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Broad City SoundtrackPressed On Yellow Colored Vinyl
Broad City follows Ilana and Abbi, two Jewish American women in their twenties, who experience misadventures of carelessness and frivolity in New York City. Ilana seeks to avoid working as much as possible while pursuing her relentless hedonism, and Abbi tries to make a career as an illustrator, often getting sidetracked into Ilana's schemes. The soundtrack to Broad City features a predominantly hip-hop soundtrack with selections from Zebra Katz, Tony Quattro and RJD2. DJ Raff's Latino & Proud sits center stage as the show's intro and in its entirety as the closing track to the album.1. Latino & Proud (Broad City Intro) [DJ Raff]
2. Tigre (Jarina De Marco)
3. Marijuana (Zebra Katz & Kashaka)
4. Humanidad (Ana Tijoux)
5. #NOTYOURS (Scooter Island feat. Junglepussy)
6. YES Bitch (K Rizz)
7. Steady Now (Karman Remix) [Cubby feat. Tasha the Amazon]
8. Let 'Em Say (Lizzo & Caroline Smith)
9. Dat Gyal (Tony Quattro)
10. Low Drop (Normaling feat. Rye Rye and TT the Artist)
11. See You Leave (RJD2 feat. STS and Khari Mateen)
12. Latino & Proud (DJ Raff)$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
First Time On Vinyl!
1977 is the fifth studio album by Latin hip hop artist Ana Tijoux, released on Nacional Records. 1977 is Tijoux's second solo release and fifth overall album released. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. Ana Tijoux's song 1977 was featured in AMC's Breaking Bad, Comedy Central's Broad City and the EA Sports video game, FIFA 11.1. Partir de cero
4. Crisis de un MC
5. Problema de 2
6. Mar adentro
8. Pie Izquierdo
9. La nueva condena
10. 1977 (Instrumental)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
52nd StreetRanked 352/500 on Rolling Stone's List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
52nd Street on Numbered Limited Edition 180 Gram 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity
Mainstream Perfection: Melodic Devices, Passionate Singing, Sophisticated Arrangements, Jazzy Backdrop Walk Down 52nd Street
Commanding Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Edition Sets the New Standard in How Joel's 1978 Classic Should-and Does-Sound
Chart-Topper Certified Seven-Times Platinum: Includes "Big Shot," "Honesty," "My Life"
Some artists embrace their success by repeating the steps that originally granted them fame. Billy Joel did the opposite, refusing to be contained by prescribed approaches or constrained by a given label. The follow-up to the breakthrough The Stranger, 52nd Street further expands on its predecessor's bold production techniques and inventive arrangements, incorporating more sophisticated textures as well as reflecting a jazz edge gleaned from New York City's thriving club scene.
A key component of Mobile Fidelity's Billy Joel catalog restoration series, The Stranger is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 45RPM 180 gram LP at RTI. The wider and deeper grooves-as well as the meticulous mastering process-yield resplendent dynamics, broad soundstages, three-dimensional perspectives, and tonal balances absent from prior editions. Indeed, Joel wouldn't sound more realistic if were playing ten rows away from you onstage. This is how you want to experience the 1978 LP that captured the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Teaming again with producer Phil Ramone, Joel capitalizes on his momentum, churning out another direct-sounding affair replete with captivating melodic devices, showmanship accents, and penetrating lyrics. The singer's concision and focus is evident via the tune's lengths, with only "Until the Night" breaking the six-minute mark. Hit singles "Big Shot" and "My Life" rattle forth with an urgency and intensity that Joel had not previously demonstrated, the combination of passionate deliveries, snide overtones, and insistent grooves setting the table for what follows.
Broadening his palette, and drawing from New York's thriving jazz club scene and the city's late-70s grit, Joel splashes Latin and jazz colors on several pieces-even employing veterans such as Dave Grusin and Freddie Hubbard to contribute along with a cast that includes a team of background vocalists and horn players. Everything is tastefully appointed, and yet the vocalist's trademark Broadway gaze and knack for the grand gesture coincide with the straight-ahead swagger.
52nd Street is one of the main reasons why Joel has always been championed for consistency. Everything here, from the production to the stand-up songs, helped redefine mainstream pop-rock. More than three decades later, it's finally available in fidelity that rivals that of those Columbia Records' master tapes produced right on 52nd Street. Mobile Fidelity takes you there and Joel sweeps you away.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Big Shot
3. My Life
6. Roaslinda's Eyes
7. Half a Mile Away
8. Until the Night
9. 52nd Street$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
REDD-DIN-7345xWe Are Scientists
TV En Français13 years and 3 albums in, We Are Scientists are back with album number 4.
The new long player was recorded in New York City over the last year with producer Chris Coady (Smith Westerns, Beach House, Gang Gang Dance, Blonde Redhead), and will land in the middle of the band's 5 month tour of Europe, America & Australia.
Asked to comment on the unusual title, bassist Chris Cain explains, It's in French, I think. At least some of the words.
Singer and guitarist Keith Murray elaborates: We wanted to get at the seemingly inevitable parallax that happens between two people in a relationship, that sense that you get the gist of what the other person needs and wants and how they feel about you, but only the gist - you're relying on these broad cues a lot of the time to tell you what the hell's going on.
We Are Scientists exploded onto the U.K. scene with one of 2005's iconic indie dance rock records, 'With Love & Squalor'. Years of touring followed, as did a second album, 'Brain Thrust Mastery', that spawned now-classic nightlife anthem 'After Hours' (a #11 charting single). Main stage slots at Reading & Leeds,
Glastonbury, T In The Park, and festivals all over Europe, as well as appearances on Later with Jools Holland, and their own series of comedic MTV shorts ('Steve Wants His Money'), followed by third album 'Barbara'. all served to cement and increase their legacy.
Now, after releasing a 7-inch and a 5-song EP in 2013, the band prepare to share their finest collection of songs to date.
According to Cain, The guy who was producing everything looked different from the one who did those other three records.
Murray further enthuses, Yeah, working for the first time with Chris Coady as producer had a huge effect - he has such a distinct and well-developed sense of what's cool and what sounds good, but he's also emphatic about keeping the rawness of the performances in there.
Drummer Andy Burrows, who also recorded 'Barbara' with W.A.S., relocated to New York for a year to work on the new album, and lends his world-class efforts behind the kit and elsewhere.
- Contact Music1. What You Do Best
2. Dumb Luck
3. Make It Easy
7. Return The Favor
8. Slow Down
9. Don't Blow It
10.Take An Arrow$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bad BloodUS Version Includes Three Bonus Tracks
Bad Blood, the full-length debut from Bastilleis released by Virgin Records. Bastille is the top-selling debut act of 2013 in the U.K., where Bad Blood entered the albums chart at No. 1 earlier this year and has remained in the Top 20 ever since.
The U.S. version of the album will include three bonus tracks - "The Silence," "Weight of Living, PT. I" and "Laughter Lines."
Bastille will made its U.S. television debut on "Conan" July 24. The U.K. band played a sold-out show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and will return to the States in the fall of 2013 for its first North American tour.
Haunt, Bastille's four-song EP debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart after being released digitally. "Pompeii," the lead single, is already Top 20 at Modern Rock, and has been added by numerous stations, including KROQ-Los Angeles, 98/7-Los Angeles, Live 105-San Francisco, Q877-Chicago, KTCL-Denver, WRFF-Philadelphia, KTBZ-Houston, DC101-Washington DC and SiriusXM's Alt Nation. The "Pompeii" video has more than 30 million views.
Dan Smith, the founder of Bastille, envisioned the "Pompeii" clip as the novel I Am Legend if it were shot by the director of Drive, which hints at how inextricably intertwined music, film and literature are in his creative process. Rounding out Bastille's lineup are Will Farquarson, Kyle Simmons and Chris "Woody" Wood. The four musicians have been playing and touring together for more than two years and while each has his main role in Bastille, they effortlessly trade places on vocals, keyboards and percussion. The band's spring 2013 U.K. headline tour sold out immediately, with all 44,000 tickets gone in a day, and they are playing major festivals in the U.K, Europe and Japan this summer. Bastille's performance of "Pompeii" at Glastonbury can be seen here.
While Bad Blood sounds lush, it was actually recorded in a tiny room on limited equipment - apart from a day spent recording strings in the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Smith, working with producer Mark Crew, aimed to approach each song differently.
"I wanted each to be its own story with its own atmosphere which brings in different sounds and elements of production, incorporating aspects of the different genres and styles that I love: hip hop, indie, pop and folk," he explains. "Film soundtracks can be broad and varied, but tied together by the film itself. I hope the album will be something like that, but held together by my voice and the songwriting, each song a scene or part of a bigger picture."
"Pompeii" is an epic in miniature, a conversation between two charred bodies, frozen in time, caught in the ash that engulfed the Roman city of sin while songs like the title track and "Things We Lost in Fire" touch on the changing dynamics of relationships. "'Bad Blood' is an album crafted in one of modern pop's greatest refineries," observed Artrocker, awarding it five stars, while BBC Music said, "Bastille really deliver." Q named "Overjoyed" as "Track of the Day," noting, "[Bastille's] bewitching mixture of softly delivered vocals and glitchy tracks creates an impressive atmosphere."1. Pompeii
2. Things We Lost in the Fire
3. Bad Blood
5. These Streets
6. Weight of Living, Pt. II
10. Daniel in the Den
11. Laura Palmer
12. Get Home
13. The Silence
14. Weight of Living, PT. I
15. Laughter Lines$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tomorrow Is My TurnRhiannon Giddens, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and founding member of Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, makes her solo recording debut with Tomorrow Is My Turn, due out on Nonesuch Records. (The vinyl will follow on March 3.) The album was produced by T Bone Burnett.
Burnett first worked with Giddens when she performed last fall at a concert he curated at New York City's Town Hall that was later broadcast on Showtime: Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of "Inside Llewyn Davis." Backstage, Burnett was immediately moved to ask if he could produce a record with her. "It was clear the first time I heard her at rehearsal that Rhiannon is next in a long line of singers that include Marian Anderson, Odetta, Mahalia Jackson, Rosetta Tharpe," Burnett says. "We need that person in our culture."
For her first solo disc, Giddens chose a broad range of songs from genres as diverse as gospel, jazz, blues, and country. In addition to the traditional "Black Is the Color," tracks include Hank Cochran's "She's Got You," made famous by Patsy Cline; Dolly Parton's "Don't Let It Trouble Your Mind"; "O Love Is Teasin'," popularized by the Kentucky-reared "mother of folk" Jean Ritchie; and Elizabeth Cotton's "Shake Sugaree."
"I had already started putting together a list of songs that didn't really fit into the Chocolate Drops world," Giddens explains. "At the top was 'Tomorrow Is My Turn' [immortalized by Nina Simone]. Seeing Nina do it on YouTube was revelatory. I knew she'd gone through a lot of hard times, as so many people did in that time period. Watching her sing this song, with the words 'tomorrow is my turn,' I began to think about the struggle of her and women like her." The significance of this song led Giddens to make it the title of the album as well. "Other songs started getting on my list and they were all by women or interpreted by women," she says.
Tomorrow Is My Turn was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players whom Burnett assembled. Among them are fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of label-mates Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown's renowned Funk Brothers; drummer Jay Bellerose; guitarist Colin Linden; legendary backup singer Tata Vega; veteran Nashville session bassist Dennis Crouch; and Giddens' Drops touring band-mates, multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and beat-boxer Adam Matta.
Tomorrow Is My Turn follows Giddens' work with Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, and Marcus Mumford on Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, an album also produced by Burnett that was released in November 2014. Her contribution was hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as the "showstopper evoking antebellum blues with a magnificent voice that interrogates the myths stirred up at Big Pink." The New York Times agreed, saying "On lead vocals she's the album's revelation, singing melodies that hark back to Celtic modes with a decisive presence and a haunting grace."1. Last Kind Words
2. Don't Let It Trouble Your Mind
4. She's Got You
5. Up Above My Head
6. Tomorrow is My Turn
7. Black Is the Color
8. Round About the Mountain
9. Shake Sugaree
10. O Love Is Teasin'
11. Angel City$22.99Vinyl + CD - Sealed Buy Now
How Sad, How LovelyFirst Time On Vinyl!
"Everything we value in singer-songwriters today - personal perspective, insight,
originality, empathy, intelligence, wry humor - was abundant in her music."
- NPR MUSIC
Elizabeth Eaton Converse grew up in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1924. Described
as a polymath, she attended Mt. Holyoke College, but by 1944 she
decided to leave college and, in 1949, she made her way to New York City.
Over the course of the next decade, in addition to acquiring her new moniker,
"Connie" wrote and recorded songs that captured the hearts of those
close to her. Some were recorded by the artist in her Greenwich Village
apartment, others by friends enamored of the music. These included animator
Gene Deitch and his colleague Bill Bernal, who helped coordinate an appearance
on the CBS Morning Show with Walter Cronkite.
Despite these efforts, Connie's music never reached an audience wider than,
as she once put it, "dozens of people all over the world." In 1961 Connie
tired of New York and left for Ann Arbor. She became increasingly despondent
in the 1970's, and, finally, in 1974, Connie wrote a series of goodbye
notes to friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen and disappeared.
She has not been seen or heard from since.
At first listen, Connie's music seems to keep close company with the female
folk artists who were her contemporaries. The knack for plaintive storytelling
shares much with Peggy Seeger and Susan Reed, but Connie's music
stands out from that of the American folk revival of the 1950's. Her fluid and
disarmingly intelligent poetry is often filled with the kind of contradictions that
reflects an urban perspective. She is at once a maverick and a romantic,
intellectual and spiritual, a staunch independent and a tender, pining lover.
How Sad, How Lovely captures the broad spectrum of Connie's music.1. Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)
2. Johnny's Brother
3. Roving Woman
4. Down This Road
5. The Clover Saloon
6. John Brady
7. We Live Alone
8. Playboy of the Western World
9. Unknown (A Little Louder, Love)
10. One by One
11. Father Neptune
12. Man in the Sky
13. Empty Pocket Waltz
15. There Is A Vine
16. How Sad, How Lovely
18. I Have Considered the Lilies$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MeltAlthough now firmly settled in New York City, Young Magics three members came together through equal helpings of openness and fortuity. In 2010, singer and producer Isaac Emmanuel had left his home continent of Australia to travel across Europe, over to New York, and down through Mexico, all the while creating and recording music with whatever instruments he found along the way. While in Mexico, Emmanuel kept a tight correspondence with fellow Australian expat Michael Italia, who for months had been similarly traveling across Europe and South America with portable recording gear in tow.
They decided to meet up in New York, where their good friend from a few years prior, Indonesian-born vocalist Melati Malay, had been living and making her own recordings. In early 2011, the three friends, who had initially bonded over their broad musical palettes, began recording together and contributing songs to the record, culling influences and finding their own footing among them.
The immediately fruitful collaboration brought forth singles Sparkly, You With Air and Night In The Ocean, all of which were fitting indicators of the bands chameleonic sound, heavily informed by West African rhythms, Brainfeeder hip-hop, UK bass, and '60s psychedelic soul. Young Magics full-length debut, Melt, comprises both of these tracks, as well as their B-sides, and expands on their varied aesthetic, at once electronically sequenced and completely organic. Containing recordings from 10 different countries, the album flaunts new facets at each turn, letting as on Watch For Our Lights rough samples from distant lands coalesce with drum machines and distorted synths.
Night In The Ocean and Jam Karet put soaring synth pads around the higher frequencies while deep kicks keep the songs grounded, allowing Isaac and Melatis vocals to float in synchronicity between. And with its shifting rhythm, open structure, and layers of echoed vocals, closer and highlight, Drawing Down The Moon, hints at crystalline take on UK garage: a last dance from a collection of short stories from around the world. With a sonic mÉlange of vibes on a debut that remains cohesive and distinctly their own, it will be exciting to see where the trios tastes will guide them next.1. Sparkly
2. Slip Time
3. You With Air
5. Jam Karet
6. Night In The Ocean
7. Watch For Our Lights
8. The Dancer
11. Drawing Down The Moon$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Passage (Awaiting Repress)Brooklyn, NY's Exitmusic, comprised of Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino, present their debut album, Passage. The 10-song set is a collection of newly-written songs and some of their older tunes that received some new coats of paint. Here, the two tethers that make up Exitmusic's sound, one stirring atmospherics, one of grandioise and thoughtful pop, are let to bow further out than ever before. They are, however, also pulled into a tighter, sharper knot at the center. There are big, emotional dynamic shifts, and a wave-crashing momentum across the set without ever breaking a sustained feeling of tenderness. It's dream-pop for those of us whose dreams are Lawrence of Arabia-epic in scope: lulling, apocalyptic, celestial, triumphant.
Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with mixer Nicholas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter), Church and Palladino, along with the assistance of new bandmates drummer Dru Prentiss and live electronics by Nicholas Shelestak, built on the chilling, beautiful aesthetic they had created as a duo when recording at home. The result is a sound that is more powerful and more nuanced, covering broad oceans of emotional terrain. Opener and title track "Passage" is like watching a great shifting of tides through rapid time-lapse photography, introducing new dynamics in one magnificent breath. It is a statement of intent that tears down the Victorian boudoir gauze found on previous efforts. The ghosts are still piercing the veil, but now they're throwing chairs. The song begins gently, with candlelight piano plucks, distant explosions on the horizon, aching breaths and moans. But in moments, the oceans swell and lurch as it detonates into a shower of brilliant shrapnel.
Elsewhere, on album standout "The Night," Exitmusic's gaze moves upwards with chiming, blurry guitars, the heavenly sighs of Palladino in the background and one of the album's finest choruses in the foreground. And "Storms" sounds like Peng-era Stereolab as seen through a fun house carnival mirror. The album has a bona fide, fist-pumping anthem "The Modern Age" and closes elegantly with the starkly devastating "Sparks of Light. Simply put: This is arena goth.
Passage is a longtime in the making, and certainly worth the wait. Church and Palladino started writing together several years ago, when the Canadian-born Church moved to New York City, Palladino's home, following a year teaching English in Taiwan and India. Their collective sonic interests: layers, textures, churning, spacious guitars (Palladino had been playing hers since age 12), blinking electronics, shimmering vocals, created a fruitful writing partnership immediately. Their songs began to take on new dimensions when the pair moved to Los Angeles a year later, finally committing their compositions to the recording process. A few twists and turns, and a move back to New York City, later, Exitmusic found a home with Secretly Canadian who released their first EP, From Silence, in the Fall of 2011. Critical raves for the four song collection poured in globally, with everyone from New York Magazine to The Guardian heralding the band's arrival. With the new live line-up, Exitmusic will have toured with artists such as Phantogram, School of Seven Bells, The Joy Formidable and A Place To Bury Strangers.1. Passage
2. The Night
3. The City
4. White Noise
6. The Wanting
8. The Modern Age
9. The Cold
10. Sparks of Light$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Tales from the Realm of the Queen of PentaclesOne of music's most acclaimed singer/songwriters, Suzanne Vega, has crafted a stunning new collection of songs showcasing her trademark wit and poetic writing, which will be released this winter. Vega's first new studio album in seven years, 'Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles,' coming out on her own Amanuensis Productions on Feb. 18, 2014,features ten new songs each telling a story that has to do with the material world, the spirit world and how they intersect. "A lot of my older albums, especially the second one, was about being solitary," says Suzanne Vega. "This album has more of a sense of connectivity, there is a different spirit."
Vega spent the past few year writing and performing these new gems on the road, recording portions in Chicago, London, Prague, LA and New York City, and Kyserike Station, an old train station in upstate New York. The album was produced by noted guitarist/producer Gerry Leonard, David Bowie's musical director for over a decade and with whom Vega has worked since 2000, and features her longtime bass player Mike Visceglia and drummer Doug Yowell. Tracking for the album took place mostly at the Clubhouse Studios in Rhinebeck, and was mixed by Kevin Killen, who has worked with Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.
'Tales from the Realm taps into Vega's broad range of musical tastes, intertwining Dylan/Stones-inspired guitar-driven songs such as "I Never Wear White" to lush orchestral strings and trumpet flourishes on "There is a Road" to soul-packed background vocals and Vega's masterful classic folk elements.
A longtime fan of hip hop as well, Vega samples the 50 Cent hit song "Candy Shop" for one of the more atmospheric tracks on the album, "Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain." This is Suzanne's first sampling effort - although her song "Tom's Diner" has been interpolated countless times in the hip-hop community, she has not sampled anyone else until this album.
For the first time on a studio recording, Suzanne has also assembled an illustrious group of musicians to accompany her including: Gail Ann Dorsey and Zachary Alford (David Bowie) on bass and drums for several tracks-a happy reunion as Suzanne and Zachary attended the same elementary school back in the 70's in New York City; bass player Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel) on "I Never Wear White" and "Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain;" drummer Jay Bellerose (T-Bone Burnett); acoustic "wizard" Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan) who plays banjo, mandolin, and cymbal throughout the album; Sterling Campbell (David Bowie, B52s) on drums for "Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain" and "Laying on of Hands;" Alison Balsom, the virtuoso principal trumpet for the London Chamber Orchestra who is featured on "Road Beyond This One (Horizon) for Vaclav Havel" and background vocals from powerhouse singer Catherine Russell, known for her work with David Bowie and Paul Simon, among others. Lastly, the strings were recorded in the Czech Republic with the Smikov Chamber Orchestra.1. Crack In The Wall
2. Fool's Complaint
3. I Never Wear White
4. Portrait of the Knight of Wands
5. Don't Uncork What You Can't Contain
6. Jacob and the Angel
7. Silver Bridge
8. Song Of the Stoic
9. Laying on of Hands / Stoic 2
10. Horizon (There Is A Road)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Coming Of AgeCall it a generous fluency, an affable virtuosity. Call it a true band spirit. The best bands have all had something that can't be forced: A refined mastery of music and a willingness to converse through music. That's what you hear, above all, on bassist Ben Williams' sophomore recording, Coming of Age: The sound of a musician who's cultivated an authentic rapport with some of the best young players in New York City.
We have these group texts that we send to each other all the time," Williams says of his band, Sound Effect. "We're just as entertaining to each other off stage as on. If there were ever a reality show about jazz, we'd be good candidates for it!"
Coming of Age for the 30-year-old Williams means playing a lively role among his peers and a vital part in the music world at large. After winning the prestigious Monk Institute Competition in 2009, Williams got busy turning his youthful promise into real achievement. "My career as a bandleader and composer started from the moment I won," he says. "I had this opportunity to say something-and an obligation, too." In 2011 Williams delivered a debut album, State Of Art, to great critical acclaim and toured widely as a bandleader with Sound Effect. He became a sought after and beloved sideman, playing so many sets at one year's Winter Jazzfest that he rarely left the stage. Most impressively, he assumed a highly-coveted place in guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Band. "Ben has a fearless and open-minded approach to what music can be," Metheny has said. "A wonderful combination of skills."
For all his strides in bandleading and performing, on the track Coming of Age Williams shows his greatest growth as a composer. "Composing seems like a nebulous thing," he says. "But the ability to translate a feeling into actual music, takes a lot of doing it, a lot of practice. Which chord is going to invoke this feeling? What's the best key for this idea?" And Williams has some big ideas and feelings to convey, necessitating heavy skill in musical translation and storytelling. On "Toy Soldiers," for example, a martial rhythm and chantlike riff send a message about the sacrifices of war. He wrote the uplifting "Strength And Beauty" on the day of the 2012 Newtown school shooting.
"The tragic news hit me hard, and this tune came to me as a way of feeling my way through the tragedy. The title was inspired later, when I saw how [jazz saxophonist] Jimmy Greene and his family responded to losing their daughter at Newtown. Their pain is something most of us can't even imagine, but the way Jimmy held it together and became a beacon of light and true strength was an inspiration to everyone."
Williams takes a page from the Miles Davis school of bandleading by encouraging his band members to compose in the studio, too. For the R&B tribute anthem "Voice of Freedom (for Mandela)," Williams enlisted the smooth soulfulness of singer-songwriter Goapele-and then headed in to record the song with a characteristically open mind. In the studio, saxophonist Marcus Strickland contributed an on-the-spot horn arrangement with the sunny harmony of a South African choir.
As much as Williams writes in response to politics and current events, his compositions are a respectful celebration of the musical past, too. The driving samba rhythms of "Forecast" are an homage to the jazz fusion group Weather Report, with the tune's melody inspired by Wayne Shorter's "Over Shadow Hill Way." Williams's fluid fretless grooves on "Half Steppin'" recall Jaco Pastorius's "Teen Town."
Williams sees covers of pop tunes as a bestowal to the jazz canon. "I always like to contribute new repertoire to the jazz songbook," says Williams. "For me it's very important to shout out all the young, new songs coming out." His gift on this album is a moving instrumental version of Lianne La Havas' breakup ballad "Lost & Found." Guest trumpeter Christian Scott communicates the contained heartache of La Havas's song lyrics, with a lightly arranged string quartet adding the right amount of solace.
Coming of Age concludes with the sweeping title tune, a showcase for Williams's broad stylistic range. "I wanted 'Coming of Age' to feel big," he says. "I was thinking of it in movements, as a kind of mini-symphony." In the final section of "Coming of Age," Williams picks up a bow for the only time on the record, filtering the sound to other worldly but soulful effect. "The vibe I was going for at the end was Prince," Williams says. "I wanted it to feel sonically transformed, tripped out." It's an auspicious end to an accomplished sophomore recording, with Williams' bowed strings sauntering off into the stars to explore for the next album.
Whatever comes next for Ben Williams, it's sure to be as engaging as it is virtuosic. As an artist who's come of age, Williams' raw talent has evolved into musical grace, conviction, and power. He's a musician in meaningful dialogue with his band Sound Effect, with current events, with musical styles past and present, and finally, with his listeners.
"My favorite thing is when someone comes up to me who's heard my music and they're singing one of my tunes," Williams enthuses. "Humming a melody! That's the best feeling in the world, when one of my tunes has stuck in someone's head."1. Black Villain Music
2. Voice of Freedom (for Mandela) featuring Goapele
3. Toy Soldiers
4. Lost & Found
5. Half Steppin'
6. Smells Like Teen Spirit
7. Toy Soldiers (Reprise)
8. Coming of Age$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Carney (200 Gram Vinyl)Hit Maker And Musician's Musician Struck Chart Gold With 1972 Album Carney
Analogue Productions Reissue On 200-Gram Vinyl
Mastered By Kevin Gray At Cohearent Audio From The Original Master Tapes
Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings
Heavyweight Tip-On Old-Style Jacket From Stoughton Printing
With his trademark top hat, hair well past his shoulders, a long, lush beard, an Oklahoma drawl and his fingers splashing two-fisted barrelhouse piano chords, future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leon Russell cut a flamboyant figure in the early 1970s. He recorded his first hit single Tight Rope with the release of his third, and most successful album Carney, in 1972, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Two years earlier Russell had already played on hundreds of songs as one of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles. The Oklahoma-born pianist, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader led Joe Cocker's band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, appeared at George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh in New York City and composed numerous hits of his own. He was in Phil Spector's Wall of Sound Orchestra and played sessions for Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, the Ventures and the Monkees, among many others.
But it was the top-rated Carney, reissued here on an audibly exquisite 200-gram LP from Analogue Productions, that put Carney into the league of extraordinary musicians. Soulful roots-rock yields to dizzying psychedelia on this, Russell's most famous album. His all-time biggest hit, Tight Rope, leads to Out in the Woods, Cajun Love Song, This Masquerade, and more! No link in the reissue chain was sacrificed, making this outstanding reissue a true audiophile masterpiece. Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio remastered the album from the original master tapes; plating and pressing took place at Quality Record Pressings, makers of the world's finest-sounding LPs. Lastly, as benefits a stellar reissue, we packaged our version in a heavyweight old-style tip-on jacket from Stoughton Printing.
Russell wrote scores of hits for others, among them Superstar, (written with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters, Delta Lady for Joe Cocker and This Masquerade, for George Benson. His own version of This Masquerade is featured on Carney. More than 100 acts recorded A Song for You, which Russell said he wrote in 10 minutes. Ray Charles' recording of the song in 1993 received a Grammy Award.
Sadly, Russell's life as a musical muse and performer ended with his death at 74 on Nov. 13, 2016, at his home in Nashville. He will be forever remembered for making a broad, sophisticated palette of American music sound down-home and natural.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Tight Rope
2. Out in the Woods
3. Me and Baby Jane
4. Manhattan Island Serenade
5. Cajun Love Song
6. Roller Derby
8. Acid Annapolis
9. If the Shoe Fits
10. My Cricket
11. This Masquerade
12. Magic Mirror$34.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undefeated (Out of Stock)Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he's the son of iconic Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, was born into Nashville's Music Row elite, and counted artists like Shel Silverstein as close family friends and George Jones and Tammy Wynette as next door neighbors. Instead, Bobby blazed a path of unique songwriting craftsmanship with a voice that blows through you like an unyielding wind on the desolate prairie.
Undefeated is BBJ's first release since 2010 and what he calls his "break-up record," but the whole of it is much more involved: this isn't escapism; it's an emotional survival guide. Undefeated is ten songs of reality checks, clever wordplay, and daring arrangements, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a bar stool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows.
Like a bespectacled, curly haired prizefighter whose opponent is on the ropes, Bobby goes at each release as if it might be his last round, focused, and full of energy and purpose. Undefeated is no different. The song list is a war chest of formidable uppercuts (e.g. distorted pop rock gems "North of Alabama By Mornin'" and "Don't Stand At the Stove"), eye-splitting right jabs (open and orchestral "Don't Wanna Know" and "The Elegant Imposter"), and sneaky left hooks (the crescendoing "As Forever Became Never Again").
Undefeated is an album of distinct balance, but with raw and varied textures. "North of Alabama By Mornin'" leads with a murky, palm-muted electric guitar and striding, crunchy organ backbeat; a combination that is undeniably kinetic à la Humble Pie's '70s boogie grooves and sinister and sexy, like a Southern doppelganger to Greg Dulli/The Twilight Singers. Bare Jr.'s ghostly high/low vocal layers echo the bleak picture of a metaphorical road trip, when his confidence slips, "Am I holding the steering wheel or is it holding me?/ The transmission is slipping like a pigeon through a tiger's teeth." By the song's finale, though, jubilant yelps ("Oh! Ho! Ho! We're goin' home!") and the electric guitar's pinch-harmonic wailing, indicate that things are headed in the right direction.
What's most striking about BBJ is his proficiency with a broad sonic palette that fluently conjures uncommon impressions of life's soul-arresting experiences. "The Big Time" is rock 'n' roll reinterpreted through the lens of soulful pedaled bass, celebratory and punchy brass, and the facade of big-city talk ("You're gonna miss me after I hit the big time/ Gonna get brand new famous friends."). In "Blame Everybody (But Yourself)" the band - Young Criminals' Starvation League - taps into a piano-inflected British invasion/Herman's Hermits sort of vibe, blended with the melancholic echo chamber aesthetic of My Morning Jacket.
At other moments, Bobby channels his country DNA (like in the Hayes Carll co-penned "My Baby Took My Baby Away"), mirror-ball gazing '70s R&B/soul ("Undefeated"), and bright ballads from the hills and hollers of Venice Beach ("If She Cared"). From anyone else, this refusal to play it on the straight and narrow would sound cluttered and disjointed, but Bobby never breaks a sweat.1. North of Alabama By Mornin'
2. If She Cared
3. The Big Time
4. Don't Wanna Know
5. The Elegant Imposter
7. My Baby Took My Baby Away
8. Blame Everybody (But Yourself)
9. As Forever Became Never Again
10. Don't Stand At The Stove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock