As usual, following last weeks jam packed list, this week’s is a little on the light side, but also as usual, a few of the few things are killer. And with all that rain, it’s not like you can get out in the yard so you might as well get some new wax.
…..pick of the week…..
Constantines: Shine A Light (You’ve Changed) LP
If you don’t own this record, you should! “Originally released by Three Gut Records (Canada) and Sub Pop Records (the rest of the world) in 2003 and since named one of the top 200 records of the 2000s by Pitchfork and often cited as one of the best Canadian records ever, this legendary album has been out of print on LP since 2007. We’re proud to make this LP available again, featuring a newly cut vinyl master and packaged with a special bonus 7-inch containing 3 B-sides recorded at the same time as Shine a Light. The original gate-fold artwork has been re-photographed to show its age and the past 11 years of neglect in dank basements. The first pressing of the The Constantines’ self-titled (and Juno Award-nominated) debut (released on Three Gut Records in 2001 and re-released outside of Canada on Sub Pop in 2004) was fittingly packaged so that, upon opening the red cardstock booklet, you’d find a single strike-anywhere match. In an effort to not ruin the beauty and poignancy of a thing through over-explanation, suffice it to say that if your relationship with rock and roll is not fundamentally a quest for fire (elemental, transformative, consuming), you’ve missed the point. This from Magnet magazine: “They’re young offenders with sharpened teeth who make grinding, literate punk with the elasti-to-explosive guitars heard on Fugazi’s “Smallpox Champion,” the stark lyrical economy of a Vonnegut-penned newspaper obituary…” And: “The Constantines are old souls in young bodies–guys in their early 20s who sound like Joe Strummer backed by Fugazi–making music that wakes the sleeping and the dead.”
File Under: Rock, CanCon, Classics
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Piano Nights (Pias) LP
There’s something terrifyingly beautiful about Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s music, most obviously the sheer unhurried lethargy of it. Each piece moves slower than hell, meditating at the sort of pace the 20th century’s communication explosion almost killed off. Each Bohren release evokes the sedate momentum of ancient sea travel, snailing forward through barren landscapes, perhaps unknowingly in circles, constantly tempting one to ask, “have we been here before?” The story of the band’s progress has been as persistently sedate as the music itself, with the now-signature sound of Christoph Clöser’s tenor sax not actually entering the group until some eight years after their formation and two monolithic albums of guitar-led imaginary midnight movie soundtracks in 1994 and 1995. The group’s loosely-definable second phase following the departure of Reiner Henseleit and his guitar and the introduction of Clöser and his sax seemingly came to something of a conclusion with the ‘Beileid’ mini-album in 2011, with Mike Patton even joining them to croon across an unrecognizable cover of ‘Catch My Heart’ by 80s German metallers Warlock. An approximation of light had begun to appear behind the curtains of the long-abandoned jazz club where Bohren & Der Club Of Gore have been living for two decades now, with semblances of major keys and the distant-memory of the bright outside world languidly returning since 2008’s Dolores. Their progress having slowed to a near-standstill, the group take a sideways step with Piano Nights and continue their slow march towards the eternal embrace of the grave, albeit with something of a resigned grin of acceptance across their faces.
File Under: Jazz
Soul legend Lee Fields has re-teamed with The Expressions for new album Emma Jean. Coming at a time when many new artists are trying to emulate the soul and swagger of the 1960s, Mr. Fields showers us with authenticity on the 11-track set, highlighted by first single “Magnolia,” a refreshed cover of the J.J. Cale track that embodies the late, great American singer-songwriter and the Tulsa Sound he helped create. Since releasing his first album in 1969, Fields has continued to make music for the last 45 years. And having been on the road, touring non-stop for the better part of the last decade, it’s evident that Fields has hit an elevated stride both as a recording artist and live performer. Emma Jean is the follow up to Fields’ widely praised first two Truth & Soul albums – 2009’s My World and 2012’s Faithful Man. Lee Fields & The Expressions have forged a distinct soulful sound and a grown style with this album. They’ve pushed their sound in new directions, moving from being content as contemporary soul music royalty and instead delving into and exploring its next steps. There’s a sharper wisdom in the songwriting – from the having loved, lost, and learned vibe of “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” backed by crooning guitar and wailing horns, to the sophisticated arrangements and studio acumen that’s pared with Lee’s straightforward sincerity in “Just Can’t Win.” Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys wrote “Paralyzed,” and having Emma Jean mixed and partially recorded at his Nashville studio, country soul and bluesy rock are immediately noticeable. It brings a different kind of strut to the album, but Fields – born and raised in North Carolina – is right at home with the Southern soul sound. In fact, it feels like a natural progression: an organic, refreshingly pure next step. Like past releases from this matchless pairing of Fields’ warm-and-raw growl and The Expressions’ switched-on and sharp musicianship, Emma Jean takes soul music in a familiar but updated direction. “He’s 63 years old,” notes the album’s producer and co-owner of Truth & Soul Leon Michels, “he’s so focused, and has been working non-stop – he’s singing the best he ever has.”File Under: Soul, Funk
Glassworks is the most pleasant craftwork ever from the great minimalist exploiter. Six warm pieces in a successful attempt to create a more pop-oriented work. The Philip Glass ensemble performs with an amiably soft-edged minimalist sound, in an almost new-agey vein. Glass anticipated resistance toward the funding of his more expensive projects, so he created a more accessible, and marketable recording. And with success. More then 200.000 albums were sold in five years. Glassworks is another Music On Vinyl Classical release by this fantastic composer.
Remastered in 2014 by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Mastering, London for the Album’s 20th Anniversary. Includes High Quality MP3 Download Code for ALL of the Bonus Content from the Special Edition CD (Volumes 1, 2 & 3). In their 14-year recording career Oasis sold over 70 million albums worldwide, had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 singles, 7 No. 1 studio albums, but, more than that, they helped define a generation. Now Big Brother Recordings is set to reissue the band’s classic albums in chronological order as part of the new Chasing The Sun series. Each album has been remastered and available with rare and exclusive bonus content. With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of its original release, Definitely Maybe will be the first release in the series. (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory and Be Here Now will follow later this year. Definitely Maybe was originally released in August 1994 and was an immediate critical and commercial smash. The fastest selling debut album ever (at the time), it went seven-times platinum in the UK (over 2 million copies), and sold 5 million worldwide. Containing the classic debut single “Supersonic,” and subsequent singles “Shakermaker,” “Live Forever,” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” Definitely Maybe frequently appears on ‘best album of all time’ polls, including being listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time and a No. 1 placing in a 2008 Q Magazine/HMV poll of the ‘Greatest British Albums.’ Remastered in 2014 by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Mastering, London, the new 20th anniversary vinyl edition is manufactured on a heavyweight 2LP-set and contains a high quality MP3 download code including ALL the bonus content (B-sides, rare and unreleased Oasis tracks from the Definitely Maybe era, plus their huge Christmas single from 1994, “Whatever”) featured on the Special Edition CD (volumes 1, 2 and 3).File Under: Rock, Brit Rock
Original music by Bruno Coulais. Illustration and design by Michael DePippo. 2XLP in deluxe gatefold jacket pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Limited edition pressed on black vinyl and randomly-inserted Black & White Swirl vinyl.File Under: OST, Mondo
This soundtrack contains probably the best track Brian Eno every released, just so you know. The American science fiction action film Dune is based on the 1965 Frank Herbert same titled novel. The instrumental soundtrack was recorded by popular rock band Toto (minus lead singer Bobby Kimball), accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Volksoper Choir. It marks Toto’s first and only film score. One track for the movie called ‘Prophecy Theme’ was composed by Brian Eno. Originally released in 1984, the soundtrack album contained select cues in their original film order, plus two pieces of dialogue from the movie that served as bookends for two tracks (‘Prologue’ and ‘The Floating Fat Man (The Baron)’). 30 years after its original release, Dune is released on 180 gram audiophile vinyl by Music On Vinyl.File Under: OST, Eno, Ambient
Original music by Jon Brion. Design & Layout by DKNG Studios. 2XLP in deluxe gatefold jacket pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Limited edition pressed on black vinyl and randomly-inserted Highlighter Yellow vinyl, with Bone Haze.
Hardly in stock, no holds, first come first served on this batch… More in soon. A NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA: Hello There, We (Swans) have recently completed our new album. It is called To Be Kind. The release date is set for May 13, 2014. It will be available as a triple vinyl album, a double CD, and a 2XCD Deluxe Edition that will include a live DVD. It will also be available digitally. The album was produced by me, and it was recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, and further recordings and mixing were accomplished at John’s studio in Dallas, Texas. A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment. The Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica. Special Guests for this record include: Little Annie (Annie sang a duet with me on the song Some Things We Do, the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent); St. Vincent (Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record); Cold Specks (Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song ‘Bring the Sun’); Bill Rieflin (honorary Swan Bill played instruments ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on. He has been a frequent contributor to Swans and Angels of Light and is currently playing with King Crimson).. The Swans will be ON TOUR in Canada this summer!! Quotes about their previous album, ‘The Seer’ (2012); “…the sound of a celestial sledgehammer descending” – Time Magazine // “…Swans make their grandest statement yet” – Rolling StoneFile Under: Rock, No-Wave, Drone
American Analog Set: Know By Heart (Barsuk) LP
American Football: s/t (Polyvinyl) LP
Geoff Barrow: Drokk (Invada) LP
James Blake: s/t (Atlas) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Visitors (Numero) 5×7″ Box
Elliott Brood: Tin Type (Paper Bag) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Harmonia: Music Von Harmonia (Lilith) LP
Hawkwind: Space Ritual (Rock Classics) LP
Sharon Jones: Naturally (Daptone) LP
Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista) LP
Rolling Stones: 12×5 (Abkco) LP
Sharon Van Etten: Are We There (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bry Webb: Free Will (Idee Fixe) LP
Various: Inner City Beat (Soul Jazz) LP