I’m not gonna sugar coat it, there’s not a lot of new stuff this week. However, that Earth reissue is worth the trip down if you didn’t buy it the last 2 times it came out. Also, James has been plowing through the back and there’s lots of lovely used things getting priced up. Assuming you’re not gone for the long weekend, you should come for a dig.
…..pick of the week…..
Earth: The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) LP
The rebirth of Earth resulted in the band signing with Southern Lord Recordings and releasing the essential “Hex” album circa 2005. Their next step was monumental. Working alongside Hex producer Randall Dunn, the band entered AVAST! studios (where Earth2 was recorded) and began laying down what was to become one of the bands finest moments of their existence. The mainstay core of Dylan Carlson & Adrienne Davies collaborated and wrote material with Steve Moore, Don McGreevy, and legendary guitarist Bill Frissell. The final result of their hard work was: “The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull”. The musical direction was more focused than Hex with the band moving into more of a rock and american Gospel oriented and improvisatorydirection framed by a truly psychedelic production. It remains the groups most successful album and many tracks are still performed by Earth live. The audio was specifically mastered for vinyl and the LP lacquers were cut by Bob Weston (Shellac). The vinyl version of this album contains the exclusive bonus track: “Junkyard Priest” (featuring Milky Burgess on slide guitar) This 2018 pressing is housed in a beautiful “old style” Stoughton gatefold jacket.
Jorge Ben: A Tabua de Esmeralda (Elemental) LP
In tomorrow… Tábua de Esmeralda, the eleventh studio album by Brazilian maestro Jorge Ben, released in 1974 on Philips Records. The album showcases Ben’s interest in theosophy, mysticism, and, above all, alchemy. Its title refers to the Emerald Tablet, a cryptic piece of Hermetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation; and its artwork incorporates drawings from Nicholas Flamel, who was historically immortalized as a great alchemist for his work on the philosopher’s stone. Considered Ben’s masterpiece, it was ranked by Rolling Stone Brasil as the sixth greatest Brazilian album of all time, and has been included in Tom Moon’s 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. A Tábua de Esmeralda belongs in the record collection of any fan of Ben’s music and is also a great starting point for someone who wants an introduction to his work.
Jorge Ben: s/t (Elemental) LP
In tomorrow… Released in 1969, it was Jorge Ben’s first album with Trio Mocotó, a group that would be backing him along the 70’s on many other seminal albums, such as Força Bruta (1970), Negro É Lindo (1971) and A Tábua de Esmeralda (1974). The present album is said to have influenced the “Tropicália” movement, as three tracks from this set, “Que pena”, “País tropical” and “Charles, anjo 45” were immediately covered by Gal Costa (the former two), and Caetano Veloso (the latter), two key artists of that Brazilian musical and artistic movement. This album is considered a samba soul classic, and quite possibly Ben’s greatest album ever. In contrast to the cerebral output of the “Tropicália” camp in 1969, this album is much more visceral and personal, and yet no less revolutionary.
Jeremy Dutcher: Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakon (Jeremy Dutcher) LP
In tomorrow… Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa is the debut album by Canadian composer and tenor, Jeremy Dutcher – which involves post-classical rearrangement of his Wolastoq First Nation traditional music. Granted access to the Canadian Museum of History, Jeremy discovered wax cylinders from 1907 of his ancestors singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik Nation generations ago. The album is Jeremy’s contribution to his heritage and community in attempts to revitalize the Wolastoq language to the world, which has less than 100 speakers alive today. This collection of ground breaking post-classical arrangements is truly one of a kind and recalls the mood of Rufus Wainwright’s operatic performance or the haunting pop of Anthony & The Johnsons.
File Under: Classical, First Nations, Chamber Pop
Flaming Lips: Hear It Is (Rhino) LP
The Flaming Lips have pushed the envelope and bent boundaries for more than two decades with the band’s Grammy-winning music and ground-breaking concerts. In 2018, Rhino and Warner Bros. Records will celebrate Oklahoma’s most famous freaks with an ambitious reissue program, kicking off with remastered editions of the joyous weirdness the band recorded for Restless Records between 1984 and 1990 before signing with Warner Bros. in 1991 including Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!…The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In A Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990). Following in the grand tradition of other great Southwestern psych bands such 13th Floor Elevators and The Red Krayola, The Flaming Lips’ mind bending 1986 debut, Hear It Is mixed punk, country & western, psychedelia, goth, and pure bar-band rock and roll into their own curious creation on classics such “Jesus Shootin’ Heroin” “Trains, Brains, & Rain” and “Charlie Manson Blues.” Sharing the weird, slanted pop sensibility of contemporaries like Meat Puppets and Butthole Surfers, this early masterpiece continues to influence bands to this day. Indeed, the punk rockers were finally taking acid. Remastered from the original 1/4″ analog tape masters by the band’s longtime musical foil and producer, David Fridmann, with help from the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins.
File Under: Rock
Flaming Lips: Oh My Gawd!!! (Rhino) LP
The Flaming Lips have pushed the envelope and bent boundaries for more than two decades with the band’s Grammy-winning music and ground-breaking concerts. In 2018, Rhino and Warner Bros. Records will celebrate Oklahoma’s most famous freaks with an ambitious reissue program, kicking off with remastered editions of the joyous weirdness the band recorded for Restless Records between 1984 and 1990 before signing with Warner Bros. in 1991 including Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!…The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In A Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990). Expanding and evolving on the mind bending mélange of their trailblazing debut, the Lips’ second effort, Oh My Gawd!!! finds the fearless band mining the psychedelic aspects of their sound even further. And the group’s ever ambitious nature begins to really reveal itself here as well with Ummagumma era Pink Floyd, Mountain, and even Blue Cheer becoming clear influences. It’s home to such seminal showpieces as “One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning,” “Maximum Dream For Evil Knievel,” and “Prescription: Love.” Remastered from the original 1/4″ analog tape masters by the band’s longtime musical foil and producer, David Fridmann, with help from the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins.
File Under: Rock
Flaming Lips: Telepathic Surgery (Rhino) LP
The Flaming Lips have pushed the envelope and bent boundaries for more than two decades with the band’s Grammy-winning music and ground-breaking concerts. In 2018, Rhino and Warner Bros. Records will celebrate Oklahoma’s most famous freaks with an ambitious reissue program, kicking off with remastered editions of the joyous weirdness the band recorded for Restless Records between 1984 and 1990 before signing with Warner Bros. in 1991 including Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!…The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In A Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990). Experimental, even by The Flaming Lips standards, the band’s third album is a glorious and mind-expanding mix of heavily effected guitar solos, backwards recordings and surrealistic imagery. Once again, the classic song titles keep coming with “Chrome Plated Suicide,” “Hari-Krishna Stomp Wagon (Fuck Led Zeppelin),” and “Drug Machine in Heaven.” Telepathic Surgery became a big influence on a number of bands in its wake from Mercury Rev and Beck to Grandaddy and The Olivia Tremor Control. Remastered from the original 1/4″ analog tape masters by the band’s longtime musical foil and producer, David Fridmann, with help from the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins.
File Under: Rock
Immortal: Sons of Northern Darkness (Nuclear Assault) LP
Pioneering Bergen, Norway black metal outfit Immortal was formed in 1991 out of the ashes of the two short lived bands Amputation and Old Funeral and has proceeded to become a benchmark of quality extreme metal. With their seventh full length effort Sons of Northern Darkness (2002), Immortal managed to combine both the more melodic elements from Damned in Black and At The Heart of Winter with the intensity of a Battles in the North, bringing forth their heaviest album in recent years along the way. Long out of print and highly sought after on vinyl, this gatefold, colored 2LP-set from Nuclear Blast satiates the demand at long last!
File Under: Black Metal
Lykke Li: So Sad So Sexy (LL) LP
So Sad So Sexy is the inventive fourth studio album from Los Angeles based, Swedish vocalist, producer, and songwriter Lykke Li. The 10 song collection was primarily written by Lykke with her main co-writer Ilsey Juber (Beyonce, Drake, Kanye, Majid Jordan) and produced by Lykke and Malay (Lorde, Frank Ocean) with collaborators Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Rihanna), Rostam (Solange Knowles, HAIM), Illangelo (The Weeknd), Jonny Coffer (Beyonce, Naughty Boy, Sam Smith), DJ Dahi (BANKS, Ty Dolla Sign), T-Minus (Kendrick Lamar, Drake), Skrillex and Emile Haynie (Eminem, Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa). So Sad So Sexy has been called “a superb reinvention of Lykke Li” (Consequence of Sound) and a “dramatic new direction” (Billboard), while single “Hard Rain” has been hailed as a “mesmerizing ballad” (Rolling Stone) and “a futuristic quiet storm” (Pitchfork).
File Under: Pop
Swans: Soundtracks for the Blind (Young God) Box
Swans Soundtracks for the Blind, their last studio album released in 1996 prior to their 2010 reformation, is released for the first time on vinyl. Much requested by Swans fans, the vinyl package will consist of four LPs in jackets enclosed in a box with a poster, insert and download card. “This album has everything in there – all the ideas from Swans’ initial 15 years of work. There’s some contemporary recordings of the band as it existed in ‘96/7, with Larry Mullins on drums/percussion, Jarboe singing and playing keyboards, Vudi playing electric guitar, and Joe Goldring playing bass and electric guitar, and me singing and playing electric and acoustic guitar, but there’s also a huge amount of sounds and recordings that Jarboe and I collected over the years. These are reassembled, looped, mangled, and in many cases overdubbed upon to create new pieces of music…I really set my own trap, dug my own grave on this one. There was so much material to deal with, to sift through (whole trunks full of decomposing, moldy cassettes and discs with samples and sounds), and the task of making it into something coherent was at times debilitating. “Really like climbing up a mountain of sand. I don’t remember why I set this goal for myself, to somehow incorporate such a ridiculously disparate amount of material. I think maybe it was so I could justify throwing all that crap into the local dump, which is what I did when I finished the album. But in the end, after centuries of picking at this huge iceberg of material with a toothpick, my trusty engineer Chris Griffin and I managed to sculpt something out of it. It actually breathes, seems to live, in most places I think…When I decided to reform Swans in 2010 Soundtracks was what I referred to as a starting point” – Michael Gira / Swans 2018
Tangerine Dream: Miracle Mile (Fire) LP
The soundtrack to the original motion picture directed by Steve De Jarnatt (1989) and twelfth film score from Tangerine Dream, the tension in ‘Miracle Mile’, both the music and on the screen, make it one of their strongest and a masterpiece.
File Under: Electronic, OST
U2: Achtung Baby (Island) LP
In tomorrow… The world changed dramatically in the three years in between Rattle and Hum and Achtung Baby – and so did U2. By the time their seventh studio album was released in November 1991, Germany had reunified, Nelson Mandela was a free man, Margaret Thatcher had resigned and the Soviet Union was about to dissolve. Amid events of such magnitude, the biggest rock group in the world had some momentous changes of their own to unveil. What emerged was an album open to all kinds of sounds and hues, and one that would add to U2’s collection of anthems even as it recalibrated their sound for the 1990s. It went on to win them two more Grammys, for Best Rock Performance and Producer of the Year for Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. This was rock, but not always as we had known it from them before. At a remove from the American roots music that provided the palette for Rattle and Hum, darker elements were creeping onto the canvas. Yet, dependably, Achtung Baby was still overflowing with grand-scale songs that were set to ring around the arenas of the world. Lead single “The Fly” landed at the top of the British charts in October 1991, the first time U2 had achieved an instant UK No. 1. No fewer than five songs from the 8x platinum, No. 1 charting album would be released as singles. “Mysterious Ways” and “Even Better Than The Real Thing” had the dimensions of previous crowd-pleasers, but now with nods to the burgeoning sounds of electronica and hip-hop while the plaintive, elegant call to arms “One” emerged as one of U2’s very best ballads.
File Under: Pop
U2: Zooropa (Island) LP
In tomorrow… Even while they were on the road all over the world on the Zoo TV tour, the ideas for U2’s next album were burning such a hole in their pocket that it became the fastest record they’ve ever made. Just as Bono had explained that Rattle and Hum belonged with The Joshua Tree as its natural partner, the band knew in their bones that 1991’s Achtung Baby would soon inspire a complementary follow-up. Its name would be Zooropa (1993), and although it was first envisaged as an EP, it simply demanded to become their 2x platinum, Grammy-winning eighth studio album. For the first time, The Edge was named individually as co-producer of a U2 album, along with their unswerving confidant Brian Eno and another new name in the credits, but one who was in reality a U2 veteran. Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis had co-engineered The Joshua Tree and then, after enhancing his reputation immensely by co-producing Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine and Depeche Mode’s Violator, returned to the U2 fold for Achtung Baby. With Daniel Lanois unavailable for Zooropa, Flood was the perfect choice to step up as co-producer, in what has been an enduring relationship. Cutting edge lead single “Numb” set the scene for the futuristic course plotted throughout the LP. Zooropa offers such a rich palette of sounds to take in, such a wash of instrumental colors and effects to assimilate, that Bono often assumes a measured, less-is-more vocal delivery. Indeed, on “Numb,” again on the club-friendly “Lemon” and at times on the tender “The First Time,” he showed an entirely new facet by singing in falsetto. Third single, “Stay (Faraway, So Close!),” hit No. 1 in Ireland and broke into the UK top five. This vinyl reissue sees Zooropa expanded to 2LPs for the first time ever, to include bonus mixes of “Lemon” and “Numb.”
File Under: Pop
Wolf Eyes: Dread (Lower Floor) LP
In tomorrow… A sought after early Wolf Eyes album back on vinyl for the first time in 17 years. Dread was originally released on Hanson Records, American Tapes and Bulb Records in 2001. Filters circuit bent electronics, fried dub and the dystopian proto-punk of Cabaret Voltaire and Suicide through a distinctly Midwest USA sensibility. The result is a freak classic for the ages. The vinyl edition comes with a double-sided fold-out A2 newsprint poster and the bonus track “Sandpapered Eyes” on an accompanying download card. This release continues to establish Lower Floor Music as a new home for the group’s cultural vision, highlighting both new and archival work. In 2017 the label was minted with the release of their harrowing Undertow LP and the slowed down techno-meets-free-from jazz devastation of the follow-up Strange Days II 12′. This is the latest fork in a path the band started forging in 1998, releasing a massive amount of small run DIY basement recorded tape and CD-R missives, as well as higher profile albums for the likes of Sub Pop, Third Man and De Stijl. “Necessary reissue of this crucial side by the greatest underground band of your lifetime. Still sounds like nothing else.” – David Keenan (This Is Memorial Device / Volcanic Tongue)
File Under: Noise, Experimental
Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino (Domino) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
David Bowie: Changesonebowie (RCA) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Deathgrips: Bottomless Pit (Harvest) LP
Destroyer: ken (Merge) LP
Felt: Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (Cherry Red) LP
Felt: The Splendour of Fear (Cherry Red) LP
Felt: The Strange Idols Pattern… (Cherry Red) LP
Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto: s/t (Verve) LP
Gorillaz: Demon Days (Parlophone) LP
Jonny Greenwood: You Were Never Really Here OST (Lakeshore) LP
Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Ndeya) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit in Progress (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP
Sharon Jones: Give the People What They Want (Daptone) LP
Sugai Ken: UkabazUmorezU (RVNG Intl) LP
Khruangbin: Con Todo Mundo (Dead Oceans) LP
Anderson.Paak: Venice (Steel Wool) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Unwound: Fake Train (Numero) LP
Caetano Veloso: Transa (Elemental) LP
Tom Waits: Heart of Saturday Night (Anti) LP
Frank Zappa: Burnt Weeny Sandwich (Zappa) LP
Frank Zappa: Hot Rats (Zappa) LP
Frank Zappa: Lumpy Gravy (Zappa) LP