A bit of a light week again, but we’ve been getting a ton of awesome used stuff in lately. Come down for a dig!
…..pick of the week…..
Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Lines (Matador) LP
People have written about roads for as long as they’ve been around. And before there were roads, people still wrote about travel and about landscape. Roads are the stages upon which our greatest experiences and desires play out. Steve Gunn’s music has always embraced expanse and movement. Eyes on the Lines is his most explicit ode to the blissful uncertainty of adventure yet. His solo ventures, emerging over the past decade and culminating most recently the highly-acclaimed Way Out Weather, have been pastoral, evocative affairs. Here he embraces his urban surroundings through a series of songs that fully showcase his extraordinary ability to match hooks to deftly constructed melodies. These are songs you can take in quickly, but spend all the time in the world devouring. The very large and the very small are present in equal measure. The inability to categorize them within the avalanche of impotent diatribes that pass for categorization is a testament to their power. And what a pleasure to have this music presented to the wider public. This is Steve Gunn’s Matador debut.
File Under: Folk, Rock, Psych
Alessandro Alessandroni: I Cantori Moderni Di… (Dagored) LP
The only existing full-length recording of I Cantori Moderni Di Alessandro Alessandroni, the legendary vocal group that lent their voices to the amazing soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many of the most important Italian composers of the ’60s and ’70s. Limited numbered edition of 500 on transparent vinyl.
File Under: Italian Library
Ancient Shapes: s/t (You’ve Changed) LP
Ancient Shapes is the surprising new project from songwriter Daniel Romano. Though he is best known for his recent work evoking the sounds of classic country music, he’s always been a free and restless spirit, a gifted and masterful musician and artist, a magpie flying free of genre. Romano was feeling defeated after a lengthy production session. The drums were set up and he rolled tape, banging through 20 minutes of rhythm just to get the sweat out. There and then Ancient Shapes was born, and quickly blossomed outward with layers of brash guitars and trebly bass. All this in a day’s work but the words, soon to be found amid the abandoned poems that did not have a home beyond the pages scattered on the floor. What didn’t fit was cut. What space remained was improvised. The result is instant, immediate and fierce power pop reminiscent of early Buzzcocks and Television with surprising hints of Romano’s roots in hardcore and a lifelong Dylan fascination. The music is hard and desperate, as it should be, the vocals balanced on the rails but never quite falling off. Ancient Shapes is a study of a blank and nameless generation. This is the sound. These are the moves. The name is Ancient Shapes. May we all have fearless death tomorrow. Ancient Shapes is presented as a Double A-side with the entire program appearing on both sides of the LP, and includes a download of a digital copy of the album.
File Under: Power Pop, Daniel Romano
Ben Lukas Boysen: Spells (Erased Tapes) LP
Erased Tapes presents Spells, the new album by their latest signing: Berlin-based composer, producer and sound designer Ben Lukas Boysen. Spells merges programmed piano pieces with live instruments, combining the controllable technical world and the often unpredictable aspects of live improvisation. In some ways it continues where his underground 2013 debut Gravity left off, though a lot of weight is lifted, making room for a lighter and more energetic listen. Friend and fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm mixed and mastered both albums. Ben is not a master pianist like his dear friend, but his sound collages are so meticulously designed that after hearing the result an impressed Nils declared: “from now on, if anyone asks – this is a real piano.” His intricate, humanized programming – enhanced by drummer Achim Färber, cellist Anton Peisakhov and harpist Lara Somogyi, and a considerate selection of echoes, delays and compressors – has been used to create a hybrid sound that intends to deceive, question and challenge existing listening habits. Utilizing the contrast between reduction and decoration, Spells can be seen as a quest to find out how much or how little composition is required to constitute a song. Why the ear can and should be deceived about the authenticity of instruments. What significance these instruments have within this process, and why the personal perception of balance and sound exclude ultimate truths.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
Daniela Casa: Societa Malata (Dagored) LP
Limited numbered edition of 500 on transparent vinyl. Societa Malata (Sick Society) from 1975 is an extraordinary collection of experimental, ambient and electronic tracks from the Italian cult composer Daniela Casa which acts as an aural reaction to the wickedness of humanity and the decay of our world.
File Under: Italian, OST, Library
Daniela Casa: Ricordi D’Infanzia (Dagored) LP
“Ricordi d’Infanzia,” originally released on the legendary Italian label FLIRT in 1975 is an excellent library music LP by the great Daniela Casa. 11 tracks of soft, romantic, exotic pop with a sweet and childish atmosphere designed for use in radio, film, tv, documentaries and educational projects. Daniela Casa is a true legend of early experimental electronic music and has been recently rediscovered as a great inspiration by many contemporary artists as Madlib.
File Under: Italian, Library, OST
Classixx: Faraway Reach (Innovative Leisure) LP
Like a balmy breeze from a world of endless summer, Classixx are back with Faraway Reach, a buoyant follow-up to their 2013 debut – something to cruise to with the top down, from festival fields to the beach, from the dance floor to the shotgun seat. Faraway Reach casts the duo’s young-but-nostalgic melodies and sublime chords in a more mature, restrained light, albeit no less lively and bright. Establishing themselves as producers of note on their debut LP (Pitchfork called them “great songwriters, too”), Faraway Reach delivers powerfully smooth and soulful jewels that are still decidedly their own – the Classixx signature is one that can’t be traced. Their love of plaintive voices and disco-inspired grooves is as evident as ever, but this time around everything is a bit bolder, the cast is bigger, the melodies distilled into a higher potency – it’s all just as good, but better. The album traverses locales, vocalists and inspirations. It’s a fitting movement for the duo, from Venice beach to the mountains of South Africa and everywhere in between – a Faraway Reach.
File Under: Electronic, Nu-Disco, Dance Pop
Death Valley Girls: Glow in the Dark (Burger) LP
The satanic seed in rock n’ roll is alive and well and it lives in California. This ain’t the summer of love, peace is out…Death Valley Girls will be the soundtrack to your trip to outerspace to create the new world were peace is in, rock n’ roll is alive and there’s no politicians to muck it up for the rest of us. Bonnie, Larry, Nicole & the Kid are Death Valley Girls from parts unknown but reside in Echo Park, CA. Via telekenisis, portals and time travel the new album Glow In The Dark was created and is set to be released in the summer of 2016 on Burger Records. “The distorted vocals & fuzzed-out guitars are practically ripped from the earliest entry in the annals of proto-punk. Vocalist Bonnie Bloomgarden sneers with vicious conviction, hitting shrill notes as the drums drudge along menacingly. It’s a gritty throwback to the very early days of punk, right down to the gnarly basement production & copious attitude.” – CoS
File Under: Garage, Glam
Kendrick Lamar: Untitled Unmastered (Aftermath) LP
In tomorrow… Having treated fans to new music during various TV performances over the past year, Top Dawg Entertainment, alongside Aftermath/Interscope Records present reigning hip hop king Kendrick Lamar’s surprise new album Untitled Unmastered. The 8-song project debuted atop the Billboard 200 charts and features unreleased studio demos from the To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) sessions which Kendrick premiered on The Colbert Report, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and most recently at the 58th annual Grammy Awards show. Lamar explained the collection: “I got a chamber of material from the album that I was in love [with] where sample clearances or something as simple as a deadline kept it off the album.” The universally acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly took home the 2016 Grammy award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year.
File Under: Hip Hop
Beth Orton: Kidsticks (Anti) LP
Beth Orton has been one of the most unique and beguiling voices in music for the past two decades. Her “folktronica” sound, mixing elements of folk and electronica, has re-emerged as she began experimenting with a series of electronic loops that would eventually come together in this career- redefining new album, Kidsticks. Co-produced by Beth and Andrew Hung (Fuck Buttons), Kidsticks reframes Beth’s unmistakable voice inside ten pure, audacious, playful and kinetic songs. A resolutely focused album, it represents a rare chance to hear an established artist get plugged in and completely rework the songwriting process with wide-eyed, open-minded glee. Kidsticks is the follow up to Sugaring Season (2012), described by Pitchfork as “ten songs of sweet resilience delivered by a voice of seemingly effortless expression”.
File Under: Pop
Andy Shauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
In tomorrow… Andy Shauf – he’s a sad-sack Saskatchewanian songwriter who grew up in a tiny town (pop. 919) off the Trans-Canada Highway somewhere between Swift Current and Moose Jaw. His breakthrough album was called Bearer of Bad News. But don’t feel bad for Andy Shauf. Social invitations have been pouring in from Jeff Tweedy, Nick Hornby and Low (for whom he opened two U.S. tours in 2015). Now the self-produced multi-instrumentalist and master of subtlety is ready to invite everyone to The Party, his fourth album. The Party is a series of character sketches, ostensibly set at a specific gathering. It’s not exactly a concept record or a John Hughes script for a Robert Altman film, but writing it was definitely a way for Shauf to get out of his own head. The Party will spawn no hangover regrets for its creator, even if its characters have more than a few. On it, awkward characters show up “Early to the Party,” dance in the living room (“Martha Sways”), and either reveal life-changing secrets (“To You”) or try their hardest to reveal nothing at all (“The Magician”). Fuzzed-out guitars collide with string sections and dreamy synths, all draped over delicate piano, acoustic guitars and rainy-day drums. Oh, and clarinet. On Bearer of Bad News, Shauf started out with 100 songs and whittled it down to 11. This time, with a clearer vision and narrative construct in mind, he focused on 15 and cut it to 10. Brevity is key: these vignettes are rooted in classic pop songwriting, with shades of the Shins, Belle and Sebastian and Grandaddy seeping into Shauf’s modern arrangements. This Prairie boy is the first Saskatchewanian musician with an international record deal since Joni Mitchell and Buffy Sainte-Marie. For Andy Shauf, The Party’s just getting started.
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Sumac: What One Becomes (Thrill Jockey) LP
Sumac (Aaron Turner on guitar and vocals, Nick Yacyshyn on drums, and Brian Cook on bass) invests in the recursive exercises of chaos and control, which manifest on the band’s second album What One Becomes. The trio’s debut The Deal (2015) revealed a new side of Turner’s combustible songwriting and guitar work, further expanding on his efforts in Isis and Old Man Gloom. On the new album, the trio has elevated the songs’ complexities with a greater entanglement of velocity, density, form, and function. The results are a testament to the tour-honed collective intuition and technical skills of drummer Yacyshyn (Baptists), bassist Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch) and Turner. The music of What One Becomes requires that each player be attuned to the dynamics and the tension within the multilateral structures. On “Clutch Of Oblivion” the riff develops from a languid desert-rock melody and blossoms into a dense aggregate of rhythm, force, and vigor. A muscular hypno-rock aspiration burns out before reaching escape orbit, and the ensuing plummet of solitary guitar notes lead the band into the realm of introspection before another volley of motorik pummel. “Rigid Man” begins as a lurching epithet that finds the trio in a shadow boxing lockstep for the song’s first half of pugilistic rhythm and noise, only to smash itself on the ground amidst a diabolical feedback whorl from Turner’s guitar and to tear free from the rhythmic underbelly, tapping into the vein of unhinged expressionism howled by Les Rallizes Denudes and Caspar Brotzmann Massaker. There is a profound anxiety that leaches through What One Becomes. Sumac’s choreographed structures parallel the internal and personal struggles with anxiety. They seek to identify the source, devise a course of action, and confront that condition at hand. Turner explains, “Much of it has to do with questioning fabricated structures of identity and what it means when those structures are destabilized by contact with the outside. That has been a unnerving process to undergo, but also fruitful in terms of discovering the path to individuation and realized connection with the self. Another facet of experience I’m working to convey is about living with the sustained presence of anxiety, and avoiding reliance on musical devices of cathartic release to provide escape from this condition.” Sumac channels psychic distress into their rigorously algebraic maneuvers and syllable-crack dissonance. These are an acts of honesty in the face of a particular conduction as well as acutely prescient designs of musical intensity that commands attention to all of this detail. 2LP-set pressed on virgin vinyl, packaged in a wide spine jacket printed on uncoated stock with custom debossed slipcase and free download card.
File Under: Metal
Traveling Wilburys: Collection (Concord) Box
In tomorrow… The Traveling Wilburys was not a carefully planned band, not formed from deep premeditation. Rather, the band was created in a casual blending of genuine friends one ordinary afternoon, which turned out to be anything but ordinary. George Harrison needed a B-side song to accompany a European single release from his widely regarded Cloud Nine album. While in Los Angeles, George approached Jeff Lynne for help with the B-side, since he had co-produced the album. It happened that Jeff was working with Roy Orbison on the upcoming Mystery Girl album. Roy readily agreed to lend a hand in the musical effort. As fate would luckily dictate, George’s guitar was at Tom Petty’s house, and he too offered to join in and make some music. When the group showed up to record, Bob Dylan also lent a hand to help complete the half-finished song George had written. George was quoted as saying, “And so everybody was there and I thought, I’m not gonna just sing it myself, I’ve got Roy Orbison standing there. I’m gonna write a bit for Roy to sing. And then, as it progressed, then I started doing the vocals and I just thought I might as well push it a bit and get Tom and Bob to sing the bridge.” The final result was a song called “Handle With Care.” George later said, “I liked the song and the way that it turned out with all these people on it so much that I just carried it around in my pocket for ages thinking, well what can I do with this thing? And the only thing to do I could think of was do another nine. Make an album.” The album they created was called the Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 – a playful nod to the reality that subsequent volumes were unlikely. Volume 1 was released in October 1988 preceded by the single “Handle With Care.” The album achieved wide critical acclaim, and most critics agreed that the music was so extraordinary because of the modest ambitions of the band, which translated to a fresh and relaxing sound. Rolling Stone Magazine instantly called it one of the Top 100 Albums of all time. The album also saw commercial success; it reached No. 3 on the Album charts, garnered double-platinum status and earned the group a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. In 1990, following the unexpected death of Orbison in December 1988, the remaining members reconvened to recordTraveling Wilburys Volume 3, dedicating the album to Lefty (Roy) Wilbury. With Harrison and Lynne producing again, both “She’s My Baby” and “Wilbury Twist” became radio hits as the album reached No. 11 in the U.S. and achieved Platinum success. The band’s camaraderie can be heard in every groove of their albums Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, reissued here in a limited edition 3LP box set with a bonus 12″ of remixed and previously unreleased tracks.
File Under: Rock
Piero Umiliani: La Legge Dei Gangsters (Dagored) LP
A really great Italian jazz score composed for La Legge dei Gangsters (Gangster’s Law), an obscure 1969 Italian crime film starring the mighty Klaus Kinski. Featuring a large ensemble of the country’s strongest players (including Oscar Valdambrini on trumpet), the music is a creation of the great Piero Umiliani and is plenty full of sophisticated, groovy and romantic tunes. For the first time ever in LP the complete original score in a numbered limited edition, colored vinyl for the RECORD STORE DAY 2016.
File Under: OST, Library, Italian
Adele: 19 (XL) LP
Anderson .Paak: Malibu (OBE) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Albert Ayler: My Name is Albert Ayler (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Mulatu Astatke: Mulatu of Ethiopia (Worthy) LP
Kevin Ayers: Shooting at the Moon (Music on Vinyl) LP
Belle & Sebastian: Tigermilk (Matador) LP
Andrew Bird: Are you Serious (Loma Vista) LP
Black Angels: Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Trans Canada Highway (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Twoisms (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
Cat Power: Moon Pix (Matador) LP
Cat Power: The Sun (Matador) LP
Cat Power: Jukebox (Matador) LP
Cat Power: You Are Free (Matador) LP
Cluster: II (Lilith) LP
Danger Doom: The Mouse & The Mask (Lex) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Waxtime) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
Jacques Dutronc: Et Moi, Et Moi (Sony) LP
France Gall: Double Best of (Barclay) LP
Henry Cow: Leg End (Recommended) LP
Henry Cow: Unrest (Recommended) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Kikagaku Moyo: House in the Tall Grass (Guruguru Brain) LP
The Knife: Shaking The Habitual (Mute) LP
Joanna Newsom: Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City) LP
Jim O’Rourke: The Visitor (Drag City) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Picchio Dal Pozzo: s/t (Goodfellas) LP
Jessica Pratt: s/t (Birth) LP
Prince: Dirty Mind (Warner) LP
Daniel Romano: Mosey (New West) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Mirmur) LP
Sun Ra: Saturn Singles (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Taylor Swift: 1989 (Big Machine) LP
Them Crooked Vultures: s/t (Interscope) LP
Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface (Fueled By Ramen) LP
White Stripes: De Stijl (Third Man) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Third Man) LP
White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Third Man) LP
Various: Funky Chicken 1 (SDBan) LP
Various: Funky Chicken 2 (SDBan) LP
Various: Jean-Luc Godard: Bandes Originales (Jeanne Dielman) LP
Various: Nigeria 70 (Strut) 3LP
Various: Nigeria 70: Sweet Times (Strut) LP