More killer Blue Note reissues, new Colemine, new Caribou, new/old Eric’s Trip! Crates of new used, and sunny and +9 out there! Comedown for a dig.
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…..pick of the week…..
Eric’s Trip: Warmgirl (Blue Fog) LP
Here are the 2019 remixes made from the original 4track master tapes of Eric’s Trip’s fourth independently released cassette. Originally recorded and mixed in December 1991 by Rick. This tape represents a big step up for us as it was the first recordings with our new drummer Mark Gaudet. Mark was a bit older than us but we loved his wild drumming style and asked him if he’d be interested in joining our band. After a bit of hesitation, he rehearsed with us a couple times in November 1991 and by December agreed to play on our next tape and maybe do a few shows. We started recording these tunes right away at our space in Chris’s folks basement and got along well together. This tape is also important in the fact that we sent it out to a guy named Peter Rowan in Fredericton who we heard had a record label called DTK in the 80’s. We hoped he’d dig it and help us make a real record. He eventually got back to us calling from Halifax. His label was no more but he was working with a newly formed band named SLOAN and said they all really loved the tape. He asked us to come down a do a show in Halifax and we did. They helped spread the word about us down there which led to us getting more gigs, a session with a local producer to record for our first 7inch, putting out the “PETER e.p.” on SLOAN’s new label, and eventually to SUB POP finding us. This tape was the start of a big adventure indeed. Contains the first recorded version of “Red haired girl” which was remade in March for our first 7inch. Also “Blinded” which would be re-recorded in 93 for our SUB POP Love Tara LP. This same version of the song “Tangles” was reused on our Peter ep. and “Warmgirl” was used on another 7inch in early 93. All songs written by Rick White except for the cover of Madonna’s “Open your Heart”, and Chris’s “Mask for you” that contains some lyrics from Leonard Cohen.
File Under: Indie Rock, Noise Rock, Lo Fi
Chet Baker: Chet Baker Sings (Blue Note) LP
There are several Chet Baker albums with the title Chet Baker Sings, but this one recorded for Pacific Jazz in 1954 and 1956 is the original, and arguably, the best. The album features Chet’s indelible vocals and sterling trumpet playing with two different quartet line-ups both featuring pianist Russ Freeman on a set of classic standards that he made his own including “My Funny Valentine,” “That Old Feeling,” and “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” For the first time in more than 60 years, this definitive edition was cut from the original master tapes in the correct order with pristine fidelity. The gatefold packaging includes additional session photography by William Claxton. Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series in 2020. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley
File Under: Jazz
Best Coast: Always Tomorrow (Concord) LP
2020 sees the release of the hotly anticipated new album, Always Tomorrow, from Best Coast. Inspired by the 70s, the L.A. based duo expand their signature indie pop sound into a harmonic blend of melodic guitars and keyboards as warm and refreshing as a California breeze. Multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, along with the irrepressible Bethany Cosentino, combine to bring her masterful storytelling to new heights, crafting their most eloquent and reflective album to date. “This album is about leaving the darkness for the light, but still understanding that nothing is ever going to be perfect,” Cosentino said. “It’s about burning it all down and starting from scratch even when the idea of that is fucking terrifying. Closing one chapter and moving onto the next even when you have no idea what is on the other side. Acceptance. It’s about taking a gigantic leap of faith.” Always Tomorrow is introduced by the assured singles “For the First Time” and “Everything Has Changed.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Black Market Brass: Undying Thirst (Colemine) LP
Black Market Brass’ sophomore record, Undying Thirst, is a noxious brew of diesel and bleach; a special long-player full of wasteoid rippers for skullduggerous hover-bike gangs peddling fugazi relics and snake oil tinctures. Hellacious guitars, nitrous-charged percussion, a brass section harsher than paint-thinner, and a special batch of short-circuited electronics and synthesizers will leave your head buzzing into the 31st century. Blasting Undying Thirst from your home speaker system is like going over a waterfall in a rusted out oil barrel, long after the sun has boiled the falls dry.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Psych
Caribou: Suddenly (Merge) LP
Suddenly is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date. Though it retains the trademark Caribou warmth and technicolor, this album is littered with swerves and left turns. Songs drop out and morph into something else entirely just as they’re hitting their stride, samples chopped up beyond all recognition burst out of nowhere. Suddenly refers to the moments of dramatic and unexpected change that occur at points in any life and within any family – universal themes that catch you off guard and change your life in a heartbeat.
File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
Elephant Stone: Hollow (Fuzz Club) LP
Montreal psych-pop group Elephant Stone release their sixth full-length. It arrives following their 2016 LP, ‘Ship Of Fools’, and a number of recent side-projects and collaborations, such as the Acid House Ragas project and new band MIEN with members of The Horrors and The Black Angels. The first Elephant Stone record made in frontman and sitarist Rishi Dhir’s own Sacred Sounds studio, ‘Hollow’ is an ambitious, dystopian sci-fi concept album which he says is inspired by The Who’s ‘Tommy’, Pretty Things’ ‘S.F, Sorrow’ and the second side of The Beatles’ White Album: From Side A (‘The Beginning) though to Side B (‘The Ending’), the story told through Elephant Stone’s renowned garage-psych alchemy takes place immediately after mankind’s catastrophic destruction of the Earth and what happens when the same elite responsible for the first world-destroying climate disaster touch down on New Earth, a recently-discover planet sold with the same life of prosperity as the one they’d just destroyed. As soon as the chosen few step off the Harmonia ship built for the journey, it’s clear that all is not what it seems and humanity appears destined to make the same mistakes.
File Under: Psych, Pop, Shoegaze
Rebecca Foon: Waxing Moon (Constellation) LP
Rebecca Foon, the composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album entitled Waxing Moon. While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organisational work as cofounder of Pathway To Paris), this new collection of songs finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting. The climate crisis has profoundly framed Foon’s political and artistic life for many years now, and Waxing Moon finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words, tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope. With Waxing Moon, Rebecca sets side the Saltland moniker – her electronically-tinged string-centric project from the past five years – to release this more personal new work under her own name. The album’s ten songs are predominantly minimal and delicate, immersive and hauntingly beautiful – with vocal-driven tracks booked-ended by piano-based instrumentals, along with one up-tempo guitar-driven number (“Wide Open Eyes”) that closes out Side One. While piano figures most prominently on the record, Foon continues to play cello on several tracks, complemented by gentle touches from a close coterie of musical guests including Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson) on acoustic and electric basses, Sophie Trudeau (Godspeed You Black Emperor) on violin, Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) on electric guitar, and Patrick Watson as co-vocalist on the dreamlike “Vessels”. Foon co-produced the album with Lasek at Montréal’s Breakglass studio and it sounds glorious. Waxing Moon is Rebecca Foon’s first eponymous release: a sublimely stunning, bracingly intimate, glimmeringly full-hearted new chapter in her celebrated musical catalog.
File Under: Post Rock, Experimental
Grant Green: Nigeria (Blue Note) LP
Grant Green’s Nigeria is an under-recognized gem in the guitarist’s remarkable Blue Note catalog. Recorded in 1962, but not first released until 1980, the album features a top-shelf band with Sonny Clark on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and, in one of his only appearances with Green, Art Blakey on drums. The groove is deep and wide right from the start on the Sonny Rollins classic “Airegin” followed by a version of the Gershwin standard “It Ain’t Necessarily So” for the ages with Blakey stoking the fire with his powerhouse drumming and verbal shouts. Side B presents timeless renditions of three more standards: “I Concentrate On You,” “The Things We Did Last Summer,” and “The Song Is You.” Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series in 2020. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley
File Under: Jazz
Masumi Hara: 4 X A Dream (Numero) LP
A seamless mix of the organic and inorganic, the recent past and distant future, and the possible and impossible, Japanese multi-media artist Masumi Hara’s sophomore album arrived like a fish on the moon in 1984. An album filled with contradiction and purpose, 4 X A Dream is both Balearic acid folk and damaged steel drum dub, hi-tech new wave balladry and ambient synth pop. Classical and neoimpressionist vibes haunt and entrance. Quite possibly the most unique LP you’ll ever add to your collection.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Pop
King Krule: Man Alive! (True Panther) LP
Like any great artist on the rise, Archy Marshall aka King Krule’s life is moving fast. There’s a lot to catch up on, after 2017’s sprawling masterpiece, The OOZ, broke through amid Mercury Prize nominations and mind-blowing media plaudits. Unlike that record, Man Alive! doesn’t aim to present any kind of narrative thread, or Brexit-era state-of-the-nation address, just a collection of snapshots and stories, artfully sequenced into a dazzlingly coherent whole.
File Under: Indie Rock
Real Estate: The Main Thing (Domino) LP
Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives even further into the musical dichotomies they’re known for – lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily – and what emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks. The Main Thing delivers the band’s most inspired and self-aware set of songs to date, created over the course of a year at upstate New York’s Marcata Sound. Following his work on 2011’s Days, engineer Kevin McMahon returns as producer, and, for the first time ever, Real Estate have brought in outside instrumentalists and special guests like Sylvan Esso, whose vocalist Amelia Meath features on first single, “Paper Cup.” Across the 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirizing lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.
File Under: Indie Rock
Six Organs of Admittance: Companion Rises (Drag City) LP
Now actually in stock! Six Organs of Admittance is back with a new record, new techniques in sound generation, and a new energy. Arriving three years after Burning the Threshold, Companion Rises has a driving force only hinted at previously. Methodologically, Companion Rises sometimes recalls the early-mid lo-fi Six Organs records, with digital processes substituting for the analog techniques of yore and, instead of Ben Chasny’s hand percussion overdubs, algorithmic programs generating rhythms. Chasny created all sounds and programs, all the recording and mixed the entire record, also like some earlier ones – but don’t mistake this for a simplistic return to an older sound. Just one listen makes it clear that this new Six Organs of Admittance release is entirely in the present. Sonically, the songs are bursting with ideas, harmonically rich, gorgeously arranged; utilizing synthesizer and guitar distortion for unique coloring effects while crafting contrasting versions of the song within itself, overlaying electric and acoustic treatments that interlock like two shards to form a single key. The rush of excitement is palpable, track after track. Thematically, Companion Rises navigates a similar stellar-gnosticism as 2012’s Ascent, while exploring a completely different set of stories. Whereas Ascent was locked into a narrative concerning a sentient Jupiter, Companion Rises presents a handful of folk-tales whose topics span in scope from panspermia to specific constellations, all written in a way that eschews old new age presentation tropes and embraces the now. One thinks of Octavio Paz’s oft-used metaphor of the concentric circle, as Companion Rises returns to a similar place but much farther out from the center. With Companion Rises, Ben Chasny has created a sci-folk record that feels very much right-place, right-time as we welcome in the new decade.
File Under: Folk, Psych
Black Midi: Schlagenheim (Rough Trade) LP
Black Pumas: s/t (ATO) LP
Miles Davis: Complete Birth of Cool (Blue Note) LP
The Doors: Soft Parade (Elektra) LP
Grant Green: Idle Moments (Blue Note) LP
Grant Green: Street of Dreams (Blue Note) LP
Herbie Hancock: Inventions & Dimensions (Blue Note) LP
Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Ndeya) LP
Heliocentrics: Infinity of Now (Madlib Invazion) LP
Idles: Brutalism (Partisan) LP
King Crimson: Red (Pangyric) LP
Nehiyawak: Nipiy (Arts & Crafts) LP
Parquet Courts: Wide Awake (Rough Trade) LP
Jack Rose: Luck in the Valley (Thrill Jockey) LP
Pedro Santos: Krishnanda (Mr. Bongo) LP
Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here (XL) LP
Yasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Plato Flats) LP
Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds) LP
Laurie Spiegel: Unseen Worlds (Unseen Worlds) LP
Tame Impala: The Slow Rush (Modular) LP
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl) LP
Scott Walker/Sunn o))): Soused (4AD) LP