…..news letter #1013 – sure…..

Another fine week in construction town. Finally a new release week that feels a bit more like summer. The recent onslaught of new releases is likely a bit of a side effect of how backed up pressing plants are. Which really means, there’s probably just going to be lots of late stuff showing up all of the time… so just lots of stuff usually, but slower weeks like this one are a nice reprieve. It gives us a bit more time to price up some used stuff, every loves some fresh used stuff right?

Other than that, not much to report, although really, I’ve basically changed the instore hours Mon-Fri as 11-6. I’m here, and someone always seems to show up to browse so why not just make it official. Our other current policies below just in case you’ve missed it…

in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday
(if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
Max 4people in the store at a time
Wear a mask(if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
Sanitizeyour hands(we’ll have some)

…..pick of the week…..

Steve Gunn: Other You (Matador) LP
White vinyl! Other You is the sixth studio album by American singer Steve Gunn. Recorded during two visits to Los Angeles in late 2020 and early 2021, the album was made with veteran producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Cass McCombs, Kurt Vile) at his Mant Studios alongside musician and longtime friend and collaborator Justin Tripp, whose credits include appearances on Gunn’s Time Off and Way Out Weather. The relocation was in a way more than geographical – the surroundings, warm climate and tight-knit studio team encouraged Gunn to tap into new approaches, techniques and emotional reservoirs, casting off established notions, habits and hang-ups. A featherlight touch coasts through the album – from the classical guitar and piano interplay and soulful baritone of the title track, nimble drum brush swing at the heart of “Fulton” and “The Painter,” slow-burn kosmische rock of “Protection,” electric piano pulses and majestic tremolo stabs of “Reflection,” to the cascading harps of “Sugar Kiss” – it is easily Gunn’s brightest and most life-affirming work to date. He is assisted by contributions come from friends and fellow artists including Juliana Barwick, Mary Lattimore, Bridget St. John, Jeff Parker, Bill MacKay, Ben Bertrand, drummer Ryan Sawyer (TV On The Radio, Thurston Moore, Gang Gang Dance), and others.

File Under: Folk, Indie Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

Fatima Al Qadiri: Medieval Femme (Hyperdub) LP
Fatima Al Qadiri returns to Hyperdub, with a suite inspired by the classical poems of Arab women. Medieval Femme invokes a simulated daydream through the metaphor of an Islamic garden, at the border between depression and desire, where the present temporarily dissolves, leaving only past and future. Since Shaneera, her last release for Hyperdub – a homage to hometown friends and a celebration of regional queer influences – Fatima recorded the soundtrack for French Senegalese director Mati Diop’s Cannes 2019 Grand Prix winning feature Atlantics. The restrained soundtrack to Diop’s supernatural storytelling, sympathetically mixes neon drones and the faint outlines of Arabesque melody, intensifying Diop’s journey between worlds, rendering the complex emotions of the film. Medieval Femme expands on ideas instilled from Atlantics to capture a fully realized, dreamlike setting, shaded with color and subtle friction. The theme of the album is the state of melancholic longing exemplified in the poetry of Arab women from the medieval period. Fatima seeks to transport the listener to a place of reverie and desolation, to question the line between two seemingly opposite states and rejoice in celestial sorrow.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Marisa Anderson/William Tyler: Lost Futures (Thrill Jockey) LP
Coloured vinyl! Guitarists Marisa Anderson and William Tyler distill deeply rooted and varied traditions into distinctive voices all their own. Anderson and Tyler are each unyielding in their desire to extend through those traditions and the confines of “guitar music” to craft music at once intimate and expansive, conversational and transcendent. The duo’s debut collaborative album tethers together their singular voices into unified narratives that glisten, drive, and sway. On Lost Futures, Anderson and Tyler’s guitars dance through lush arrangements and pastoral duets serpentine and reverent. The kindred musicians first collaborated in the days following a Portland show commemorating the life of the late David Berman. As Anderson tells it, “There was an obvious and immediate affinity musically and personally which led to the feeling that we should try and do something together, but in January of 2020, both of us had pretty full schedules so it was more of a vague idea to do something, someday… then COVID hit.” With tours sidelined and the increasing tensions of isolation, unrest and ecological disaster looming, the duo set to composing and collaborating remotely. Tyler joined Anderson in Portland for a week before recording as protests across the city escalated and raging wildfires cast a dangerous haze. Against the tumultuous backdrop the duo found harmony in their quick, organic development as a compositional team. Rich ballads and breezy rambles flourished as the duo explored new rhythmic techniques and elaborated on unused riffs. In uniting to meditate on their musical practices together, the two guitarists composed music filled with the joy of playing together while having a sober tone reflective of the troubled state of the world around them. Lost Futures takes its name from writer Mark Fisher’s cultural theory of the loss of potential futures, the hopes and ideals which once felt inevitable but have since been interrupted. Anderson and Tyler’s use of textural drones, rhythmic repetition and harmonic shifts embody the building tensions of uncertainty created by profound loss: loss of life, experience, companionship, compassion. “For every choice made, every path taken, there are multitudes of choices not made, paths not taken,” notes Anderson. “At the Edge of the World” manifests the energy of perpetual momentum through string player Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez’s staccato jabs and the clicking scrapes of Patricia Vázquez Gómez’s quijada. The unison melody of “Pray For Rain” sounds as a chorus collectively asking when relief will come. A drone-via-repetition on “Something Will Come’’ invokes a sonic mirage that suspends reality as subtle yet revelatory changes froth from beneath the haze. Still, hope and catharsis find a way to shine through the mire in the duo’s implementation of space and tonal balance. With title track “Lost Futures,” Anderson and Tyler’s lullabye-like counter melodies lace around one another with the gentle ease of a friendly embrace. Across Lost Futures, Anderson and Tyler mold their instruments into breathtaking panoramas of blight and bliss. Each movement contains a dense biome of transportive sound. The duo’s music together reckons with mounting pressures as well as the joy of newfound friendship and gratitude for being able to play together. In tandem, Marisa Anderson and William Tyler have composed a work of remarkable breadth, brimming with resplendent odes of solace.

File Under: Folk, Guitar
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Bad Brains: I and I Survive (ORG) LP
I And I Survive is a 1982 EP by Bad Brains, released on the heels of their iconic self-titled debut album. Like the band’s subsequent album Rock for Light, the recordings were produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek. The release was previously out of print for nearly four decades. This reissue marks the third release in the remaster campaign, re-launching the Bad Brains Records label imprint. In coordination with the band, ORG Music has overseen the restoration and remastering of the iconic Bad Brains’ recordings. The audio was mastered by Dave Gardner at Infrasonic Mastering and pressed at Furnace Record Pressing.

File Under: Punk
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Cindytalk: The Wind is Strong… (Dais) LP
Coloured vinyl! The third album by Scottish industrial enigma Cindytalk, 1990’s The Wind Is Strong… , began life as the soundtrack to an experimental film by English director Ivan Unnwin entitled Eclipse (The Amateur Enthusiast’s Guide To Virus Deployment), and was originally slated for release via Factory Records’ video division, Ikon. Inspired heavily by Alan Splet’s eerily disembodied sound design in David Lynch’s Eraserhead, the collection’s 15 pieces seethe between field recordings, wistful piano vignettes, and lurking metallic haze – a hybrid palette Cinder characterized at the time as “ambi-dustrial.” Unfortunately Ikon collapsed on the eve of the project’s completion so the film was never distributed, but the Midnight Music imprint repackaged Cindytalk’s score as an LP in 1990 under the name The Wind Is Strong… (full title: The Wind Is Strong – A Sparrow Dances, Piercing Holes in Our Sky). Long out of print, the album remains one of the most elusive and adventurous in the Cindytalk discography, a mix of musique concréte, haunted reverie, and desolate beauty. Even unaccompanied by their intended visuals, this is overtly cinematic music, conjuring forests at dusk and shadowed corridors, equal parts remote and reflective. Cinder cites a belief that “all sound is music,” which fully manifests here, utilizing tape hiss, ticking clocks, flicking flames, and distant whispers as evocative accents in tapestries of luminous negative space. Although Cinder included the subtitle “A Cindytalk diversion” in the sleeve notes, The Wind Is Strong… is crucial to the project’s canon, demonstrating the depth and versatility of her unique ear and intuition. She describes each album as a direct response to the previous one, and in that sense The Wind marks a bold break from the coiled song-oriented post-punk of 1988’s In This World, venturing into unknown, unnamed terrain, and finding foreboding new futures to call her own.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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Cindytalk: Wappinschaw (Dais) LP
Coloured vinyl! A lost standout of ‘90s industrial/experimental rock, Cindytalk’s 4th album takes a timely, newly expanded reissue bow with NYC’s Dais. Conceived and framed as a “call to arms” for Scottish independence on release in 1994, ‘Wappinschaw’ is so named after the process of weapons inspection by Scottish chieftains when readying their clans for battle. From ancient times, to the ever present ‘90s, to current cries for Scottish independence, Cindytalk’s music continues to hold its ground as a vital part of the Scottish post-punk/industrial/experimental landscape, speaking to long held urges that feed into the tensions and expressions of a singular music scene. No doubt it’s a classic by one of its most fascinating artists, whose catalogue connects This Mortal Coil in the ‘80s to hardcore techno in the ‘90s, and a series of remarkable electronic albums for Editions Mego in the past decade. It’s unmissable for its strikingly unadorned take on Ewan MacColl’s folk classic ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ (as famously covered by Roberta Flack) as its opening shot, and goes on to take in Cindytalk classic ‘A Song of Changes,’ alongside inclusion of legendary Glaswegian writer Alasdair Gray on ‘Wheesht,’ and stirring atmospheric designs in the likes of ‘Träumlose Nachte,’ and 11’  bagpipe soundscape of ‘Hush,’ while a trio of additional works lurk at the back, bringing some anthemic gaelic rock on ‘The Moon Above Me,’ and snarling, serpentine styles on ‘In Sunshine,’ plus the kind of gothic industrial rock that begat current Regis styles in ‘Old Jack Must Die.’

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Deafheaven: Infinite Granite (Sargent House) LP
Over the course of their first ten years, Deafheaven’s music vacillated between tormented beauty and harmonic rage—a hybrid of black metal’s malice and shoegaze’s sublime wall-of-sound. On their fifth album, ‘Infinite Granite’, Deafheaven are no longer toying with the juxtaposition of pitting metallic abrasion against swirling grandeur. Quite the opposite: ‘Infinite Granite’ is a bold and brave leap forward, a gorgeous and invigorating album brimming with style and splendor. In the context of their catalog, it takes on a whole other layer of defiant beauty. Across ‘Infinite Granite’, vocalist George Clarke showcases a startling vocal range; falsettos, whispers, multi-part harmonies, and other adventurous vocal treatments, with his trademark black metal-inspired howls mostly absent. Guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra expand their sonic palette to include synth textures using them to enrich their astral guitar work rather than outright replace it. Drummer Daniel Tracy has always been a force to reckon with behind the kit, but where he used to floor audiences with his speed and stamina, he’s now free to broaden his approach and lay down authoritative drum patterns that together with bassist Christopher Johnson’s punchy bass lines anchor the band’s lofty arrangements. The refinement of their sound was further encouraged by producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Paramore, Wolf Alice, Metric), who lent a pop ear to the record. Jack Shirley, who helped produce every previous Deafheaven album, remained on board to engineer ‘Infinite Granite’ at his Atomic Garden East studio in Oakland, CA along with additional engineering and mixing from nine-time Grammy Award winner Darrell Thorp (Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Beck). Ultimately, ‘Infinite Granite’ is Deafheaven’s most goosebump-inducing album to date.

File Under: Metal
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Billie Eilish: Happier than Ever (Interscope) LP
Billie Eilish’s highly anticipated second full-length album Happier Than Ever, which she calls the favorite thing she’s ever created, features no outside songwriters or producers, and was written by Billie and her brother Finneas, who produced the album in Los Angeles, CA. In late 2020, the singer released “Therefore I Am,” an audacious ode to being entirely unbothered which followed the release of the ethereal single “My Future.” Eilish appeared on Sirius XM to discuss the process of creating the follow up to her massive debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go, which took home five Grammys and went 3x Platinum saying: “Everything about every song is very different but somehow cohesive, and I think that was the same with the last album. We really wanted a project to be cohesive and make sense, but not just be a repeat and a clone of every other song.”

File Under: Pop
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Beverly Glenn-Copeland: At Last! (Transgressive) LP
Released in 1980 on Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s own label and featuring his long-time collaborator Doug Riley, “At Last!” took its name because it took so long for Glenn to get back in the studio. The ultra-rare EP reveals Glen in deep funk, soul and rock modes. It has not yet been re-issued.

File Under: Jazz
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Gun Club: Fire of Love (Extra Term Audio) LP
The classic 1981 Gun Club debut album with bonus material and a second CD with a never before released 1981 live recording. This deluxe edition not only features a remastered version of the original classic album, but disc 1 of the CD will include 10 bonus tracks of alternative versions and the original 4 track demos. The 2LP set will have the original LP and will include a download card for the digital versions of the 10 bonus tracks. Both the second CD and LP will feature the never before released Live At Club 88 – March 6, 1981. Digitally remastered with beautiful gatefold packaging, featuring extensive liner notes written by Gun Club drummer Terry Graham, as well as archival photos and other collectable images.

File Under: Punk
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J. Mascis: Martin & Me (Cherry Red) LP
Having established Dinosaur Jr as a mainstay of, and influence over, the alternative scene by the mid-1990s, J Mascis began to venture out alone, performing acoustic sets of his band’s material. Martin + Me documents a late 1995 US tour, and includes Dinosaur Jr classics such as “Repulsion,” “Get Me” and “Keeblin” alongside of covers of The Smiths’ “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side,” Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” and Lynyrd Skynyrds “Every Mothers Son.” Originally released in 1996 and long out of print, this luxurious colored vinyl edition is a long overdue opportunity to revisit another side of J Mascis and Dinosaur Jr.

File Under: Indie Rock, Dinosaur Jr.
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Rose City Band: Earth Trip (Thrill Jockey) LP
Coloured vinyl! Rose City Band is celebrated guitarist Ripley Johnson. A prolific songwriter, Johnson started Rose City Band as an outlet nimble enough to match the pace of his writing as well as to explore songwriting styles apart from Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo. Rose City Band allows him to follow his musical muses as they greet him and not be bound by the schedules of bandmates and demands of a touring group. On Earth Trip, Johnson colors songs with a country-rock twang and a melancholic, wistful undertone. Themes recur such as pining for summers spent in the company of friends to newer meditations on space, stillness and the splendor of the natural world. Johnson’s laid-back and classically West Coast songs communicate emotions entirely of the moment with both his lyrics, intimate vocal style as well as his elegant elongated guitar lines and astute use of counter-melodies on the pedal steel. Earth Trip was written during the period of sudden shocks and drastic lifestyle changes of 2020, quite literally “called down off the road” as he sings in elegiac album opener “Silver Roses”. Home for an extended period for the first time in years, he was able to reconnect with simple pleasures of home life: hikes in nature, bathing outside and waking with the dawn. Johnson found hope and healing in forming a more mindful relationship with the natural world, from the simple pleasures of tending a garden to sleeping out under the stars. “Lonely Places” in particular captures the sheer joy and freedom of losing oneself in nature, an ode to the wealth of natural beauty the west coast provides, as well as the importance of appreciating wild, open spaces. “In the Rain” seeks beauty and hope in life’s darker moments, while “Dawn Patrol” finds solace in the earth’s natural rhythms. Recorded primarily at his home in Portland and mixed by Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas, Cave), the songs on Earth Trip make deft use of space through their lean arrangements, guest Barry Walker’s shimmering pedal steel, open and elongated guitar melodies, and upfront and intimate vocals. Johnson describes the arrangements this way; “I was trying to capture that feeling when you take psychedelics and they just start coming on – maybe objects start buzzing in the edges of your vision, you start seeing slight trails, maybe the characteristics of sound change subtly. But you’re not fully tripping yet. Cooper got the idea right away and his mix really captures that feeling.” Johnson’s lithe guitar playing treads an equally fine line between country and cosmic, melodies blooming into long reverb trails and solos evocative of radiant summer warmth. Earth Trip’s message of interconnectedness with the environment expands on a long country music tradition that draws a symbiotic relationship between storyteller and the land, celebrating the beauty of the natural world without forgetting our responsibility to preserve it for future generations. It cements Johnson’s place as a musician and songwriter of inimitable skill.

File Under: Country, Folk, Psych
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Space Afrika: Honest Labour (Dais) LP
Manchester UK’s Space Afrika make music of what they term “overlapping moments” – oblique mosaics of dialogue, rhythm, texture, and shadow, half-heard through a bus window on a rainy night. Honest Labour, the group’s first full-length since 2020’s landmark hybtwibt? (have you been through what i’ve been through?) mixtape, expands the project’s palette with classical strings, shimmering guitar, and visionary vocal cameos, leaning further into their enigmatic fusion of ambient unrest and cosmic downtempo. It’s a sound both fogged and fragmented, at the axis of song craft and sound design, born from and for the yearning solitudes of life under lockdown. The album title is tiered, alluding to a legendary patriarch from co-founder Joshua Inyang’s Nigerian family tree (who was lovingly called “Honest Labour” for his loyalty and resilience) as well as the nature of self-designated work, such as Space Afrika’s music – a “labor of love” in its truest sense. With fellow co-founder Joshua Reid recently relocated to Berlin, the pair began sharing files last fall, piecing together poetic vignettes of looping haze and found sound, inspired by the notion of “records that leave an impression, and help the listener deal with their life.” As the isolation of Covid compounded with the worsening winter, the songs skewed increasingly introspective and emotive, reflecting a mood of dissipating futures and the infinite nocturnal unknown. The artists cite two core motivations for Honest Labour: to transcend the sum of their influences, and “to show what we’re capable of.” Both ambitions are entirely realized. The collection’s 19 tracks flow with a synergy and sophistication as rare as they are radical, untethered to the dusty dub-techno templates of Space Afrika’s early years. These are interstitial anthems, expressionistic and open-ended, delirious but deliberate, attuned to the drift and dreamstate of the present moment: “Ultimately this is an homage to U.K. energy, and an album about love and loss.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Dub
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Ryley Walker: Course in Fable (Husky Pants) LP
‘Course In Fable’ is the fifth LP by Ryley Walker. The LP takes its inspiration from the glut of experimental and highly creative bands – Gastr Del Sol, Tortoise, The Sea and Cake – active in 1990s Chicago, Walker’s home city. If you can imagine those bands fronted by Ryley Walker’s jazz-flecked folk then you’re pretty much there. For authenticity Ryley Walker hired John McEntire of Tortoise to produce the LP.

File Under: Folk, Country
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O.V. Wright: A Nickle and a Nail and Ace of Spades (Real Gone) LP
Sometimes great things come in humble packages. The ramshackle cover art for this 1972 album makes it look like a bootleg, and the rampant misspellings and inconsistencies in the album and song titles make it clear that whoever was in charge of proofreading at the Back Beat label must have taken the day off when the art was circulated. But no matter…seldom has the secular met the sacred with as much emotional force as on O.V. Wright’s A Nickel and a Nail and Ace of Spades. That’s what makes it one of the greatest Southern soul records ever waxed. Mind you, just about any record produced by Willie Mitchell and featuring the Hi Records Rhythm Section and the Memphis Horns will pack a punch. But it’s the raw emotion of Wright’s vocal delivery, the gospel styling stirred in with the pure, pleading anguish, that pushes this collection of songs over the top to sheer transcendence. Record buyers noticed, too; “A Nickel and a Nail,” “Ace of Spades,” and “Eight Men, Four Women,” three of the biggest hits O.V. Wright ever had, were all on this album. But really, the whole thing is a tour de force, which we’re reissuing on 180-gram black vinyl to preserve its brilliance for posterity.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Big Thief: Capacity (Saddle Creek) LP
The Body: I’ve Seen All I Need to See (Thrill Jockey) LP
Czarface & MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) LP
Czarface & MF Doom: Super What? (Silver Age) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Columbia) LP
Elevator: August Extra (Blue Fog) LP
King Woman: Created in the Image of Suffering (Relapse) LP
King Woman: Celestial Blues (Relapse) LP
Les Filles de Illighadad: At Pioneer Works (Sahel) LP
Modest Mouse: Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Olympians: s/t (Daptone) LP
Oval: 94Diskont (Thrill Jockey) LP
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Perila: How Much Time is it Between You and Me? (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Arthur Russell: World of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
Marcos Valle: s/t (Mr. Bongo) LP
Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud (Merge) LP
Weather Station: Ignorance (Next Door) LP
Wedding Present: Seamonsters (RCA) LP
Wolf Alice: Blue Weekend (RCA) LP
Various: Cuba: Music & Revolution 1975-85 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Cold Wave #1 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Cold Wave #2 (Soul Jazz) LP

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