…..news letter #953 – summa…..

Another light week but some big titles, that Khruangbin is gonna sell out in a minute so don’t ponder it, just buy. Still loads of killer used stuff going up on the site daily, and if you’re paying attention, you just might be able to snag a title or two.

No, we still aren’t opening up yet. As I’ve been saying we’re in a good groove. Online ordering and pick-ups are working well and keeping everyone safe. We run a small shop. Distancing, and cleaning add an extra layer to the whole thing that I currently just can’t fathom adding to the mix right now.

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

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…..pick of the week…..

Khruangbin: Mordechai (Dead Oceans) LP
*YOW! ALREADY SOLD OUT, MORE SOON (HOPEFULLY!) Limited translucent pink vinyl! Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony. But on their third album, it’s finally speaking out loud. Mordechai features vocals prominently on nearly every song, a first for the mostly instrumental band. It’s a shift that rewards the risk, reorienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it. And it all started with them coming home. By the summer of 2019, the Houston group – bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, guitarist Mark Speer, drummer DJ Johnson – had been on tour for nearly three-and-a-half years, playing to audiences across North and South America, Europe, and southeast Asia behind acclaimed albums The Universe Smiles Upon You and Con Todo El Mundo. They returned to their farmhouse studio in Burton, Texas, ready to begin work on their third album. But they were also determined to slow down, to take their time and luxuriate in building something together. Musically, the band’s ever-restless ear saw it pulling reference points from Pakistan, Korea, and West Africa, incorporating strains of Indian chanting boxes and Congolese syncopated guitar. But more than anything, the album became a celebration of Houston, the eclectic city that had nurtured them, and a cultural nexus where you can check out country and zydeco, trap rap, or avant-garde opera on any given night. In those years away from home, Khruangbin’s members often felt like they were swimming underwater, unsure of where they were going, or why they were going there. But Mordechai leads them gently back to the surface, allowing them to take a breath, look around, and find itself again. It is a snapshot taken along a larger journey – a moment all the more beautiful for its impermanence. And it’s a memory to revisit again and again, speaking to us now more clearly than ever.

File Under: Funk, Surf, World
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…..new arrivals…..

Blanck Mass: s/t (Sacred Bones) LP
Blanck Mass is the debut self titled release from Ben Power of Fuck Buttons. First released in 2011 to critical acclaim, this is an expansive collection of tracks loosely themed around cerebral hypoxia and the beautiful complexity of the natural world, comprising ten songs which were written, recorded and self-produced at Power’s home in London. Unlike much of his recent work this album has an aquatic ambient quality and guides the listener on a deeply hypnotic interstellar journey. This long out-of-print album has been highly sought after for years and Sacred Bones is happy to once again make this beautiful music accessible here on colored vinyl 2LP.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher (Dead Oceans) LP
Phoebe Bridgers doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities. Punisher, her fourth release and second solo album, is concerned with that subject. To say she writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom, to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. The arrival of Punisher cements Bridgers as one of the most clever, tender and prolific songwriters of our era. Bridgers is the rare artist with enough humor to deconstruct her own meteoric rise. Repeatedly praised by tastemakers, Bridgers herself is more interested in discussing topics on Twitter. Deadpanning meditations on the humiliating process of being a person, she presents a sweetly funny flipside to the strikingly sad songs she writes. Fittingly, Punisher is fascinated with and driven by that kind of impossible tension. Whether it’s writing tweets or songs, Bridgers’s singular talent lies in bringing fierce curiosity to slimy and painful things, interrogating them until they yield up answers that are beautiful and absurd, or faithfully reporting the reality that, sometimes, they are neither. Bridgers pulls together a formidable crew of guests, including Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Christian Lee Hutson and Conor Oberst; Nathaniel Walcott (of Bright Eyes), Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jenny Lee Lindberg (of Warpaint), Blake Mills and Jim Keltner; and her longtime bandmates Marshall Vore (drums), Harrison Whitford (guitar), Emily Retsas (bass) and Nick White (keys). The album was mixed by Mike Mogis, who also mixed Stranger In The Alps. On the album’s epic, freewheeling closer, “I Know The End,” Bridgers orchestrates wails and horns, drums and electric guitar into a sumptuous doomsday swirl, culminating in her own final whispered roar. This is Punisher in a nutshell: devastating elegance punctuated by a moment of deeply campy self-awareness.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Deerhoof: Future Teenage Cave Artists (Joyful Noise) LP
Normal is never coming back. Whether by a collective dismantling or sheer collapse, our old illusions are being hollowed out. Over the past couple of years, Deerhoof has been asking themselves if there was any music they could create that expressed how the rapidly changing future might actually feel. The finished product, Future Teenage Cave Artists, finds Deerhoof in a revolutionary mood, but also haunted by memories of a lost world and every failed attempt to save it. People already cut loose from the system, already surviving with new ways of life – these hopeful heroes are Deerhoof’s inspiration. These are the Future Teenage Cave Artists. Faithful listeners will recognize a certain alienated but transformational figure who shows up in Deerhoof songs going back to their earliest days. Take the narrator of “The Perfect Me” from 2007’s Friend Opportunity: an orphaned but eager soul attempting to entice other wounded wanderers who might lack a home, a clan, a family, a history. But on Future Teenage Cave Artists our protagonist is threatened by terror lurking around every corner. Add to that the fact that our “cast-off queen,” our “maniac,” our “terrible daughter” are watching themselves get orphaned in real time by an older generation in power that would rather see life on Earth destroyed than give up archaic systems of capital. Like a lot of the inimitable music they have released over the last quarter-century, the Deerhoof of Future Teenage Cave Artists (Satomi Matsuzaki on bass and vocals, Ed Rodriguez and John Dieterich on guitars, and Greg Saunier on drums, vocals and piano) stitches together fragments of R&B and classic rock and transforms them into a new language of revolution, forgoing verse-chorus structures for dream logic and blind intuition. But what makes this album different is its intimacy – the blues riffs and slide guitars are joined by soft, rickety pianos and whispered three-part harmonies. In this sense, FTCA inverts the formula of Deerhoof’s last album, Mountain Moves, which invited a wide community of collaborators to band together in an open celebration of solidarity. The new one is borne of self-isolation and deprivation. It’s the sound of a sparkling, manic musical intelligence being disconnected from a nourishing public and devouring itself inside its own cocoon: a desperate lunge at metamorphosis. At times FTCA indeed sounds as if the band has retreated to the caves, recording with unreliable electricity and insecure food supplies. Guitar pedals malfunction mid-take, reverbs chop off mid-tail, drum fills collapse mid-phrase. Some musical moments, as gorgeous and touching as anything Deerhoof has ever written, stop short for no apparent reason, giving way to queasy smudges of sound. Many of the instruments and voices were recorded with nothing more than the built-in mic of a laptop. Harsh splices make no effort to hide the seams. Hard panning leaves many of these imperfections weirdly naked in the mix. In this way FTCA joins a storied lineage of pop records that expose the insular and reclusive nature of recording itself. Like Let It Be, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, or Sister Lovers, this record is its own “making-of.” Absence is a central character in the drama. For every heartwarming melody or pile-up of parade drums or shard of loopy guitar noise, there is musical acknowledgement of the toll that a constant threat of cataclysm takes on mental health. This is a sonic and lyric funeral for a way of life that is never coming back – an afterparty, back when the doomsday clock hit midnight. There are raucous toasts to the departed in high style, as sassy and spasmodic as anything they’ve done – see Side A; there are moments of profound sadness, maximally small, descending into madness, shrieking with loss – see Side B. All funerals remind us that life goes on, somehow.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Lady Gaga: Chromatica (Universal) LP
On the heels of her comeback single “Stupid Love,” – an infectious dance-pop collaboration with producer/songwriters Bloodpop (Michael Tucker), Max Martin, Tchami, Martin Joseph and Eli Rise – Lady Gaga delivers her sixth studio album, Chromatica, which finds the Grammy and Academy-Award winning artist triumphantly reclaiming the dancefloor. It also features collaborations with Ariana Grande, Elton John and Blackpink. “The symbol for Chromatica has a sinewave in it, which is the mathematical symbol for sound, and it’s from what all sound is made from,” Gaga explained to Zane Lowe. “And for me, sound is what healed me in my life, period, and it healed me again making this record, and that is really what Chromatica is all about… it’s about healing and it’s about bravery as well, and when we talk about love I think it’s so important to include the fact that it requires a ton of bravery to love someone.” “I think what I’ve learned is that I can view the world in whatever way I choose to see it, and it doesn’t mean that I’m deleting the bad things, it just means that I can reframe my life experiences and reframe also the way that the world frames life experiences to a way that I love and believe in,” she adds. “That is Chromatica. I live on Chromatica, that is where I live. I went into my frame – I found earth, I deleted it. Earth is cancelled. I live on Chromatica.”

File Under: Pop
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Sofie is a musician and artist based in Vienna. Best known as a DJ, she is about to release her self-produced debut album, Cult Survivor, a collection of leftfield pop songs inspired by chanson, heartbreak and life’s overwhelming decisions. Surrounded by classical music from a young age, Sofie started learning the violin at just four years old. She continued playing the violin through her teens, and though she won a place to study at the prestigious Vienna Conservatoire, decided to leave the course early to live between Los Angeles, New York and London. She became a host of Boiler Room and an NTS Radio resident DJ, and worked at Stones Throw for four years, bringing several artists to the label including Knxwledge, Mndsgn and Stimulator Jones. As a DJ, she played on lineups with the likes of Teebs and Dam-Funk, and in 2016, she curated the compilation Sofie’s SOS Tape for Stones Throw, which includes the track “Abeja” – her collaboration with Mndsgn. After an abrupt breakup and a serious illness in the family, Sofie moved back to Vienna. There, isolated from her musical community, she began to write her own songs. “In Vienna, I was suddenly so secluded, no longer surrounded by the musical world I was so embedded in, that it forged the way for my creativity,” she says. “I’m not sure this would have happened had I stayed in LA, I don’t know if I’d have had the courage, or not felt like it was superfluous.” In touch with Peanut Butter Wolf from her days at Stones Throw, Sofie started to send him her demos, which eventually led to her finishing a record and being asked to release it on the label. Cult Survivor was written as a direct response to Sofie’s difficult personal experiences, emphasised throughout dreamy and melancholic songs like “Asleep” and “Figueroa”. Her writing process was intuitive: “I just ended up sitting down whenever I could, and the songs were just there. I’d hear them in my head or in dreams, and then write them down.” The resulting songs draw on an unexpected range of influences: French chanson, cult experimental musician Gary Wilson, ‘60s pop ballads. Inspired by the way Todd Rundgren and Serge Gainsbourg convey stories in their songs, Sofie draws on her own heartache and blends fiction with reality on “Hollywood Walk of Fame” and “Georgia Waves”. An honest and graceful debut, Cult Survivor establishes Sofie’s talent as a songwriter, moving through complex love stories, raw memories, and new beginnings.

File under: Pop
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…..Restocks…. 
  Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
Tina Brooks: Minor Move (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Miles Davis: Walkin’ (OJC) LP
Lou Donaldson: Alligator Boogie (Blue Note) LP
Bill Fay: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
Grant Green: Grant’s First Stand (Blue Note) LP
Madlib & Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (MMS) LP
Joel Plaskett: 44 (Pheromone) 4LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf (Universal) LP
Radiohead: OK Computer – Oknotok (XL) 3LP
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (Universal) LP
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (Universal) LP
Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud (Merge) LP
Ruben Wilson: Blue Mode (Blue Note) LP

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