A few more new arrivals than last week, but not a loads. Finally some much needed restocks and loads of nice used stuff going out. Come down for a dig.
And before you do come down, take a look in your closet for some old sheets, or blankets, or towels, or dry dog food, etc. My daughter and her pals are collecting donations for Scars & Wharf animal rescues. Bring in something for the puppers and get 10% off your purchase!
Last chance to bring in a resume and your top ten albums of 2019 and of all time! Gonna hire someone real soon.
Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.
…..picks of the week…..
Sarah Davachi: Dominions (Jaz) LP
Dominions is the second full-length release from Canadian electroacoustic composer SARAH DAVACHI, following 2015’s Barons Court. A slightly more demure approach is at work here, shifting from the brooding textures of her previous work to softer tones and more delicate movements in structure, as in side openers “Feeler” and “Ordinal.” Recorded primarily at her home base in Vancouver, Davachi returns with her typical assembly of electronic equipment, mostly consisting of vintage synthesizers as well as the Orchestron, a rare optical sampler known for its low fidelity charms. The five compositions on this release breathe new life into these obsolete machines, pausing only for the stringed cacophony of the album’s closer. Melodics emerge almost as an after thought, suggesting something farther and more distant, echoed in the disjointed imagery of local artist, Daniel Presnell. Limited edition new pressing.
Destroyer: Have We Met (Merge) LP
DESTROYER conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. DAN BEJAR assigned producer and bandmate JOHN COLLINS the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.” The result is not a startling departure from 2017’s ken, but unlike that more band-oriented approach, the only actual instruments that appear are bass and electric guitar. MIDI instrumentation will of course invite Your Blues and Kaputt nostalgia, but Have We Met is buoyed by precise, plasticky guitar shredding three-dimensionally across massive percussion—the loudest and dirtiest drums on a Destroyer record to date. Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record—certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept. Have We Met manages to meet somewhere between those disparate Y2K reference points and Destroyer’s own area of expertise, gliding deftly into territory that marries the old strident Destroyer with the new, aged crooning one of late. Limited edition LP version pressed on green vinyl.
File Under: Indie Rock
Blood Incantation: Starspawn (Dark Descent) LP
Available again! After signing with the label prior to the August 2015 release of the Interdimensional Extinction EP, Blood Incantation released this 30-minute cerebral whirlwind of powerful atmospheric death metal. The intense and otherworldly technical/ambient/funeral death metal of Starspawn leaves the listener feeling transcendentally disembodied at the end of an unknown dimension. Produced entirely in analog, the energy and magnetism of live Blood Incantation is tangibly melting through the speakers, and the songwriting, production and performance constellations have all fully aligned.
File Under: Metal
Chromatics: Closer To Grey (Italians Do It Better) LP
Closer To Grey is the new album from Portland’s Chromatics. Closer To Grey is the first album the band released since 2012. Amongst others, it contains reverent cover versions of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence or Jesus And Mary Chain’s On The Wall. The minimalistic Synth-Sound of previous albums is not lost though, and singer Ruth Radelet proves once again how tender and at the same time powerful a voice can sound.
File Under: Synth Pop, Indie Rock
Dark Day: Darkest Before Dawn (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Day is the brainchild of Robin Crutchfield, a New York City based musician, performance artist, and writer. Robin’s musical path began in 1977 when he formed the no wave group DNA with Arto Lindsay and Ikue Mori. In 1979 Crutchfield left DNA to pursue his more synthesizer-based solo project. He released the ‘Hands In The Dark’ 7” followed by two albums, ‘Exterminating Angel’ in 1980 and ‘Window’ in 1982. In 1984 he re-launched Dark Day as an acoustic chamber ensemble performing ethereal soundscapes and self-released two cassette albums “Obsession” and “Beyond The Pale”. ‘Darkest Before Dawn’ is a collection of 13 songs recorded between 1985-86, released on CD in 1989 that have never been pressed to vinyl before. The album is a lost medieval collection of pagan tunes for private ceremonies. Played on echoey pipe organ backed by saw-like rhythmic cello lines and melodic woodwind recorder, driven by the beats of rattles, bells, and drums. These simple, cyclical layered instrumental rounds owe much to the inspiration of Moondog as well as the efforts of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Dead Can Dance. The original press release stated, “Serious gothic organ works which cross Captain Nemo’s Nautilus pipe organ with the standing stones of Stonehenge and reminisce Babylonian battle hymns and Egyptian burial ceremonies.” All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in jacket featuring illustrations from Thomas Bewick’s ‘Vignettes’ and includes a double sided insert with photos and notes.
File Under: Ambient, Experimental
Enhet for Fri Musik: Det Finns Ett Hjärta Som (Grapefruit) LP
Enhet För Fri Musik is a free-folk and experimental music collective formed in 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band features assorted members of the current Swedish underground from bands like Neutral, Makthaverskan, Arv & Miljö, and Blod. A local scene supergroup, the band also runs the labels Förlag För Fri Musik and the Omlott imprint to document their own releases as well as the fertile underground scene surrounding them (much like the Xpressway label founded by artists Bruce Russell, Peter Jefferies, and Alastair Galbraith showcased the early experimental music scene in Dunedin, New Zealand in the late ’80s and early ’90s). Enhet För Fri Musik is the natural extension of a rich lineage going back to legendary Swedish bands from the ’70s, such as Pärson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, International Harvester, and Arbete Och Fritid, whose music pushed boundaries and chose artistic innovation over any commercial concerns. Det Finns Ett Hjärta Som För Dig is the band’s fifth release and it’s a unique masterpiece. The mysteriously hypnotic album, released in July of 2017 in an extremely limited pressing of 300, sold out quickly without receiving distribution to greater Europe or the United States. The atmospheric record features atonal guitar, organ, tape effects, saxophone, and field recordings, in experimental song constructions that defy genre, moving like a river might through different environments, taking and leaving things as it moves, and coalescing around Sofie Herner’s haunting vocals. Grapefruit is extremely proud to be reissuing this rare thing of beauty in a deluxe gatefold jacket and original artwork provided by the band.
File Under: Folk, Psych
Growlers: Natural Affair (Beach Goth) LP
Led by singer Brooks Nielsen and music director/guitarist Matt Taylor, The Growlers have forged their own twisted path on the global music scene since their founding in 2006 in Dana Point, California. They’re the party band that grew into a traveling circus, spawning their own annual event (Beach Goth) and growing an international fanbase, while releasing six studio records that trace a line from garage psych ballads to edgy radio pop. On their latest, self-produced record “Natural Affair”, The Growlers move their DIY aesthetic into an even sturdier, synthier, dancier sound, bolstered by Nielsen’s finest lyrics to date: social commentary, rhymes, and ruminations on the pleasures (and perils) of modern love.
File Under: Indie Rock
Holy Serpent: Endless (Riding Easy) LP
The forthcoming third album by Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent could likely be its defining moment. Seemingly bottomless in its relentless heft, with billowing and suffocating riffs leading glistening melodies, it’s the sound of a band that has locked on to something unique. Endless is fully conceptualized throughout, encapsulating an oceanic theme from the lyrics and art, even to the very structure of the sounds themselves. The six-song, forty-minute album finds vocalist / guitarist Scott Penberthy, guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Dave Bartlett and drummer Lance Leembruggen expanding their melodic hooks while simultaneously taking listeners on a rigorous journey. It was written over the course of two months, then recorded in seclusion at Beveridge Road Recording Studios near Australia’s beautiful Dandenong Ranges with head engineer Marc Russo and mixed by Mike Deslandes. Surrounding themselves with nature and no distractions allowed the band to focus on every detail of the album as a coherent whole. In the time since their self-titled Riding Easy debut in mid-2015, Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent have gained a lot of attention for their rather punk version of heavy psych and metal. Their 2016 skate-metal leaning album Temples further defined their more experimental blend of early Soundgarden, Saint Vitus and Kyuss that eschews simplistic ’70s-worship in favor of shimmering sonics and uncommon production techniques. Nonetheless, Endless is like all of the band’s earliest visions fully realized and honed into an album beyond easy classification.
File Under: Electronic
Mr. Elevator: Goodbye, Blue Sky (Castle Face) LP
“The drum clock is docking and the night tide washes up synthesized environments, woozy and recorded perfectly. In my humble opinion, Mr. Elevator has risen and ascended and risen again, top floor, time and space, he hath bended, and brain cells have been rent and spent, on the wing aloft and buoyant, a perfect rapid eye movement enhancer and neuromancer. “A capsule garden soundtrack, a killer live band, Leslie spinning a yarn through the melodious afternoon. Now its twilight, all is well: the most overweight bass sounds abound, the crystalline organs blanket breaks and backs, the whip crack of the snare is your guide here, its pretty fried and boundless in its approach. “For fans of Tangerine Dream, Air, Donovan (think the Hurdy Gurdy Man LP), The Troggs, Irmin Schmidt, Egg, Stereolab, and even early Mute records.” —John Dwyer
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Only Ones: Live In Chicago 1979 – Sunday Morning Nightmare Vol. 1 (Alona’s Dream) LP
Alona’s Dream Records and Regressive Films present: THE ONLY ONES Live in Chicago 1979 – Sunday Morning Nightmare Vol 1. This live release documents Chicago performances of the Only Ones as originally aired on Chicago punk DJ Terry Nelson’s Sunday Morning Nightmare radio show in 1979. This no nonsense set was recorded by legendary mobile recording guru TIMOTHY POWELL of Metro Mobile Recording. This previously unreleased show finds the Only Ones at the peak of their early career. The set features a solid list of future classics drawn from their first three studio albums, deep cuts and influential hit singles. The Only Ones were not a typical UK punk band. They evolved out of the pubrock scene and had a rich history in the UK music scene in general. Members previously played with classic groups including Spooky Tooth and Beatstalkers as well as, Peter Perrett’s now classic ‘Englands Glory’. Their UK chart single ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’, set the Only Ones apart from the new wave of English rock bands swarming out of the late ’70’s. They had the complexity, range, soul, and songwriting skills lacking in most of their punkier peers. They would cut three essential LPs in the late 1970s and are still considered one of the UKs foremost rock acts. Today they are praised by critics and fans alike for their enduring influence. Terry Nelson’s Sunday Morning Nightmare Radio bio (via the Chicago Punk Database): “Sunday Morning Nightmare was (guessing) a weekly show devoted to punk rock on WZRD. Steve Albini said in the liner notes to Naked Raygun’s Basement Screams CD reissue that is was the “one radio program” for Chicago punk in the early 80s.”
File Under: Rock, Power Pop
Pan American : A Son (Kranky) LP
Legacy Chicago craftsman Mark Nelson’s latest offering as Pan•American is less a distillation or divergence than it is a return to his musical and spiritual beginnings. Spare, subdued, and largely acoustic, A Son unfurls like late summer dusk on the edge of town, expansive but intimate. Motivated by notions of “moving backward” and tracing roots—as well as a couple years of hammered dulcimer lessons—the album’s nine songs were written and recorded in his home in Evanston, Illinois, and honed during a recent solo tour in Europe. The emphasis on uncluttered arrangements and the centrality of the guitar and vocals reveal these songs as the most direct and emotional statement of his career. Nelson cites everything from June Tabor, The Carter Family, Suicide and Jimmy Reed as oblique inspirations, though his truest muse was creative self-inquiry: “What does music do, Where does music start? How simple can it be? How honest can it be?” After decades of mining post-rock pathways and latticework electronics in Labradford and early Pan•American, A Son strips away ornament and distraction in favor of a direct gaze into the heart of what is.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Severed Heads: Clean (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries’ first release of 2020 is a deluxe 2xLP reissue of Severed Heads’ debut 1981 album Clean. One of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene, they began in Sydney in 1979. Severed Heads is basically a nom- de-plum for Tom Ellard, who incorporates elements of ‘industrial’ noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style. Clean was amongst the first vinyl releases under the Dogfood Productions banner of Terse Tapes, previously a cassette-only label. For this records Tom used an array of synthesizers (Kawai 100F, Casiotone, Roland CR78+SH1+CSQ100), sequencers, tapes and occasional guitar and violin played by Garry Bradbury. Severed Heads have a language of their own, music that juxtaposes all sorts of noise, in all sorts of ways so that a structure evolves, (fragmented) melody and rhythm being almost a by-product. As one reviewer said in 1981, “It is an ugly album that you simply cannot ignore, it thuds and screeches and makes you stare just to wonder what kind of people would procure such an album.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve included a bonus disc featuring 13 songs, 5 of which have never been released before, culled from live performances, the Side 3 cassette and a Clean demo tape that only surfaced last year, plus “Food City” missing from previous reissues. Each copy is housed in a gatefold jacket featuring black and white xeroxed artwork from the first vinyl edition. Inside the gatefold are liner notes by Tom Ellard plus photos and press clippings from the period. 25% of proceeds will be donated to the Australian Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities, that offers specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.
File Under: Electronic, Post Punk, Industrial
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: Bird Box (Universal) LP
Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross continue their prolific scoring career, this time for Netflix’s psychological action thriller Bird Box. The latest in a series of films that focus on sensory deprivation, five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate big to reach safety. This 180g vinyl 4LP edition presents extended compositions and explorations created during the Bird Box scoring sessions. Over two hours of music that began recording in Los Angeles and was completed in various hotel rooms before and after Nine Inch Nails’ performances during their 2018 Cold, Black & Infinite US tour. This intense pace coupled with the pressures of nightly performances began to bleed through into the work, what started as a score for a film began to mutate and expand into something else far beyond what you saw and heard on the screen. Reznor and Ross explain, “We created a significant amount of music and conceptual sound for Bird Box, a lot of which never made it to your ears in the final version of the film. We’ve decided to present you with this version of the soundtrack record that represents what Bird Box is to us. We hope you enjoy.”
File Under: Electronic, OST, Nine Inch Nails
Torres: Silver Tongue (Merge) LP
A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue.” It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott – who has spent the 2010s making boundary-pushing pop music under her Torres moniker – has chosen to call her first release on Merge just that. Recorded at O’Deer in Brooklyn, New York, Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over Torres’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. The album fastidiously chronicles the impulses that make up desire – from the dreamy first blushes of infatuation through the slightly terrifying wonder that accompanies connection with another. In between, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what “being in love” might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths. Torres’ music has long navigated the space between the physical and the metaphysical, and Silver Tongue faces that conflict head-on, examining the ways in which the actions of others can stir up deep-seated feelings and seemingly alter the space in which one exists.
File Under: Indie Rock
Andaleeb M. Wasif: s/t (Little Axe) LP
Andaleeb Wasif was born in a well-known family of Hyderabad, India in 1928. A self-taught singer and harmonium player. He gained recognition early in life, performing for the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad when he was only six years old. On this recording Wasif performs six ghazals, a poetic form of couplets focussing on love and longing with mystical and spiritual elements. The lyrics to the ghazals featured on the recording are written by some of the best known Urdu poets of the 20th century including FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ. Never commercially released, the songs have been sourced from private concerts, home recorded cassettes and radio shows. Andaleeb’s renditions are enigmatic, filled with pathos, timeless and ethereal.
File Under: World, India
Blood Incantation: Hidden History of the Human Race (Dark Descent) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Brown, Marion: Three For Shepp (Superior Viaduct) LP
Cold Cave: Love Comes Close (Heartworm Press) LP
John Coltrane: Lush Life (OJC) LP
Country Teasers: Satan Is Real Again (In the Red) LP
Crime: San Francisco’s First And Only Rock & Roll Band (Superior Viaduct) 7″+DVD
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Dhaima: Love Lives Forever (Numero) LP
Diat: Positive Disintegration (Iron Lung) LP
Drinks: Hippo Lite (Drag City) LP
Elder: Lore (Armageddon ) LP
Elder: Reflections Of A Floating (Armageddon ) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In the Red) LP
Goraguer, Alain: La Planete Sauvage Ost (Superior Viaduct) LP
Grouper: AIA: Alien Observer (Kranky) LP
Grouper: AIA: Dream Loss (Kranky) LP
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP
Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (BlueNote) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe (ATO) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Om: Advaitic Songs (Drag City) LP
Orgone: Beyond the Sun (Colemine) LP
OST: Midsommar (Milan) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Polydor) LP
Purple Mountains: s/t (Drag City) LP
Scientist: In The Kingdom Of Dub (Superior Viaduct) LP
Scientist: Introducing Scientist – The (Superior Viaduct) LP
Segall, Ty Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Solid Space: Space Museum (Dark Entries) LP
Sound, The: Jeopardy (1972) LP
Tomb Mold: Manor Of Infinite (20 Buck Spin) LP
Vastum: Orificial Purge (20 Buck Spin) LP
Walker, Scott: Tilt (Drag City) LP
Various: Six Feet Under (Mississippi) LP