Well, good news for one of you…. we almost never do it. But the rarest of rare occurrences has come….. WE ARE HIRING! If you’ve dreamed of slinging records and have a great grasp on alphabetizing things please drop off or email your resume along with your top 10 albums of 2018 and of all time by October 14th!
…..pick of the week…..
Bruce Haack: Preservation Tapes (Telephone Explosion) LP
“In 2016, after reissuing two Bruce Haack albums, Haackula and Electric Lucifer Book II, Telephone Explosion began speaking with Ted Pandel (Bruce’s lifelong friend and business partner) about working on the 1970 masterpiece The Electric Lucifer. It turned out there was another matter that he wanted to discuss: finding a final resting place for the Bruce Haack archive. We were shown test-pressings of The Electric Lucifer board mixes from his Columbia studio sessions, countless pieces of written music, a large number of personal photos, an invitation from Raymond Scott inviting Bruce to play his newly created Electronium instrument (now owned by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh), poems, press clippings, and, most importantly, a heavy-duty shelf containing 213 reel-to-reel tapes. All of the chosen material on The Preservation Tapes is unreleased, has only been heard by a handful of people and showcases a relatively unknown period in Bruce’s musical career where Bruce was recording for Sparrow Records (who billed themselves as ‘America’s best Christian music record label’). Bruce’s signature Farad vocoder continues to feature prominently, but the lyrical content is decidedly more religious. The Bruce Haack archive is now resting in the Provincial Archives of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.”
Aphex Twin: Collapse (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Mythical electronic producer Richard D James aka Aphex Twin returns on Warp Records with the new 4-track EP Collapse which follows-up his 2016 Cheetah EP and 2014 full-length Syro. The cryptic release is introduced by the pummeling lead cut, “T69 Collapse” whose mind-bending video premiere was pulled from Adult Swim at the last minute for failing the Harding epilepsy test. This 12″ vinyl edition’s accompanying download includes the bonus track “pthex.”
File Under: Electronic
Flaming Lips: In A Priest Driven Ambulance (Warner) 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). The final pre-major label album from the Flaming Lips brought a huge shift in sound that would define their work over the greater part of the next decade. The first album to feature Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue on guitar, In A Priest Driven Ambulance features more structured songwriting and tighter production. Singer Wayne Coyne’s lyrical wit and insight had never been better, as his obsession with religious imagery moved to the forefront. 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: Indie Rock
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood: With Animals (Heavenly) LP
In tomorrow… Over the last decade, Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013’s Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan’s solo records (Garwood contributed to 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2017’s Gargoyle after which he toured as part of Lanegan’s band). The Summer of 2018 sees the duo releasing their second official album together entitled With Animals. Its 12 songs are spectral and sinewy, often defined by the spaces in between the sounds. A ghost’s whistle weaves itself around a pulsing single note on “Lonesome Infidel”; “Feast to Famine’s” hard luck story floats above a guitar part so strung out and washed with distortion it’s become barely recognizable. It’s soul music for anyone who’s long since left the crossroads. The writing and recording of With Animals was split between studio collaboration and sharing music between Garwood’s home in London and Los Angeles where Lanegan resides. Technology made the duo’s transatlantic working relationship relatively easy. While Black Pudding put Garwood’s mercurial guitar center stage, With Animals is constructed from a different set of tools. Analogue and dust flecked, it sounds like Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a ’60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Tracks sit on loops that sound like they’re straight out of There’s A Riot Goin’ On while sparse melodies nod in the direction of British electronic producers like Burial or Boards of Canada. Which is not to say it sounds like any of those things – this is a weird world all of their own design.
File Under: Indie Rock
Metric: Art of Doubt (BMG) LP
In tomorrow… Toronto rockers Metric emphasize guitars on Art Of Doubt, a collection of 12 new songs packed with massive riffs, driving rhythms and raw/smooth vocals – all elements of the band’s instantly identifiable signature sound. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Metric’s seventh LP addresses a climate of cultural and political anxiety while refusing to give despair the upper hand. In many ways, it’s the most Metric album the band has ever made as Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key rediscover their shared love of music and how good they are at making it together. “This felt like the culmination of a lifetime spent playing together and trusting each other and going for it,” Shaw says.
File Under: Indie Rock
Prince: Piano & A Microphone (Warner) LP
Prince’s Piano & a Microphone 1983 Captures Previously Unreleased Solo, Intimate Recording Session from His Home Studio: 180g LP Includes an Early Version of “Purple Rain”. The Prince Estate in partnership with Warner Bros. Records present Piano & A Microphone 1983, a brand-new Prince collection that features a previously unreleased 35-minute, 9-track home studio recording of the artist alone at the piano. The private rehearsal offers a rare glimpse into Prince’s creative process as he works through songs like “17 Days” (1984 B-side), “Purple Rain” (title track from the Grammy and Oscar winning 1984 soundtrack), and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You, Strange Relationship” (released on 1987’s Sign O’ The Times) among others. “This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” said Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”
File Under: Rock, Pop
Siouxsie & the Banshees: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (Geffen) LP
In tomorrow… Siouxsie & The Banshees began life as a punk outfit (with Sid Vicious on drums) before mutating into post-punkers on their way to becoming one of the most influential goth rock bands of all time. To this day, decades after their disintegration, the group’s fanatical fan base and influence continues to grow. 1982’s lush and atmospheric A Kiss in the Dreamhouse finds the band as experimental as ever in the studio, with Siouxsie’s more melodic vocals fleshed out with strings and imaginative arrangements on mesmerizing cuts like “Cascade,” “Obsession,” “Melt!” and “Slowdive.” Remastered from the original ¼” tapes and cut at half speed at Abbey Road studios, London. Both artwork and audio have personally been overseen and orchestrated by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin.
File Under: Goth, Post Punk
Siouxsie & the Banshees: Superstition (Geffen) LP
In tomorrow… Siouxsie & The Banshees began life as a punk outfit (with Sid Vicious on drums no less) before mutating into post-punkers on their way to becoming one of the most influential goth rock bands of all time. To this day, decades after their disintegration, the group’s fanatical fan base and influence continues to grow. In 1991 the Banshees performed on the inaugural Lollapalooza tour; their concurrent LP, Superstition (produced by Stephen Hague) was their most commercially successful, spawning their lone U.S. Top 40 hit, “Kiss Them for Me.” 180g 2LP pressing with D-side etching remastered from the original ¼” tapes and cut at half speed at Abbey Road studios, London. Both artwork and audio have personally been overseen and orchestrated by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin.
File Under: Goth, Post Punk
Sleep: Leagues Beneath (Third Man) LP
“Leagues Beneath” is the first release immediately following Sleep’s long-prophesied, critically-acclaimed opus The Sciences. Recorded as a part of a series of songs for Adult Swim, the song is a testament to what has made The Sciences such a success: bottomless tone, spacetime-melting riffs and a unparalleled aural experience from start to finish. “Leagues Beneath,” features the full 17-minute hadal plunge on the A-side, with a tentacled aquanaut nightmare etching on the B-side.
File Under: Metal, Stoner
Spiritualized: And Nothing Hurt (Fat Possum) LP
In tomorrow… From the opening lullaby of “A Perfect Miracle” through to the Morse Code fadeout at the close of “Sail on Through,” on And Nothing Hurt, Spiritualized wrap layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create a mesmerizing and cinematic collection of songs. There are points where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming – the thunderous climax of “On the Sunshine”; the spectral waltz of “The Prize”; the towering guitar solo on “I’m Your Man” – where one can imagine the studio’s speakers vibrating themselves off of the walls. Which is an incredible feat when you discover that the album was conceived and recorded almost entirely by one man – Jason Pierce aka J.Spaceman – in an upstairs room in his east London home. Whereas bedroom recording is commonplace for a generation of musicians who’ve grown up with horizon-expanding tech, Spiritualized have long used the studio as they would an extra member of the band – as a vital building block in the construction of some of the most cherished records of the modern era. This time would be very different. With no grounding in digital recording, Jason had to learn everything from scratch. For the listener, the nine tracks on And Nothing Hurt effortlessly replicate the scale and power of Spiritualized’s previous releases, whether it’s the sonic blowback of “On the Sunshine,” the last dime in the jukebox love letter of “Let’s Dance” or the swell of an imaginary orchestra that seems to lift “Damaged” towards the heavens as it plays out. Lyrically, And Nothing Hurt touches on thoughts of passing time and acceptance of one’s age – never more beautifully than on “Let’s Dance.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Tom Waits: Heartattack & Vine (Anti) LP
After signing with Asylum Records in the early 1970s, Tom Waits recorded a series of acclaimed albums whose noir tales about the after-midnight underworld transformed the seedy into the sublime in songs laced with both dark humor and profound longing. Decades and several musical evolutions later, Waits’ Asylum years still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans. Waits’ first seven albums on Asylum have been remastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records. Released in 1980, Heartattack and Vine was Waits’ final album on Elektra Asylum and it built on the raw blues approach of Blue Valentine with the incendiary title track, the funky, organ driven “Downtown” and the stomping NOLA blues of “Mr. Siegal.” This album also contains some of Waits’ most popular ballads, including “Jersey Girl” which was famously a hit for Bruce Springsteen. “On the Nickle” is a moving song about the homeless people who lived on 5th street in downtown LA, and “Ruby’s Arms” is a beautiful song with a lovely Bach-like melody.
File Under: Rock
Waxahatchee: Great Thunder (Merge) LP
Katie Crutchfield’s ever-shifting musical project Waxahatchee returns with the Great Thunder EP. Featuring a collection of songs written with now-dormant experimental recording group Great Thunder while Crutchfield was also writing the Waxahatchee albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp, the original recordings have mostly faded into obscurity. Unearthing and reimagining them with producer Brad Cook at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin was a cathartic experience, she says. On the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed Out in the Storm, Crutchfield found herself looking to take a sharp turn away from the more rock-oriented influences of her recent records towards her more folk and country roots. “I would say that it is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started,” writes Crutchfield. “Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.” Some of the songs on Great Thunder, like “Chapel of Pines” and “Singer’s No Star,” stayed the same and will be recognizable to those intensely familiar with Crutchfield’s catalog to date, while closer “Takes So Much” was built back up on piano from the bones of the original version, surprising even the songwriter: “Until then, I didn’t realize how beautiful this song was.” As Crutchfield entered April Base to record, she became ill but opted to forge on, beautifully stretching her voice to its emotional limits.
File Under: Indie Rock
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue (Blue Note) LP
Destroyer: Rubies (Merge) LP
Fugazi: End Hits (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: In on the Killtaker (Dischord) LP
Fugazi: Steady Diet of Nothing (Dischord) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Music on Vinyl) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Siren’s Song (New West) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Mos Def & Talib Kweli: Black Star (Universal) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris (Ipecac) 3×10″
Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus (Analogue Productions) LP
Sam Gopal: Escalator (Morgan Town) LP
Sonic Youth: Riot in Melbourne (Big Car) LP
Raymond Scott: Soothing Sounds for Baby 1-3 (Music on Vinyl) 3LP
Yasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Plato Flats) LP
Wire: Pink Flag (Pink Flag) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP