Well it’s starting to look like the pressing backlogs are starting to be resolved. More and more restocks of long unavailable staples are finally starting to flow in… but there’s also loads of killer fresh slabs to stick in your ears as well! 5 Picks this week from the lot of us! We all love our pal Chris Laramee AKA Wasted Cathedral and his new slab is just as good or better than all his previous outings, blissed out kosmische jamz. The new Photay on the unstoppable International Anthem files nicely along side the Jeremiah Chiu from earlier this year. The new scorcher from Comet is Coming. And a reissue of the FIRST American Goth/deathrock album. Never mind all the other sweet slabs in this week as well…. Come down for a dig….
We will be open 11 – 5 on Saturday (Oct 9th) , and 12 – 5 on Monday (Oct 11th).
– 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…..
Wasted Cathedral: Retreat Into Fantasy / Soundtracks (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
Wasted Cathedral is the solo project of Saskatoon-based musician Christopher Laramee (Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and The Radiation Flowers). Release Into Fantasy Soundtracks is the follow up to 2021’s I’m Gonna Love You ‘Til The End Of Time, an album that captured the attention of minimalist music listeners, as well as followers of ambient and downtempo electronica. The album made Aquarium Drunkard’s “2021 Year in Review” list, an accolade that reflects the kind of growth Laramee’s music has made in recent years. Wasted Cathedral’s sound is best described as incidental music, improvised soundscapes that serve as musical snapshots or snippets of dream sequences. Release Into Fantasy Soundtracks, as with most other Wasted Cathedral releases, involved a lot of late night sampling and looping sessions. The result is a dubbed out take on soundtrack music, with films like Alan Pakula’s paranoid 70’s masterpiece The Parallax View a constant source of inspiration for tone and mood. As with his previous releases, the aim of Laramee’s work is melody and texture. He takes simple phrases and broken loops, only to stereo pan them into infinity. The dub/ disco/ breakbeat aesthetic is submerged into an aquatic universe, where sound becomes indistinct, lines are blurred and erased as basslines and beats, and acoustic guitars and keyboards melt into a dank brew of smeared color and shadows.This is displayed to great effect on “Decadent Ambient”, one of the album’s many highlights. Wasted Cathedral is recommended for listeners of Flying Saucer Attack, DJ Shadow, Spiritualized, and Portishead. Or simply for those who like to drive all night, straight into the heart of nowhere, with nothing but a malfunctioning tape deck and a pack of cigarettes.
File Under: Psych, Ambient, Kris’s Piyush’s Picks, Ian’s Picks
Photay with Carlos Nino: An Offering (International Anthem) LP
An Offering is a new work by Photay, under the influence of a special creative partnership with International Anthem recording artist Carlos Niño. IARC followers should know Niño, or at least one of his 3 albums we’ve released in the last 2 years (Chicago Waves, More Energy Fields, Current, and/or EXTRA PRESENCE). A simple introduction to Photay (née Evan Shornstein) would be to say: he’s made some of the best ‘ambient’ music of the last five years. Niño’s influence is vast (who comes here with a network of regular collaborators including Iasos and Nate Mercereau), as is the presence of harpist Mikaela Davis, and the result on this collaborative album is to push Photay towards the sounds of the earth. And the water. And the spaces that exist, somewhere, probably. Mysteries unfold around each corner on every listen.
File Under: Ambient, Jazz, Kris’s Picks
Comet Is Coming: Hyper_Dimensional Expasion Beam (Impusle) LP
The Comet is Coming returns with their second full length album on Impulse! Records. King Shabaka, Danalogue, and Betamax’s newest effort finds the Mercury Prize-nominated trio creating a musical landscape that is equally cerebral as it is physically enthralling. While containing elements of jazz throughout, this release leans further into heavy dance-hall themes, providing hypnotic, electronic soundscapes to dance to while keeping you intellectually stimulated.
File Under: Jazz, Piyush’s Picks
45 Grave: Sleep in Safety (Real Gone) LP
Formed from putrefying remnants of The Germs, The Consumers, The Bags, The Gun Club, and The Screamers among other L.A. punk outfits, 45 Grave were arguably the first American Goth/deathrock band and inarguably one of the best. Fronted by the Exene-meets-Barbarella vocal and visual stylings of Dinah Cancer (still one of the greatest stage names in a punk rock genre full of ‘em), 45 Grave also featured Paul B. Cutler on guitar, Don Bolles on drums, Rob (Ritter) Graves on bass, and Paul Roessler on keyboards, and from that all-star line-up came 1983’s Sleep in Safety, their lone studio release and only recording with the band’s original members. Probably most famous for the first appearance of the horrifyingly graphic, true-crime track “Partytime,” the single version of which was subsequently cut in 1985 and featured on The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack, Sleep in Safety also offered the early MTV track “Evil” and the band “theme song” “45 Grave” among other blandishments for those who like their rock and roll with a side of the macabre. For our Real Gone Music exhumation of this classic record, we have “embalmed” a very special edition, preserving the original album’s gatefold edition complete with lyrics and adding a custom inner sleeve drawn from the band’s very rare “A Tale of Strange Phenomena” press release—purple with black streaks vinyl! Folks have been dying for this one!
File Under: Death Rock, Goth, Ian’s Picks
Zacht Automaat: P is for Progress (Idee Fixe) LP
Carrying on the themes of 2016’s Normality Bias and 2018’s Memory of the World, namely society’s apparent willful blindness to uncomfortable truths, P is for Progress documents the last sessions in which Zacht Automaat were able to share the same physical space. From the pumping piano that gives way to dueling fuzz and swelling organ in Bite The Invisible Hand to the blown out and unhinged paranoia of I Know Bill Gates, the band offer multiple psychoacoustically engineered forays into psych and prog. Later the hypnotizing ode to a rescued console organ, Cascading Mabel, resets the mood by introducing the damaged jazz and sideways swing of the album’s final numbers: A Dog on a Journey, A Dog in the Rain and Put the World in a Plastic Bag. Carl expands on the group’s inspiration: “A lot of our music is about the chaotic nature of modern existence. Since it is instrumental, you will have to take our word for it. P is for Progress ups the song quotient and makes more nods to glam and rock than in the past, while still taking long sonic digressions.” Fusing diverse influences such as Pharaoh Sanders, The Fall, Nina Simone, Canterbury prog and classical, the duo create a sonically kaleidoscopic instrumental wonder rendered in a euphoric haze of odd order harmonics and tape compression.
File Under: Psych, Prog, Kris’s Picks
Alex G: God Save the Animals (Domino) LP
“God” figures in the new album from Philadelphia, PA based Alex Giannascoli’s LP’s title, its first song, and multiple of its thirteen tracks thereafter, not as a concrete religious entity but as a sign for a generalized sense of faith (in something, anything) that fortifies Giannascoli, or the characters he voices, amid the songs’ often fraught situations. Beyond the ambient inspiration of pop, Giannascoli has been drawn in recent years to artists who balance the public and hermetic, the oblique and the intimate, and who present faith more as a shared social language than religious doctrine. As with his previous records, Giannascoli wrote and demoed these songs by himself, at home; but, for the sake of both new tones and “a routine that was outside of my apartment,” he asked some half-dozen engineers to help him produce the “best” recording quality, whatever that meant. The result is an album more dynamic than ever in its sonic palette.
File Under: Indie Rock
B-52: Mesopotamia (Warner) LP
Splatter vinyl! The vinyl will contain the US mixes that were on the original North American release. The B-52s are an American new wave band, formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genres ranging from post-punk to pop rock. The “guy vs. gals” vocals of Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson, sometimes used in call and response style (Strobe Light, Private Idaho, and Good Stuff), are a trademark.
File Under: Rock
B-52s: s/t (Warner) LP
Splatter vinyl! When the B-52’s self-titled album landed, there was nothing quite like their quirky blend of new wave and ’60s kitsch. The 1979 release, cut with producer (and Island Records founder) Chris Blackwell at his studio in The Bahamas, features such energetic originals as “Planet Claire” and that crustacean classic, “Rock Lobster,” which became the band’s first hit single. The Athens, GA quintet – Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson and Keith Strickland – knew how to throw a party, and this platinum-selling album remains as catchy as it is campy. The band went on to even greater success in the ensuing years, but they were never better than on The B-52’s.
File Under: Rock
B-52s: Wild Planet (Warner) LP
Splatter vinyl! Completely up to task in following up their kitschy debut, the B-52’s step everything up a notch on their ceaselessly fun 1980 sophomore album Wild Planet: songwriting, humor, melodies, hooks, and group interplay. Wild Planet also finds the band embracing stronger psychedelic accents that seamlessly mesh with its lava-lamp colors and textures. Rollicking, rousing, and riotous, Wild Planet soars on vocal efforts put forth by the delightfully campy chanteuses Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, whose innocent girly tonalities wonderfully match up with Fred Schneider’s effeminate deliveries and manic presentations. Add in Ricky Wilson’s propulsive beach-bound guitar riffs, random squealing synthesizers, and a surfeit of danceable rhythms, and you have nothing less than a ’80s masterpiece that, due to its optimistic vibes and buoyant grooves, only gets better with time. As for clever humor and quirky character? Everywhere! Mentions of an icebox, fruit punch, and surprise greetings kick off the defining “Party Out of Bounds” while “Private Idaho” is an instant mix-tape essential, sent up with declamatory refrains and insouciant beats.
File Under: Rock
Jensine Benitez: Ilusion de Amor (Penrose) 7″
It is our distinct pleasure to announce the debut solo effort from Thee Sacred Souls’ own Jensine Benitez. Anyone who has had the privilege to catch Thee Sacred Souls live is already well familiar with Jensine. On a nightly basis, when she gracefully steps into the spotlight for one of her solos, her mellifluous voice and commanding stage presence sends the crowd into a frenzy of adoration and unadulterated joy. With this single she enriches that charm with honeyed melodies set to floaty rhythms that are sure to have you bobbing your head with the windows rolled down. “Ilusión de Amor” is a lilting lament sung en español about a forlorn lover whose deep, brooding sadness has left them yearning well beyond any hope of reconciliation. On the flip is “The Sparkle in Your Eyes,” a viby, mid-tempo mover that will have couples crowding dance-floors for decades to come. A stunning two-sider that epitomizes the kind of soul music we dig. Do not sleep on this one…or your tears won’t be the only thing dropping.
File Under: Soul, Funk
Beyonce: Renaissance (Columbia) LP
From her own label Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records, Beyoncé’s seventh studio album Renaissance arrives six years after the globally lauded Lemonade was released in 2016 as a complete surprise. The originator of the visual album format, and the preeminent visual artist, decided to lead without visuals giving fans the opportunity to be limitless in their expansive listening journey. It is a chance again to be listeners and not viewers, while taking in every gem of the pristine production. While “Break My Soul,” the instantly addicting first single, arrived with a minimal lyric video, the release of Renaissance sans visuals is another culture-shifting move from the artist who has defined an era with reinvention. Packed with rousing anthems that resonate with everybody, Renaissance is a culmination of freedom and escape that encourages unimaginable jubilation, agency, and movement with abandon. The singular intent of Renaissance, a reinvention of four on the floor, is to showcase music that stirs you from the soul and encourages your dancing feet. It is a celebration of a club era when anyone who felt like an outsider sought each other and formed a community of freedom-seekers to express themselves creatively through the rhythm, which we still celebrate today. The magic of Renaissance is also in Beyoncé’s soaring vocals, rich, soulful, at times vulnerable and laden with passion and purpose. And it expands over memorable lyrics that are bold, heartened, urgent and categorically timely. Beyoncé recorded the album over the course of the pandemic, almost three years in the works, and states that the stillness of that time allowed her to tap into her most creative self. “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” says Beyoncé. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.” With a squad of prolific collaborators, including The-Dream, Nile Rodgers, NOVA, NO ID, Raphael Saadiq, Mike Dean, Honey Dijon, Chris Penny, Luke Solomon, Skrillex, Beam, Big Freedia, Grace Jones and Tems, Beyoncé set out “to reinvent music again,” as described by The Times of London. Deluxe 180g vinyl 2LP-set in printed jackets with printed inner sleeves, 36-page booklet and folded collectable 24″ x 36″ poster in a hard slipcase.
File Under: Pop, Electronic, Soul
Broken Bells: Into the Blue (Columbia) LP
Featuring two of the bigger names in indie and alternative music – the Shins’ singer/guitarist James Mercer and producer/multi-instrumentalist Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse – Broken Bells combined the pair’s greatest strengths. On 2010’s Grammy-nominated self-titled debut and 2014’s more structured After the Disco, Mercer’s gift for indelible, slightly spooky melodies and Burton’s atmospheric productions complemented each other perfectly. In the late 2010s, the duo reconvened to release a succession of singles ahead of their third album. Mercer and Burton were inspired to collaborate when they met at 2004’s Roskilde music festival in Denmark, where they discovered they were fans of each other’s work. However, they didn’t start writing and recording together as a band until March 2008, when Mercer holed up in Burton’s home studio in L.A. They took a different approach to working together than with their other projects: Burton avoided the sample-heavy style he used on The Grey Album and Beck’s Modern Guilt, and played only live instruments; Mercer broadened his vocal style to include falsettos and deeper registers. Mercer and Burton made their official debut as Broken Bells in 2009, releasing their debut single, “The High Road,” late that year. Their self-titled debut album came out in March 2010; it reached number seven on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album award at the 2011 Grammy Awards. In 2011, the Meyrin Fields EP arrived, featuring previously unreleased tracks as well as the title track, which was the B-side to the single “The Ghost Inside.” Following Meyrin Fields’ release, the two halves of Broken Bells spent some time on other projects: Burton produced music for artists including Norah Jones and Portugal. The Man, while Mercer rebooted the Shins with 2012’s Port of Morrow. Broken Bells returned in February 2014 with After the Disco, a more structured set of songs that touched on synth pop and new wave as well as disco influences. The following year, the duo issued the After the Disco outtake “It’s That Talk Again” as a stand-alone track. Once again, Mercer and Burton devoted a few years to their other commitments. Burton lent his production skills to A$AP Rocky, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele, and Karen O. Meanwhile, Mercer issued a pair of Shins albums, 2017’s Heartworms and 2018’s reimagining of that album, The Worm’s Heart. Later in 2018, the duo reconvened as Broken Bells to release the track “Shelter.” Another single, “Good Luck,” arrived in September 2019 as they continued to work toward their next full-length. With the 2022 release of the moody “We’re Not in Orbit Yet…” the pair announced the release of their third album, Into the Blue, the project’s first album in eight years and first to incorporate samples into their orchestral pop sound.
File Under: Pop
Cars: Candy O (Rhino) LP
Clear wax! Candy-O is the second studio album by American rock band the Cars, released on June 13, 1979 by Elektra Records. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, the album spawned two singles, “Let’s Go” and “It’s All I Can Do”. The album outperformed the band’s debut, peaking at number three on the US Billboard 200.
File Under: Rock
Cars: Panorama (Rhino) LP
Blue wax! Panorama is the third studio album by American rock band the Cars, released on August 15, 1980, by Elektra Records. Like its predecessors, it was produced by Roy Thomas Baker and released on Elektra Records.
File Under: Rock
Emeralds: Solar Bridge (Ghostly) LP
Yellow wax! Emeralds – musicians John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt, and Mark McGuire – emerged from the rust-pocked, post-millennial Midwest drone/noise scene seemingly unable or uninterested in keeping up with themselves. Their proliferation of material was intimidating; mountains of improvised, home-recorded music were released on limited-edition tapes, CD-Rs, and split LPs. There is and was a sense that the Ohio trio was after something beyond physical mediums. By 2008, their sprawling live sets were a known can’t-miss at any underground experimental event. Tiny Mix Tapes reviewed that year’s appearance at No Fun Fest: “No one’s sawtooths, sines, and other various waveforms were so beautifully sculpted and beamed out into the Plejades as Emeralds’.” These basement dwellers were shaping meditative, psychedelic, arpeggiated electronic music in the veins of German kosmische forebears like Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, and Klaus Schulze. Made primarily with synthesizers and guitar, Emeralds’ music possessed the same astral psyche with a home-crafted punk edge, a distant descendant of that pioneering era, and a bridge to someplace new, someplace scorched. Released on Aaron Dilloway’s (Wolf Eyes, etc.) Hanson imprint, Solar Bridge was the first Emeralds album to receive any kind of proper distribution and represents the first attempt to archivally preserve their fluid craft.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
Aretha Franklin: with the Ray Bryant Combo (Music on Vinyl) LP
As is well known, early relationships are not always blessed, and it’s certainly no secret that the collaboration between Aretha Franklin and Columbia’s record producer John H. Hammond did not last long. Hammond’s later attempts to candy Franklin’s irrepressible natural voice with sugary arrangements and studio gimmicks did not go down well with the public. On Aretha’s first LP for Columbia in 1961, however, the relationship was still in its honeymoon stages all the way. With a successful mix of pop and jazz standards, the super talent – Aretha had just turned 18 years old – showcased her unrivaled instrument for all to experience. Fired on with youthful élan, these evergreens sound so fresh, new and intoxicating that the question of their genre is quite irrelevant. From seesawing R&B (“Won’t Be Long”) via bell-like waves of melody (“Over The Rainbow”) right up to the freely styled, jazzy Gershwin classic “It Ain’t Necessarily So” – everything is right there! The Ray Bryant Trio – augmented with winds – proves itself a formidable ensemble with true presence yet unobtrusive accompaniment. This recording makes it crystal clear that the ‘First Lady of Soul’ was in full command of her profession right out of the gate regardless of what label she was working for.
File Under: Soul, RnB
Fucked Up: Oberon (Tankcrimes) LP
Pummeling curveball from Fucked Up channeling the world of HC that birthed them — despotic and horrendously sludgy riffs exploding in octaves lower than Hades, crashing against hellish bellowing all while the rhythm section heaves at a pace that only Noothgrush, Crossed Out, Kiss it Goodbye, and Bloodlet would tread upon. Topped off with an absolutely despicable cover of Saint-Saens “The Aquarium” this is the mythologically psychedelic sludge record you never thought Fucked Up would make. 4 tracks of pure audio excretion.
File Under: Punk, Hardcore, Metal
Gewgawly I & Thou: NORCO OST (Sacred Bones) LP
Baton Rouge sludge band Thou have released over a dozen LPs worth of music, collaborated with divergent artists like Emma Ruth Rundle and The Body and released covers that run the full gamut of genres. Continuing their practice of bucking typical metal tradition, their latest record, a split release with composer Gewgawly I, is a soundtrack created for the highly anticipated new video game NORCO. NORCO takes place in a gritty, distorted version of South Louisiana. While searching for your missing brother Blake in the aftermath of your mother’s death, players must team up with a fugitive robot and explore the sinking suburbs, run down strip malls, drainage ditches, and verdant industrial swamps of Louisiana’s petrochemical hinterlands. The NORCO OST will contain the complete in-game score by Gewgawly I (a member of the Geography of Robots studio who developed the game) as well as an album’s worth of new Thou material to be featured in further NORCO collaborative projects. Gewgawly I has created a master work of ambiance, not only reminiscent of some of the best game soundtracks from the 80s and 90s but also a stunning work of contemporary experimental music pushing the genre forward in exciting ways. Thou have rounded out the game’s grit with a wash of downtuned doom and drone. The band has previously been described as “For fans of: alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease,” and these themes come to life vividly in Thou’s collaboration with the richly illustrated world of NORCO.”THOU represents an aspect of Louisiana that’s close to my heart. The members know the suburbs of New Orleans and Baton Rouge well. They capture a kind of strange irreverence in their sound and visuals that’s specific to the region and has influenced the game NORCO,” says Yuts from Geography of Robots. “We’ve been trying to collaborate for a while, and I’m just stoked it’s finally happening!” At the heart of the album is the standout track “Goo in a Burning City (fmGew Remix)” which is a remix of a Thou track by Gewgawly I and Geography of Robots sound designer fmAura, marrying the two sounds, and is featured in the game’s trailer.
File Under: OST
Keiji Haino & Sumac: Into This Juvenile Apocalypse Our Goldern Blood to Pour Let Us Never (Thrill Jockey) LP
Thrill Jockey Records is proud to present Into This Juvenile Apocalypse Our Golden Blood to Pour Let Us Never, the third collaborative album by Japanese free music provocateur Keiji Haino and expressionist metal trio SUMAC. Into This Juvenile Apocalypse… finds the quartet navigating the push-and-pull of creative interplay with bolder strides and stronger chemistry. Recorded on May 21, 2019 at the Astoria Hotel on Vancouver BC’s notorious East Hastings Street as a one-off performance during a short North American tour for Haino, the six compositions comprising Into This Juvenile Apocalypse… showcase a musical unit bouncing unfiltered ideas off of one another, mining a trove of textures and timbres from their armory to buoy and bolster these living and breathing pieces. Like so many albums documenting free music, the thrill here is in the tight rope walk, the wavering moments of uncertainty, and the ecstatic moments of shared brilliance.
File Under: Metal
Honey & The Bees: Love (Real Gone) LP
One of the great, lost albums of Philly Soul! And we mean really lost…we had to go to Italy and pay close to 500 euros to snag a copy for artwork. Jean Davis, Gwen Oliver, and Cassandra Wooten were known as The Yum-Yums when they auditioned for Arctic label founder Jimmy Bishop, who re-christened them as Honey and the Bees and added Nadine Felder to the line-up as lead vocalist. After Arctic folded, they moved to the Jubilee imprint Josie, where they recorded this 1970 gem. With a name like Honey and the Bees, it’ll come as no surprise that Love is pure, sweet soul, and it’s the Philly Sound through and through, with arrangements by greats like Norman Harris, Ronnie Baker, and Bobby Martin. The medley of Teddy Randazzo tunes culminating in a gorgeous rendition of the Royalettes hit “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle” is the highlight, but the whole record is pure magic, so good that we enlisted Mike Milchner of Sonic Vision to remaster it for vinyl to ensure that every note breathes and sings. First ever LP reissue, pressed in honey colored vinyl limited to 2000 copies!
File Under: Funk, Soul
Julian Lage: View with a Room (Blue Note) LP
Guitarist Julian Lage (“one of the most dazzling improvisers around” – New York Times) returns with a stunning new album View With A Room, the follow-up to his acclaimed 2021 Blue Note debut Squint, which the Associated Press called “an exuberant, engaging, endlessly inventive exploration of styles.” This time Lage expands his versatile trio with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King into a quartet with the addition of fellow guitarist and Blue Note labelmate Bill Frisell. View With A Room presents 10 compelling new original compositions by Lage that explore a wide range of guitar sounds and textures with these two distinctive master guitarists seamlessly blending their unique 6-string styles.
File Under: Jazz
Nikki Lane: Denim & Diamonds (New West) LP
From the first bass note within the driving drum beat you can tell something is different about the new record from Nikki Lane. The backbeat feels like a gutsy strut while the lead guitar feels like a revved up engine shifting gears. Denim & Diamonds comes out firing, spit shining the cowboy boots and tossing on a jean jacket. Produced by Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Denim & Diamonds has the Highway Queen embracing a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining the heartfelt outlaw country sound she has developed across her previous three releases. Denim & Diamonds still has the fuck-off flare of which Nikki has come to be known. Her stylized, story-telling lyrics are all there as well as her catchy country hooks. The outlaw country sound is now balanced out with a gritty guitar and a machine gun snare that echoes the sound of 70’s rock. Nikki Lane has made a record that sounds new and old. Familiar and surprising. She embraces where she has come from, (“First High”, “Born Tough”) the lessons learned along the way, (“Good Enough”, “Try Harder”) all while doing things her way, (“Denim & Diamonds”, “Black Widow”).
File Under: Country
Joni Mitchell: Blue (Rhino) LP
Rhino and Record Store Day have teamed up to reissue the 2021 remaster of Blue on clear vinyl as part of the RSD Essentials series. Blue is the fourth studio album by Joni, released on June 22, 1971, by Reprise Records. Written and produced entirely by Mitchell, it was recorded in 1971 at A&M Studios in Hollywood, California. Created just after her breakup with Graham Nash and during an intense relationship with James Taylor, Blue explores various facets of relationships from infatuation on “A Case of You” to insecurity on “This Flight Tonight”. Today, Blue is generally regarded by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time; the cohesion of Mitchell’s songwriting, compositions and voice are frequent areas of praise. In other words, this album is ESSENTIAL.
File Under: Rock, Folk
Murlocs: Rapscallion (ATO) LP
Hailing from Melbourne, 60’s tinged psych-rock punks The Murlocs deliver their brand new studio album, Rapscallion, via ATO Records. Strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass and psychedelic brightness, the 12-track collection is a coming-of-age novel in an album form. The wildly squalid odyssey populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters – teenage vagabonds and small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients – is partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. Their most magnificently heavy work yet, the result is an endlessly enthralling album equally steeped in danger and delirium and the wide-eyed romanticism of youth.
File Under: Punk, King Gizz
Jalen Ngonda: Just Like You Used To (Daptone) 7″
Daptone Records is proud to present the debut 45 from the newest member of the Daptone family stable of stars, Jalen Ngonda! Presently residing in the UK, Jalen grew up just outside of Washington D.C.. At the tender age of 11 Jalen’s father introduced him to the joys of soul music, of which he soaked up like a thirsty sponge, guiding him on the path to become the remarkable artist that he is today. With this inaugural single Jalen delivers two sides of mid-tempo magic that will make you feel his Motown roots rather than wearing them on his sleeve. ‘Just Like You Used To’ drops with groove and vibe in equal measure, providing the perfect foundation for Jalen’s vocals to soar. ‘What a Difference She Made’ digs deeper with the accompaniment of a lush string arrangement and plaintive vocal Jalen makes you feel every syllable down your bones. A sure-shot single poised to propel Jalen to the front of the pack.
FIle Under: Funk, Soul
The Nils: Shadows and Ghosts (On the Roof) LP
In 2015, almost thirty years after the release of their first full album on American label, Profile, Montreal punk scene veterans, The Nils, offered us a second album of new compositions. At that time, this new effort was only offered on CD and cassette and despite rave reviews has passed under the radar. Shadows And Ghosts is now available on vinyl for the first time. An album to discover by melodic punk precursors featuring guest appearances from Evan Dando (Lemonheads) and John Kastner (Asexuals, Doughboys).
File Under: Punk
Red, Pinks and Purples: They Only Wanted Your Soul (Slumberland) LP
Before The Reds, Pinks & Purples started getting noticed by a larger audience, the “I Should Have Helped You” 4 song EP snuck out on Swedish experimental label I Dischi Del Barone and quickly disappeared, becoming a little-heard but often whispered about piece of the RPPs discography. Recorded around the same time as the material that ended up on the buzzed-about LP “Uncommon Weather,” it contains some of the best examples of Glenn Donaldson’s melancholy but wry take on indie pop. Needless to say, it’s terrific. The original 7″ is now a white whale for collectors, trading for silly prices on Discogs when it shows up at all. This music *needs* to be heard, so we’ve put together this limited reissue that adds six more tracks to make it a mini-LP length grab bag of hits. It has songs about record shopping, religion, worker’s rights, dysfunctional holidays, and of course heartbreak sung over a maze of shimmering fuzzy guitars and drum machine beats — essential chapter of the Reds, Pinks & Purples story.
File Under: Indie Rock
Sponge: Rotting Pinata (Music on Vinyl) LP
Detroit-based rock band Sponge was formed in 1992 and consisted of vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Mike Cross, bassist Tim Cross, drummer Jimmy Paluzzi and guitarist Joey Mazzola. Their biggest hits to date include “Plowed” and “Molly (Sixteen Candles)”, which are both from their 1994 debut album Rotting Piñata. “Plowed” was also featured on several films (Empire Records, No Looking Back, Chasing Mavericks), TV shows (Cold Case) and video games (Tony Hawk: Shred, Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock). Rotting Piñata also contains the track “Candy Corn”, which used to be hidden after track B5 “Rainin’”. The album is available as a limited edition of 1500 individually numbered copies on flaming coloured vinyl and includes a printed innersleeve and 4-page booklet.
File Under: Rock
Stone Temple Pilots: Core (Run Out Groove) LP
Stone Temple Pilots immediately established themselves as rock and roll heavyweights with the release of their debut album Core in 1992. 30 years later, the album is a certified classic that continues to dominate the rock radio airwaves with timeless rock anthems including “Sex Type Thing,” “Creep,” and “Wicked Garden.” Core peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart and has been certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA. The band also took home the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for their smash single “Plush.” To commemorate 30 years of Core, Run Out Groove delivers an exclusive 180g vinyl 4LP deluxe edition of the iconic album featuring the original album as a 2LP set, plus two additional LPs featuring 18 demos and live performances, which are all making their vinyl debut. The deluxe edition comes in a hardbound slipcase featuring an exclusive poster of the album art and a booklet featuring liner notes and rare photos of the band from the era. All of the music on the third and fourth LPs in the set is making its debut on vinyl. Of the nine demos included, four were recorded between 1987 and 1990, when the band was known as Mighty Joe Young. One of those, “Only Dying,” is a song the band had planned to re-record in 1994 for The Crow soundtrack. The idea was later scrapped after the star of the film, Brandon Lee, was killed during production. The third LP concludes with five unreleased demos from their original Atlantic sessions. The fourth and final LP contains a scorching live recording from Castaic Lake Natural Amphitheater near Los Angeles from July 2, 1993, which features performances of nearly every track from Core.
File Under: Rock
Sun Ra Arkestra: Living Sky (Omnisound) LP
For more than two decades alto saxophonist Marshall Allen has carried on the legacy and sound of the Sun Ra Arkestra. He turned 98 in 2022 and as evidenced by Living Sky, his influence and leadership remain undiminished. On the group’s first recording since the pandemic and their Grammy nomination, bandleader Marshall Allen and company give us something we can hold onto, an instrumental album rich in spirituality to guide us through the unknown yet again. The album includes the first studio recording of Sun Ra’s elaboration of Frédéric Chopin’s “Prelude in A Major”, first instrumental recording of Ra’s “Somebody Else’s Idea”. Features Allen’s “Day of the Living Sky”, a meditative work that is a belated response to Sun Ra’s composition “Night of the Living Sky” which is also featured in the album. Cover art by Damon Locks. Mixed & mastered by two time Grammy winner Dave Darlington. Available in 2LP 180 GR Standard Edition in Black and 2LP 180 GR Limited Edition in Black including 2 x art prints by Damon Locks.
File Under: Jazz
David Sylvian: Manafon (Universal) LP
Manafon, released in 2009, was David Sylvian’s second solo album for his own Samadhisound label, described by the artist as “a modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical.” It was recorded during sessions in London, Vienna and Tokyo, bringing together such leading improvisers as Evan Parker, Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, John Tilbury, and members of Polwechsel, working in small ensembles. “It’s still a path I intend to pursue musically,” said Sylvian, “working with improvisation in some form or another. So you just follow whatever you feel is right for you. You follow your instinct and that’s all you can remain true to.” This is the first time Manafon has appeared on 180-gram vinyl, recut by the highly experienced engineer Tony Cousins at Metropolis Studios.
File Under: Experimental
Tricky Woo: Sometimes I Cry (Blow the Fuse) LP
Sometimes I Cry remains Tricky Woo’s most influential album to this day. Yielding a “should’ve been a crossover hit” with single Fly The Orient, the album marries eyeball-bursting technicolor artwork by frontman Andrew Dickson, with riffs borrowed from Funhouse-era Stooges and the MC5, to far less likely inspirations such as Uriah Heep, AC/DC and even Aerosmith. Embracing massive riffs, fuzzed-out space echo guitar, bad-vibe lyrics about electric orchards, fields of fire, falling from clouds, this was clearly no longer garage rock, or garage punk, but a kind of weird, maximum energy “acid punk” : something like Blue Cheer’s Vincebus Eruptum played at 45rpm.
File Under: Rock
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Capitol) LP
Beatles: s/t (White Album) (Capitol) LP
Black Angels: Wilderness of Mirrors (Partisan) LP
Black midi: Hellfire (Rough Trade) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Can: Soundtracks (Mute) LP
Caribou: Andorra (Merge) LP
Caribou: Swim (Merge) LP
Sam Cooke: Night Beat (Music on Vinyl) LP
Charley Crockett: Man From Waco (Thirty Tigers) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Feist: The Reminder (Arts & Crafts) LP
William S. Fischer: Circles (Real Gone) LP
Fontaines D.C.: Skinty Fia (Partisan) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Constellation) LP
Dexter Gordon: Doin’ Allright (Blue Note) LP
PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (Island) LP
High Vis: Blending (Dais) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Open Sesame (Blue Note) LP
Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (Sanctuary) LP
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (Sanctuary) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Karate: Bed is in the Ocean (Numero) LP
Kinks: Face to Face (Sanctuary) LP
Kinks: Something Else (Sanctuary) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Big Brother) LP
Angel Olsen: Big Time (Secretly Canadian) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Pretty Things: S.F. Sorrow (Madfish) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Rich Ruth: I Survived, It’s Over (Third Man) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Spoon: Girls Can Tell (Matador) LP
Spoon: Lucifer on the Sofa (Matador) LP
Stereolab: Dots & Loops (Duophonic) LP
Talk Talk: Party’s Over (Parlophone) LP
Talking Heads: Remain In Light (Rhino) LP
Thou: A Primer of Holy Words (Sacred Bones) LP
Turnstile: Glow On (Roadrunner) LP
Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Matador) LP
Various: Valley of the Sun (Numero) LP