…..news letter #987 – jammers…..

Another week of killer new slabs. It would seem people are refreshing the site by the minute! There’s a bunch of new arrivals that we won’t even be listing in this update as we sold out of them before we even got to list em on here! More soon though, so fear not! 

Also! Like the Other Music Documentary, we are again teaming up with Oscilloscope Labs for the distribution/viewing of the new documentary TRUTH TO POWER, about System of a Down’s frontman Serj Tankian. Click the link to rent the film and we’ll get a cut of the proceeds. Rent it HERE

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. We’ll be at the shop 11-6 Monday – Friday & Saturday 11-4. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

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…..picks of the week…..

Ian William Craig & Daniel Lentz: In A Word (RVNG Intl) LP
In a Word, the sixteenth installment of the intergenerational collaboration series FRKWYS, brings together composer Daniel Lentz and vocalist and sound artist Ian William Craig for an album that embraces erosion and the potential of its loam left behind. A major figure in American composition, Daniel Lentz has worked at the middle and margins of postminimalism for more than four decades. A pioneer of “live multitrack recording” with the Daniel Lentz Group, he frequently writes for ensembles of similar instruments, from choirs to string orchestras to glass harmonicas. Like his west coast colleagues Harold Budd and Ingram Marshall, Lentz composes music of slow changes, built on fundamental harmonies and rhythms that evoke vast spaces and deep, ancient stone. Canadian artist Ian William Craig combines his classically trained voice with precarious technologies: homemade analog synths, altered reel-to-reel machines, and faulty tape decks. His solo albums, including the acclaimed Centres (2016) and, more recently, Red Sun Through Smoke (2020), document a haunted nostalgia. In contrast to Lentz’s (sometimes) radical expansiveness, Craig’s music is fragile and self-consciously created alone, using his customized machination to create warped nocturnes of melody and dissonance. The sessions for In a Word took place in the Santa Barbara home studio of engineer Dick Dunlap. For both musicians the experience was an exploration toward each other. Craig with his rickety tape decks, Lentz sat at a grand piano. Lentz was immediately enchanted by Craig’s voice and equipment: “With the first note he sang, I was hooked. The beauty of his voice and his unique analog looping setup, all compacted into a small suitcase, were both remarkable and always surprising in what they could do. The music emerged spontaneously from simple, even cautious beginnings. For Craig, who rarely works with other musicians, the sessions encouraged him to shed self-consciousness and attune himself to his co-creator. Previously, he had regarded his tape decks and synths as bandmates, providing the creative energy he could get from other people. Recording with Lentz pushed him to find a new, more collaborative perspective. “I tried my best to control what was going on at first, and failed spectacularly. Once I let this aspect go and began to listen to Daniel, to my surroundings, and to the engineers, something finally clicked.” In a Word documents a coming together of two distinct musical personalities, and also a transformation. Lentz’s toiling, echoing piano, recalling his work on 1984’s Point Conception or the 1992 collaboration Music for 3 Pianos with Budd and Ruben Garcia, are churned into lush earth by Craig’s faltering machines. Craig’s folk-like tenor is realigned with Lentz’s crisp, minimalist repetitions; the combination is warm yet deeply layered, like the Californian sunset that would acknowledge the two composers at the end of each session day. Together, Craig and Lentz unearth deep forms of sonic expression from a common ground and newly seeded camaraderie. Lentz’s unmistakable piano sound is clearly relished by Craig’s tape decks, which add ghostly counterpoints of distortion and disintegration to its acoustic resonances. To this hall of haunted mirrors, Craig’s voice adds a yearning, human quality that is sometimes caught up in the same machinery, and is sometimes allowed to spirit above it.

File Under: Ambient, Classical
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Hiroshi Yoshimura: Music for Nine Postcards (Empire of Signs) LP
Available again on clear vinyl! Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically under-known outside of his home country. Empire of Signs – a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy, Spencer Doran and distributed by Light In The Attic – is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut Music for Nine Post Cards for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future. Working initially as a conceptual artist, the musical side of Yoshimura’s artistic practice came to prominence in the post-Fluxus scene of late 1970s Tokyo alongside Akio Suzuki and Takehisa Kosugi, taking many subsequent turns within Japan’s bubble economy afterward. His sound works took on many forms – commissioned fashion runway scores, soundtracking perfume, soundscapes for pre-fab houses, train station sound design – all existing not as side work but as logical extensions of his philosophy of sound. His work strived for serenity as an ideal, and this approach can be felt strongly on Music for Nine Post Cards. Home recorded on a minimal setup of keyboard and Fender Rhodes, Music for Nine Post Cards was Yoshimura’s first concrete collection of music, initially a demo recording given to the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the building’s architecture. This was not background music in the prior Japanese “BGM” sense of the word, but “environmental music”, the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late 70’s Japan. Yoshimura, along with his musical co-traveler Satoshi Ashikawa, searched for a new dialog between sound and space: music not as an external absolute, but as something that interlocks with a physical environment and shifts the listener’s experience within it. Erik Satie’s furniture music, R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the soundscape and Eno’s ambience all greatly informed their work, but the specific form of tranquil stasis presented on releases like Nine Post Cards is still difficult to place within a specific tradition, remaining elusive and idiosyncratic despite the economy of its construction. This record offers the perfect introduction to Hiroshi’s unique and beautiful worldview: it’s one that can be listened to – and lived in – endlessly.

File Under: Ambient, Japan
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Various: Native North America Vol. 1 (Light in the Attic) BOX
Finally available again!!! Largely unheard, criminally undocumented, but at their core, utterly revolutionary, the recordings of the diverse North American Aboriginal community will finally take their rightful place in our collective history in the form of Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985. An anthology of music that was once near-extinct and off-the-grid is now available for all to hear, in what is, without a doubt, Light In The Attic’s most ambitious and historically significant project in the label’s 12-year journey. Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression. The majority of this material has been widely unavailable for decades, hindered by lack of distribution or industry support and by limited mass media coverage, until now. You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony. The stories behind the music presented on Native North America (Vol. 1) range from standard rock-and-roll dreams to transcendental epiphanies. They have been collected with love and respect by Vancouver-based record archaeologist and curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes in a 15-year quest to unearth the history that falls between the notes of this unique music. Tirelessly, Howes scoured obscure, remote areas for the original vinyl recordings and the artists who made them, going so far as to send messages in Inuktitut over community radio airwaves in hopes that these lost cultural heroes would resurface. With cooperation and guidance from the artists, producers, family members, and behind the scenes players, Native North America (Vol. 1) sheds real light on the painful struggles and deep traditions of the greater Indigenous community and the significance of its music. The songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer, or those of Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher, who was robbed of his family and traditional Inuit culture by the residential school system. Considering the financially motivated destruction of our environment, the conservative political landscape, and corporate bottom-line dominance, it’s bittersweet to report that the revolutionary songs featured on Native North America hold as much meaning today as when they were originally recorded. Dedicated to legendary Mi’kmaq singer-songwriter and poet Willie Dunn, featured on the anthology but who sadly passed away during its making, Native North America (Vol. 1) is only the beginning. A companion set featuring a crucial selection of folk, rock, and country from the United States’ Lower 48 and Mexico is currently in production.

File Under: Folk, Country
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…..new arrivals…..

Andre & Josi: Amandla (Tidal Wave) LP
Having shown talent for playing guitar at a young age, Josi Ndlovu (Zimbabwe) started his first rock band “The Movers” (who were very popular within the local scene) in 1968. By the early 70s, Josi was already an acclaimed guitarist and a member of the revolutionary rock bands “Wells Fargo” and “Eye of Liberty” who were critical opponents of the racist Rhodesian government. Prosecuted and harassed by the police for being a supporter of the independence movement, Josi Ndlovu had to move to Lusaka (Zambia) in 1975…it was here that he met his musical soulmate (Osibisa collaborator and bassist extraordinaire) André Abrahamse from South Africa. They started playing together in several local acts together with drummer Peter Lungu (from “Born Free” and later in the legendary Zamrock band “Witch”). In 1977, Josi & André decided to go to Lagos (Nigeria) where they found many fellow Zimbabwean and South African students in exile. It was a total culture shock and really rough on the both of them…but they got lucky and were able to stay with some friends they had worked with in London (Themba Matebese and Uwandile Piliso of T-Fire fame). It was also here that they were approached by the Nigerian label “Boom Records” who booked them to record at the Decca Studios in Lagos (home to many other renowned recording artists such as Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango and Ofege). The result of these recording sessions was “Amandla” (the Ndebele word for ‘Power’). The now legendary “Amandla” studio project is one of the most interesting collaborations between dissident, exiled musicians during the apartheid era…a very engaging album which talks about the liberation movement in Zimbabwe (which was under British colonial rule), ‘people-power’ as a concept and the walk towards freedom by any means necessary. Banned from radio and distribution (because of its political content) in their native countries, the record however did very well in Nigeria. With the ‘Amandla’ album under their belts, André & Josi continued their traveling adventures to Botswana, Cape Town, and many other cities/countries…touring, recording and playing with influential artists from the likes of Rikki Ililonga, Tony Allen and Anna Mwale. André to this day keeps on composing and producing music for TV, film and various other audio projects. Josi Ndlovu passed away on September 7th, 2000…he will forever be in our hearts. On “Amandla” the listener will find many genres blended together very successfully…a lot of smooth chordal Afro-soul, Blues soloing, Afro-disco-reggae with a dominant funk feeling surrounding it and a LOT of rock influences! Their groovy tunes went down smoothly on the dance floor and one can clearly hear the Fela Kuti-influenced beats pouring out of (Lagos scene regular) Buttley Moore’s fantastic drum work. Other influences are also very diverse…from acts and styles that include Zamrock, Earth Wind and Fire, Isaac Hayes, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, local folk music, etc. All of this makes the album a total must-have for any collector and fan of the afro-beat-funk genre. Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the FIRST ever vinyl reissue of this fantastic Afrobeat album (originally released in 1979 on Boom Records Nigeria). This rare record (original copies tend to go for large amounts on the secondary market) is now finally back available as a limited 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) complete with the original artwork.

File Under: Afro Beat, Disco, Africa
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Arrested Development: Don’t Fight Your Demons (Mosta) LP
Mosta Records is proud to present the Grammy-winning Hip Hop Legends Arrested Development new album, Don’t Fight Your Demons on vinyl. Arrested Development, the 2x Grammy Award Winning, groundbreaking iconic music group, and Hip Hop pioneers continue their forward march of curating conscious, revolutionary music formulated to bring societal issues to the forefront and ignite change. Their new album, ‘Don’t Fight Your Demons’ is no exception. The 16-track album features a selection of eclectic musicians including Kuf Knotz, Skyy High, Christine Elise, O’hene Savant, Rambo, Let The Dirt Say Amen, Fro Magnum Man, MRK SX, and is executively produced by Speech for Vagabond Productions and Configa for Configaration Records. The group assures fans and listeners this is no hit or miss album. Each track is distinct in style, flow, and vibe, with influential wordplay and infectious soundscapes. They breakdown and take apart worldly injustices, the current state of racism, grueling masks of politics, and on the flip side offer empowering gems on how to overcome and rise through. The production throughout the entire album channels a continuous kaleidoscope of invigorating bass, soul, funk, worldly tones, and even innovative cadences ear-pleasing to a younger generation of music connoisseurs. ‘Don’t Fight Your Demons’ ideally serves as a “how-to” handbook brimming with incomparable lyricism, storytelling, and cognizant awareness delivered in a fashion only Arrested Development can carry through.

File Under: Hip Hop
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The Band: Stage Fright (Capitol) LP
Capitol/UMe celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Band’s classic third album, Stage Fright, with a suite of newly remixed, remastered and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages. All of the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson and boast a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters. As with the acclaimed 50th anniversary collections for Music From Big Pink and the self-titled record, Clearmountain and Robertson’s approach to remixing the beloved album was done with the utmost care and respect for the music and what The Band represents. “Glyn Johns and Todd [Rundgren] did a terrific job on the original mixes in England while The Band was on the Festival Express train tour across Canada with Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead,” Robertson notes. “We had always been part of the mixing process before, which left something on this album feeling a little unfinished. Clearmountain has taken this music and given it the sonic lift it deserves. The album has become a whole new listening experience with the original song order and the depth of these mixes.” The result is a new mix that allows listeners to hear these timeless songs clearer than ever before. “There may be some purists that prefer ‘the way it was,’ and of course that’s always readily available,” adds Robertson. “I’m enjoying this new version, this story, this musical journey. It feels like a fulfillment and I know my brothers in The Band would definitely agree.” Released on August 17, 1970, Stage Fright features two of The Band’s best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and the title track, both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances by Richard Manuel and Rick Danko, respectively and became staples in the group’s live shows. Recorded over 12 days on the stage of the Woodstock Playhouse, the album was self-produced by The Band for the first time and engineered and mixed by Todd Rundgren with additional mixing by Glyn Johns. Coming off the heels of the band’s monumental debut and sophomore records, Stage Fright cemented The Band as one of the most exciting and important musical acts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. As noted music critic Robert Hilburn wrote in his glowing review for the Los Angeles Times, “Like the first two albums, the new one features a staggering display of musical prowess – superb instrumentation, precise vocals and rich, timeless lyrics,” adding, “At least five of the songs, including ‘The Rumor,’ ‘Daniel and the Sacred Harp, ‘The Shape I’m In’ and ‘Time to Kill’ rank comfortably alongside ‘The Weight,’ The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ and a few others as the best things the group has ever done.” Stage Fright peaked at No. 5 on Billboard, surpassing The Band’s first two albums, and went gold. For the 50th Anniversary collection, the sequence has been changed to present Stage Fright with the originally planned song order. “On the album, we used a different sequence to feature and encourage Richard and Levon’s songwriting participation,” Robertson reveals. “Over time, I pined for our first song order, because it pulls you right into the Stage Fright scenario.” Fifty years on, lifelong fans and those just discovering The Band can experience the album in a whole new way, sounding better than ever, or for the first time!

File Under: Rock
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Creedence Clearwater Revival: Mardi Gras (Craft) LP
Craft Recordings continues their salute to the enduring musical legacy of Creedence Clearwater Revival with the release of half-speed mastered editions of the band’s two final albums: Pendulum, which was released 50 years ago in December 1970, and their closing studio album, 1972’s Mardi Gras. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl, both records were mastered by the award-winning engineer Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. These audiophile-quality LPs come housed in beautifully crafted jackets (tip-on gatefold for Pendulum and embossed for Mardi Gras), replicating the albums’ original packaging. CCR’s seventh and final studio album, 1972’s Mardi Gras, followed the departure of founding member/rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty. The album, however, found the remaining trio of musicians taking a more collaborative approach to songwriting. Prior to Mardi Gras, frontman John Fogerty was the band’s creative leader – writing, arranging, and producing the majority of every album. For Mardi Gras, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford not only penned many of the tracks (including Cook’s hard-driving “Door to Door,” and Clifford’s rollicking “Tearin’ Up the Country”) but also sang on them. Other highlights include a cover of the rockabilly classic “Hello Mary Lou,” as well as the Fogerty-penned rocker “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” – a Top Ten hit in the US, Australia, Canada, and across Europe. The poignant “Someday Never Comes,” meanwhile, marked the group’s final single. Roughly half a century later, CCR fans can enjoy a new vibrancy when they revisit Pendulum and Mardi Gras, thanks to the exacting process of half-speed mastering. Using high-res transfers from the original analog tapes, the process involves playing back the audio at half its recorded speed while the cutting lathe is also turned to half the desired playback speed. The technique allows more time to cut a micro-precise groove, resulting in more accuracy with frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts. The result on the turntables is an exceptional level of sonic clarity and punch. Both of these special pressings were previously released only as part of Creedence’s collectible, seven-LP Studio Albums Collection box set, and follow standalone, audiophile-quality reissues of the band’s first five albums.

File Under: Rock
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Armancia D’Silva: Konkan Dance (Roundtable) LP
Following in the footsteps of the landmark 1966 double-quartet recording by Joe Harriott and John Mayer, Indian born musician Amancio D’Silva produced some of the most adventurous and sophisticated recordings within the canon of ‘indo-jazz’, a term used to define a pioneering east meets west synthesis that reflected the shifting musical and cultural landscape of post-war Britain. An experiment that reached a pinnacle in 1972 with D’Silva’s seminal recording Dream Sequence by Cosmic Eye (The Roundtable TRZY001), an adventurous fusion of modal jazz and Indian classical music viewed through the psychedelic lens of swinging London. Exotic third-stream jazz conceived by a visionary composer whose virtuosic technique and deeply emotive guitar playing defined his two earlier and now legendary 1969 UK jazz albums Integration and Hum Dono with Joe Harriott, both recorded for the much-celebrated Lansdowne label. Also recorded in 1972 although not released at the time was Konkan Dance, an unofficial sequel to Dream Sequence that further explored the uncharted possibilities of an Indian music-jazz fusion. Featuring many of the same personnel, this session also included support from Don Rendell and Alan Branscombe, two giants of the UK jazz scene who add serious credentials to D’Silva’s singular and intimate compositions. For reasons unknown, the album was canceled by Lansdowne at the time and never saw the light of day until being resurrected again in the 2000s. The Roundtable is pleased to once again showcase this important artist and present a new addition to this incredible and almost forgotten piece of the Amancio D’Silva story. Pressed on 180g vinyl and packaged in a custom 1960s-style flip-back sleeve.

File Under: Jazz, Guitar, Psych
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Wojciech Golczewski: We Are Still Here (Death Waltz) LP
A potently multithreaded horror film: What seems like the contemplation of grief becomes a tale of unspeakable and enigmatic terror. Complementing this twisted tale is the haunting score by Polish composer Wojciech Golczewski (MOHAWK, BEYOND THE GATES) and three otherworldly rock numbers by Slow Moses and Kleen Kut. Golczewski’s deft compositions embrace the story’s rich dynamic but never try to overstep it. As we experience the trials of the Sacchetti couple, who’ve moved into an old farmhouse in an inhospitable New England town, Golczewski treats us to a host of equally delicate and indelicate passages. Dry, creaky strings, an ominous electronic hum, and the searing burn of the synths all leave an indelible mark with each suspended breath of foreboding and every histrionic blaze. Phoenix-based Slow Moses’ dreamy “Gas Station” and hallucinogenic “Teenage Sun” are bruised-and-battered songs that add a whimsical counterpoint to the beautifully terrifying tapestries that Golczewski weaves. New York-based Kleen Kut’s rare “Running Out of Time” is a dark, disembodied rocker with phantasmal melodies unfurling from ancient truths. It carries propulsive, raw energy that codifies the sentiments of the film into a guitar-driven, minor-key strut of otherworldly enchantment. Even after the last note fades, we are still here for another spin.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, OST
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Melvins: Gluey Porch Treatments (Ipecac) LP
Lime vinyl! In correlation with the release of their new album Working With God, Melvins offer up colored vinyl LP reissues of 1987’s Gluey Porch Treatments and 2002’s Hostile Ambient Takeover, the latter of which appears on the format for the first time. “It’s hard to categorise the Melvins, which is probably why they have been at turns both hugely influential yet also overlooked. From Seattle and formed in 1983, they have constantly shifted and shuffled through line-up changes and musical musings. Inspired by punk, hardcore, metal, avant-garde, cartoon and grand guignol, they have released a succession of infuriatingly incandescent albums, beginning with 1987’s debut Gluey Porch Treatments…In one respect, this album is all over the place, reaching from sludge to thrash, via a Green River cover called ‘Leeech’. It was stark, stinking bonkers. But somehow works. Because the band were constantly on the move, and yet kept a cohesion, almost against their better judgement” (Loudersound).

File Under: Metal
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Melvins: Hostile Ambient Takeover (Ipecac) LP
In correlation with the release of their new album Working With God, the legendary Melvins offer up colored vinyl LP reissues of 1987’s Gluey Porch Treatments and 2002’s Hostile Ambient Takeover, the latter of which appears on the format for the first time. “Hostile Ambient Takeover features the Melvins once again at their most prolific, with their sonic fuckery tackling disjointed rock, cow punk, metal, ambient experimentation, twisted pop, their trademarked metallic dirge, noisy psychedelic jams and unrestrained avant soundscapes all filtered through the Melvins’ criminally insane musical mindset” (Exclaim).

File Under: Metal
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Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um Redux (Get on Down) LP
“Double LP housed in a gatefold jacket. Mingus Ah Um, the artist’s 1959 debut for Columbia is one of the most consequential albums in jazz or any other genre. The release is part of the Library of Congress National Recording Registry and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’, ‘Boogie Stomp Shuffle’, ‘Open Letter To The Duke’… the release is packed with classics and is a best-selling release to this day. Get On Down presents Ah Um Redux, the full Ah Um record as you know and love it with a second LP featuring alternate takes from the session previously unreleased on vinyl.”

File Under: Jazz
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Ngozi Family: 45,000 Volts (Now Again) LP
“Hold on! Ngozi Family! We are a Zambian band, with a heavy sound! Archival reissue of Paul Ngozi’s hard-edged, proto-punk, mid-1970s Zamrock masterwork. Featuring Chrissy Zebby Tembo. First official reissue.”

File Under: Psych, Zamrock, Africa
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Nurse With Wound: Lumb’s Sister (Nor Nordung) LP
“Newly remastered from the original analogue tapes by Denis Blackham. “This music was originally conceived as raw material for the film project ‘Lumb’s Sister’ by Chris Wallis. During the long evolution of his movie, Chris decided to use alternative source sounds and subsequently none of these pieces ever made it onto the completed film.” “Back in 1990, Nurse With Wound, Current 93, and Sol Invictus issued a 3lp set of their works, all of which was suitably occult and suitably dark. By the middle of the decade, both C93 and Sol Invictus had reissued their own material on individual discs, but Steven Stapleton / Nurse With Wound never did until some 25 years later. As such, that boxset became quite a prize possession for NWW aficionados; and it was originally composed to be the soundtrack to a film by Chris Wallis, an occasional contributor to Nurse With Wound and Current 93 in the late ’80s. The film itself had been notoriously unfinished for decades, with cans of film getting lost over the years; and when Wallis finally got around to completing a cut of the film, the original soundtrack was unused, instead Wallis picked over various bits from the Nurse With Wound catalog as the score. So, Lumb’s Sister the Nurse With Wound album has nothing anymore to do with Lumb’s Sister the film by Chris Wallis. Stapleton’s response? “Aw, shucks.” A quintessentially obscurant recording of quintessential Nurse With Wound strategies, Lumb’s Sister laces eerie vocalizations that are often sped up conversations on tape machines amongst distended drones from various bowed metals, elongated vocal utterances, and stringed instruments that all amass into a bellowing darkly illumined thrum. Its closest companion in the Nurse With Wound catalogue would be the elegant piece of minimalism found on Soliloquy For Lilith and the Tibet / Stapleton drone-chant epic The Sadness Of Things. This cd version contains much more material than the original lp, also including Nurse With Wound’s subtle variation of Coil’s “How To Destroy Angels.” As with anything that Stapleton touches, this is a work of genius.” [Aquarius Records]

File Under: Industrial, Ambient, Experimental
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OST: Demons (Rustblade) LP
“30th Anniversary Edition and definitive release of the iconic horror film soundtrack composed by Claudio Simonetti for Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava’s 1980 gore classic Demons. This soundtrack perfectly captures the growing tension created by the film as the main characters are transformed into demons, leading the way with the electro metal of Killing, the percussively cruel Demon, and the now classic cult hit Demon. 30 years later the music still shines with timeless quality thanks to the eclectic talent of composer Claudio Simonetti. Limited picture disc + OBI 180; gram high quality sound.”

File Under: OST, Argento
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John Paesano: Spider-Man – Miles Morales (Mondo) LP
Mondo, in collaboration with Hollywood Records, is proud to present the soundtrack to the all-new hit game Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, featuring an incredible score by John Paesano as well as original songs by Lecrae and Jaden. Picking up where the previous game left off, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales puts you in the web-slinging hands of the titular character, taking on a mysterious group of rebels known as The Underground, who are going toe-to-toe with a mysterious energy company who seemingly nefarious aims for Harlem, our hero’s hometown. John Paesano is no stranger to Marvel’s most famous New York heroes, having composed the score for the previous game Marvel’s Spider-Man (not to mention the late, great television series Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s The Defenders), and his work on this chapter is nothing short of spectacular. Taking elements of his previous score and plussing them, incorporating elements of trap beats and drum machine to give the symphonic score a hip-hop rhythm section.

File Under: OST
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Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Glow in the dark vinyl! Little was said about Parquet Courts’ debut effort, American Specialties. Released exclusively on cassette tape in 2011, the quasi-album was an odd collection of 4 track recordings that left those who were paying attention wanting more. A year of woodshedding live sets passed before the Courts committed another song to tape. The band’s first proper LP, 2012’s Light Up Gold, is a dynamic and diverse foray into the back alleys of the American DIY underground. Bright guitars swirl serpentine over looping, groovy post-punk bass lines and drums that border on robotic precision. While the initial rawness of the band’s early output remains, the songwriting has gracefully evolved. Primary wordsmiths A. Savage and Austin Brown combine for a dynamic lyrical experience, one part an erudite overflow of ideas, the other an exercise in laid-back observation. Lyrically dense, the poetry is in how it flows along with the melody, often times as locked-in as the rhythm section. “This record is for the over-socialized victims of the 1990’s ‘you can be anything you want’, Nickelodeon-induced lethargy that ran away from home not out of any wide-eyed big city daydream, but just out of a subconscious return to America’s scandalous origin,” writes Savage in the album’s scratched-out liner notes. Recorded over a few days in a ice-box practice space, Light Up Gold is equally indebted to Krautrock, The Fall, and a slew of contemporaries like Tyvek and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Though made up of Texan transplants, Parquet Courts is a New York band. Throw out the countless shallow Brooklyn bands of the blasé 2000’s: Light Up Gold is a conscious effort to draw from the rich culture of the city – the bands like Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground that are not from New York, but of it. A panoramic landscape of dilapidated corner-stores and crowded apartments is superimposed over bare-bones Americana, leaving little room for romance or sentiment. It’s punk, it’s American, it’s New York… it’s the color of something you were looking for.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Glow in the dark vinyl! The year and change following the release of Parquet Courts monumental 2012 album Light Up Gold is reflected in ways expected and not with Sunbathing Animal, its sharper, harder 2014 follow up. Following their quietly released 2011 debut American Specialties, Light Up Gold caught the ears of everyone paying even a little bit of attention, garnering glowing reviews across the board for its weird colors and raw energy, saturated punk songs that offered crystal clear lyrical snapshots of city life. It was immediately memorable, a vivid portrait of ragged days, listlessness, aimlessness and urgency, broadcast with the intimacy of hearing a stranger’s thoughts as you passed them on the street. As it goes with these things, the band went on tour for a short eternity, spending most of 2013 on the road, their sound growing more direct in the process and their observations expanding beyond life at home. As more people tuned into the buzz surrounding Light Up Gold, the band encountered a common misconception that their aim was to somehow recapitulate the spirit of familiar ’90s indie rock darlings. Coming from a background of not-quite-legal DIY show spaces and lawless basement gigs, being branded as an update to 90s slacker rock was confusing for the group, who were far more invested in creating lyrically complex statements and new ideas than being a continuation or resurgence of anything. In part, Sunbathing Animal serves as a brick wall deflection to any previous misinterpretations of the band. More than a reactionary sprint in any particular musical direction, Parquet Courts sounds more like themselves than ever, but a more deliberate, aware and pinpoint accurate reading of the same American punk expansion they all but defined on Light Up Gold. Constant touring was broken up by three recording sessions that would make up the album, and the time spent in transit comes through in repeated lyrical themes of displacement, doubt and situational captivity. To be sure, Sunbathing Animal isn’t a record about hopelessness, as any sort of incarceration implies an understanding of freedom and peace of mind. leeting moments of bliss are also captured in its grooves, and extended at length as if to preserve them. The songwriting process began with lyrics, the band building the songs around the words, and the blaring isolation and dynamic emotions are mirrored in both. Pointed articulations of these ideas are heard as schizoid blues rants, shrill guitar leads, purposefully lengthy repetition and controlled explosions, reaching their peak on the blistering title track. A propulsive projection of how people might play the blues 300 years from now, the song is a roller coaster you can’t get off, moving far too fast and looping into eternity. Much as Light Up Gold and the subsequent EP Tally All The Things That You Broke offered a uniquely tattered perspective on everyday city life, Sunbathing Animal applies the same layered thoughts and sprawling noise to more cerebral, inward-looking themes. While heightened in its heaviness and mania, the album also represents a huge leap forward in terms of songwriting and vision. Still rooted firmly in the unshackled exploration and bombastic playing of their earlier work, everything here is amplified in its lucidity and intent. The songs wander through threads of blurry brilliance, exhaustion and fury at the hilt of every note.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Wayne Shorter: Etc. (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Available again! This is how vinyl is supposed to sound. Produced and hand-picked for release by Music Matters co-founder Joe Harley, mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, and housed in a deluxe gatefold jacket, Wayne Shorter’s fine quartet album from 1965, Etcetera, receives nonpareil audiophile treatment on this must-own all-analog reissue. We’re talking unimpeded dynamics. Hyper-realistic highs. Superb balance. Stellar linearity. Luscious tones. Deep, taut bass. Grooves that seemingly grab you by the hand. The sensation of actually being present at the sessions. Dead-quiet LP surfaces. A gatefold jacket that will mesmerize your visual senses. Musically, one listen will tell you why the Blue Note record remains one of the saxophonist’s greatest releases. Etcetera features all Shorter compositions, with the exception of Gil Evans’ passionate “Barracudas.” Shorter’s “Indian Song” takes its place as one of modern jazz’s most intensely hypnotizing compositions. If you’re familiar with Music Matters’ now-iconic Blue Note reissues or the infallible work of producer Joe Harley, you’ll know you cannot pass this up. And if you’re coming to them for the first time, prepare yourself for sheer sonic and musical bliss!

File Under: Jazz
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Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’ 1965-1976 (Light in the Attic) LP
Coloured vinyl sold out, more in a few months. Light In The Attic Records is proud to present Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’ 1965–1976. The definitive new collection surveys Sinatra’s most prolific period over 1965–1976, including her revered collaborations with Lee Hazlewood, over 23 tracks. Remastered from the original analog tapes by GRAMMY®–nominated engineer John Baldwin, the collection is complemented by liner notes penned by Amanda Petrusich (author and music critic at The New Yorker), featuring insightful new interviews with Sinatra, as well as a Q&A with archivist and GRAMMY®–nominated reissue co-producer, Hunter Lea. The CD edition comes housed in a 7”x7” hardcover book (featuring 64–pages) and the two-disc vinyl set is presented in a gatefold jacket (featuring a 24–page booklet). Nancy’s performance of the Lee Hazlewood–penned song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” was a huge hit in 1966 and became her signature tune. The pair began a three year run of successful albums, duets, and singles including “Sugar Town,” “Some Velvet Morning,” “Summer Wine,” “Sand,” “Jackson,” and the title track to the 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice.” Start Walkin’ explores Nancy’s recordings with Lee, her inspired collaborations with songwriter Mac Davis (“Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham”), producer Lenny Waronker (“Hook and Ladder”), and the “should’ve been hit” song with arranger/producer Billy Strange (“How Are Things In California.”) Over the years, she has been cited as an influence by countless artists, including Sonic Youth, Morrissey, Calexico, U2, and Lana Del Rey. Her haunting song “Bang, Bang” gained a new legion of fans when it appeared in the opening credits of Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 film, Kill Bill Volume 1.

File Under: Country, Pop
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Stereolab: Electrically Possessed: Switched on Vol. 4 (Duophonic) LP
The fourth in the Switched On series that compiles Stereolab’s non-album tracks and sought after deep cuts. Following on from the first volume released in 1992, 1995’s Refried Ectoplasm, and 1998’s Aluminum Tunes, the long-awaited fourth installment spans 1999-2008 in the Stereolab story and collates three LPs worth of material, all remastered from the original tapes and overseen by the band. It features all the tracks from out-of-print and sought after mini-album The First Of The Microbe Hunters, one-off and impossible to find tour 7″s, compilation tracks, art installation work and a couple of unreleased outtakes from the Mars Audiac Quintet and Dots and Loops recording sessions.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic, Pop
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Venom: Calm Before the Storm (Back on Black) LP
Transitional 1987 effort Calm Before the Storm saw guitarist Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn replaced by the double attack of Jimi Clare and Mike Hickey. This was a period when the whole thrash movement was at its height, and the genre was starting to fragment. Some bands were becoming more sophisticated, while others were delving into altogether more extreme areas of music. It was an easy time for Venom, because they were unique and ground breakers, so a controversial new direction was perfect to keep the fans guessing as to what the band would do next. Determined to stick firmly to their own path, they certainly opened up their sound somewhat with Calm Before the Storm, enough to attract a new audience. While the sound of the album still had a brutal edge, nonetheless the dark imagery of the past had given way to a more nuanced approach.

File Under: Metal
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John Williams & John Powell: Solo (Mondo) LP
Mondo, in collaboration with Walt Disney Records, is proud to present the premiere vinyl release of John Powell’s brilliant score to SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. The origin story of science fiction’s greatest rogue is a Star Wars story through and through: a rollicking adventure, full of humor and suspense – and in the grand tradition of the franchise, features an epic sweeping score worthy of the biggest screen (or, in this case, speakers) imaginable. John Williams’ new “The Adventures of Han Theme” kicks things off in a spectacular fashion, setting the tone for John Powell’s fantastic original score to enter the Star Wars canon (only the third composer to ever tackle the film series in its 40+ year legacy)

File Under: OST, Mondo
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Yellow Magic Orchestra: BGM (Great Tracks) LP
Japanese pressing! Originally released in March 1981, BGM marked a turn from the previous release with an overall darker and more serious tone that some considered to be a betrayal against their original fans. Years have been kind to BGM, however, and Hosono, Sakamoto, and Takahashi’s fourth studio release is now considered one of their masterworks. With an ahead-of-its-time mix of techno pop, electro, dub, and ambient, BGM was recorded using the latest recording technologies available at the time, including one of the earliest uses of the Roland MC-4 sequencer and the TR-808 drum machine on record.

File Under: Pop, Japan
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Yellow Magic Orchestra: Technodelic (Great Tracks) LP
Japanese pressing! Some of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s most forward-thinking music can be heard on Technodelic, released in 1981 only a few months after their masterwork BGM. Hosono, Sakamoto and Takahashi utilized the custom-made LMD-649 PCM digital sampler to create what is considered one of the first true sampler-based albums in history. Incorporating minimal and ethno elements to their signature mix of techno pop, electro and dub, Technodelic stands alongside BGM as their most fully realized album in their discography.

File Under: Pop, Japan
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Neil Young: The Times (Reprise) LP
Featuring music originally broadcast as a part of the “Porch Episode” of Neil Young’s livestreamed Fireside Sessions, The Times EP is a politically-charged collection of classics spanning Young’s catalog, including iconic protest songs like “Ohio,” “Alabama,” “Southern Man,” and “Campaigner.” The EP also features “Lookin’ For A Leader 2020;” originally released on the 2006 masterpiece Living with War, this lyrically revised and impassioned update is squarely aimed at the problems we currently face. The EP also features Young’s Homegrown original – “Little Wing” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin.'”

File Under: Rock
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Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Way Down in the Rust Bucket (Reprise) BOX
Recorded on November 13, 1990 in Santa Cruz, the concert documented on the 4LP Way Down in the Rust Bucket represents one of the most significant and storied shows of Neil Young’s fabled career. Staged just after the release of Ragged Glory – the striking album that preceded and influenced the impending explosion of similarly energetic, distortion-addled rock that became known as grunge and changed the face of  popular music – the set finds Young pairing with his longtime cohorts in Crazy Horse and turning in a marathon performance for the ages. Intended as a loose rehearsal for an arena tour at the Catalyst Club, a venue whose intimate confines only seems to stoke the band’s energy, passion, and enthusiasm (not to mention its connection with the audience), it is the stuff of legend. For decades, the results have lingered on trading sites as a sought-after bootleg. No longer. Way Down in the Rust Bucket presents the three-set, three-hour-plus affair in unmatched fidelity while providing context of the occasion’s momentousness. In addition to harboring the public debut of Ragged Glory material like “Love to Burn” and “Mansion on the Hill,” the gig marks the first time such classics as “Danger Bird ” and “Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze” were heard live by fans. Not to mention the spirited versions of “Cinnamon Girl,” “Sedan Delivery,” and “Like a Hurricane” found here hold their own with any other commercially available renditions (including those on Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust). Available as a 4LP set (this version) or deluxe edition containing four LPs, two CDs, and a DVD of the entire concert directed by Bernard Shakey (and containing one extremely memorable and exclusive cut, a 13-minute “Cowgirl in the Sand” not on LP or CD), Way Down in the Rust Bucket is the Neil Young Performance Series volume fans have been awaiting for years. Go ahead, spook the horse, and grab this must-have vinyl set now.

File Under: Rock
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Carl Zittrer: Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things! OST
(Terror Vision) LP

First ever vinyl pressing of this cult zombie horror classic composed by Carl Zittrer (Black Christmas, Prom Night etc)!

File Under: OST
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Various: Age of Worry (Iron Mountain) LP
From the people who brought you Hillbillies In Hell… Smooth countrypolitan sides of Doom, Apocalyptic Shag-Cowpokes, anti-Vietnam War Freak-Folkies, small-town Hayseed-Vignettes, ambulance-chasing Bluegrass, red-baiting exploitation-jangle-Folk-Pop and wigged-out Nashville space-age Instrumentals – you’ll hear all that and much more on this extraordinary LP… Charting the tumultuous decade of 1960-1970, ‘Age Of Worry’ presents 18 somewhat nervous and seldom-heard oddities, obscurities and treasures from the depths of the Monument Records vault. Sometimes outrageous, sometimes sublime – listen to Vern Stovall lament the maudlin fate of ‘Code Alarm 7’, Rusty Draper on tortured suburban ennui and Captain Ty Herrington on emasculated masculinity. A spellbinding disc of Country Pop, Bluegrass, Folk and Novelty sides all touched in one way or another by Cold War tension and the changing tides of 1960s society. Many of these 45 cuts are extremely rare and are reissued here for the very first time. Somehow, somewhere…something for everyone…

File Under: Country, Folk
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Various: J Jazz Vol. 3 – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan (BBE) LP
BBE Music presents J Jazz Volume 3, the latest in its definitive compilation series exploring the finest modern jazz from Japan. Since the first volume in February 2018, the J Jazz compilation series has showcased some of the most creative, inspired and sought-after jazz recorded in Japan during a golden period spanning the 1960s to the 1980s. Illustrating the richness and versatility of the composers and musicians on this collection, the music spans a wide yet coherent range of styles: samba, funk fusion, modal, spiritual, post-bop and bossa all combine to present an aural portrait of a jazz scene that was constantly moving and shifting its multiple musical centres of gravity. Mastered at the Grammy-nominated Carvery studio in London, many of the tracks featured are reissued for the first time, including mega-rare private press cuts from the Yasuhiro Kohno Trio, Masaru Imada Trio, and Hideyasu Terakawa Quartet. There’s heavy post modal bop by J Jazz legends Kohsuke Mine and Koichi Matsukaze; samba heat from Tatsuya Nakamura, Hideo Shiraki and Seiichi Nakamura; and funky dance floor energy by Hiroshi Murakami, Ryojiro Furusawa Quartet and Shigeharu Mukai. Released as a deluxe, heavyweight triple vinyl set in a gatefold sleeve with obi strip and insert, the collection comes with extensive artist biographies and track information. J Jazz is conceived, compiled and annotated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden for BBE Music.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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…..Restocks…. 

Agitation Free: 2nd (Made in Germany) LP
Agitation Free: Malesch (Made in Germany) LP
Julien Baker: Little Oblivions (gold) (Matador) LP
Besnard Lakes: Are the Last of the Great… (Flemish Eye) LP
Blanck Mass: In Ferneaux (Magenta) (Sacred Bones) LP
Brainstory: Buck (Big Crown) LP
Patricia Brennan: Maquishti (Valley of Search) LP
Gene Clark: No Other (4AD) LP
Decemberists: Live Home Library Vol 1 (Youth & Beauty Brigade) LP
Fall: Hex Enduction Hour (Superior Viaduct) LP
Far Out: Nihonjin (Everland) LP
Norman Feels: Where or When (Tidal Waves) LP
Grateful Dead: Two From the Vault (Future Days) 4LP
Hosono/Suzuki/Yamashita: Pacific (Sony Japan) LP
Khruangbin: Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales) LP
Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (Late Night Tales) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: K.G. (KG) LP
Mac Miller: Circles (Warner) LP
Takeo Moriyama: Smile (Nippon Columbia) LP
David Nance Group: Peaced & Slightly Pulverized (Trouble in Mind) LP
John Prine: Sweet Revenge (Rhino) LP
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: Soul (Disney) LP
Secret Pyramid: Embers (Geographic North) LP
Pauline Anna Strom: Trans-Millenia Music (RVNG) LP
Marcos Valle: Garra (Elemental) LP
Arthur Verocai: s/t (Mr. Bongo) LP
Viagra Boys: Welfare Jazz (Year0001) LP
Hiro Yanagida: s/t (HMV) LP
Yas-Kaz: Jomon-sho (Glossy Mistakes) LP
Various: Kankyo Ongaku (Light in the Attic) BOX
Various: Pacific Breeze 2 (Light in the Attic) LP

…..news letter #986 – goodness…..

Well, contrary to the usual short week, there’s actually a bunch of new stuff this week! And I’m not even that behind on dealing with it! Amazing. Loads to see and hear, so read on….

Also! Like the Other Music Documentary, we are again teaming up with Oscilloscope Labs for the distribution/viewing of the new documentary TRUTH TO POWER, about System of a Down’s frontman Serj Tankian. Click the link to rent the film and we’ll get a cut of the proceeds. Rent it HERE

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. We’ll be at the shop 11-6 Monday – Friday & Saturday 11-4. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS LETTER!!!!

…..picks of the week…..

Brahja: s/t (RR Gems) LP
BRAHJA is a new album of a band by the same name. We’ve been playing, in one form or another, since 2008. In this current incarnation, BRAHJA is made up of 10 musicians coming out of Montreal, New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago, respectively. Core members — Damon Shadrach Hankoff, Isis Giraldo, Martin Heslop, Daniel Gelinas & I — toured throughout the US and Canada in 2015 & 16, oftentimes picking up a special guest in whichever city: a concept we called “Everybody’s In The Band Tour.” Luke Stewart, Anais Maviel, Margaret Morris, Sam Shalabi & Daniel Carter — all featured on this album — is an all star sample of the extended family which came from this process. I spent a year and some change composing the music for the album; and in the spring of 2017 we began recording in a former church in rural Quebec that Daniel Gelinas had converted into a studio. Back in NYC, where I live, additional layers were added to the recordings. Being my first trial with mixing, I realized a year into it that I had layered more sounds than I could even hear. So as I peeled away at the layers, eliminating some sounds and carving out a space for the rest, I learned to hear it all. These songs mostly deal with the purging of uninvited darkness. Some kind of cure for some kind of poison. Some kind of death for some kind of renewal. I hope you can derive meaning and joy from this music. With sincere gratitude, Devin Brahja Waldman

File Under: Jazz
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Various: Colemine Presents: Brighter Days Ahead (Colemine) LP
Sadly, we were shorted on this coloured version… and they apparently forgot to ship us our black copies, hopefully more next week! From label owner Terry Cole, “It was on March 16, 2020 that we closed up our storefront as the reality of a worldwide pandemic began to spread across the Midwest. We had no idea how it was going to impact our shop, our label, or the artists we represent. We were all fortunate to have our family members stay safe and healthy; however, the livelihood of many of our friends and artists were drastically and immediately impacted. No tours, no live performances, record shops closed, pressing plants shut down, etc. And while the level of uncertainty was unnerving, from that uncertainty came the idea for Brighter Days Ahead. We knew we wanted to continue to release new music, but proceeding with our heavy 2020 release schedule as planned seemed ill advised. So the idea was to release individual tracks from many of our artists on a weekly basis and as a musical family, we could all help shine light on each individual artist weekly. Strength in numbers! So throughout the summer and into the fall, that’s what we did. We released several dozen tracks and the weekly announcements certainly garnered a strong sense of community for our artists and fans alike. We’re very proud to present Brighter Days Ahead: a compilation from our talented stable of artists on both our Colemine and Karma Chief imprints.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Menahan Street Band: The Exciting Sounds of… (Daptone) LP
Exclusive Daptone Dealer Edition! Menahan Street Band, a veritable supergroup of some of today’s most prolific songwriters, arrangers, and producers return with this beat-forward, cinematic masterpiece. If you have spent any time hanging out in bars, cafes, or casually tuning into NPR in the last 10 years you should be well versed in MSB’s catalog. Their unique brand of instrumental soul has not only been the foundation for some of modern hip-hop’s most successful beats, it has also become the perennial soundtrack and veritable vibe-generator for countless parties, art shows, and restaurants throughout NYC and abroad. While this album carries the aesthetic torch that MSB has skillfully woven into the tapestry of their DNA, it also delves deeper into the experimental, exotic sounds that fill many of the coveted Sound Library and Soundtrack LPs of the late sixties and early seventies – an amalgamation of moog synths, electric pianos, drum machines, and a bevy of analog instrumentation, that ebb and flow in lush swells of Morriconian grandeur.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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…..new arrivals…..

Julien Baker: Little Oblivions (Matador) LP
Little Oblivions is the third studio album by Julien Baker. Recorded in Memphis, TN, the record weaves together unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Baker’s capacity for storytelling to new heights. It also marks a sonic shift, with the songwriter’s intimate piano and guitar arrangements newly enriched by bass, drums, keyboards, banjo, and mandolin with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Black Sabbath: Vol. 4 Super Deluxe (Rhino) BOX
Black Sabbath unleashed the group’s fourth album in two years in 1972 with Vol 4. Stacked with classic tracks like “Supernaut,” “Changes,” and “Snowblind,” the record harnessed the group’s surging popularity to reach the Top 10 on the Albums Chart in the U.K. and the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., on its path to being certified platinum by the RIAA. The innovators of heavy metal revisit Vol 4 on a new collection that includes a newly remastered version of the original album along with a trove of 20 unreleased studio and live recordings and comes with extensive booklets featuring liner notes with quotes from the era from all four band members, rare photos, and a poster with previously unpublished early artwork of the album using the working title Snowblind. Bolstered by a fresh remastering, Vol 4’s ambitious arrangements and complex grooves have never sounded more inspired and menacing. Originally released in September 1972, the album marked two major changes for the members of Sabbath: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward. While their previous albums – Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality – were produced by Rodger Bain and recorded in England, they instead chose to produce Vol 4 themselves and record it at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. The generous addition of bonus material on Vol. 4: Super Deluxe Edition begins with six previously unreleased studio outtakes from the original sessions for the album. Each one has been newly mixed by Steven Wilson using the analog multi-tracks. Highlights include outtakes for “Supernaut” and “Changes,” as well an instrumental version of “Under The Sun.” The set also features 11 additional studio recordings (also newly mixed by Wilson from the analog multi-tracks) that spotlight alternative takes, false starts and snippets of studio dialogue. These tracks transport listeners into the studio with the band and offer some insight into the making of the album. Along with several alternative takes for “Wheels Of Confusion,” these recordings also include outtakes for “The Straightener” and “Snowblind.” The collection concludes with a searing collection of live performances that re-create a typical setlist from Black Sabbath’s tour for Vol 4. Recorded in March 1973 at various stops along the band’s U.K. tour. The recordings were originally slated for a live album that was ultimately shelved. Although some of these performances have been previously available in various states, the release marks the first time that a full 1973 live Sabbath show has been recreated. The live audio has been newly mixed by Richard Digby Smith using the original 16-track analog tapes to achieve a level of fidelity not heard on any previous incarnations.

File Under: Metal
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Blanck Mass: In Ferneaux (Sacred Bones) LP
Magenta vinyl! What is the utility of pain? Can it do anything but fester? In Ferneaux explores pain in motion, building audio-spatial chambers of experience and memory. Using an archive of field recordings from a decade of global travels, isolation gave Blanck Mass an opportunity to make connections in a moment when being together is impossible. The record is divided into two long-form journeys that gather the memories of being with now-distant others through the composition of a nostalgic travelogue. The journeys are haunted with the vestiges of voices, places, and sensations. These scenes alternate with the building up and releasing of great aural tension, intensities that emerge from the trauma of a personal grieving process which has perhaps embraced its rage moment. An encounter with a prophetic figure on the streets of San Francisco presented the question of “how to handle the misery on the way to the blessing.” This is the quandary of the impasse we now all find ourselves in, trapped in our little caves, grappling with the unease of the self at rest – without movement, without the consumerist agenda of “new experiences.” The possibility of growth, always defined by our connections with others, held in limbo. Sartre said that “Hell is other people,” but perhaps this is the Inferno of the present: the space of sitting with the self. A blessing is often thought of as a future reward, above and beyond the material plane. With In Ferneaux, Blanck Mass wrangles the immanent materials of the here-and-now to build a sense of transcendence. Here, the uncanny angelic hymn sits comfortably beside the dirge. The misery and blessing are one.

File Under: Electronic
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Burzum: Thulean Mysteries (Back on Black) LP
“Thulean Mysteries was made passively, in the sense that I never intended to make a new album; I just made music every now and then and at one point realized that I actually had enough to release it all on an album. When asked to do so I figured: why not? It was a good idea. The music is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, transcending any genre, and perhaps belonging to many different genres. The intention with it was always to create a certain atmosphere, often related to an idea or a situation. Since my true passion has never been music, but actually tabletop role-playing games, I figured I should make this an album intended for that use; as background music for my own MYFAROG (Mythic Fantasy Role-playing Game). Hopefully you will get a sense of Thule when you listen to this, like always with Burzum, ideally when on your own. I hope you will enjoy this soundtrack to Thulê, to Mother Nature and life itself.” – Varg Vikernes

File Under: Metal
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Paul Chambers: Bass on Top (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
When jazz bass virtuoso Paul Chambers recorded Bass On Top, his third and final album as a leader for Blue Note, he was only 22 years old but already well established as one of the top bassists in jazz. This brilliantly seductive album features stalwarts Hank Jones on piano, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Art Taylor on drums. Highlights include the chamber-jazz interpretation of Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays” and a lightly swinging version of “Dear Old Stockholm,” a tune often associated with Miles Davis who was Chambers’ employer at the time. Blue Note Records’ acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series continues in 2021. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley

File Under: Jazz
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Coil: Musick to Play in the Dark (Dais) LP
Big restock! Don’t sleep! Clear/yellow splatter! Few groups in recent history forged as confounding and alchemical a body of work as Coil, the partnership of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and John Balance. From album to album and phase to phase their recordings spelunk perplexing depths of esoteric industrial, occult electronics, and drugged poetry, both embodying and alienating parallel currents of their peers. The late 1990’s in particular were a fertile era for the duo, embracing chance, chaos, and collaboration, enhanced by recent advancements in synthesis and sampling. Fittingly, at the summit of the decade’s long, intoxicated arc, their divergent strains of interstitial ritual congealed into one of Coil’s most celebrated and hallucinatory creations: Musick To Play In The Dark. Convening at Balance and Christopherson’s vast Victorian house/studio in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, they began a series of ambitious sessions aided by inner circle associates Thighpaulsandra and Drew McDowall. Although the creative process was admittedly “iterative” and “a bit of a drug blur,” the results are astoundingly inventive and well realized, winding through shades of divination dirge, wormhole kosmische, noir lounge, ominous humor, and black mass downtempo, guided by Balance’s cryptic lunar muse, which he announces on the opening track: “This is moon musick / in the light of the moon.” What’s most remarkable about the album 20 years after its release is how brazen, insular, and unpredictable it still feels. The songs follow an allusive, altered state logic all their own, warping from microscopic ripples of glitch and breath to widescreen warlock psychedelia and back again, as much hyper-sensory as inter-dimensional. Even within a catalog as eclectic as Coil’s, Musick To Play In The Dark is a mystifying collection, oneiric evocations of desire, decadence, dinner jazz, and dietary advice, far beyond the pale of whatever gothic industrial ambiguity birthed such a journey. The record closes with a slow, starlit shuffle, bathed in seething sweeps of spectral texture and high cathedral keys, like approaching the altar of some arcane temple. As the trance thickens Balance’s voice rises, processed into an increasingly eerie, gaseous haze, but he resists these unseen forces, intent on delivering a final sermon: “Through hissy mists of history / the dreamer is still dreaming / the dreamer is still dreaming.” Reissued for the first time in over 20 years, now on double vinyl LP with the complete, unedited versions of each song and an exclusive “D-side” vinyl art etching. Packaged in a sturdy matte jacket with embossed lettering and spot-gloss design elements. Remastered by engineer Josh Bonati with restored artwork and layout by Nathaniel Young – all under the project supervision of Drew McDowall and Thighpaulsandra.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
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Creedence Clearwater Revival: Pendulum (Craft) LP
Craft Recordings continues their salute to the enduring musical legacy of Creedence Clearwater Revival with the release of half-speed mastered editions of the band’s two final albums: Pendulum, which was released 50 years ago in December 1970, and their closing studio album, 1972’s Mardi Gras. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl, both records were mastered by the award-winning engineer Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. These audiophile-quality LPs come housed in beautifully crafted jackets (tip-on gatefold for Pendulum and embossed for Mardi Gras), replicating the albums’ original packaging. Pendulum, which marked CCR’s second release of 1970 – following Cosmo’s Factory – was a unique title in the band’s catalog for several reasons. First, the album was the group’s sole LP to feature all original material. Typically, CCR sprinkled covers of blues songs, traditional material, and rock ‘n’ roll standards into each of their albums, putting their own spin on classic favorites. Pendulum also found the guitar-heavy group expanding their sonic palate – experimenting with new sounds (including the use of saxophones, vocal choirs, and keyboards) and even venturing into psychedelia. The quartet’s musical explorations paid off. Not only was Pendulum a critical success, but it also spawned two global Top Ten hits: the reflective “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and the upbeat “Hey Tonight.” The singles, released as a double A-side in 1971, peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other highlights included the stomper “Molina,” the bluesy “Pagan’s Groove” and the twangy “Sailor’s Lament.” Roughly half a century later, CCR fans can enjoy a new vibrancy when they revisit Pendulum and Mardi Gras, thanks to the exacting process of half-speed mastering. Using high-res transfers from the original analog tapes, the process involves playing back the audio at half its recorded speed while the cutting lathe is also turned to half the desired playback speed. The technique allows more time to cut a micro-precise groove, resulting in more accuracy with frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts. The result on the turntables is an exceptional level of sonic clarity and punch. Both of these special pressings were previously released only as part of Creedence’s collectible, seven-LP Studio Albums Collection box set, and follow standalone, audiophile-quality reissues of the band’s first five albums.

File Under: Rock
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Decemberists: Live Home Library Vol. 1 – 8-11-09 Royal Oak, MI (Youth and Beauty Brigade) LP
Extremely limited exclusive Decemberist live 2LP. Limited edition one time only pressing. Recorded at Royal Oak Music Theatre in Michigan during the Hazards Of Love tour (2009). The first volume in the Decemberists’ Live Home Library series, from the band’s own label — Youth and Beauty Brigade. Vinyl exclusive, not available on streaming services. Mixed by Hazards of Love co-producer/mixer Tucker Martine. Packaging details: 140-gram Double LP on limited edition black vinyl, custom wide-spine jacket / Etched Vinyl D-Side / 24” fold-out insert with oral history and photos of the tour from the band.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Dio: Holy Diver Live (BMG) LP
Dio offers up newly remastered vinyl reissues of their live albums, Evil or Divine: Live in New York City and Holy Diver Live, as a standard 180g 3LP-set and as a Lenticular 180g 3LP Version (featuring a 3D album sized art piece) with newly created triple gatefold cover art. Recorded live at the London Astoria, the long out of print 2008 release Holy Diver Live features the legendary Holy Diver album performed live in its entirety plus Dio classics from across his career including Black Sabbath and Rainbow! The line-up here consists of Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Rudy Sarzo (bass), Simon Wright (drums) and Scott Warren (keyboards).

File Under: Metal
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Flying Burrito Brothers: Gilded Palace of Sin (A&M) LP
Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Bros after both leaving The Byrds. They brought in bassist Chris Ethridge and pedal steel guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow to complete the line-up, appropriating the band’s name from a group of Los Angeles musicians who gathered for jam sessions. The Burrito Bros’s landmark 1969 debut The Gilded Palace Of Sin stands as one of the defining albums of country-rock and Americana music, helping draw the blueprint for both the 70s country-rock and the alt-country boom of the late 80s. Bob Dylan said the record “knocked me out” and Elvis Costello named it as one of the 500 essential albums all music lovers should own. “We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band that sounds like a country band,” said Parsons who was 22 when the album was made. As well as being full of modern Americana classics – including the achingly beautiful two-part harmonies on songs such as “Juanita” and “Wheels” – there were also innovative cover songs. Hillman said that Parsons opened him up to new musical experiences by setting the challenge of taking great soul songs – such as “The Dark End Of The Street” – and reinventing them. “My Uncle” (the only track to feature Hillman on mandolin) and “Hippie Boy” are counterculture songs of the time about the Vietnam draft and the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots in Chicago. The album’s artwork is also special. It was overseen by Tom Wilkes, who had joined A&M after being the art director of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Parsons had arranged for custom-made Nudie suits to be created by the acclaimed designer Nudie Cohn. Parson’s one, which featured red poppies and marijuana leaves, hangs in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Wilkes said: “We decided to take them out to the desert and do something kind of surreal with the Nudie suits, shot by Barry Feinstein. And they looked great anyway. They looked funky and kind of country western and kind of rock.”

File Under: Country, Rock
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Jimmy Giuffre: Western Suite (Music on Vinyl) LP
James Giuffre was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger, notable for his development of forms of jazz which allowed for free interplay between the musicians. His 1960 album Western Suite features an unusual trio of clarinet, guitar and valve trombone. The first half of the album is devoted to Giuffre’s country music/folk-inspired suite, while the second half features a lengthy and abstract version of the big band standard “Topsy” and a Thelonious Monk song.

File Under: Jazz
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Hold Steady: Open Door Policy (Positive Jams) LP
“We recorded Open Door Policy in two different sessions in the back half of 2019. Once again we teamed with producer Josh Kaufman and engineer Dan Goodwin, this time at the Clubhouse studio in upstate NY. Our intention was to create an album that worked as a grand piece, rather than a collection of songs. 2019 was an active year for The Hold Steady – our writing was consistent, and new songs were coming in pretty regularly. The recording process was creative, open and fun. “We were pretty much done with the record by the time we played a few of the new songs in London the first week of March 2020, as the unease of the pandemic was setting in. Not long after we got back from London, NYC shut down and we began to see our 2020 shows postponed. Over the next months, it became obvious that timing this album’s release to specific weekend celebrations wouldn’t be a possibility in the near future. But we were still excited to share it. “The songs on Open Door Policy are about power, wealth, and mental health. They’re about technology, occupation, consumerism, freedom, fandom and escape. And although the album was written and recorded in 2019, the themes of this record seem to be underscored and highlighted by this year of virus and quarantine.” – Craig Finn

File Under: Indie Rock
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Jackson 5: Ultimate Collection (Motown) LP
Available on Vinyl for the First Time in Celebration of 25th Anniversary! The quintessential family group, the Jackson 5 are that rare thing, signifiers of cultural importance. They also made wonderful soul and pop music from start to finish. Their charismatic pull is down to exquisite singing, professional stagecraft that defines show business and groundbreaking productions that always kept them at the forefront of the pop-soul movement. Their combined total sales place them in the Elvis Presley and Beatles category and with frontman Michael’s subsequent career and waiting-in-the-wings Janet Jackson to come they would eclipse all rivals with ease. Their debut Motown single, “I Want You Back,” released in October 1969 kicked things off as number one hits followed in rapid succession leaving records tumbling. “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There” were also modernist in approach, the latter becoming Motown’s biggest record, selling seven million copies and replacing Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” as the label’s supreme moment. The Ultimate Collection gathers the J5’s biggest group and solo hits, first issued in 1995 and now, for its 25th anniversary, on vinyl for the first time!

File Under: Pop, Soul
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Cody Jinks: Adobe Sessions (Cody Jinks) LP
Cody Jinks’ credible grit and meaningful tattoos are no fad. They define exactly who he really is: someone who was raised on the sounds of country music and metal. Ultimately, Jinks found himself back to where it all began. His father loved the outlaw country icons: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and The Hag. That never ending consistency of incredible music growing up laid some very deep seeds and those early influences shine through his music. Jinks’ beloved 2015 album Adobe Sessions, his fourth overall, is back on vinyl. “In 2015 a great crop of fresh faces in country and Americana arose on many people’s radars,” writes Country Perspective. “Hands down one of the best artists to emerge amongst this group was Cody Jinks…[His] 2015 album Adobe Sessions felt like the awaited breaking out of the next big star in the independent country scene. The album is full of traditional country, plenty of steel guitar and ballads on life and love.”

File Under: Country
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Paul Leary: Born Stupid (Shimmy Disc) LP
Paul Leary issued his debut solo album The History Of Dogs in 1991. And now, thirty years later he’s releasing the follow up Born Stupid. Thirty years may seem like an oddly excessive length of time between albums, but that’s apropos, as nearly all the highlights of Leary’s legendary career have been odd and excessive. Leary is best known as guitarist/vocalist for the infamous psychedelic noise rock band Butthole Surfers. Much of the subversive creative spirit that fueled the Butthole Surfers’ best work can be found inside the grooves of Leary’s charmingly twisted new album. Musically, Born Stupid largely steps away from the atomic punk energy and fuzzed-out metal riffing that defined the Butthole Surfers’ sound. Instead, Leary has crafted an equally compelling soundscape filled with carnival sideshow calliopes, spaghetti western guitar motifs, and off-kilter German beer hall waltzes. But where the Butthole Surfers’ work was often squarely focused on the manipulation of sounds and textures, Born Stupid is heavily rooted in the craft of song, and the record’s finely structured musical landscapes work to support the stories being sung. The connection between Born Stupid and vintage Butthole Surfers’ music is not just stylistic. Longtime fans of Leary’s work will be pleased by the presence of a couple radically reworked interpretations of Butthole Surfers-era material, including a giddily demented singalong version of the “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave.” According to Leary, there was no grand vision behind the conception of Born Stupid. “I wasn’t planning on making another album, but over the years songs kept popping into my head. So I figured I might as well record them.” Leary has seized a ripe cultural moment to send this music out to the world, as Born Stupid speaks effectively to the damaged state of contemporary U.S. culture. There’s no better example than the album’s title track, a perfect anthem for the modern American age. “With so much strife and peril in this world I’d like to help make things better. But, instead, I had to be born stupid,” Leary croons in a warped country drawl, evoking the voice of Lee Hazlewood as sung through a cancer kazoo. Throughout the album Leary is joined by drummer Josh Freese, known for his work with a range of artists, including The Vandals, Guns N’ Roses, and Devo.

File Under: Rock, Butthole Surfers
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Lucero: When You Found Me (Thirty Tigers) LP
Building on the themes of their critically acclaimed album Among The Ghosts, “family” is at the center of Lucero’s new album When You Found Me. The album reimagines family stories as modern fables, with young heroines and storybook lyrics inspired by the fairy tales lead singer Ben Nichols’ reads with his four year old daughter at bedtime. Throughout When You Found Me, true stories are turned into fantasy and folktales are reimagined into pummeling rock songs. For the second time, the band teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang. The album was recorded in two weeks during COVID, in their hometown of Memphis, TN at the beautiful and historic Sam Phillips Recording Service. The nostalgic feeling is carried through sonically as the band recalls the classic rock of their youth, taking advantage of keyboardist Rick Steff’s extensive collection of vintage synthesizers while still retaining their contemporary Lucero sound. “After 22 years on the road with a rock & roll band, family has become more and more important to me over the years,” says Nichols. “I always appreciated where I came from but more and more I’m appreciating where I am right now.”

File Under: Rock, Country
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Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter (MCA) LP
In December 1970, already 10 years into her chart career, self-taught singer, songwriter and guitarist Loretta Lynn took a song about her own life to No.1, when “Coal Miner’s Daughter” hit the country summit. The great country music figurehead wrote the song about her own upbringing as the second of seven children, “in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler,” the coal mining community where she was born in 1932 in Johnson County, KY. It was a truly vivid depiction of her tough, working class beginnings in life, produced by the prolific Owen Bradley. In just its eighth week on the countdown, the song replaced Sonny James’ “Endlessly” at the top to become the fourth in Lynn’s proud total of 16 country No.1s. Lynn never underestimated the importance of the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” single in her career. As she said: “It told everybody that I could write about something else besides marriage problems.” In 1976, the song lent its title to Lynn’s autobiography, and another four years on it inspired the Oscar-winning big screen biopic about her life. The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” single – Lynn’s first recording inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame – anchored the Gold-certified 1971 album of the same name which celebrates its 50th anniversary here! It was the only single from the ten-track album, but the set also included such notables as the Conway Twitty composition “Hello Darlin'”, Larry Brinkley and Lee McAlphin’s “The Man of the House” and another Lynn composition, “What Makes Me Tick.” She also co-wrote “Any One, Any Worse, Any Where” with Lorene Allen.

File Under: Country
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Curtis Mayfield: There’s No Place Like America Today (Rhino) LP
Curtis Mayfield’s 1975 testament to the State Of The Union, There’s No Place Like America Today features a hip political tone that’s right up there with the best of his early ’70s material and it finds the Gentle Genius in his absolute prime as a composer. Highlights include the haunting opener “Billy Jack,” Mayfield’s take on urban life “When Seasons Change” and the album’s biggest hit, the exquisite “So In Love.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Curtis Mayfield: Roots (Rhino) LP
Orange vinyl! Released in 1971, Roots is Curtis Mayfield’s second solo album after enjoying considerable success with The Impressions. Lavishly produced, its epic funk-driven orchestral sound made it one of the most progressive soul albums of its era. Consolidating the success of his debut Curtis – itself a benchmark album at the time – Roots marked a further stage in Curtis’ mastery of studio techniques and meaningful songwriting, particularly in his sophisticated political statements. Opening with the hit single “Get Down” – a hard-hitting slab of driving funk-rock – the album includes three of Curtis’ finest inspirational songs in “We Got To Have Peace,” “Beautiful Brother Of Mine” (both hit singles) and “Keep On Keeping On,” as well as the impassioned blues of “Now You’re Gone.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Mogwai: As the Love Continues (Temporary Residence) LP
Yellow vinyl! Mogwai have advanced without a plan since they were teenagers, there have been no secretive meetings to work out the master plan. It is rare to hear a band that has been going for this long, and have this many albums behind them – ten records in and still no disappointments or mistaken creative left turns. You may know what to expect, but you will never get the same. Both transcendent and surprising, As The Love Continues shows that Mogwai are still offering solace from the mundane, supplying the soundtrack to whatever movie you are making in your head. As The Love Continues was originally planned to be recorded in America, but the pandemic led to a relocation to Worcestershire, with producer Dave Fridmann separated by an ocean but appearing like an Orwellian oppressor over the sessions. This pandemic necessity was quickly routine, and it also bought them a little more time. The album features contributions from Atticus Ross (“Midnight Flit”) and Colin Stetson (“Pat Stains”), and arrives almost exactly 25 years after the release of the Mogwai’s debut single, “Tuner”/”Lower.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Rock
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Lee Morgan: The Rajah (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
This sleek and beautifully paced Lee Morgan album was recorded in 1966 but shelved until 1984 for unknown reasons. In addition to the trumpeter, the quintet here features a superb line-up with Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone, Cedar Walton on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums, all playing at the top of their game. Highlights include the Duke Pearson gem “Is That So” and the enticing title track penned by Morgan. Blue Note Records’ acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series continues in 2021. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley

File Under: Jazz
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The National: Cherry Tree (4AD) LP
Twenty years on from the release of their 2001 self-titled debut album, The National are reissuing it along with 2003’s follow-up Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and 2004’s Cherry Tree EP. With all three records having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasizing the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the finest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation. Released a year before The National broke through with their third album Alligator, the Cherry Tree EP is a thrilling record which – thanks to its collection of delicate ballads and anthemic crowd-pleasers – sums up what they do best in under 30 minutes. Now a firm fan-favorite, among Cherry Tree’s seven tracks are now National classics “About Today” and “All The Wine,” plus a thrilling live version of “Murder Me Rachael” that reminds of the band’s fearsome early live performances. Cherry Tree can be seen as the record that marks the moment when The National had truly found themselves, a bridge from what went before to a band ready to conquer the world. And with this new master, it’s never sounded better!

File Under: Indie Rock
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The National: Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (4AD) LP
Twenty years on from the release of their 2001 self-titled debut album, The National are reissuing it along with 2003’s follow-up Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and 2004’s Cherry Tree EP. With all three records having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasizing the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the finest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation. The National’s second album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers proved a leap forward from 2001’s eponymous debut, showing a band adept at delivering warm embraces and gut punches in equal measure. With word of mouth now spreading on the band, critics proved equally enthusiastic. Pitchfork in their glowing review called it a “Gorgeous train wreck” that “Lives up to its blunt title (with) Matt Berninger’s self-effacing barbs matched by the band’s equally potent hooks,” while Uncut also became early champions saying the album was “A genuine treasure… Livid as a bruise, this is brave, desperate, beautiful music.” No longer a secret among those that know, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is an important record in The National’s discography with this new remaster showing that it’s more than standing the test of time.

File Under: Indie Rock
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The National: s/t (4AD) LP
Twenty years on from the release of their 2001 self-titled debut album, The National are reissuing it along with 2003’s follow-up Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers and 2004’s Cherry Tree EP. With all three records having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasizing the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the finest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The National’s self-titled debut album of sozzled Americana is a thing of beauty, laden with heavy hints that this was a special band in the making. Their first release, The National arrived two years after The National formed, a time when they were juggling bandlife with needing to hold down full-time jobs. And while nods to the alt-rock artists that inspired them (Pavement, Silver Jews) can be heard, so too are the beginnings of something all their own – Matt Berninger’s stunning and unexpected lyrics being pinned to melodies that stop you in your tracks. The National marks the starting point for one of the best bands of their generation with its new master helping elevate it to new levels. A great primer to a great band!

File Under: Indie Rock
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Sarin: You Can’t Go Back (Prosthetic) LP
The epitome of post-hardcore/post-metal, Ontario-based quintet Sarin have been releasing EPs since 2012 while continually evolving. You Can’t Go Back showcases Oceanic-era ISIS as a primary inspiration, but finds the band branching out with eclectic clean vocals and more technicality and increased keyboard usage.

File Under: Metal
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Ty Segall & Cory Hanson: She’s A Beam/Milk Bird Flyer (Drag City) 10″
Broken nation time! Dark skies over our days, an increased reliance on black-market products. Wanna buy some 5-year old sunshine? With 2020 hindsight, it’s looking pretty good… Smash-cut to 2015. Two boys with guitars on their chests, stretching songwriting muscles and finding, to their delight, new possibilities at every run up the neck—a new normal every second. This means trading vocal parts mid-song, then trading back again, modulating madly through rhythm changes, looking for a note in the harmony they’d never played or sung before. All in the service of locating the feelgood pop alchemy in a song in which no parts are repeated. Laying it all down with a sweet solid state vibe. Almost like a form of instant nostalgia for the world that that would soon be ‘used to be…’ “Milk Bird Flyer” is a perfect other A to pair with “She’s a Beam,” hovering on a fade-in fanfare of gleaming guitar godness before shifting into a countryish tripper with cheerful Psilo-sci-fi-bin lyrics to bend and stretch the ecstatic shuffle of the beat. As with “She’s a Beam,” Ty and Cory are floating so tight in the harmony that we’re like, “Who’s who?” But it doesn’t matter. These lost songs are found again, and we feel the same! The pure sounds of yesterday (you know, actually five years ago, but it feels like it, doesn’t it?) are bright like a moment in time just waiting for its chance to exist, a nugget of potency landing right between the eyes in any era. Turn it up and smile, smile, smile! One-sided 10-inch EP with etched B-side.

File Under: Punk, Psych
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Pauline Anna Strom: Angel Tears in Sunlight (RVNG Intl) LP
Angel Tears in Sunlight is Pauline Anna Strom’s first album in over thirty years; an assemblage of music that refracts the expansiveness, and minutiae, of imagined realms while embracing the kaleidoscopic echoes of our distant epochs. Recorded in the same San Francisco home where her early work emerged, Angel Tears in Sunlight elevates Strom’s mysterious, masterful synthesis of music and machine and opens another portal to the transportive power and healing potential of her work.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Viagra Boys: Welfare Jazz (Year0001) LP
Since their founding in 2015, Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys have made a name for themselves burning up stages around the world. There’s a little Iggy Pop spit and seethe, a David Yow drunken stumble, and a bite of Nick Cave’s haunted bark. Add a dash of motorik groove, a pinch of post-punk grime, and a dose of no wave howl. Welfare Jazz doesn’t bargain with the anxiety in that defeated feeling, but rather a boiling certainty that nothing and no one is absolute. There’s plenty of blame to go around, and things are just a lot more interesting when you admit that you’re not always going to be nice, you’re not always going to pick the right words in a fist-fight. So why not keep moving forward, swaying and strutting into the night.

File Under: Punk
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Whit Boyd Combo: Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) (Modern Harmonic) LP
Glorious audio swagger discovered buried deep in this mess of a film! Thanks to the discovery of the original audio reels, we found fantastic music hidden under all that horrible dialog! This 1969 occult odyssey is crudely crafted, probably improvised, and constantly dumbfounding–yet there’s a different kind of magic at work with the soundtrack. Sounding like it was recorded during the witching hour in Dracula’s basement through the prism of a weed-soaked haze, the music is stoner exotica of the highest caliber; the organ sounds like it could blow a fuse at any moment, the sax and guitar battle in a war of licks, and the drums and bass provide a driving foundation for the chaos. Crawling out of a time rotted tomb for the first time, pressed on blood red vinyl, and including a DVD of the entire awful film!

File Under: OST
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…..Restocks…. 

Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs (Harvest) LP
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (EMI) LP
Besnard Lakes: Are the Last of the Great… (Flemish Eye) LP
Black Pumas: s/t (ATO) LP
Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher (Dead Oceans) LP
Budos Band: Long in the Tooth (Daptone) LP
Coil: Musick to Play in the Dark (Dais) LP
Sarah Davachi: Cantus, Descant (Late) LP
Drab Majesty: Careless (Dais) LP
Drab Majesty: Modern Mirror (Dais) LP
Drab Majesty: The Demonstration (Dais) LP
Fall: Bend Sinister/The Domesdaypay-off Triad-Plus (Beggars) LP
Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall (Beggars) LP
Fall: This Nation’s Saving Grace (Beggars) LP
Fontaines DC: Dogrel (Partisan) LP
Holy Hive: Float Back To You (Big Crown) LP
Indian Summer: Giving Birth to Summer (Numero) LP
Khruangbin: Mordechai (Dead Oceans) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: I Told You So (Colemine) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
Peggy Lee: Black Coffee (Acoustic Sounds Series) (Verve) LP
Menahan Street Band: Make the Road by Walking (Daptone) LP
Minor Threat: s/t (Dischord) LP
Molchat Doma: Etazhi (Sacred Bones) LP
Thelonious Monk: Solo Monk (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nurse With Wound: To The Quiet Men From a Tiny Girl (Dirter) LP
Pink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Mercury) LP
Otis Redding: Live at the Whiskey a Go Go (Universal) LP
Otis Redding: The Best of (Atlantic) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Mono) (Rhino) LP
Otis Redding: Soul Album (Rhino) LP
J. Peter Schwalm & Arve Henriksen: Neuzeit (Rarenoise) LP
TV Priest: Uppers (Sub Pop) LP
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) LP
Various: Crown Jewels Vol 1 (Big Crown) LP