…..news letter #744 – the infected ear…..

Well it would seem I’ve been sticking too much wax in my ear or something. I guess records really are just for playing. Anyway, not a big week, but the first of the LONG awaited Pink Floyd reissues are in stock and the next batch have been announced as well! And our used crates are crammed right now, and we’ve bought some sweet little piles this week as well so be sure to come have a poke around.

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…..picks of the week…..

piperPink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd’s transformative debut, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, forever changed psychedelic rock. The only one of the band’s albums to be helmed by the fractured genius of Syd Barrett, the 1967 effort finally sounds as it should on vinyl LP. Mastered from the original analog tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is part of the long-overdue Pink Floyd catalog-reissue campaign that is restoring the group’s prized works to analog. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, right next door to the Beatles as the latter worked on Sgt. Pepper, the Top Ten album comes across as a wonderful mix of the whimsical and weird. Filtered through an LSD lens and shot through with melodic acid-pop and experimental instrumental workouts, it includes the space-rock classic “Interstellar Overdrive” and dramatic “Astronomy Divine.” Pink Floyd featuring Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason first broke onto the music scene in 1967 with the hit single “Arnold Layne.” Despite the departure of Syd Barrett, the group, which soon recruited David Gilmour, recorded some of the most innovative and ground breaking records of their era, culminating in 1973 with one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, The Dark Side Of The Moon. There followed numerous global number-one albums, including The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Final Cut and 2014’s finale, The Endless River.

File Under: Psych, Rock, Classics
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belburyBelbury Poly: New Ways Out (Ghost Box) LP
Ghost Box co-founder Jim Jupp and his loose ensemble of session musicians create a unique kind of upbeat spookiness. They meld krautrock, glam, faux folk and ancient TV soundtracks across eleven joyous, slightly camp and oddly unsettling instrumentals. Moving away somewhat from the haunted electronics and occult signifiers of the earlier albums, Belbury Poly employ a more diverse instrumental palette to continue the exploration and illustration of a fictional landscape.

File Under: Electronic, Pseudo-library
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…..new arrivals…..

cows

Cows: Daddy Has A Tail (Amphetamine Reptile) LP
“Daddy Has a Tail is the second Cows album overall and their first album on Amphetamine Reptile Records. Originally released in 1989, this one erased the lines between punk, noise and grunge and threw them all in a blender.”

File Under: Punk
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movies

Holger Czukay: Movie! (Gronland) LP
In tomorrow… Holger Czukay’s first post-Can solo album finds the bass player exploring prog rock jams with varied instrumentation, song-oriented lyrics, and media samples from film, television, and short-wave. It was the samples that put Czukay in the same category as David Byrne and Brian Eno, an art rocker exploring the early days concurrently with early hip-hop pioneers (or alternately, a white man exploiting the culture of the third world, depending on who you read). On “Persian Love,” Czukay backs up clips of an Iranian singer recorded off the short-wave with lilting guitar and keyboard riffs that sparkle like light. The album is all pleasant, playful textures, with little of the darkness that Can dallied with.

File Under: Electronic, Future Jazz, Krautrock
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kills

The Kills: Ash & Ice (Domino) LP
Over their almost decade-and-a-half career, The Kills have released four records. Each one a restless, reckless enigmatic art statement that bristled with tension, anxiety, sex, unstudied cool and winking ennui, yet not one of them sounded like the previous one. Ash & Ice is the follow up to 2011’s critically lauded Blood Pressures and was five years in the making in part due to Jamie Hince’s five hand surgeries, which resulted in him having to re-learn how to play guitar with a permanently damaged finger. It was during Hince’s recuperation from surgery that he first started sketching out what would become the songs for the album. To shake up the writing process, Hince booked a solo trip on the infamous Trans-Siberian Express for inspiration while Alison Mosshart, now residing in Nashville, TN, wrote some of the most affecting, poetically candid lyrics that she ever has, painting word pictures that mine the dangerous terrain between romantic obsession, prophecy and tough love.  Where previous albums had an air of detachment and emotional austerity, underpinned by an uneasy self-awareness and unexpressed anger, the 13 songs on Ash & Ice are more understated, less tempestuous and more affecting because of that, exposing the kind of push-pull you feel when you find yourself in a complicated but all-consuming relationship. Ash & Ice is The Kills at their emotionally charged, arresting best. Prepare to be slayed.

File Under: Indie Rock
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moonface

Moonface & Siinai: My Best Human Face (Jagjaguwar) LP
“I called this thing My Best Human Face not only because that’s one of my favorite lines on the album, but because I sometimes don’t know who I am, or if I’m as good as other people. The title speaks to the vague theme of identity confusion that is loosely woven into the songs – a reoccurring theme I only recognized after the writing was done. And so I conclude that this theme is not really important to me, or to the album. So then I plead with you: please, for the love of music, let’s not make “identity” the talking point of this thing! “The confusion exists for us all, sure, but that doesn’t mean we have to place it in the middle of our circle like a campfire. At end of it all, these are good time songs, meant to inspire good times in the listener. They were made joyously, with a stubborn love of music at their center. And while some of the content might be dark or sad, the memories of making these songs brings only gladness and gratitude, and it’s the construction, not the deconstruction, that I think we should celebrate.” – Spencer Krug

File Under: Indie Rock
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mmj

My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves (ATO) 4LP
My Morning Jacket is reissuing their 2003 masterwork It Still Moves – remixed and remastered – as a special deluxe package with new artwork and exclusive photos. It will include frontman Jim James’ ten original demos plus three unheard tracks from the original sessions in a limited edition 180g 4LP box set. MMJ’s breakthrough third release employs the horizonless grandeur of old school stadium rock mixed with country-soul, but it never strays too far from a special sense of grace. The album takes on a slow, grinding pace and ends up spinning into a southern rock and roll frenzy of soaring vocals and blazing guitar riffs. It Still Moves is compelling in its ability to build complex, skyscraping tracks that cycle in and out of chaos, usually trending towards a gentle, post-climactic letdown to finish things off. For James, It Still Moves was the only My Morning Jacket album he could look back on and wish that some things were different about it. So, with the help of the band’s longtime friend Kevin Ratterman behind the mixing desk, James revisited and tweaked all the old material and remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, this new version still has that shimmering grandeur that lent it such a singular identity, but there is an increased strength and clarity to it now. James explains the synthesis behind the deluxe reissue: “Everybody can relate to something they’ve done in their life where you didn’t know it at the time, but you were rushed through finishing it.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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saucer

Pink Floyd: A Saucerful of Secrets (Pink Floyd) LP
David Gilmour makes his memorable debut on A Saucerful of Secrets, Pink Floyd’s 1968 sophomore album and a work that also includes three key contributions from band founder Syd Barrett. Deemed by drummer Nick Mason his favorite Pink Floyd record, and the only non-compilation release to feature all five band members, the 1968 effort finally sounds as it should on vinyl LP. Mastered from the original analog tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, A Saucerful of Secrets is part of the long-overdue Pink Floyd catalog-reissue campaign that is restoring the group’s prized works to analog. After being at the center of 1967’s The Piper At The Gates of Dawn, Barrett displayed irrational behavior that led to changes. Gilmour took over Barrett’s onstage role while Roger Waters assumed vocal duties. Anchored by “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” their first LP together contains the lengthy explorations, dark undercurrents, and scintillating spaciness that would soon become part of the band’s signature style.

File Under: Psych, Classics
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more

Pink Floyd: Soundtrack from the Film More (Pink Floyd) LP
An accompaniment to Barbet Schroder’s film about a group of hippies pursuing drugs in Ibiza, and one of the only Pink Floyd albums to exclusively feature David Gilmour on vocals, More (Original Soundtrack) is also the first of the group’s works to be made without founding member Syd Barrett. Largely atmospheric and flush with some of the ensemble’s heaviest compositions, the 1969 release finally sounds as it should on vinyl LP. Mastered from the original analog tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the Top Ten-charting More (Original Soundtrack) is part of the long-overdue Pink Floyd catalog-reissue campaign that is restoring the group’s prized works to analog.

 File Under: Prog, Classic Rock
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ummagumma

Pink Floyd: Ummagumma (Pink Floyd) LP
A fan favorite ever since its release in 1969, the double-album Ummagumma gives Pink Floyd fans the best of both worlds. The eclectic set’s first half features four live songs captured in Birmingham and Manchester that document just how powerful, edgy, explorative, and loud the band had become in just a few short years. The second half, comprised of solo contributions from every member, still ranks as one of the most unique and visionary strokes of Pink Floyd’s incomparable career. Graced with iconic artwork by Hipgnosis, the record finally sounds as it should on vinyl LP. Mastered from the original analog tapes by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, Ummagumma is part of the long-overdue Pink Floyd catalog-reissue campaign that is restoring the group’s prized works to analog.

File Under: Psych, Classic Rock
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romano

Daniel Romano: Mosey (New West) LP
Daniel Romano refuses to be confined to narrow classification – in fact, out of necessity he created his own genre: Mosey Music. With the May 2016 release of Daniel’s fifth solo record Mosey on New West Records, we get a fresh new vista into the mind of the prolific singer-songwriter, the masterful lyricist and the multi-instrumentalist. His most ambitious affair to date, Mosey will undoubtedly catch many by surprise. New sonic territories are mapped, genres are splintered, conventional rules discarded. Imagine Rolling Thunder Revue era Bob Dylan conspiring with Lee Hazlewood, Tom Waits and Peter Green. You’ll hear heavy swells of fuzzed out electric guitar, horns, and keys delivered with a fire and fury that demands your close attention. There are even some surprise guest cameos to boot.

File Under: Country, Folk
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xeno

Xeno & Oaklander: Topiary (Ghostly) LP
Ghostly International presents Xeno & Oaklander’s new full-length album Topiary. In their fifth album to date, the Brooklyn based girl/boy electronic duo explores themes of arcana and electricity. The title Topiary refers to a highly ornamental hand sculpted garden such as Levins Hall in Cumbria, UK or the stately grounds of Versailles. Pruned and fashioned into forms, shrubs and trees are turned into semblances of abstract and natural shapes – nature imitating nature, much to the delight of dreamers and romantics. The band, Sean McBride and Liz Wendelbo, views the album as a journey through the manifold hallways of electro magnetic architecture and enchanted landscapes. The sound of Topiary is rich and deep; like a ’60s French pop album shot through a prism of late renaissance chamber music. Wendelbo’s voice seems haunted by ghosts of YéYé girls, Françoise Hardy’s whispers set against a glorious backdrop of blaring synthetic horns and organs. The album was recorded at Tom Tom Club / Talking Heads’ Clubhouse Studio on all analogue gear.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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in a moment

Various: In A Moment… (Ghost Box) LP
Ghost Box founders Julian House and Jim Jupp celebrate their label’s tenth anniversary (in style – arriving with a slight delay of about a year). This comprehensive compilation documents a decade of some of the time’s conceptually most interesting musical output in the UK. The physical version of the 31-track compilation includes sleeve notes by prolific music writer Simon Reynolds who helped putting the label on the radar in 2006 when he featured them in his The Wire article about hauntology: artists sounding British nostalgia by playing with samples from 1960s and 70s pop culture. It’s in their compiled, accumulated form that the muddled library pieces of Julian House’s project The Focus Group, the synth-accompanied medieval chants of Jim Jupp’s group Belbury Poly or the contemplative synth soundscapes of Martin Jenkins’ Pye Corner Audio alias take full effect: the label couldn’t present its common denominator in a more appropriate way.

File Under: Electronic, Pseudolibrary

…..Restocks…..

Alice in Chains: Dirt (Music on Vinyl) LP
Davie Allan: Devil’s Rumble (Sundazed) LP
Davie Allan: Cycle Delic (Sundazed) LP
Beastie Boys: Solid Gold Hits (Capitol) LP
Bjork: Post (One Little Indian) LP
Black Crowes: Amorica (American) LP
Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker (American) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Volume 4 (Rhino) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Booker T & The MGs: Green Onions (Sundazed) LP
Booker T & The MGs: Hip Hug-Her (Sundazed) LP
Booker T & The MGs: And Now! (Sundazed) LP
Boris/Merzbow: Gensho Part 1 (Relapse) LP
Boris/Merzbow: Gensho Part 2 (Relapse) LP
Dave Brubeck: Time Out (Pan American) LP
Byrds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Sundazed)
Byrds: Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (Sundazed) LP
Byrds: Mr. Tambourine Man (Sundazed) LP
Byrds: Fifth Dimension (Sundazed) LP
Can: Ege Bamyasi (Mute) LP
Johnny Cash: At San Quentin (Sundazed) LP
Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Sundazed) LP
Johnny Cash: Original Sun Singles (Sundazed) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Dick Dale: Singles Collection (Sundazed) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy) LP
Bob Dylan: Fallen Angel (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Electric Wizard: Come My Fanatics (Rise Above) LP
Brian Eno: The Ship (Warp) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Waxtime) LP
Bill Evans: Interplay (Waxtime) LP
Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner) LP
Florence & The Machine: Lungs (Island) LP
Flume: Skin (Mom & Pop) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Gza: Liquid Swords (Geffen) LP
Michael Jackson: Bad (Epic) LP
Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic) LP
Etta James: At Last (Waxtime) LP
Shelia Jordan: Portrait of Shelia (Blue Note) LP
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Fela Kuti: Live with Ginger Baker (Knitting Factory) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
M83: Junk (Mute) LP
The Meters: Zony Mash (Sundazed) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Legacy) LP
Blue Mitchell: Thing To Do (Blue Note) LP
Mos Def/Talib Kweli: Black Star (Universal) LP
Mumford & Sons: Babel (Glassnote) LP
Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More (Glassnote) LP
Mumford & Sons: Wilder Mind (Glassnote) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Nothing) LP
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Capitol)LP
Oasis: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory (Big Brother) LP
Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Big Brother) LP
Prince: Purple Rain (Warner) LP
Jay Reatard: Blood Visions (Fat Possum) LP
Lou Reed: Berlin (Music on Vinyl) LP
Lou Reed: Transformer (Music on Vinyl) LP
Sam Rivers: Fuschia Swing Song (Blue Note) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Polydor) LP
Daniel Romano: Sleep Beneath The Willow (You’ve Changed) LP
Daniel Romano: Workin’ For The Music Man (You’ve Changed) LP
Run The Jewels: 2 (Mass Appeal) LP
Rush: 2112 (Anthem) LP
Wayne Shorter: Juju (Blue Note) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds… (Thirty Tigers) LP
Slayer: Reign in Blood (American) LP
Soul Asylum: Grave Dancers Union (Sony) LP
Alexander Spence: Oar (Sundazed) LP
Strokes: Is This It? (RCA) LP
Strokes: Room on Fire (RCA) LP
Strokes: First Impressions of Earth (RCA) LP
T. Rex: Electric Warrior (Rhino) LP
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (Universal) LP

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