***CHECK STOCK!!! Received a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork. Anyone who loves “outsider” folk legends from Tom Rapp to Roy Harper or Gary Higgins to Peter Grudzien knows the name of the legendary bard ED ASKEW. His 1968 ESP Record Ask the Unicorn is quite simply one of the era’s finest artifacts, full of lilting, prickly, chiming songs of loss, love and escapism—maybe the gay Astral Weeks for the underground. Around the turn of the century, an equally compelling second album surfaced, Little Eyes, where our hero, armed only with tiple (a sort of latin uke/banjo/guitar), laid out more heartbreaking baroque odes, all recorded in a single continuous take! Recorded for ESP in 1970, it never got past the test pressing stage and was eventually lost, until De Stijil came sniffing some thirty years on. After the ‘70s things get a bit foggy—the odd radio session, some live performances, a lot of painting—but there were no more proper albums to melt into. There wasn’t an audience really, or more importantly, a label that believed in him. Fortunately in the early ‘80s, Ed got his hands on a harpsichord and tiple and a simple two-track recorder and laid down some of his tunes he’d been carrying around for years. Released only on cassette in miniscule quantities in 1984, Imperfiction contains the same emotionally raw yet wry observations, in a decidedly no-frills sonic setting. Broken glass on the sidewalk outside, nice boys he meets in bars, and the joyous act of songwriting itself are all fair game for subject matter, giving a unique and intimate self-portrait of a truly gifted songwriter. Imperfiction is now available for the first time on vinyl via Galactic Zoo Disk/Drag City, with vintage photos and liners and sound that will transport fans back to the old days of Askew in all of its seemingly transient glory. Fans of Daniel Johnson, early Jonathan Richman, Smog, Palace Brothers and other lo-fi troubadours would be wise to snatch up this limited pressing—as all other GZDisk/Drag City titles have sold out early and often. No Export to Europe.
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