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…..news letter #897 – balloons…..

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t summer usually longer? And warmer? Anyway… killer week for new stuff so come down for a dig.

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…..picks of the week…..

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Herbie Hancock: Mwandishi (Antarctica Starts Here) LP
After releasing their Warner Bros. debut, the Herbie Hancock Sextet underwent a major transformation in the early ’70s. Over the course of a year, every member was replaced (except Herbie Hancock himself and bassist Buster Williams) and each adopted Swahili names. (Williams even led the group in occasional sessions of Buddhist chanting.) Hancock chose the moniker Mwandishi (meaning “composer”), and the Sextet became unofficially known as the Mwandishi Band. The lineup’s first album—simply titled Mwandishi—reflects Hancock’s new aesthetic and spiritual directions. Stretching out from the R&B / jazz fusion of Fat Albert Rotunda, the pianist would draw inspiration from his time with Miles Davis (whose classic Bitches Brew came out in 1970) as well as through the creative relationship he had formed with producer David Rubinson (known for his work with Moby Grape and Santana). “Ostinato (Suite for Angela),” dedicated to political activist Angela Davis, is an extended jam with stunning rhythmic complexity—enhanced by studio effects, such as Echoplex delay. On the ballad “You’ll Know When You Get There,” Hancock’s tight arrangements are saturated in reverb, which gives an ever-shifting dimensionality. Side-long closer “Wandering Spirit Song,” written by trombonist Julian Priester (aka Pepo Mtoto), goes even further out: alternating between dynamic soloing and group improvisation, the Sextet fully manifests the radical potential of their collective identity / energy. Mwandishi remains a bold and expansive statement, even after nearly 50 years.

File Under: Jazz, Jazz-Funk
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Fishing For Fishies (ATO) LP
Sit back and strap yourself in as seven-headed Aussie rock beast King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies, perhaps their most perfectly-realized album to date. The fourteenth album since their 2012 debut—and their first following the release of five vastly different albums in 2017—Fishing for Fishies is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several moods and terrains. King Gizzard are no longer a band, they are a cult, a youth movement, an exploration, a double-drumming trip, a cottage industry centered around their own Flightless Records. Perhaps most importantly they provide transportive fun, a valuable and often-overlooked commodity in an increasingly fraught world. As Pitchfork noted, they have waged war against two tired clichés: “One, that rock is dead; and two, that the album is dead.” More than that, King Gizzard have staked their claim as one of the most innovative, exciting and productive bands of the 21st century. Pressed on U.S. Toxic Landfill Edition Vinyl.

File Under: Blues, Psych, Boogie
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…..new arrivals…..

LDB12912_Big Thief: U.F.O.F. (4AD) LP
U.F.O.F. is the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief and their first on 4AD. U.F.O.F. was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios. In a large cabin-like room, the band set up their gear to track live with engineer Dom Monks and producer Andrew Sarlo, who was also behind their previous albums. Having already lived these songs on tour, they were relaxed and ready to experiment. The raw material came quickly. Some songs were written only hours before recording and stretched out instantly, first take, vocals and all. Others were explored in search of perfected moments of dynamic feedback and spiritual, rhythmic togetherness. A careful New Age sprinkle of mystical textures and stabs was added and kept in the mix only when all agreed that each element had become absolutely crucial to the tune. The completed palette feels classic, upfront and honest, with an occasional, welcome glimpse into the magic box. “Making friends with the unknown…All my songs are about this,” says Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals). “If the nature of life is change and impermanence, I’d rather be uncomfortably awake in that truth than lost in denial.”

File Under:Indie Rock
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Body Without Organs: Isis & Thoth (Dark Entries) LP
Body Without Organs were a duo from New York City consisting of Richard Behrens (lyrics, vocals, guitar) and Carl Howard (electronics, effects) formed in 1982. The pair brought together skill and ideas from such diverse areas as writing, poetry, ceremonial magic, studio technology, and mass media sounds and images. The name Body Without Organs could mean several things: a body, being an organization, without organs, or hierarchy; a form of anarchy, certainly opposed to the capitalist system, and if not directly opposed, then deeply skeptical of its effects on society. Richard was interested in anthropology and mythology and the Golden Dawn System of Magick as a meditative tool. Sort of aural performance artists doing their performance work who released four cassette albums through Howard’s Audiofile Tapes between 1985 and 1987. We are proud to reissue their debut album “Isis and Thoth” from 1985 on vinyl for the first time. The album’s title pays homage to Isis: the protectress of the dead whose mournful tears for her husband/brother Osiris [the god of the dead who was murdered by his brother Set] were said to flood thee Nile annually, and unto the ibis or baboon headed Thoth: the heart [intelligence] and tongue [voice] of the sun god Ra. The nine compositions were created as scenes or moods with taped effects, delay pedals and found vocals. The duo employed droning synth syncopated with sparse percussive accents, esoteric vocal chanting, looping delayed beats, dissonant guitar and stuttering bass lines. Richard sadly passed away in 2017 and his widow Anna sent us the entire BwO cassette archive and we discovered a previously unreleased track “Scrap” included here. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Each copy includes an 8.5×11 insert with photos and interview with Richard Behrens. “When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom” – excerpt from the radio play by Antonin Artaud: “To Have Done with the Judgment of God” (1947)

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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Alex Cameron: Live in San Francisco (Castle Face) LP
“Here we have the final entry into our Live In San Francisco series: an intimate evening with Alex [Cameron] and his indispensable sax man, Roy Molloy (beard in briefcase) performing at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco, a very classy and lovingly maintained venue originally built in 1907 on Market Street, just a pube or two into the Castro District. “I was first introduced to Alex Cameron by Adam Beris, a real swell fellow who’s been drawing Castle Faces for us for years. He asked if I had heard of this “Suicide meets sad Springsteen” act and showed me the mysterious Geocities-style website (complete with shady porn ads). I was immediately hooked on the skeletal throb, the stark portraits of hard luck losers, the ego-maniacal squares, and the swagger on this prosthetically wrinkled Australian song and dance man. On a paid website, as he reminds us. Both sharp-witted and steeped in thespian courage, this is exactly what the world needed in this hungry, hungry time we live in. We got in touch, things led to other things, and when Alex was opening for Oh Sees at the Chapel in San Francisco we hatched a plan to make a live record, over white wine spritzers (as all the best deals are inked). “Al and Roy are the real deal, folks…and this wasn’t to be just any old show. I was determined to do something a little special, and I got the idea from working on John’s book of poster art (Exploded Globes) to bill it as a semi-formal, encourage people to ‘get dressed up and messed up’ as John puts it, and do it in a classy sort of hall, make it muy romantico. We got flowers from the Mission De Flores (who have sadly joined the ghost ranks of SF small businesses past), one of which made it to the cover, the champagne and fine wines flowed, and I like to think we helped San Francisco get a little luckier that night. There’s flower petals all over the mix here; Roy’s sax slinks sultrily, Al is in fine form, adding the occasional barb on the stem, sounding well oiled and comfortably bantering between tunes, and Justin Nijssen hangs back and window-dresses the whole thing with some well placed guitar and a few backups. These are professionals, need I remind you, hard workin’ road dogs with deep thoughts that inspire deep respect, and they put some dancing sweat on all the hits from Jumping The Shark as well as “Candy May” from Forced Witness, which at the time wasn’t yet out. We couldn’t be prouder of our final Live In SF disc, and it’s out on Castle Face Records in partnership with Secretly Canadian.”   – Matt Jones

File Under: Indie Rock
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Loren Connors & Daniel Carter: The Departing of a Dream Vol. vii (Family Vineyard) LP
The Departing of a Dream, Vol. VII is the debut collaboration between two giants of the New York avant-garde ­ – guitarist Loren Connors and saxophonist/trumpeter Daniel Carter. It’s a gorgeous, languorous soundscape distilled from the darkest reaches of blues and jazz. For nearly 17 years Connors has used the Departing series to continue his meditation on Miles Davis’ epic “He Loved Him Madly” and expand his efforts to create disappearing music. The duo does just that, vanishing behind decaying trumpet drones and choral-like sheets of electric strings. Carter and Connors both active since the mid-1970s only began performing together in the past year. Carter is a master improviser on assorted horns and reeds and known as a member of the legendary NYC ecstatic/creative improvisational groups Other Dimensions In Music and Test and for accompanying everyone from Sun Ra, Yo La Tengo, and Matthew Shipp. Connors has released records of his singular guitar improvisations and compositions since 1978.  A few past Connors’ albums contained saxes and more – Come Night (1991) and Hoffman Estates (1998) – but those were overdub, studio affairs. Here, Connors responds in real-time, processing effects and crafting an intimate world, shimmering like a black crystal.

File Under: Experimental, Avant Garde
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Cube: Decoy Street (W.25th) LP
Cube is the prolific and chimeric nom de plume of one Adam Keith, formidable tape experimentalist and artist / abraser currently operating in Oakland, California’s vibrant subterranea. After countless cassette releases, 2016’s well-received My Cube LP and a tenure in no-wave faction Mansion, Keith reaffirms Cube’s pledge with Decoy Street—his second album and the most developed work he has made under any guise to date. Opener “In This House” serves as the ideal introduction to Cube: cellular interference, colliding circuitry, metal-on-metal grind and simplistic guitar distortion meet a towering and damaged beat. While “Habit” merges downtempo and industrial touchstones via layers of heavily treated vocals, “Sanctuary” tilts further towards propulsion—a dark treatise on discomfort, yet contagious enough to charm DIY and post-punk devotees. Released on W.25TH, Superior Viaduct’s sub-label for contemporary bands, Decoy Street is recommended for fans of Prurient, Puce Mary and Alan Vega.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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Ghosts of Dance: Walking Through Gardens (Dark Entries) LP
We are proud to release a compilation from British post-punk/Futurist group Ghosts of Dance formed in North Devon in 1981. The members were Yvette Norris (vocals), Kevin Maynard (drums), Daryl Hunt (bass), Mark Butcher (keyboards), and Pete Heaton (guitar). Ghosts of Dance took their name from the song ‘Ghosts’ by David Sylvian which appeared on the first Japan album. After playing an early gig in Barnstaple, a gentleman in the audience named Richard Newman expressed his interest to start a record label and release their music. Richard scheduled a recording session for the band at Otter Studios in Georgeham with producer Harry Williamson, son of Henry Williamson, member of progressive rock band Gong. The debut single ‘Ghosts of Dance’ was released in 1982 on Plastic Canvas Records to mixed reviews as it was very different from anything being released at the time. Our compilation includes their debut single along with 9 bonus tracks recorded between 1981 and 1983 on vinyl for the first time. The band call themselves “Vocal Trance Music” on the 7” sleeve credits and it’s accurate. We call it melancholic pop with gloomy atmosphere and dream-like melodies. The final track shows the band moving in a New Romantic direction with Mark taking over the main vocals. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Each copy is housed in a jacket featuring original artwork by John Hurford and includes an insert with photos, lyrics and liner notes by Pete Heaton.

File Under: Synthwave, Post Punk
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Herbie Hancock: Crossings (Antarctica Starts Here) LP
Crossings was the second release by the Herbie Hancock Sextet lineup known as the Mwandishi Band, following 1971’s Mwandishi which stretched Hancock’s already-adventurous writing and expanded the music through post-production. This approach would play an even larger role on Crossings, the pianist’s final album for Warner Bros. For two of Crossings’ three pieces (“Quasar” and “Water Torture”), Hancock took basic instrumental tracks to Patrick Gleeson’s Different Fur Studios, hoping to learn how to play the Moog synthesizer. Instead, Hancock let Gleeson contribute layers of sound to both pieces. On “Quasar,” a ballad in 7/4 time, Gleeson extends the horn playing of Bennie Maupin, Julian Priester and Eddie Henderson through electronic accents, while on “Water Torture,” he provides a ghostly counter melody on the Mellotron, a keyboard that utilizes samples from string instruments. These studio enhancements give Crossings an otherworldly dimension, making the album feel bigger and more fantastical, yet the Sextet’s playing—recorded without much in way of edits or overdubs —keeps everything grounded. Indeed, Gleason’s additions are often so natural that it is hard to pick out what’s acoustic and what’s synthesized. While the Mwandishi Band’s tenure was unfortunately short-lived, the advances Herbie Hancock made with them still sound exciting today and would propel him into further inventive territory with future jazz-funk project The Headhunters.

File Under: Jazz, Jazz Funk
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Herbie Hancock: Fat Albert Rotunda (Antarctica Starts Here) LP
If Fat Albert Rotunda sounds like the most fun Herbie Hancock had in his early years as a band leader, it should. He composed the music for the pilot of the children’s television show Fat Albert, redirecting the post-bop jazz he honed in a five-year stint with the Miles Davis Quintet towards the R&B and funk styles with which he was becoming enamored. The result was a playful, joyous album in which Hancock clearly had a great time. The same goes for the rest of his Sextet, which by the time of recording in late 1969 was both razor sharp and confidently loose from rehearsing and touring. Flying high with three horn players—Joe Henderson on sax and flute, Garnett Brown on trombone and Johnny Coles on trumpet and flugelhorn—alongside Hancock’s soaring Fender Rhodes electric piano, the group could swing freely on a track like the rousing “Fat Mama” and emote precisely on the subtle “Tell Me A Bedtime Story.” Their versatility won over Warner Bros. who signed Hancock after hearing these infectious compositions and watched Fat Albert Rotunda climb the Billboard Jazz Charts. In subsequent years, Hancock would expand and experiment with the Sextet’s sound, creating two more albums for Warner Bros. Regardless of where he went next, Fat Albert Rotunda is still, 50 years later, about as fun as music gets.

File Under: Jazz, Jazz-Funk
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Kevin Harrison: Inscrutably Obvious (Superior Viaduct) LP
Hailing from Nuneaton, England, Kevin Harrison recorded both solo and collaboratively throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s. While his early recordings would come out in hyper-limited editions or go unreleased for decades, Inscrutably Obvious remains his sole LP—a lost gem of Britain’s ’80s cassette culture and DIY bedroom aesthetics. Originally released in 1981, Inscrutably Obvious covers a lot of ground on its seventeen inscrutable tracks—from analog synth workouts to mutated disco and shimmering guitar improvisations. The album maintains a late-night vibe, filtered through a post-punk lens. Harrison clearly wears his influences on his sleeve—major debts are paid to Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Manuel Gottsching—yet finds his own unique voice, combining quirky instrumentals and surrealist sensibilities. This first-time reissue is recommended for fans of Chris & Cosey, Cupol and The Normal. Inscrutably Obvious sounds as fresh today as it must have nearly 40 years ago.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial

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LDM72111_Mekons: Deserted (Bloodshot) LP
Emboldened by a sold-out tour and a surge of interest in the States after the release of the documentary Revenge of the Mekons, the band retreated to the fringes of Joshua Tree National Park and popular culture to record their new album Deserted. The long-running, genre-hopping, impossible-to-kill British folk-punk collective summoned the forces of magic, fear, and superstition for an album of shifting sand Sturm und Drang. It is at once a distorted howl into the emptiness of space, as well as a quiet submission to the shimmering allure of a mirage. The heat and endless horizon can lead to madness or clarity, and while there is relief when the sun goes down, you know the deep chill is not far off. Cinematic and widescreen in its sonic scope and with a live band immediacy, Deserted is the Mekons at their finest. And whether you are up against yourself, or an entire system, the indifferent stars still shimmer above, while rage, humor and irony are usually on the same side of the Mekons coin. From the onrushing sunrise squall of “Lawrence of California,” the album plays like the soundtrack to a movie of flames, romance, dissolution, and destruction. Jon Langford’s prickly and jagged guitar, angry pub singalong exhortations, and Susie Honeyman’s Middle Eastern-touched fiddle make the song a distorted lodestar for the journey. With the rhythms and atmospherics of Steve Goulding (drums), Dave Trumfio (bass), and Rico Bell (accordion/vocals) as a foundation, the album is full of space; never claustrophobic, but often susceptible to the blurry hallucinations on the horizon. Tom Greenhalgh’s parched vocals on “HARAR 1883” and “How Many Stars?” add a mournful sense of fragility to the disoriented traveler, while Sally Timms’ dream-like voice turns “Into The Sun” into an oasis – the incantations at the end rising as a shield. On “In The Desert,” Timms is a bulwark against the cruelty that awaits beyond pools. Throughout, Lu Edmonds’ obscure stringed instruments are as psilocybinally piercing as Peter O’Toole’s blue eyes. Deserted is folk music made by folks who are pissed and disillusioned, lost and longing to be found, but only on their terms.

File Under: Rock
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603111732411_mainMonolord: Fairies Wear Boots (Riding Easy) LP
Monolord’s 12-minute cover of Black Sabbath classic “Fairies Wear Boots” pressed on gray w/ black smoke colored vinyl with etching on the b-side. Monolord’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it’s a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member. Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Rust, the band’s third full length, truly exemplifies why it received universal praise in reviews and landed atop multiple Album of The Year lists for 2017 — including the #1 Album of 2017 on the Doom Charts collective of journalists, bloggers, radio and podcasters.

File Under: Metal
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Protomartyr: No Passion All Technique (Domino) LP
When Protomartyr – vocalist Joe Casey, guitarist Greg Ahee, bassist Scott Davidson, drummer Alex Leonard – stepped into a studio together for the first time, in November 2011, they didn’t know they were about to record an album. With only four hours of studio time booked and one case of beer between them, their plan was to walk out with enough songs for a seven-inch single. Instead, at the suggestion of engineer Chris Koltay, the newly formed Detroit outfit recorded as much as they possibly could, in what little time they had. They left with 21 songs – enough material for two singles and a full-length album that, years later, is still vital listening. Sold out and out of print shortly after its original release on Urinal Cake Records in 2012, – No Passion All Technique is a sometimes messy look at one of rock’s most magnetic bands – and lyricists – just as they were coming to life. Primal, cerebral, heartbreaking, funny – it’s an accidental tour de force that’s also become an unlikely collector’s item. “My memory is shot,” Casey says, “but I appreciate now, looking back, how raw and off-the-cuff it was. There’s tons of mistakes in it and that wasn’t because we planned on it. We still can’t really admit that it’s as good as it is. You never want to say that your first is the best, but I’m happy that the first ended up not being terrible. It gave us doorway to what we’d want to do later. ” Protomartyr’s spectacular debut has previously seen only a highly limited vinyl pressing (which fetches up to $200 on Discogs), and a limited digital release on iTunes only. In spite of its elusiveness, it has acquired a passionate fanbase over the years – one who have been demanding a re-issue at every possible opportunity. Along with the original 13-song tracklist (including live staple “Jumbo’s”), the No Passion All Technique vinyl re-issue will be accompanied by 4 additional digital bonus tracks: three songs from an early 7″ which have never before enjoyed digital availability; and one entirely unreleased track, “Whatever Happened to the Saturn Boys?” Also included is a 20-page zine.

File Under: Punk
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647603405087_mainStonewall: s/t (Permanent) LP
“So you’re addicted to hard rock from 1972 and getting tired of LPs that don’t take you for the full ride. You check out tons of ’em. Stonewall? Hmmm… only the most potent and rare stuff can get you off nowadays. Kicks intense enough to remind you why you got into it in the first place. Jams you can’t wait to lay on your friends so uncontrollably alive you know it’s gonna wipe ’em out. Yeah… you really need Stonewall. It’s ritual time. Drop the needle into the groove. Side One. Stoned swaggering confidence, attitude and energy right out of the gate. Stonewall immediately take charge with ‘Right On,’ an ‘incite-the-audience, invoke-the-jams’ renegade rocker akin to ‘Are You Ready?’ by Grand Funk or ‘Combination of the Two’ by Big Brother conceptually but taken way further. I can’t say more without some sort of spoiler alert. To mess with your head, after a near cluster-fuck with the audience in the opening track comes ‘Solitude.’ After a savage encounter with ‘Bloody Mary’ the side ends with my favorite track. As soon as the guitar riff ignites ‘Outer Spaced’ you know you’re gonna get crushed. I hear people all over the world saying Stonewall is a ‘Holy Grail’. I agree. ‘Holy Grail’ status for an LP requires the most extreme and exciting combination of quality and rarity. That’s not all. It has to have mystery. It has to reek of humanity. There can be no other LP that beats it at its game. Top dog. It has to be a mindfuck capable of destroying anybody who hears it, including those who have previously only experienced the usual killer classics. Finding a copy must come as close to impossible as possible and remain that way even after everybody knows about it. As an original pressing, Stonewall fulfills all of the ‘Holy Grail’ requirements and I am jacked that a legitimate reissue finally happens some 30 odd years after it first blew me away!”—Paul Major. Edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Hard Rock
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Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride (Sony) LP
Vampire Weekend’s highly anticipated fourth album, Father of the Bride closes a six-year gap since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City – a period during which the band’s Ezra Koenig was anything but idle: In addition to touring the world and winning a Best Alternative Grammy for Modern Vampires…, Koenig released his Netflix anime series Neo Yokio and co-wrote and produced Beyonce’s “Hold Up”… all the while living the experiences and observations that would inform the next Vampire Weekend album. Father of the Bride’s title is something Koenig chose years back, well before recent significant developments in his life. In typical Vampire Weekend fashion, the title has multiple layers of meaning, expressing the band’s signature paradox: creating songs that easily find a home on any playlist – or car radio, TV show, film soundtrack, airport PA, etc. – but reveal their complexities upon closer listening. Produced by Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna, Charli XCX, Usher, HAIM, Solange), the 18-track double album comes introduced by the fresh yet familiar sounding numbers “Sunflower,” “Big Blue,” “Harmony Hall” and “2021,” and includes collaborations with Jenny Lewis, David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Steve Lacy (The Internet), Rostam Batmanglij (VW co-founder who left the band in 2016) and Haruomi Hosono among others. Koenig said that band will release, “three 2-song drops every month until the record is out.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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LDW04417_Wooden Shjips: Shjips in the Night (Silver Current) LP
Special edition silver foil rainbow outer sleeve with colored splattered vinyl (Regular edition (SC39LP) has gold foil outer sleeve with black vinyl). Now entering their 13th year of drone and dirge drug-boogie, the Wooden Shjips, one of the linchpins of the neo-psychedelic movement of the new millennium, continue to expand on their concept of the eternal and infinite riff, ever higher and outward, year after year. Their first official live album, Shjips In The Night: Live In San Francisco, June 8, 2018 is as much a summation of their journey so far as it is an ultra-saturated, full color snap-shot of their peak live powers at present. At once cosmic and heavy, dream-like and searing in equal measures (and often all at once), this is the capture of a single live performance, multi-tracked at Slim’s in San Francisco by Eric Bauer and Damien Rasmussen and in a unique creative twist, was mixed by the band’s friends and colleagues in underground psych rock, Heron Oblivion, who hand out the Nitrous balloons and bring their own subtle (and not so subtle) enhancement of the show’s dark but kaleidoscopic color palette to the Shjips’ universe through performance mixing and post-production effects worm-holes, all the while keeping the Shjips’ long time band chemistry and natural sonic power at the forefront of the listener’s experience. Shjips In The Night is a career-spanning set that includes performances of songs from their first EP to their latest V out last year on Thrill Jockey.

File Under: Psych

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Various: Brown Acid 8 (Riding Easy) LP
The hard stuff saga continues with Brown Acid – The Eighth Trip! Yet again, Riding Easy has searched high and low to bring ten tracks of straight blue flame fire from the golden age of heaviness. As usual, these rare tracks have been carefully curated, analogically sourced, and fully licensed so one can listen guilt-free and save a lot of time and money tracking down the original copies. This Trip comes straight at ya with an all out attack, quite literally—Attack’s “School Daze” kicks out the jams Detroit-style. White Rock will knock your stank-ass socks off with their 1972 burner “Please Don’t Run Away”. This 45 was privately released by this Houston-based band that reportedly played shows with Josefus, Stone Axe, and Purple Sun. Riverside’s two-sider from 1974 rips from front to back. It’s also exclusively available here and is virtually unknown. And that’s just some of the stellar collection of rare singles featured here. Some of the best thrills of the Internet music revolution is the ability to find extremely rare music with great ease. But even with such vast archives to draw from, quite a lot of great songs have gone undiscovered for nearly half a century—particularly in certain genres. Previously, only the most extremely dedicated and passionate record collectors had the stamina and prowess to hunt down long forgotten wonders in dusty record bins—often hoarding them in private collections, or selling at ridiculous collector’s prices. Legendary compilations like Nuggets, Pebbles, ad nauseum, have exhausted the mines of early garage rock and proto-punk, keeping alive a large cross-section of underground ephemera. However, few have delved into and expertly archived the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner rock tracks collected on Brown Acid.

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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…..Restocks…. 

Arcade Fire: Everything Now (Sonovox) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Sonovox) LP
Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (EMI) LP
Bing & Ruth: No Home of the Mind (4AD) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
The Clash: s/t (Epic) LP
Alvin Curran: Canti e Vedute Del (Superior Viaduct) LP
Dead Moon: In The Graveyard (Mississippi) LP
Dead Moon: Unknown Passage (Mississippi) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Elder: Dead Roots Stirring (Armageddon) LP
Elder: Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon) LP
Ex Hex: It’s Real (Merge) LP
Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic (Dirt Nap) LP
The Fall: Dragnet (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Fall: Hex Enduction Hour (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Fall: Live at the Witch Trials (Superior Viaduct) LP
Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (4 Men With Beards) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow (Westbound) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Tim Hecker: Virgins (Kranky) LP
Kassav’: Love & Ka Dance (Heavenly Sweetness) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
Jenny Lewis: On the Line (Warner) LP
Mission of Burma: vs (Matador) LP
Mission of Burma: Calls, Signals & Marches (Matador) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Moondog: Story of Moondog (4 Men With Beards) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Broken (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Nothing) LP
Nirvana: MTV Unplugged (Geffen) LP
Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler (In The Red) LP
Oh Sees: Smote Reverser (Castle Face) LP
OST: Blade Runner (Eastwest) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Epic) LP
Jessica Pratt: s/t (Birth) LP
Pup: Morbid Stuff (Little Dipper) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Universal) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Ty Segall: Freedom’s Goblin (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
Joseph Shabason: Anne (Western Vinyl) LP
Silver Apples: s/t (Jackpot) LP
Sonic Youth: Sister (Goofin) LP
Spiritualized: Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Plain) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of… (Kranky) LP
Jeff Tweedy: Warm (ADA) LP
Tim Presley’s White Fence: I Have to Feed Larry’s (Drag City) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
White Stripes: Under Great White Nothern Lights (Warner) LP
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) LP
Wooden Shjips: s/t (Holy Mountain) LP
Wooden Shjips: Vol 1 (Holy Mountain) LP
Wooden Shjips: Vol 2 (Holy Mountain) LP
X: Los Angeles (Fat Possum) LP
Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (Rhino) LP

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….news letter #896 – bunnied…..

Well I hope you found some chocolate eggs last weekend. It would appear that the record world is slowly settling back to normal. New releases, restocks etc. Come down for a dig!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

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…..pick of the week…..

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Various: Science & Technology – ERR Rec Library Vol 2 (ERR) LP
Volume number two of Err Rec’s fabulous library music collection is here and as with the first, features the work of a group of contemporary French musicians working under pseudonyms in the field of weird and wonderful vintage sounding library music. Fans of volume one will find much to love here and its just as limited with only 50 available. The artwork was created by the label’s co-founder Bolanile Maté, loosely inspired by the works of Paul Kee and Josef Müller-Brockman. It features Gianni Moretto, Bernold Delgoda, Antonin Fortin, Atmosphere, Bertrand de Rombières etc.

File Under: Electronic, Library
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Late RSD Arrivals/Restocks

A wee selection of late arrivals and restocks… first come, first served, no holds..

Olafur Arnalds: Re:Member+ Strings (Mercury) LP+7″
Angelo Badilamenti/David Lynch: Twin Peaks Season 2 (Warner) LP
Jim Cuddy: Countrywide Soul (Warner) 7″
Gong: Live au Bataclan 1973 (Culture Factory) LP
Groundhogs: Thank Christ for the Bomb (Fire) LP
Hockey Dad: Dreamin’ (Kanine) LP
Modest Mouse: Poison The Well (Glacial Pace) 7″
Mumford & Sons: Delta Acoustic Sessions Live (Island) 10″
OST: Dr. Who – Galaxy 4 (Demon) LP
OST: Dr. Who – Destiny of the Daleks (Demon) LP
Rolling Stones: She’s a Rainbow (Abkco) 10″
Tangerine Dream: Le Parc (Cherry Red) LP
Cecil Taylor: The Great Paris Concert (ORG) LP
Yes: s/t (Rhino) LP
Various: Sonic Unyon: Now We Are 25 (Sonic Unyon) 3LP

….new arrivals…..

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Chemical Brothers: No Geography (Virgin) LP
No Geography is The Chemical Brothers’ long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s UK chart-topping and Grammy nominated Born In The Echoes, the electronic music legends’ sixth consecutive UK No. 1. To realize No Geography, the duo built tracks vocal samples; voices were wound tightly into music that Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons found themselves following wherever it led them. Snatches of dialogue from the late ’60s experimental Dial-A-Poem project were chosen that reflected the mood in the studio. Songs were road tested in front of audiences as part of the 2018 live set and honed in regular DJ sets the world over. No Geography is introduced by “Free Yourself” (dubbed “a euphoric, multi-faceted odyssey of blistering synths and deep grooves” by Rolling Stone), “MAH” (described as “a short & bloody ride into our modern media psychosis” by The Guardian) and “Got To Keep On,” a striking groovy and disco-inspired track which proves once again what The Chemical Brothers are capable of when it comes to the diversity of their production skills. Several of the tracks on No Geography feature vocals by Norwegian singer/songwriter Aurora who wrote and recorded parts in the band’s studio in close collaboration with the band while Japanese rapper Nene features on the record’s opening cut “Eve of Destruction.”

File Under: Electronic
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Fidlar: Almost Free (Mom & Pop) LP
Almost Free, the new release from Fidlar touches on many of the tragedies and irritations of modern life: existential dread, gentrification, the inescapable sway of the super-rich and the self-involved, post-breakup telecommunication, performative wokeness, the loneliness of sobriety or the lack thereof. But through sheer force of imagination and an unchecked joie de vivre, the L.A.-based band manages to turn feeling wrong into something glorious and essential. In the age of joyless self-care, Almost Free makes a brilliant case for being less careful, for living without fear of fucking up, and possibly embracing any incurred damage as a lucky symptom of being alive. The album sees the band pushing boundaries into new territory and influences while staying true to their unshakable core. “A lot of the vibe was, ‘Well, why can’t we do that? Why can’t we have horns? Why can’t we have key changes? Why can’t we have a harmonica loop?’,” said lead singer/guitarist Zac Carper. “It was about taking the ceiling off. Having it be limitless. Ain’t no rules,” Elvis Kuehn added “Almost Free feels like a step forward for us in a lot of ways. We tried to be true to ourselves and let the music come out naturally, without fear of how people would receive it.”

File Under: Rock, Punk
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Kelly Finnigan: The Tales People Tell (Colemine) LP
Kelly Finnigan, the lead singer of Bay Area-based indie-soul auteurs Monophonics, presents his debut solo album The Tales People Tell. Over the course of record’s ten new, original songs, Kelly channels a multitude of influences that reflect a lifetime immersed in the music and culture of soul, R&B, and hip­hop – it’s the story of an outsider that followed an unorthodox route, always guided by his own creative north star. Kelly guided the songs on The Tales People Tell from their conception all the way to the record pressing plant over the course of two years. He wrote and produced each track on the record and plays ten instruments throughout, while enlisting the help of friends and legends like drummer James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Beck), members of Monophonics, and Kelly’s own father, prominent sideman/keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James). The result is a timeless collection underscored by a sense of community, a family affair of a record that’s at once raw and gritty, tender and emotive, lush and symphonic. Colored vinyl LP pressed at Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, OH. High quality Stoughton Tip-On gatefold jacket packaging with Mobile Fidelity anti-static innsersleeve, download card, and a lyric sheet insert.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Foxygen: Seeing Other People (Jagjaguwar) LP
Los Angeles-based Foxygen, the duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado, return in 2019 with the new album, Seeing Other People. The nine-track collection was written and produced entirely by Foxygen at Sonora Recorders in Los Feliz, California and engineered and mixed by Shawn Everett. Throughout, Foxygen’s keen ability to experiment with and expand upon classic pop and rock sounds bloom, and it also features contributions from legendary drummer Jim Keltner. Seeing Other People sees Foxygen at their very best, “chopping up pop culture and spinning it into a sticky, wicked web.” The particular flavor on this album, the band suggests, is “Sad-Boy Plastic-Soul Adult-Contemporary Cartoon-Noir Music.” Aptly named after the adult phrase “maybe we should see other people,” Seeing Other People is Foxygen’s most straightforward “goodbye” album yet; “Goodbye to the drugs, to the partying. Goodbye to my twenties now, Goodbye to my Saint Laurent-model-body. Goodbye to the touring circus – that’s right, no more shows or tours for a while. Goodbye, hopefully, to the anxiety attacks. Goodbye to beating myself up because I didn’t fit into those leather pants anymore. Fuck it. Goodbye to the facilities. And goodbye the leeches in my life,” says France. The album is filled with self-referential tales of touring, partying, of being young and in a band, and saying farewell to the grittier, darker aspects of it all. “I remember a quote from Rado sticking with the press a few years ago about how we’d lived every rock n roll cliche in, about, one year. Well, here’s the album about it. Another movie. I don’t know what’s next. But here’s a snapshot of it all.” Lead single, “Livin’ A Lie,” is an acknowledgement of fame-hungry mimicry as France sings “you’re name-dropping me all the time / You know I don’t really care for it / yeah you know that I don’t really care about it/ How does it feel to be livin a lie?”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Aldous Harding: Designer (4AD) LP
Designer finds Aldous Harding hitting her creative stride. After Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road. Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen. From the bold strokes of opening track “Fixture Picture,” there is an overriding sense of an enigmatic artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Damien Jurado: In the Shape of a Storm (Mama Bird) LP
Speaking about the films that influenced his fourteenth album, the solitary masterwork In the Shape of a Storm, Damien Jurado tosses out a list of favorites – American Graffiti, Paris, Texas, The Last Picture Show – films in which settings serve as silent, omniscient characters. But inquire about the curious way he writes songs, the hazy manner by which he seems to channel them from beyond the beyond, and the cinematic reference point he reaches for is a surprising one. “You ever see that movie Ghost? Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Oda Mae Brown – that’s who I am. These spirits are showing up at her door, jumping into her body. That’s how I feel. I don’t know what’s coming out of me…I just show up and deliver it.” For more than two decades, Jurado has sung folk songs brimming with prophetic imagination. Whether singing ballads about killers, wounded lovers, UFO cults, or yes, the phantoms of departed friends, he’s populated his work with eerie foretelling, the sense that he’s divining something just on the verge of happening. He wrote his last record, 2018’s The Horizon Just Laughed as a goodbye letter to his home of Seattle, WA, before he’d even decided to leave there for sunny Los Angeles. And while he recorded the ten songs featured on In the Shape of a Storm months before the passing of his longtime collaborator and close friend Richard Swift, it’s no coincidence that Swift’s death looms over the album. “His absence is very much felt on this record,” Jurado says. Damien has always worked fast, but In the Shape of a Storm came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon, it’s Jurado’s sparsest album to date. Gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with Swift. Gone even is the atmospheric air that hovered above his early albums for Sub Pop. Here, there’s only Jurado’s voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound spooky and celestial. Though fans have long requested a solo acoustic album, the prospect never made sense to Jurado, until one day it simply did. “It just felt like it was time,” Jurado says. The idea of an unadorned album became its own medium in his mind, like a painter who sets down his brushes and instead opts for charcoal pencils instead. “There is nothing left to hide,” Jurado sings on “Lincoln,” which opens the record. It’s something of a thesis statement for these songs. Everything here is clear and laid bare, two-tone, like the drawing Jurado crafted for the record’s cover. Originally written for 2000’s The Ghost of David, “Lincoln” was shelved and forgotten about until Damien came across it on an old cassette tape. The discovery inspired him to go about gathering up songs that had never found proper homes. As a result, In the Shape of a Storm is like an archive of previously abandoned songs. And yet, despite their disparate nature, Jurado’s visions hang together in curiously symmetrical ways: the moon shines in both the echo-drenched “Silver Ball” and closer “Hands on the Table”; rain ties the title song to the lilting “Oh Weather.” Jurado repeatedly returns to oceanic poetry – waves, tides, and shores – and to the theme of anchors, the metaphorical ones we use to tether ourselves to the sea floor and to each other. These are songs about the enormity of the unknown – the shape of storms that threaten to swallow us whole – and above all, they are songs about the connections that keep us from drifting away. “We are not meant to be on our own,” Jurado sings on “Throw Me Now Your Arms.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Karen O & Dangermouse: Lux Prima (BMG) LP
Lux Prima is the first release from iconic Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O and legendary musician-producer Danger Mouse. The two originally met to discuss collaboration in 2007 as mutual admirers, but in 2015, they got serious and made a plan – entering the studio with no sonic parameters and a handful of references – Lux Prima was born. “Title track Lux Prima is the first song we wrote for the record,” says O. “After making music for the past twenty years and embarking on making this record with Danger Mouse I knew a couple things: one was that the spirit of collaboration between us was going to be a pure one, and two was that the more I live the less is clear to me. When you create from a blurry place you can go places further than you’ve ever been. I think we both were excited to go far out.” “‘Woman’ came like a bolt out of the blue when we were in the studio,” adds O. “We did a first pass where I was blurting unintelligible words and Danger Mouse and I were like ‘Dang! That was intense. What’s that word I keep saying? Woman.’ The atmosphere was volatile with it being just after the election. A lot of people felt helpless like you do when you’re a scared kid looking for assurance that everything is gonna be alright. I like to write songs that anyone can relate to but this one felt especially for the inner child in me that needed the bullies out there to know you don’t fuck with me. I’m a woman now and I’ll protect that inner girl in me from hell and high water.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Mountain Goats: In League with Dragons (Merge) LP/DLX LP
The Mountain Goats’ In League with Dragons surges with wild tales of revenge and redemption, heroes at a crossroads, and great figures in decline. The band present twelve new songs penned by John Darnielle that luxuriate in a wide swath of sounds, from shades of the ’80s Athens scene to swaths of outlaw country and a few motorik meditations. In League with Dragons was engineered by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, John Prine) and recorded by the Mountain Goats – songwriter and guitarist Darnielle, drummer Jon Wurster, bassist Peter Hughes, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas – at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Robert Bailey contributed additional vocal arrangements and strings were performed by the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra. “This album began life as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard, for which some five to seven songs were written. When I’m focusing on a project, I always distract myself from the through-line with multiple byways, which are kind of like mini-games within the broader architecture of a long video game. As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in, probably under the influence of Leonardo Sciascia (a Sicilian author, he wrote mysteries) and Ross MacDonald’s The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which a friend from Port Washington gave me while I was in the thick of the writing. “I thought these moods helped complicate the wizards and dragons a little, and, as I thought about my wizard, his health failing, the invasion by sea almost certain to wipe out half his people, I thought about what such a person might look like in the real world: watching a country show at a midwestern casino, or tryout pitching for an American League team years after having lit up the marquees. Finally, I wrote the title track, which felt like a drawing-together of the themes in play: rebellion against irresistible tides, the lush vistas of decay, necessary alliances. I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called “dragon noir” will spring from the forehead of nearly two years’ work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style.” – John Darnielle

File Under: Indie Rock
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Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky: Droneflower (Sacred Bones) LP
Droneflower is in bloom. The new collaboration between Marissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Mutoid Man), is a sprawling and expansive exercise in contrasts. It is the sound of the war between the brutal and the ethereal, the dark and the light, the past and the present, and the real and imagined. Brodsky met Nadler for the first time in 2014 at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar when he came to see her play on her July tour, and they quickly became friends. Both of them had been wanting to explore songwriting that didn’t fit into their existing projects, and they soon became energized by the prospect of working together. One of the first ideas they discussed was a horror movie soundtrack, and while Droneflower isn’t that, it is a richly cinematic album. It’s easy to imagine much of the record set to images, though it wasn’t composed that way. The first song that came together was “Dead West,” based around a beautiful acoustic guitar piece Brodsky wrote while living on Spy Pond, just outside of Nadler’s home base in Boston. By the time they started working on the song earnest, Brodsky had moved to Brooklyn. Nadler added lyrics and vocal melodies remotely, and even from a distance it was obvious there was real kismet in the collaboration. All the songs on Droneflower were recorded in home studios, and they throb with the frisson of that intimate environment. For much of the recording process, Brodsky would stop by the ramshackle studio that Nadler set up in Boston whenever he was in town visiting family. Songs like “For the Sun” were written on the spot there, lyrics and all. The lush ambient pieces “Space Ghost I” and “Space Ghost II” began as Brodsky piano compositions and were later fleshed out by additional instrumentation and Nadler’s inimitable vocals. Nadler and Brodsky also recorded two cover songs for the album – the epic Guns n’ Roses power ballad “Estranged” and Morphine’s beguiling “In Spite of Me.” Since childhood, Nadler had been transfixed by the “Estranged” video where Axl Rose swam with dolphins, and she and Brodsky breathe new life into the song here. Their take on “In Spite of Me” is invigorated by a guest appearance from Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley, who ironically didn’t play on the original recording but is indispensable on Nadler and Brodsky’s version.

File Under: Indie Rock
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LDP39813_Prince: Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic (Legacy) LP
The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings present the next round of physical titles set for release as part of the ongoing and definitive Prince catalog project, first time vinyl LP pressings of 1999’s Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and its 2001 remix Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic. Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Prince’s only album for NPG/Arista (and last released under the unpronounceable “Love Symbol” moniker), is a record which showcased the music legend’s mastery of pop and R&B on simmering jams like “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold” and “Man ‘O’ War” and also boasts a surprising range of guest artists including Chuck D, Eve, Gwen Stefani, Ani DiFranco, and Sheryl Crow (Prince even covers Crow’s smash hit “Every Day is a Winding Road” on the album).

File Under: Pop, R&B
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Reigning Sound: Abdication… For Your Love (Merge) LP
Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and Reigning Sound frontman Greg Cartwright, Abdication…For Your Love was originally available solely as a promotional giveaway. This 2019 colored vinyl LP reissue marks the first wide release of the record. In a 2011 review of the album, the A.V. Club wrote, “Reigning Sound’s allegiance is to producing great songs that move feet and rip out hearts, not to any particular scene or fashionable pose.” Paste also described it as a collection of “nicely recorded songs that sometimes rock, sometimes don’t, but are always well put together.” After the release of Abdication…, Reigning Sound put out the much-loved Shattered LP in 2014. Includes a download card with the digital-only bonus track “What Did I Tell You.”

File Under: Rock, Punk
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The-Slits-Cut-Album-Cover-web-optimised-820Slits: Cut (Island) LP
Overseen by reggae producer Dennis Bovell, Cut was originally released in September 1979 and remains one of the post-punk era’s most seminal releases. The record gained instant notoriety due to its controversial cover image depicting the three Slits – Ari Up, Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt – clad in mud and loincloths. However, the music contained within was every bit as striking. Enhanced by future Siouxsie & The Banshees star Budgie’s crisp, inventive drumming, the girls’ natural quirkiness came careening to the fore on scratchy but exuberant pop-punk tracks including ‘So Tough’, ‘Typical Girls’ and the irreverent, anti-consumerist ‘Shoplifting’, but the album’s spacy sensurround also owed a debt of gratitude to Bovell’s deft studio techniques, which graced highlights such as ‘Adventures Close To Home’ and the football- and TV-dissing ‘Newtown’. The Slits were first formed in London in 1976 by members of early punk outfits groups The Flowers of Romance and The Castrators. The group’s early line-up consisted of Ari Up (Ariane Forster) and Palmolive (aka Paloma Romero, who played briefly with Spizz Energi and later left to join The Raincoats), with Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt replacing founding members Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy. Along with Buzzcocks, The Prefects and Subway Sect, The Slits supported The Clash on their 1977 ‘White Riot’ tour. They again joined The Clash on their widely-publicised ‘Sort It Out’ UK tour on November and December 1978, during which The Clash were supporting the release of their second album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope. Cut also broached the UK Top 40 and has since been enthusiastically championed by trailblazing musicians ranging from trip-hop futurists Massive Attack to feminist punks Sleater-Kinney. Following Cut, The Slits’ sound and attitude became increasingly experimental and avant-garde during the early 1980s. The band toured widely and released another album, Return Of The Giant Slits before breaking up in early 1982.

File Under: Post-Punk
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Soak: Grim Town (Rough Trade) LP
Soak returns after four years with a new album, bringing with her four years worth of growth, introspection and understanding. The result is Grim Town, the follow-up to her Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut Before We Forgot How To Dream, which saw her win the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize, and the European Border Breaker Award, in addition to being shortlisted for a Q Award. Her astonishingly assured, emotionally mature songwriting was often hailed as wise beyond its years; but, as her new album often asks, when do we ever truly shake off those childlike fears, the imposter-syndrome, the outsider-status? The term ‘to come of age’ lands with so much expectation, but with Grim Town, Bridie Monds-Watson dissolves all such assuredness with imaginative, ambitious, and cathartic results. It is almost as though the greater soundscape – heavier in places, more pop-focused in others – has given Soak the confidence to put her long overdue introspections in the firing line. It’s beauty and brutality is there from the album open opener, “Get Set Go Kid” which traces the train-tracks out of depression (“I’ve got to get out, I can’t live here anymore!”) and was as inspired by the audio-visual environmentalism of Pink Floyd’s The Wall as Bridie’s train-obsessed Grandad on voiceover duties.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…. 

Bad Brains: Black Dots (Wax Audio) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Apple) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s (Apple) LP
Ryan Bingham: American Love Song (Thirty Tigers) LP
Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Sony) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Danger Doom: Mouse & the Mask (Lex) LP
Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis: Live Evil (Music on Vinyl) LP
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Legacy) LP
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Astralwerks) LP
Brian Eno: Ambient 1 – Music for Airports (Astralwerks) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Music on Vinyl) LP
Herbie Hancock: Sextant (Music on Vinyl) LP
Idles: Brutalism (Partisan) LP
Khruangbin: Con Todo (Dead Oceans) LP
Khruangbin: Universe Smiles Upon… (Innovative Leisure) LP
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (Pangyric) LP
Madlib: Beat Konducta (MMS) LP
Stephen Malkmus: Sparkle Hard (Matador) LP
Les McCann: Layers (Get on Down) LP
Meters: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Modern Lovers: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Modest Mouse: Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Modest Mouse: This is a Long Drive… (Glacial Pace) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Fragile (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral (Nothing) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Universal) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: s/t (London) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Paul Simon: Graceland (Legacy) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hollow (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Uncle Acid: Wasteland (Rise Above) LP
Sharon Van Etten: Are We There Yet? (Jagjaguwar) LP
Visible Cloaks & Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano: Serenitatem (RVNG Intl) LP
Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreaks (Def Jam) LP
Kanye West: Late Registration (Universal) LP
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Universal) LP
White Stripes: Icky Thump (Third Man) LP

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