…..news letter #725 – here comes sickness…..

Well, not the busiest week for new arrivals around here. Which suits me just fine cuz my head feels like it’s going to explode. Yay!

…..pick of the week…..hateful eight

OST: The Hateful Eight (Third Man) LP
Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features original compositions from world-renowned, award-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone. While Tarantino is a lifelong fan of Morricone’s work and has used his music in his past five films, this historic collaboration marks the first time Morricone has recorded original music specifically for one of Tarantino’s films. It is also the first time Morricone has scored a Western film in nearly 50 years, since the release of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. In The Hateful Eight, set years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of red rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former Union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of red rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate general Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

File Under: OST, Morricone
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…..new arrivals…..

all them witches

All Them Witches: Lightning At The Door (New West) LP+7”
Heavy, heady and hypnotic, All Them Witches, who take their name from Roman Polanski’s 1968 masterpiece Rosemary’s Baby, concoct a powerful and potent psychedelic sound that fuses bluesy soul, Southern swagger and thunderous hard rock. With their transfixing releases, Our Mother Electricity and Lightning At The Door, and a jam-filled live show where no two shows are the same, the band has amassed a devoted following and have become something of a sensation in the underground rock scene. “When I first saw All Them Witches live I was immediately struck by their creativity and raw energy as a rock band,” says John Allen, President of New West Records. “If there’s one defining factor of all New West artists it’s that they all know who exactly they are and there’s immense gravity in that. We are very excited to be part of All Them Witches’ epic vision and believe their potential is limitless.” 2014 witnessed the release of All Them Witches’ Lightning At The Door. Birthed to the world was an 8-song, kick you in the teeth, swirling mixture of rock, blues, psych and jam. A supernatural commutation channeling darkness and illumination. In anticipation of a 2015 follow-up record, Lightning At The Door is being reissued with two bonus tracks from the original recording sessions. “The band seemingly channels the churn of the universe and connects with a big, bad, uncaring cosmos,” wrote the Boston Globe, adding, “There is a primal ebb and flow at the core. The band’s mystic atmosphere, dark but not brutal, is the result of a tireless work ethic, a grueling tour schedule, and a tape trader’s compulsion for  documenting every show.”

File Under: Stoner Rock
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Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) 2LP
Black Sabbath has never sounded more ominous, powerful, or dynamic than on this audiophile 180g 2LP version pressed at QRP. Featuring the sonically superb 2012 remaster of the original album, along with a second LP of nine tracks previously unreleased in North America, Black Sabbath (Deluxe Edition) enhances the 1970 album that became the blueprint for an entire genre and set the stage for untold bands that developed in its wake. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward’s groundbreaking self-titled release features the iconic title track along with the classics “The Wizard” and “N.I.B.” This 2LP deluxe edition of Black Sabbath boasts nine bonus tracks, including studio outtakes from the 1969 sessions for the album, alternate versions of “Black Sabbath” and “N.I.B.,” and two versions of the UK single “Evil Woman (Don’t Play Games With Me).”

File Under: Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock
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Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) 2LP
You’ve never experienced Black Sabbath’s gloomy tempos, doomy riffs, bellbottom-blowing grooves, drop-down tunings, and panoramic percussion on 1970’s Paranoid like this. Iron Man finally sounds like he’s really made out of cast iron. Featuring the 2012 remaster of the original album, and pressed at QRP for true audiophile quality, the English quartet’s signature album brims with unrivaled low-end depth, vivid immediacy, and tonal decay that makes every note that much heavier—and better. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward’s metal masterpiece has gone on to be certified 4x platinum and includes such scorching fare as “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “Faries Wear Boots,” and the title cut. This Deluxe Edition features phenomenal instrumental takes on “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” and more, along with versions of “Paranoid” and “Planet Caravan” with alternate lyrics.

File Under: Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock
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Nils Frahm: Screws Reworked (Erased Tapes) LP
Fascinated by the results of the Screws Reworked submissions, Nils Frahm selected nine reworks to feature on a special edition re-issue which will be released as a limited edition 2LP-set that also includes his original Screws. American composer Keith Kenniff, better known as Helios, Bug Lover from Hamburg and French artist Fred Yaddaden are amongst Nils’ final selection, housed in an inner sleeve carrying a visual rework created by Bertrand Sallé. “Whenever you have to decide between two things, you end up favouring one over the other. In the case of this record, I had to choose nine out of hundreds of songs – but I didn’t want to follow this logic, I didn’t want the songs to compete against each other. I never liked music competitions, neither when I was a kid playing classical music contests nor today when the best album of 2015 is awarded. Having been in the situation to pick my own tracks for my own records, I knew that the only way to manage this tough job is to concentrate on the cohesiveness of listening to the songs all together. Screws Reworked should sound like a record, not like a random collection of tracks. “The motivation to make such a record came with the release of Screws in 2012 as a gift to my listeners. I thought about it as a starting point for people to make their own interpretations of the songs. The feedback was overwhelming. A couple of months later, we counted over 300 contributions. Without going through a selection process, they were all available only online until now. It seemed essential to make it a real record as I imagined how happy it must make those who would find their names – in most cases for the first time – on a real record. “Now is the time to thank you all for your numerous and beautiful contributions. In case you don’t find your track here, please don’t think it stands behind the others. This record means, in fact, that some of the most beautiful songs couldn’t be included as they simply weren’t ‘good neighbours’ and because there is only one rework for each of my original compositions. However all of you opened your hearts and minds and shared your uniqueness with us and I feel incredibly blessed by each and every single rework of Screws. Thank you!” – Nils Frahm

File Under:
 Piano, Classical, Electronic
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Hills: Frid (Rocket) LP
Third-eye visionaries Hills present their third opus, a dizzying journey that traverses through the band’s origins and beyond to new dimensions. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based band have released two full-length albums since forming in 2006, the second of which, 2011’s Master Sleeps, saw a vinyl outing on Rocket in 2013. Part of a rich local scene that also includes friends and Rocket Recordings label-mates Goat, they form the next chapter in a tradition of Swedish psychedelia that found its origins in late-’60s and early-’70s freakouts and mind-melts by the likes of Baby Grandmothers and Älgarnas Trädgård — not to mention the unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Träd, Gräs och Stenar — before being developed by the likes of The Spacious Mind and Dungen around the turn of the millennium. These inspirations make their mark on Frid by journeying inward, via mantric repetition and hip-shaking pulsations — as on the ten-minute monolith “Och Solen Sänkte Sig Röd” — yet they can also lurch into the unknown via the fuzz/wah odysseys of the aptly-monikered “National Drone” and the ceremonial exhortations of the closing “Death Will Find a Way.” As they also showed at a rare and spellbinding appearance at the 2014 Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, Hills have landed on a rich and intoxicating sound that sidesteps the clichés and humdrum stylistic foibles that often plague modern-day psych, and, in the process, breathed new life into an approach that can sometimes seem in danger of appearing redundant through lack of imagination. Frid crystallizes everything that makes these Scandinavian satyrs stand out from the global herd: adventurous experimentation and fearless hallucinatory intensity, rendered with brass-knuckle fortitude. The end result is 38 minutes that translate into a feast for seasoned crate-diggers and fresh-faced converts alike.

File Under: Psych
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OST: Jackie Brown (Rhino) LP
Limited edition 180-gram yellow vinyl 13 classic tracks from Bill Withers, Minnie Riperton, Bobby Womack + dialog from the film

File Under: OST
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Replacements: Hootenanny (Rhino) LP
Standard weight, regular color (black), essential vinyl for every ‘Mats fan The Twin/Tone era LPs are available again after being out of print for over 20 years. Hootenanny, the 2nd full length record, brilliantly showcases Paul Westerberg’s heart-on-sleeve balladeer-ing (‘Within Your Reach’), the comedic sarcasm in ‘Lovelines’ and ‘punk rock mastery of ‘Run It’

File Under: Rock
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Replacements: Stink (Rhino) LP
When the Replacements’ second 12″ release, the “Stink” mini-LP, dropped in June 1982, the band members had emerged from their respective garages to become an epic force in Minneapolis’ vital music scene. Much tighter than their debut LP released a year earlier, it sounds as if the band is merciless, barely even stopping for air between tracks. Paul Westerberg’s songs bristled with anger against all manner of middle-class irritants, as he spit vitriol at his “God Damn Job” and told school to go fuck itself. An adrenaline-fueled masterpiece, this classic finds the group’s legendary founding line-up ripping through eight songs in a breathless fifteen minutes.

File Under: Rock
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Vince Staples: Summertime ‘06 (Def Jam) LP
In tomorrow… Summertime ’06 is the highly anticipated two-segment studio debut from Long Beach, CA rapper Vince Staples best known as one-third of Cutthroat Boyz. Executive produced by trailblazing producer and Def Jam Recordings executive Dion “No I.D.” Wilson, the album touches on events that happened in his life in the summer of 2006 at the age of 13 and onward. With Summertime ’06 Staples delivers the type of introspective reality-based street lyricism that has made him one of rap’s rising stars. Hailed by Pitchfork as the Best New Music of 2015, the auspicious 20-track effort features the preceding singles “Senorita,” “Get Paid” and “Norf Nort.” “Love will tear us apart. Nov 30th, 2005 was the beginning of the loss. The following summer multiplied it. Beaten paths, crowded with the hopeless. Same song every day, listening to the words of a dead man destroyed by his own mind and body. Why? Because at the end of the day we’re all dead anyway. At least where I come from. Love tore us all apart. Love for self, love for separation, love for the little we all had, love for each other, where we came from. Jabari, Chris, Shard, Tom, Richy, Tyson, Tony, Shelly, Phil, Marcel, Brandon, Steve, Jaron, Tay. “Too many to name, too much to forget. Some lost to prison, some lost to Forest Lawn, some turned snitch. Some still here but it will never be the same. Bandanas, Stealing Levis and Nike Sb’s. Derringers and Sidekicks. Its crazy how little you notice and how greatly those things impact. Summer of 2006, the beginning of the end of everything I thought I knew. Youth was stolen from my city that Summer and Im left alone to tell the story. This might not make sense but that’s because none of it does, we’re stuck. Love tore us all apart. Summertime ’06, June 30th.” – Vince Staples

File Under: Hip Hop
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Tortoise: The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey) LP
Simply put, Tortoise has spent nearly 25 years making music that defies description. While the Chicago-based instrumental quintet has nodded to dub, rock, jazz, electronica and minimalism throughout its revered and influential six-album discography, the resulting sounds have always been distinctly, even stubbornly, their own. It’s a fact that remains true on The Catastrophist, Tortoise’s first studio album in nearly seven years. And it’s an album where moody, synth-swept jams like the opening title track cozy up next to hypnotic, bass-and-beat missives like “Shake Hands With Danger” and a downright strange cover of David Essex’s 1973 radio smash sung by U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittman. Throughout, the songs transcend expectations as often as they delight the eardrums. Tortoise, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, John McEntire and Jeff Parker, has always thrived on sudden bursts of inspiration. And for The Catastrophist, the spark came in 2010 when the group was commissioned by the City of Chicago to compose a suite of music rooted in its ties to the area’s noted jazz and improvised music communities. Tortoise then performed those five loose themes at a handful of concerts, and “when we finally got around to talking about a new record, the obvious solution to begin with was to take those pieces and see what else we could do with them,” says McEntire, at whose Soma Studios the band recorded the new album. “It turned out that for them to work for Tortoise, they needed a bit more of a rethink in terms of structure. They’re all pretty different in the sense that at first they were just heads and solos. Now, they’re orchestrated and complex.” The album’s single “Gesceap” embodies the transformation of the original suite commissions, as it morphs from two gently intersecting synth lines into a pounding, frenzied full-band finish. “To a certain extent it’s more of a reflection of how we actually sound when we play live,” says McEntire of Tortoise’s heavier side. “That hasn’t always been captured as well on past albums.” Elsewhere, “Hot Coffee” resurrects an idea abandoned from the band’s 2004 album It’s All Around You, gliding through only-on-a-Tortoise-album sections of funktastic bass lines, straight-up dance beats and Parker’s fusion-flecked guitar bursts. “It’s progressive experimental music with pop sensibilities,” says Parker. “Rock On,” which McEntire says he and McCombs simultaneously had the idea to cover after having remembered hearing it on the radio all the time as kids, isn’t the only vocal moment on The Catastrophist. Also included is the bittersweet, honest-to-goodness soul ballad “Yonder Blue,” sung by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley. “We’d finished the track and decided it would be good to have vocals on it,” recalls McEntire. “Robert Wyatt was our first choice, but he had just retired and politely said no. We were discussing asking Georgia to do something, but not that track in particular. Then we realized it would totally work.” As ever, Tortoise has conjured sounds on The Catastrophist that aren’t being purveyed anywhere else in music today. There’s a deeply intuitive interplay between the group members that comes only from two decades of experimentation, revision and improvisation. And at a time when our brains are constantly bombarded by myriad distractions, The Catastrophist reminds us that there’s something much greater out there. All we have to do is listen.

File Under: Electronic, Post Rock
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Animal Collective: Feels (Fat Cat) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Blur: Parklife (Parlophone) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Berberian Sound Studio (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Chvrches: Every Eye Open (Glassnote) LP
John Coltrane: Dakar (Original Jazz Classics) LP
Loren Connors: Blues The ‘Dark Paintings’ of Mark Rothko (Family Vineyard) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Interscope) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born to Die (Paradise Edition) (Interscope) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Grimes: Art Angels (Crystal Math) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Metallica: s/t (Blackened) LP
Ministry: Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nirvana: Live at Reading (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Royal Headache: High (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) LP
White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Sky (Third Man) LP

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