Click here for the complete RSD17 list.
Music Line Up:
12:00 PM – Luther Vincent
1:00 PM – Kate Rose
2:00 PM – Brody Alan
3:00 PM – Sweatpantsdaze
3:45 PM – Eggs On Mars
4:30 PM – Abigail Faith
5:30 PM – Karen Baum
6:30 PM – Jenna & Martin
Limited colored vinyl LP pressing, includes digital download. 2017 release. Pure Comedy, Father John Misty’s third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent Real Love Baby single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi. While we could say a lot about Pure Comedy – including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen – we think it’s best to let it’s creator describe it himself. Take it away, Mr. Tillman: Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, ﬁnding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like love, culture, family, etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that. Pure Comedy was recorded in 2016 at the legendary United Studios (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Beck) in Hollywood, CA. It was produced by Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, with engineering by Misty’s longtime sound-person Trevor Spencer and orchestral arrangements by renowned composer/double-bassist Gavin Bryars (known for extensive solo work, and work with Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Derek Bailey).
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. LA Divine, Cold War Kids most expansive and ambitious effort so far, pays tribute to Los Angeles in all it’s strange glory, embodying the Long Beach-bred band s endless fascination with their adopted hometown. In many ways, LA is the least divine city, the most hedonistic and irreverent and disconnected from history, says Nathan Willett. “LA’s so massive, I feel like I’m always finding something new in it,” adds bassist Matt Maust. “It’s an incredibly weird place, and I’m happy to have made an album that totally honors that weirdness.” Includes the single ‘Love Is Mystical.’ Forming in 2004 in Fullerton, the band’s early releases came from independent record label Monarchy Music. In 2006, Cold War Kids signed with Downtown/V2 and released their major label debut Robbers & Cowards to cult appeal from fans and critics. 2008’s Loyalty to Loyalty and 2011’s Mine Is Yours saw the band develop different musical sounds and lyrical content throughout. In 2013, Cold War Kids released their fourth album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. The band then released their fifth album Hold My Home in 2014.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. Whiteout Conditions is the follow-up to 2014’s Brill Bruisers. ‘Cohesive.’ It’s a word New Pornographers founder A.C. Newman still sounds a little bit surprised to say as he describing the band’s seventh album, Whiteout Conditions. It’s a quality that you wouldn’t necessarily intuitively associate with a so-called supergroup that, by it’s very collective nature, seems bound to have a good deal of stylistic variance built into the formula (or lack of it). Can an outfit built on the appeal of multiple frontmen and frontwomen develop a signature sound after all? Maybe, and maybe better late than never. The focus on Whiteout Conditions (The New Pornographers’ first album on their own imprint, Collected Works Records, in partnership with Concord Records) comes down to a couple of notable shifts: increased tempos, for one, and increasingly blended vocals, for another. There are fewer extended solo lead vocal turns by any of the band members and more choral effects or interplay between the men and women in the group. If you’re of a certain age, you might start thinking of them as an indie-rock Mamas and the Papas, or… ‘I’ll take that,’ Newman says, ‘but the Fifth Dimension is always the one we’re going for, way more than the Mamas and the Papas! I hesitate to throw out catchphrases that might be repeated back to me a thousand times, but at the beginning of this record, there was some thinking that we wanted it to be like a Krautrock Fifth Dimension. Of course, our mutated idea of what Krautrock is probably doesn’t sound like Krautrock at all. But we were thinking: Let s try and rock in a different way.’
Vinyl LP pressing. After the success of Singles and the hundreds of Future Islands shows played in that period, the band began writing new material on the coast of North Carolina, and continued throughout the year in Baltimore before road-testing these songs at a series of secret shows under fake names. Later that year, they traveled to Los Angeles to record with Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound, where everyone from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces. With string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn, The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman’s late night TV show. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track “Shadows.” Across The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band’s central themes they’ve been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.
Vinyl LP pressing housed in a gatefold sleeve, includes digital download. 2017 release. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ is the sophomore album from Joey Bada$$. The project features some high profile artists. Joey Bada$$ is coming off the heels of starring in the award-winning TV show Mr. Robot and his single, Devastated being RIAA certified gold. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Joey is a founding member of the hip-hop collective Pro Era, with whom he has released three mixtapes. He released his debut mixtape, 1999, in June 2012 to critical acclaim and recognition, followed by Rejex in September, and Summer Knights on July 1, 2013. His debut studio album, B4. DA. $$, was released January 20, 2015. In July 2016, he made his television debut on the USA Network series Mr. Robot.
Vinyl LP pressing. Directly from Stevie Wonder’s string of classic albums, FFF, originally released in 1974, was the follow-up to Innvervisions. It was a #1 hit for several weeks, led by the #1 single ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin’ and ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman.’ This vinyl re-release features a reproduction of the original collage artwork depicting Stevie’s life on original gatefold cover, with full (and, in some cases, corrected) lyrics inside. Winner of three Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. FFF is Wonder’s nineteenth album overall, and seventeenth studio album. According to Billboard magazine, it was Wonder’s first studio album to top the Pop Albums chart where it remained for two weeks, while it was his third album to top the R&B/Black Albums chart where it spent nine non-consecutive weeks. Subsequent to the epic sweep and social consciousness of Innervisions, this set projected a reflective, decidedly somber tone.] The musical arrangements used in several songs while masterly could be considered sparse in comparison to others among his 1970s masterworks, evident especially in the bleak “They Won’t Go When I Go” and understated “Creepin'”. While largely a stripped down, more personal sounding record, Wonder had not completely foregone social commentary on the world around him.
Limited triple 180gm red, white and blue colored vinyl LP pressing including digital download. Raymond Scott (1908-1994) was a renowned bandleader, composer and pianist from the 1930s to the 1950s. Many of his playful riffs, originally recorded from 1937 to 1939 by the Raymond Scott Quintette, are genetically encoded in every earthling, having been adapted by Warner Bros. Music director Carl Stalling in over 100 Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons. (These themes were later featured in The Ren and Stimpy Show.) The rediscovery of Scott’s original novelty jazz recordings led to a belated reappraisal of Scott’s timeless and long forgotten genius in the 1990s. During Scott’s career as a popular bandleader, there were reports of an alter ego – inventor, professor in the lab coat, electronic music pioneer. But little of this work received public exposure. That changed in 1997 with a reissue of Scott’s 1963 Soothing Sounds for Baby (SSFB) trilogy. These albums, largely overlooked upon their original LP release, contained gentle, all-electronic sonic companions designed to calm and delight infants. In retrospect, however, Scott’s pioneering and little-heard explorations of synthesized rhythmic minimalism and low-key ambience foreshadowed the subsequent conjuring of Terry Riley, Phillip Glass, Kraftwerk and Brian Eno. Most of Scott’s works were performed on vacuum tube- and transistor-rigged music machines which he designed and built. Now, Music on Vinyl presents a new edition of MRI in a triple LP set, including full track notes, a historical overview, and newly designed covers. The package contains an 8-page booklet and printed inner sleeves.
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. Guided by Voices’ August By Cake is the one hundredth studio album that Robert Pollard has released since 1986’s Forever Since Breakfast. To put that in perspective, Bob Dylan has released roughly thirty nine studio albums since 1959. And that includes the Traveling Wilburys. This is a highly anticipated record, which includes the new line-up (returning GBV veterans Doug Gillard and Kevin March, virgins Bobby Bare Jr and Mark Shue) that has been wowing audience in clubs and festivals throughout 2016. It’s the most musically adept and versatile line-up Pollard has ever assembled. With thirty two songs, this album is also GBV’s first ever double album, and song contributions from all five band members is additional icing on the cake, setting album #100 apart from the previous 99. The double album is an important format in Pollard’s own musical iconography, and he doesn’t take the form lightly – one reason he’s planned and abandoned several would-be GBV double albums in the past is his high regard for foundational works like Quadrophenia, the White Album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Daydream Nation, Zen Arcade, Double Nickels On the Dime – “defining records for these bands,” says Pollard. It’s important to him that August By Cake not just be a double album but that it be a great one.
Vinyl LP pressing. Silver/Lead is the 15th studio album from musical pioneers Wire. It arrives on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance. Yet it’s about as far from nostalgia as you could get. This is the sound of a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post-punk. Colin Newman and Matt Simms’ guitar work is alternately jagged and luminous, while bassist Graham Lewis’s ear-catching lyrics are vivid yet oblique. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Grey provides a virtual masterclass in percussive minimalism. But it’s how the various instruments mesh together that really counts. And Newman’s production creates a sonic space in which even the smallest gesture is accorded some recognition. Highlights include the optimistic dazzle of ‘Diamonds In Cups’, with it’s almost T. Rex-style buzz and chug, and the moody swing of ‘This Time’. Elsewhere on the musical spectrum, there’s the menacing widescreen grandeur of ‘Playing Harp for the Fishes’ and breakneck-paced guitar pop of ‘Short Elevated Period.’
Vinyl LP pressing housed in a gatefold sleeve, includes digital download. Timber Timbre’s music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. It’s fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – is the cinema of a dazzling dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time. Taylor Kirk and co-composers Mathieu Charbonneau and Simon Trottier, together with drummer Olivier Fairfield, offer their most daring artistic work yet. With the palette of archetypal synthesizers at La Frette studio outside Paris, the long-time collaborators took a unique approach to Timber Timbre’s characteristic sonic invention. The first single – “Sewer Blues” – is an ironclad groove marked by plodding, heavy rhythm, cavernous delay, and a backdrop of starry synthesizers. Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues, with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling. Covering a spectrum of New Age to Popular French Disco Revival, the sound is synthetic, exotic, yet familiar, with Kirk’s chilling croon and the mid-apocalyptic setting of his poetry. This is Timber Timbre’s document of our generation’s degeneration and disarray: Signed and sealed / Sincerely, The Pollution.
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing including digital download. 2017 release form the alt-country singer/songwriter. The album was self-produced and recorded in the spring of 2016 at Tweed Studios in Oxford, MS with a tight three piece: Branan on lead vocals and guitar (both electric and acoustic), Robbie Crowell (formerly of Deer Tick) on drums and percussion, keys, and horns, and James “Haggs” Haggerty on bass. Additionally, Amanda Shires contributes on fiddle and vocals, and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! And Dave Hause provide guest vocals. Cory Branan has four previous full-length releases: The Hell You Say (2002), 12 Songs (2006), Mutt (2012), and The No-Hit Wonder (2014). His music has received critical praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country, NPR All Things Considered, Noisey, Wall Street Journal, Paste Magazine, Oxford American, Consequence of Sound, Southern Living, and many others.
Vinyl LP pressing, includes digital download. I’ve always been tied to the idea of having each record sound different from the one before it, and there’s no exception with this one. My writing on this one is really reflective of the story that I’ve been living out over the past few years-as a musician, a father, and a human trying to navigate this crazy world. It’s also the stories that we all share: the everyday stuff, and the big stuff. As always, I poured my heart into these songs. When I came across the opportunity to link up with an internationally acclaimed producer who I have long admired, I knew he would be able to add some deep mojo to the recordings. Matt Ross-Spang (Grammy-Winning engineer of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, one of my favorite records of last year) is a musical Willy Wonka, and his Chocolate Factory is the legendary Sam Phillips Studio in Memphis, TN. This place has an unmatched soul and a vibe that stems from the history of Memphis as a haven for many of my musical heroes. I’m incredibly honored and excited to have worked with Matt and the team at Sam Phillips to make this record the best that it can be. -Sean Rowe
What If – HAUSCHKA / Since 2004, Volker Bertelmann – aka Hauschka – has, steadily earned a remarkable reputation as a purveyor of imaginative, distinctive, prepared piano music. On What If – which finds him adding player pianos (also known as pianolas) to his arsenal – Bertelmann expands his range even further, defying expectations and delivering what is without a doubt his most ingenious album yet. While engaging with his trademark technique of utilizing unusual objects – art erasers, for example – to treat (or ‘prepare’) the piano, Hauschka also programmed parts for player pianos, exploiting the speed at which they could play, manipulating the resulting sounds, and building layers to emphasize a composition’s meter. What If aims to provoke reflection beyond the musical sphere with the titles of the both the album and it’s individual tracks. Overflowing with haunting melodies, mysterious sounds, and complex patterns, What If crowns an extraordinary couple of years for Hauschka. Likely to prove one of 2017’s most original albums, What If redefines the very notion of piano music in dramatic and exceptional fashion. It stands as a rebuttal to those who lazily shoehorn Hauschka’s work into the so-called, uncomfortably broad ‘new classical’ category, and instead underlines his status as a unique and invaluable artist.
LP version. Nouvelle vague is a mythical movement that redefined France’s canons, not only in film but also music. A time – the late ’50s and early ’60s – when all the young musicians broke free from the older generation and created their own movement drawing from a large palette of influences. From jazz and soundtracks to bossa nova, folk and cha cha, this set brings you the unique sound of French pop during the nouvelle vague years. Featuring sophisticated pop songs by Serge Gainsbourg, Francoise Hardy, and Claude Nougaro as well as the crème of nouvelle vague soundtracks – including The 400 Blows (1959), Breathless (1960), Lola (1961), Cleo From 5 To 7 (1962) – and a cool mix of rare tracks by Rita Cadillac (an ex of Alain Delon), Christiane Legrand, and the jazz vocal groups Les Blue Stars. Tune up to the cool French sounds of the nouvelle vague – pop, mambo, cha cha, jazz, bossa nova with a French touch. The 40 track compilation comes with an essay, with track-by-track analysis, from French journalist Jacques Denis. Vol. 2 LP features: Dario Moreno, Brigitte Bardot, Sacha Distel, Boris Vian, Miles Davis, Magali Noel, Leo Ferre, Jacqueline Dano, Les Blue Stars, Georges Delerue, Marie Laforet, Franck Barcellini, Christiane Legrand, Martial Solal, Serge Gainsbourg, Dalida, Corinne Marchand, and Rita Cadillac.
Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. Long out of print Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the controversial Larry Clark directed/Harmony Korine written 1995 film Kids about New York City teenagers navigating the worlds of sex and drugs during the height of the AIDS epidemic. The classic alt-rock soundtrack was overseen by Lou Barlow and features eight songs by his group Folk Implosion including hit single “Natural One,” plus further tunes from Barlow’s Sebadoh and disparate artists like Daniel Johnston, Slint and Lo-down.
Vinyl LP pressing. XO is the fourth studio album by singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. It was recorded from 1997 to 1998 and released on August 25, 1998 by record label DreamWorks; Smith’s first solo album on a major record label. Two singles, “Waltz #2 (XO)” and “Baby Britain”, were released. An early working title for the album was Grand Mal. The title of the first track, “Sweet Adeline”, was inspired by Smith’s recollections of his grandmother singing in her glee club, Sweet Adelines International. “Amity” is believed to be named after a friend who can be seen in photographs from Smith’s 1997 tour. XO was well received by critics upon it’s release. Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media wrote, “Smith’s songwriting continues to improve, as each of [the album’s] fourteen tracks displays his inarguable mastery of the pop song structure more clearly than ever.” In it’s retrospective review, BBC Music wrote, “the budget might have gone up, but Smith’s masterful way with an understated melody and melancholic lyric remained firmly intact”, calling XO “perhaps the greatest long-player Smith released; if not, it’s certainly the equal of the preceding Either/Or. Repeat listens don’t dull it in the slightest, every barbed one-liner and exhalation of despair perfectly preserved”.
Double vinyl LP pressing. Figure 8 is the fifth studio album by Elliott Smith, and the final album he completed before his death. It was recorded from 1998 to 2000 at numerous studios and released on April 18, 2000 through DreamWorks Records. Preceded by the singles “Happiness” and “Son of Sam”, Figure 8 was Smith’s second release on a major label. Initially titled Place Pigalle, Figure 8 was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, Sonora Studios in Los Angeles, Capitol Studios in Hollywood and Abbey Road Studios in London. Smith described the songs on the album as “more fragmented and dreamlike”. With Figure 8, Smith attempted to create “a happy-sounding record.”
Stag-O-Lee present the second volume in a new limited edition series, Gunsmoke. This is a collection of oddball country weepers, moody rockabilly, and popcorn noir from the 1950s and early ’60s. So turn out the lights, sit back and relax to the soundtrack from a jukebox in a ghost town. For best results: listen to after dark. Packaged in a nice 10″ sleeve with hole; Edition of 666. Features: Billy Fury, Steve Arlen, Jerry Irby, Johnny Pelvin, Magnificent Seven, El Clod, Warren Smith, Steve King, Danny Welch, Ric Cartey, Johnny Bond, and Sons Of The Pioneers.
Deluxe triple 180gm vinyl LP pressing including digital download. 2017 release from the folk/rock singer/songwriter. Triplicate features 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016. For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters. The titles of the individual discs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late. According to Bob Dylan, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.”
Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. 2017 album from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. After originally breaking onto the music scene during the 80’s leading the post-new wave pop group ‘Til Tuesday, Aimee Mann has gone on to establish herself as one of the most distinguished singer-songwriters of her generation. Her successful solo career has spanned several decades with several Grammy nominations, one Grammy award and the release of seven critically acclaimed solo albums, including the profoundly popular soundtrack for the film Magnolia, which garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Song in 2000. Aimee has been very busy since her last album, performing for the President at the White House, appearing on the hilarious TV series Portlandia, becoming a social media darling (she was named one of 13 Funny Musicians You Should Be Following On Twitter by the Huffington Post and was Buzzfeed’s Top 100 People to Follow on Twitter, as well as touring and recording with Ted Leo for their project together The Both.
Vinyl LP pressing includes digital download. In The Same Room, a beautiful new release from Julia Holter, inaugurates the Domino Documents series. Named after a song from Holter’s 2012 album Ekstasis, this career-spanning collection is the fruit of two days recording by Julia and her tremendous band (Corey Fogel – drums/vocals; Dina Maccabee – viola/vocals and Devin Hoff – stand-up bass) at RAK Studios in the days after their main stage performance at Green Man Festival in Wales. Comprised of new arrangements of songs from three of her previous studio releases (Tragedy, Loud City Song and 2015’s breakthrough Have You In My Wilderness), Holter’s Domino Documents is an essential release for anyone who has witnessed her brilliant, beguiling band on tour around the world in the last five years as well as the perfect introduction to a truly important and innovative young artist.
150gm vinyl LP pressing. Rodney Crowell’s new album, Close Ties, demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. Close Ties is at once his most intimate record and his most accessible, the product of years of understanding the ways songs can enter – and be entered by – life. “It’s a loose concept album, you could say,” Crowell says. “And the concept is related to how you tell stories about yourself. Having a few years ago written a memoir, my sensibilities toward narrative – especially trying to find a common thread in different pieces of writing – had become a part of my songwriting process.” Close Ties is a roots record, in the sense that Crowell himself has deep roots that stretch back into the alternative country scene of the early seventies. The rise of Americana music has struck a nerve with Crowell. “I have declared my loyalty to Americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it – Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell – share a common thread, and that thread is poetry. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.” There is also a powerful undercurrent of the blues running through the record. “Recently, I think – I hope – that my study of the blues is starting to show up in my music. Those artists, whether it’s Lightnin’ Hopkins or John Lee Hooker or the acoustic Delta players, connected to something fundamental. With that in mind, I’m trying to move forward but also get back there.”
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. The genre-defying Mavericks are declaring their independence and stepping out on their own with Brand New Day, the first studio album released on Mono Mundo Recordings, the label they founded in 2016. Brand New Day is the follow-up to the widely praised albums Mono (2015) and In Time (2013). Flashing the same exhilarating, beyond-category style that has defined The Mavericks, the album introduces a collection of taut, energetic, economical songs sure to be embraced by both original fans of their Top 10 albums and hit singles of the ’90s and a new generation of listeners who have joined the party since their triumphant 2012 reunion. It is the mature and timely work of an exciting and underestimated American band that has embraced it’s own destiny.
2PC vinyl edition. Original score to the 2016 motion picture composed by Michael Giacchino. From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Limited double 180gm vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release from the heavy metal titans. Emperor Of Sand finds Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper, says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?’ We’re reflecting on mortality, adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives. Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon’s hometown of Atlanta, with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with Mastodon on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye.
Vinyl LP pressing. The legendary Jesus and May Chain – fronted by the quarrelsome Reid brothers Jim and William – release their long awaited brand new studio album Damage and Joy – their first studio effort since Munki, issued back in the summer of 1998. Produced by Martin Glover aka Youth and featuring contributions from former Lush bassist Phil King and the band’s touring drummer Brian Young, the highly anticipated 14-track set includes stunning lead single “Amputation” and a re-energized new version of “All Things Must Pass” which was previously showcased in the TV show Heroes. Creation Records boss and band manager Alan McGee exclaimed, “They’ve made another album! It’s a big deal! It’s kinda enormous.”
180gm vinyl LP pressing includes digital download. Faithfully remastered and complete with six bonus tracks. New West Records is proud to present Vic Chesnutt’s fourth studio album, Is The Actor Happy? Arguably Chesnutt’s most accessible album, Is The Actor Happy? features such tracks as “Gravity Of The Situation,” “Onion Soup” and “Guilt By Association.”
Limited double 180gm vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 2017 release, the second album from the widely acclaimed project produced by Will ‘Quantic’ Holland, Mario Galeano from Frente Cumbiero. Recorded in both Bogota and the Caribbean island of Old Providence. Fueled by bushy rum, the sessions, often including up to 35 musicians, captured the dialogues between calypso and gaita, accordion and lapsteel, clave and mandolin, even synthesizer and a horse’s jaw bone.
Without knowing it, you’ve probably heard Kelly Lee Owens’ work over the past few years: the 27-year-old London producer contributed vocals to several tracks & co-wrote ‘Knowing We’ll Be Here’ – on fellow UK techno wizard Daniel Avery’s debut LP, 2014’s Drone Logic, and she’s made waves with a pair of limited-release 12″ singles showcasing her gifts for spectral, hallucinatory pop. On Oleic, her debut release on Smalltown Supersound, Owens flexes her considerable muscle as a dance producer with four luscious, deeply satisfying slices of big-room electronic music.
Limited vinyl LP pressing released to coincide with the film’s 50th Anniversary. Originally released in 1967, the Valley Of The Dolls soundtrack won an Academy Award for Best Music (Scoring of Music – Adaptation or Treatment). Valley of the Dolls is a drama based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Jacqueline Susann. It was directed by Mark Robson, produced by Robson and David Weisbart, and stars Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate, and Susan Hayward. The soundtrack was released in 1967. Dionne Warwick sang the title track; however, her version is not on the soundtrack album, only on the actual film soundtrack. According to Susann, she wrote her own lyric for the film title track as she felt that Dory Previn’s lyric did not establish the story background. Warwick was signed to Scepter Records at the time and could not contractually appear on the soundtrack album. Therefore, a re-recorded version appears on the LP Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls. The film contains two versions of the theme song with different lyrics: one version plays over the opening credits, and the other, with the same lyrics as Warwick’s recorded version, is heard towards the end of the film.
Doxy present a reissue of Dorothy Ashby’s Soft Winds / The Swinging Harp Of Dorothy Ashby, originally released in 1961. From the original liner notes: “Dorothy Ashby may not be the first jazz harpist (Caspar Reardon) or the first female jazz harpist (Adele Girard), but her good feeling for time and ability to construct melodic, guitar-like lines, mark her as the most accomplished modern jazz harpist (…) Accompanying her was another Detroit girl, Terry Pollard. Terry’s main instrument is the piano and she is one of the best in the country, bar none. She is also a pretty fair country vibraharpist and in this set, Miss Pollard plays vibes exclusively. With them is still another Detroiter, Herman Wright, who like Miss Pollard has worked with Terry Gibbs and Yusef Lateef, and who also served as Miss Ashby’s regular bassist. (…) Completing the quartet is Jimmy Cobb, drummer for the Miles Davis group. During the proceedings, Cobb travels between brushes and sticks without upsetting the equilibrium of this essentially quiet set. There is wide range of material presented here, from blues like Benny Goodman’s title number, ‘Soft Winds’, and Miss Ashby’s ‘With Strings Attached’, to movie themes such as ‘Laura’, ‘Wild Is the Wind’, and ‘The Guns Of Navarone’. Then there are works by such superior writers of standards as Kurt Weill (‘My Ship’); Gershwin (‘The Man I Love’ and ‘Love Is Here To Stay’)” Edition of 500.
During a two-day period (July 20-21, 1967) tenor-saxophonist Dexter Gordon and his quartet (pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels Pederson and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath) recorded enough music to fill up three CDs, all of which have been released by the English Black Lion label. Four of the six standards on this hard-swinging set (“But Not for me,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Blues Walk” and “Love for Sale”) are over ten minutes long while the other two (“For All We Know” and “I Guess I’ll Have to Hang My Tears out to Dry” are a little more concise).
Double 180gm audiophile vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. Second vinyl LP features nine acoustic demos. Includes digital download. Digitally remastered edition of this 1989 album. One of the most critically acclaimed albums of the ’80s, nominated for both BRIT and Grammy Awards, Flowers In The Dirt saw Paul McCartney team up with Elvis Costello to co-write a third of the album (‘My Brave Face’, ‘You Want Her Too’, ‘Don’t Be Careless Love’ and ‘That Day is Done’) as well as boasting production credits from producers such as Mitchell Froom, Trevor Horn, David Foster, Steve Lipson, Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney himself. The album was widely regarded as a return to form.
Vinyl LP pressing includes digital download. Arbouretum has been called “the best of the millennial classic rock bands, a guitarfuzzed powerhouse.” The band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann, effortlessly weaves it’s melodies and guitar solos with the often hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey around the deliberate keyboard of Matthew Pierce to lift the vocals. The results are a full sound delivered with a striking sense of intimacy. Throughout their time together, the Baltimore-based band have been praised for their ability to weave elaborate vocal lines, and guitar solos that often unravel into extended improvisation, but never with as much finesse as on Song of the Rose. In less practiced hands, these ideas could easily fall into contrivance, but on Song of the Rose, Arbouretum use these elements to perfect their craft of storytelling in song, both lyrically and sonically. Arbouretum recorded Song of the Rose with Steve Wright at Wrightway Studios. While previous records were recorded in a matter of days, Song of the Rose took weeks. Attention to production details augment their time-tested emphasis on capturing the energy of performance. Song of the Rose is the first time the band has mixed with Kyle Spence at his studios in Athens, GA (Kurt Vile, Luke Roberts, Harvey Milk). At the root of the songs and compositions on Song of the Rose is the concept of balance. As is true for the movements of Tai Chi, of which Dave Heumann is an avid practitioner, each motion both musical and lyrical has an equal but opposite motion, that works together harmoniously. “Woke Up On The Move” pores over nature s beauty as much as it heeds the warning of humankind s destructive potential. The variations that result from the constant push and pull throughout Song of the Rose make Arbouretum’s music as arresting as it is thoughtful. The lyrical imagery makes it masterful. Arbouretum’s lyrics explore elements of philosophy, mysticism, redemption, and the implications of human progress. Songs are written in poetic form as Heumann, Arbouretum’s lyricist, prefers stories remain abstract and open rather than a more typical storytelling format, all within a more traditional song structure. Titular track “Song of the Rose” completes a trilogy of songs from past records, calling back to “Song of the Nile” and “Song of the Pearl,” which have their roots in examining Taoist and Gnostic mythic traditions. Fittingly “Rose” is also a nod to Heumann’s ancestor Richard Lovelace, a 17th century poet who penned “The Rose.” The driving “Absolution Song,” featuring the albums only instrumental guest appearance by Drums of Life, is a contemplation of the idea of writing and thereby absolving oneself of all wrongdoings, through the creative act, in this case, using poetic imagery. Arbouretum music takes these philosophical ideas and transforms them into a sonic experience that is at once contemplative and emotionally affecting.
Vinyl LP pressing. Live archive release. On A Monday Evening is an unreleased (and never bootlegged!) 1976 concert recording of The Bill Evans Trio, featuring Eddie Gomez and Eliot Zigmund, captured live at Madison, WI’s Union Theater. The 12-track album offers both contemporary compositions from that era, as well as longstanding signature tunes of Evans’, and includes new liner notes by Grammy Award-winning jazz historian Ashley Kahn, with commentary by Gomez and Zigmund. A jazz legend, Evans’ use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.
2017 release. Son of Greg Allman, Devon Allman’s Ride Or Die is his third solo record for RUF Records. The album contains twelve soulful and powerful tracks that showcase Allman’s maturity as a songwriter, a singer, and his continuous evolution into one of the top guitarists on the scene today. Co- produced along with Grammy winning Tom Hambridge, Allman takes you on a journey through his own intimate back roads and personal highways. It’s an emotional journey that takes you through the mountain highs and valley lows, while sheltered from the storms under melodic choruses, surrounded by verses rich with powerful messages throughout some of the deepest material that he has ever written and recorded. There is no doubt that his family’s musical DNA has graced Devon Allman with that Allman Soul, but there is clearly no denying that he puts his personal stamp and his own style, of bending and twisting the blues, into his own Devon Allman brand.
Vinyl LP pressing. Gentle on My Mind is the sixth album by American singer-guitarist Glen Campbell, released in 1967 by Capitol Records. The centerpiece of the album is “Gentle on My Mind”. Campbell heard songwriter John Hartford’s original version on the radio and fell in love with this song about memories of a lost love. At the time, Campbell was under contract with Capitol Records as a solo artist but had little success in establishing a name for himself in the public eye. Campbell gathered some of his fellow session players from the famous Wrecking Crew gang (which included Leon Russell) to come into the Capitol studio to record a demo version that he could pitch to his producer. Between phrases and stanzas, Campbell would yell instructions to the players. He then left the rough recording for his producer to listen to. His producer fell in love, not only with the song but with the recording itself. Without telling Campbell, he took the tape back into the studio and removed the unwanted verbiage from between the phrases. He then released the demo recording, which became a mega-hit for Campbell when it was released.
Special Edition Red Vinyl LP pressing including digital download. 2017 release. Hot Thoughts, Spoon’s ninth album, is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of their career, though keep in mind, Britt Daniel’s already overseen a number of other reincarnations. With all due respect to earlier efforts that have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it’s crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre-smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated. Produced by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips, Weezer, MGMT) and back with Matador (third time’s the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career. We are overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was well established a ways back – with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.
LP version. Cambodian Liberation Songs is a painful call from forgotten resistance fighters – it is a captivating and moving record. It works as a witness of Cambodian history, bringing to the world the breathless voice of the members of the resistance from the Banteay Ampil Band. Released in 1983, Cambodian Liberation Songs is a mysterious and overwhelming record. As a genuine piece of history, this “call from sorrow and fierce passion” makes use of a whole range of Cambodian music, from folk to rock, to express sufferings and complaints. On April 17, 1975, the Cambodian people, already crushed under national and international conflicts, were commanded by force to forget their own past – it was “annuum 0” of the Khmer Rouge calendar. Four years of genocide would follow before the start of a war opposing the Vietnamese army to the Khmers Rouges. Resistance units engaged in the conflict against what they considered as a Vietnamese invasion. This record, produced by a resistance group, was given the reference number “KHMER 001”. It was undoubtedly the first record composed and performed by non-Khmer Cambodians after the tragic events of 1975-79. The Banteay Ampil Band was created in the refugee camp of Ampil, at the border with Thailand. Musicians and female singers, who had hidden their talents during the genocide, then gathered around the composer and violinist Oum Dara to engage in a new struggle: the resistance. Oum Dara, who had been a composer for Sin Sisamouth and Ros Srey Sothea, among others, adapted several of his creations. It is therefore with a poignant charm that the Banteay Ampil Band binds together the golden age of Khmer music from the 1960s with the traditional repertoire and the context of their daily struggles. Violin, guitar and voices match together to produce melancholic and intense songs – the stirring tone of grief expressed by these resisters. The band went to Singapore to record Cambodian Liberation Songs, the only record of the “Khmer People’s National Liberation Front”.
Radiation Roots present a reissue of Tommy McCook & The Aggrovators‘ King Tubby Meets The Aggrovators At Dub Station, originally released in 1975. Tenor saxophonist Tommy McCook is rightly considered a giant of Jamaican music. Chosen by Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd to be leader of The Skatalites in the early 1960s, he went on to become the chief exponent of rock steady as leader of The Supersonics house band at Treasure Isle. McCook remained a key session player throughout the reggae era, and during the roots reggae heyday of the mid-1970s, his expressive melodies found particularly strong outlet, especially on the music he created for grassroots producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee as a member of The Aggrovators, the studio outfit Lee hand-picked from the cream of Jamaica’s musical crop. When enhanced by the adventurous mixing experiments of King Tubby, the engineer that turned dub into an art form, instrumental Aggrovators music became positively ethereal, yielding an exceptional listening experience. On King Tubby Meets The Aggrovators At Dub Station, Tommy McCook blows mean sax and flute over dubs of outstanding tracks by Johnny Clarke, Cornell Campbell, Linval Thompson, Delroy Wilson, and others greats.
Disco-nut producer Joey Negro and fellow crafty crate-digger Sean P presented the first of their great Soul Of Disco albums (ZEDD 007CD) in 2005, rammed to the rafters with classic, rare, hard to find gems from the era that brought us fantastic music and sparkly platforms. Now, more than ten years later, the album finally sees a gatefold double vinyl release featuring ten of the best tracks from volume one of the series. These rare and highly sought after tracks 12 inches would likely be very expensive, if someone would be lucky enough to find them in the first place. This collection spans from 1976-82, with an R&B slant and more song-based material. It is intended to show that there were a few more sides (many more to come, of course) to one of the last century’s biggest musical phenomena. In a compilation brimming over with accessible earthiness, rawness and downright soulfulness, Joey and Sean continue their mission to help us understand how disco’s influence is still shaping music 30 years after it broke into the mainstream. Features: Tenderness, The Disco Fox, Jesse G, Velvet Hammer, Zebra, Sandi Havens, Sargeant & Malone, Milton Hamilton, The Sparkles and Natural Order.
Limited 180gm half-speed remastered edition including digital download. Sleeve artwork and inner bag as per the original vinyl release. Having left Genesis in the summer of 1976, Peter’s first solo album arrived in February 1977. He was 26. With legendary producer Bob Ezrin taking charge, the intention was to make a more direct and tougher record: something different from what had gone before. The record also provided one of Peter’s most recognizable songs in the shape of ‘Solsbury Hill’. Peter Gabriel rose to fame as the original lead singer and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, Gabriel launched a highly successful solo career.
Limited vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release from the Bright Eyes frontman. The album is a companion piece to 2016’s lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo-with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica-he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band-upstate New York’s The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more)-the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form, as his seventh solo album: Ruminations, which was released in October 2016. The Sunday Times of London called it the rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation and political and very, very personal, saying Oberst is one of the best songwriters around. Meanwhile, Oberst simultaneously moved ahead with his plans to record with the band, heading to the famed Shangri-la Studios in Malibu to record Salutations-co-produced with Keltner and engineered by long-time musical compadre Andy LeMaster. Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson. Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs, some from an additional session at Five Star Studios in Echo Park in fall 2016.
Bülent Arel was a Turkish-born American composer of electronic and contemporary classical music. He was also a devoted teacher, a sculptor, and a painter. From 1940 until 1947 Arel studied composition, piano, and 20th century classical music at the Ankara Conservatory. In 1959 Arel came to the U.S. on a grant by the Rockefeller
Foundation to work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. By that time the center had just started out under its director Vladimir Ussachevsky.
During Arel’s work in Princeton he also met Edgard Varèse with whom in 1962 he worked on the electronic sections of Varèse’s ‘Déserts’. Frank Zappa lists Arel as a key influence. Today’s electronic music – may it be by Autechre’s ‘Confield’, Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works Vol. II’, or Squarepusher’s ‘Do you know Squarepusher’ – builds upon a solid foundation which Bülent Arel helped to pave.
Double vinyl LP pressing with etching on Side Four. 2017 release from the iconic British electronic band. Spirit is the band’s 14th studio release. The album marks the band’s first collaboration with producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Foals, Florence & The Machine, Arctic Monkeys) and is the follow up to the band’s blockbuster 2013 studio album Delta Machine which debuted at #1 in 12 countries. The songs on Spirit reflect profound questions about the modern world and the state of humanity. The first single is vintage Depeche Mode, with percolating electronics and a dramatic chorus: “Where’s the Revolution”; that joins “Going Backwards,” “The Worst Crime,” “Poison Heart,” “Scum,” “So Much Love,” “Fail” and more.
Vinyl LP pressing. Back in the High Life is the fourth solo studio album by British rock icon Steve Winwood. Released in 1986, it was a Top Ten hit on the album charts in the United States, peaking at #3, and has sold over five million copies. The single “Higher Love” topped the singles chart and won the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year; “Back in the High Life Again” (US #13), “The Finer Things” (US #8), and “Freedom Overspill” (US #20) were also big hits. This was Winwood’s last studio album with Island Records after 20 years with the label. In a career full of triumphs, this album might have been the pinnacle for Winwood.
Limited 10″ vinyl pressing. 2017 EP release from the Orange County-based ska-punk band. After fifteen years, Save Ferris make their return with Checkered Past. Lead by the inimitable front-woman Monique Powell, the band enjoyed mainstream success in the late ’90s with radio hits and appearances on a variety of television shows and movies including 10 Things I Hate About You. Produced by Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila, Checkered Past embraces Powell’s ska and dub roots and also features a guest appearance by Neville Staple of the Specials on the first single “New Sound.”
4LP box set comprising four red vinyl 10″s housed in 3mm spined sleeves with artworked inners. Stephen Bruner, bka as Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015’s “The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam”. The latest album titled “Drunk” is released via Brainfeeder and features production from Flying Lotus. Following his Grammy award winning contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”, Bruner delivers arguably his most ambitious work to date. Vocal features include Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. In addition to Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat has worked with a wide range of artists including Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Bilal, Suicidal Tendencies, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and more making him one of the most in demand musicians of our time.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. Valerie June’s acclaimed 2013 debut, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was a crucial stage in a meteoric rise from selling home recordings from a car to supporting the Rolling Stones and winning a fan in Michelle Obama. Her second album finds the Tennessean again blending genres – folk, classic pop, soul and Appalachian bluegrass – into a cohesive whole, thanks to her top-notch songwriting and sublime musicianship. With her sultry ache of a voice, she could presumably sing the phone book and make it quake with feeling. These are further tales of long lonely roads and men who done wrong, and this set adds African rhythms, spacey soundscapes and guest vocals from Norah Jones. The songs run the gamut from ‘Love You Once Made’s organ-blasting bluesy soul and ‘With You’s Nick Drakeish strings to ‘Shakedown’, which is like a country Can. It’s an album bursting with standouts, none more so than ‘Astral Plane’, which finds June full of childlike wonderment amid a gloriously ethereal atmosphere reminiscent of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. Fantastic stuff.
Limited triple vinyl LP collection chronicling Miles’ musical evolution in the studio from 1966-1968 working with his “second great quintet.” This edition in Columbia/Legacy’s acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series provides an unprecedented look into the artist’s creative process, drawing on full session reels including all rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, studio conversation and more. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Miles Smiles, the groundbreaking second studio album from the Miles Davis Quintet-Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums)-this definitive new collection includes the master takes of performances which would eventually appear on the Miles Smiles (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Water Babies (1976) albums alongside more than two hours’ worth of previously unreleased studio recordings from original sessions produced by Teo Macero (with the exception of “Fall,” produced by Howard A. Roberts).
Five vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release from the alt-rock band led by Stephin Merritt. 50 Year Memoir chronicles the 50 years of songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life with one song per year; it was produced by Stephin Merritt with additional production by Thomas Bartlett and Charles Newman. This set includes an extensive interview by Daniel Handler and facsimile handwritten lyrics by Merritt. Stephin began recording on his 50th birthday: February 9, 2015. Unlike his previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction-in Merritt’s words, “a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis).” In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than 100 instruments on 50 Song Memoir, ranging from ukulele to piano to drum machine to abacus.
Limited double vinyl LP pressing includes bonus tracks. 2017 release, the sixth album from the British folk singer/songwriter. Semper Femina is an intimate, devoted exploration of femininity and female relationships, and among her finest work to date. Written largely on the tour that followed 2015’s Short Movie and recorded in Los Angeles with production from Blake Mills, it is at once a distinctive and musically compelling collection of songs, run through with Marling’s fierce intelligence; a keen, beautiful and unparalleled take on womanhood. Laura’s debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim, her second album I Speak Because I Can, and her fourth album Once I Was an Eagle were each nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008, 2010, and 2013, respectively. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and was nominated for the same award at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 Brit Awards.
Limited white vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. The Navigator tells an interwoven, cinematic story of a wandering soul at a crossroads of identity and ancestral weight. It finds a street kid named Navita traversing a perpetually burning city in search of herself. The Navigator is a thrilling call to arms that could not come at a more crucial time. It also finds Hurray for the Riff Raff at it’s own musical intersection, delving deep into the worlds of Latin rhythms, searing rock, and incisive ballads. Hurray for the Riff Raff is an American folk-blues and Americana band from New Orleans, Louisiana. The Navigator is the follow-up to 2014’s Small Town Heroes. The band’s impressive catalog spans a 10 year time frame.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release, the fifth studio album from the alt-rock band. In contrast to 2012’s Port of Morrow, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album Grammy, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. Heartworms is, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of “So Now What” (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms features Mercer’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by Mercer’s distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both familiar a nostalgic nod to the album’s predecessors – and distinctly new. The album’s first single, “Name For You,” is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by Mercer’s three daughters.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. Over their history, Ha Ha Tonka has recorded four critically acclaimed albums, toured the world, played Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, and appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Through it all, these Ozarks natives have made friends, found love, started familes, and grown and matured together. Heart-Shaped Mountain is a reflection of that development and maturity. Once aptly summed as “Indie-Americana, where Alabama meets Arcade Fire, ” Ha Ha Tonka has expanded their sonic palette, unveiling balanced, sublime, pop radio accessible heights and an emotionally broader, post-punk songwriting range, a la Apache Relay or a less enigmatic Jonsi, while keeping their trademark harmonizing vocals, jangly Southern revelry and crunchy hooks fully in tact. At it’s core, Heart-Shaped Mountain is an album about love and growth. At a time when divisiveness fills the headlines, Ha Ha Tonka is fighting the good fight, building narrative-tributes to friends and loved ones, memories past and prospects of the future.
Vinyl LP pressing, includes digital download. This album represents three distinct historical trends that came together in the span of only 10 days during recording at Studios 606 and Big Bad Sound in April of 2016. The most obvious one is the musicians themselves. The rhythm section is composed of players from Social Distortion. 36 years ago, Bad Religion and Social Distortion shared a stage in Santa Ana, California. Well, it wasn’t really a stage, it was an abandoned warehouse made into a punk concert/party place. That was my first concert, as the singer/songwriter in Bad Religion. Our styles over the years diverged, but one consistent element remained – our love of American Folk Rock and Old-Time music continued to grow. The second root apparent on this album is that of the sound and musicianship itself. No mere hacks, these musicians are masters. Vintage wood, having been crafted into musical instruments, produces the sound of history when played by virtuosos such as those collected here. An old guitar, a vintage fiddle, drums and bass, clawhammer banjo, and a combo of electric guitar and tubed amplifier, create a sound that can only be described as classic. When you add the beautiful harmonies of these most excellent background singers, there is no doubt that this music comes from a deep-rooted expression of American experience. The final historical root is a personal one. The people who introduced me to Old-Time music are now old-timers themselves. My family roots go back to Indiana and Wisconsin. The Indiana folks sang a-Capella in the old country chapel at my Grandma’s funeral. Her children taught me to sing and the songs they chose came from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and of course the folk revival tunes of the 1960s. This was the sound I brought forth to my own band starting in the 1980s. It’s the only kind of lyrical style I know. And hopefully this album will add another strong branch to my music. Thank you all for continuing to water the tree. -Greg Graffin 2016
Vinyl LP pressing. Keansburg, NJ post-punk quartet Can’t Swim was founded by singer Chris LoPorto in the spring of 2015. After spending most of his life playing drums in various bands, LoPorto decided to step in to songwriting. The songs were contagious from the start and grabbed the attention of his good friends Mike Sanchez (guitar), Greg McDevitt (bass) and Danny Rico (drums). The band announced their signing to Pure Noise Records in December 2015 and released their debut EP Death Deserves A Name in February 2016. LoPorto to Alternative Press who named the band’s highly anticipated full-length debut, Fail You Again, one of their ‘Most Anticipated Alternative Releases of 2017’: “We made it the way we made Death Deserves A Name [EP] – we just did it all ourselves. Danny even mixed the record, so in terms of how the record was recorded, it’s almost exactly the same as Death Deserves A Name… I guess musically, it’s pretty similar. I’d say I’d like to think it’s a little bit more spread out across the spectrum.
Vinyl LP pressing. The 18th studio album from the five time Grammy winning country music veteran. The album was conceived as a love letter by one of country music’s living legends, whom has played with everyone from Cash to Lester Flatt, to the lonely but magical American West, specifically the promised land of California. Produced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and featuring the Fabulous Superlatives -guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and new member, bassist Chris Scruggs- Marty’s longtime band, Way Out West is a cinematic tour-de-force. Listeners can feel the warmth of those desert winds over the album’s 15 tracks, a collection of newly written originals, instrumentals and rare covers.
Vinyl LP pressing. Multi-award winning and Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones remains one of the true giants of country music. These classic recordings from the early ’70s find George in top form covering a selection of classic bluegrass and folk songs from such songwriters as Fred Rose, A.P. Carter, and Roy Acuff. Recorded in one session, George is backed by the legendary Smoky Mountain Boys who performed with the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff, for decades. George Jones achieved international fame for his long list of hit records as well as his distinctive voice and phrasing. Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in it’s lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.”
Vinyl LP pressing. Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. The Front Porch Sessions maintains a potent level of intensity throughout, from the upbeat optimism of the album-opener “We Deserve a Happy Ending” to the blunt slice-of-life rural reality of “One More Thing” to the rollicking, playful swagger of “Shakey Shirley,” “One Bad Shoe” and “Cornbread and Butterbeans.” Meanwhile, the instrumentals “It’s All Night Long” and “Flying Squirrels” demonstrate the Rev’s nimble, imaginative guitar work.”
Double vinyl LP pressing. UK collection. Lovin’ Mighty Fire is Howard Williams’ third Japanese music compilation for the Ace Records house of labels – this time, for BGP International. Assembled in between his job as a record distributor and his monthly Japan Blues show for NTS radio, the first two have taken a look at the late ’50s for a blast of Japanese rockabilly (Nippon Rock ‘n’ Roll), then the ’60s and ’70s for a romp in Japanese surf music (Nippon Guitars). This new outing searches for the soul music of Japan, from the early ’70s to the early ’80s. Japan has long been known as the final destination for many a collectible soul record. Yet, who suspected that some fine soul grooves were recorded for the domestic market, from ballads, to funk and disco? Strangely enough, some of the busiest writers and producers in this field came from a late ’60s rock band, Happy End, but on listening to their collaborations, their rhythmic, soulful feel is immediately apparent. This album finally plants a Japanese flag firmly on the global map of soul.
Double vinyl LP pressing in a gatefold jacket that includes an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. Digitally remastered and expanded edition. Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott Smith’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition. This album features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one b-side gem.
Vinyl LP pressing. Al Di Meola’s fantastic appearance in 2009 also represented a summit of different cultures and religions – Al Di Meola (guitar), Peo Alfonsi (2nd guitar), Fausto Beccalossi (accordion), Gumbi Ortiz (percussion), Victor Miranda (bass), Peter Kaszas (drums), and with special guests from Morocco, Said Chraibi (oud), Abdellah Meri (violin) and Tarik Ben Ali (percussion). On his third trip to Morocco, the public gave this exceptional guitarist a rousing reception and showed ist openness towards Western music – and Al Di Meola wowed the audience with a special repertoire.
180 gram vinyl LP pressing. This debut Austin City Limits performance from August 2003, captures songs from Neko Case’s three seminal solo releases up to that time, combining elements of country, gospel and punk for a very unique sound. Her voice has been described as lush, torchy, melancholic – even scary (someone once wrote that “she sings like Patsy Cline’s ghost”). Neko began her career as a drummer in a punk band, but it wasn’t long before she started experimenting with songwriting and singing. She also continues to perform as a member of The New Pornographers, but her solo work is where her songwriting skills shine most. As she herself says, “I want to write songs that are timeless… maybe just something more like a novel than a short story.”
Double 180 gram vinyl LP pressing. In September 1986, Steve Earle’s first album was shaking up Nashville, and country music circles, like nobody else had done since Willie, Waylon and the original Outlaw gang. This show, his first appearance on Austin City Limits, captures the excitement and free spirit of the seminal Guitar Town, which was nothing less than a collection of personal odysseys. He was certainly a musical renegade from day one, and that’s one thing about him that hasn’t changed. This performance displays the vintage Steve Earle sound that paved the way for a new generation of country rockers willing to buck the Nashville system.
Double vinyl LP pressing. UMLE is releasing Selena’s English album in vinyl. Dreaming of You, Selena’s final album, became the first Tejano album to reach #1 in America and was double platinum by the end of the year. Includes 13 all-time hits (six Spanish + seven English) including “Como La Flor”, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”, “Amor Prohibido”, “I Could Fall in Love”, “Missing My Baby” and “Dreaming of You” among others. Selena became the first recording artist to place five Spanish language albums simultaneously on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. Called the Queen of Tejano music, Selena’s contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the “top Latin artist of the ’90s” and the “best selling Latin artist of the decade”. Media outlets called her the “Tejano Madonna” for her clothing choices. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all-time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into the mainstream market.
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2016 debut album from the Canadian electronic duo. Dylan Mamid, also known as DC, and Zachary Rapp-Rovan, also known as Hooks, rose to prominence releasing original music and remixes from 2009-10 before becoming a staple on the international touring circuit thereafter. Today, they are known for their exploration of a diverse variety of genres that combine aspects of UK garage, house, electro house, hip-hop, glitch, drum and bass, and more. Northern Lights is a collection of 15 tracks that represents Zeds Dead today. Their sound has changed a lot in the past five years. Between all the EPs and singles and remixes, Zeds Dead have one of the most consistent track records in dance music without becoming repetitive.
Tom Maxwell | Longreads | March 2017 | 9 minutes (2,170 words)
On March 18, 1845, the Hutchinson Family Singers were huddled in a Manhattan boarding house, afraid for their lives. As 19th Century rock stars, they didn’t fear the next night’s sellout crowd, but rather the threat of a mob. For the first time, the group had decided to include their most fierce anti-slavery song into a public program, and the response was swift. Local Democratic and Whig papers issued dire warnings and suggested possible violence. It was rumored that dozens of demonstrators had bought tickets and were coming armed with “brickbats and other missiles.”
“Even our most warm and enthusiastic friends among the abolitionists took alarm,” remembered Abby Hutchinson, and “begged that we might omit the song, as they did not wish to see us get killed.”
It wasn’t that most people didn’t know the Hutchinsons were…
View original post 1,915 more words