News Article

The Mix: Lo-Tech

The best lo-tech products -- We tell you what CDs, DVDs, and Books you need to buy

CDs
GRAM PARSONS: THE COMPLETE REPRISE SESSIONS Singer-songwriter Parsons — who died of a drug overdose in 1973 — gets the royal treatment with this three-disc collection, featuring remastered versions of 1973's GP and 1974's Grievous Angel, plus unreleased tracks and interviews. The set is co-produced by Emmylou Harris, a frequent Parsons collaborator whose voice provides the sweet counterpart to his mournful tone on both of these albums. With no new Ryan Adams record on the horizon, this more than fills the void. (Out June 20)

Toy
TURTLECAMPER Only four inches tall and not the speediest mode of transport, Turtlecamper was born to chill. The vagabond reptile from San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish looks like he'd be right at home in the Haight: traveling in a retro mobile home, rocking a gnarly protective skull shell, and wearing an expression of endearing consternation. (Out June 23, strangeco.com)

CDs
WIRE EDUCATION An influence on bands like Elastica and Sonic Youth, Wire continue to define minimalist art rock with their first three albums: Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978), and 154 (1979). The British quartet's trademark rapid-fire masterpieces like ''Mr Suit'' and ''Field Day for the Sundays'' hold up extremely well nearly three decades later — and if you don't already own the albums they're on, they're definitely worth the cash...even if bonus tracks are glaringly absent from these reissues. (Out now, pinkflag.com)

SILENT SHOUT Brother-sister electronic duo the Knife already have a Grammy and a No. 1 album to their name. Okay, so it's a Swedish Grammy, and Silent Shout debuted atop the Swedish charts. Still, there's no denying that the pair's third album boasts a unique sound that's both alien and inviting, typified by oddly processed vocals that make Björk sound downright conventional. (Out July 25, theknife.net)

Art Book
RICHARD ESTES A pioneer in the '60s and '70s photo-realism movement, Estes creates paintings that are fluid snapshots, rich in detail and perspective. And the cityscapes in the hardcover Richard Estes by John Wilmerding — including views from NYC's Staten Island Ferry and an ominously trash-free Times Square — are no exception. These portraits ooze a tranquility that'll have you wishing you could grab an iPod and walk right into one. (Out now)

T-Shirts
I HEART GUTS Who hasn't dreamed of owning a shirt with a bright, animated uterus on the front? Guts creator Wendy Bryan makes that fantasy come true with buttons, bags, and clothing illustrated with cute bodily organs spouting catchy slogans like ''I'm a liver not a fighter.'' (Out now, iheartguts.com)

Book + DVD
METAL HEALTH Heavy Metal Thunder captures the bygone awesomeness of hard-rockin' cover art, from Rollins Band's angry sun on The End of Silence (an image that would go on to adorn the tattooed biceps of a thousand acolytes) to the leather man-panties of Manowar's Anthology. Want to probe deeper? Turn to Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, the epic documentary from anthropologist and lifelong hesher Sam Dunn. He exposes the world of sledgehammer riffs, bloodlust, and not a few First Amendment battles with help from folks as seemingly disparate as Dee Snider and Tom Morello. (Both out now)

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