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Are You Serious (Awaiting Repress)Andrew Bird has always been highly respected and has held a captive audience with his story telling prowess, but it's with his new album, Are You Serious, that he has made a breakthrough record. Coming out via his new label home, Loma Vista Recordings (Spoon, St. Vincent, HEALTH), and produced by Tony Berg, the album propels him into a new category of American songwriters. It's his most direct lyrically to date with key contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.
Three years ago while traveling west to California to start a new life with his wife and young child they stopped at the family farm in rural Illinois for two weeks to catch their breath. The previous two years had been intense to say the least: raising a child in New York City as his wife battled a serious illness. With these dark days behind them he spent the next seven days on the front porch writing the lyrics for what became Are You Serious. It's a breakthrough for him in that it gets to the quick of the matter. This is the record he needed to make right now and is certain to put him in the leading class of American songwriter.
The album was put together with a rigor akin to a novelist or playwright and musically crafted like a wrecking crew session where you have to be good right in that moment. There's little folksy quaintness or whimsical flights of fancy. There's less wordplay and more intent to process some difficult times that he went through. From the album art, created by the godfather of conceptual art John Baldessari to foregoing his traditional writing process, Bird has emerged from challenging times and a new process with an album that may be his best.
The first single Capsized" begins to take you down the path that Bird so carefully crafted on the record, speaking from an unguarded point of view while keeping with the melodic, syntactic standards that he has held true to since the beginning of his career.1. Capsized
2. Roma Fade
3. Truth Lies Low
5. Chemical Switches
6. Left Handed Kisses
7. Are You Serious
8. Saints Preservus
9. The New Saint Jude
10. Valleys Of The Young
11. Bellevue$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Memories Are NowJesca Hoop's new album Memories Are Now on Sub Pop Records wastes no time in making clear its confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship. The stark and reverberant title track opens the album with "a fighting spirit," says Hoop, serving as an anthem to push through any obstacle and put forth your very best work. And she has unequivocally done that here, with an album of stunningly original songs--minimalist yet brimming with energy, emerging from a wealth of life experience, great emotional depth, and years of honing the craft of singing.
As riveting as it is reflective, the album, produced by Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Alabama Shakes), is a fresh debut of sorts for Hoop, as the first of her solo records made outside of Tony Berg's Zeitgeist Studios where she and Mills were mentored. Says Hoop, "Blake is so utterly musical and emotionally intelligent in his expression. I wanted to see what we could do, just he and I out from under Tony's wing." Mills pushed her to strip away layers, keeping it as close to the live experience as possible, using whole live takes and working very quickly. "It's still covered in embryonic fluid, for lack of a better way to put it," says Hoop.
However fast the work, Memories Are Now covers a great deal of ground, showcasing every edge and curve of Hoop's captivating voice, with sounds and themes ranging from the mythic to the deeply intimate. She sings of the religion that weighs heavily on her past and the world, of the imagination of myth, of the cruel nature of life and love.
The defiance that permeates Memories Are Now is both a product and necessity of a career that has been independently driven and self-funded from the beginning. "All of my successes have been won on the grassroots level, with handshakes and hugs from great people who believe in me," says Hoop, more than a decade into her career and with new paths to forge. As she sings in the title track, "I've lived enough life, I've earned my stripes. That's my knife in the ground, this is mine." -Evie Nagy1. Memories Are Now
2. The Lost Sky
3. Animal Kingdom Chaotic
4. Simon Says
5. Cut Connection
6. Songs of Old
9. The Coming$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Darkness And LightDARKNESS AND LIGHT is the new album from acclaimed, multi-platinum selling, Oscar, Golden Globe and 10x Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Legend. This new 12 song collection is produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes) and features multiple guest collaborations including Chance the Rapper, Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, and Miguel. The lead single and video from DARKNESS AND LIGHT is the anthemic track, "Love Me Now," written and produced by John Legend with Blake Mills and John Ryan (One Direction).LP 1
1. I Know Better
2. Penthouse Floor (feat. Chance the Rapper)
3. Darkness And Light (feat. Brittany Howard)
4. Overload (feat. Miguel)
5. Love Me Now
6. What You Do to Me
2. Right By You (for Luna)
3. Temporarily Painless
4. How Can I Blame You
5. Same Old Story
6. Marching Into the Dark$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
StrongerKate re-emerges with a flourish on Stronger, Earl's debut for Downtown Records and an album sure to end up one of the year's most assured. Written and recorded with an expansive crew of well-respected Californians-including Brett Dennen, Blake Mills and some of her generation's finest L.A.-based musicians- Stronger shows off the careful development of a singular voice. Stronger also introduces a deeply thoughtful songwriter coming into her own.1. Stronger
2. One Woman Army
3. I Don't Want to Be Alone
4. Shadows and Light
6. Native Son
7. Not the End of the World
10. Wicked Love
11. Is There Anyone Out There
12. I Get Around$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
My New Moon (Pre-Order)Amos Lee has announced the forthcoming release of his new album and Dualtone Records debut, 'My New Moon.' The ten new songs on 'My New Moon' were all written by Amos, and are the product of a period of intense connection and loss, marking his most personal collection to date.
'My New Moon' was recorded at Zeitgeist Studio in Los Angeles and produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird) with contributions from an incomparable group of studio aces including multi-instrumentalists Ethan Gruska and Blake Mills, Benmont Tench and Patrick Warren on keyboards, Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Rob Moose on strings and many others.1. No More Darkness, No More Light
3. Little Light
4. All You Got Is A Song
5. I Get Weak
7. Hang On, Hang On
8. Don't Give A Damn Anymore
9. Whiskey On Ice
10. Don't Fade Away$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Just BecauseATO Records has signed The Belle Brigade and will release the band's
new album, Just Because, in 2014. Barbara and Ethan Gruska -
the Los Angeles-based siblings who founded the band - recorded the album with engineer/co-producer Shawn Everett. Bram Inscore and Blake Mills,
who also performed on The Belle Brigade's debut album, joined them in the studio and they once again enlisted the mastering talents of the legendary
The Belle Brigade's self-titled debut (co-produced with Matthew Wilder) was hailed as one of the best albums of 2011 by PASTE. Ann Powers, writing for
the Los Angeles Times, took note of the memorable voices and considerable charisma within songs that gleam with hooks and pour over with earnest
emotion" while Newsday praised the album's "sun-kissed '70s SoCal sound" and SPIN observed, "The brother and sister team from LA, bring beautiful
harmonies to their quirky folk rock."
The two gifted songwriters - who find inspiration in the works of Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, The Beach Boys, Sly Stone, Harry Nilsson, to name a few -
penned 10 songs for Just Because, writing some together and others independently. The music is artfully arranged, with enticing melodies and pop
harmonies, fueled by the interplay of driving rhythms between Barbara's drums and Ethan's guitars. Ethan has recorded as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist
for many Los Angeles-based artists and Barbara is a sought-after drummer who has played with Fiona Apple, Jenny Lewis, Benji Hughes
and many others.1. Ashes
2. When Everything Was What It Was
3. Likely To Use Something
4. Be Like Him
5. Miss You In My Life
6. How I See It
7. Not The One
9. Everything For A Stone
10. Back Where You Began$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
We're All Gonna DieDawes' highly anticipated new album We're All Gonna Die will be released via the band's own HUB Records.
Of the album, Taylor Goldsmith (guitar, vocals) explains, "Pretty much every song on this record explores a difficult situation and tries to find a way to find the good in it, or at least remind yourself that it's not always that big of a deal. After all, as scary as it is, we are all gonna die."
The album was produced by Grammy nominated producer Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes) and includes backing vocals from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of Lucius, Mandy Moore and Will Oldham.
Dawes has toured extensively playing headline shows worldwide and major festival appearances including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza and Newport Folk Festival. Recently, they have toured with My Morning Jacket, Bob Dylan, Mumford and Sons, Conor Oberst, and Jackson Browne.
In the fall of 2014, Goldsmith contributed to Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, an album project which found collaborators Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) and producer T Bone Burnett writing and creating music for a treasure trove of recently discovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the period that generated the recording of the legendary Basement Tapes.
Fellow collaborator Jim James proclaims about We're All Gonna Die, "The record sounds so fresh-yet fills me with a strange nostalgia for things that haven't happened yet...I hear it at the beach and blasting out of car windows on future summer nights...easily having become a natural part of people's lives."1. One Of Us
2. We're All Gonna Die
3. Roll With The Punches
4. Picture Of A Man
5. Less Than Five Miles Away
6. Roll Tide
7. When The Tequila Runs Out
8. For No Good Reason
10. As If By Design$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SalutationsConor Oberst will release a new album, Salutations, on Nonesuch Records.
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.
Oberst says of the Salutations sessions: Jim was really the captain of the ship and the spiritual leader of the project. We leaned heavy on his fifty-plus years of musical insight to get us to where we needed to be. He brought such depth and dignity to the proceedings that made everyone else involved rise to the occasion. It was a true stroke of luck that he got involved when he did.LP 1
1. Too Late to Fixate
2. Gossamer Thin
5. Next Of Kin
7. Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)
8. Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out
1. Barbary Coast (Later)
3. Empty Hotel by the Sea
4. Anytime Soon
5. Counting Sheep
6. Rain Follows the Plow
7. You All Loved Him Once
8. A Little Uncanny
9. Salutations$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
...Little Broken HeartsWhite Colored Vinyl
Little Broken Hearts is the stunning and musically diverse new break-up album from Norah Jones and fifth full-length of her storied career. The 12-song set was produced by Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and features original tracks co-written by Jones and Burton. The album is preceded by the lead single Happy Pills which ushers in a parade of sunshiny hooks and surprised both Jones and Burton from the moment they wrote it: "We didn't know if it fit on the record. But I couldn't stop singing it, and neither could Brian. explains Jones. Eventually we decided it was too much fun, it had to be there."
In addition to Jones and Burton, the album includes contributions from Blake Mills, Gus Seyffert, Joey Waronker, Heather McIntosh, the Sonus Quartet, Dan Elkin, Jonathan Hischke, Todd Monfalcone and Kennie Takahashi. Little Broken Hearts' artwork draws inspiration from the vintage movie posters that adorn Burton's Los Angeles studio and is loosely based on the poster for the 1965 Russ Meyer film Mudhoney.
Little Broken Hearts' is the fascinating next step in the artistic evolution of one of the music world's most consistently intriguing singer/songwriters. Jones first emerged on the world stage 10 years ago with the 2002 release of Come Away With Me, her self-described "moody little record" that introduced a singular new voice and grew into a global phenomenon, sweeping the 2003 Grammy Awards and signaling a paradigm shift away from the prevailing synthetic pop music of the time. Come Away With Me has just become the 10th best-selling album of the Soundscan era and has sold 25 million copies worldwide.
Since then, Jones has released three more critically acclaimed and commercially successful solo albums with Feels Like Home (2004), Not Too Late (2007) and The Fall (2009), as well as two albums with her country collective The Little Willies.
The 2010 compilation Featuring Norah Jones showed her to possess an incredibly versatile voice by collecting her collaborations with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Outkast, Herbie Hancock and the Foo Fighters. Jones previously collaborated with Danger Mouse on his acclaimed 2011 album Rome, a valentine to classic Italian film score music that also featured Jack White.1. Good Morning
2. Say Goodbye
3. Little Broken Hearts
4. She's 22
5. Take It Back
6. After The Fall
7. 4 Broken Hearts
8. Travelin' On
9. Out On the Road
10. Happy Pills
12. All A Dream$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Upside Down MountainThough only 34, Conor Oberst has been a recording artist for more than two decades, starting with raw, acoustic guitar-based bedroom tracks he cut as a young teenager and initially released on cassette. After his early Omaha-based band Commander Venus broke up, Oberst recast himself as Bright Eyes, an umbrella name for Oberst, producer-keyboardist Mike Mogis and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Nathaniel Wolcott, and a shifting group of collaborators. By the time he released Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground on Saddle Creek, the label he helped found with friends in Omaha, Oberst was a word-of-mouth success, with an avid young audience that helped to sell out his tours. The critics soon followed. Rolling Stone called him "a true American original: the ghost of Walt Whitman setting up shop in the wraith-white, rail-thin frame of an acoustic-strumming Nebraska Cure fan." The 2005 simultaneous release of two markedly different Bright Eyes albums-the more singer-songwriter-oriented I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and the darker, computerized Digital Ash in a Digital Urn-displayed the breadth of his talent. Time Magazine listed I'm Wide Awake among its top 10 albums of the year. Since then, Bright Eyes has continued to evolve, its lineup morphing with each successive tour. While supporting his 2007 Cassadaga album, Oberst took over New York City's Town Hall for a week of sold-out shows, with his large, string-augmented ensemble outfitted spectacularly in white suits. He's also recorded and toured with Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward as Monsters of Folk as well as with his own Mystic Valley Band. For the first leg of his summer 2014 tour, he's bringing along Wilson's other pals, the Southern Californian quartet Dawes as his support act and backing band.
"I feel lucky that I have been able to do this for as longs as I have," declares Oberst. "I've seen so many talented friends come and go, for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes they stop making music because they can't pay the bills or they lose the passion for it. At this point it is my life. I don't know another way to live. There is something fundamental in myself; I have to be this way. It completes what I am."
Upside Down Mountain features many other friends of Oberst's, including producer Jonathan Wilson, engineer Andy LeMaster, bassist Macey Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, and the Swedish sibling folk-rock vocal duo First Aid Kit. What started as exploratory demos with producer-musician Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, in a home Wilson rents from Oberst, became the first de facto album sessions. Returning to his native Omaha, Nebraska, Oberst kept rolling with the help of frequent collaborator, engineer, and friend Andy LeMaster at his own ARC Studios. Even more tracking followed in Omaha last November and December. Then Oberst and Wilson moved south to Blackbird Studio in Nashville.
"This is a return to an earlier way I wrote," Oberst says of the songs on Upside Down Mountain. "It's more intimate or personal, if you will. Even if all my songs come from the same place, you make different aesthetic decisions along the way. For me, language is a huge part of why I make music. I'm not the greatest guitar player or piano player-I'm not the greatest singer, either-but I feel if I can come up with melodies I like that are fused with poetry I'm proud of, then that's what I bring to the table. That's why I'm able to do this."1. Time Forgot
2. Zigzagging Toward the Light
3. Hundreds of Ways
4. Artifact #1
5. Lonely at the Top
6. Enola Gay
7. Double Life
9. Night at Lake Unknown
10. You Are Your Mother's Child
11. Governor's Ball
12. Desert Island Questionnaire
13. Common Knowledge$32.99Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, produced by Jason Howland and Steve Sidwell with Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producer, was recorded Feb. 17.
The musical's score comprises songs Carole King penned with Gerry Goffin as well as tunes Barry Mann wrote with Cynthia Weil.
Based on King's life and music, Beautiful had its world premiere earlier this season at San Francisco's Curran Theatre. The Broadway production began previews Nov. 21, 2013, prior to an official opening Jan. 12 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing produce the musical that features a book by Academy Award nominee Douglas McGrath, who collaborated with Woody Allen on the screenplay for Bullets Over Broadway. He also penned Infamous and Emma.
Marc Bruni (Pipe Dream, Ordinary Days, Old Jews Telling Jokes) stages the production with choreography by Josh Prince and musical direction by Jason Howland.
Tony Award nominee Mueller (Mystery of Edwin Drood, On a Clear Day, Nice Work If You Can Get It) stars as King. Appearing as her musical collaborators are Jake Epstein (Degrassi, Spider-Man) as Gerry Goffin, Anika Larsen (Xanadu, Avenue Q) as Cynthia Weil and Jarrod Spector (Jersey Boys) as Barry Mann. Principal casting also includes Jeb Brown as producer/publisher Don Kirshner and Liz Larsen as King's mother, Genie Klein.
The ensemble features Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joshua Davis, Alysha Deslorieux, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance, Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd, Yasmeen Sulieman, Daniel Torres, Melvin Tunstall and Alan Wiggins.
The complete creative team includes Derek McLane (set design), Alejo Vietti (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Brian Ronan (sound design), Charles G. LaPointe (wig and hair design), Steve Sidwell (orchestrations and music arrangements), Jason Howland (music supervision) and John Miller (music coordination).
Here's how the creators bill the musical: Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
Beautiful is produced by Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jeffrey A. Sine, Richard A. Smith, Mike Bosner, Harriet N. Leve/Elaine Krauss, Terry Schnuck, Orin Wolf, Patty Baker/Good Productions, Roger Faxon, Larry Magid, Kit Seidel, Lawrence S. Toppall, Fakston Productions/Mary Solomon, William Court Cohen, John Gore, BarLor Productions, Matthew C. Blank, Tim Hogue, Joel Hyatt, Marianne Mills, Michael J. Moritz, Jr., StylesFour Productions, Brunish/Trinchero, and Jeremiah J. Harris.1. Overture
2. So Far Away
3. 1650 Broadway Medley
4. It Might as Well Rain Until September
5. Some Kind of Wonderful
6. Happy Days Are Here Again
7. Take Good Care of My Baby
8. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
9. He's Sure the Boy I Love
10. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
11. Up on the Roof
12. On Broadway
13. The Locomotion
14. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
15. One Fine Day
17. Walking in the Rain
18. Pleasant Valley Sunday
19. We Gotta Get Out of This Place
21. It's Too Late
22. You've Got a Friend
23. You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
25. I Feel The Earth Move$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Sun Midnight Sun (Out Of Stock)Sun Midnight Sun is the second solo album from acclaimed singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Sara Watkins. Produced by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Blake Mills, co-founder of the band Simon Dawes, the album features special guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Benmont Tench, and Sean Watkins.
In the three years since her last release, Watkins has been busy touring the world as guest fiddle player and vocalist with the Decemberists and joining Garrison Keillor on his nationwide Summer Love performance tours, as well as acting as his first and only guest host for A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts.
Sun Midnight Sun was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shawn Everett at Zeitgeist Studio, Los Angeles, and includes songs written by Watkins ("You and Me," "Take Up Your Spade") as well as several collaborations with Mills ("The Foothills," "Be There," "The Accord," "Impossible," and "Lock and Key"). It also features songs by Dan Wilson ("When It Pleases You") and Willie Nelson ("I'm a Memory"), and a rendition of The Everly Brothers classic "You're the One I Love," on which Fiona Apple duets with Watkins.
Watkins first gained recognition as a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling trio Nickel Creek. When not on the road or in the studio, Watkins has guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by BÉla Fleck, the Chieftains, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Alex Woodward, among others. Additionally, Watkins and her brother Sean continue an informal residency called the Watkins Family Hour at the L.A. club Largo, which often includes surprise cameos from friends and colleagues.1. The Foothills
2. You and Me
3. You're the One I Love (ft. Fiona Apple)
4. When It Pleases You
5. Be There
6. I'm a Memory
8. The Ward Accord
9. Lock & Key
10. Take Up Your Spade$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock