…..news letter #795 – jooooon…..

Well, only slightly more stuff in this week than last week. But I can tell you, there’s a lot on the way for next week so, there’s that. There’s also a lot of really great used stuff hitting the bins this week. Come on down for a dig….

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…..pick of the week…..

Oxbow-Thin-Black-Duke-1487864449-640x640

Oxbow: Thin Black Duke (Hydrahead) LP
First studio album in over 10 years! Over the 30 years of Oxbow’s operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the Bay Area group. This could arguably be the result of Oxbow’s ongoing evolution, but accurately describing any particular phase of the groups’ seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path. This is especially true with their seventh album Thin Black Duke , where Oxbow’s elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of baroque pop into their sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime and completely unnerving. This is new musical territory for all parties involved. The album was engineered and co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, My Morning Jacket, Etta james, etc).

File Under: Metal
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…..new arrivals…..

buffalo

Buffalo Tom: Let Me Come Over (Beggars) LP
Buffalo Tom (Bill Janovitz, Chris Colbourn and Tom Maginnis) formed at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984 – a breeding ground of post punk guitar bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies. They thrived on college radio in the late 1980’s and toured extensively in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan. In 1992 the band recorded their third album Let Me Come Over with a varied group of songs they had been developing at home and on the road – mixing their live power trio sound with some more acoustic based guitar ballads. The album’s single “Taillights Fade” would become their signature song. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of this album, and to celebrate, Beggars Banquet will reissue it together with a live album – in fact the first ever live release from Buffalo Tom. The show was recorded in early 1992 just prior to the release of Let Me Come Over at U.L.U. which stood for University Of London Union (and is now known as Student Central). The band mixed the live album at Q Division in Boston, and it was mastered at Abbey Road. On its first two albums, Buffalo Tom constructed towering guitar-scapes and mastered a naturalistic version of quiet-to-loud dynamics. So, for its third, we found Buffalo Tom shedding a bit, but not all of the skin it had worn and emerging with its charms more front and center. Let Me Come Over is the sound of the trio exiting the insular underground for the wide world of “alternative” rock – -but more or less bringing its best moves along with it, too. Previously loosely linked with fellow travelers Dinosaur Jr. and Uncle Tupelo via a similar three-piece format, stunning depth of songwriting and association with Boston’s Fort Apache Studios – it’s not hard to imagine Buffalo Tom wanted to stake a claim stylistically. Yet, LMCO never feels like a break with the past, it’s a transition. Inside that abstruse cover are undeniably magnificent tunes. “Staples” is emblematic of a band in flux with a grungy lyrical conceit rendered with hi-fi guitar squalls. It’s the first single “Taillights Fade,” however, where the band appears to find a new comfort zone, at an unhurried speed where Janovitz’s storytelling and car crash metaphors stand the best chance of making an impression. It plays with quiet-to-loud dynamics, and as for emotional expression, it swings for the bleachers – and a place on alternative rock radio. “Mineral” jangles in a similar vein and makes grand gestures. “Darl” and “Larry” are solid but disparate cuts. Colbourn’s “Darl” feels a bit like an outlier with its thrashy feel – it sounds better louder. “Larry” has a sweetness to it that’s augmented by its busker’s strumming. Released as a second single, “Velvet Roof” had given us a taste of what was newly possible, a hook-heavy stomper with a densely woven rhythm matched by tight lyric writing – each piece expertly crafted to go into the next, no frayed ends here – and a snazzy mix by Ron Saint Germain, a pro who would later bring out the best in Soundgarden. A wailing harmonica solo gives it all a swagger that’s kind of new for the band. “Stymied” summons the emotional intensity of Birdbrain – it’s probably the album’s darkest moment. Somehow both life-affirming and wistful “Porchlight” contrasts with the way “Saving Grace” blazes through the barroom like a ‘Mats tribute. There’s no filler to be found here. “Frozen Lake” sees the band caressing acoustic guitars in comedown mode. Let Me Come Over is kind of a short story collection with equal parts thunder and intimacy, hills and valleys, last night’s mistakes and tomorrow’s contrition. Ultimately, it’s possibility, a sense of ‘hey, this just might work’ that makes it such a deep spin 25 years later. Let Me Come Over triumphs.

File Under: Indie Rock
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crimp

Crimpshrine: Duct Tape Soup (Numero) LP
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Duct Tape Soup is their Lookout-rejected 1988 debut LP that was parsed out to various compilations and split 7″s before being recompiled for Larry Livermore’s punk institution in 1992. After Lookout’s unfortunate demise at the turn of the century, the album went out of print. In cooperation with the band, Numero has remastered the recordings and freshened up the accompanying booklet to make the perfect legacy edition of this ’80s punk classic.

File Under: Punk
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crim

Crimpshrine: The Sound of a New World Being Born (Numero) LP
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Sound Of A New World Being Born compiles their Lookout singles like “Sleep What’s That “and Quit Talkin’ Claude EP with a handful of compilation and split 7” tracks. In cooperation with the band, Numero remastered the 16-track album and freshened up the accompanying poster to make the perfect legacy edition of this ’80s punk classic.

 File Under: Punk
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crystal

Crystal Fairy: s/t (Ipecac) LP
Members of the Melvins (Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover), At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez) and Le Butcherettes (Teri Gender Bender) have formed the roaring new rock band, Crystal Fairy and present their self-titled debut. “When the Melvins toured with Le Butcherettes, Teri would come out at the end of the set and do ‘Rebel Girl’ with us,” explains drummer Dale Crover. “It was almost always the highlight of the show! From doing that, we knew there was some chemistry between us that was worth exploring. We became close friends with both Teri and Omar on the tour and came up with the idea of starting a new band with them.” “Omar caught up with us on the Melvins’ tour because he is an admirer. Through the travels, the Melvins and Omar connected as well,” adds singer Teri Gender Bender. “Sometimes, Omar and I would fantasize loudly of hopefully being able to form a power group together. Before we knew it, we were writing music in the studio (both in El Paso and L.A.) and birthed a magical little gem that I am extremely proud to be a part of.”  “The Melvins have had many different line-ups, and we’ll continue to mix things up but with Crystal Fairy, working with Teri and Omar, I knew this was something different and deserved to have its own identity,” said singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez notes , “While our main bands will still remain our focus and priority, we intend to have as much fun as possible recording and touring with this special and unique project.”

File Under: Rock, Melvins
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elder

Elder: Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon) LP
It’s time to get euphoric. With Elder’s fourth full-length album, an epic piece of rock music will be released unto the world. And we think that’s a reason to celebrate. Band members and friends Nick Disalvo, Jack Donovan and Matt Couto already dismissed any last remains of stoner metal stereotypes on Lore (2015). Their current album, which was written following the long and acclaimed Lore tour in moments of intense creativity, is a journey into prog rock and psychedelic worlds. Six monumental songs, huge in sound, each of them their own cosmic expedition. What begins as driving mid-tempo rock filled with heavy guitar riffs repeatedly erupts into melodic tangents and clever variations. The high demands that DiSalvo places on his own songwriting seem to become more unfettered from minute to minute—as does the pleasure of listening to him. Guest musicians Michael Samos and Mike Risberg have added additional guitars, pedal steel and keyboards to the trio, making Elder’s sound more voluminous than ever, and the influences found here range from ’70s prog dinosaurs such as Yes, King Crimson or Pink Floyd to their kindred spirits in the European psychedelic and space rock scenes. And it is of course a cliché, but Elder bring their own organism to life from all these influences. Elder will be taking Reflections of a Floating World live to European fans in July and August 2017, followed by a USA tour in the fall. The East Coast trio will be a quartet for the first time ever on these tours with the addition of Mike Risberg on second guitar and keyboards. Anybody who has already seen Elder live know that they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see them on this tour. 500 LP pressed on clear / green vinyl.

File Under: Metal

fucked up

Fucked Up: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
Picture it: peak summer in Nashville, TN in July 2015. The sweltering days and nights are long as ever and the humidity ain’t kind. So what does Third Man Records do? They put on a matinee all ages show with one of the most raucous bands you can conceive of resulting in one of the sweatiest crowds in Blue Room history – Fucked Up. True to tradition, they recorded the whole thing direct-to-acetate and are now unleashing the force unto the world. Fucked Up is a rare band. They’re a mutant strain of post-hardcore, arena-punk super-talents capable of reworking the strange and the beautiful into something cohesive, but never at the expense of their signature, addictive, furious entropy. They are truly a blitzkrieg of song and lyric. Is it work-shy and lazy to call a live record whose songs flow seamlessly into one another “epic?” What if every track is a battering ram of rabid guitar, fugitive vocals, deathmatch bass and roaring drums? No matter how you dice it…one word won’t ever be enough to explain a band like Fucked Up. All substitutions will pale in comparison to the experience itself. But Third Man’s record does the show justice. They’ve been itching to get this one on your turntables and they know you can’t wait to drop the needle. So here it is..a six-track sonic boom of a record now available for your listening pleasure!

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk

gonzalez

Delia Gonzalez: Horse Follows Darkness (DFA) LP
Horse Follows Darkness is the second record by Delia Gonzalez and follow up to her debut In Remembrance. The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted – the American Western. The narrative is one of re-encountering the frontier mentality that shaped the country but somehow never faded. This time as a foreigner. The genre of the Western remains pertinent, many of the same stories of that brutally deromanticized era are still relevant today. America hasn’t changed – the cast, times and settings have, but we still hold onto the same ideal. Horse Follows Darkness is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western. Even the idea for the record cover is inspired by one of the most well known modern Westerns, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs Miller. The album was recorded with Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park studios, which Delia likens to “going to the finest tailor.” Abe became an integral part of the recording, playing guitar and helping to suggest experimenting with different synthesizers, something Delia was keen to do. She refers to Abe as “a magical and incredibly intuitive collaborator” regarding the sound of the record. The music that emerged from these recording sessions combines a range of influences – from the compositions of Erik Satie to Salon De Musique, the solo piano record by Su Tissue (of the L.A. punk band Suburban Lawns). The record also took on a much different shape and sound with the introduction of the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, as well as a vintage Korg Poly synth and the Roland SH-101. The golden era Krautrock recordings of bands like Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia were touchstones as well, the repetition, swirling soundscapes and locked-in rhythm tracks.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Minimal
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nys

New Year: Snow (Undertow) LP
First new album in 9 years. National press campaign by Jacob Daneman at Press Here. Track premieres on Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum. “It’s been nearly nine years since The New Year released any new music. But since the slowcore/indie-rock outfit dropped their last LP, The New Year, band members have stayed busy. Brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane worked on an outstanding comprehensive box set of music from their previous band, the seminal Bedhead. In 2013, they dropped a record as Overseas with compatriots David Bazan and Will Johnson. And the whole way through, they tinkered with and labored over a batch of songs for a fourth LP.” – Paste.

File Under: Indie Rock
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pentagram

Pentagram: Relentless (Peaceville) LP
Cult rock legend Bobby Liebling and his band Pentagram have been churning out genre defining and highly admired hard rock/doom metal for over four decades. At the onset of the 1970’s, they helped birth the behemoth known as ‘heavy metal’ and years later they’d be planting the seed of what would become known as ‘doom’. Though a prolific musical entity throughout the ’70s, due to many band breakups and personnel changes they didn’t issue a full-length album until the release of Pentagram in 1985. In 1993, Pentagram renamed and reissued the album on Peaceville Records under the appropriate title Relentless. “If producing top quality doom records was an Olympic sport, Pentagram would be weighed down by gold medals.” – Kerrang!

File Under: Metal
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solstafir

Solstafir: Berdreyminn (Season of Mist) LP
Iceland’s Solstafir return on Season of Mist with the entrancing new album Berdreyminn. Evolving from their hard rock roots, Berdreyminn is drenched in the glorious buzz of vintage tube amps and classic guitar harmonies. Their bombast is wrought with translucent melodies and an artisans finesse to create soulful, moving songs that are both evocative and anthemic. The band’s graceful, measured approach is cinematic in its scope and resonates long past listening. Solstafir is the genuine article and Berdreyminn another epic moment in their canon of greatness.

File Under: Metal, Iceland

troubled horse

Troubled Horse: Revolution of Repeat (Rise Above) LP
Formed in 2003 in their hometown of Örebro, Sweden (also home to Witchcraft), Troubled Horse erupted into the consciousness of riff-worshippers everywhere with a low-key seven-inch vinyl release in 2010, and then their debut album Step Inside, which was released by Rise Above Records in 2012. An invigorating whirlwind of spiky garage rock, propulsive psychedelia and thunderous, overdriven soul-meets-doom riffing, Step Inside showcased a band with little interest in current or nostalgic trends, instead reveling in a consciously classic but undeniably fresh new take on the most revered and ageless of musical components. With a refreshed line-up, Martin Heppich’s vision of a no-holds-barred celebration of heavy rock in all its colorful, subversive glory has never sounded stronger than it does on their sophomore effort Revolution On Repeat. From the barreling, high-energy thunder of “Hurricane” and “Which Way To The Mob” through to the sprawling head-rush of “The Haunted” and acid-tinged, lo-fi psych of “Desperation,” it’s an instinctive and naturalistic triumph for fire, fury and feel over the forces of plodding revisionism. Throw in a sublime rendition of Warren Zevon’s death-premonition anthem “My Shit’s Fucked Up,” and the album amounts to a bold, pertinent and subtly dispiriting statement on the state of the world, all underpinned by the loudest guitars imaginable. Revolution On Repeat is a diverse, diverting and irresistible slab of curiously timely heavy rock that defies the rulebook and breathes new life into that most enduring and fecund of musical genres.

File Under: Metal
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…..Restocks…..

Amps: Pacer (Plain) LP
Beyonce: s/t (Sony) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (World Circuit) LP
Can: Future Days (Mute) LP
Miles Davis: Dark Magus (4 Men With Beards) LP
Deathprod: Imaginary… (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Brian Eno/David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Nonesuch) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting it on (Westbound) LP
Gorillaz: Humanz (Warner) LP
Husker Du: Candy Apple Grey (Rhino) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Of Monsters & Men: Beneath The Skin (Universal) LP
Of Monsters & Men: My Head… (Universal) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Plain) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Universal) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Slates: Summery (New Damage) LP
Spacemen 3: The Perfect Prescription (Fire) LP
Kurt Vile: Square Shells (Matador) 12″
Kurt Vile: So Outta Reach (Matador) 12″
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: The Mollusk (Plain) LP
Ween: White Pepper (Plain) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label (Numero) LP
Various: Titan: It’s All Pop! (Numero) 4LP

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