Well, short week = short list, but there are some major releases this week! And it won’t be stopping for the next few weeks. Lots of great stuff coming out in the next couple of months, so hopefully your student loan came through. Some nice used stuff hitting the crates this week as well, come down for a dig.
…..pick of the week…..
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seeds) LP
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ sixteenth studio album, Skeleton Tree, will be issued in September 2016 and follows-up the group’s most critically and commercially successful release of recent times, Push the Sky Away (2013). Skeleton Tree began its journey in late 2014 at Retreat Studios, Brighton, with further sessions at La Frette Studios, France in autumn 2015. The album was mixed at AIR Studios, London in early 2016. The first opportunity anyone will have to hear any of the songs from the album will be to watch One More Time With Feeling, directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly). The film will screen in cinemas across the world on September 8, 2016, immediately prior to the release of Skeleton Tree the following day. Originally a performance based concept, One More Time With Feeling evolved into something much more significant as Dominik delved into the tragic backdrop of the writing and recording of the album. Interwoven throughout the Bad Seeds’ filmed performance of the new album are interviews and footage shot by Dominik, accompanied by Cave’s intermittent narration and improvised rumination. Filmed in black-and-white and color, in both 3D and 2D, the result is stark, fragile and raw.
File Under: Rock
Eden Ahbez: Wild Boy (Bear Family) LP
In tomorrow… Gatefold sleeve. “14 rare/unreleased recordings. Guest appearances by Paul Horn, Eartha Kitt, and more. 180 gram vinyl. Fully annotated, with never before seen pictures. By now psychedelic music is a mainstay of popular taste. But questions of its origins still linger. As such, Bear Family Records now submits Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez as fresh evidence in the quest for answers. Over the past twenty years Ahbez has gone from cult figure to harbinger of the sixties flower-power movement. This notion is born out largely by his 1948 anthem of universal love, ‘Nature Boy’, and his rare solo album from 1960, titled Eden’s Island — one of popular music’s earliest concept albums. Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez both expands the Ahbez catalog and deepens the notion of a psychedelic movement having roots in the 1950s. Side one acts as a compilation of music that Ahbez wrote in the aftermath of ‘Nature Boy’. Inclusion of songs like ‘Palm Springs’ by the Ray Anthony Orchestra and ‘Hey Jacque’ by Eartha Kitt give listeners the chance to hear obscure cuts by big-name artists in the context of Ahbez for the first time. Side two shows the songwriter inching closer to Eden’s Island and the actual hippie movement, with absurdist rock/exotica tracks like ‘Wild Boy’ and ‘Surfer John’, as well as sweet psych-pop like the unreleased Monterey (featuring Paul Horn on the flute). The album ends with an unreleased cut, titled ‘The Clam Man’, which Ahbez recorded as an ode to a fellow bearded hermit down in Baja, CA. In total, Wild Boy: The Lost Songs Of Eden Ahbez offers seven unreleased cuts and as many rare singles to produce an overview of the songwriter’s lost work from 1949-71. What Ahbez misses in hallucinogenic content, he more than makes up for with his primitive chord structures, expansive arrangements, and lyrics about travel, leisure, free-love, and spirituality. As such, the canon of psychedelic music and that of Hippie #1 just got bigger.”
File Under: Exotica
The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut, Three Imaginary Boys, on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. After touring for almost all of 1977 as a quartet, the band rearranged their line-up with the sacking of Porl Thompson, giving birth to an unusual power trio. This line-up lasted only for their first record, making it unique in its essentially minimal sound. The year was now 1978, and the three (imaginary?) boys soon signed to Chris Parry’s Fiction Label. The album was subsequently released in the US with a different title (Boys Don’t Cry – after one of the band’s best selling singles) and featured a slightly different track listing.
File Under: Post Punk, New Wave
The Cure: The Head on The Door (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. The Cure’s 1985 album Head On The Door – their sixth full-length overall – marked another turning point for the band with its emerging pop sensibilities and talented new line-up that saw the return of bassist Simon Gallup, the re-induction of early-era guitarist Porl Thompson, and the debut of drummer Boris Williams. Co-produced with David M. Allen, the adventurous 10-track effort is still dark yet danceable and altogether infectious, home to the vibrant hit singles “In Between Days” and “Close To Me.” Head On The Door was the first glimpse of the pop heights the Cure was perfectly capable of reaching.
File Under: New Wave
The Cure: Faith (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. The band’s classic third album, 1981’s Faith, took The Cure further down the road of despair they’d initiated with Seventeen Seconds in 1980. It’s an album full of mournful atmospheric tracks, including their hit single, “Primary” and is often seen as the mid-point in a “Dark Trilogy” that began with Seventeen Seconds and concluded with Pornography.
File Under: Post Punk, Goth, New Wave
The Cure: Seventeen Seconds (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. Originally issued in 1980, the group’s sophomore album Seventeen Seconds introduced the darker, emotionally weighted sound for which the band would become renowned in large part due to the evolution of Robert Smith’s songwriting and a line-up change that saw bassist Michael Dempsey replaced by Simon Gallup as well as the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley. Seventeen Seconds marked the onset of the Cure’s “Dark Trilogy” which also included follow-up efforts Faith and Pornography.
File Under: New Wave
The Cure: Pornography (Rhino) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Formed in 1976 by Robert Smith and schoolmates Michael Dempsey (bass) and Laurence Tolhurst (drums), The Cure’s stunning 1979 debut on U.K.-based Fiction Records launched an extraordinary career and enduring worldwide popularity. 1982’s Pornography, their fourth full-length effort overall, is still considered by many to be the finest and darkest effort of the trailblazing group’s career. The final release in a “Dark Trilogy” that began with Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Faith (1981), Pornography cemented The Cure’s role as beacons of the emergent gothic rock genre, and the band sported their signature red lipstick and big hair look for the first time during this tour.
File Under: New Wave, Goth
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
In tomorrow… July Talk took their self-titled debut album to impressive heights, pushing out an expanded version and reissuing it for international audiences, and now they’re ready to deliver the highly anticipated follow-up. Touch arrives as the band graces the cover of Exclaim!’s September issue, and it features previously shared singles “Push + Pull” and “Strange Habit.” Following the roll out of those tracks, Exclaim! is giving you a preview of the album in its entirety. Kicking off with “Picturing Love,” taking listeners through the tales of “Johnny + Mary” and “Lola + Joseph,” then wrapping it all up with the title track, the album is an exploration of what it means to connect to one another in the modern age. The ten new songs hear the band attempting to bring their explosive, visceral live shows into recorded form, offering listeners a sense of real connection and an antidote to a mirror and screen obsessed world. Bassist Josh Warburton recently told Exclaim! that the band tried out a variety of styles — writing “country tunes, straight-up pop tunes, all kids of different variations of music that we love” — but ultimately knew what direction they wanted to take things in after hitting on “Push + Pull” and “Strange Habit.” “There’s danceability but there’s also this darkness,” guitarist and singer Peter Dreimanis explained. “The songs all had to contain a certain amount of darkness while still moving your muscles uncontrollably.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Daniel Lanois: Goodbye to Language (Anti) LP
In tomorrow… Daniel Lanois is a name that deserves to be mentioned alongside the finest sonic experimenters of the 20th century – and the 21st century too. Whatever you’re listening to – whether it be acoustic or electronic, roots or futurist, underground or pop – if you listen closely you’ll hear traces of the sonic signatures of Daniel Lanois. And what’s more he’s still experimenting as eagerly as he ever has, creating music as beautiful and new as ever before. It is a refusal to sit still, a constant hunger for new ideas and techniques, that has defined both his work as a world renowned producer and his solo works. Most recently, he has hit a rich creative seam, so apparent on the gorgeous, weightless album Goodbye to Language, which comes out September 2016. On this new album, and its widely acclaimed predecessor Flesh and Machine, Lanois connects the most forward-looking instincts that constant contact with studio technology can develop with the natural rootedness that only a lifetime in music can give a person. The work he did on Brian Eno’s ambient albums has entered into legend and would lead him onto working on some of the biggest selling records of the time. Working with Bob Dylan he brought out a roland TR-808 drum machine to use as a compositional tool – kickstarting the groove of the Oh Mercy album, and helping make it one of the most dramatic creative reinventions in Dylan’s career. A few years later, he and Eno helped bring the electronic music culture that they themselves had helped to inspire into U2′s Achtung Baby. Goodbye to Language is the perfect joining of the dots, through the world-changing experiments of his early days with Eno, through his flights through the most rarefied atmospheres of the mainstream of music. Constructed entirely from the sounds of the pedal steel guitar, Daniel on the pedal steel and his mate Rocco Deluca on the lap steel with compositional rigor that recalls the 20th century dreamscapes of Ravel and Debussy, with a sense of sonic futurism and yet also with the naturalness that can only come from someone rooted in centuries of grassroots music. And while fusions of influence can sometimes lead to homogenisation in the blending of source material, this record does precisely the opposite: it’s about highlighting the highest common factors from a lifetime of influences. Or as he succinctly puts it: “I operate under the banner of soul music – music that just feels right and comes from a truthful place.” When a musician with as much expertise and experience as Daniel tells their own personal truth, you should really listen closely.
File Under: Rock, Post Rock
Sneaks: Gymnastics (Merge) LP
In tomorrow… On September 9, welcome Sneaks to Merge Records with the reissue of Eva Moolchan’s debut full-length Gymnastics. Sneaks songs are the mesmerizing post-punk incantations of Washington, DC’s Eva Moolchan. Bass and drum machine underpin Moolchan’s compelling vocals, and the music straddles several decades of serious minimalist fun. Sneaks is currently recording her sophomore album Hi Spirits with Mary Timony and Jonah Takagi, to be released on Merge in early 2017. See the band on tour now, with more dates to be announced soon.
File Under: Post Punk
Jack White: Acoustic Recordings (Third Man) LP
Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 is the definitive Jack White songwriting collection, spanning his entire 20+ year career. It includes White’s acoustic-based recordings with the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and his acclaimed solo projects. The music included here is all-encompassing, highlighting White’s versatility, and the songs are presented with unique character in chronological order. The completely remastered 26-track collection includes album tracks, B-Sides, remixes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased studio recordings – and is a must for any fan of the genius that is Jack White. The album includes acoustic songs made famous by The White Stripes, beginning with “Sugar Never Tasted So Good” (originally found on The White Stripes’ second-ever 7-inch single) and then lighting upon favorites like “Apple Blossom” and “I’m Bound To Pack It Up” (remixed here from the original recordings on 2000’s De Stijl), “Hotel Yorba” and “We’re Going To Be Friends” (from 2001’s White Blood Cells), “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket” and “Well It’s True That We Love One Another” (from 2003’s Grammy Award-winning Elephant), “Forever For Her (Is Over For Me),” “White Moon” and “As Ugly As I Seem” (from 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan), “Effect & Cause” (from 2007’s Icky Thump), and the Beck-produced “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap,” first found on the B-side to The White Stripes’ final single, 2007’s “Conquest.” “City Lights” (below) was written for The White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan but then forgotten until White revisited the 2005 album for Third Man’s Record Store Day 2015 vinyl reissue and finished the recording in 2016. The track is the first new, worldwide commercially released White Stripes song since 2008. Also featured are “Never Far Away” (recorded for 2003’s Cold Mountain soundtrack) and “Love Is The Truth” (written and recorded for Coca-Cola’s 2006 What Goes Around campaign) as well as the Bluegrass Version of “Top Yourself” and an acoustic mix of the epic murder ballad, “Carolina Drama,” both written by White and Brendan Benson for The Raconteurs’ Grammy Award-winning 2008 album, Consolers of the Lonely. White’s two chart-topping solo albums, 2012’s Blunderbuss and 2014’s Lazaretto, are represented by a remarkably diverse range of material including “Love Interruption,” “On And On And On,” “Blunderbuss,” “Entitlement,” “Want And Able,” and alternative mixes of “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy,” “Just One Drink,” “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep,” and B-side, “Machine Gun Silhouette.” The 26 tracks featured on Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 were remastered by Andrew Mendelson at Nashville, TN’s Georgetown Masters. All songs were written and produced exclusively by Jack White, except “Never Far Away” (produced by T Bone Burnett), “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap” (produced by Beck), “Top Yourself (Bluegrass Version)” and “Carolina Drama” (written & produced by White & Brendan Benson), and “Machine Gun Silhouette” (written by White & Rob Jones). As noted American author and music journalist, Greil Marcus, conveys in the albums liner notes: “The lack of electric guitar opens songs up to their own contrivance, and cuts out pretentions of seriousness and grandiosity in favor of the quiet, the ridiculous, the sly.”
File Under: Rock, Folk, Blues
Wilco: Schmilco (Anti) LP
In tomorrow… Wilco’s tenth studio album, Schmilco, features twelve new songs written by frontman Jeff Tweedy and serves as the group’s third release on their own dBpm Records. Recorded at the band’s Chicago studio the Loft, Schmilco was produced by Tweedy and Tom Schick and follows Star Wars, which was released for free and as a surprise in July 2015. Mostly an acoustic collection, Schmilco bears neither the vicious, fuzz-glam guitars of Star Wars, nor the dazzling, baroque-ish arrangements that fans have come to expect from Wilco. But in their place is a spaciousness and chaos that might feel welcome after 20-some years of enjoyed but now-familiar Wilco releases. It is an intentionally loose affair. Schmilco finds band leader Tweedy in a state of alienation: how to cope with dissonance between self-identity and the public perception of his band – to maintain an innocence and earnestness even as some have come to see him as more (or less) than human, and Wilco as something other than six musicians? “I think this record is ‘joyously negative’,” Tweedy said. “It’s sad in a lot of ways but not in any that reach a conclusion of doom or hopelessness…I just had a lot of fun being sour about the things that upset me.”
File Under: Rock
Neil Young: Time Fades Away (Reprise) LP
A bold, emotionally naked snapshot of the against-the-grain attitude embraced by Neil Young as he channeled the troubled moods of the mid-1970s, Time Fades Away serves as Young’s first live album comprised of previously unreleased material recorded with the Stray Gators while on his Harvest tour in 1972. Out of print on vinyl for decades, it is here restored to newfound sonic peaks on an audiophile pressing mastered from the original master tapes. Unprecedented at the time for an artist to release a live recording of previously unreleased songs, the rough-and-tumble Time Fades Away was captured in the wake of the overdose of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and at the height of Young’s fame. It finds the singer/songwriter undergoing a deep catharsis which is palpable throughout. In typical Young fashion, brilliant songs like “L.A.” and “Don’t Be Denied” emerge amidst the courageousness, looseness, and impromptu chaos. Young on the album: “It was recorded on my biggest tour ever, 65 shows in 90 days. Money hassles among everyone concerned ruined this tour and record for me but I released it anyway so you folks could see what could happen if you lose it for a while. I was becoming more interested in an audio verite approach than satisfying the public demands for a repetition of Harvest.”
File Under: Rock
Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night (Reprise) LP
One of the most harrowing, weary, mournful, and emotionally raw albums ever made, Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night remains an uncompromising reflection of life, loss, and torment. Revealing the inner depths of the singer-songwriter’s pain, and presenting every note and ragged vocal expression with staggering realism, this audiophile reissue of Tonight’s the Night is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl for the ultimate listening experience. Recorded in the wake of the drug overdoses of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and friend and roadie Bruce Berry, the unflinchingly somber affair serves as a eulogy to both men and is dark and moving in equal measures. The nocturnal, come-as-you-go arrangements and Young’s loose performances make a perfect match. Recognized by Rolling Stone as the 330th greatest album ever made, and looked upon by countless listeners as a inimitable masterwork, Tonight’s the Night is as honest, frayed, and direct as rock n’ roll gets.
File Under: Rock
Neil Young: On The Beach (Reprise) LP
The middle album of Neil Young’s “Ditch Trilogy,” 1974’s gold-certified On the Beach was actually recorded after Tonight’s the Night but released almost a year prior. Meticulously mastered from the original analog master tapes and pressed with the utmost care on dead-quiet vinyl, this analog reissue presents the album in unsurpassed sound and brings On the Beach back to standalone LP for the first time in decades. The songs’ minimalist and mellow production frames Young’s acerbic songwriting to great effect with highlights coming in the form of the often-covered opener “Walk On,” “Revolution Blues,” and “Ambulance Blues.” The critically acclaimed set remains one of Young’s most lyrically unsparing efforts, with the singer taking everyone from the president to critics to Los Angeles celebrities to task with an unflinching mix of directness, humor, and wit that, ultimately, reveals an artist getting personal, channeling the dour moods of the era, and drawing inspiration from serenity and directness.
File Under: Rock
Frank Zappa: Hot Rats (Zappa) LP
Shattering conventions – musical, social, political – was the life’s work of Frank Zappa, the iconoclastic musical genius, rock legend and intellectual firebrand of the late twentieth century whose work is equally revered by hardcore rockers and serious musical scholars. By 1969, after releasing a ‘mother lode’ of Mothers of Invention classics, Frank was ready to breakthrough other musical barriers that were still holding popular music in a conservative headlock. Being one if not the first album to be recorded using 16 tracks (twice the number being used at the time on both sides of the Atlantic), Hot Rats became a leading edge in both modern recording technology and the evolution of jazz/rock-fusion. Mostly instrumental, it features six original compositions, three of which are loose jam pieces, the remainder being tight ensemble arrangements. Some of the finest players around come together in varying combinations, all the while simultaneously showcasing Zappa’s guitar virtuosity. Among others, Lowell George of Little Feat lends guitar; jazz violinists Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty and fellow Mother Ian Underwood contribute keyboard and woodwind work; and the legendary Captain Beefheart brings his unique pipes to “Willie The Pimp.” Also here is the concert staple and fan favorite “Peaches En Regalia,” a modern jazz standard, and eventually covered by the likes of Phish and The Dixie Dregs.
File Under: Rock
Air: Virgin Suicides (EMI) LP
Aphex Twin: Cheetah (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Broadcast: Work & Non-Work (Warp) LP
Burzum: Belus (Back on Black) LP
Don Cherry: Organic Music Society (Caprice) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Waxtime) LP
Miles Davis: On the Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Galactic Zoo Dossier #10 Mag
Lumineers: Cleopatra (Dine lone) LP
Ennio Morricone: Paura (Rustblade) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Pharaoh Overlord: #1 (Hydrahead) LP
Porcupine Tree: Coma Divine (Kscope) LP
Pretty Things: SF Sorrow (Madfish) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Andy Shauf: Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Swans: Glowing Man (Young God) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs… (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Rhino) LP
Kanye West: My Beautiful Twisted (Universal) LP