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“Happy Today”
 by The WoWz

good news

It's been a while...  ///  May 18, 2012 08:41 PM  ///  dispatch from Chris!

Happy birthday to us?


THE WOWZ IN: "IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY"  ///  October 12, 2010 03:57 PM  ///  dispatch from Chris!

Cool news: The perennial WoWz favorite, "Happy Today" from Long Grain Rights, is featured in the new Focus Features film, "It's Kind of a Funny Story" starring the one and only Zach Galifianakis. The song appears in the film and also on the soundtrack. The film, based on Ned Vizzini's novel of the same name, came out this past weekend and while we haven't yet had a chance to see it, everything we've heard so far has been positive. Go check it out and tell us what you think!

Here's the preview, and below is the tracklist for the official soundtrack, out on Rhino:

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" Soundtrack:

01 Broken Social Scene: "Not at My Best"
02 The Damned: "Smash It Up"
03 The Wowz: "Happy Today"
04 White Hinterland: "Icarus"
05 Elden Calder: "Where You Go"
06 Mayer Hawthorne: "The Ills"
07 Method Man and Redman: "Da Rockwilder"
08 Pink Mountaintops: "Tourist in Your Town"
09 Maxence Cyrin: "Where Is My Mind"
10 The Middle East: "Blood"
11 Little Denise: "Check Me Out"
12 Rachid Taha: "Habina"
13 Broken Social Scene: "Major Label Debut (Fast)"

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Five Years! (Late!)  ///  December 01, 2009 01:44 PM  ///  dispatch from Chris!

Dear loyal supporters,

As you may have noticed, for the last year, our trusty website has collected some dust. Today, we're coming by to clear some of the cobwebs and provide you with a little update as to our whereabouts. Recommended If You Like Records turned five years old this past May and, until this year, we've been able to put out a new record or two (or three?) each year we've been in operation.

Unfortunately, like many small businesses around the country, the recession has stunted our growth. Sales are not currently where they need to be in order to fund new releases, and so we've had to lean on our back catalog more than we'd like to. We've got one or two more releases in the pipeline that'll hopefully see the light of day, but until things turn around financially, our hands are tied.

Still, all news is not grim:

Our entire catalog is now carried by the great online record store, Hands and Arms, based in France. If you're overseas, this is a great way to get our records without paying for shipping from the USA! Visit this link to see all that they have to offer: Additionally, all of our records are also now back in stock at Insound and you can find 'em here or by searching for whatever record it is you want.

What has been up with the RiYL gang? The WoWz have started plotting the follow up to their wonderful, self-released-and-self-titled third record. They're also planning some dates in Europe in early 2010. Check 'em out here: Word has it that Chris Maher has finally finished his debut record. Details are sketchy but we're hearing he plans a late-Winter/early-Spring release. (You'll know as soon as we do.) Casey Holford's been working on a record with his new band, Outlines. With Dream Bitches on hiatus, Yoko Kikuchi has escaped to San Francisco, where she's played some solo shows and updated her website. Finally, there was some indication of a Fugue-resurrection, with posts hinting at such on their MySpace page and on their blog but we know no more than this.

Some friends have have put out new records this year that we think you should check out:

Sonya Cotton recently released her third record, Red River, and it is a triumph, easily her best work yet. This review, by our pal Chris Kiehne, expresses sentiments similar to our own. Here's her video for the song "Hunters":

Hunters from Sonya Cotton on Vimeo.

This summer, Throw Me the Statue put out their sophomore LP, Creaturesque, on Secretly Canadian. They've been touring like animals and if you have the chance to see 'em, we recommend you go. We love the video they made for the Creaturesque song, "Hi-Fi Goons":

Throw Me the Statue "Hi-Fi Goons" (Music Video) from Tree on Vimeo.

Austin, TX's wonderful Shotgun Party put out their spectacular second record, Mean Old Way, a few months ago. Here's a live clip of them playing "Moonlight" at the Sugar Maple Festival in Madison, Wisconsin:

Finally, the WoWz's Simon Beins has released a great record with his other band, The Fishermen Three, on Hype City Records. Here's a live clip from earlier this year of the band playing "Obsession (It Ain't Love)" in Norway:

Other records we've loved this year by those directly or indirectly related to the RiYL family are the new records by Jeff Lewis ('Em Are I), the Final Spins (This Is Then, That Was Now), John Houx (John Houx's Green Period), Soft Black (The Earth Is Black), the Dirty Projectors (Bitte Orca) and Hockey (Mind Chaos) and singles by Penguin Prison ("Animal Animal" / "A Funny Thing") and Holy Ghost! ("I Will Come Back"). Hope we're not forgetting any.

These treats should keep you satisfied 'til we've got more good stuff for you. Until then, be well. And, though it should go without saying, if you want to help ensure that we'll be able to put out more music in the future, we encourage you to pick up a record or two from our online store.

Yours truly,
Recommended If You Like Records


The New Yorker hearts two RiYL Bands? A Chris Maher Poem Anthologized?  ///  February 24, 2009 12:58 PM  ///  dispatch from Chris!

Ooh la la:

In the recent weeks, two of our bands got some love from the reputable New Yorker magazine. The magazine wrote of The WoWz: "The country-leaning rock-and-roll trio the Wowz traffic in polished harmonies and the occasional twang, but behind the rough folk façade there’s a great deal of wit and allusion, and a deeply urban core—the Everly Brothers with a New York accent." Regarding Dream Bitches, they said: "The Dream Bitches’ Summer of Love-inspired rock-and-roll songs are loaded with so many words it’s a wonder that the two lead vocalists, Yoko Kikuchi and Ann Zakaluk, don’t slip up; they deliver them at a breakneck pace, and slip seamlessly from unison to harmony and back." Thanks, New Yorker! Catch The WoWz at Sidewalk Café (94 Avenue A, NYC) this Friday night, February 27th, and Dream Bitches the following night, Saturday, February 28th, at Glasslands (289 Kent Ave., Brookyln).

In other news, a poem credited to Chris Maher appears in a collection called "Issue #1", alongside poems credited to heavyweights like W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, James Tate, Ezra Pound and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The two-line poem, called "Working dark", reads:

Working dark

A lute of cobwebs

Chris Maher

So, what's the deal? According to Chris, he didn't write the poem, but he is tickled by it: "If I had written it, I wouldn't've thrown it in the trash." He added, "I find it odd that the poem appears on page 736 of the collection. Those numbers were the first three digits of my home phone number as a child." Coincidence? Apparently, "Issue #1" was assembled by editors Stephen McLaughlin and Jim Carpenter with the help of an algorithmic poetry generator called Erika. The software spit out thousands of "poems", to which the names of various poets and writers (both living and deceased) were then randomly assigned. We think its a cool project, definitely worth perusing, but apparently a lot of the people whose names were used are pissed off. Who knew poets could be so uptight?

See you next time,
Recommended If You Like Records


Rebecca Schiffman Self-Releases 'To Be Good For a Day'!  ///  January 28, 2009 10:50 PM  ///  dispatch from Chris!

Hey friends,

Long time, no speak! We wanted to break our unintended silence by congratulating our friend Rebecca Schiffman on the release of her second album, To Be Good For a Day. You may recall that RiYL was once going to release this record. Well, a few months ago, Rebecca decided to release it herself and we enthusiastically supported her decision! (Really, who doesn't realize that, in many cases, record labels are an antiquated business model?) The excellent To Be Good For a Day is available now and we encourage you to purchase a copy at iTunes, Amazon or any other digital retailer.

Once again: Congrats, Rebecca!