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.
Valerie June/The Order Of 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.
Miles Davis/Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance The Bootleg Series Vol.5
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).
Magnetic Fields/50 Song Memoir
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.
Laura Marling/Semper Femina
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.
Hurray For The Riff Raff/The Navigator
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.
Ha Ha Tonka/Heart-Shaped Mountain
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
Can’t Swim/Fail You Again
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.
Marty Stuart/Way Out West
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.
George Jones/George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boy
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.”
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band/Front Porch Sessions
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.”
Lovin’ Mighty Fire: Nippon Funk, Soul, Disco 73-83
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.
Elliott Smith/Either/Or (Expanded)
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.
Al Di Meola/Morocco Fantasia
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.
Neko Case/Live From Austin, Tx
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.”
Steve Earle/Live From Austin, Tx
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.
Selena/Dreaming Of You
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.
Zed’s Dead/Northern Lights
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.