Busy week around here, as is every week after a long weekend. Fortunately the holiday didn’t really mess up our shipments so there’s lots of new stuff in this week, now up on the site. Don’t think there will be a used batch today, just too much on my plate today.
As for the new restrictions, they don’t really effect us. According to our business association’s clarification of the new restrictions, we are already doing what is required of us, limited capacity and mandatory masks. The vaccine exemption does not apply to retail stores. So mask up and keep your visit brief if it’s busy so no one has to wait outside.
– 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)
…..picks of the week…..
Neos: Three Teens Hellbent on Speed (Supreme Echo) LP
Orange vinyl! Short sonic blasts of teen angst at breakneck velocity – Canada’s NEOS, from Victoria, BC, were pioneers of hyper-speed-punk at the dawn of hardcore. With profound lyrics, humour, bizarre arrangements, and general insanity, NEOS inspired thrash metal, grindcore, noisecore, and hardcore punk itself. The complete NEOS collection (1981–83) includes both rare EPs, outtakes, demos, and live cuts: 51 songs in 48 minutes from original sources, meticulously remastered. 24-pg booklet with 22,000-word bio by Steve Bailey (guitar/vocals), lyrics, 75+ photos, posters, art and more. 1100 copies, orange vinyl. “Possibly the fastest thrash garage punk ever recorded” – Jeff Bale, MRR #1, 1982. “Unrelenting energy, sometimes uncontrollable, always frantic, manic thrusts of clamorous fury and power” – Pushead, MRR #4, 1983. “Amazing, original, manic, tight, intelligent (and I could go on and on)” – Tim Yohannan, MRR #4, 1983.
File Under: Punk
North Americans & Friends: Going Steady (Third Man) LP
“Originally released in 2018 in extremely limited numbers, Going Steady features North Americans main man Patrick McDermott playing acoustic guitar and Moog alongside contributions from Meg Duffy, Juliana Barwick, Hayden Pedigo, Dylan Baldi, and Joel Williams – creating a gorgeous dusky instrumental album of cosmic pastoral sounds. “Each song on Going Steady glimmers and shines, and taken in it’s entirety is like a beautiful sunset transforming into a star-filled evening. This album has soundtracked countless late-night conversations on my front porch in Tennessee, as well as the next morning’s coffee and sunrise. It is the American Songbook read, ingested and transformed into something completely new for our post-everything world. “Featuring ground-breaking artwork from underground artist, Brian Blomerth, Going Steady is an album to stimulate all of your senses, a gorgeous and centering listen and a much-needed album in any collection of freak-folk or acoustic American albums.” – Ben Swank
File Under: Folk, Guitar
10000 Russos: Superinertia (Fuzz Club) LP
Portuguese experimental trio 10 000 Russos are gearing up for the release of their fifth album ‘Superinertia’, which is due out September 10th on Fuzz Club Records. Following on from 2019’s ‘Kompromat’ LP and tour dates around the UK, Europe and Mexico in support, the Porto-based band describe ‘Superinertia’ as a record addressing the “state of inertia that humans live in the West nowadays. It isn’t a record about the past or future. It’s about now.” For all that ‘Superinertia’ might take aim at a world without motion, however, the same cannot be said of 10 000 Russos themselves. On the one hand, since their 2013 debut LP and the three that have followed on Fuzz Club since (2015’s self-titled, 2017’s ‘Distress Distress’ and ‘Kompromat’), 10 000 Russos’ music has always been about as kinetic as it gets: a truly unrelenting and motorik sonic force. On the other hand, ‘Superinertia’ also sees the band itself move into whole new musical territories – aided especially by the recent addition of synth player Nils Meisel to the line-up (who replaces former bassist André Couto.) “The synths really opened up the sound of the band and gave more routes for the music to journey down. The most important thing on this album was to not repeat ourselves. A new arc in our sound is coming to life”, drummer and vocalist João Pimenta explains. On said arc, the Russos sound is expanded to include moments that invoke Ry Cooder’s ‘Paris, Texas’ soundtrack (‘Mexicali/Calexico’), dancey outbursts that transport you to the 90s Summer of Love (‘Super Inertia’), the closest thing Russos have ever done to a pop song (‘A House Full of Garbage’) and even a touch of banjo (albeit one that sounds like a country band on amphetamines playing over a feedback-blasted Stooges beat.)
File Under: Psych
Badbadnotgood: Talk Memory (XL) LP
Canadian ensemble BadBadNotGood made their name by crossing genre. This seamless movement between style hit hard when they took hip hop into jazz and vice versa. Their latest album – and first with XL recordings – demonstrates them going back to their instrumental beginnings. Instead of looking at the now, they reflected the history and innovation of those that influenced them. To paraphrase Lamont Dozier, this is an album about going back to their roots. Talk Memory pays homage to the musicians, composers and influences that first informed their work. One of the central driving forces behind their latest album was to capture some of the focus, energy and improvisation which is at the heart of their live shows. As they noted, a song is a living breathing thing that naturally changes and evolves as it is played in different settings. This is an album that plays with that thinking. After years of touring, the band paused, refreshed and looked at their history and experiences before starting out on their current instrumental project. A sense of reflection and renewed communication is at the heart of their current approach to making music, and the spark that led to the album’s pensive title Talk Memory. Instead of recording and then developing the tracks on tour, the band decided to slow down and rethink their creative process. By the time they entered the studio and recorded the improvised performances, they had already clearly approached the process of writing and composition. The approach was more intentional, had a longer gestation period and was created over two years. The speed of their compositions, performance and sound has shifted in fresh ways. Instead of improvising and growing their tracks on tour, that process happened in the studio. The band demonstrates a sense of emotional and poetic progress, not just technique and virtuosity. They consider themselves constant students, always listening and striving for new directions. Those new paths range from moments of cinematic pacing to distorted improvisation. The album is a kind of aural odyssey, with all the sense of psychedelic narrative that entails. It is about drawing on the energy of collaboration as it happens. The band recorded their latest work in analog studios, as an intentional way to stay present and experience without drawing from the internet for research or references. The project is deeply cross generational, as BadBadNotGood brought attention to the lineage of artists that came before them and explored the privilege of being able to bring their experience and skill to their music. The album includes contributions from a breadth of multi-instrumentalists including Arthur Verocai, Laraaji, Terrace Martin, Brandee Younger, and Karriem Riggins, with the album mix coming from Russell Elevado.
File Under: Jazz, Hip Hop
Cadence Weapon: Parallel World (Self Release) LP
Silver vinyl! Cadence Weapon’s Parallel World touches on themes of systemic racism, structural inequality, police profiling, gentrification, the internet’s pervasive effects on our lives and the surveillance state that disproportionately punishes Black people. Using elements of trap, drill, grime and acid house, Parallel World is the soundtrack for the dystopian future we’ve somehow found ourselves in. Featuring production from Jacques Greene, Jimmy Edgar, Martyn Bootyspoon, Casey MQ, Korea Town Acid, Strict Face, Little Snake, DNNY PHNTM and AudioOpera.
File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle (Impulse) LP
After nearly six decades, a private recording of a rare, nightclub performance by John Coltrane of his magnum opus, A Love Supreme, is available for the first time on vinyl 2LP courtesy of Impulse! Records. Recorded in late 1965 on the culminating evening of a historic week-long run at The Penthouse in Seattle, A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is a musical revelation of historic importance, capturing Coltrane as he began to expand his classic quartet – adding Pharoah Sanders on second saxophone and Donald Garrett on second bass – and catapulting him into the intense, spiritually focused final phase of his career. The significance of A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is heightened by the fact that Coltrane seldom performed his four-part suite after originally recording it in the studio in 1964. Composed and created as a public declaration of his personal spiritual beliefs and universalist sentiment, it became a best-seller and received a Grammy nod the next year. For more than six decades, it seemed the only recorded public performance of A Love Supreme took place at a French festival at Juan-Les-Pins in July 1965 and was released almost twenty years ago. The tape reels containing this performance from October 1965 sat in the private collection of Seattle saxophonist and educator Joe Brazil, heard by a few fortunate musicians and friends – and largely unknown until now. The music on A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle was recorded with a two-microphone set-up onstage, connected to an Ampex reel-to-reel machine, and the only copies of the tapes were well cared for, yielding a remarkably clear and distortion-free recording. “What’s remarkable is that tapes from this era often suffer over the years from heat or moisture damage, or simply being stacked horizontally,” writes engineer Kevin Reeves who produced this release. “However, these tapes are in excellent condition… and the results are among the best amateur recordings of John Coltrane we’ve had the pleasure to work on.” A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle now expands the story of both a great musician and a timeless piece of music!
File Under: Jazz
Deux Filles: Shadow Farming (Glass Modern) LP
In 1982-83, Deux Filles appeared to be a pair of young French girls Claudine Coule & Gemini Forque, brought together by tragic circumstances to make a heady, pastoral avant-garde post punk woven with sampled dialogue and occasionally their own vocals. In truth it was former child actor, fledgling teenage pop idol and soon to be film soundtrack composer Simon Fisher Turner, and Colin Lloyd Tucker, both members of an early incarnation of The The, who took the concept as far as dressing as girls for the album sleeves and even playing a gig in full disguise. The music itself is utterly enchanting; a sublimely realised take on Eno-esque ambient, Gallic pop and European style progressive rock. 2 Side Long Suites ‘Intuition’ and ‘Sweet Animal Suite’, on Deep Blue Vinyl in a Deluxe Gatefold Sleeve.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
DJ Shadow: Endtroducing – Half-Speed Master (Mercury) LP
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of DJ Shadow’s landmark debut Endtroducing… with a half-speed mastered vinyl 2LP reissue! Endtroducing… is one of those albums that defied categorization. When it was released in 1996, it tore up the hip-hop rulebook, straddled electronica, ambient and trip hop, and introduced its creator as one of the most forward-thinking minds in music. As the album cover made perfectly clear, Endtroducing… was a create-digger’s paradise: a voyage of discovery that refuses to age, and which continues to reveal new facets to fans that have lived with it for the last two and a half decades. Initially released on James Lavelle’s Mo’ Wax label, Endtroducing… was immediately embraced by hardcore hip-hop addicts and electronica devotees alike, and its legacy secured via a slew of superlative reviews. In treating everything as source material, Shadow created a postmodern masterpiece that remains unsurpassable. “As a music lover, my favorite records always have some hallmarks of an era, but also sound as if they could have been made almost any time within a 20 year time span,” DJ Shadow reflects. “I’ve always felt that as someone who buys a lot of records and sits there and studies them and kind of vibes off them, I also feel like once you put something out into the world, it can be discovered later. That happened so much with Endtroducing – 10 or 15 years down the road, people were discovering it.” “What resonated about Endtroducing when it was released in 1996, and what makes it still resonate today, is the way in which it loosens itself from the mooring of the known and sails off into an uncharted territory that seems to exist both in and out of time. Davis is not only a master sampler and turntablist supreme, he is also a serious archeologist with a world-thirsty passion for seeking out, uncovering and then ripping apart the discarded graces of some other generation, that pile of broken dreams, and sewing them back together into a tapestry of chronic bleakness and beauty.” – Eliot Wilder
File Under: Hip Hop
Ducks Ltd: Modern Fiction (Royal Mountain) LP
Toronto’s Ducks Ltd. (formerly Ducks Unlimited), the bright jangle-pop duo of Tom McGreevy (lead vocal, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Evan Lewis (guitar, bass, drum programming), accomplish the impossible. The pair craft songs that play to very specific inspirations without drowning underneath them – immediately evidenced on their critically acclaimed EP, Get Bleak, and sharpened on Modern Fiction, their debut LP. “The Servants, The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, Television Personalities, Felt,” Evan rattles off. “Look Blue Go Purple is one I reference a lot with our production.” Echoes of ‘80s indie-pop abound, but they never overwhelm. This is not a nostalgic record, after all, nor is it a derivative one. Instead, across 10 cheery-sounding songs, Ducks Ltd. explore contemporary society in decline, examining large scale human disaster through personal turmoil (hence the title, taken from a university course called Gnosticism and Nihilism in Modern Fiction, influenced by Graham Greene novels. Bookish indie fans, look no further.) Writing the album was intimate. Tom drafted the nucleus of a song on an unplugged electric guitar and brought it over to Evan’s apartment, where the pair sat in his bedroom, placing percussive beats from a drum machine under nascent melodies, passing a bass back and forth, adding organs and bridges where necessary. “It’s computer music trying extremely hard not to sound like computer music,” Tom jokes. Fearful that limited and expensive studio time would kneecap the project creatively, eroding their charming naivete, the pair re-recorded the album in a storage space owned by Evan’s boss. Ornamentation through collaboration followed: there’s Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel in the Go-Betweens’ “Cattle and Cane”-channeling interlude “Patience Wearing Thin,” Eliza Niemi on cello (“18 Cigarettes,” a song loosely inspired by a 1997 Oasis performance of “Don’t Go Away”), and backing harmonies from Carpark labelmates The Beths (on an ode to friendship at a distance, “How Lonely Are You?,” “Always There,” and on the sped-up Syd Barrett stylings of “Under The Rolling Moon”). While in his native Australia due to covid-19, Evan worked closely with producer James Cecil (The Goon Sax, Architecture in Helsinki) on Modern Fiction’s finishing touches – at one point, in the mountains of the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, recorded a string quartet (featured on “Fit to Burst,” “Always There,” “Sullen Leering Hope,” “‘Twere Ever Thus,” “Grand Final Day.”) It’s danceable, depressive fun, with some relief: in “Always There” and “Sullen Leering Hope,” Modern Fiction’s faithful heart. “There’s a tendency in my writing, because of my world view, to be very bleak.” Tom explains. “A quality I don’t always see in myself and really appreciate in others is the courage to go on.” And yet, the record manages resiliency – enough for pop fans to fall in love with.
File Under: Indie Rock
Flying Lotus: Yasuke OST (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus follows the release of his sweeping epic Flamagra and his Producer of the Year Grammy nomination for Thundercat’s It Is What It Is, with an expansive original soundtrack for Netflix’s new anime series, Yasuke. Lotus is the executive producer and composer of Yasuke, which retells the story of feudal Japan’s first African samurai who served with Oda Nobunaga. The series is directed by LeSean Thomas, stars Lakeith Stanfield and features Takeshi Koike as its lead designer. Lotus’ score for Yasuke is an unforgettable titan in his musical canon, drawing enhanced influence from prior instrumental and vocal works alike, while looking towards the future uncompromisingly. The music lies heavily steeped within the legacy of jazz and electronic instrumentation, with select feature appearances by longtime friends and collaborators: Thundercat, Denzel Curry and Niki Randa.
File Under: Hip Hop, OST
Grateful Dead: Live at the Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO 12/10/71 (Rhino) BOX
One of the shortest-lived iterations of the Grateful Dead was the band that existed December 1971 through March 1972. Jerry, Bob, Phil, Bill, Pigpen, and Keith formed a formidable version of the Dead that only played a few shows together before Donna Jean joined as vocalist, and before Pigpen would depart the stage for good in June 1972. What this sextet lacked in quantity of shows it made up for with creativeness, power, and inspiration. When Pigpen rejoined the Dead on December 1, 1971, after a few months off during which Keith had joined as piano player, the band was now an unstoppably powerful live juggernaut it hadn’t been since the height of the Primal Dead era in late 1968-1969. Widely considered one of the best shows from the Pigpen-Keith era of the Grateful Dead, December 10, 1971 in St. Louis has it all: Pigpen singing lead on four songs including an 18 minute version of “Good Lovin'” and a very rare performance of “Run Rudolph Run”; a deep dive into the Dead’s psychedelic recent past with a monster version of “The Other One”; plus plenty of the new material from earlier in 1971 like “Bertha,” “Loser,” “Sugaree,” and “Playing In The Band.” They also hit upon much of the music that would appear the following year on Europe ’72, such as “Jack Straw,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Mr. Charlie,” and “One More Saturday Night.” And no Dead show of this vintage would be complete without the “hits”: “Truckin’,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Casey Jones” all make appearances. This is truly one of the deepest, most dynamic, exciting, and accessible live shows in the entire Grateful Dead canon. Complete, previously unreleased performance presented as a 180g vinyl 5LP box set with 10th side custom etching. Plangent Processes tape restoration and speed correction, with mastering by Jeffrey Norman, Produced for release by David Lemieux.
FIle Under: Rock
Helado Negro: Far In (4AD) LP
When Roberto Carlos Lange, the musician known as Helado Negro, began writing Far In immediately following the release of his acclaimed 2019 This is How You Smile, he could not have predicted that we would soon need to learn how to stay at home and be the stars of our domestic dance floors with intimates and online communities. The titular pair in “Gemini and Leo” stay indoors to discover each other anew with music recalling Lange’s youth growing up in South Florida listening to 80s club songs, and their return sampled in 90s hip hop. Visions past and future meet in a euphoria of uptempo drums, Jen Wasner’s (Flock of Dimes) funky bass line, and Opal Hoyt’s (Zenizen) galactic swirl of warm and steely synths and bright backing vocals. What was a prophesying rehearsal for the musician, we can hope will soon be our fresh start, a choice to bring that energy home, or go out to meet it.
File Under: Indie Rock
Karrion: Forsaken World (Supreme Echo) LP
Karrion were forerunners of Vancouver, BC’s early extreme metal scene, featuring guitarist and main songwriter Shawn Pitts previously of Delta speed metal group Witches Hammer. Karrion hit the scene strong and headlined nearly every show they played, commanding the audience with Duncan Stuart’s scorching vocals over a relentless set of original songs. The group’s four song self titled and three song “Free In Death” demos are both carefully remastered for this release, packed in a striking heavy gloss sleeve featuring the remarkable artwork of Estelle Ward, and an 8 page booklet with flyers, photographs & their story. Vicious and extraordinary Canadian speed / death / thrash intensity!! 500 copies.
File Under: Metal
Omar Khorshid: With Love (Wewantsound) LP
Wewantsounds present the first vinyl reissue Omar Khorshid’s cult instrumental album from 1978 originally released in Lebanon. The album features Khorshid’s trademark twangy electric guitar sound over Arabic melodies enhanced by fascinating fuzzed-up arrangements and early synthesizer sounds. Wewantsounds’ series of Arabic music reissues are curated by Lebanese-born Arabic music expert Mario Choueiry from Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The album has been newly remastered and comes with the original Voice of Lebanon LP artwork. One of the greatest guitar players of the Arab world accompanying such stars as Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, and Farid El Atrache, Omar Khorshid was born in Cairo in 1945. After studying music from an early age, he joined the Egyptian pop group Les Petits Chats in 1966 and played with them for a couple of years. After seeing the group playing, Abdel Halim Hafez then recruited Khorshid for his band which led him to subsequently play for Egyptian diva Oum Khalthoum and a few other Egyptian pop stars. Following the political troubles faced by Egypt in the early ’70s, Khorshid decided to move to Lebanon in 1973 and started recording under his own name for a few Beirut-based labels. In 1977, he was invited by Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat to perform at the White House for the celebration of the Camp David Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. In 1978, Khorshid moved out again — to Syria this time — for a about a year before returning to his homeland of Egypt to concentrate on live performances and on his nascent film career. Unfortunately, Khorshid efforts were cut short and he didn’t have time to fulfil his ambitions tragically dying in a motorbike crash in May 1981, aged just 36. With Love released by the Beirut-based Voice of Lebanon label in 1978 is a testament to Omar Khorshid’s greatness and encapsulate the unique sound of his guitar playing over modern arrangements establishing him as one of Arabic music’s true innovator. Featuring reworkings of such favorites as Mohamed Abdel Wahab’s “Ahwak”, Farid El-Atrache’s “Hebbina Hebbina” (a Brian Eno favorite), and the Rahbani Brothers’ “Rahbaniyat”, the album is a fascinating example of modern Arabic music that aimed at fusing traditional influences with the more contemporary ones, and has become highly sought-after by lovers of this Middle Eastern sounds around the world.
File Under: Middle East, Guitar
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang: Hawaii Champroo (Wewantsound) LP
Wewantsounds announce an ambitious Makoto Kubota reissue program with his three albums recorded with The Sunset Gang between 1973 and 1977. The albums feature Haruomi Hosono (who also co-produced Hawaii Champroo) and also includes Minako Yoshida, Taeko Ohnuki and Tatsuo Hayachi to name a few. Makoto Kubota has been one of Japan’s true musical innovators and following his involvement with Les Rallizes Dénudés in the early ’70s, he developed a unique sound bringing American, Hawaiian and Okinawan music influences to his own Japanese folk music mix. Recorded in Honolulu in 1975. Recorded in 1975 at the famed Sounds of Hawaii studio in Honolulu, Hawaii Champroo was co-produced by Haruomi Hosono and marks the start of Kubota’s keen interest in Hawaiian and Okinawan music (Champroo is derived from Chanpurū, the traditional Okinawan stir-fry dish). A companion album to Hosono’s own Tropical Dandy and Bon Voyage Co. albums (on which Kubota plays), the album was at the forefront of a tropical musical movement started in Japan in the mid-70s. The core Sunset Gang consists of Kubota on Guitar, Takashi Onzo on bass, Yosuke Fujita on guitars and mandolin, Keni Inoue on lead guitar and Hiroki Komazawa on pedal steel guitar. They are joined on the album by Hosono on drums and Teriyuki Kokubu on piano. Having travelled to the United States in the early ’70s, Makoto Kubota had fallen in love with American music and had brought back many influences from his sojourn on the East and West coast. these are evident from the tracks covered by the band on Hawaii Champroo, including Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Blues”, The Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In” (an old Gus Cannon ragtime) or The Texas Playboys’ classic “Steel Guitar Rag”. Hawaii Champroo also features originals such as the funky “Shanghai Gaeri” and a nod to the Hula Hawaiian dance “Moonlight Hula”. One of the highlights of the album is the classic “Haisai Ozisan”, the Okinawan 1972 cult classic by Shoukichi Kina which has become a standard in Japan. All in all, Hawaii Champroo is a timeless classic and one of the key Japanese albums from the ’70s. This is the first time the albums are released outside of Japan. Newly remastered by Makoto Kubota. Comes with original artwork, OBI and the original Japanese inserts.
File Under: Japan, Pop
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang: Sunset Gang (Wewantsound) LP
Wewantsounds continue its Makoto Kubota retrospective with the reissue of Sunset Gang recorded in 1973 for Showboat. The album, co-produced by Kinji Yoshino (Haruomi Hosono, Akiko Yano, Sachiko Kanenobu) and featuring Hosono, Minako Yoshida and Taeko Ohnuki, was released as Kubota had just recorded his classic first solo album, Machibouke. It marks the start of the group’s unique sound mixing Japanese music with R&B, blues and New Orleans influences, a sound that would have a lasting impression on the Japanese music scene. Makoto Kubota’s trip to the US’ East and West Coast at the dawn of the ’70s had been ear-opening. After a few years playing with Les Rallizes Dénudés, he had travelled there to soak up the music and the cultural revolution that was happening all around the country. Upon his return and after recording his solo album Machibouke for the Express label, he set to record a second album with likeminded musician to emulate the sound he had witnessed during his US trip. Kubota gathered fellow musicians in the studio with producer Kinji Yoshino, alongside a few guests including Haruomi Hosono, Tatsuo Hayashi and Takashi Matsumoto from Happy End/Tin Pan Alley galaxy to record nine tracks inspired by R&B, soul, blues, and tropical influences. From the bluesy “Kawa Wo Kudatte” and “Sunset Sunset” to the Southern groove of “Louisiana Mama” and the Grateful Dead-like feel of “Bang Bang Bang/Yukake Blues”, the album is a superb mix of laidback music and an homage to American roots music. The album marks the start of a musical odyssey Kubota and his musicians would develop further in subsequent albums by the Gang. This is the first time the album is released outside of Japan, remastered by Makoto Kubota himself and featuring original artwork with OBI and four-page insert.
File Under: Japan, Pop
Malevolence: Apparitions (Supreme Echo) LP
Classic Canadian thrash metal. Malevolence from Victoria, BC held their fists high amidst Western Canada’s metal scene for a full decade with their distinct brand of Bay Area-influenced thrash. “Apparitions” comprises their full 9-song session recorded by Len Osanic in 1992 at the legendary Fiasco Bros. studio and originally issued as two high-quality, cassette-only demos. Remastered from original analog reels by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. 12-page full-color booklet with photos, art, and bio. On vinyl for the first time. 500 copies. “Overall this is some of the best purest thrash offerings I’ve heard in some time.” – Drew Masters, M.E.A.T. Magazine. “In my opinion, Malevolence is the best metal band in Canada. No joke.” – Jason Schreurs, Coercion Magazine.
File Under: Metal
Manic Street Preachers: Ultra Vivid Lament (Sony) LP
‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is the 14th studio album from Manic Street Preachers. It is both reflection and reaction; a record that gazes in isolation across a cluttered room, fogged by often painful memories, to focus on an open window framing a gleaming vista of land melting into sea and endless sky. Musically, ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is inspired by a formative years record box (ABBA, post-Eno Roxy, the Bunnymen, Fables-era REM, Lodger) though the end result could only be the unique union of James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, collectively one of the UK’s most consistently brilliant rock’n’roll bands for over three decades.
File Under: Pop
Mission of Christ: Silence in Grave (Supreme Echo) LP
Mission Of Christ were the band that united the punks and metal-heads in Victoria, BC. Young skater kids riding into the collision between metal and punk — those wild days of early crossover. Albums such as COC “Animosity”, early Metal Church, Accused “Martha Splatterhead”, Sacrilege UK, Trouble, Venom and Slayer were all on heavy rotation. Each band sounded different and many were hard to classify. MOC received multiple record label offers (Metal Blade, Alchemy, Manic Ears), gigged often, released two demos and a split 7” — but failed to fulfill any album agreement. This deluxe 10 song, 180 gram 12” LP comprises of the 7 song “Silence In Grave” demo ’87, three songs from “Demo ’89”, plus a bonus 7” flexi EP featuring 4 songs from their ’86 rehearsal demo. Remixed by critically acclaimed engineer Kurt Ballou and remastered by Brad Boatright and Audu Obaje for wider dynamics while maintaining vintage authenticity. MOC featured a member of the Neos and also future Black Mountain leader Stephen McBean. Includes a generous 16 page booklet with interview, flyers, art, photographs & lyrics. Canadian speedmetal / thrashcore legends!
File Under: Metal
Kevin Morby: A Night at the Little Los Angeles (Dead Oceans) LP
“I am pleased to announce A Night At The Little Los Angeles, the 4-track demo version of my album Sundowner. Recorded at home and in my back shed – aka The Little Los Angeles – in Kansas during the summer and winter of 2017 and 2018, this is the sound of me alone in a room with a 4-track to catch my songs as they – quite literally – fell out of my mouth. When I later went into a proper studio to make what would become Sundowner, my goal was to capture the essence of these initial recordings, and here you will now have access to the very essence I was chasing. I am excited to, for the first time, share this side of my songwriting process with the public. Many of my favorite recordings have been made inside of an artist’s home with little to no regard of the outside world, but instead deep in their own that they are building in real time. And with that – I’d like to invite you into my own little world here and now and ask you to please step inside and spend A Night At The Little Los Angeles.” – Kevin Morby
File Under: Indie Rock
Neos: Fight with d0nald (Supreme Echo) 7″*
Victoria’s pioneers of hyperactive speed-punk, critically acclaimed as one of the very first of their kind. As lead-up to our soon to be released “Three Teens Hellbent On Speed” discography LP, Supreme Echo presents this 25th anniversary reissue from the original John Golden stampers. Blistering fast, raw and wild Canadian hardcore insanity recorded 1982-83. 18 songs, including “Sleeve” which is the only recording to reappear on their upcoming LP, maintaining this EP as a rather unique collection. Housed in its original multi-panel fold-over cover which folds out into a 14” x 21” collage poster.
File Under: Punk
NOFX: Ribbed (Epitaph) LP
Anniversary red/black splatter edition! Once again we went back to Westbeach with Brett. This record took 12 days. For some reason we were playing a lot of chess during the recording. I swear every 20 minutes me and Brett would play a game of speed chess, and then mix another song. This record was important. It was the first NOFX record that people actually liked. I think we finally got our sound. We took a little Bad Religion, DI, RKL, and came up with the nofx sound. Now when we went on tour, people showed up and enjoyed themselves. It was weird. No one really liked us very much before. So right when we started getting popular, our guitarist Steve quit to join a rock band. Oh well, that’s when we got El Hefe. This record sold 8000 copies the first year. That was a lot. Flipside liked this one. -NOFX
File Under: Punk
Orquesta Akokan: 16 Rayos (Daptone) LP
Orquesta Akokán is ready to unleash 16 Rayos on the world’s dance floors, via Daptone Records. Recorded in Havana’s famed Egrem Studios, the group displays a cohesion forged by an intense performing and touring cycle. The musical conversation that began in the Areito studios three years earlier blossomed into an easy, intimate dialogue between good friends – allowing full, fearless musical expression and risk-taking outside of their comfort zones.
Building upon Perez Prado’s dissonant, near avant-garde vision of the mambo, and highlighting the Lucumí subtext of Cuban rhythms and styles, the band continues to explore, develop and expand the island’s rich rhythmic palette and repertoire – pushing the conventions of what is considered “mambo” – and drawing deeply from folkloric and religious traditions seldom heard in popular music. 16 Rayos is here to shine its musical rays on us, warm our hearts, and irresistibly move our bodies.
File Under: Latin, Funk
George Otsuka Quintet: Sea Breeze (Le Tres Jazz Club) LP
Le Tres Jazz Club present a reissue of George Otsuka Quintet’s Sea Breeze, originally released in 1971. George Otsuka, sadly passed away in March 2020, was one of Japan’s most renowned jazz drummers. After three records with the George Otsuka Trio in the late part of the ’60s, Sea Breeze was released in 1971 on the Union label, his first record in quintet formation and a superb album which showcases the thrilling talent of this band. Included the brilliant jazz-funk track “Sea Breeze” and the astonishing cover of “Fool on the Hill”. Personnel: George Otsuka – drums; Shunzo Ohno – trumpet, flugelhorn; Takao Uematsu – tenor sax, soprano sax; Takashi Mizuhashi – bass; Hideo Ichikawa – electric piano. Gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Japan, Jazz
Pandora: Space Amazon (Supreme Echo) LP+7″
New York City’s mysterious lost & found hard rock / protopunk-metal masterpiece from 1974 — Pandora echoed of stardom with dynamic rhythms, fuzz-drenched guitar dexterity, and flamboyant, vigorous rockstar vocals. A world class group with members of Plum Nelly, Black Widow, David Johansen, Twisted Sister, and The Demons. 10 songs engineered by Joe Battaglia (Granicus) meticulously remastered by Audu Obaje. Detailed 16pg booklet with bio / photos. “majestic Who-like power chords, Zeppelinesque panache, plaster-cracking castrato vocals and poetic Spiders from Mars lyrics” – Doug Sheppard / Ugly Things. “solid, spangled raunch far truer to the spirit of the era than the Kiss reunion tour was, with a garage spunk that’s more white-punks-on-hope than 8-track flashback” – David Fricke / Rolling Stone Magazine. Fully authorized and on vinyl for the first time. LP + EP. 700 copies.
File Under: Metal, Hard Rock
Porcupine Tree: Stupid Dream (Transmission) LP
“Porcupine Tree’s First Album For K-Scope/Snapper Starts Out With A Definite Bang — “Even Less,” With Some Of The Quartet’s Biggest, Blasting Rock Epic Music Yet, Yet Also Shot Through With The Gentler, Acoustic Side That Makes Porcupine Tree So Intimate And Lovely. The Net Result Easily Calls Yes To Mind, But Steven Wilson’s Not So High-Pitched As Jon Anderson And Richard Barbieri Completely Avoids Rick Wakeman’s Extreme Idiocies — Prog That Knows When Less Is More. With That As A Fine Signal For The Album As A Whole, Stupid Dream Takes It From There — Wilson As A Songwriter And Singer Both Sounds Recharged And More Ambitious, While The Group Collectively Pours It On. The Loud Passages Feel Truly Sky-Smashing, The Calmer Ones Perfectly Close, And The Overall Sense Of Build And Drama — “A Smart Kid” Is A Fine Example — Spot-On. Strings From The East Of England Orchestra And Guest Work On Wilson’s Sometime Bass Communion Partner Theo Travis Add Even Lusher Atmospheres Without Swamping The Tunes. As Always, The Group Isn’t Afraid To Experiment Where Others Merely Re-Create — Check Out The Funky Breaks Colin Edwin And Chris Maitland Lay Down On “Slave Called Shiver,” Not To Mention Wilson’s Catchy Piano Figure And Barbieri’s Hammond Organ Fills. Lyrically, Wilson Comes Up With Some Of His Best Work Yet. “Piano Lessons” Looks Back On Past Musical Learning And A Doubtful Teacher As A Spur To Trying Harder, While “Pure Narcotic” Offers Up A Romantic Scenario And Tip Of The Hat To Radiohead All At Once: “You Keep Me Hating/You Keep Me Listening To The Bends.” There’s Actually A Musical Hint Or Two Of The Oxford Quintet As Well — The Acoustic Guitar/Drum Intro To “This Is No Rehearsal” Is A Good Example — But Leave It To Porcupine Tree To Drop In Some Fully Plugged In Thrash Metal, As Well.” – Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
File Under: Rock, Prog, Metal
Private School: Lost in Action (Supreme Echo) 7″
A coveted and sought after punk artifact from Vancouver’s first wave, featuring the greatly missed guitarist Dave Gregg prior to his joining DOA. Private School’s entire studio repertoire from original 1/4” stereo reels professionally remastered & reissued as a double EP on 7” vinyl with a bonus 7” yellow flexi, totalling 7 songs. Punk Rock, early Hardcore, and even psych sax surprises! Members also went onto play in DOA, Magic Dragon, The Flames, and Warsaw (CAN). 12 page booklet with flyers, photographs & their story. 500 copies. First 100 with button.
File Under: Punk
Sufjan Stevens: Convocations (Asthmatic Kitty) BOX
Convocations, the new instrumental album from Sufjan Stevens, moves like a two-and-a-half-hour electronic/ambient mass for our present age of anxiety and dread; its 49 tracks work through the stages of grief and gladness with emotional mood music that is dreamy, dissonant, vertiginous, rhythmic, repetitive, urgent, and calm – that is, all the things we undergo when we inevitably live through isolation, uncertainty, and loss. Its five sonic cycles (Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations, and Incantations) replicate different stages of mourning, healing and catharsis, working both to soothe our unease while savoring a renewed sense of awe and wonder for being alive in these unprecedented times. Stevens initiated Convocations in response to (and as an homage to) the life and death of his father, who died in September last year, two days following the release of The Ascension. It is, then, ultimately an album about death, and an album that reflects a year in which we have all lost so much. That said, this is not a personal record, but a universal one. Convocations is built on a shared experience that seeks to be honest about how complicated grief can be in these difficult times – the pain and separation, the anxiety, the unknown, the absolute joy of memory. This is also an album made in lockdown, when we were all cloistered in whatever space we had. Convocations arrives just as we begin to emerge from a year whose losses we will calculate for a lifetime. It is, then, right on time, as we begin to process our grief and try to carry on with it.
File Under: Indie Rock
Strand of Oaks: In Heaven (Thirty Tigers) LP
To say In Heaven is about conquering grief would be oversimplifying everything Tim Showalter has achieved on the eighth studio album from Strand of Oaks. A stunning, hopeful reflection on love, loss, and enlightenment, In Heaven is a triumph in music making, and a preeminent addition to the Strand of Oaks discography. In Heaven was recorded in October 2020 with Kevin Ratterman at Invisible Creature in Los Angeles. Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is featured on guitar throughout the record, while James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) contributed vocals and guitar for “Easter.” Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket, Roger Waters) provided keyboards, Cedric LeMoyne (Alanis Morrissette, Remy Zero) bass, Scott Moore violin, and Ratterman monstrous drums. Showalter also played a lot of synth on this record, which he hasn’t done since 2014’s Heal. With clean sounds, Jeff Lynne-esque acoustics, and sophisticated songwriting, he approached In Heaven in a more poised and pop-leaning way than his past releases. In Heaven is Strand of Oaks’ eighth studio album and first with Nashville based Thirty Tigers.
File Under: Indie Rock
Superchunk: Here’s to Shutting Up (Merge) LP
Merge Records reissues Superchunk’s long-out-of-print 2001 studio album Here’s to Shutting Up as a vinyl LP + CD-set to commemorate its 20th anniversary. In addition to the original album on vinyl is Bestial Warning, a bonus CD of 13 previously unreleased demos. The vinyl packaging features a printed vellum overwrap. “We recorded Here’s to Shutting Up in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta at Zero Return, the studio built by Brian and Rob (aka Birdstuff and Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard) of Man or Astro-man? Brian Paulson came with us to produce it. The studio itself was amazing. We also slept there in a dorm-like setting and stayed up too late. We had some great guest players on the record including the first appearance of a pedal steel on a Superchunk album, played by John Neff of Athens band Japancakes. Local Chris Lopez (The Rock*A*Teens) came over to sing backup vocals on “Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama).” I asked him to sing harmonies on the chorus and he was like, “Harmonies? Oh, I can’t sing harmonies.” I still don’t believe him. “To write the songs for Here’s to Shutting Up, we gathered in Jim’s garage (he lived way out in the woods) a couple times a week for what seemed like months. We started from actual scratch with no demos or concepts, just playing instrumental music with our usual gear plus a Casio. Sometimes one of us would play the keys instead of our normal instrument, or Jon would hop on guitar and we’d use the Casio drum machine for the beat. We ended up with a LOT of ideas and plenty of good names for them – “Frank’s Bath,” “There’s Something About Marvin,” and “Bestial Warning” to name a few. We recorded practice onto MiniDisc or cassette, and I would ride around listening to these demos and thinking of words. “The subject matter, in retrospect, has a lot to do with touring and travel (“Out on the Wing,” “What Do You Look Forward To?”), coming home (“Rainy Streets,” “Act Surprised”), the 2000 election (“Florida’s on Fire”), and late-stage capitalism (“Late-Century Dream,” “The Animal Has Left Its Shell”). Once we wrangled the songs into recognizable and playable shapes, we re-created them in acoustic form and recorded these “demos” at my house so we wouldn’t forget how they went and so we could learn how to play them. Some have the whole band, some are me learning Jim’s and Laura’s parts from the practice tapes and playing them on acoustic guitar.” – Mac McCaughan
File Under: Indie Rock
Lucinda Williams: Bob’s Back Pages (Thirty Tigers) LP
Revered singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is working to help independent music venues during this time with the announcement of Lu’s Jukebox. Scheduled as a six-episode series of mostly full-band, HD video performances in-studio, Lu’s Jukebox will feature a themed set of songs by other artists curated by the multi-Grammy award winner. Largely full-band performances recorded live at Ray Kennedy’s Room & Board Studio in Nashville, TN, Lucinda has poured her heart and soul into each of these episodes. From hand-selecting the songs to giving it her all in the studio, this series has been a journey you won’t want to miss. While the first two installments found Williams tackling Tom Petty and southern soul, Lu’s Jukebox Vol. 3 features eleven nuanced numbers from the great Bob Dylan catalog including “It Takes A Lot To Laugh,” “Not Dark Yet,” “Blind Willie McTell,” “Idiot Wind,” “Make You Feel My Love” and more. “We’ve actually wanted to do a cover series for a long time now, but never had the time with my touring schedule,” says Williams. “I guess the silver lining in all of this has been to be able to really get inside the songs of some of my favorite artists – see what makes them tick. My hope for this project is that we’ll be able to help as many venues as we can. They’re our homes, as artists. We have to take care of them, for the sake of live music to come.”
File Under: Country
Lucinda Williams: Funny How Time Slips Away (Thirty Tigers) LP
Revered singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is working to help independent music venues during this time with the announcement of Lu’s Jukebox. Scheduled as a six-episode series of mostly full-band, HD video performances in-studio, Lu’s Jukebox will feature a themed set of songs by other artists curated by the multi-Grammy award winner. Largely full-band performances recorded live at Ray Kennedy’s Room & Board Studio in Nashville, TN, Lucinda has poured her heart and soul into each of these episodes. From hand-selecting the songs to giving it her all in the studio, this series has been a journey you won’t want to miss. While the first three installments found Williams tackling Tom Petty, southern soul and Bob Dylan, Lu’s Jukebox Vol. 4 includes a selection of 60’s country classics like “Apartment #9,” “Together Again,” “Make The World Go Away,” “Long Black Limousine,” “Fist City,” “Gentle On My Mind” and “Funny How Time Slips Away” among others. “We’ve actually wanted to do a cover series for a long time now, but never had the time with my touring schedule,” says Williams. “I guess the silver lining in all of this has been to be able to really get inside the songs of some of my favorite artists – see what makes them tick. My hope for this project is that we’ll be able to help as many venues as we can. They’re our homes, as artists. We have to take care of them, for the sake of live music to come.”
File Under: Country
Wye Oak: Civilian + Cut All the Wires (Merge) LP
Ten years after its release, Wye Oak’s Civilian remains a raw, sinewy punch of a record – bleak and intense and lonely and self-assured all at once. It marked both the ascension and death of Wye Oak, or at least a version of it. Now, a decade later, Civilian + Cut All the Wires: 2009 – 2011 delves back into that pivotal record and adds a lost album of 12 unreleased tracks and demos to Civilian’s universe. Sonic paradoxes abound: The mellow “Sinking Ship” is preceded by the wall-of-sound grunginess that roars through “Half a Double Man.” A pared-down acoustic Daytrotter live session of “Two Small Deaths” dovetails into the jangling “Holy Holy” demo. The closing lyrics over the frenetic, screeching feedback of “Electricity” lend the anniversary release its title: “There’s nothing about you that I don’t adore / Show me these rooms and I’ll show you the way to the door / Walk me through / I’ll cut all the wires and spend my life with you.” On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Stereogum described Civilian as “an album of hellos and goodbyes at the same time, introducing us to everything Wye Oak could be, before setting the stage for the other Wye Oaks we’d soon get to know, and the all the others we’ve still yet to meet.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Akiko Yano: Ai Ga Nakucha Ne (Wewantsounds) LP
Gatefold sleeve; includes 24-page booklet. Wewantsounds reissue Akiko Yano’s cult classic Ai Ga Nakucha Ne, recorded in 1982 and co-produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Ai Ga Nakucha Ne (“there must be love” in Japanese) is Akiko Yano’s sixth studio album and follows Tadaima in 1981. It continues exploring the electro-pop sound of its predecessor, hot on the heels of her touring with Yellow Magic Orchestra between 1979 and 1980. For this album, Akiko decided to try something new; she enrolled English musicians Mick Karn, Steve Jansen and David Sylvian from Japan and booked the Air Studios in London under the supervision of engineer Steve Nye. Over a couple of weeks, the musicians created a fascinating soundscape full of catchy pop tunes, sung in both Japanese and English. Reminiscing about the studio sessions, Steve Jansen notes “Our music’s different but we maybe had a similar process of working. It was a great environment because the studio was a great place to work. It was very insular. There were four studios and there were always groups working in there 24/7.” The eleven tracks featured on Ai Ga Nakucha Ne, mostly composed by Akiko — are a great collection of catchy tunes featuring her distinctive vocals and accompanied by the Japan musicians. As Akiko explains about the creative process, “I didn’t think to imitate or to make another Tin Drum. But I had Steve Jansen and Mick Karn, these excellent musicians. They were eager to understand the songs, then they put in everything they had. I knew the material was different from what they usually played in Japan. But it was a great experience working with them.” There are many highlights on the album, from the pop edge of “Aisuru Hito Yo” to the avant groove of “Another Wedding Song”, each song is memorable and the album ends with the superb “Good Night” sung by Akiko and David Sylvian. The original 1982 LP release included a 24-page booklet featuring many photos by Pennie Smith and Japanese photographer Bishin Jumonji. The booklet is reproduced in its entirety here and the album on top of contributions by Mac DeMarco, a longtime fan of the album. Also includes a dual interview with Akiko Yano and Steve Jansen by journalist Paul Bowler. Audio remastered from the original tapes by Mitsuo Koike.
File Under: Japan, Pop
Various: Sacred Soul of North Carolina (Bible & Tire) LP
Eleven groups in eight days. A marathon recording session in a makeshift storefront studio in a 100-year-old building in the tiny Eastern North Carolina town of Fountain. Once the idea for the project was in place, Alice Vines of the Glorifying Vines Sisters started calling local musicians. It didn’t take her long to line up almost a dozen groups to come lift their voices and represent the region’s unique Sacred Soul traditions. Housed in gatefold jackets. Limited edition of 250 copies.
File Under: Soul, Gospel
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Sonovox) LP
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Bauhaus: Crackle: Best of (4AD) LP
Big Red Machine: How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? (Jagjaguwar) LP
Booker T & the MG’s: Complete Stax Singles Vol. 2 (1968-1974) LP
Leon Bridges: Gold-Diggers Sound (Columbia) LP
Dead Kennedys: Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (Audio Platter) LP
Alabaster DePlume: To Cy & Lee (International Anthem) LP
Full of Hell: Garden of Burning Apparitions (Relapse) LP
Jose Gonzalez: Local Valley (Mute) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Idles: Joy As An Act of Resistance (Partisan) LP
King Crimson: Red (Panegyric) LP
Julian Lage: Squint (Blue Note) LP
Low: Hey What (Sub Pop) LP
Mac McCaughan: The Sound of Yourself (Merge) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Exciting Sounds of (Daptone) LP
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Columbia) LP
National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) LP
William Onyeabor: Who Is…. (Luaka Bop) LP
OST: Bob’s Burgers Music Album Vol. 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted (Transmission) BOX
Rugged Nuggets: Odds & Ends (Colemine) LP
Squid: Bright Green Field (Warp) LP
Stooges: Fun House (Rhino) LP
Joe Strummer: Assembly (Dark Horse) LP
Tangerine Dream: Alpha Centauri (Tiger Bay) LP
Tool: Undertow (Zoo) LP
Voivod: The Outer Limits (Real Gone) LP