I certainly never thought, when I put together the first news letter for the shop that almost 20 years later I’d still spend my Thursdays typing up these lists of new music we’ve gotten in over the last week. Somehow the idea that I’ve put together ONE THOUSAND of these things really blows my mind. Just think about doing something once a week for ONE THOUSAND WEEKS. Wild. Hopefully you get something out of it, hopefully you found out about something new that blew your mind, if so, mission accomplished. We have heard over the years from many customers how much they appreciate our little weekly update, it’s the highlight of their Thursday. To everyone who reads even SOME of this every week, thanks so much!
Still reading? Well, it’s been a while since we’ve made any changes to this, so I figured no better time than #1000. So I’ve give it a bit of a facelift. If you’re reading on your phone, maybe it won’t look too different, but it is a bit. Also, scroll to the bottom, I’ve changed the restocks from a list to images, and added in some used selections that didn’t disappear in a heartbeat… hopefully they are still there by the time I send this. (Let us know how this new layout works for you…)
Lastly, I just want to thank everyone who has has been placing orders and adapted to how we’ve been running the shop over the last 14+ months. It’s not ideal, we know everyone misses flipping through the bins, but we’re a small shop and thanks to your support, we’ve managed to make things work and keep everyone safe and healthy through this whole mess. We look forward to opening our doors again and seeing you all again!
…..pick of the week…..
Can: Live in Stuttgart 1975 (Spoon) LP
Orange vinyl! Mute present Can Live in Stuttgart 1975, the first in a series of Can live concerts available in full for the first time on vinyl. Originally recorded on tape, these carefully restored live albums will comprise the entirety of each show in the format of a story with a beginning, middle and end, with Can’s performances taking on a life of their own. The band’s line up for this legendary 1975 performance features all four original members – Irmin Schmidt on keys, Jaki Leibezeit on drums, Michel Karoli on guitar, and Holger Czukay on bass. Can’s powerful influence has never diminished, and their indelible mark is apparent in the bands who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Factory Floor, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai, Madlib and Radiohead – as well as across other disciplines such as visual art and literature. Colored 3LP-set with accompanying booklet featuring extensive sleeve notes by novelist Alan Warner, archivist Andy Hall and manager Sandra Podmore Schmidt.
File Under: Prog, Psych, Krautrock
Chet Baker: In New York (Craft) LP
In tomorrow… 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. Chet Baker’s West Coast cool comes to the Big Apple on Chet Baker in New York. The project would be Baker’s first with Riverside. A month after his Chet Baker Sings sessions, the artist went back into the studio to record Chet Baker In New York with a stellar lineup of Philly Joe Jones on drums, tough-tenor Johnny Griffin, bebop veteran Al Haig on piano and bassist Paul Chambers. The song selection, which ranges from laid-back and serene to hard-driving bop, features top-notch performances and impressive solos from all musicians involved. Running the gamut from the relaxed and soothing “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” and equally serene “Blue Thoughts” at one end of the spectrum to the percolating and driving intensity of “Hotel 49” on the other.
File Under: Jazz
Lou Barlow: Reason to Live (Joyful Noise) LP
In tomorrow… Blue vinyl! After decades on the road and the never-ending hustle of life as an artist, Lou Barlow has tapped into a new confidence in the chaos. In 2021, the concept of balance feels particularly intimidating. Now more than ever, it’s clear life isn’t just leveling out a pair of responsibilities. Instead, we’re chasing after a flock of different ideals with a butterfly net. On Barlow’s new solo album, Reason to Live, he has come to an understanding of that swirl rather than trying to contain it. After albums with Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Folk Implosion, and under his own name, listeners may have felt they knew the construction of a Barlow song, even that they knew Barlow himself. “People have this vision of me as this heartbroken, depressed guy, but this record feels so true to who I am, to this rich life I now have full of people I love,” he says. “The songs culminated over the last five years to show that music has returned to its central comforting role in my life. Now I’m home.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Dinosaur Jr.
Black Midi: Cavalcade (Rough Trade) LP
In tomorrow… Cavalcade is a dynamic, hellacious, and inventive follow-up to 2019’s widely-praised Schlagenheim, “a labyrinth with hairpin-turn episodes and lyrics full of dourly corrosive observations” (New York Times, Best Albums of 2019). It scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.
File Under: Indie Rock, Art Rock, Math Rock
Otis Brown: South Side Chicago (Numero) LP
In tomorrow… Chicago’s tangled web of micro labels and small time players is no better illustrated than by the career of Otis Brown. In his ten years on the scene, Brown ran four imprints, warmed stages for Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, and Alvin Cash, greased the palms of the city’s top DJs, wrote a theme song for his beloved southside, recorded a Jackson 5 cash-in with his son Otis III, and produced a handful of heavenly girl group sides. Brown arrived in Chicago with his mother in the early ’50s by way of Memphis. His first forays in the music business came via his mother’s occasional boyfriend Browley Guy, a slick crooner who’d cut 78s for Checker and States, but was looking to make a label play. Brown, his uncle King David Bevill, and Browley set up Olé Records in the summer of 1966 to issue Otis Brown & the Delights’ “Southside Chicago,” which despite a lot of palm greasing and cajoling by all three partners failed to break outside the eponymous geographic area. Other than Brown, the label only issued a single by his girlfriend Rose Rice’s group, The Para-Monts. He felt burned by his older partners and restarted under the banner of Lujuna Records, named for his eldest daughter. Primarily a vanity imprint for his own efforts, Brown also recruited local talent, including The Soulettes, Samuel Lovelee, Brand New Faces, Presidents Council, and WVON DJ Joe Cobb. To keep his brand fresh, he also issued some titles under the ExSpectMore imprint, though the catalog system was consistent between the two brands (and some titles came out under either heading, confusingly). Although several titles sold well, the losses mounted up and he cut them loose, moving to Dallas in 1972, ceasing his efforts as producer, performer, and entrepreneur.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Cochemea: Vol 2: Baca Sewa (Daptone) LP
PRE-ORDER! Out July 16/2021
The Dap-Kings’ electro-sax space warrior returns with a groove-heavy sequel to All My Relations, Vol. II: Baca Sewa, an expressive, transcendental voyage through the archives of his indigenous roots and beyond. Drawing on ancestral memories and family histories to wrap new flesh around the bones of history, this album is a bold, semi-autobiographical work that leads us deeper into the annals of family histories, mythology and the cultural imaginary. “Baca Sewa” is Cochemea’s original family name prior to Spanish colonization. The melody was composed by Anthony Gastelum and features vocals and drumming by the Baca Sewa Singers- a group composed of several generations of family members. The album runs thick with sonic tributes and remembrances. “Chito’s Song” is a contemplative, ethereal tribute to a beloved uncle. “Curandera” conjures the memory of the irrepressible healing power of medicine women. “Black Pearl” recalls his great grandfather, heir to a legacy of indigenous peoples enslaved as pearl divers in the Sea of Cortez. Leading a 7-piece ensemble composed of New York’s top percussionists and members of Daptone’s rhythm section, Cochemea has created his own world of emotional textures and rhythmic possibilities, a musical and spiritual synthesis made possible through his deep reverence of the horn and the music and traditions preceding him. Vol II: Baca Sewa – is an offering and continuation of Cochemea’s explorations, part of a musical process of cultural reclamation and healing through connection, relations, memory and imagination.
File Under: Spiritual Jazz
Drab Majesty: Unarian Dances (Dais) LP
In tomorrow… Clear vinyl! Drab Majesty’s first ever release was the 2012 self-released cassette tape “Unarian Dances”. Originally limited to 100 copies, tracks from this tape would eventually make their way onto the Completely Careless CD collection as bonus cuts. Now, along with the “Unknown to the I” 12″ also released on May 21, these songs are finally made available on vinyl in 45 RPM 12″ format, bringing all early Drab Majesty material from the Careless era (2012-2015) to vinyl. Mastered by Josh Bonati with beautiful new packaging by Nathaniel Young. Drab Majesty is the project of Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of L.A.-based musician Andrew Clinco and partner Mona D. With its combination of reverb-drenched guitars, synth bass lines, commanding vocals, and rhythmic drum machine beats, this project is a stark departure from Clinco’s previous stints as drummer in Marriages and Black Mare. Dubbed “Tragic Wave” and “Mid-Fi” by DeMure, Drab Majesty eloquently blends classic 80s New Wave and hints of early 4AD with a futuristic originality. A talented multi-instrumentalist, DeMure composes all of the elements of Drab Majesty. However, rather than taking personal credit for the music, DeMure insists that the inspiration for the songs is received from an other-worldly source and that Deb is merely a vessel through which outside ideas flow inward. But Drab Majesty is more than just a musical project — it’s a methodical experiment in the identity of creativity. The character Deb DeMure is an enigma that eludes all expectations of gender and ego. When DeMure’s imposing 6’ 4” figure assumes the stage, Deb’s playful, harlequin-esque appearance, tempered by an ominous body language, and clashing with the dreamy, ethereal melodies comes across as a web of contrasts. The result is a perfect balance between seemingly conflicting messages, between the high and the low, the drab and the divine.
File Under: Electronic, Post Punk
Drab Majesty: Unknown to the I (Dais) LP
In tomorrow… Clear vinyl! Drab Majesty’s first release for Dais Records was the “Unknown to the I” cassette in 2015, which featured the title track that would later appear on his debut album “Careless” that summer. The additional early cuts “Saturn Inc.” and “Ultra Violet” have previously only been available on digital or as CD bonus tracks. Now, along with the “Unarian Dances” 12″ also released on May 21, these songs are finally made available on vinyl in 45 RPM 12″ format, bringing all early Drab Majesty material from the Careless era (2012-2015) to vinyl. Mastered by Josh Bonati with beautiful new packaging by Nathaniel Young. Drab Majesty is the project of Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of L.A.-based musician Andrew Clinco and partner Mona D. With its combination of reverb-drenched guitars, synth bass lines, commanding vocals, and rhythmic drum machine beats, this project is a stark departure from Clinco’s previous stints as drummer in Marriages and Black Mare. Dubbed “Tragic Wave” and “Mid-Fi” by DeMure, Drab Majesty eloquently blends classic 80s New Wave and hints of early 4AD with a futuristic originality. A talented multi-instrumentalist, DeMure composes all of the elements of Drab Majesty. However, rather than taking personal credit for the music, DeMure insists that the inspiration for the songs is received from an other-worldly source and that Deb is merely a vessel through which outside ideas flow inward. But Drab Majesty is more than just a musical project — it’s a methodical experiment in the identity of creativity. The character Deb DeMure is an enigma that eludes all expectations of gender and ego. When DeMure’s imposing 6’ 4” figure assumes the stage, Deb’s playful, harlequin-esque appearance, tempered by an ominous body language, and clashing with the dreamy, ethereal melodies comes across as a web of contrasts. The result is a perfect balance between seemingly conflicting messages, between the high and the low, the drab and the divine.
File Under: Electronic, Post Punk
Fly Pan Am: Frontera (Constellation) LP
In tomorrow… Fly Pan Am have composed some of their most direct, visceral and immediately satisfying for the acclaimed contemporary dance piece FRONTERA. Juxtaposing stern foreboding electronics and minimalist motorik avant-rock, the Frontera studio album superbly captures the bristling, sculpted, intensely evocative live score that Fly Pan Am developed in close conception and collaboration with Dana Gingras and her Montréal-based dance troupe Animals Of Distinction. As the Frontera recordings demonstrate, this music also works powerfully and exceptionally well on its own: oscillating between tension and release; evoking open, anxious interzones and closed, claustrophobic spaces; conveying an overarching landscape of forbidden access, foreclosed movement, and the unfathomable multiplicities of trauma and resilience that occur under our dehumanising international apparatuses of inadmissibility and control. “Grid/Wall”, “Fences” and “Parkour” combine electronics and spartan four-piece avant-rock that set bodies in alternately furtive and laboured motion. The pulsing synthetics and noise textures of the more overtly technetronic “Scanner”, “Scaling”, “Body Pressure” and “Frontier” pin bodies down, whether hiding in corners, crawling for cover, or exposed to the searchlights. Field recordings contributed by David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hiss Tracts, Set Fire To Flames) comprise some of the raw material here too. We’re thrilled to present the soundtrack recording for one of the most moving multi-media works we witnessed last year. Thanks for listening.
File Under: Post Rock, Art Rock
Four Mints: Gently Down Your Stream (Numero) LP
In tomorrow… Blue vinyl! Gently Down Your Stream marked a creative zenith within the Columbus, Ohio, soul scene, at the juncture of the 1960s and ’70s. The Four Mints were one of the most influential local group harmony outfits of their era and—with assistance from Columbus doyen and Capsoul purveyor Bill Moss—among the few to release a full length LP. The roster of backing musicians hired to provide aural landscaping reads like a Midwest super-group, with surprising appearances from Indianapolis-based vibraphonist Billy Wooten and drummer Bobby Allen of the Fabulous Originals from Dayton, Ohio. And though most of the material on 1973’s Gently had been previously released as 45s, the collection—five singles and one priceless track saved from the scrap heap—gives witness to a world-class vocal quartet at its professional and intuitive peak. Under the watchful eye of arranger and mega-talent Dean Francis, the Four Mints pour forth from your speakers soulful, faithful and clear, but perhaps more importantly, intrinsically homegrown and utterly honest.
File Under: Soul
Beverly Glenn-Copeland: Keyboard Fantasies (Transgressive) LP
In tomorrow… 35th anniversary reissue of legendary Canadian/ American singer, composer and transgender activist Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s beloved seminal work An ahead-of-it’s-time synth exploration which somehow combines the essence of new-age minimalism, early Detroit techno and the warmth of traditional songwriting His third album, Keyboard Fantasies was originally self-released on cassette in 1986. Initially over-looked by mainstream media, it caught the ear of a Japanese collector who contacted the artist in 2015 and asked for copies to sell.
File Under: New Age, Ambient
Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
In tomorrow… Dexter Gordon had been living in Europe for several years when he recorded One Flight Up, one of his acknowledged masterpiece albums, in Paris in June of 1964. It’s all here: Dexter’s magnificently huge sound, Donald Byrd in peak form on trumpet, the subtle sophistication of pianist Kenny Drew, the utter brilliance of the then-teenaged bass phenom Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, and the rock-steady swing of drummer Art Taylor. The opening track “Tanya” takes up the entire first side of this album at 18+ minutes, and it is a performance for the ages. Blue Note Records’ acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series continues in 2021. 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.
File Under: Jazz
Lost Girls: Menneskekollektivet (Smalltown Supersound) LP
In tomorrow… White vinyl! Norwegian duo Lost Girls, artist and writer Jenny Hval and multi-instrumentalist Havard Volden, release their first album after collaborating for more than ten years. For their first LP, Hval and Volden booked an actual studio, which they had never done before. Recording sessions took place in March 2020, even if they felt like the material wasn’t really ready for recording. This left a lot to improvisation, and so “Menneskekollektivet” was created in-between set structures and the energy of collective exploration. The music flickers; between club beats and improvised guitar textures; between spoken word and melodic vocal textures; between abstract and harmonic synth lines. Throughout the piece, Volden’s guitar and Hval’s voice come across as equals, wandering, wondering, meandering. Sharing the space.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Angel Olsen: Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories (Jagjaguwar) LP
In tomorrow… Originally conceived as a double album, ‘All Mirrors’ and ‘Whole New Mess’ were distinct parts of a larger whole, twin stars that each expressed something bigger and bolder than Angel Olsen had ever made. Released in 2019, ‘All Mirrors’ is massive in scope and sound, tracing Olsen’s ascent into the unknown, to a place of true self-acceptance, no matter how dark, or difficult, or seemingly lonely. ‘All Mirrors’ is colossal, moving, dramatic in an Old Hollywood manner. Recorded before ‘All Mirrors’ but released after, ‘Whole New Mess’ is the bones and beginnings of the songs that would rewrite Olsen’s story. This is Angel Olsen in her classic style: stark solo performances, echoes and open spaces, her voice both whispered and enormous. ‘All Mirrors’ and ‘Whole New Mess’ presented the two glorious extremes of an artist who, in these songs, became new by embracing herself entirely. Now, with ‘Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories,’ these twin stars become a constellation with the full extent of the songs’ iterations: all the alternate takes, b-sides, remixes and reimaginings are here, together. Alongside, a 40-page book collection tells a similar story, not just through outtakes and unseen photos but through the smaller, evocative details: handwritten lyrics, a favorite necklace, a beaded chandelier. As if it could be more plainly stated (there’s nothing more), Angel adds one cover here: a loving, assertive rendition of Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” In first speaking about these songs, Olsen said, “It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist.” What better way to articulate timelessness. If ‘Whole New Mess’ holds the truths of Olsen’s enduring self, and ‘All Mirrors’ documents her ascent toward a new future, ‘Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories’ exists out of time, capturing the whole artist beyond this one sound, or that one recording, or any one idea. It is a definitive collection, not just of these songs but of their revelations and their writer, from their simplest origins to their mightiest realizations.
File Under: Indie Rock
Various: Titan: It’s All Pop! (Numero) LP
In tomorrow… White vinyl! From 1978 to 1981, the Titan label issued just eight records, but over the years their tiny catalog has crawled to the top of power-pop want lists worldwide and appeared on scads of homemade tapes, building a legacy to rival L.A.’s Bomp! or New York’s Ork. Cut off in fly-over country, Titan fostered a scene of its own, imported its own skinny ties, and scoured the Missouri valley for its own talent. The label’s Midwest AM bubblegum roots are apparent in the likes of Gary Charlson, the Secrets*, Arlis!, Gems, Millionaire At Midnight, the Boys, J.P. McClain & the Intruders, Bobby Sky, and Scott McCarl, but Titan’s acts took cues from Stiff too, along with the glam-punk spit being hocked off the 100 Club stage.
File Under: Power Pop