It doesn't look like summer outside my window, but if the calendar says so, it must be so. Expect updates to be slow/sporadic this week as I am taking a much-needed break to recharge my batteries and catch up on dayjob-related work.
That means two things. First, there will be no repeat of my radio show, so if you want to listen, you'll need to tune in on Sunday (that's 11pm ET on Sirius XMU). Like always, I'll be playing a ton of great new music (The Bear Quartet, Dear Euphoria, Pan Sonic, Haust, etc.). Secondly, updates here will probably be pretty sparse as I'll hopefully be off doing other things besides sitting in front of the computer. Thanks!
It's a Trap! will be taking it easy for the rest of the week while we enjoy some much-needed California sunshine. Back on Monday!
Now in stock and ready to order, the self-titled debut full-length CD from Will Gambola Sing! So says the one-sheet:
Emerged from the musical melting pot of Northern Europe, Will Gambola Sing, an instrumental pop/rock quartet from Sweden, seems to have achieved what they set out to achieve. Three years after the acclaimed debut with "Overheard Dialogue Reconstructed EP," WGS has finally perfected their sound that is surely enough to stand out from the scene. With an ensemble of two beautiful guitars, the elastic yet soft sounding rhythm section, just the right amount of keyboards, and memorable electronic bits, this self-titled first album was carefully woven by their sincere hands.
There's no tricks, no gimmicks, just plain beauty coming out from their simple, straightforward approach to music. Some may recall the epic works of great pioneers such as Tortoise, Tristeza, The Album Leaf, 33.3, and Unwed Sailor; for this album somehow brings back the best earliest days of post-rock. True, it does hold the same kind of never fading brilliance as all the authentic masterpieces have. Just like your favorite records of all time, this is something you could play on repeat, like forever.
Yup, that about sums it up! Fine quality Swedish post-rock from a group of dudes who also do time with acts such as The Grand Opening, Haleiwa, The Tarantula Waltz, Ohm and probably a few others. I'll sell you a copy of this Japanese import (w/obi strip!) for $14 cheap because I like you; preview here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy and don't forget to check out the rest of my distro list before you do. Expect an mp3 to be posted once I figure out a track to highlight.
I've started to add vinyl tags to all relevant postings. It's also available in the custom filter list, should you want to use it there as well.
Does anyone buy records anymore? I sure do, in fact I just got a few copies of Isolation Years' 12" EP "Snoose Boulevard" on /. Five songs on one side, an etching on the other, more info here: http://www.burnttoastvinyl.com/new/releases/btv075.html
Want one? Burnt Toast is selling 'em for $7 so I'll one-up and mark it down to $6 (plus s/h). Get in touch!
I took a few months off to think about the future of my mailorder distro, but I'm back now and ready to do business again: http://www.itsatrap.com/store/
Expect many of the CD titles to be marked down in coming days as I'm still trying to clear out old stock, so if you see something you like, don't be scared by the price. Let's make a deal! Email email@example.com for all inquiries.
For the few of you out there who might be interested, I've added Twitter integration to label pages (see Adrian Recordings for example) and I've also updated it so I'm pulling profile pictures and am doing a better job at parsing links, including those @whoever tags and so on. Want more? Give me ideas, make requests. That goes for any/all site features -- I've got the content, now I'm looking for better ways to leverage it to suit your needs.
I just received a package with a few copies of The Bear Quartet's excellent 2009 album "89" on glorious vinyl and man, do they look good! Want one? Email me. $20 plus postage.
One of the main reasons I created the site's new custom filter feature is to create lists, both for my own good but also for you, the reader's benefit. Instead of keeping my own private list of my most anticipated releases of 2010, along with tracking all the excellent albums I've already heard and rank highly, I've created a custom filter to do it for me: http://www.itsatrap.com/filter/2010-watchlist
Keep track of my favorites and follow what I say about them; create your own list and do the same!
I suppose this is one of those "climb the mountain because it's there" deals, but I've added Twitter functionality to our artist pages. See Brothers of End's page for example: http://www.itsatrap.com/artist/Brothers+of+End
Unfortunately I only have a mere handful of twitter ids entered into the database right now so please leave a comment with your suggestions of other artists I should add.
Alrighty, so it took me about a month longer than expected, but the new site is finally up and running. As you can see, I didn't really change too much of the overall look and feel, most of what I did was on the back-end, reworking all the existing code to run smoother and more efficiently. Of course I also added a few extra things here and there, some of which I will run down for you now:
Friendly URLs. I spent many, many hours banging my head against the wall, but eventually I managed to wrangle Apache's mod_rewrite module to do my bidding so now you actually get a sense of what a post is about before you click that itsatrap.com link. I've improved the meta tags too, so posting links on Facebook will work a heckuva lot better than it did before. Better SEO doesn't hurt either, though that's never a huge concern for me. Old links should still work fine, but if you find an exception, please let me know! Same goes for any errors that you may run across for that matter.
Better searching. Okay, so I can't really claim it's that much better, but I really did make some changes to the way the queries are run and I think it's a marked improvement. And I also added a search-suggestion widget to the site, so if you're looking for a particular artist or label, it'll help you figure out the proper spelling.
Artist and label pages. Along with the improved search functionality, I've also built out dynamic pages for all of the artists and labels in our resource library database. Add an artist to your watchlist for quick access and get the latest news all on one page. There's even RSS feeds too! Oh, and double-clicking artists and label names in posts (look for either bold text or the dotted blue underline) will take you straight to the page in question.
Custom filters. I did away with individual user watchlist pages because I've built something even better -- custom filters. Users can now create and share their own customized feeds based on artist, label, genre, country, tag or even a key phrase. It's still kinda in beta right now, but please play around with it and provide feedback! This is something I've been meaning to do for a long time, so I'm really excited about it. And, for the nerds, here's some more info copy + pasted from the help page: Selecting multiple items across the artist, label and country columns are appended with an "or" operator, while the genre, tag and phrase columns are added with an "and". The selection of multiple entries within the genre or tag columns however, is applied with an "or". Confused yet? How about this: country labels are applied to individual posts going back to November 18, 2009 while genre tags are attached to artists which means that they only reference artists that are in our database, not necessarily all the artists we've ever covered. Naturally, custom filters also have their own RSS feeds as well.
I think that about covers it as far as major updates are concerned. I've still got a few small things I'm planning to implement in coming weeks, but feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think of the changes so far! (and while you do that, note that you can now preview your comments before you post)
A few statistics for the year, should you be curious...
Total news items: 3880
Top downloads (for tracks posted in 2009):
01. Florence Valentin - Spring Ricco
02. Ison & Fille - Jag skratter idag
03. King Diamond - No presents for Christmas (slightly cheating since I also posted it last year)
04. The Scrags - Psycho cyclone
05. Mercy - Heavy metal warriors
Remember, the mailorder goes on hibernation tomorrow so get your orders in now. Otherwise, I'm hard at work on revamping the site for 2010 and will be back with regular updates next week. Take care and happy New Year!
The excellent Swedish prog act Gösta Berlings Saga have been confirmed for January's It's a Trap! Clubnight at Debaser Malmö on January 16.
Firstly, I've got a new item in stock: Undergången - An audio companion to the End-Tymes (CS)
Cassettes are the new black and none are more black than this, a 120-minute compilation of dark sounds compiled by Thomas Ekelund of Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words. Limited to 100 copies, so don't be surprised if they disappear quick.
Second! There are still a few final sleeveless copies of Hello Saferide's "Introducing..." LP available. After that, they are gone forever. Buy now!
Third! Our ongoing CD clearance sale may be winding down and thinning out, but there are still plenty of deals to be had! Please, help me get rid of all these damn CDs!
Fourth, and finally, if you want any chance of your order making it to your house by Christmas, you absolutely have to get it in this week as I will be making my last pre-Xmas trip to the post office on Saturday, December 12. Wait too long and your package might not arrive until New Year's. And then in 2010 I'm shutting down for inventory and renovation, so if you've been considering a purchase, the clock is ticking..