time Records festival ever has taken place in Los Angeles. It was great to meet and finally see in real life some of my favourite bands. Thanks to Manny Vazquez for hosting the show and thanks to everyone who was there Joel Huschle, Kimberly Holiday, Jawsh Lopez, Jon Babra, Nick Dolezal, Damaris Paz, Matthew Gray, Kevin Grnspon, Rick Goosewind, Joseph Knight and Jilly Ann. We hope to meet you again soon.
22 October, 2014It's Almost Halloween Time and we've got a new release. Philippe Guislain's Werkelijk Waar. A limited edition of 50 cassettes with handdrawn sleeves. A series of sleeves featuring my first attempt at portraying Pelè. It wasn't easy as I thought. This is return on AHT, as years ago we release something by Filip Gheysen, a visual artist and audio-artist that has now his singer-songwriter project with Dutch lyrics under alter ego Philippe Guislain, years after he made songs as The Ordinary Seaman.
6 August, 2014Almost Halloween Time headquarters are going to be closed this month. Feel free to order, but I won't be able to ship your records out earlier than September 1st, 2014. Have a nice summer!
13 July, 2014It's with great pleasure that I welcome Stars Are Insane to the Almost Halloween Time Records family. Stars Are Insane is a long running 4 track home recording project that was started in 1998 by Mike Andriani of Yes Sensei/Dude Japan and Rok Lok Records that has mixed the lo fi sincere acoustic melodic-ism of early Sebadoh with the noisy, shoegazing guitar drones of My Bloody Valentine to create something rather unique. Predominantly a solo project with scattered accompaniment throughout the discography. Influenced by Shrimper Records, K Records, field recordings, collages and tape trading.
These songs were written in response to Mike's trip up the west coast this past winter and even feature field recordings from said excursion.
'When Last We Met' is out on Cassette, every copy comes with unique hand-drawn sleeve and it's limited to 50 copies
9 February, 2014''A great indie rock record. Actually more specifically a great dreamy post-rock record. And I love dreamy post-rock. At least that's what I would call it. And considering I started The Flower Shop Recordings as a hand-stamped hand-numbered limited edition 7'' record label I also love the fact that Mote and Almost Halloween Records from Italy are releasing this as a limited edition (I believe 100?) hand-painted double-vinyl LP. Respect. The infamous Gentse collective Kinky Star (label/bar/hedonism) are also releasing this digitally but if I wasn't currently living out of a suitcase I know where my money would go...''
Robin Proper-Sheppard (Sophia/The God Machine/The Flower Shop Recordings)
Robin, if I knew how to reach you, I'll send you a copy for sure. I'm a huge fan of your music. ''Vulnerable in The A.M. Light'' is available in two editions, one with hand-drawn sleeves (50 copies) and one with professionally printed sleeves (50 copies). Double vinyl.
Here's some info on the band:
Founded in a galaxy far away, Mote was discovered by Patrick Bruyneel at the legendary Democrazy club in Ghent, Belgium. As a result, Mote's first outing was as support act for Smog, featuring Bill Callaghan and Cynthia Dall on the band's Burning Kingdom tour. In the years that followed Mote would support a host of U.S. role models, including Guv'ner, The Grifters, Archers of Loaf, Unwound and Blonde Redhead. Mote released singles and EP's on Rotten Windmill Recs, Blackbean and Placenta Recs, Toothpick Recs, Ubik Recs and Schrimper Recs. Despite band members spreading their wings across the globe (Sydney, NYC, San Francisco, Brussels, Ledeberg...) Tom Lezaire, Lobke D'Hespeel, Ben Depoorter and Glen Steenkiste found time to get together at irregular intervals to record the full length album ''Vulnerable in the a.m. light'', which we have released on 100 vinyl discs.
7 February, 2014Ladies and Gentlemen, Almost Halloween Time Records is proud to announce the release of Innuendo: The Italian Way, the latest album by Will Simmons & The Upholsterers. Hand-drawn sleeves, illustrations of the lyrics, all different.
This is a corelease with one of my favourite labels of all times: Unread Records.
And here's a nice review by Quayle Smithers.
Winter's End is its Own Revenge
''I've struggled with this. I've ripped so many pieces of paper out of my typewriter and crumpled them up that I look like I've been on the losing end of a snowball fight. The thing is I've got so much to say about this record and so little liner note space. The main thing: Will is back! He's been around tribute-and-country-banding it up, but now it's his material that he's bringing to life. It's good to have him back. Hearing his voice, thoughts and music made me realize how much I missed him. Will's sole focus has always been on the music. Now he's further exploring, through his band, different instrumentation like subtle synth and heroic trombone riffs. I don't always care what's going on when it sounds this good.
So you're going to be listening to whatever particular format you find this recording on and, of course, you're going to form your own opinions about what you're hearing. I'm here to give you a few interpretations of my own. I have been sorting through the clutter that surrounds me, looking for my preview copy of the recording in all my Quayle piles, distracted by scraps of paper and trying to decide what I'm supposed to do with them. I get cold seeing the winter sun dwindling too early. The Upholsterers have recorded a soundtrack to my gray day. Out of coffee! How can I get anything done under these conditions?
This is a pretty damn good tiger song! I mean who else is writing tiger songs, zookeepers maybe? It's late, it's night and it's cold, and then you realize what you must do: Bust out that one string guitar solo. When in doubt bust it out. What's all this crap on the keyboard? You know I can't type with old drafts draped across my fingers.
I'm cleaning as I listen and paper piles are layered like snowflakes making snowbanks and Will is singing about birds with bird sound effects and it makes me want to just hold on until I can hear real birds singing—just get through the winter to something better and the horn blasts. Hang on for spring, for some warmth, some brighter skies, some hope. You can hear the theme and the passion in the trombone landscapes as the birds look for greenery through the grimy snow above the brown mud.
Yeah, so ''Landscape With Stag and Hound'' seems to be inspired by the inside of a castle with an electronic zither plugged in by Prince Harry wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt--royally psychedelic. We can only be glad that no one took pictures. Majestic in its imagery and sonic artistry, the song transports me to a misty Hipgnosis album cover world. How am I going to keep this organized? I got piles of receipts that aren't mine. I got pictures of dogs wearing birthday hats for birthday cards because everyone should see a picture of a dog wearing a birthday hat on their birthday. I got a screenplay. Paper, paper, so much paper driving me mad.
''Waiting For the Night'' features one loping guitar riff that I could listen to all night! Can I borrow a file folder? It will help me organize. Envelopes pile up, empty envelopes. Robins get name dropped. Robins are birds. Time is going so fast. The second hand is like the minute hand it just keeps moving then there's a jazzy trombone solo, one that a Robin might like to listen to. It's guitar solo vs. trombone solo then, mon Dieu! - a bass solo. And this isn't even a solo album!
Traveling around town, looking at churches, but everyone seems lonely and the trombone adds isolation. Just a little sun that can't warm this day to add to the mood and people wearing long coats—too cold to socialize. I really can't explain...the light, the winter light, the weather we all have to survive just to get to a better day taking me back to a sixties solo man blow my mind why don't you?
If ''The Telephone'' is not one of the greatest songs about telephones ever written then it's a screenplay that's been boiled down to be a song. There's a character. He's crazy. He's working too much. He's a badass who talks a good game. Most people expect to see him expired in a ditch by the side of the road while his car door remains open with this song playing on the car stereo.
We're out on a lonely night—that's a literal translation of the song title and overly simplistic but you get Will as a guy who's out and about looking at stuff, maybe breaking out a little notepad and writing a line here and there. The cathedral could tell you everything but it's gone, gone into the darkness, gone into history. Is it a misty night or watery eyes? Life can get sad for a moment; pull your coat or your gal closer to try to get to some warmth and let's keep moving and block it all out with trombone!
Then there's is a tongue in cheek nod to the flu, I think. So it's more of a love song. Oh man where is the trombone? Busy and fun with loopy quick fluid guitar twirls with bouncy drums, got to have some heat around here. There's a lyric that makes me blush out loud. I'd stick a trombone in there. Clipboards, I got a clipboard collection. I have a collection of everything. Madness. The only cure is trombone!''
Quayle Smithers, Portland, Winter of 2013.
25 January, 2014One night Joe Speedboat went drunk as Dunedin and recorded two hours worth of material on the spot with Wim’s phone. A selection of all this is now released as a 15 minute cassette on Almost Halloween Time Records. Hearing back these recordings we’re left wondering whether there really was a kazoo on it or was it just neighbour Noël honkin’ for den deurwaerder? Limited to 31 copies, hand-drawn sleeves, all different.
If you are planning to order some stuff, please always send an email first. Combined shipping is possible and the paypal thing sucks. It keeps adding shipping. With 10 or 15 euros according to where you live I can ship twenty tapes or four LPs.
24 January, 2014I'm not going to sleep anymore, I won't go to sleep and try to stay awake for twentyhours a day. I'm supposed to draw a lot of things this winter with all the new releases on aht and the old ones and the ones I still haven't even desired to release. I will go crazy in the end, I know, but I really like Almost Halloween Time Records, it means a lot to me. January brings us the first female voice in our rooster. I've fallen in love with I Kill Cameron at first listening. I'm releasing her tape. I Kill Cameron, is one woman angsty folk ukulele music. I'm gonna draw 50 sleeves for her all different.
23 December, 2013Post-jurassic Surfey Pop Bedroom Emo songs pertaining to a period occurring from 140 million years ago to today characterized by the absence of dinosaurs and the popularization of birds, mammals and post-dinosaurs. This is how Wikipedia would review Palm Tree Nursery debut songs. This is part of the Almost Halloween Time Records cassingle series that already features Ramon Speed with Wooden Horses, Köhn, Goosewind and Kostoglotov. Limited to 31 copies, hand-drawn sleeves, all different.
19 October, 2013This is a preview of what is coming out on Almost Halloween Time Records this fall. I've just finished drawing the picture on the right, the paint is still wet but I can't no longer wait because I'm really excited about this album. It's the original motion picture soundtrack to a horrow movie and it's written by one of my favourite musicians Eric Morrison. It is going to be a limited edition of 100. All the sleeves are going to be different??? I think you already know the answer.
3 August, 2013Today is the last day of work at my new job, I'll be on holidays soon and to celebrate this great event we have another new release. Math's debut on Almost Halloween Time Records. I love this album. Sleeves are going to be homemade, handdrawn as usual. The one on the right is copy number 1/50 and it's an homage to Katsuhiro Otomo, the director of Akira. If you will order this tape now, you will also understand why.
2 August, 2013To celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of my favourite bands of all times - GOOSEWIND - we are proud to release this cassette album, a sort of greatest hits, it contains some of their best and most beautiful songs. The album is title Charlie Don't Surf and comes with portraits of Charlie, the band manager, on every sleeve.
29 July, 2013Another debut on Almost Halloween Time Records. : 3 (aka Silly Cat Face) play lofi cat songs about death, anxiety and ghosts. Their influences are satan and scooby doo. I love these guys. Next sleeve will feature a ghost on fire... This is another limited edition of 50 copies with handdrawn sleeves...
28 July, 2013File Me Under: Vampire - We named ourselves Almost Halloween Time Records but we haven't released yet any album dedicated to this special day we all love. October is far, we don't care... Restaurnaut's debut tape on AHT comes out today. So wear your scary masks and go and ask your neighbours for candies. 6 songs about halloween, vampires and evil monsters. All the sleeves are handdrawn and they will scary you to the bones. We draw sleeves on request, so please order your tape now. This is limited to fifty copies.
27 July, 2013Songs about love... Almost Halloween Time Records is proud to announce the release of The Woman, the new album by INDN WAR DRUMS. We don't have many italian bands on our rooster, we used to have some but all their albums are long time out of print... so if you're wondering what we sound like these days, don't miss this tape... Handdrawn sleeves, you can choose your favourite animal mask and we'll draw it for you. Limited to 50 copies only.
18 July, 2013Almost Halloween Time Records turns 30, Kostoglotov's new cassingle is our 30th release. We're really proud of this release. Two songs for ambient, drone, lo-fi, noise lovers.
This is part of our cassingle series and like all our releases comes with handdrawn unique sleeves. Only 31 copies...
We're working at many projects right now, two cassettes, three LPs... Did we say we wanted to slow down the things a little bit?
9 June, 2013Almost Halloween Time Records is proud to announce that we're still handdrawing all the sleeves for our releases. I'm not as fast as in the past, but I'm still painstakingly handdrawing every single sleeve for you. If you order an album now you've got to be very patient as I've got a new job and I've got to reduce drastically the time I can dedicate to the handdrawing... but you can be sure you'll receive something unique in the end. This is how life goes here...
4 April, 2013Umpo Scuzzi/Convicinio has come true. One side by Charlie McAlister, the other by Furniture Huschle. Can you ask for more? Order your copy now. There are only 100 pieces... 99 pieces.
Future projects, Will Simmons new LP, Mote double LP, Goosewind cassette and the soundtrack for an horror movie written and performed by one of my favourite musicians.
23 March, 2013I can't resist, this is another preview of an album that is coming out on Almost Halloween Time Records in the next few weeks. Long announced, long awaited Convicinio/Umpo Scuzzi by Furniture Huschle and Charlie McAlister. It is a great pleasure to release something by two of my favourite artists that have released so many great tapes on Shrimper, Flannel Banjo, Hut Boy, Car in Car Disco Products. Convicinio/Umpo Scuzzi or the italian album as this was conceived in my country. Convicinio is a mysterious and fascinating place we have in Matera, Charlie sings about a failed trip to Italy on one of his songs and Umpo Scuzzi is supposed to mean something in my language. This is a split LP, one side by Furniture Huschle, the other by Charlie McAlister. Sleeves are going to be views of the city of matera, pompei, naples... about one hundred and ten copies only. You can preorder your copy now or wait until this one is out... three weeks?
22 March, 2013Packages full of Bingo Trappers LPs in Bari. I feel rich this morning. Sister Planet is available in two editions one with handmade sleeve and the other with professionally printed sleeve, respectively 50 and 10 copies. Morc Records and the band have more copies of the pro-printed, so there are more than 10 copies of the pro-printed version in the world. This is a corelease. Handdrawn are available from Almost Halloween Time Records only, these are representations of some of the lyrics and are very limited. First copy, the homage to Neil Young's On The Beach is gone... going to draw more in the next few days.
20 March, 2013'Sitting on the beach with my girl, Thinking 'bout the Revolution Blues' sings Waldemar Noe in 'Concern For The Bereaved'. The first sleeve I've drawn for Bingo Trappers' 'Sister Planet' is a homage to Neil Young's 'On The Beach'. The album is full of beautiful images and I'm going to have great fun in drawing all the sleeves. The Courier is late, I still haven't received the LPs but I feel like he is just 'round the corner so please feel free to order your copy of 'Sister Planet' now. You can choose between the homemade handdrawn version (limited to 50 copies) or the standard edition with professionally printed artwork (10 copies only). I still haven't been able to fix the paypal shipping calculation issue, so if you're planning to order more than one copy, I recommend you send me a mail first. Four LPs or just one doesn't make any difference for the italian postal service. So you can save a lot on shipping ordering more than one Almost Halloween Time release.
10 March, 2013Spring is here and AHT is blossoming. We finally have a new website. We've passed from version 2.0 to version 10.0. In the course of the night, with a few simple clicks. All this wouldn't have been possible with the great help of Will Simmons, one of the best musicians around and a very talented web developer. We have a new gallery and a new catalog page displaying the entire Almost Halloween Time Records production. All the sleeves that we've been drawing, which are quite a lot now and are continuosly growing in number. And all the releases we've made for you.
This new version also signs the return of an old release we're really proud of. Out of catalog for years, now back in stock. Not a real reissue, as we've got only five or six copies for you.
8 March, 2013If you live in the states and you're looking for some Almost Halloween Time records, I recommend you contact Rok Lok Records. They are carrying some of our releases... Rok Lok is also an amazing record label so don't forget to ask for their latest releases: Yes Sensei, Stars Are Insane, and the marvellous cassette singles club... this is what I'm obsessively listening to these days.
23 February, 2013Almost Halloween Time Records is proud to announce the release of the new Bingo Trappers album: Sister Planet. Bingo Trappers are long time favorites of mine with albums on Shrimper, Luveable Nurse, Animal World Recordings, Morc and H Records...
This comes out in two editions. one with handdrawn slevees in the style of Almost Halloween Time Records (50 copies) and one with professionally printed sleeves.
This is a corelease with Morc, our second joint venture actually!!!! 'Cause we work well together.
Available soon, we're waiting for the courier.
In the meantime, please have a look to one of their last shows on youtube. Here they perform lots of the songs contained on Sister Planet.
So with the Bingo Trappers album ready, the things still cooking in the oven for you are: Furniture Huschle/Charlie McAlister LP, Will Simmons LP and How Mammals Talk (Nicole Kidman/Pet Rock collaboration) LP. It is going to be a great 2013.
22 September, 2011The folks over at Songs Heard on Fast Trains wrote a really nice review of Ed Gray & Company's The Old Bending River LP, calling it a times 'curious', 'gentle', 'menacing', 'tortured' and 'twisted'--that sounds about right.
Read the full review at http://www.shoft.org.uk/2011/09/22/edward-gray-the-old-bending-river/