…..news letter #779 – rip the axe…..

Another slim week, although I suppose a bunch of random, unexpected things could show up tomorrow. We’ve been getting lots of choice used LPs through lately, so I took advantage of the short list and gave some highlights of some recently priced used goodies to whet your appetite. Next week promises to have some wonderful new releases, although I can tell you already, the FIRE WALK WITH ME reissue is going to be late, but it’s coming.

…..pick of the week…..

sleep

…..new arrivals…..

diamond

David Bowie: Diamond Dogs (Parlophone) LP
Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché Bowie continually evolved blurring genres and identities while remaining artistically radical and relevant throughout his trailblazing career. Bowie’s first album of original material since killing off Ziggy Stardust, 1974’s Diamond Dogs was conceptually built off of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, brimming with tension and angst which stood in stark contrast to the disco music that was beginning to crowd the airwaves. It also displayed hints of Bowie’s interest in the music he heard in America. However, authentic soul with a unique UK perspective meant this was far from being a homage. Propelled by the signature single “Rebel Rebel,” Diamond Dogs hit the No. 1 spot in the U.K. and served as Bowie’s big breakthrough in the U.S. where it climbed into the Top 5.

File Under: Rock
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nassauDavid Bowie: Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 (Parlophone) LP
Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché Bowie continually evolved blurring genres and identities while remaining artistically radical and relevant throughout his trailblazing career. Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY on March 23, 1976, this double album is the official document of the Isolar/Station To Station tour. Known to fans for many years as the Thin White Duke double album bootleg (among various other titles), the record didn’t get an official release for over thirty years, when it was finally issued as part of the Station To Station deluxe set in September 2010. The bridge between Bowie’s plastic soul days and the Brian Eno infused Berlin trilogy, Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 captures top flight performance of songs from such landmark albums as Hunky Dory (“Changes,” “Queen Bitch,” “Life On Mars?”), Ziggy Stardust (“Five Years,” “Suffragette City”), Aladdin Sane (“Panic in Detroit,” “The Jean Genie”), Diamond Dogs (“Rebel Rebel,” “Diamond Dogs”) and the most recently released Station To Station (“Station to Station,” “Word on a Wing,” “Stay,” “TVC15”).

File Under: Rock
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stationDavid Bowie: Station to Station (Parlophone) LP
“The return of The Thin White Duke…” So begins David Bowie’s tenth studio album, 1976’s Station To Station. In part influenced by his role in Nicolas Roeg’s film The Man Who Fell To Earth, ever the innovator, Bowie became the character The Thin White Duke; a composite, part his character from the film, alien Thomas Jerome Newton, part Buster Keaton and part European cabaret artist. After the release of 1975’s soul and funk-inspired Young Americans, Bowie and the album’s guitarist Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick (guitar), the E-Street Band’s Roy Bittan (piano), Dennis Davis (drums), George Murray (bass) and Warren Peace (backing vocals) entered Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles to record its follow up. Touching on his love of German electronic bands, American R&B and even film music plus the talents of his American band, Bowie crafted an album drawing on both European and American sensibilities; a transition between his recent Plastic Soul period and what would become his re-acquaintance with European culture when he moved to Berlin the following year. The opening 10-minute title track leaves the listener in no doubt that another ground-breaking Bowie transformation is taking place. From the sound of a moving train and two-note intro, through the introduction and intention of The Thin White Duke – taking in Crowley, Cocaine and Kabbalah and Romanticism – the song is a piece of paranoid and dislocated electronic-funk. This is followed by the distinctive UK and US Top 10 single “Golden Years,” which hints at the funk and soul of his previous album. “Word On A Wing” is the first of the album’s two ballads, with a decidedly Christian theme – a song which in later years Bowie said was something of a cry for help. The back-to-back “TVC15” and “Stay” provide the album with a funkier feel, the former having said to have been influenced by being sprawled in front of a dozen TV monitors and a dream about a girlfriend being eaten by a TV set. A great admirer of Nina Simone’s version of the song, the album’s second ballad and final track is a cover of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s ballad “Wild Is The Wind,” generally considered an inspired and classic Bowie vocal performance. Station To Station was a top 5 success in the U.K. and U.S. It would, as many authorities said, divide the decade for Bowie. He thereafter left the US for Berlin with Iggy Pop and embarked on a journey which saw the creation of his seminal Berlin Trilogy, as well as playing a major role in Iggy’s acclaimed The Idiot and Lust For Life albums.

 File Under: Rock
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young

David Bowie: Young Americans (Parlophone) LP
1975’s Young Americans spent almost a year on the U.S. charts, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard’s Albums chart, while its single “Fame” hit No. 1 on the Pop Singles chart. Bowie’s Diamond Dogs had cracked the U.S. Top 5 the previous year, so while Young Americans was not the album that initially broke Bowie in America, it was certainly the one that aligned him with Rod Stewart and Elton John in the top ranks of the decade’s Stateside superstars. Young Americans, representing the zenith of Bowie’s influential soul period, contributed in no small measure to breaking white soul music into the mainstream. The album was, in theory, about “emotional drive,” but came to represent much more than that, both upon its release and over time. Young Americans is Bowie’s vision of and reply to a wide swath of above-board and underground musical and socio-political influences, including soul music, politics, sex, drugs, dancing, and the cultural scenes of downtown New York and uptown Philadelphia. A No. 2 U.K. chart peak made it Bowie’s first studio album in three years not to reach the top spot. Nonetheless, the album’s legacy would be profound, as a new movement of U.K. soul drew inspiration from Bowie’s cool version of Americana and revolutionized British pop in the process. Bowie’s soul boy look and haircut, later to be known as ‘the wedge,’ became the hallmarks of classic clubland cool, not just for the soul boys themselves but across the greater New Romantic era, as well. It is not often that an album makes such a sweeping musical, cultural and subcultural impact. David Bowie’s Young Americans is one of the rare, era-defining records that altered the course of both popular music and modern style.

 File Under: Rock
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homeshake

Homeshake: Fresh Air (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Born in the bleak isolation of the secluded prairie city of Edmonton, Canada, Homeshake’s Peter Sagar worked with friends in a number of local bands before picking up and moving to Montreal in 2011 to begin recording under the Homeshake moniker. Following two self-released cassettes (The Homeshake Tapes and Dynamic Meditation) and two acclaimed full lengths (In The Shower and Midnight Snack), Sagar cracks a window open with his third album for Sinderlyn – Fresh Air. Started immediately following the recording of Midnight Snack, Fresh Air continues Sagar’s exploration of dreamy, downtempo bedroom R&B and draws inspiration from such disparate artists like Sade, The Band, Broadcast, Prince, and Angelo Badalamenti. As the title Fresh Air suggests, Sagar’s songs were created to clear his listeners’ minds of negativity. Full of smokey, laid back love songs and airy productions, Sagar’s decidedly stoned sound is a breath of fresh air.

File Under: Indie Rock
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hoop

Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now Included (Sub Pop) LP
Jesca Hoop’s new album Memories Are Now,, wastes no time in making clear its confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship. The stark and reverberant title track opens the album with “a fighting spirit,” says Hoop, serving as an anthem to push through any obstacle and put forth your very best work. And she has unequivocally done that here, with an album of stunningly original songs – minimalist yet brimming with energy, emerging from a wealth of life experience, great emotional depth, and years of honing the craft of singing. As riveting as it is reflective, the album, produced by Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Alabama Shakes), is a fresh debut of sorts for Hoop, as the first of her solo records made outside of Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studios where she and Mills were mentored. Says Hoop, “Blake is so utterly musical and emotionally intelligent in his expression. I wanted to see what we could do, just he and I out from under Tony’s wing.” Mills pushed her to strip away layers, keeping it as close to the live experience as possible, using whole live takes and working very quickly. “It’s still covered in embryonic fluid, for lack of a better way to put it,” says Hoop. However fast the work, Memories Are Now covers a great deal of ground, showcasing every edge and curve of Hoop’s captivating voice, with sounds and themes ranging from the mythic to the deeply intimate. She sings of the religion that weighs heavily on her past and the world, of the imagination of myth, of the cruel nature of life and love. The defiance that permeates Memories Are Now is both a product and necessity of a career that has been independently driven and self-funded from the beginning. “All of my successes have been won on the grassroots level, with handshakes and hugs from great people who believe in me,” says Hoop, more than a decade into her career and with new paths to forge. As she sings in the title track, “I’ve lived enough life, I’ve earned my stripes. That’s my knife in the ground, this is mine.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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oldcrow

Old Crow Medicine Show: Best of (Nettwerk) LP
Two-time Grammy Award winners and Grand Ole Opry members Old Crow Medicine Show release Best Of, which features 12 of the most memorable and beloved songs from O.C.M.S. (2004), Big Iron World (2006), Tennessee Pusher (2008) including Wagon Wheel” as well as two previously unreleased tracks: Black Haired Quebecoise and Heart Up In The Sky.

File Under: Folk
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oxbow

Oxbow: An Evil Heat (Concrete Lofi) LP
Oxbow is one of THE avant-garde rock bands of our generation. We are proud to present their groundbreaking 2002 album, An Evil Heat, on vinyl for the first time. Remastered double album for maximum effect with Oxbow’s preferred studio, Golden Mastering. The original artwork had been lost over time, so we carefully restored and crafted the artwork for the 12″ format. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Oxbow is a collective of radical musicians that are anti-formula rock machine murderers. They make chaos a publicly accepted art form, alongside fellow “in need of a mental hospital sojourn” musicians such as Mr. Bungle, Fantômas and the Melvins. At any time they may shift from music concrete to a stoner-type jam to pure insanity and madness. However, things sound incredibly calculated, making this bunch worthy of suspicion and wariness, which is the trait of any true artist.

File Under: Avant-Rock, Metal
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ultimate

Ultimate Spinach: Behold & See (Sundazed) LP
It was legendary record producer Alan Lorber that came up with the concept of “The Bosstown Sound” – “The Sound Heard ‘Round The World” to market and promote the best and brightest of the Bean Town sixties psychedelic scene. (Boston’s key groups at the time included Orpheus, Beacon Street Union, Ultimate Spinach, Chamaeleon Church and others). Ultimate Spinach, arguably the finest of them all, produced magnificent examples of surreal psychedelic record-making, now prized by crate-diggers and outsider music fans alike. The Spinach’s self-titled debut album is now considered a psychedelic classic, but it’s the group’s second record, Behold and See, that is perhaps their finest achievement. Ostensibly a concept album, it’s centered around lead singer/songwriter/keyboardist/guitarist Ian Bruce-Douglas’ cynical worldview. He skewers “normal” society with all the fervor of Zappa and all the surreality (and insanity) of Bob Markley on songs like “Visions of Your Reality” and the four-part “Suite: Genesis of Beauty.” Add in the lush, floating vocals of Barbara Jean Hudson, fuzz guitar and some great late-60s psych jangle and you’ve got the formula for an unhinged classic that stands up to the best of the non-coastal psych sounds of the late-60s. For decades, the only available version of Behold and See was a heavily-edited “director’s cut” which omitted an entire song and presented edited versions of others. On this edition, Sundazed proudly presents the album in its rare, original, superior dedicated mono mix, unexpurgated and unedited. This “ultimate edition” is presented on (of course! and at last!) custom spinach-colored vinyl and nestled into a jacket with beautifully restored artwork. Behold and See is the perfect place to dig into the “Bosstown Sound” – a tremendous and beautiful album now on Sundazed!

File Under: Psych
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weeknd

Weeknd: Starboy (Republic) LP
In tomorrow…. Academy Award-nominated, 2x Grammy Award-winning, and 9x JUNO Award-winning alternative R&B artist The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy has finally arrived! The highly anticipated follow-up to his triple platinum 2015 release Beauty Behind the Madness captured the No. 1 spot in a staggering 90 countries and debuted atop the Billboard 200. The 18-track double album features four songs that have been soaring up the charts since their release – “Starboy,” “False Alarm,” “I Feel It Coming” and “Party Monster” plus incredible features from Daft Punk (album opener and lead single “Starboy and funky closer “I Feel It Coming”), Kendrick Lamar (“Sidewalks”), Lana Del Rey (“Stargirl Interlude”) and Future (“All I Know”).

File Under: R&B, Pop
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…..Restocks…..

David Axelrod: Auction (Decca) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom & Pop) LP
Courtney Barnett: The Double EP (Mom & Pop) LP
Bing & Ruth: Tomorrow Was the Golden Age (RVNG INTL) LP
Biosphere: Departed Glories (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Sundazed) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (Parlophone) LP
David Bowie: The Next Day (Columbia) LP
Broadcast & The Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults (Warp) LP
Budos Band: III (Daptone) LP
Vic Chesnut: Little (New West) LP
Constantines: Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts) LP
Death Grips: The Money Store (Sony) LP
Bob Dylan: The Real Royal Albert Hall (Sony) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Universal) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady in Satin (Legacy) LP
Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note) LP
Albert King: Born Under A Bad Sign (Sundazed) LP
Albert King: The Big Blues (Sundazed) LP
Fela Kuti: Live w/ Ginger Baker (Knitting Factory) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mitski: Puberty 2 (Dead Oceans) LP
Neurosis: Eye Of Every Storm (Relapse) LP
Night Beats: Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
Pink Floyd: Obscured By Clouds (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: Third (Mercury) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Lou Reed: Transformer (Legacy) LP
Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome (Polydor) LP
Royal Headache: s/t (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Run The Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
Sturgill Simpson: A Sailors Guide to the Earth (Atlantic) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds (Thirty Tigers) LP
Solange: A Seat At The Table (Columbia) LP
Taake: Noregs Vaapen (Dark Essence) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Tribes of Neurot: Grace (Relapse) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man) LP

…..Used Goodies…..

AFX: 2 Remixes by AFX (EFA) 12″
Badbadnotgood: II (Innovative Leisure) LP
Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex) Gold LP
Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex) Sealed Gold LP
Black Dice: Beaches & Canyons (DFA) LP
The Books: Lemon of Pink (Tomlab) LP
Camel: Mirage (Deram) UK LP
The Doors: Morrison Hotel (Warner) LP
Ella Fitzgerald: Sings the Gershwin Song Book 2 (Verve) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk (Warner) LP
Ghost: Hypnotic Underworld (Drag City) LP
Hawkwind: Domi Fasol Latido (United Artists) LP
Hawkwind: Space Ritual (United Artists) LP
Hawkwind: Warrior on the Edge of Time (United Artists) LP
Bobby Hutcherson: Total Eclipse (Blue Note) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire (Island) LP
Pablo Moses: A Song (Mongo) LP
Klaus Nom: Simple Man (Spindizzy) UK LP
Ozzy Osborne: Randy Rhoads Tribute (CBS) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia) LP
Plasmatics: Beyond the Valley of 1984 (Stiff) LP
Rush: 2112 (Anthem) LP
Rush: Hemispheres (Anthem) LP
Rush: Moving Pictures (Anthem) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of (Kranky) Sealed 1st press LP
Toots & The Maytals: Pass the Pipe (Mongo) LP
Bunny Wailer: Blackheart Man (Mongo) LP
Bunny Wailer: Rock n Groove (Solomonic) LP
Bunny Wailer: Tribute (Solomonic) Jamaican LP
Wolf Eyes: Burned Mind (Hanson) LP
Zoviet France: s/t (AKA Hessian) (Red Rhino) LP
Zoviet France: Norsch (Red Rhino) LP

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