New Releases - 3/22/19
Jenny Lewis - On The Line CD/LP (WB)
Jenny Lewis returns with her highly anticipated fourth solo album, On The Line - the former Rilo Kiley member's follow up to 2014's critically acclaimed The Voyager. Produced by Beck and Ryan Adams, the 11 all-new original songs were written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records' Studio B and feature a backing band of legendary talent including Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, Beck and Adams. There were two events in Jenny's life that had an emotional impact on recording the album. One was a recent breakup and the other was the passing of her mother. On The Line is introduced by the retro, Emmylou Harris-esque lead single, "Red Bull & Hennessy." "What's the matter with me?" Jenny Lewis sings on her latest single, "Redbull & Hennessy." On ["Redbull & Hennessy"] Lewis "offers a darkly suggestive tale of dissolution and desire. Riding a sparkling Seventies pop-rock piano riff, Lewis' narrator second-guesses herself into a haze of liquor and regret. She has long been a master at juxtaposing candy-sweet melody with ominous narrative, and her latest is no exception." - Rolling Stone [Limited indie-store exclusive blue colored vinyl pressing.]
Lambchop - This (is what I wanted to tell you) CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
As with 2012's engrossing Mr. M and 2016's staggering FLOTUS, Kurt Wagner's openness to unexpected collaborators to give his thoughts and feelings the shape they need was central to the creation of This (is what I wanted to tell you). In the summer of 2017, Wagner re-met Matthew McCaughan, who has spent the last decade drumming for the likes of Bon Iver and Hiss Golden Messenger. McCaughan told Wagner he had been adventuring inside the world of rack-mounted analogue synthesizers and asked if Wagner might send some vocals to which he could compose. They became instant musical pen pals, with Wagner sending him a cappella takes of new song ideas and McCaughan dispatching long-form synthesizer pieces for inspiration. McCaughan eventually headed to Nashville, where, together, they put a band behind the songs, using pedal steel and piano and the harmonica of Nashville legend Charlie McCoy to color in the spaces of these black-and-white sketches.
Strand Of Oaks - Eraserland CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Leading off with standout track "Weird Ways" and his powerful declaration of "I don't feel it anymore," Eraserland traces Tim Showalter's evolution from apprehension to creative awakening, carving out a new and compelling future for Strand Of Oaks. In February 2018, he spent two weeks alone in Wildwood, New Jersey writing and demoing all of the songs that would eventually comprise Eraserland. And in April, he went into the studio to record with Kevin Ratterman at La La Land Studios in Louisville, Kentucky, and with Broemel, Hallahan, Koster, and Blankenship as his band. Jason Isbell also contributed his Hendrix-esque guitar work to Eraserland, while singer- songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle provided gorgeous vocals. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing.]
Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet CD/LP (Loma Vista)
My Finest Work Yet finds Andrew Bird grappling with themes of current day dichotomies and how to identify a moral compass amidst such divisive times. "I'm interested in the idea that our enemies are what make us whole - there's an intimacy one shares with their opponent when locked in such a struggle. If we were to just walk away would our enemies miss us? How did we get to this point and how can we, through awareness of it, maybe pull ourselves out of this death spiral," says Bird. He tackles these topics with a more direct songwriting approach than his previous releases, taking greater risks both lyrically and in recording. Bird and the band taped all the songs live without headphones or separation attempting to create a sound where all instruments bled into each other's microphones. Of the new music, Bird reflects, "There is a certain optimism to this record...it's pretty up musically though it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the lyrics."
Luther Dickinson & Sisters Of The Strawberry Moon - Solstice CD/LP (New West)
"The stars aligned and the strawberry moon coincided with the 2016 summer solstice. Our recording session felt like a pot-luck dinner - a group of interesting new friends convened and marveled at what was brought to the table. 'Oh, a gut-string banjo and a clarinet? Check out this Mississippi bamboo cane fife and funky beats. Is it OK if I sing this harmony? Wow, listen to how our voices blend together...' The music came together and flowed organically, as did the band name. The Sisters Of The Strawberry Moon passed the mic, family style, backing each other up with sympathy and empathy, enjoying their new found chemistry. With instruments as ingredients and songs as recipes, The Sisters Of The Strawberry Moon stirred up lovely new concoctions as well as fresh interpretations of family heirloom songs we hold dear. We believe music is a celebration of life and folk music an expression of community and family, and Solstice is an artifact of our new friendship and musical fellowship." - Luther Dickinson
Ex Hex - It's Real CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
On their sophomore album It's Real, Ex Hex's commitment to larger-than-life riffs and unforgettable hooks remains intact, but the garage-y, post-punk approach that defined their debut Rips has grown in scale and ambition. What started as a reaction to the blown-out aesthetic of Rips would test the sonic limits of the power trio and lead the band on a quest for a more immersive and three-dimensional sound. Vocal harmonies are layered ten tracks deep, solos shimmer and modulate atop heaving power chords, and the codas linger and stretch toward new frontiers of sound. On first listen, you might think you've unearthed a long-lost LP carved from the space where crunch-minded art rock and glitter-covered hard rock converge, an event horizon at the intersection of towering choruses and swaggering guitars. Ex Hex was already one of America's best guitar bands - but on It's Real, their musical savvy has thrillingly combined with anything-goes curiosity, studio experimentation, and a dedication to refinement, resulting in an album that's ready to be played at maximum volume.
American Football - American Football: LP3 CD/LP+MP3/2xLP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
American Football's original triumph, on their 1999 self-titled debut, was to reunite two shy siblings: emo and post-rock. It was a pioneering album where lyrical clarity was obscured and complicated by the stealth musical textures surrounding it. Like Slint's Spiderland, or Codeine's The White Birch, even Talk Talk's Laughing Stock, American Football asked far more questions than it cared to answer. But there wasn't a band around anymore to explain it, anyway. The three young men who made the album - Mike Kinsella, Steve Holmes, and Steve Lamos - split up pretty much on its release. 15 years later, American Football reunited (now as a four-piece, with the addition of Nate Kinsella). LP3 is contemplative, rich, expressive, yet with a queasy undercurrent. It is heavy with expectancy, revealing its ideas slowly, eliciting the hidden stories people carry around with them. [Limited single-disc colored pressing]
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - The Brian Jonestown Massacre CD/LP (A Recordings)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre burst into 2019 with the release of their 18th full-length album, just seven months after 2018's Something Else. Recorded in early 2018, the album features Sara Neidorf on drums, Heike Marie Radeker (LeVent) on bass, Hakon Adalsteinsson (BJM, Third Sound, Gunman, Holy Ghost) on guitar, and Anton Newcombe on multiple instruments. Also making a guest vocal appearance on "Tombes Oubliées" is Rike Bienert who has sung on previous BJM albums.
Wallows - Nothing Happens CD/LP (Atlantic)
Nothing Happens sees Wallows reunited with Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Alvvays, Future Islands) and captures the band's journey towards adulthood through 11 intimate, introspective tracks.
Avey Tare - Cows On Hourglass Pond CD/LP+MP3/LP+10"+MP3 (Domino)
Dave Portner aka Avey Tare of Animal Collective, has returned, following up 2017's release of Eucalyptus and 2018's audiovisual album Tangerine Reef, a collaboration between Animal Collective and avant-garde coral macro-videographers Coral Morphologic, with a gorgeous and layered new record. Cows On Hourglass Pond takes inspiration from the future and the past in equal measure, referencing a myriad of cultural touchstones and influences: Buddy Holly, robots, Waylon Jennings, Morricone soundtracks, and much more. "The first single, 'Saturdays (Again)', is pretty low-key, with few of the bracing vocal contortions that Portner sometimes peppers his songs with. Sonically, it's much slicker than the scrappy Eucalyptus, which felt like a return to the scrappy early days of Animal Collective, with its layers of lo-fi acoustic guitar and sound effects like malfunctioning electronic toys. The acoustic is back for 'Saturdays (Again)' but it sits within a lush and dubby mix, atop melodic synth bass, accompanied by peals of lead guitar." -- SPIN
Spiral Stairs - We Wanna Be Hyn-No-Tized CD/LP+MP3 (Nine Mile)
For his feel-good third solo album, We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized, Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg - best known to the musical world as Spiral Stairs - concocted some of the most fun and accessible music of his storied career by expanding his musical repertoire. We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized is fun, infectious and musically compelling, while still managing to cover some hefty topics like the current rambunctious political climate.
Ibibio Sound Machine - Doko Mien CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
"Music is a universal language but spoken language can help you think about what makes you emotional, what makes you feel certain feelings, what you want to see in the world," says Eno Williams, frontwoman of Ibibio Sound Machine. When Williams uses both English and Ibibio - the Nigerian language from which her band's name is derived - on Doko Mien, the group somehow produces a world of both entrancing specificity and comforting universality, a language entirely of their own. By pulsing the mystic shapes of Williams' lines through further inventive, glittering collages of genre on Doko Mien, Ibibio Sound Machine crack apart the horizon separating cultures, between nature and technology, between joy and pain, between tradition and future.
Orville Peck - Pony CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Combining the lulling ambience of shoegaze with the iconic melodies and vocal prowess of classic American country music, enigmatic outlaw cowboy Orville Peck croons love and loss from the badlands of North America. The resulting sound is one completely his own, taking the listener down dusty rose-colored desert highways, through a world where worn out gamblers, aloof road-dogs and lovesick hustlers drift in and out of his masked gaze. Orville's debut album, Pony, delivers a diverse collection of stories that sing of heartbreak, revenge and the unrelenting tug of the cowboy ethos. Warm lap steel guitars and echoing drums move through dreamy ballads, campfire lullabies and sometimes frantic buzzsaw tunes, all the while paying homage to his country music roots.
Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe CD/2xLP (ATO/Caroline)
Nilüfer Yanya, London's 23-year-old "effortlessly smooth new soul star" (The Fader) releases her hotly-anticipated full length debut, Miss Universe. Uniquely blending elements of soul and jazz into intimate pop songs with electronic flourishes and a newly expressed grungy guitar sound, Miss Universe is big and ambitious. "Angels," with its muted, harmonic riffs, channels ideas "of paranoid thoughts and anxiety" - a theme that runs through the album, not least in its conceptual spoken word interludes which emanate from a fictional health management company "WWAY Health". "You sign up, and you pay a fee," explains Nilüfer of the automated messages, which are littered through the album and are narrated by the titular Miss Universe. "They sort out all of your dietary requirements, and then they move onto medication, and then maybe you can get a better organ or something...and then suddenly it starts to get a bit weird. You're giving them more of you and to what end?" [Limited clear vinyl pressing.]
Bill MacKay - Fountain Fire CD/LP (Drag City)
The Chicago-based guitarists continued sonic journeys in conversation with himself follow a travel-worn map written in his own hand. Bill has followed the trail from familiar confines to unknown places, catalyzing a style equally enamored with the traditional and the avant-garde to make his most expansive and forceful music to date.
Robin Trower - Coming Closer To The Day CD/LP (Mascot Label Group)
Robin Trower, the iconic guitarist who rose to fame with the legendary Procol Harum, returns with a new album, Coming Closer To The Day. It's rare to find a '60s legend still on trailblazing form in their eighth decade. But while Trower's peers recycle the old hits or retreat from view, the 73-year-old guitarist finds himself in a golden late-bloom of creativity. Even at this career pinnacle, Trower admits he "just can't stop." And with Coming Closer To The Day, his songcraft and soulful performances have never sounded more alive. Acting on artistic instincts - rather than bowing to market forces - might not be a fashionable or profitable approach in the modern music industry. But in 2019, it's a philosophy that is driving Trower's late career to new creative heights, as the bluesman tightens his grip on the long-term fans who fell for his classic '60s work, while reeling in younger music-lovers who crave something honest and unvarnished in the age of artifice.
The Treatment - Power Crazy CD (Frontiers)
Fourth full-length album from the British hard rockers. Coupling sonic power with an insane taste for infectious riffs, The Treatment are firing on all cylinders with a hot slice of no frills hard rock full of riffs, huge choruses, catchy licks, and straight to the point songs.
No Win - Downey CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Danny Nogueiras had one simple motivation for the 10 songs that make up Downey, the debut album by his band No Win - honesty. This candor is evident from the very first notes, but with each subsequent listen the songs dig deeper and deeper, attaching themselves to the listeners own emotions and experiences until they've become shared memories. It's the perfect summer record, but it's also the perfect end-of-summer record: from the glorious, melancholic power-pop opener "After Your Legs", to the energetic, full-throttle wonder of "Endless Scan", and the laidback splendor of "Shelley Duvall", all the songs are inspired by Nogueiras' personal memories, but have a universality to them, too.
Meow Meow + Thomas Lauderdale - Hotel Amour CD (Heinz)
A musical love affair between two singular artists, Hotel Amour is the long-awaited collaboration between beloved Pink Martini founder and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale, and international singing sensation, the crowd-surfung tragi-comedienne and queen of Chanson, Meow Meow. Guests include Rufus Wainwright, Barry Humphries (of Dame Edna fame), and The von Trapps, as well as a very special live recording with the legendary pianist/composer Michel Legrand. [Vinyl edition due May 3rd.]
Kevin Garrett - Hoax CD/2xLP (KG Music LLC/AWAL)
Kevin Garrett twists up soulful tradition with singer-songwriter spirit, lush instrumentation, and alternative adventurousness. The Pittsburgh-born Grammy-nominated artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer is known as a writer on "Pray You Catch Me" from Beyoncé's Lemonade. He also has played shows alongside Alessa Cara, Mumford & Sons, and James Vincent McMorrow. His debut album, Hoax, echoes the kind of grit meant to be smoothed out only on vinyl and emanates the ambition of a 21st century festival draw. The album's second single "Faith You Might" "is at once forlorn and hopeful, telling the story of someone who refuses to give up on love, even when the odds are stacked against them. This acoustic track plucks along quietly at first, cradling Garrett's luscious croon as he sets the scene. Then the chorus sets in, folding in strings that seem to sing along with the artist, optimistic in tone that his fight is worth the work. 'Lost my way, once or twice but I won't sway in a fight/Do I pray? No, but I have faith you might,' Garrett sings." - Earmilk
Viviankrist - Morganrode CD (Cold Spring Records)
As Vivian Slaughter morphs into Viviankrist, the music also changes from the intense cold desperation and raw nerve brutality of Gallhammer into a kaleidoscope of electronic sounds... still brutal and shattering, and still depicting soundscapes that close in on the darker side of the soul. A way to escape the dull pressure of a reality that sometimes seems to slip away into psych wards and chemicals. A shard of mentality released in wave after wave of fully analog sounds, sometimes disturbed by digital intrusions. File under: Japanese noise, power electronics, electronica.
Apparat - LP5 CD/LP (Mute)
Like previous Apparat albums, LP5 is essentially the result of collaboration between Sascha Ring and cellist Philipp Thimm and on the album you can also hear trombone, trumpet and saxophone, a harp, a double bass and other strings. John Stanier, the dancing dervish from math-rock outfit Battles, plays percussion and the songs were developed over endless group improvisations and lavish orchestral sessions. The music of Apparat is now music of enrichment, of omission and override; every melody, every sound is at the same time a palimpsest.
Anatole - Emulsion CD/LP (Mercury)
Emulsion is the debut album by Anatole aka Jonathan Baker; it draws inspiration from his jazz and classical background, combined with electronic soul and dynamic beat-driven production.
Nérija - Nérija CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Nérija is a collective of London-based musicians playing exciting and original music inspired by jazz, hip-hop, and Afrobeat. Featuring a line-up truly representative of the up-coming London jazz scene, the seven-piece band features rising players such as tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia (Polar Bear, Outlook Orchestra, Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award Winner), trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey (KANO, Little Simz, KOKOROKO) and guitarist Shirley Tetteh (Maisha, Gary Crosby's Groundation).
Aubrey Logan - Where The Sunshine Is Expensive CD (Resonance)
New album from acclaimed powerhouse trombonist/vocalist. Where The Sunshine Is Expensive was recorded live at the legendary EastWest Studios in Los Angeles in front of an intimate audience and captures an exciting blend of pop, jazz and R&B tunes that tell a story about Hollywood from Logan's unique perspective.
Bad Suns - Mystic Truth CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
The third full-length from L.A. band Bad Suns, Mystic Truth gets its title from a piece of art that vocalist Christo Bowman stumbled upon while visiting London's Tate Modern on tour. Created by Bruce Nauman in 1967, the neon-and-glass piece spells out a possibly paradoxical statement in blue spiraled cursive: "The True Artist Helps The World by Revealing Mystic Truths." "I thought that connected back to the message of the record, which is about finding the extraordinary in very simple things, even though we're living in a very dark time right now," says Bowman. Right from opener "Away We Go", Bad Suns reveal the timeless sensibilities at the heart of Mystic Truth. With its soaring vocals, majestic piano melodies, and fiery guitar tones, the song unfolds as a brightly anthemic battle cry. "'Away We Go' was mostly inspired by us growing up and really being adults for the first time, and trying to make sense of all that," says Bowman, who co-founded Bad Suns at age 17. "It's about learning how to make decisions for yourself, and sometimes just going for something and blindly trusting that it's going to work out." [Limited clear vinyl pressing.]
La Dispute - Panorama CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Hardcore luminaries La Dispute return with their fourth album. Panorama was produced by the band in tandem with Will Yip, and combines jazz, rock, slowcore, noise, hardcore among other influences over the span of 10 tracks. It's a highly ambitious and deeply affecting body of work that filters narrative storytelling through a personal lens, like a set of Joan Didion essays put to music. Where the past two albums had vocalist Jordan Dreyer delving further into fictional subject matter, it's with Panorama that the band has created the most personal project since their breakthrough Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair, an album whose influence has been palpable within the genre over the course of the past decade.
The Mute Gods - Atheists And Believers CD (Inside Out U.S.)
The third album by The Mute Gods - featuring Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, Kajagoogoo), Roger King (Steve Hackett) and Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, The Sea Within). 10 tracks that run from turbulent rock compositions to more sentimental pieces of music. [Vinyl edition due March 29.]
These New Puritans - Inside The Rose CD/LP (Infectious Music)
Brutal and beautiful, Inside The Rose arrives six years after the critically acclaimed album Field of Reeds and is arguably the Barnett brothers' most innovative work to date. 40 minutes of powerful melodies, lush strings and progressive electronics, packed with jaw-dropping sonic left turns.
Sermon - Birth Of The Marvelous CD (Prosthetic)
Sermon is an anonymous musical force, dedicated to preaching the concept of spiritual and theological balance. In a world of divisive opinion and reckless faith, their output aims to craft a thoughtful intersection for all beliefs. Their sound is formed and driven by regal vocals, otherworldly percussion, soaring mellotrons, with a dense wall of tumbling bass and spacious, distorted guitar. [Vinyl edition due March 29.]
Ritual Howls - Rendered Armor CD/LP (Felte)
Ritual Howls create a cinematic blend of twangy industrial rock that could fuel a post-apocalyptic dance floor.
Cellar Darling - The Spell CD (Nuclear Blast America)
Celar Darling confidently fuse heavy alternative and progressive rock with strong folk influences and poetic lyrical tales, creating what you may very well call a New Wave Of Folk Rock. [Vinyl edition due March 29.]
Compilations, Best Of's & Sundry Collections
Duster - Capsule Losing Contact 3xCD/4xLP (Numero)
San Jose's sonic cure-all for the Y2K hangover that never materialized, Duster emerged from a cloud of lonely bong rips to take indie rock to the moon, and beyond. Scotch-taped guitars toggle between a chorus of brittle winter trees and a blanket of distorted fuzz. The low rumble of a cardboard box being kicked in a dead mall keeps pace in the background, as muffled, sung-spoken vocals ponder the great mysteries of modern mundanity. Three years of home recording accidents and blown-out 2am studio experiments are spread across three CDs and four LPs, gathering the short-lived trio's Stratosphere and Contemporary Movement albums, 1975 EP, singles, demos, and other miscellaneous debris into one escape pod, now free to drift in the endless void of space.
Kinloch Nelson - Partly On Time: Recordings 1968-1970 CD/LP (Tompkins Square)
Partly On Time: Recordings 1968-1970 contains unheard '60s recordings by the secret Rochester, NY guitarist. Kinloch (sounds like kin-law) Nelson studied classical guitar privately with Stanley Watson in Rochester NY, jazz guitar with Gene Bertoncini at Eastman School of Music, and music theory at the University of Rochester. In 1973, he began teaching both privately and at The Hochstein Music School in Rochester where he was on the faculty for 25 years. In 1985, Nelson co-founded the Guitar Society of Rochester, which during its ten-year run presented many of the world's greatest guitarists. Nelson is the author of a book, Alternate Guitar Tunings.
Henry Townsend & Roosevelt Sykes - Blues Piano And Guitar: Washington University, Graham Chapel, 1973 2xCD (Omnivore)
Legendary St. Louis bluesmen Roosevelt Sykes and Henry Townsend met in the mid-1920s when Townsend was looking to learn the piano to augment his guitar playing. It was the local Sykes brothers, specifically barrelhouse-style pianist, Roosevelt who gave Townsend the pointers he was looking for on the keys. The two started a lifelong friendship as well as a professional relationship. Featuring 30 previously unissued performances from these blues icons, Blues Piano And Guitar captures this historic event-the first of several reunions before Sykes' death in 1983.
Kate Bush - The Other Sides 4xCD (Rhino)
Four discs' worth of Kate Bush rarities, B-sides, remixes and cover versions that filled out the back half of last year's second CD box set of the singer's reissued catalog get their own separate release.
Mötley Crüe - The Dirt (The Original Soundtrack) CD/2xLP (Eleven Seven Music)
Director Jeff Tremaine's (Jackass co-creator) 2019 dramatization of Mötley Crüe's best-selling 2001 autobiography The Dirt follows the band's anarchy-fueled rise from musical misfits to heavy metal demigods. The accompanying 18-song soundtrack features a collection of Mötley Crüe classics that meaningfully underscore significant moments that shape the film. The album collects 14 fan-favorites including "Dr. Feelgood", "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Kickstart My Heart", "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)", "Shout At The Devil", and the iconic ballad "Home Sweet Home". Mötley Crüe also recorded four exclusive new songs for the soundtrack: "The Dirt (Est. 1981)" (feat. Machine Gun Kelly) with effortless rap verses surrounding signature guitar riffs; the three remaining songs conclude the album with the catchy "Ride With The Devil", "Crash And Burn", and the band's own spin on Madonna's, "Like A Virgin."
Megadeth - Warheads On Foreheads 3xCD/4xLP (Capitol)
35 tracks representing 35 years of the legendary thrash metal band's impressive career.
New on Vinyl
Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace: The Complete Collection 4xLP (Atlantic)
Grace is the biggest selling release of Aretha's 50+ year career and the best-selling gospel album of all time. Amazing Grace was the fourth live album by Aretha. Released in 1972, it won Franklin the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance. The album was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles during January 1972. This quadruple vinyl LP pressing contains live sets recorded on Thursday, January 13th, 1972 and Friday, January 14, 1972.
Aretha Franklin - Songs Of Faith: Aretha Gospel [Reissue/1965] LP (Geffen)
Powerful, other-worldly renditions of gospel standards recorded when Aretha was just 14.
New Order - Temptation b/w Hurt [Reissue/1982] 12" (WB)
Featuring the full versions of both tracks, this 12" was originally released in May 1982 and comprised New Order's first self-produced recordings.
X - Wild Gift [Reissue/1981] LP (Fat Possum)
Four decades after their inception, one thing is clear: X was not only one of the most influential bands to crash out of the punk movement of the late '70s, but the group's music continues to be sonically groundbreaking today. Songs written during the group's inception are as relevant and inventive today as they were in 1977. The band's early albums, Los Angeles, produced by Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Wild Gift, and Under The Big Black Sun explored dark love and an even darker L.A. with the unflinching eye of a Raymond Chandler novel. [CD edition due April 12.]
Unknown Instructors - Unwilling To Explain LP (ORG Music)
Recently released on CD - now available on vinyl. Unknown Instructors are an all-star outfit featuring the former rhythm section of Minutemen and Firehose, bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley, with poet Dan McGuire. Dinosaur Jr guitarist J Mascis was recruited for their fourth effort, Unwilling To Explain. They seamlessly blend flavors of jazz, punk rock, spoken word, noise, and art rock.
Snarky Puppy - Immigrance 2xLP (Ground Up Music)
Released last week on CD - now available on vinyl. Immigrance, the twelfth Snarky Puppy studio album, is all about movement. "The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we're all in a constant state of immigration," explains Michael League. "Obviously the album's title is not without political undertones." Like the Grammy-winning Culcha Vulcha, Immigrance is a studio project, and it features most of the same musicians. And though it shares that project's ace musicianship and dynamic, kinetic spirit, it is also rawer and moodier than its predecessor
Copeland - Blushing 2xLP (Tooth & Nail)
Recently released on CD - now available on vinyl. While they began as a rock band, Copeland's music has explored multiple genres and pulled in various stylistic influences like electronic and symphonic. In the past the musicians have aptly melded these styles, creating a unique amalgam of sounds. This time they wanted to take each sound and style and push it to its logical extreme.
Pineapple Thief - What We Have Sown [Reissue/2007] 2xLP (Kscope)
First-time vinyl pressing of the modern prog band's sixth album.
Ellis - The Fuzz 12" (Fat Possum)
A faint voice and a fervent guitar make their match in a cluttered bedroom, each song finding itself in a growing folder of recordings stamped by initials L.S. Ellis is the music project of Linnea Siggelkow. Daughter to a traveling book salesman and a piano teacher, Ellis flips the words from the books she once read, intertwining vulnerable with bold into the songs that she now sings. Having already made her mark as a solo performer in the Toronto DIY scene, the project has evolved into a four-piece band, inspiring a grittier take on the same solemn refrain.
Paula Frazer and Tarnation - What Is And Was [Reissue/2017] LP+MP3 (Slimstyle)
180gm translucent red colored vinyl. "My introduction to the music of San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Paula Frazer started with her breakthrough second album, 1995's Gentle Creatures (4AD), released under the band name Tarnation. I remember being blown away after listening to the very first track - the transistor-radio sounding 'Game of Broken Hearts', which featured nothing but Paula's lonesome, melancholic vocals lilting over a strummed guitar. Evoking nuances of Patsy Cline and the Old West, this was probably my first intro to the musical genre of alt-country. I was immediately hooked. Over the years that followed, Paula released several additional albums. While the artist/band names may have varied over the years, the one constant is Paula's brilliant songwriting and trademark vocal style, contributing to the unique and immediately identifiable sound across all of her recordings." - Soundthread
Shlohmo - The End LP (Friends Of Friends)
Shlohmo is acclaimed electronic producer, designer and composer Henry Laufer, a staple in the independent Los Angeles music scene. Dread and angst and an eerie sense of calm merge together to create something truly special as this one of a kind artist takes his next step forward into his unique genre-defying depths.
Fatamorgana - Terra Alta LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Fatamorgana can be pin-pointed somewhere between early Depeche Mode, Young Marble Giants, The Human League and a rounder-around-the-edges Borghesia. Dreamlike synthesizers and echoed voices circle around danceable rhythms, inviting one to simultaneously contemplate and move one's body. Be teleported from the majesty of nature to the glow of the discotheque.
Bill Evans - At The Montreux Jazz Festival [Reissue/1968] LP (Analogue Productions)
200-gram vinyl reissue 1969 Grammy winner for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.
Gabor Szabo - 1969 [Reissue/1969] LP (Modern Harmonic)
Limited gold colored vinyl pressing. Masterful '60s pop by Hungarian jazz guitar guru Gabor Szabo. The guitar master's 1969 platter of folk and pop music standards is highlighted by the rock 'n' bossa spin on "Sealed With A Kiss" and nuanced takes on the handful of Lennon-McCartney gems "Dear Prudence", "You Won't See Me", "In My Life" and "I've Just Seen A Face'.
Lightnin' Hopkins - Bring Me My Shotgun (The Essential Collection) [Reissue/2013] LP (Goldenlane)
Limited edition red vinyl compilation by one of the most prestigious bluesmen in the history of the genre, Lightnin' Hopkins, featuring the legendary cuts "Mojo Hand", "Shake That Thing", and, of course, "Bring Me My Shotgun", Vintage cuts from 1960 and earlier.
Elvis Presley - Elvis Now [Reissue/1972] LP (Friday Music)
On this 1972 album, the King offers up a wide-ranging mix of ballads, gospel numbers and all out rockers with his Las Vegas residency firmly in mind. [Translucent blue and black swirl colored vinyl pressing.]
Françoise Hardy - Personne D'Autre LP (Arts Music)
Personne D'Autre is the 28th studio album by the French singer. It was originally released in April 2018. The album features 10 original songs, including one sung in English, "You're My Home" penned by Yael Naim, a cover of Michel Berger's "Seras-Tu Là", and an adaption of Finnish band Poets Of The Fall's "Sleep", titled as "Dors Mon Ange".
Célia - Célia [Reissue/1970] LP (Mr. Bongo)
Célia was a Brazilian vocalist who worked frequently with master arranger-composer Arthur Verocai in her early years and many other heavyweights over the course of her extensive career. Joyce was particularly supportive in the making of this album, writing the beautiful "Abrace Paul McCartney" and her husband at the time, Nelson Ângelo, recorded some of the songs.
The Champs - Go, Champs, Go! [Reissue/1958] LP (Sundazed Music)
Limited gold colored vinyl LP pressing. Composed of legendary Los Angeles session men, The Champs are responsible for one of the best instrumentals ever recorded, the ultra-infectious "Tequila". Their Tex Mex long player is full of driving guitar and propulsive rhythms, accompanied by the punctuating persistent sax sounds of Chuck Rio (who penned the boozy bruiser that became their biggest hit).
June Chikuma - Les Archives LP (Freedom To Spend/RVNG Int'l)
A whooping gonzo record of synths, samplers, string quartet and drum machines, Les Archives is composed, arranged and produced by illusive Japanese artist June Chikuma. Her neon-vibrant aesthetic would be at home with films like After Hours, Repo Man, Gleaming The Cube or Teknolust. If it scored an action movie this record is a tale of mistaken identity (hijinks ensue).
Tiger & Woods - A.O.D. LP (Running Back)
Nurtured by the sounds of the past and blessed with the techniques of today, the music of Tiger & Woods always kept evolving in and around the tropes of disco, house, and boogie. Except for the 100% sample-free "1:00 am", everything on A.O.D. is based on a quiver of cleared samples from the Roman institution that is Claudio Donato and his Full Time and Goodymusic emporium. In Tiger & Woods' hometown Rome, the often very electronic and futuristic sound of Italo disco had a different twist, much more boogie-based and influenced by the songwriting styles of New York City's dance scene. Tiger & Woods use these materials to take them apart, out of context and into contrasting areas. Molding something completely new, one gets fooled into recognizing Sade songs that aren't, pop music instrumentals, and a reprise of memories that never existed. A ride through one's brain in a convertible with an Italian FM radio station playing in the background. Or to use less stiff poetry: a chill-out album you can dance to or a dance album you can chill out to. Adult oriented dance.
JAB - Erg Herbe LP (Shelter Press)
After a year of collaborations with a range of artists such as Christina Vantzou and Jon Gibson, ambient/experimental composer John Also Bennett releases Erg Herbe, recorded alone during spare moments between collaborative projects. JAB uses a mixture of synthetic and organic instruments throughout the album, including modified Aphex Twin DX7 presets played using a just intonation tuning system, Eurorack oscillators "tuned according to intuitive structures using intervals of 30 hz," and a number of flutes including a Chinese "dizi" flute borrowed from his father. Erg Herbe taps into the rich history of New York loft music. He also cites Takehisa Kosugi, Dominique Lawalrée, Jon Gibson, and Pauline Anna Strom as important influences.
Julia Reidy - Brace, Brace LP (Slip)
Brace, Brace is Julia Reidy's spellbinding return to Slip, rendering a shimmering, introspective solo dialog on 12-string guitar laced with soaring but unsettling vocal processing and spectral electronics. With an uncanny, even unsettling ability to hold her listener's ear-gaze, this followup to 2017's Dawning On finds the Berlin-based Aussie continuing to recontextualize her instrument with elegant precision to yield a sublime tension between her heavy-lidded vocals and iridescent strings. When combined with the deep dreaming AI texture of her autotuned vocals and wind-blown harmonica, the effect recalls a sort of midnight Tuareg blues half-remembered from a fevered sleep. RIYL: John Fahey, Hope Sandoval, Talk Talk, Yoshi Wada, Jim O'Rourke.
Laraaji & Lyghte - Celestial Realms LP (Morning Trip)
Originally released on cassette in 1986, Celestial Realms is a collaborative album from New Age figurehead and Brian Eno-collaborator Laraaji, and fellow cosmic traveler Jonathan Goldman (aka Lyghte). Laraaji conjures his typically vivid soundworld of shimmering electric zither, while Goldman inhabits that world with pulsing guitar and droning synthesizer.
UCC Harlo - United LP (Subtext)
On her debut LP as UCC Harlo, classically-trained violist Annie Gårlid distills hauntological pop, sound art, medieval, and baroque music, and left-field club production into a series of ecclesiastical-wave ventures. Through gestures such as reframing music by Bach, through DAW experimentation and field recordings, United proposes sonic reconciliations between the old and the new. United acts as a means of claiming a right to obscurity and of "sounding" ambivalence, doubt, and messiness in an age that demands transparency and clarity. Annie Gårlid is a member of the Holly Herndon Ensemble and the band Songs, has collaborated with Caterina Barbieri and Emptyset, and has performed with ASMR-artist Claire Tolan.
Logos - Imperial Flood LP (Different Circles)
Nexx grime mutant Logos checks the electric blue pulse of UK hardcore music on Imperial Flood, the stunning follow-up to his pivotal underground grime/electronica classic, Cold Mission. Setting a new high-water mark for UK dance-related albums, Imperial Flood stakes a claim for Logos as a key dramaturgist of all things darkside, techy and schooled in the hardcore continuum. Pulling in broader influences from acid and dub techno, experimental computer music, D&B minimalism and the speculative literature of Jeff VanderMeer, Christopher Priest, Lando, and JG Ballard, the results vividly speak to the idea of a UK sound as a product of its brutalist, paranoid environment.
Fatamorgana - Terra Alta LP (La Vida es un Mus)
Formed in Barcelona in the summer of 2017, Fatamorgana blossomed from a bedroom project of sorts (monophonic synthesizers, four-track cassette recordings). The verse-chorus songwriting, the raw set-up of two-synths-and-a-beat, and the primal rhythms nod to the duo's background in punk. But Terra Alta has a pensive and mesmeric quality, with dreamlike synthesizers and echoed female vocals circling around danceable rhythms, and lyrics spanning themes of love, time travel, reflections on the future, the power of imagination, and the mysteries of the natural world. If pressed for musical references the band could be pin-pointed somewhere between early Depeche Mode, Young Marble Giants, and The Human League.
Deaf Center - Low Distance LP (Sonic Pieces)
Low Distance is Deaf Center's third full-length studio album and perhaps the most focused effort by the Norwegian duo to date. The record starts with a piece of sweeping analog electronics. It's a spacious, yet dynamic opener that leads directly into the static tones and piano motifs of "Entity Voice", which balances a new sense of abstraction with the classic Deaf Center sound. It´s warm and close while sounding like it's set in the outer horizon. Overall, Low Distance feels both alien and familiar with its atonal synths, close pianos, and drowned-out noises, replete with beauty, mystery, and uncertainty.
Asuna & Jan Jelinek - Signals Bulletin LP (Faitiche)
A new collaboration between the Japanese sound artist Asuna and Jan Jelinek, bringing together joint improvisations and compositions made over a period of three years in Germany and Japan. Asuna's meandering organ drones merge with Jelinek's pulsating synthesizer and field recording loops to create dense superclusters that span broad harmonic arcs. From Jelinek: "Whether using prepared organ, Casio keyboards, or mechanical plastic toys, Asuna creates rich textures of sound.. while I provide the rhythmically pulsating foundation over which his dense continuums could unfold. The result is harmonically drifting superclusters that put us into a meditation-like state, a mode of creative expression floating somewhere between concentration and distraction."
Benoit Pioulard & Sean Curtis Patrick - Avocationals LP (Beacon Sound)
A first-time collaboration between Thomas Meluch (aka Benoit Pioulard) and Sean Curtis Patrick. The two use synthesizers, reel-to-reel tape machines, field recordings, guitar, and processed voice to conjure the ghosts of 20th century Great Lakes shipwrecks. From the muffled thumping of "Stonefax", bringing to mind the cracking and bowing of a ship on its way to the lake bottom, to the pulsating vocal drone that guides "Sunek", evoking peril and loss, these songs conjure the final moments of doomed seafarers and their cargo-laden ships, the disintegration of hubris, the fraying of memory. Wintery, yet humming throughout with a narcotic warmth, Avocationals will pull you underwater and submerge you in the murky depths of a lost world.
Benjamin Finger/James Plotkin/Mia Zabelka - Pleasure-Voltage LP (Karlrecords)
Benjamin Finger, James Plotkin, and Mia Zabelka craft a mesmerizing sonic world that buzzes and drones, glitches, and slithers, eventually careening into unexplored musical territory somewhere between ambient/drone/psychedelia. Benjamin Finger is a composer and electronic music producer based in Oslo, Norway who in recent years has expanded his stylistic palette from piano miniatures and off-kilter pop experiments to lysergic, dream-like sound collages spiced with gentle warmth and sublime melody. Personnel: Benjamin Finger - synthesizers, piano, field recordings, electronic devices, alien objects; James Plotkin - electric guitar, granular synthesis; Mia Zabelka - E-violin, electronic devices, alien objects.
Meshuggah - Nothing [Reissue/2002] 2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
Meshuggah - I [Reissue/2004] LP (Nuclear Blast America)
Meshuggah - Catch Thirtythree [Reissue/2005] 2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
Meshuggah - obZen [Reissue/2008] 2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
Meshuggah - Koloss [Reissue/2012] 2xLP (Nuclear Blast America)
One of the most prolific bands on Nuclear Blast, the majority of Swedish extreme tech-metal pioneers Meshuggah's catalog has been unavailable on vinyl for years. A series of new colored editions from the label boast newly remastered audio for spectacular sound and newly designed gatefold jackets.
Cannibal Corpse - Live Cannibalism [Reissue/2000] 2xLP (Metal Blade)
Cannibal Corpse - Gore Obsessed [Reissue/2002] LP (Metal Blade) Vinyl reissues of the death metal band's eighth full-length studio album and 2000 live double-album. Live Cannibalism features material recorded at a pair of Midwest gigs at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI on February 16, 2000 and The Emerson Theater in Indianapolis. Gore Obsessed is one of their most accomplished and scrutinized recordings.
Reissues & From The Archives
Prefab Sprout - I Trawl The Megahertz CD/2xLP (Sony Legacy)
Originally released as a Paddy McAloon solo album in 2003, the totally original, spellbinding I Trawl The Megahertz is now reissued with new artwork and captivating liner notes written by Paddy McAloon. I Trawl The Megahertz was conceived and recorded after Paddy was diagnosed with a medical condition that seriously affected his vision. Not surprisingly, the album is a testament to the healing power of music. The album is comprised of nine compositions; the lengthy 22-minute title track, a series of shorter instrumental pieces and a couple of songs originally intended to accompany a short film. Though the record originally appeared as a solo album, it seems fitting to now classify it as a Prefab Sprout project.
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days [Reissue/2004] CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine, released Our Endless Numbered Days, his second in March of 2004. It followed his hushed, literate, intimate, melodic, 2002 debut album, The Creek Drank The Cradle. This reissue of Our Endless Numbered Days features the original album plus eight previously unreleased demo versions and a 12-page booklet with an essay by Amanda Petrusich.
Van Morrison - The Healing Game [Reissue/1997] 3xCD/LP (Sony Legacy)
Digitally remastered and expanded CD edition deluxe edition of The Healing Game includes the original album plus two additional discs of rare and unreleased material featuring B-sides, session outtakes and duets with John Lee Hooker, Carl Perkins and B.B. King. Also included is the first official release of a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in the summer of 1997. [First-time single-disc vinyl edition also available.]
John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Wedding Album [Reissue/1969] CD/LP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian/Chimera Music)
Originally released in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Wedding Album was the couple's third experimental, album-length record, and one of the most remarkable of the duo's testaments to an intense romantic and artistic partnership that would last fourteen years, until Lennon's murder in 1980. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing.] Barbara Howard - On The Rise [Reissue/1969] CD/LP (Colemine) Recently released on vinyl - now available on CD. Barbara Howard's On The Rise is more than just another rare soul LP. It's a love story. It's a dream. It was an attempt to break through. And although Barbara certainly never became a star, one song did become a staple in rare soul and funk DJ sets, keeping interest in Barbara Howard just under the surface. [Limited pink colored vinyl pressing also available.
Leroy Jodie Pierson - Rusty Nail [Reissue/1988] CD (Omnivore)
When Omnivore Recordings acquired Nighthawk Records they also gained a secret weapon in Leroy Jodie Pierson. Leroy had founded Nighthawk, co-produced most of the albums, wrote most of the liner notes, photographed the artists, and best of all, wanted to be involved in the revival of the label. Throughout his life, Pierson devoted himself to musical pursuits. Among his endeavors was production of blues shows and festivals, teaching blues classes at Washington University in St. Louis, helping form the Missouri Friends of the Folk Arts, hosting/DJ-ing radio shows, authoring books and recording his own music.
Steven Hyden - Twilight of the Gods BK (Dey Street Books)
In his first book, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me, Steven Hyden derived life meanings from pop music rivalries. In his latest undertaking, Hyden takes aim at classic rock and its profound effect on all of us-from its existence as a radio format to a social phenomenon to a way of life. By mixing personal memoir, criticism, and journalism, Hyden explores the ways that classic rock changed the culture-how it established the album as music's answer to the novel, and rock concerts as the secular equivalent to church-and asks whether any of these signposts can endure. He investigates the rise and fall of classic rock radio and determines whether the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is telling the right version of rock history, and he revisits all of your favorite live bootlegs, rereads all the great tell-all rock biographies, and excavates deep down into the liner notes of rock's greatest masterpieces to explain what we can all learn from rock gods and their music. Is classic rock ephemeral or forever? Twilight of the Gods is a bold, often humorous, and effortlessly provocative book about our rock gods and the real messages they leave behind. Now available in paperback.