A classic short week, not a lot in kinda week. Sold out of my original pick of the week before I got to the news letter! But that’s probably ok. More time to sort through all the used records we got a hold of in the last couple weeks. Nothing much else to report here…. Still not open. Still killing it curbside.
Also! Like the Other Music Documentary, we are again teaming up with Oscilloscope Labs for the distribution/viewing of the new documentary TRUTH TO POWER, about System of a Down’s frontman Serj Tankian. Click the link to rent the film and we’ll get a cut of the proceeds. Rent it HERE
As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 6 pm 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. We’ll be at the shop 11-6 Monday – Friday & Saturday 11-4. Stay safe!
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…..pick of the week…..
London Experimental Jazz Quartet: Invisible Roots (Roundtable) LP
I feel like some of you may have missed this scorcher a couple weeks ago… Mega rare Canadian jazz… Beyond the striking photography of the cover artwork, a cursory glance at this LP may appear misleading. One could be forgiven in thinking that what they had discovered was of a more obvious British provenance, but on closer inspection, the truth is revealed… London in fact refers to London, Canada, an artistic hotbed that famously spawned the highly influential insurgent noise ensemble, ‘The Nihilist Spam Band’. Less celebrated yet equally remarkable was the improvisational powerhouse ‘The London Experimental Jazz Quartet’, a short-lived group led by the forward-thinking saxophonist Eric Stach. Their debut album, Invisible Roots is an overlooked jewel from the Canadian jazz scene. Inspired by the revolutionary artists from the New York free-jazz movement, (namely Ornette Coleman, Archie Sheep and Cecil Taylor), and fuelled by the exciting possibilities afforded by a completely free approach to music, Invisible Roots is an album of potent spontaneous composition, exhibiting both fiery unharnessed blowing alongside lyrical streams of consciousness. In recent years, the album has achieved notoriety in certain record collecting circles mainly due to the track Destroy The Nihilist Picnic, an infectious piece of vamping Avant-funk. Despite the commanding presence of this track, it would be misguided to judge the merits of the album on this piece alone, for Invisible Roots is a much deeper and more complex musical statement. This is confirmed by the Iberian-jazz sketch, Spain Is For Old Ladies, the spiritual introspection of Jazz Widows Waltz or the ferocious yet soulful Eric’s Madness, a track which wouldn’t be out of place on an ESP-Disk or BYG Actuel album. Behold, a rare piece of fire music from the Canadian Free-Jazz underground.
File Under: Jazz, CanCon
Steve Arrington: Down to the Lowest Terms (Stones Throw) LP
Inspired funk legend Steve Arrington returns with his uplifting and soulful new album Down To The Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions, produced by artists including Mndsgn, Shibo, Jerry Paper, Knxwledge. The album serves the language of his soul and portrays his diversity of influences, building on the evolution of funk, soul, blues, jazz, electronic and R&B, all united by Arrington’s uplifting spirit. Steve Arrington is known for his innovative vocals on classics including “Watching You” and “Just A Touch of Love,” with Slave, as well as his solo work with tracks including “Dancin’ in the Key of Life”, “Weak at the Knees” and “Nobody Can Be You”.His music has greatly influenced the hip-hop generation, having been sampled by Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell, 50 Cent, 2Pac, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, and many more.
File Under: Soul, Funk
Chet Baker: Chet (Craft) LP
Few musicians have embodied the romantic – and ultimately tragic – jazz figure as totally as Chet Baker. Unschooled yet eloquent in his music, and a fast-liver who survived for nearly six decades, the Baker mystique has only reinforced one of the most haunting trumpet styles and ingenious approaches to jazz singing. The Los Angeles-based musician rose to fame in the early ’50s, playing with established artists like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and pianist Russ Freeman – partnerships which would solidify his status as a major jazz star. By the end of the decade, when he signed a four-album deal with the New York-based label Riverside, Baker had become known for his trademark West Coast “cool jazz” style. However, these recordings – which paired the artist with some of the best East Coast players – demonstrate Baker’s versatility as a modern trumpeter who could play with even the hardest boppers. Though Baker was by the late 1950s known as much for his singing as his trumpet playing, 1959’s Chet (subtitled The Lyrical Trumpet of Chet Baker) is an entirely instrumental affair featuring nine standard ballads played in the styles of hard bop to cool jazz. Flanked by an all-star cast that includes pianist Bill Evans, guitarist Kenny Burrell, flutist Herbie Mann and Pepper Adams on the baritone saxophone, Baker absolutely shines throughout in his languid and tuneful approach to tracks like “Alone Together,” “It Never Entered My Mind” and “September Song.” All About Jazz called the album, “A session that allows the trumpeter to take his introspective time, encouraged by Evans’ spare accompaniment to transform these standards into vibrant, impressionistic etchings.”
File Under: Jazz
Chet Baker: Sings – It Could Happen to You (Craft) LP
Few musicians have embodied the romantic – and ultimately tragic – jazz figure as totally as Chet Baker. Unschooled yet eloquent in his music, and a fast-liver who survived for nearly six decades, the Baker mystique has only reinforced one of the most haunting trumpet styles and ingenious approaches to jazz singing. The Los Angeles-based musician rose to fame in the early ’50s, playing with established artists like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and pianist Russ Freeman – partnerships which would solidify his status as a major jazz star. By the end of the decade, when he signed a four-album deal with the New York-based label Riverside, Baker had become known for his trademark West Coast “cool jazz” style. However, these recordings – which paired the artist with some of the best East Coast players – demonstrate Baker’s versatility as a modern trumpeter who could play with even the hardest boppers. Baker’s 1958 recording session debut for Riverside, which resulted in the album release (Chet Baker Sings) It Could Happen To You, offers a modern, hipper take on standards like “Old Devil Moon,” “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” and “How Long Has This Been Going On?” Baker’s only album for Riverside not produced by the label’s co-founder, Orrin Keepnews (who initially objected to his partner Bill Grauer’s unilateral signing of Baker), the essential Chet Baker Sings is unique in that the nimble artist sets aside his trumpet in several of the tracks, using only his vocals – and even scatting some of the improvised solos in a style that sounds very much like his lyrical trumpet playing.
File Under: Jazz
Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge: Gary Bartz (Jazz is Dead) LP
There’s early work with Eric Dolphy and McCoy Tyner in Charles Mingus’ Jazz Workshop, work with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, a stint in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and also one with Miles. There’s his groundbreaking and highly influential Ntu Troop albums of the early 70s and his jazz-funk work including two classic albums with the Mizell Brothers, one of which supplied A Tribe Called Quest with a sample that was smooth like butter. That’s not to mention appearances on beloved albums by Pharoah Sanders, Donald Byrd, Norman Connors, Roy Ayers, Gene Ammons, Phyllis Hyman, Jackie McLean and many others. This is what Gary Bartz brings to the Jazz Is Dead project and as can be expected, his questing spirit fits the JID style like a glove and has produced an album that’s a cutting-edge addition to his immense canon as he effortlessly interfaces with a new generation.
File Under: Jazz
Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club (Interscope) LP
Chemtrails Over the Country Club marks Lana Del Rey’s sixth studio album and follow-up to 2019’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! The Grammy-nominated title, which was co-produced and co-written by Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lorde, St. Vincent) was both a critical and commercial success, debuting at No. 1 in the UK, and peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Del Rey’s latest finds the retro singer-songwriter collaborating with Antonoff once again. It features eleven songs, including the singles “Let Me Love You Like A Woman” and the title-track “Chemtrails Over The Country Club.” Zella Day and Weyes Blood appear on the Joni Mitchell cover “For Free.” Del Rey spoke about the project in Interview Magazine, “From the top, we knew what Norman was. But with Chemtrails, it was like, ‘Is this new folk? Oh, god, are we going country?’ Now that it’s done I feel really good about it.” She adds, “I hear Chemtrails and I think…of my stunning girlfriends, who so much of the album is about, and my beautiful siblings. ‘Chemtrails’ is the title track because it mentions them all and it mentions wanting so much to be normal and realizing that when you have an overactive, eccentric mind, a record like Chemtrails is just what you’re going to get.” “…it is rare to find albums within the upper tier of mainstream pop that require time to percolate and get better with each listen rather than the reverse…but more than any other contemporary pop artist she has created a sonic universe of her own – lush, baroque, gothic, joyful and melancholic – and Chemtrails Over The Country Club is another great addition to it.” – Susan Sloan, Louder Than War
File Under: Pop
Goldfrapp: The Seventh Tree (Mute) LP
Yellow vinyl! 2008’s Seventh Tree followed up Goldfrapp’s critically acclaimed Supernature (2005) which went platinum in the UK and went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. If Supernature was airbrushed in bold strokes of glitterball glamour, Seventh Tree is its sensual counterpoint. Where its predecessor was built around style and sex, Seventh Tree is decorated in English surrealism reminiscent of both Lear and Lennon. It shimmers and shines with the warmth of a hazy summer, an electric whirlpool of sound over which Alison’s glistening voice soars. Goldfrapp is widely acknowledged as a modern musical treasure who presents albums, live shows and its imagery in a self-created, ambitious and consistently uncompromising way and Alison Goldfrapp has become a modern-day icon, providing musical and visual inspiration for countless other artists. Seventh Tree and its set of powerful songs is a testament to all of the above and more. Home to the singles “A&E,” “Happiness,” “Caravan Girl” and “Clowns,” Seventh Tree is the next installment in Mute / BMG’s Goldfrapp vinyl reissue series, presented here on colored vinyl LP with an exclusive art print.
File Under: Pop
Green Day: Insomniac 25th Anniversary (Reprise) LP
Insomniac is finally old enough to rent a car (or whatever else you can do when you’re 25, we’re not lawyers) so Green Day remastered it to celebrate, and they’re throwing in some bonus goodies to boot! This 25th anniversary double vinyl reissue includes a bonus LP (with etched B-side) featuring eight rare or never previously released live tracks from the Prague stop of the Insomniac world tour on March 26, 1996 plus cover art printed on prismatic silver foil. The Berkeley pop-punks’ 1995 album served as the band’s highly anticipated fourth release overall and follow-up to their breakthrough major label debut Dookie from the year prior. With Insomniac the group took everything that was great about its predecessor, i.e. its simplicity, hooks, lack of pretension and disdain for authority, and upped the ante with darker motifs and heavier songs. It resulted in yet another quality collection of uncompromising punk rock with breakneck drumming, pounding bass, catchy riffs and snot-nosed vocals. The double platinum collection is home to the band’s beloved singles “Geek Stink Breath,” “Stuck with Me,” “Brain Stew,” “Jaded” and “Walking Contradiction.”
File Under: Punk
Dick Hyman: The Age of Electronicus (Pleasure for Music) LP
Pleasure For Music present a reissue of Dick Hyman’s The Age of Electronicus, originally released in 1969. In his long career, Dick Hyman has covered a great variety of music fields, from Broadway through music for film and television to jazz, classical, pop, and electronic music. The Age of Electronicus is one of his electronic pop jewels. A breathtaking sequence of reworked hits of the day including outstanding electro-versions of Lennon/McCartney’s classics such as “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Blackbird” and Bacharach’s “Alfie”. A whole feast of analog Moog sounds, primitive drums machines, repetitive bass lines, and lots of robotic beats. All packaged in a memorable, colorful album cover.
File Under: Early Electronic, Moog
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Teenage Gizzard (ORG) LP
Another version! King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s rarities retrospective Teenage Gizzard consists of early recordings from the prolific Australian garage-psych innovators captured from 2010-2011. It includes three early singles, two B-sides, four tracks from the band’s first non-official EP Anglesea, and one track considered to be long lost – until now! Tracks 1-8 were recorded some time in 2010 in Angelsea, Victoria, Australia while tracks 9 and 10 were recorded some time in 2011 in Carlton, Victoria, Australia. Mixed by Stu Mackenzie. Cover design by Ahmad Oka. Colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Psych
Gene Russell: New Direction (Real Gone) LP
The first album released by the most sought-after label, bar none, among jazz collectors! And since keyboardist Gene Russell was at the artistic helm of Black Jazz, it was only natural that the label’s debut record featured Russell himself, with the fitting title New Direction. Oft-bootlegged, with original copies commanding princely sums, New Direction, while a fairly straight-ahead piano trio outing, sets the tone for the entire label with its modal and soul jazz flourishes, and features such sidemen as double bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin and drummer Steve Clover. Real Gone’s reissue includes the distinctive original Black Jazz album art along with new liner notes by Pat Thomas, the author of Listen Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. Remastered by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision…a lost jazz classic sounding better than ever!
File Under: Jazz
Tuns: Duly Noted (Murderecords) LP
TUNS is Chris Murphy from Sloan, Matt Murphy from The Super Friendz/Flashing Lights, Mike O’Neill from The Inbreds/solo work. Duly Noted is their first record in 5 years.
File Under: Power Pop, Sloan
Nick Waterhouse: Promenade Blue (Innovative Leisure) LP
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was a work so filled with ambition, yearning, and inner contradictions that it came to represent the condition of a nation itself. Yet, at its core, the slim novel tells a story about people and, more often than not, their inability to communicate and connect with one another — forever running on parallel tracks until tragedy finally twines them together. The color green (often in the form of the faded sodium lit dock of Daisy Buchanan) comes to represent longing and unrequited love in an era (the Roaring Twenties) of decadence and spiritual vacuousness. Green is Gatsby’s North Star, simultaneously pointing backward and forward through time toward some unattainable, impossibly balanced version of his own life. Nick Waterhouse, a century later but once again in the ’20s, takes the color blue as his hue of choice on Promenade Blue. In Nick’s musical and lyrical
File Under: Soul
Neil Young: After the Gold Rush 50th Anniversary (Reprise) BOX
Originally released in September 1970, Neil Young’s seminal After The Gold Rush has rightly been acknowledged as one of the finest albums ever made. The second of three consecutive masterpieces Young recorded between 1969 and 1972, After the Gold Rush captures the vibes, emotions, and cautious optimism of the era better than any album of its time. Moreover, it contains a host of impeccably written and performed songs that transcend the period and stand as an inextricable part of the American conscious. Recorded at Young’s Topanga Canyon Ranch and featuring backing from the legendary Crazy Horse, the then-unknown prodigy Nils Lofgren, and several other friends, the album embraces many of the seemingly artistic contradictions and eccentric diversity that have made Young peerless. The title track, a devastatingly gorgeous balladic meditation on the ’60s and a warning of what may come in the ’70s, proved prophetic. Every other song is equally spectacular and significant. The bristling whip-crack of “Southern Man” furthered Young’s no-holds-barred political commentary and prompted a response song in the form of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” an anthem that its target praised. The country heartache of “Oh, Lonesome Me” simultaneously plays off and into the romantic spirit of the uplifting “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” and the exuberant romp of “When You Dance You Can Really Love.” In one fell swoop, Young and company traverse the Heartland, Southern plantations, Appalachian valleys, and the Los Angeles hills. This 50th anniversary vinyl box reissue includes the album, with a variant of the artwork originally created by Neil’s long-time art director Gary Burden, in collaboration with Jenice Heo. In the years before he passed away, Burden had envisaged solarizing the album art – especially the back cover shot of Neil’s jeans and patches. Gary’s partner, Heo, has now executed Gary’s vision and created a unique take on this classic album cover. The cover is printed on special silver coated paper stock to create the desired effect. The vinyl box also includes a 7″ single, in a picture sleeve, with two versions of the album outtake “Wonderin'”. Side A was recorded in Topanga in March 1970 and was only released on CD in Neil Young Archives Vol 1. Side B is an unreleased version of “Wonderin'” recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood in August 1969. This 7″ single will not be released outside of this box. A 12 x 12 litho print of the album front cover is also exclusively included here.
File Under: Rock
Altin Gun: Yol (ATO) LP
Beck: Mutations (Geffen) LP
Beck: Hyperspace (Geffen) LP
Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher (Dead Oceans) LP
Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans) LP
Dinosaur Jr.: You’re Living All Over Me (Jagjaguwar) LP
Fantomas: Wunderkammer (Ipecac) BOX
Fleet Foxes: Crack Up (Nonesuch) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! (Constellation) LP
Hollow Ship: Future Remains (PNKSLM) LP
Dick Hyman: The Man From O.R.G.A.N. (Pleasure for Music) LP
Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (Sanctuary) LP
Khruangbin: Mordechai (Dead Oceans) LP
Kinks: Lola Vs. Powerman…. (BMG) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Mercury) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Mercury) LP
Chad VanGaalen: World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener (Flemish Eye) LP
Mabumi Yamaguchi Quartet: Leeward (Le Tres Jazz Club) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Soul Slabs Vol. 1 (Colemine) LP
Various: Directions in Music (BGP) LP