Before this week, you couldn't listen to the self-titled first record from local heavy-prog outfit Ga'an unless you had a boom box or a Walkman or an '89 Celica at your disposal. The band released it in summer 2009 on cassette, and then Records on Ribs reissued it in the UK—also on cassette. But on Tuesday it finally came out on vinyl, thanks to Captcha Records. It'll be available locally at Reckless and Permanent. The LP features a previous lineup of the band, with Jeremiah Fisher on synth and Jason Sublette on bass and synth—Fisher has since moved to Champaign, and Sublette was replaced in late 2009 by Tyson Torstensen. The current trio lineup, which also includes founding drummer Seth Sher (Coughs, Oakeater) and vocalist-keyboardist Lindsay Powell (Fielded, Festival), has been recording with Nick Broste (Herculaneum, Magical Beautiful) on and off for the past year, piecing together an album that's due this spring. Torstensen's label I Hear a New World has already released one of its tracks, the hypnotizing 19-minute epic "Call of the Black Equus"—again on cassette.
In other Nick Broste news, the trombonist and engineer recorded drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and reedist Ken Vandermark improvising together early this month, while Nilssen-Love was in town for some shows—more details to come! Presumably!
Rego, the nom de strum of bartender and songstress Rebecca Rego, has wrapped up her third release, an EP called All These Bones and Us, recorded with producer and composer Mike Przgoda. Bones is due March 1 on the label run by her management, RWIM. Rego plays a release party with Canasta at the Old Town School of Folk Music on February 26.
Local time-signature-bending metal band American Heritage are releasing their first new album since 2006, Sedentary, on March 1 through Translation Loss. They tell Gossip Wolf that they recorded most of it with Sanford Parker at the recently shuttered Chicago studio Semaphore without a regular bassist—instead they used a plethora of guests, including Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher (he's the less fighty one), Sweet Cobra's Botchy Vasquez, and Fight Amp's Jon DeHart. Erik Bocek, formerly of Ghosts and Vodka and Joan of Arc, will play bass more or less permanently from here on out. American Heritage's record-release show is with Sweet Cobra and Enabler at Beat Kitchen on March 4.
Local rockers Bat Masterson play cute, sloppy indie pop, with stop-start Captain Beefheart adroitness and heaps of electrified old-timey banjo—but that said, we're a bit suspicious about their decision to call themselves things like Motown Gravy and Boondoggle Strongknee. We've been to Motown (which usually goes by "Detroit"), and the gravy there is pretty bogus. Mr. Strongknee, what's your middle fake name? Don't try to trick us, people! Anyway, Quad Cities-based website Daytrotter released a free-to-download live-in-the-studio session from the band on January 16. Bat Masterson play Valentine's Day at Reggie's Rock Club, and they're shopping an as-yet-untitled second album they recorded themselves and hope to release in May.
In the year '87 is when they first took off: When EPMD stops at Little Black Pearl on February 5, the legendary New York hip-hop duo will be doing more than playing a show with Mikkey Halsted and aldermanic candidate Che "Rhymefest" Smith. From noon to 4 PM at the same venue, Erick Sermon—the half of the group not named Parrish Smith—hosts a Producer/Artist Placement Workshop as part of the Hip-Hop 360 Producer Conference. The event includes a feedback session, lots of networking, and a producer battle with what the organizers call "some major grand prizes." (We suspect that's a fancy way of saying that Mr. Sermon is offering American Idol-style career advice if you pony up some dough.) Admission is $50 to $175, depending on how much of the workshop you want to take part in, and includes a ticket to the show; for more info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text 360 to 312-731-2941.