Well, if you don’t follow us on social media you may have missed the news yesterday, but yesterday was the official 20th anniversary of our opening! It sort of crept up on me faster than I’d expected, and it’s a weird thing, I guess it’s quite the accomplishment, but to me, it’s also just going to work every day. Anyway, really, we wouldn’t be here without the support of all of you, so thanks for all your support, we ALL accomplished this! We are planning on an actual celebration of sorts at some point, so we’ll keep you posted on that.
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)
– Sanitize your hands(we’ll have some)
.….pick of the week…..
Boris: Flood (Third Man) LP
Formed in 1992, Boris boldly explores their own vision of heavy music, where words like “explosive” and “thunderous” barely do justice. Using overpowering soundscapes embellished with copious amounts of lighting and billow smoke, Boris has shared with audiences across the planet an experience for all five senses in their concerts, earning legions of zealous fans along the way. Boris continue their bountiful output with two monumental vinyl versions of their milestone releases; 2000’s Flood and 2020’s NO on Third Man Records. Flood was originally released in Japan on CD only. Delivered in four equally important movements, Flood is simultaneously delicate, dense, undulating, devastating, emancipating, hypnotic and triumphant. Each season of the album has its own sense of place, best revealed listen-by-listen. On Flood, Boris broaden their vision of musical possibility, with a notable and imaginative influence from visionary American minimalist Steve Reich, weaving in prog, drone and slowcore into a multifaceted symphony. There simply has never been another piece of music like Flood. These essential pieces of Boris’s extensive catalogue are a must-have for any vinyl collector and any fan of the band.
10000 Russos: Kompromat (Fuzz Club) LP
‘Kompromat’ is the third album from Portuguese trio 10 000 Russos and arrives following their second album ‘Distress Distress’ (2017) and a collab LP with Dutch industrialists and Fuzz Club label-mates Radar Men From The Moon (2018). Though tapping into the same transcendental minimalism of bands like Neu!, Suicide and Faust, 10 000 Russos have a sound that is solely their own: João Pimenta’s machine-like percussion and brooding vocal drawls sound like a cyborg Mark E. Smith drearily narrating the end-of-times atop the abrasive guitar manipulations and experimental loops of Pedro Pestana and driving, motorik basslines that are seemingly summoned from the most depraved corners of André Couto’s psyche. That’s been 10 000 Russos ever-evolving template for many years and on new album ‘Kompromat’, it’s amped up tenfold and delivered with a new-found urgency. Taking its name from the Soviet-era Russian term for ‘compromising material’ (the words earliest use traces back to KGB slang) that was gathered on politicians and business owners as leverage to blackmail and coerce, the monolithic drones heard on ‘Kompromat’ hint at a two-fold revolution – a subconscious upheaval, as well as a socio-political one. They say of the record: “Like all of our work, the songs started from jams and were worked from there but this record feels fatter and has this kind of dance-y vibe to it. Unlike ‘Distress Distress’ it feels like there is a sense of release there, despite the oppressive feeling that runs through a lot of the album.” This is something that’s brought to the fore just as much sonically as it is thematically: the heaving propulsions of album-opener ‘It Grows Under’ explore “a general unrest slowly growing inside, a kind-of pre-revolution tension” and ‘Runnin’ Escapin’ is about “random unpredictable situations” and the volatility inherent in them, something that’s borne out as the song unfolds throughout its running time. Then there’s the aptly-named ‘The People’, a throbbing call-to-arms that tackles the album’s revolutionary spirit head-on and ‘The Wheel’, which they say is about “the eternal motion of things and the repetition of history.”
File Under: Psych
Booker T & The MGs: Complete Stax Singles Vol 2 (Real Gone) LP
The house band at Stax, Booker T. & The MG’s were so good, so tight, that each member—guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, drummer Al Jackson, Jr., and keyboardist/bandleader Booker T. Jones—is a legend in his own right. Playing behind such superstars as Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, and Wilson Pickett, the group forever defined the sound of Southern soul. And on their own—man, they just couldn’t be topped, with a total of 12 Pop and 15 R&B hits during their unparalleled tenure at Stax. That’s why they are the greatest instrumental R&B band of all time…and, not incidentally, a potent symbol of racial integration and harmony from a time when such diverse outfits were rare. We already brought you 29 of the 49 single sides The MG’s recorded for Stax on The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 1; now we’re back with the other 20, assembled—for the first time ever!—after a painstaking search for the best sources available, and, like on all of our singles collections, carefully vetted (by engineer Aaron Kannowski) to ensure that the versions you’re hearing are exactly what disc jockeys were spinning off their 7-inch singles on to the airwaves back in the day. In this case, that means the first 15 songs on this CD/2-LP set are in mono, the last 5 stereo, all discographically documented in meticulous fashion by liner note writer Ed Osborne, whose essay maps every move Booker T. & The MG’s made during the late ‘60s through the early ‘70s and beyond. But most of all, The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 2 (1968-1974) is one incredible listen, featuring such classic songs as “Time Is Tight,” “Soul-Limbo,” “Melting Pot,” their versions of Domenic Frontiere’s “Hang ‘Em High,” The Beatles’ “Something,” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” a bunch of hard-to-find B-sides, and more, all played by basically the best band that ever lived! Go ahead and pick your poison: either buy this on CD or on a 2-LP set pressed on red vinyl and housed inside a gatefold jacket. Either way, you will be the proud owner of some of the greatest and grooviest R&B instrumentals ever recorded.
File Under: Funk
The Bug: Fire (Ninja Tune) LP
Kevin Martin’s first solo full-length album under The Bug moniker for seven years could not be better timed, and could not be more needed: Fire – the third exhilarating part of an incendiary urban triptych, that began with 2008’s explosive London Zoo via 2014’s mind-melting Angels & Devils – is fourteen tracks that immolate the synapses, flail the body, that cinematically take you from arcing evocations of a bleak lock downed city-scape to swooping deep-focus close-ups of Martin and his collaborator’s psyches at breaking point. The aggression, the attitude, the vertiginous scope and subterranean incisiveness, the destabilizing unsettling frenzy of The Bug sound is marshalled to perfection throughout but Fire is no mere reanimation of the Bug’s past – for Martin, the album is both a response to the unique circumstances of the past year but also a chance to reflect his own journey from reclusive sound-obsessive to family man, and his thirst – in a period of enforced hermetic isolation – for contact, for the mayhem that can only happen between people, noise and bass, the derangement of the senses that has been Bug’s method and trajectory ever since it first crawled out of London’s deepest corners in the late 90s. It’s the Bug’s best yet, possibly the most ferociously realized and immensely moving music Martin has ever made, and still touches on those initial cravings and impulses that first propelled London Zoo into your world like a pipe bomb through your letterbox. It’s a hungry record in all senses. The MCs featured (longtime likeminds like Flowdan, Roger Robinson, Moor Mother, Manga Saint Hilare, Irah & Daddy Freddy alongside relatively new names to the Bug stable like Logan, Nazamba and FFSYTHO) inevitably reflect the external madness of a world turned upside down, but also dig deep into themselves to craft reflective, pitilessly honest portrayals of the rage, resistance and resignation the last year has engendered in all of us. Check the juddering maelstrom of “Clash” wherein Logan matches every lunging hit of the kick and Martin’s none-more-dank dubtronics with a diseased narrative of mental warfare and strife, or “Pressure” where Flowdan imperiously calls out the universe for a scrap over a beat so thunkingly rapacious its as if the ghost of Andy Weatherall has been reanimated for some rerubbing duties. Throughout Fire you can hear MCs and Martin upping the ante, pushed to new heights and lows by an ever-present, periphirally-glimpsed armageddon. The album is bookended by the TS Eliot Award winning poet and long term friend and collaborator Roger Robinson.
File Under: Electronic
Chorusing: Half Mirror (Western Vinyl) LP
On his debut album Half Mirror, Matthew O’Connell superimposes warm analog synths onto self-described “confessional folk” with a simultaneously cosmic and earthly outcome. Tracked at home in the mountains of North Carolina using a vintage tape delay, electric guitar, and a self-designed synthesizer named ‘Balsam,’ Half Mirror is at once a lonesome push-pull of electronics humanized by folk elements, and folk music made alien by electronic adornments. The album opens with the spare meta-song “Cold,” on which O’Connell repeats, “I wade in,” referring to himself wading into his own memories. On “Midday Sun,” he sings, “Wide-eyed in the midday sun” over an eerily ascending and descending electric guitar and tightly layered instrumentation, inspired obliquely by the Louisville post-hardcore band Young Widows. “Sprawled out on the floor / Heavy from the nights before,” he continues, a chastened recalling of hungover anxiety. It’s tempered by tracks like “Whitewaterside,” which describes with meditative awareness the sensation of setting bare feet into a cold river. On Half Mirror standout “Watching the Beams,” he channels a panic attack he had on a stalled subway train while en route to a gig in Brooklyn: the relentless arpeggiator mirrors his rapid heartbeat as it becomes subsumed by the pulse of the city. On “Ohio,” O’Connell recounts evenings sitting by the Ohio River in Louisville, drinking bourbon with a friend as the barges floated by like memories drifting through the mind. The album’s closing track “Mirror” serves as an epilogue, like a rose-colored moon that drops below the horizon to be extinguished by distant sands. O’Connell made a deliberate effort to keep the album’s production sparse. His interest in restraint stems in part from his love of albums like Nearly God by Tricky and Ghost Tropic by Songs: Ohia, both of which feature uncomfortably bare vocals and uncanny production that commands the listener’s attention. Additional inspiration came from Mark Hollis’ striking minimalism, and the freeform songwriting of Arthur Russell and John Martyn. This skillful incorporation of influences evokes the same sense of balance and natural grace O’Connell may have gleaned in his physics and math studies; in fact, Half Mirror’s cover bears a visual translation of its songs’ waveforms. Filtering the poetry of fractured, imperfect memories through a lush, yet sparse palette of sounds, Half Mirror evokes a profoundly moody sense of place: the fog heavy in the mountain peaks, the dew present on early morning walks, and the musky smell of rhododendrons in the air.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Sonny Clark: My Conception (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
The soulful and elegant pianist Sonny Clark brings his A-game to My Conception, a program of all-Clark originals recorded in 1959 but not released until 1979. Joining the pianist are a cast of hard bop masters including Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone, Donald Byrd on trumpet, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Blakey on drums. Highlights from this session include the lead-off track “Junka,” the fiery brilliance of “Minor Meeting,” and Mobley’s sublime soloing on “Royal Flush. 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
Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare (Rhino) LP
1975 was a banner year for superstar Alice Cooper with his conceptual hit album Welcome To My Nightmare. A precursor to the video revolution, this newly remastered 180 Gram Audiophile vinyl release was an extravaganza on many historic levels. As a major television broadcast seen by millions, the album soared to the top of pop and rock charts, thanks to the clever paring of the songs, acting and general persona of the legend Alice Cooper. Includes “Only Women Bleed” and “Cold Ethyl” and features Vincent Price special effects… as well as a first time deluxe gatefold cover…limited edition!
File Under: Rock
Deeper: Auto Pain (Deluxe) (Fire Talk) LP
Deeper’s Auto Pain: Deluxe Edition reframes the liminal spaces of the Chicago quartet’s searingly-nuanced sophomore effort about grief and resilience into a densely-layered perspective of emotional maximalism fearless in its vulnerability. The deluxe edition includes remixes from fellow ascending artists Working Men’s Club, PVA, Fire-Toolz, NNAMDI and more as well as two stripped-back demos and live versions from the band’s performance at the Chicago Cultural Center in March 2021. While the original version delivered a masterclass in razor-sharp post punk, the expanded record gives a glimpse into a lens of a year full of adversity and the growth and perspective that draws these songs together to pack a powerful, personal punch. Auto Pain: Deluxe Edition 2xLP is out September 3rd on Fire Talk.
File Under: Punk
Descendents: 9th & Walnut (Epitaph) LP
Named for their Long Beach practice space back in the day, the 18-track collection features the Descendents’ earliest material written from 1977 through 1980. Begun in 2002 and finished in the pandemic, 9th & Walnut also includes the band’s debut tracks “Ride the Wild” and “It’s a Hectic World” (heard here for the first time with vocals by Milo Aukerman), and the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” with the full Descendents treatment. “9th & Walnut is where our first practice room was, in Frank’s sister’s garage,” Bill Stevenson recalls. “His brother and sister lived there, and The Pagan Babies, Frank’s band with his brothers, played there too. Some of these songs were written when Frank was only 14 years old.” When the band reconvened to record them, it was just like the earliest days: “We just fell right into our old mode. It was so natural.” Featuring the classic line-up of bassist Tony Lombardo, drummer Bill Stevenson, late guitarist Frank Navetta, and vocalist Milo Aukerman.
File Under: Punk
Bill Evans: Symbiosis (MPS) LP
Bill Evans: leader of one of most influential trios in jazz history, invaluable contributor to the model explorations on Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. Miles said it best: “Bill had this quiet fire that I loved on piano. The way he approached it, the sound he got was like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall.” Klaus Ogerman: one of the most prolific 20th century arranger-composers, at home in every style – rock, pop, jazz, classical. Worked with Sinatra, Jobim, 2010 Emmy winner with Diane Krall. 1974’s Symbiosis: Ogerman’s potent melding of contemporary classical and jazz with NY Philharmonic players, top jazz musicians, and the Bill Evans Trio. Classic Evans in an unusual setting!
File Under: Jazz
Cee Lo Green: Lady Killer (Real Gone) LP
Though the lyrics to its big hit, “F**k You,” were decidedly NOT something you would hear on a classic soul record, in many ways Cee Lo Green’s 2010 album The Lady Killer was something of a love letter to old school R&B, complete with strings, horns, and a meaty bottom end. And Green’s flawless yet impassioned vocals proved him a worthy successor to such legends as Gaye, Mayfield, and Redding. But perhaps the biggest miracle about this record was that, despite having a half dozen producers, The Lady Killer remained unmistakably 100% Cee Lo Green, larger than life and with its heart on its sleeve. For its vinyl debut (that’s right, this Top Ten record never came out on LP), we’re pressing it up on hot pink wax and including an inner sleeve with lyrics. One of the 21st century’s essential soul albums, now on vinyl where it belongs!
File Under: Hip Hop
Emmylou Harris: Ramble in Music City (Nonesuch) LP
After fifteen years of touring with the beloved Hot Band, Emmylou Harris formed the Nash Ramblers, a new acoustic all-star group, in 1990, featuring Sam Bush (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Roy Huskey Jr. (bass), Larry Atamanuik (drums), Al Perkins (dobro, banjo, vocals), and Jon Randall Stewart (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals). The band played on the road for several months before making their Nashville debut at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on September 28, 1990. That concert was recorded and shelved, while another live run at the Ryman Auditorium the following spring was released as At the Ryman to great acclaim, winning a Grammy and spurring public interest in saving the beloved music hall. Now, more than thirty years later, Rhino’s James Austin has unearthed the 1990 TPAC recording and Nonesuch releases Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert for the first time in September 2021. The TPAC set features entirely different songs from the Ryman album and includes music by A.P. Carter, Rodney Crowell, Ruth Franks, the Louvin Brothers, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Paul Simon, and Townes Van Zandt, among others, as well as her own compositions. Harris says of Ramble in Music City: “When James Austin, in my humble opinion, the world’s best and certainly most devoted music archeologist, unearthed the tapes of this ‘lost’ concert, I was taken aback by their very existence, like finding some cherished photograph misplaced so long ago the captured moment had been forgotten. Then the memories came flooding in, of the Nash Ramblers, hot off the road from our first tour, ready to rock and bringing their usual A-game to the hometown turf. It only took one listen to realize not a single note was out of place or in need of repair, a truly extraordinary performance by these gifted musicians. What a joy it was to share the stage with them.”
File Under: Country, Folk
Joe Henderson: Mirror Mirror (MPS) LP
“Joe Henderson is the essence of jazz. He embodies all the elements that came together in his generation: the virtuosity of hard bop and the avant-garde. He can be harmonically abstract and yet keep to the roots. He is my inspiration.” So spoke guitar great John Scofield about the tenor saxophonist. Henderson, who died in 2001, was one of the most important jazz musicians of the last third of the twentieth century. He became an overnight sensation as a member of Horace Silver’s band on the release of Silver’s “Song for My Father.” Henderson’s solo on Silver’s hit composition is held up as a prime example of brilliant jazz improvisation. Another highpoint in this rather reserved musician’s life was the Grammy Henderson received in 1991 for his album Lush Life. Henderson’s playing style was influenced by, among others, John Coltrane. The connection is amply demonstrated by Henderson’s ecstatic, piercing solo on his modally based composition “Joe’s Bolero.” On the standard “What’s New,” the saxophonist shows off his mellow, melodic side, a facet of Henderson’s playing that has always had an appeal beyond the jazz community. With Chick Corea on piano, Ron Carter on bass and drummer Billy Higgins, Henderson has gathered a truly all-star group. Mirror Mirror, originally released 1980, isn’t about a soloist and his sidemen: all the musicians are on an equal footing, everyone has their space to play.
Freddie Hubbard: Hub of Hubbard (MPS) LP
In 1970 Freddie Hubbard’s career reached a crossroads. Ten years after the trumpeter had released his debut album Open Sesame he could already take stock in an impressive array of achievements: around a dozen albums under his own name for Blue Note and Atlantic, participation in ground-breaking free jazz albums by Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, the development of an original sound somewhere between hard bop, soul, and fusion. From there he broke out and into his popular phase with CTI Records. At the same time this MPS album loomed on the horizon as a milestone. Hubbard recorded the album at the MPS studios in Villingen, Germany during a break in his European tour, thus we get to experience a musician and his world-class quintet spontaneously interacting in an open setting. Those who are familiar with the many dreamy versions of the standard “Without a Song” will be thrilled with this 13-minute escapade spotlighting the band’s unbridled play. Hubbard’s dialogue with saxophonist Eddie Daniels and drummer Louis Hayes’ powerful impulse crown the piece. The energy and enthusiasm increase on “Just One of Those Things”, as the players unleash an incredible chain of hard-bopping staccato lines. Hubbard dedicates the playful “Blues For Duane” to his son; bassist Richard Davis grounds the piece in a light-hearted, earthy feel. Hubbard reveals his radiant melodic prowess as he interprets “The Things We Did Last Summer” in broadly swinging arcs, congenially supported by Roland Hanna’s piano harmonies. Davis has another shining moment as he brings the piece to an end with just the right pensive touch.
File Under: Jazz
Iron Maiden: Senjutsu (Sanctuary) LP
Iron Maiden’s seventeenth studio album, Senjutsu was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Steve Harris. For Senjutsu – loosely translated as ‘tactics & strategy’, the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Harris. And with a running time of a little under 82 minutes, Senjutsu, like their previous record The Book Of Souls, will be a triple vinyl album. Harris says, “We chose to record at Guillaume Tell Studio in France again as the place has such a relaxed vibe. The setup there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling so there’s a great acoustic sound. We recorded this album in the same way we did The Book Of Souls in that we’d write a song, rehearse it and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds. There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort! I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it.” Bruce Dickinson continues, “We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course the pandemic delayed things more – so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!? The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised – in a good way, I hope!”
File Under: Metal
Karate: s/t (Numero) LP
Underground rock festered and splintered as it spread through the U.S. in the mid-’90s, the alternative boom giving rise to microcosmic regional scenes singularly focused on feral powerviolence or screamo songs about breakfast. Boston’s Karate emerged as a force that could grip a national youth movement whose disparate tastes still commingled in the inky pages of fanzines overflowing with florid prose and on concert calendars for volunteer-run DIY spaces, community centers, and bowling alleys. In this world, Karate’s music was an enigma, one equally inviting to sneering punks and highfalutin indie-rock aficionados. Their 1996 self-titled debut, issued on Southern Records, set the standard. Lassoing together white-knuckle post-hardcore tension, sharply focused slowcore serenity, and resplendent jazz complexity, Karate eschewed settling in any one definable style. But they certainly used the language of punk to get their point across; occasionally, guitarist Geoff Farina abandons his warm, hushed cadences for a hoarse shout that made him sound ragged, intensifying an aggression that burst out with every snaggletoothed guitar riff or drum snap that went off like canon fire. Few followed their path – but who could keep up? Karate could make pensive moods blossom into feverish rollicking (“What Is Sleep?”), gracefully tip-toe around aggressive punk explosions without getting bent out of shape (“Bodies”), and stretch out slowcore’s quietest reveries till their reflective notes sound ripped from an improvisational jazz session (“Caffeine or Me?”). Karate formally introduced the trio as a vital part of an independent U.S. punk scene stubbornly flowering in the face of the major labels’ ’90s harvest.
File Under: Punk, Indie Rock, Slowcore, Emo
Spencer Krug: Fading Graffiti (Pronounced Kroog) LP
Spencer Krug’s Fading Graffiti is an experiment in two ways. The first is the way in which it reimagines what were once intricate piano ballads — originally posted to the artist’s Patreon page over the course of 2019 — into full-band rock songs. The approach finds the songs brimming with new electricity, yet still alluring in their abstract lyricism and unconventional structures. The second experiment: this is Krug’s first self-release, through a tiny operation called Pronounced Kroog, with the aforementioned Patreon used to help fund the creation of the album. Being the first LP released under his own name, Fading Graffiti marks a new way of making records for this songwriter. This album is a full-band reimagining of songs that were originally solo works posted to patreon.com/spencerkrug throughout 2019.
File Under: Indie Rock, Wolf Parade
Damon Locks – Black Monument Ensemble: NOW (International Anthem) LP
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble’s previous album, their 2018 debut Where Future Unfolds, had a best new music in Pitchfork, was a “Top 50 Album of the Year” in Wire Magazine, and was BBC DJ Gilles Peterson’s unequivocal “Favorite Album of the Year.” NOW is the band’s much anticipated followup, which carries on their unique brand of Choir-fronted Hip-Hop-meets-Gospel/Jazz Liberation Music – very much a modern day echo of the Harlem Freedom Singers and/or Eddie Gale’s Black Rhythm Happening. This new one is a bit heavier on the beats and drum machines, sounding almost like Public Enemy/Bomb Squad working with ESG. Clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid and cornet player Ben LaMar Gay are heavily featured on this album.
File Under: Jazz
Primal Scream: Give Out But Don’t Give Up (Run Out Groove) LP
The ever-mercurial Bobby Gillespie wasn’t content to bridge techno and indie with the wildly popular acid-house foray Screamadelica. No, he carried on as if it didn’t happen. 1994’s Give Out But Don’t Give Up found Primal Scream drawing upon rock forms baked in the American South, the nationalistic Britpop climate be damned. Like Primal Scream’s broader discography, Give Out But Don’t Give Up is an assortment of freewheeling exercises – all of which deftly connect. In August 2018 it was announced that the band would release the original long-lost recordings made for Give Out But Don’t Give Up for the first time, which were made when the band went to Memphis’s Ardent Studios in 1993 to work on a new album with producer Tom Dowd, engineer Jeff Powell and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Run Out Groove’s vinyl 3LP-set, Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings, includes two additional LPs of bonus outtakes, making their debut on vinyl. The lacquers were cut at 33 1/3 rpm for the first time by original mastering engineer Jeff Powell. The deluxe packaging also includes new cover art and an accompanying booklet.
File Under: Rock
Olivia Rodrigo: Sour (Geffen) LP
Breakout 18-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo delivers her highly anticipated full-length debut album Sour featuring the record-breaking global smash “Drivers License” and follow-up hit “Deja Vu.” “I want it to be super versatile,” Rodrigo said on the vision of the album. “My dream is to have it be an intersection between mainstream pop, folk music, and alternative rock. I love the songwriting and the lyricism and the melodies of folk music. I love the tonality of alt-rock. Obviously, I’m obsessed with pop and pop artists. So I’m going to try and take all of my sort of influences…and make something that I like.” She adds, “I worked really hard to write them and produce them in a really unique way. I actually love Sour because, well, first of all, there are many different meanings to Sour and why I love the word sour and feel like it’s representative of the album. But, also, an added perk was that it has OR in it.”
File Under: Pop
Daniel Romano’s Outfit: Cobra Poems (You’ve Changed) LP
Cobra Poems is a set of 10 new originals by Daniel Romano and the group of exceedingly well-dressed talents known as the Outfit. Here, they display an ever-increasing swagger and a rare ability to synthesize a shocking amount of rock history into something new, relevant, immediate, and yes, poetic. “If all the words of joy should shed their syllabic countenance, would they not still resonate at this same frequency? If distillate love made aural and amplified struck every unbidden ear, would it not blossom with this same audible bouquet? Here then is the document – the evidence, the proof, the truth, the real thing, the one thing, the only thing. Daniel Romano’s Outfit, now and always. Call it communion. Call it a rhapsody. Call it Cobra Poems. Go on. Dig it.” Cobra Poems was recorded in Camera Varda, the Outfit’s newly built studio on the banks of the Welland Canal. It will be supported by live dates in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada in 2022.
File Under: Indie Rock
Daniel Romano’ Outfit: Fully Plugged In (You’ve Changed) LP
Recorded live in Atlanta in early 2020 in the final hours before the stages of the aching world fell dark, Fully Plugged In celebrates the sweat filled nights, the communal noise, the profound physical presence at the heart of rock and roll. Daniel Romano and The Outfit embody the classic swagger of classic Rolling Stones, the epic, electric, eternal folk of prime Fairport Convention, the primal freedoms released by the original punks, the intimate, personal emotions celebrated by classic country, boldly reinventing Romano’s rich songbook. Julianna Riolino, who’s voice blends so perfectly with Romano’s own, steps powerfully into the spotlight at key moments, ripping open the song in “Rhythmic Blood” and ripping open your heart in the country weeper “The One That Got Away (Came Back Today)”. Hear, here – wild sounds, genius song-writing, ebullient drumming, exuberant musicality, and disparate influences are powerfully, uniquely synthesized. Shockingly united. Fully Plugged In.
File Under: Indie Rock
Shannon and the Clams: Year of the Spider (Easy Eye Sound) LP
The widely anticipated and much ballyhooed garage rock idols, Shannon & The Clams’ new studio album, Year Of The Spider, is here! The band returned to Nashville to record with Dan Auerbach at his legendary Easy Eye Sound studio. Fresh off of their standout album, Onion, and supporting tours with the likes of The Black Keys and Greta Van Fleet, they returned to the studio to craft their utterly unique vintage sound that incorporates wonderfully strange elements of doo-wop, classic R&B, garage psych and surf rock to produce this timeless gem from these perennial favorites. The band, fronted by Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard on lead vocals with Will Sprott on keyboards and Nate Mahan on drums, crafted an endlessly vivacious, ebullient and clever album from the kings and queen of the Bay Area garage punk scene.
File Under: Garage
Lonnie Smith: Think! (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in July 2019 with Part 1 of the Blue Grooves theme – Lonnie Smith Think! (1968), Reuben Wilson Blue Mode (1969) and Bobbi Humphrey Blacks And Blues (1973) – and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year. Groove is certainly the thing on this 1968 Blue Note debut from organist Dr. Lonnie Smith with stellar in the pocket support from Lee Morgan (trumpet), David Newman (tenor saxophone & flute), Melvin Sparks (guitar) and Marian Booker Jr. (drums) plus percussionists Henry “Pucho” Brown, William Bivens, and Norberto Apellaniz. From the hard-driving opener “Song of Ice Bag” written by Hugh Masekela to Doc’s laid-back original “Slouchin'” to the band’s joyful romp through Aretha Franklin’s hit “Think,” it’s an equally hip and hypnotic affair and Smith’s finest for the label.
File Under: Jazz
Super Furry Animals: Rings Around the World (BMG) LP
The fifth studio album from Welsh quintet Super Furry Animals is their most commercially successful to date. A musically eclectic record, incorporating pop, prog, punk, jungle, electronica, techno and death metal, Rings Around the World was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize in 2001 and named Mojo’s best album of the year. Also serving as the group’s major label debut, it peaked at No. 3 on the UK album chart on the strength of the singles “(Running) Rings Around The World,” “It’s Not The End of the World” and “Juxtapozed With You.” Paul McCartney and John Cale make cameo appearances here to boot. This 20th anniversary 180g vinyl 2LP reissue was remastered in 2021 from the original master tapes.
File Under: Pop
Suuns: The Witness (Secret City) LP
Suuns’ fifth full-length album The Witness – their first for Joyful Noise Recordings – once again marks a shrewdly offbeat left turn. The tried-and-true narrative for a band of this nature is always to ‘move to the deep end’ or ‘out of the comfort zone’. In some ways that rings true on The Witness, though one could say these eight movements actually show Suuns in their most comfortable, candid state. Self-recorded and self-produced over the majority of 2020 – a year of strife, solitude and reflection – The Witness finds the band holding a magnifying glass over their own default state of playing and performing. It’s a swift departure from previous album Felt, which exults in harvesting haphazard ideas in their embryonic, demoed versions, as if letting loose a glorious fireworks display into the heavens. The Witness, meanwhile, pours Suuns’ music into a more intricate mold, compelling Ben Shemie to unravel himself lyrically in a much more pronounced fashion. “There’s something interesting about the idea of a collective witness, being a witness to the time we’re living in now,” he reflects. “And the connectedness of what we all have in common. But also, literally: bearing witness to all sorts of things and how that desensitises you. There’s a recurring line that comes back on the record: “I know that you’ve seen it too.” A song like ‘Clarity’ is also about pulling the veil off and seeing things for what they really are. It kind of comes down to being true to yourself and acknowledging what is and isn’t real.” Opening cut “Third Stream” experiments with jazzy brass and prowling piano flourishes akin to Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden, sounding like a band being profoundly present, being a witness to themselves in some respect. The ethereal “Timebender,” which materialized out of vastly disparate parts, still entertains the idea that you’re tapping directly into the band’s inner pulse. “Go To My Head” captures Suuns at its most outright gorgeous, albeit habitually elusive. Though the world is becoming a more distorted, confusing place, The Witness extends a sonic lifeline to latch onto, one bolstered by years of friendship, chemistry and trust. For a band known for its cryptic magnetism, this album marks Suuns’ most generous, stripped-down and affecting work to date.
File Under: Indie Rock
Yola: Stand for Myself (Easy Eye Sound) LP
Stand For Myself is the anthemic new album from Yola. Produced by Dan Auerbach, the record is a timeless masterpiece marking an idiosyncratic sonic shift, which will defy all expectation. A sophisticated and diverse sonic mix of symphonic soul and classic pop, tracing an expansive musical thread to the English singer/songwriter’s most eclectic musical inspirations. Yola’s inimitable vocals share nuanced stories of allyship, black feminine strength through vulnerability, collective awakening and loving connection from the sexual to the social. The Grammy-nominated artist declares that it is only when we stand for ourselves, and acknowledge our complexity, that we can be truly alive. For Yola, living is more than merely surviving.
File Under: Soul
Various: Even More Dazed and Confused (Real Gone) LP
The subtitle on the album cover reads, “They Found Your Stash…Again,” and we are happy to report that this particular musical stash is seeds and stems free! Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused captured the age-old adolescent themes of rebellion vs. conformity, jocks vs. nerds, stoners vs. students, and grown-ups vs. grads so perfectly that it remains a touchstone movie for each succeeding generation of high schoolers. But its events unfold at a very specific time and place; namely, the last day of the 1976 school year in Austin, Texas, a moment in rock and roll time which Linklater and his cohorts unerringly capture with a soundtrack that has spawned not one but two releases, of which this is the second. Pressed on white with red splatter “Bloodshot Eyes” vinyl inside a jacket featuring production stills from the film. Visine not included!
File Under: Soundtracks
Various: Space Jam (Atlantic) LP
In the blockbuster 1996 film Space Jam, Bugs Bunny and his pals coax Michael Jordan out of retirement to play in a basketball game against a team of monstrous aliens to win their freedom. The hits driven 6x Platinum Space Jam soundtrack features music inspired by and included in the film. Artists include Seal, Coolio, Quad City DJ, B-Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J and Method Man amongst others.
File Under: Soundtracks
Various: True Romance OST (Real Gone) LP
Though it was directed by Tony Scott, the 1993 film True Romance displayed all the signature themes and images of its writer, Quentin Tarantino, from its grisly violence to its B-movie homages to its gleeful amorality. And the same could be said of the soundtrack; alongside composer Hans Zimmer’s riff on Carl Orff (which itself was an homage to another violent road movie, Badlands), True Romance offered a playlist that smacked of Tarantino in its embrace of rockabilly (Charlie Sexton, Chris Isaak), grunge (Soundgarden), honky-tonk (Shelby Lynne), and romantic machismo (Robert Palmer’s take on “[Love Is] The Tender Trap”). Vinyl would seem a natural for such a “warped” soundtrack; and, for this reissue, we’ve crafted a custom jacket sporting production stills from the film. What’s more, this release of True Romance comes in blue with magenta splatter “Alabama Worley” vinyl! Consider this colorful a homage to one of the greatest cult classic films of all time.
File Under: Soundtracks
Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters (Epic) LP
Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson: Refuge (Dead Oceans) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
Czarface & MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) LP
Czarface & MF Doom: Super What? (Silver Age) LP
Sarah Davachi: Cantus, Descant (Late) LP
Erika De Casier: Sensational (4AD) LP
Brian Eno: Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks (EMI) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Everybody Digs… (OJC) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Moon Beams (OJC) LP
Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby (OJC) LP
Steve Gunn: Other You (Matador) LP
Harlem Gospel Travelers: Fight On! (Colemine) 7″
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Infest the Rats Nest (ATO) LP
King Woman: Celestial Blues (Relapse) LP
Kyuss: And the Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) LP
Julian Lage: Squint (Blue Note) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Close But No Cigar (Colemine) LP
Les Filles de Illighadad: At Pioneer Works (Sahel Sounds) LP
Lorde: Solar Power (Universal) LP
M83: Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts (Mute) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Universal) LP
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Shellac: 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Sonic Youth: Goo (Geffen) LP
Sonic Youth: The Eternal (Matador) LP
Space Afrika: Honest Labour (Dais) LP
Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies (Fat Possum) LP
Spiritualized: Pure Phase (Fat Possum) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular) LP
Tyler, The Creator: Flower Boy (Columbia) LP
Kanye West: Jesus is King (Universal) LP
Larry Young: Into Something (Blue Note) LP