…..news letter #1046 – prep…..

Well, not a LOT of new stuff in this week, but that’s obviously due to the fact next Saturday is RECORD STORE DAY! Still some great slabs in and moving fast, the new Blood Incantation is the least metal, and most metal thing all at the same time. The new comp on Forager is great. The new PUP finally showed up. As usual, there’s some new Blue Note reissues. 

This weekend we are only open 12 – 5 on Friday. 11 – 5 on Saturday and closed Sunday.

OH ALSO, we are now open on Saturday until 5pm. This will be permanent going forward.

And as for Record Store Day… we’ve started posting the exclusive releases we’ve received on our RSD page on the website. You can take a look there to keep up with what’s come in already. We’ll be opening up early that day… we’re thinking 9am, just to get the line moving as quickly as possible. We’ll also be having a sale that day. While not required, due to the high number of people we expect to see that day we will be limiting the number of people in the store at any given time, and we would appreciate masks.

And while there are no longer any health restrictions we are currently operating….

– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm Saturday
(if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– We will be wearing masks, if you want to, great! If not, that’s also fine, but please be respectful of other people’s space and decisions.
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)

…..picks of the week…..

Blood Incantation: Timewave Zero (Century Media) LP
Spawned in the Fall of 2011, Cosmic Death Metal initiates BLOOD INCANTATION, spent the past decade establishing a reputation for creating powerful Athmospheric Death Metal with progressive elements, while gradually incorporating more Psychedelic & Ambient components with each new release. The inevitable zenith of these increasingly exploratory excursions was finally reached during the summer of 2021 and captured once again on analog tape at World Famous Studios in Denver, Colorado. Epitomizing their Cosmic essence and Experimental nature, this new recording reveals an alternate dimension for experiencing the mind-bending songwriting of BLOOD INCANTATION´s dense otherworldly sonic landscapes: Beyond the limitations of genre and free to travel among the stars. Echoes of TANGERINE DREAM, PINK FLOYD, LUSTMORD, POPOL VUH & DEAD CAN DANCE synthesize in an archaic planetarium soundtrack, taking the listener on a cinematic journey through the Stargate, into the vast darkness of Outer Space, and beyond the infinite transcendental luminosity of the Mind´s Eye.

FIle Under: Ambient, Synth, Metal, Kris’s Picks
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Various: Sky Dust Drifter (Forager) LP
An anthology born out of isolation and deep introspection, Sky Dust Drifter is a cosmic medley of sun-soaked AOR, psychedelic folk, and soft rock. This soundtrack was driven by the lonesome cowboy, a lockdown savior leaving me adrift in desert winds and dimly lit country bars. Long-distance trades and masked meetups yielded a collection of private press LPs and 45s from ten different artists spanning 1973 to 1980. This seemingly random stack of records revealed songs living entangled in themes of hard luck, heartache, and the inevitable loneliness of existence. Adorned in cracked leather and chrome, this album is an aimless wander from the soil to the stars. Featuring an unreleased English version of the compilation’s title track “Sky Dust Drifter,” (originally released only in Hebrew), the record shifts from laconic afterthoughts to bold proclamations. From Michael Andrews’ blue-eyed soul assertion “Something Bad’s Better Than Nothin’,” to the searing electric guitars and bold synths of Sunburst’s “Special Lady,” Sky Dust Drifter thrives on solitude in a universe of unconditional self-rule where loneliness is not darkness but rather a blazing light of autonomy. Original artwork by Arina Kokoreva

File Under: Psych, Folk, Soft Rock, Kris’s Picks
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…..new arrivals…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
2012 debut album from the Athens, Alabama-based outfit. The band was originally formed when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard approached bassist Zac Cockrell during a high school psychology class and began meeting after school to write songs. Howard and Cockrell experimented with many different styles of music including roots rock, progressive rock, soul music, country music and classic rock.

File Under: Rock, Soul
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Bedhead: s/t (Numero) LP
Sophomore effort from the Wichita, Texas, slowcore masters. Originally issued in 1996 on King Coffey’s Trance Syndicate label, Beheaded is a dark and brooding affair. The braided, triple guitar attack of brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane and Tench Coxe is more reflective than bracing, each note simultaneously sustaining and building. The rhythm section of drummer Trini Martinez and bassist Kris Wheat breath effortlessly along, anxious only for more space.

File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
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Bedhead: WhatFunLifeWas (Numero) LP
Their shambolic 1994 debut, remastered from the original tapes and presented in lavish, gatefold form. A mix of restrained loud and purposeful quiet, WhatFunLifeWas’s eleven tracks unfold at a marathon runner’s pace, picking up speed when necessary, but its eye on completing a personal race. Singer Matt Kadane’s soft, semi-drawl is buried in the mix, letting brother Bubba and Tench Coxe’s guitars weave cleanly around drummer Trini Martinez’s all-ride-all-the-time timekeeping.

File Under: Indie Rock, Slowcore
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Jackie McLean: Tippin’ The Scales (Blue Note) LP
Jackie McLean’s 1960s Blue Note output is a fascinating body of work, especially viewed with the benefit of hindsight. In between recording 2 venturous modernist sessions – Let Freedom Ring and One Step Beyond – that would set the tone for the alto saxophonist’s future explorations, came the seemingly more conventional and relaxed quartet date Tippin’ The Scales. Recorded in September 1962 but not released until 1979, the date featured McLean with Sonny Clark on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Art Taylor on drums delivering a swinging hard bop set that presented 2 originals by McLean (“Tippin’ the Scales” and “Rainy Blues”) along with 3 by Clark (“Nursery Blues,” “Nicely,” and “Two For One”), as well as a tender version of Vernon Duke’s “Cabin in the Sky.” Blue Note Records’ acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series continues in 2022. 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
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Ponderosa Twins Plus One: 2+2+1= (Numero) LP
An American soul vocal group that would go on to shape the sound of pop music much farther beyond their imaginations, The Ponderosa Twins Plus One featured two sets of identical teenage twins, Alfred and Alvin Pelham, and Keith and Kirk Gardner, along with Ricky Spicer. The group released a couple of singles and a lone album for Cleveland’s Saru label in 1971, breaking up and disbanding as adolescence waned. A recent sample darling of both Kanye West and Tyler The Creator, “Bound” has revealed the Ponderosa Twins Plus One as the real Midwest kid soul deal. Numero is proud to present the first official American repressing of the original 1971 release, with fresh remasters from the original analog tapes, two previously unissued bonus tracks, and a replica tip on sleeve, making this an album you’re bound to fall in love with.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Prince Paul: Prince Among Thieves (Tommy Boy) LP
Tommy Boy presents a colored vinyl 2LP pressing of Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves as part of the label’s 40th anniversary celebration. While he may be best known for his work with groups like De La Soul, Stetsasonic and Handsome Boy Modeling School, it is often his solo work that fans turn to when craving that unadulterated Prince Paul sound. Released in 1999, his long out of print sophomore album, A Prince Among Thieves, has since become an undeniable classic amongst hip-hop enthusiasts and record collectors alike. Featuring an all-star ensemble of golden era MC’s like Sadat X, Xzibit, De La Soul, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane and more, this ambitious piece of humorous hip-hop storytelling is like an odyssey of 90’s rap, even earning praise from music essayist Robert Christgau, who called it “the closest thing to a true rock opera you’ve ever heard.” What lies beneath, however, is biting satire which plants listeners right in the thick of the struggle, the hustle, the rough underground from which great hip-hop is so often inspired.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Pup: The Unravelling of Puptheband (Universal) LP
Pup return with their fourth album, The Unraveling of Puptheband, which finds the Toronto outfit teaming up with Sarah Tudzin (Illuminati Hotties), Kathryn McCauhey (Nobro), Mel St. Pierre (Casper Skulls) and Erik Paulson (Remo Drive), as well as producer Peter Katis. “It’s hands down my favourite PUP record, and I don’t think it could’ve been made under any other circumstances,” bandleader Stefan Babcock said. “As the weeks passed, we seemed less and less rational, objective, and sane. You can hear the band start to fall off the cliff, and because of that, I think this record is our truest and most genuine to date. There is nothing more Pup than a slow and inevitable descent into self-destruction.” The 12-track collection is introduced by the singles “Robot Writes a Love Song,” “Waiting,” and “Grim Reaping.”

File Under: Punk
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Kristen Roos: Universal Synthesizer Interface Vol. 2 (Hotham Sound) CS
Hotham Sound is pleased to announce the much-anticipated second volume of Kristen Roos’s ‘Universal Synthesizer Interface’ series; an ongoing audio exploration of early algorithmic MIDI sequencing programs for personal computers. Where Vol I showcased a wide variety of vintage programs, Vol II sees Roos narrowing his focus down to two of his personal favorites: Laurie Spiegel’s ‘Music Mouse’ and Frank Balde’s ‘Diablo.’ One of the first ‘intelligent instruments’ ever created for the personal computer, Speigel’s ‘Music Mouse’ was, for many people in the 1980s, a remarkably intuitive introduction to the world of MIDI sequencing. Mouse position controls the placement and parameters of MIDI data, allowing the user to quickly select and alter the scale, chord voicing and volume of their work on the fly. The keyboard is used as a control panel, with various shortcuts outlined on a digital ‘cheat sheet’ provided with the software. While the program is limited to outputting four separate MIDI notes (which can then be ordered into short musical phrases or loops) within these constraints lies an enormous capacity for musical variation and complexity. Roos plays the software with a light touch, maintaining a delicate balance between playfulness and precision. Frank Balde’s ‘Diablo’ allows for MIDI data to be literally ‘drawn’ into a window very similar to early digital paint programs like MacPaint. The user can then record the data into loops, alter the note parameters (tonality, duration, velocity, tempo, etc), and capture ‘snapshots’ of their settings that can then be clicked between in real time. The program is limited to three separate loops at a time, but like Music Mouse, its limitations conceal a surprisingly powerful tool for musical expression. In Roos’s hands, the repeating loops overlap and intertwine with one another like patterns on a digital loom, slowly forming themselves into enormous tapestries of sound.

File Under: Electronic, Synth, Tapes
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Run The Jewels: s/t (Seeker) LP
Due to an overwhelming high demand, RTJ are re-issuing a physical version of their now-classic first album, Run The Jewels, for the first time since 2013. CD and Vinyl releases will include a cool new iron-on Run The Jewels patch. This album was named Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” upon release and features Big Boi, Prince Paul and Until the Ribbon Breaks. Run The Jewels released their sophomore album Run The Jewels 2 in October 2014, which went onto universal critical acclaim. The album went on to receive multiple year end accolades including: 2014’s #1 Album of the Year (Pitchfork, Stereogum, USA Today, Complex, London Evening Standard, etc), Album of the Year List (Billboard, Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone, NME, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Newsweek, etc), Song of the Year List (Spin, NME, Time, etc) and more! T heir press coverage has extended to far beyond just music publications, with features running in Slate, Gizmodo, Fast Company, CNN, US Weekly, Huffington post, etc. Since the album release, the duo has gone to finish a nearly sold out 45+ date World Tour. Furthermore, a kickstarter project based off of remixing the album with cat sounds, entitled “Meow the Jewels” went viral and raised over $65,000; this project is set to release later this summer.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Horace Silver: 6 Pieces of Silver (Blue Note) LP
Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the Classic Vinyl Reissue Series which presents 180g vinyl LP reissues in standard packaging mastered by Kevin Gray and manufactured at Optimal. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes. While the first 16 titles of the series focused on the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, the new run of titles curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman broadens its scope to span the many eras and styles of the legendary label’s eight-decade history presented by themes: Bebop, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz, Post-Bop, Avant-Garde, The 70s, The Rebirth, and Hidden Gems. At 27 years, Horace Silver’s tenure as a Blue Note recording artist was the longest of any artist in the history of the label. The legendary pianist and composer cut his first Blue Note session Horace Silver Trio in 1952 and his session for Silver ‘N Strings Play The Music of the Spheres was the very last recording date before the label went dormant in 1979. In between, Silver recorded some of the most beloved albums in the Blue Note catalog, traversing bebop, hard bop, soul jazz, and charting his own path through the 1970s fusion movement. With his 1956 album 6 Pieces of Silver, Silver struck gold with a sterling set of hard bop that introduced one of his greatest compositions, “Señor Blues.” The indelible theme is one of five excellent Silver originals (plus the standard “For Heaven’s Sake”) performed by an ace quintet featuring Donald Byrd on trumpet, Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone, Doug Watkins on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums. Other highlights include the hard swinging opener “Cool Eyes,” the stunning ballad “Shirl,” the intricate stop-start rhythm of “Camouflage,” and the beguiling Latin beat of “Enchantment.”

File Under: Jazz
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Amyl & The Sniffers: Comfort To Me (ATO) LP
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works (R&S) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Black Midi: Schlagenheim (4AD) LP
Jimmy Carter & The Dallas Country Green: Summer Brings the Sunshine (Numero) LP
Sanford Clark: They Call Me Country (Numero) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Earthless: Sonic Prayer (Nuclear Blast) LP
Billie Eilish: Happier Than Ever (Universal) LP
Fall: Live at the Witch Trials (Cherry Red) LP
Robert Fripp & Brian Eno: Evening Star (Pangyeric) LP
Robert Fripp & Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Pangyeric) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting it On (Westbound) LP
Mort Garson: Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Sacred Bones) LP
Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (Ndeya) LP
Holy Hive: Float Back To You (Big Crown) LP
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Son House: Forever On My Mind (Easy Eye) LP
Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Sanctuary) LP
Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time (Sanctuary) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Branko Mataja: Over Fields and Mountains (Numero) LP
Makoto Matsushita: First Light (Warner Japan) LP
Pavement: Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal (Matador) LP
Pearl Jam: MTV Unplugged (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Rearviewmirror Vol. 1 (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Rearviewmirror Vol. 2 (Legacy) LP
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (4AD) LP
Pixies: Trompe Le Monde (4AD) LP
Popol Vuh: Vol. 2 – Acoustic & Ambient Spheres (BMG) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Island) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unlimited Love (Warner) LP
Social Distortion: White Light, White Heat (Music On Vinyl) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Tim Story: Threads (Dais) LP
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billy: Superwolf (Drag City) LP
Swell Maps: A Trip to Marineville (Secretly Canadian) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Heathen Earth (Mute) LP
Baby Face Willette: Face to Face (Blue Note) LP
Various: Heavenly Remixes 4: Andrew Weatherall Vol. 2 (Heavenly) LP
Various: WaMONO A to Z Vol. 1 (180g) LP

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