…..news letter #914 – bak 2 skool…..

…..news letter #914 – bak 2 skool…..

Another lite week for new releases, but one our fav local cats has a new record out this week! The new Jom Comyn is killer, and the release show is tonight, you should go if you can. If you can’t, we have his new LP in stock for you to grab while he’s away on tour. We bought another killer stack of used contemporary releases and reissues. Great stuff, cheaper than new. Never mind all the other used stuff that’s been coming in lately too. It’s getting out of hand! Come for a dig and spend your student loan.

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…..pick of the week…..

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Jom Comyn: Crawl (Double Lunch) LP
Jom Comyn’s music conjures the sensation of weathering a storm. For almost a decade, his albums have passed through sounds like shifting seasons (most often folk and rock or some combination), with Comyn’s charcoal-lined baritone acting as a meditative shelter from the inclement elements, external and inner, at work. I Need Love, in 2017, found him exploring myriad genres across 28 tracks, while Crawl finds Comyn working with a more focused palette: its 12 songs don’t stray far from an amped-up guitar-folk arrangement. But that simpler array of sounds gets mined for rich, refractive depths here. “Street Sweeper” switches from reflective to commanding as it layers instrumentation around increasingly rapid lyrics, while “Chapel of Chimes” builds its title-evoking soundscape around a hypnotic guitar pattern. “Change Your Mind” offers upbeat, Black Keys-ish crunch-rock that powers along at a steady clip before erupting into a rush of guitar in its final moments. In its shimmering sonics and introspective ruminations, Crawl is an album that invites and rewards close listening: full of mesmerizing facets that reveal themselves with sustained frequency.

File Under: Indie Rock, Local
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…..new arrivals…..

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Bob Dylan: Infidels (Columbia) LP
Although released in the early-80’s, the music and songwriting on Bob Dylan’s secular return, recall more of a mid-70’s feel. A very direct and evocative collection, ripe with elegant imagery, potent poetics and moving melodies, the Mark Knopfler co-produced affair helped revitalize Dylan for a new generation of listeners and features a stellar line-up of musicians, which in addition to Knopfler, included Mick Taylor, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Alan Clark. Reaching the Top 20 in the US and the Top 10 in the UK, the Gold-certified record was seen as one of Dylan’s finest artistic achievements since Blood on the Tracks (1975) and most commercially viable until Oh Mercy (1989).

File Under: Folk
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Bob Dylan: Under the Red Sky (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan kicked off the ’90s with Under the Red Sky, the direct follow-up to Oh Mercy, his finest effort of the ’80s, and his well received work with the Traveling Wilburys. Co-produced with Don and David Was, the underrated album finds a lean and loose Dylan flanked by such rock royalty as David Crosby, George Harrison, Bruce Hornsby, Elton John, Al Kooper, Slash, and Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughan and it served as the legendary singer/songwriter’s last collection of new material for seven years. The direct production fits the playful nursery rhymes rooted material and you can certainly hear a Traveling Wilburys influence throughout.

File Under: Folk
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Bob Dylan: Real Live (Columbia) LP
Produced by Glyn Johns and featuring guitarist Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), keyboardist Ian McLagan (The Faces) and a guest appearance from Carlos Santana, Real Live captures a rejuvenated Bob Dylan on his 1984 European tour in support of his successful secular return, Infidels. Only two cuts are culled from that album (“License To Kill,” “I and I”), however, as the remainder of the material comprises classics of yesteryear like “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Masters of War,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “Maggie’s Farm,” “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Tombstone Blues.”

File Under: Folk
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Bob Dylan: Down in the Groove (Columbia) LP
Culled from various recording sessions with several different backing bands – accompaniment ranging from the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and The Clash’s Paul Simonon to the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Brent Mydland, to Eric Clapton and Sly and Robbie, 1988’s loose-limbed Down in the Groove is somewhat of a sequel to Knocked Out Loaded and its biggest assets may be its wide variety and the fact that it sounds like Dylan is actually having fun. Bookended by strong covers of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Stick Together” and the Stanley Brothers’ “Rank Strangers to Me,” a further standout comes in the form of the Robert Hunter co-write “Silvio.”

File Under: Folk
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The Frogs: It’s Only Right & Natural (End of All Music) LP
“In 1980, two brothers from Milwaukee named Jimmy and Dennis Flemion formed a band called The Frogs. Eight years, a few thousand dollars, and a self-titled debut album later, they took a call from Gerard Cosloy of Homestead Records. Cosloy wanted to sign The Frogs, but he wasn’t interested in their album. Instead, the then frontman of Big Black, Steve Albini, had passed him a tape of The Frogs’ brilliantly funny, mostly improvised and home-recorded songs about things like child abduction and homosexuality, and Cosloy wanted to put those out instead. 1989’s gay supremacy record It’s Only Right And Natural…won The Frogs the patronage of some of the biggest stars [Kurt Cobain, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, Eddie Vedder] in what people, at the time, had no qualms calling alternative rock” (Vice). The band were chosen by Animal Collective to perform the long out of print album in its entirety at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival they curated in May 2011.

File Under: Indie Rock
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House Guests: My Mind Set Me Free (Shake It) LP
A slab of Cincinnati hard funk slammers, reissued (legally) for the first time! Post JB’s/pre-P-funk outfits headed up by brothers Catfish and Bootsy Collins along with a Cincinnati who-who’s of top club players who could turn it out night after night after night in places like The Psychedelic Grave or The Round Up Club that featured a caged bear in the club!

File Under: Funk
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Sandro Perri: Soft Landing (Constellation) LP
We’ve been accustomed to waiting years between Sandro Perri albums – a fine price to pay for the quality and understated brilliance of his records. But the Perri floodgates have opened; less than a year after the widely acclaimed In Another Life, he offers up a new and sublime collection, this time with guitar at the calmly rambling heart of these tunes: from the lushly languid 16-minute album opener “Time (You Got Me)” to the syncopated 70s-inflected soft rock of “Wrong About The Rain,” Soft Landing is a warm and hugely satisfying addition to Perri’s diverse and unparalleled discography. Deluxe 180-gram audiophile vinyl plus digital download coupon.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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Various: Ann Arbor Blues Festival Vol 1 (Third Man) LP
Third Man Records presents Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969, a 50th anniversary celebration collecting 24 previously unheard songs by such blues legends as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Cotton, Son House, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Pinetop Perkins, J. B. Hutto & His Hawks, Roosevelt Sykes, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Big Joe Williams, Charlie Musselwhite and more. The first ever release of music recorded live at the landmark event, Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 will be available in two individual 2LP volumes, exclusively on 180 gram vinyl. August 1969 might have seen another musical gathering grabbing the world’s attention, but the Ann Arbor Blues Festival has since proven a cultural milestone in its own unique right – the first American festival devoted solely to blues music. Held August 1-3, 1969 at Fuller Flatlands, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, for three days it was not unusual to find scenes like B.B. King playing his forthcoming single for Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton and Junior Wells or Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Big Joe Williams catching up about grandchildren, life on the road and the recent moon landing. The family reunion backstage led to an all-star game onstage as an audience of eager young blues converts was treated to a living history of the blues from some of its inventors, innovators and greatest talents.  The historic gathering was presented by a small group of blues-obsessed University of Michigan students determined to give their blues heroes a public spotlight where they might shine before it was too late. Among those enterprising student-promoters was John Fishel, whose teenage brother Jim Fishel, gathered some friends to help record the festival as a personal memento. Taking advantage of their all-access pass and juggling a small Norelco tape recorder from set to set, the friends let the 1⁄4″ tape roll. Though field recordings in the literal sense of the term, they capture the brilliance of the musicians, the excitement of the crowd and the loose, convivial nature of the entire festival. Those tapes, long thought to be lost, have now been lovingly restored to capture the electric energy of the landmark concert. “Across three days in early August 1969, [the Ann Arbor Blues Festival] exposed the work of black blues musicians to a reverential young white audience (many of whom had probably chosen to attend Ann Arbor over Woodstock, which took place two weeks later),” writes Fishel, Abramowitz and Beal in the album’s liner notes. “From the city to the country, the West Coast to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi to Chicago, 24 masters of the idiom were booked to perform for this new audience – an estimated 10,000-plus kids, listening to the artists they saw as vanguards of the music that had dominated the decade’s counterculture. DownBeat magazine concluded, ‘The Ann Arbor Blues Festival did not make headlines. Yet it was without a doubt the festival of the year, if not the decade.'” Both volumes include never-before-seen photographs, artist biographies, an exclusive reminiscence from Jim Fishel, and extensive liner notes by Parker Fishel, Sophie Abramowitz and David Beal.

File Under: Blues
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Various: Ann Arbor Blues Festival Vol 2 (Third Man) LP
Third Man Records presents Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969, a 50th anniversary celebration collecting 24 previously unheard songs by such blues legends as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Cotton, Son House, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Pinetop Perkins, J. B. Hutto & His Hawks, Roosevelt Sykes, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Big Joe Williams, Charlie Musselwhite and more. The first ever release of music recorded live at the landmark event, Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 will be available in two individual 2LP volumes, exclusively on 180 gram vinyl. August 1969 might have seen another musical gathering grabbing the world’s attention, but the Ann Arbor Blues Festival has since proven a cultural milestone in its own unique right – the first American festival devoted solely to blues music. Held August 1-3, 1969 at Fuller Flatlands, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, for three days it was not unusual to find scenes like B.B. King playing his forthcoming single for Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton and Junior Wells or Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Big Joe Williams catching up about grandchildren, life on the road and the recent moon landing. The family reunion backstage led to an all-star game onstage as an audience of eager young blues converts was treated to a living history of the blues from some of its inventors, innovators and greatest talents. The historic gathering was presented by a small group of blues-obsessed University of Michigan students determined to give their blues heroes a public spotlight where they might shine before it was too late. Among those enterprising student-promoters was John Fishel, whose teenage brother Jim Fishel, gathered some friends to help record the festival as a personal memento. Taking advantage of their all-access pass and juggling a small Norelco tape recorder from set to set, the friends let the 1⁄4″ tape roll. Though field recordings in the literal sense of the term, they capture the brilliance of the musicians, the excitement of the crowd and the loose, convivial nature of the entire festival. Those tapes, long thought to be lost, have now been lovingly restored to capture the electric energy of the landmark concert. “Across three days in early August 1969, [the Ann Arbor Blues Festival] exposed the work of black blues musicians to a reverential young white audience (many of whom had probably chosen to attend Ann Arbor over Woodstock, which took place two weeks later),” writes Fishel, Abramowitz and Beal in the album’s liner notes. “From the city to the country, the West Coast to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi to Chicago, 24 masters of the idiom were booked to perform for this new audience – an estimated 10,000-plus kids, listening to the artists they saw as vanguards of the music that had dominated the decade’s counterculture. DownBeat magazine concluded, ‘The Ann Arbor Blues Festival did not make headlines. Yet it was without a doubt the festival of the year, if not the decade.'” Both volumes include never-before-seen photographs, artist biographies, an exclusive reminiscence from Jim Fishel, and extensive liner notes by Parker Fishel, Sophie Abramowitz and David Beal.

File Under: Blues
Listen Here

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Various: J Jazz? Deep Modern Jazz from Japan Vol 2 (BBE) LP
Following the sell-out success of their landmark compilation, J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984, BBE Music presents another exploration into the very finest Japanese modern jazz. J Jazz 2 builds on the solid foundation of the first compilation and sees co-compilers Tony Higgins and Mike Peden once again pick choice sections from their own record collections. They present a deep dive into an intoxicating and beguiling range of styles: from cinematic roaring big-band (“Little Giant” by Nobuo Hara) and sparse minimal acoustic funk (“Teru-Teru Bozo” by Teru Sakamoto), to deep spiritual modal epics (“Dragon Dance” by Makoto Terashita and Harold Land) and funk fusion (“Mother of the Future” by Electro Keyboard Orchestra). J Jazz 2 delivers more astonishing high quality jazz that will appeal the old school hard-core jazz head as much as those digging the current sounds of the current vibrant jazz explosion in the UK and USA. The specially chosen tracks on J Jazz volume two span across 25 years of Japanese musical progression and invention. From the elegiac stark beauty of “Serenade to a Dimly Lit Street” and the modal vortex of “Daguri,” to the fierce post-bop freedom of “Bull Trout” and the mid-tempo bossa lilt of “Vietnam,” there is enough here to satisfy the most curious and demanding jazz fan seeking something extra special.

File Under: Jazz

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Various: Sunny Side Up (Brownswood) LP
A new generation of young, independent musicians, in share-houses and makeshift home studios, in the garages and backyard sheds of Melbourne’s suburban sprawl, have embraced a brash DIY spirit. Taking cues from soul, jazz and club culture, they’ve stamped an uninhibited style on a sun-bleached spool of influences. A snapshot of a movement that’s ready to boil over, the nine acts on Sunny Side Up have grown out of a city free from the weight of overbearing musical traditions, where outside influences are freely re-interpreted and mashed together. A celebratory record, it’s energized by a collaborative spirit as much as by the variety of styles which it collides together. The record documents a scene poised at saturation point, after steadily expanding since the breakout success Hiatus Kaiyote in 2012, with whom many of the record’s groups share members, friendships or studios. Nurtured by institutions like record shop Northside Records, this is an album which shows splashes of deep house, broken beat, cha-cha, samba, p-funk and soul. Unlike other cities with storied histories in jazz culture, the sound of Melbourne is free of any jazz customs to follow behind, leaving musicians free to incorporate hip hop, house or R&B. Jazz is the mindset, the output is infinitely diverse. Recorded over a week at The Grove, a fabled house-cum-studio in the North Melbourne suburb of Coburg, nine of Melbourne’s hotly-tipped talents take the lead with their own take on a musical form rooted in jazz. Engineered and mixed by Nick Herrera (Hiatus Kaiyote, Nai Palm, 30/70), with Silentjay as musical director, the result is a colorful portrait of a scene’s potential. Sunny Side Up explores the story behind this flourishing period and shines light on some of its most compelling figures. The personnel are drawn from a close-knit community, collectives like 30/70 and Mandarin Dreams acting as creative milieus, lending to each other’s style and influence, reflected in the fact that musicians feature multiple times across each other’s tracks on the album. Commonly ranked among the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne has more live venues and record stores per capita than any other city. In a city as isolated from the world as Melbourne, where the scene has been largely overlooked by Australian music institutions, collaboration is second-nature to a hungry scene focused on building their own identity. On “Banksia,” Phil Stroud conducts a winding spiritual meditation, the percussion virtuoso, whose cult club 12″s for Perth imprint Good Company have garnered support from DJs Bradley Zero and Anthony Naples, showing a more understated string to his bow. Dufresne, a multi-instrumentalist member of the Mandarin Dreams collective who’s toured with Sampa The Great, builds a funk-driven, horns-heavy call to the stars on “Pick Up / Galaxy.”

File Under: Jazz
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…..Restocks…. 

Blanck Mass: Animated Violence Mild (Sacred Bones) LP
Don Cherry: Brown Rice (A&M) LP
Andrew Hill: Black Fire (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Pharmakon: Devour (Sacred Bones) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) LP
Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers (Third Man) LP
Sleep: The Sciences (Third Man) LP
Don Slepian: Sea of Bliss (Numero) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Various: Basement Beehive (Numero) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies from the Canyon (Numero) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Guitar Soli (Numero) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes (Numero) LP
Various: You’re Not From Around Here OST (Numero) LP
Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride (Sony) LP
Wire: Chairs Missing (Pink Flag) LP

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