With 2013’s Strange Stains, Kansas native Josh Berwanger established himself as an engaging solo artist with an emphasis on big melodies and a warm, jangle rock tone. Three years later, he’s back on tour with his long-defunct group, the Anniversary, celebrating the release of his second solo venture, the hard-driving Exorcism Rock. Whether it’s the influence of his old bandmates — one of whom joins him here — or of producer Doug Boehm who also helmed the Anniversary‘s 2003 swan song, Your Majesty, Berwanger comes out of the gate recharged and full confidence. With a bold new band behind him and billed simply as Berwanger, Exorcism Rock has plenty of streamlined riffy swagger with provocative titles that bely the sweet melodies contained within. Though undeniably upbeat, standout cut “Booty Shake” is less a party anthem than an amiable, sugar-dusted ode to seizing the day. Likewise, “Slutty Skin” has a similarly wistful Buddy Holly vibe and hooks for days. Nearly all of the songs have pleasing, harmony-stacked choruses, two of which are leant extra shine by contributions from Anniversary keyboardist/singer Adrianne deLanda (née Verhoeven).
It’s hard to believe that Saint Etienne’s debut album ‘Foxbase Alpha’ turns 25 this year but the good news is that it still sounds as fresh, vibrant and relevant as the day it was released. Often hailed as one of the most important DIY albums of all time, ‘Foxbase Alpha’ became the first long player released on fledgling Heavenly Recordings in 1991 and went on to be nominated alongside ‘Screamadelica’ in the first ever Mercury Music Prize in 1992. The album will be re-issued on vinyl for the first time since it’s original release, as an exact replica of the original UK pressing. Includes digital download.
Limited edition translucent green colored vinyl LP pressing. The Talking Heads spawned a number of worthy side projects and spinoffs- David Byrne & Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Jerry Harrison’s The Red and the Black-but none were as funky, danceable, and flatout fun as Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth’s Tom Tom Club. Conceived as something of a larkish break from the grandly realized intellectual and artistic pretensions of the Heads’ Remain in Light record, the duo’s self-titled 1981 debut was recorded in Barbados with Weymouth’s sisters and Adrian Belew and Steven Stanley from the Remain in Light band, and not only spawned a couple of hit singles in “Genius of Love” and “Wordy Rappinghood” but also became, in it’s own way, enormously influential. This was the sound of downtown New York talking, listening, and rapping to the burgeoning hip hop movement, a hybrid heard in a whole host of acts in the ’80s and ’90s, from Madonna to Mariah Carey to the Beastie Boys and beyond.
Double vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 2016 release, the third studio album from alternative/dream pop band, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions. The Warm Inventions includes Colm Ó Cíosóig of alternative band, My Bloody Valentine. Hope is also the vocalist for Mazzy Star, best known for ‘Fade Into You’. Until The Hunter features the single, ‘Let Me Get There’ featuring Kurt Vile. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions’ first studio album, Bavarian Fruit Bread, was released on October 23, 2001. Through the Devil Softly was released on September 29, 2009, and was recorded with Dirt Blue Gene.
Veteran soul man Lee Fields has been touring and releasing music almost constantly since the late 1960s. In recent years, he’s struck up a great partnership with the Truth & Soul label’s house band, The Expressions. Their latest collaborative single, “Special Night”, is something of a cinematic soul treat, with Fields wringing every bit of emotion out of his cracking, heartfelt vocal. The sumptuous A-side (subtitled ‘Part 1’) is joined on the flip by a sparser, stripped back version (‘Part 2′) that somehow manages to further emphasize the brilliance of Fields’ lyrics and vocal. Both versions feel like future end-of-night classics.
Double vinyl LP pressing. Start to finish, FLOTUS is imbued with that magic energy that comes when an artist stumbles upon the thrill of the new-something that makes them crazy enough to want to start the whole process over again. The album is bookended by two long-form pieces: the first, “In Care of 8675309,” is most reminiscent of where Lambchop has been, while the second, the sprawling, hypnotic “The Hustle,” suggests where they might still be headed. The latter seamlessly shifts between movements, a foundation suggestive of krautrock and early electronic music, gorgeously ornamented with perfectly placed piano and horns. Drawing upon a diverse palate of influences and transcending each one, it’s a stunning piece of work-certainly one of the most impressive achievements of Lambchop’s catalog.
Vinyl LP pressing. If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home by Now is the sister release to the the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’sphenomenal 2016 album Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel and it’s five stellar tracks were recorded during the same sessions. Robinson purposely left everything as much open-ended as possible, embracing the lineup changes and leaning into the virtuosic improvisational chemistry that’s always made their live shows such enthralling spectacles. Their vibe is something of a magic spell, and now that it’s been cast, it’s time for services to resume in the psychedelic church of the CRB.
Peaceful Ghosts,” an album that was recorded this summer when the band performed with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra (Vienna) and the Babelsberg Film Orchestra (Berlin). Limited edition 2x LP.
Limited 180gm light blue colored vinyl LP pressing, includes digital download. Being No One, Going Nowhere. The title of STRFKR’s fourth album may seam bleak at first. But hold it in your head a minute, feel it’s weight, and you may recognize the phrase for what it is: a goal. In the era of the personal brand-amid the FOMO Age-it’s increasingly hard to shed a stifling sense of self, or to just be in the moment that you’re in. Well, consider this an invitation to get blissfully insignificant. That’s what STRFKR founder Joshua Hodges aimed to do when he exiled himself to the desert to create this record, but he returned with his most significant work yet: a set of darkly glistening dance songs rife with sticky beats, earworming hooks, philosophical heft, and bittersweet beauty.
Deluxe triple vinyl LP pressing packaged in a slipcase replicating a Mother Love Bone wall mural painted by Jeff Ament. This digitally remastered collection includes the 1989 EP Shine and 1990’s Apple. Also includes 12″ x 12″ Envelope containing photo prints, 24 page zine, fold out poster, stencil and more. Mother Love Bone was a rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The band was active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood’s personality and compositions helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene. Wood died only days before the scheduled release of the band’s debut album, Apple, thus ending the group’s hopes of success.
Finally, an audiophile Christmas sampler! Tracks personally selected by Acoustic Sounds’ Chad Kassem! Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound! 3 Editions Available: 200-gram double LP on black vinyl 180-gram double LP on translucent red and green vinyl – First 1, 000 copies gold foil-numbered! Vinyl editions feature a gatefold tip-on jacket from Stoughton “The Wonderful Sounds of Christmas, Acoustic Sounds fabulous new Christmas music double LP set – pressed on separate red and green 180 gram vinyl LPs – (is) such a pleasure to listen to. I have never heard Nat King Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’ sound better than it does as the opening track of this 22 track set. Even Bobby Helms essential chestnut sounds much improved here. Chad Kassem who assembled this collection got almost all the hits: Leroy Anderson’s version of his ‘Sleigh Ride, ‘ Eartha, of course, singing ‘Santa Baby, ‘ and Hey, what Christmas music collection would be worth it’s weight in tinsel and empty toddy glasses without Der Bingel’s ‘White Christmas. ‘ There’s even a reputable version, in what’s become a very long and distinguished Christmas music tradition of duets on ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’… between a typically low key Betty Carter and a unusually subdued Ray Charles. … Two super essential classics (Kassem) did rope in however are the pair of Christmas numbers recorded by the great Charles Brown, both of which are among his biggest hits: ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ and ‘Merry Christmas Baby. ‘” – Robert Baird, Stereophile, Dec. 18, 2015 “… this is a swell set of well-chosen Christmas tunes, smartly sequenced. … The double LP gatefold package is festively presented with insider liner notes by Robert Hull that provide an excellent backgrounder on each of the tunes, written from a music lover’s and a record collector’s perspective. Ryan K. Smith mastered the set at Sterling Sound from high resolution digital sources, which, given the nature of a compilation like this makes sense for reasons both financial and technical. Kassem made sure to get high resolution 96/24 transfers of all tracks where possible and the sound is very good throughout. “
Limited vinyl LP repressing of this soulful holiday release. This Is Christmas is the tenth studio album and first Christmas album by Luther Vandross released in 1995. This is Christmas lent it’s name to a syndicated television special Vandross hosted which aired in November and December 1995, and featured songs from this album. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in-demand background vocalist for several different artists including Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Ben E. King, and Donna Summer. He later became the lead vocalist of the group Change. After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album in 1981. During his career, Vandross sold over 35 million records worldwide, and received eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times.
Limited vinyl LP pressing. With the 2016 Roots mini-series such a success, there is new interest in Quincy Jones’ original soundtrack to the ground-breaking 1977 mini-series. Highlights include the “Roots Mural Theme,” composed by Gerald Fried, and the 28 minute, “Roots Suite,” with Letta Mbulu as the featured vocalist. Also included are snippets of dialogue from Roots actor Lou Gossett. Featured players include: Shelly Manne, Victor Feldman, Ernie Watts and Lee Ritenour.
Limited edition translucent blue audiophile vinyl LP pressing housed in a gatefold sleeve. Dan Fogelberg, emerging out of his native Peoria, IL officially hung the shingle of his artistic practice in 1971 when Clive Davis convinced him to join his growing Columbia Records family that included such other recent new artist signings as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. Working with legendary producer Norbert Putnam, he released his first album, 1972’s Home Free, an effort announcing to his peers and the public that a new artist had officially arrived. Follow-up album, 1974’s double platinum certified Souvenirs, produced by future Eagle Joe Walsh, brought commercial recognition with it’s bright, uptempo, “Part Of The Plan” featuring Graham Nash plus further polished melodic country-pop fare like “When The Raven Flies” and “There’s A Place In The World For A Gambler.” With a genius for both melody and harmony, a soulfully angelic singing voice, and a natural gift for romantic expression, Fogelberg created songs here that still resound with authentic magic and beauty over 30 years after they first emerge.