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  • When to Talk and When to Listen When to Talk and When to Listen Quick View

    $24.99
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    When to Talk and When to Listen

    Hard-working Canadian rock quartet Current Swell are back with their forthcoming new album When To Talk and When To Listen. Produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, James Bay, Of Monsters And Men, Shania Twain, Norah Jones etc), When To Talk and When To Listen is set for release via Nettwerk.
    1. Marsha
    2. You Got It Easy
    3. It Ain't Right
    4. When To Talk and When To Listen
    5. Woman In White
    6. Staying Up All Night
    7. Use Me Like You Do
    8. Thief of Joy
    9. Like I Fight For You
    10. Time and The Weight
    11. Marsha Reprise
    Current Swell
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Ulysses Ulysses Quick View

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    Ulysses


    Includes Two Unreleased Tracks Not Available Anywhere Else


    Victoria, B.C.'s Current Swell is set to release their new album, Ulysses, on May 6, 2014. The 12-tracks
    on Ulysses perfectly deliver the band's textured, deep-groove sound while capturing the energy of their live
    show, which has earned them scores of fans across The Americas, Australia and Europe. The band will
    debut many of these new songs next month in Austin during SXSW.


    Ulysses was produced by Nathan Sabatino (Dr. Dog, Neko Case, Giant Sand) at Vancouver's iconic
    Greenhouse Studios. The album captures every bit of warmth the studio's massive Neve console could
    provide, as heard on "Rollin'" (a showcase for Stanton's exemplary slide work), the title track "Ulysses,"
    rocker "Keys to the Kingdom" and the readymade sing-along "One Day I'll Be Rich."
    While Current Swell spent the better part of six months recording their previous album (and Nettwerk
    debut), 2012's Long Time Ago, the four band members entered the studio with a clear goal and knocked
    Ulysses out in 20 days.


    From appearances at key festivals from Australia to Canada (Byron Bay Bluesfest, Peats Ridge, Rock
    The Shores, Ottawa Bluesfest and more), to sold-out headline tours of Brazil, to support slots with such
    established artists as Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Dispatch, Xavier Rudd, K'Naan, The
    Tragically Hip and even The Beach Boys, Current Swell's infectious sound and raucous live shows have
    earned the quartet scores of devoted fans around the word. In 2011, Current Swell earned first place at
    Vancouver's Peak Performance Project and headlined a Canada Day concert to a crowd of 45,000.

    1. Ulysses
    2. Keys To The Kingdom
    3. Rollin'
    4. One Day I'll Be Rich
    5. Bad News
    6. Who's With Us
    7. Gunshots
    8. Man Of Maps
    9. Sideways
    10. Desire
    11. We Will Run
    12. Flesh and Bone
    Current Swell
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • American Slang/So Low American Slang/So Low Quick View

    $20.99
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    American Slang/So Low

    Depending on whom you ask, Jack 'Oblivian' Yarber is either a rock legend or an obsolute unknown. And no one knows this dichotomy better than Yarber, who may be Memphis' most infuential active rock musician.


    The list of noteworthy bands Yarber has been a member of over the years is massive and includes Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves, new-wavers the End, '68 Comeback, Knaughty Knights, and Tav Falco's Panther Burns. Two of Yarber's former bands, the Compulsive Gamblers and the Oblivians, have seen their reputation and following swell in the decade since their demise, especially the Oblivians, whose international fan base borders on rabid. Due largely to his stint in these bands, both partnerships with Greg Cartwrigth, now of Reigning Sound, Yarber has been an acknowledged influence on artists such as the White Stripes, the Hives, and Jay Reatard.


    In the years since, Yarber has toured and released a string of successful solo albums under the Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers moniker. Originally conceived in 2000 as a partnership with former Impala and current Bo-Keys bassist Scott Bomar, the band quickly morphed into Yarber's solo incarnation after Bomar became occupied with film scoring and production work. The band has had a revolving door for side players ever since, at different times including current River City Tanlines John Bonds and Terrence Bishop, Neighborhood Texture Jam guitarist John Wittmore, the Reigning Sound's Greg Roberson, Bluff City Backslider Adam Woodard, and a host of other recognizable local musicians.

    American Slang


    1. American Slang
    2. 2,000 Man
    3. Hustler
    4. Honey, I'm Too Old For You
    5. Robot Lover
    6. Got The Funky Blues (part 1)
    7. Got The Funky Blues (part 2)
    8. Out Of Tune
    9. a.m. slang (reprise)


    So Low


    1. Intro/Midnight Hour Queen
    2. Shake It Off
    3. Trash
    4. So Low
    5. Downtown
    6. Let Me Be Your Chauffeur
    7. Mama Don't Get Off
    8. You Made Me Crazy
    9. Human Being
    10. All Your Lovin'
    11. All The Way Down

    Jack Oblivian
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP 10 - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Saturday Night Part 2 Saturday Night Part 2 Quick View

    $16.99
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    Saturday Night Part 2

    Depending on whom you ask, Jack 'Oblivian' Yarber is either a rock legend or an absolute unknown. This dichotomy is well-understood by Memphis musicians, as underground fame for all its rewards, has, with a few exceptions, been the ceiling for local acts for decades. And no one knows this dichotomy better than Yarber, who may be Memphis' most influential active rock musician.


    The list of noteworthy bands Yarber has been a member of over the years is massive and includes Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves, new wavers the End, '68 Comeback, Knaughty Knights, and Tav Falco's Panther Burns. Two of Yarber's former bands, the Compulsiver Gamblers and the Oblivians, have seen their reputation and following swell in the decade since their demise, especially the Oblivians, whose international fan base borders on rabid.


    In the years since, Yarber has toured and released a string of successful solo albums under the Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers moniker. Originally conceived in 2000 as a partnership with former Impala and current Bo-Keys bassist Scott Bomar, the band quickly morphed into Yarber's solo incarnation after Bomar became too occupied with film scoring and production work. The band has had a revolving door for side players ever since, at different times including current River City Tanlines John Bonds and Terrance Bishop, Neighborhood Texture Jam guitarist John Whittemore, the Reigning Sound's Greg Roberson, Bluff City Backslider Adam Woodard, and a host of other recognizable local musicians.


    Depending on whom you ask, Jack 'Oblivian' Yarber is either a rock legend or an absolute unknown. This dichotomy is well-understood by Memphis musicians, as underground fame for all its rewards, has, with a few exceptions, been the ceiling for local acts for decades. And no one knows this dichotomy better than Yarber, who may be Memphis' most influential active rock musician.


    The list of noteworthy bands Yarber has been a member of over the years is massive and includes Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves, new wavers the End, '68 Comeback, Knaughty Knights, and Tav Falco's Panther Burns. Two of Yarber's former bands, the Compulsiver Gamblers and the Oblivians, have seen their reputation and following swell in the decade since their demise, especially the Oblivians, whose international fan base borders on rabid.


    In the years since, Yarber has toured and released a string of successful solo albums under the Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers moniker. Originally conceived in 2000 as a partnership with former Impala and current Bo-Keys bassist Scott Bomar, the band quickly morphed into Yarber's solo incarnation after Bomar became too occupied with film scoring and production work. The band has had a revolving door for side players ever since, at different times including current River City Tanlines John Bonds and Terrance Bishop, Neighborhood Texture Jam guitarist John Whittemore, the Reigning Sound's Greg Roberson, Bluff City Backslider Adam Woodard, and a host of other recognizable local musicians.

    1. Mad Lover - Part II
    2. Put Your Love On Me
    3. Cigarillo
    4. Milkshake Baby
    5. Make Your Mind Up - Part II
    6. Against The Mall - Part II
    Jack Oblivian
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Split Series #23 Split Series #23 Quick View

    $20.99
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    Split Series #23


    '[Gately] veers towards the fringes of pop before dancing away into weirdo ambience and
    more solemn computer music climes." - FACT


    "Hewing to a crooked axis of air-tumbling house drums and buoyant bass, Tlaotlon sparks
    off all manner of corkscrewing pings, synth stabs and scrambled electronics in a psychoactive manner belying his participation with wayward acts such as Finnish psych troupe,
    Kemialliset YstÄvÄt. " - Boomkat


    Another high quality, album-length release, the twenty-third - and penultimate - issue in
    FatCat's long-running and highy-acclaimed Split 12" Series features two emerging artists,
    each working in markedly di erent ways to forge bold new territory for modern electronic
    music. As usual, this record will be released on 12" vinyl in the Split Series' trademark
    hand-drilled and numbered packaging, pressed in a limited edition of 700 copies for the
    world.


    A hugely exciting new talent, Katie Gately is a Brooklyn-born, LA-based artist with an
    academic background in lm sound production and editing. Having only recently stepped
    out from her regular job as a sound designer in the lm industry, Katie has crafted a set of
    brilliantly intricate and ambitious sound pieces that exist in a borderzone between electro -
    acoustic composition, eld recording and deconstructed pop bringing to mind the
    widescreen scope of Scott Walker or Julia Holter and the precise playful abstraction of
    Matmos and Holly Herndon.


    Katie's o ering for this split 12" is a staggeringly bold and ambitious composition. A
    restlessly playful, hyper-intricate, 15-minute sprawl of a track, 'Pivot' shifts around
    constantly - feeling its way into being through a spartan, alien space of treated vocals
    and gestural sound-slashes set starkly against negative space. At the core of the track
    lies a song and recognisable lyrics, pitch-shifted and time-stretched, chopped and
    layered into choirs, switching its gender, rendering it into pure malleable texture, her
    heavily manipulated voice seeps throughout the track.


    Tlaotlon is the solo alias of Melbourne-based New Zealander Jeremy Coughbrough, who
    has released a clutch of records in the past few years on labels like Dungeon Taxis, Epic
    Sweep, Trensmat and 1080p. Messy, maximalist and psychedelic, Tlaotlon pro ers a kind
    of squelchy, hyper-colourful, dislocated modern electronica that might nd roots in older
    models like Phthalocyanine or Autechre but sharing commonalities with current producers
    like Patten, Sculpture, Dalglish, Astral Social Club and others.


    Starting out from a series of vivid, striking little loops, the resulting tracks rapidly grow,
    swelling into a densely-layered web of multiplying rhythms and synthetic textures to forge
    a kind of hypermodern Baroque: synthetic, slippery, endlessly playful, dense and psychedelic. Any traces of a club backbone are swiftly disoriented into a messy, mutant swirl, a
    joyful, dense tangle of rhythms and timbres. Car alarms, chipmunk vocals, space-jazz
    synth bleed, clattering debris-beats, and pitch-bent slashes all coalesce in a churning
    torrent of sound material.

    1. Katie Gately - Pivot
    2. Tlaotlon - MYRIADE
    3. Tlaotlon - ASCENSIS
    4. Tlaotlon - ODYS
    5. Tlaotlon - SIADE
    Katie Gately / Tlaotlon
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Melbourne Melbourne Quick View

    $16.99
    Buy Now
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    Melbourne

    It's the original rock n' roll fantasy: to be genius, aloof, deserving. To be instantaneously swept from the wings of obscurity into the arms of acclaim. Well, that's what I've heard at least.


    But who does this really happen to? Most successful musicians will tell you it's not enough to make brilliant music. You've got to work it constantly, clawing and hustling to get people to the next show, to finance the next record. How pedestrian. How droll. Why can't it just happen?


    No, it would seem there are no rock n' roll fairytales anymore. Or are there?


    Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jackson Scott, indie's newest prince charming. At the tender age of 20, Scott is already receiving more attention for his forthcoming debut, Melbourne than many musicians get in a lifetime.


    When an artist blows up this quickly it's hard to hear their music from an unbiased position. Questions unfailingly arise: What's the deal? Is he really that f-in' good? Did Daddy pay the promo man (remember The Strokes)? Is this guy for real?


    So, before we go on, let me just say, this record is good. Like, really good. Like, "I'm kinda freaked out that a kid who's been making music for a year did this by himself on a 4-track" good.


    So, let's ignore the hype for a while.


    First, the strength of Scott's songwriting is undeniable. Yea, there are some instrumentals here... but overall these songs stick with you. They have power, and with most of them clocking in at around the two minute mark, you won't get bored. Lyrically, Scott both flirts with and repudiates the kind of adolescent moodiness associated with the mopey 90's. Conversely, his musings also betray a connection to the well-fed and perpetually distracted iPhone generation.


    Melbourne also offers plenty of rewards in its production. Scott has the hissy, tape, psych-pop thing down. He's experimental where he needs to be and hooky where it counts. These homespun recordings sound like early Ty Segall as produced by The Elephant 6 Recording Co. While Scott acknowledges Segall as an influence, he claims ignorance of the famed recording collective. That said, his misanthropic use of sped-up vocals suggests otherwise.


    Melbourne opens with "Only Eternal", a wash of ambient guitar. This brooding intro slyly transitions into "Evie", with its sludgy, driving rhythm, Twilight Zone guitar hooks, and wavering harmonies. Peppy and short, "Sandy" is a druggy acoustic-pop highlight.


    "That Awful Sound" is the song that gained Scott so much attention in the first place. Nothing if not a solid single, its strummed acoustics, booming rhythm, and pseudo-Chipmunk vocals are impossible to hear without thinking of Elephant 6. It's not surprising that the crew at Pitchfork (no doubt approaching middle age and feeling a little nostalgic) picked this track to be "the song". This kind of thing ruled all hell in 1998. If not the best track on the record, it is at least the most classifiable, and by extension the most marketable.


    "Any Way"... is the high-water mark for Scott's pitch-shifted vocals. It's the kind of song Jackson Scott really sells. It's quick, melody driven, and vaguely flippant. With its toy marimba solo, it also exposes the childlike undercurrent running throughout this record.


    "Together Forever" is one of my favorite songs on Melbourne. If you listen closely you can hear the famous background vocals from "Where is My Mind?" at the beginning. To me this is Jackson Scott playing it straight. His voice sounds like a real person and his noisy guitar swells are just as mind-bending as anything coming out of the current psych-revival.


    "In The Sun" is reminiscent of the late Scott Miller's more stripped-down moments with Game Theory. The song's chorus reminds us of how much an inspiration Kurt Cobain is to Scott.


    Notwithstanding the strength, charisma, and raw talent exhibited on Melbourne, it feels like Jackson Scott has skipped a few levels. Although Cinderella sometimes does well in sports and American Idol, Jackson Scott is going for something much weightier, much deeper. Dare we call it, legitimacy?


    -Jacob Sides

    1. Only Eternal

    2. Evie

    3. Never Ever

    4. Sandy

    5. That Awful Sound

    6. Tomorrow

    7. Wish Upon

    8. Any Way

    9. Together Forever

    10. In the Sun

    11. Doctor Mad

    12. Sweet Nothing
    Scott Jackson
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Glider Glider Quick View

    $17.99
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    Glider

    Beautiful post-folk ballads a thing of tremendous sonic depth one of the year's best debuts BOOMKAT


    A bold and beautiful album CYCLYC DEFROST


    haunting and atmospheric. THE 405


    ...compelling...it never dissolves after the first listen instead it only acquires new layers, new musical textures. THE GUARDIAN


    It's a ravishing, terrific, gorgeous album-the rare kind that throws its listeners into reverie. PORTLAND MERCURY


    Heather Woods Broderick excels at distilling her experiences into a soulful melancholy
    that's enduring both for it's intimate relatable moments and its persistent
    sense of mystery. Her uncanny ear for evocative production and gorgeous vocal
    harmonies serves her well on her new album Glider. Throughout the album, the rich
    dreamlike atmospheres she creates hint at a darkness looming on the horizon, while
    the singularity of her ethereal voice always seems to linger long after the music has
    stopped.


    As a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Heather has had the opportunity to
    record and tour with plenty of incredible artists including Horse Feathers, Efterklang,
    and Sharon Van Etten, which has kept her moving house and traveling around
    the world for much of the past decade. She's currently living in Portland, Oregon,
    but it's easy to imagine how her peripatetic lifestyle might diminish her sense of a
    place to call home, while also strengthening her resilience, and her connection to
    the reassuring constants in her life. As she explains Living in so many different
    places has made me able to feel pretty comfortable everywhere. Her uncommon
    sense of ease and grace, despite her hectic life, stems in part from her deeply
    rooted and intertwined musical and familial background.


    Music took root in Heather's life before she was even born, when her parents, both
    musicians, met for the first time at one of her mom's gigs, which her dad was
    attending. The two married and moved to Maine where Heather, second of three
    children, was born at home. When she was 8-years-old the family moved across the
    country to Oregon, and soon after moving, she asked if she could take piano
    lessons, a practice she would continue through high school and into college. In
    elementary school band she learned flute, and later picked up cello and guitar.


    Though the songs on Glider aren't explicitly about touring, her life on the road
    provides the backdrop and context for her songs that are often about relationships
    that naturally fade as two people grow apart. I've realized that I really used the
    songs on Glider and the time I put into writing them as a way to pay some attention
    to things I'd been putting off, and to find some clarity around certain events, says
    Heather. Building on what she learned from her first solo effort From the Ground
    (2009), the dynamic structures and emotional complexity of her new songs are
    evidence of how much she's grown as a person and as a songwriter. More confident
    and self-assured than ever, songs like Fall Hard evolve from vulnerable bare piano
    and vocals to hypnotizing swells of vocals reminiscent of Grouper or Cocteau Twins'
    Elizabeth Fraser. Her voice soars in stride with a wall of guitars on Wyoming,
    while Mama Shelter introduces a gentle groove as Heather conjures the sensuality
    of Stevie Nicks. The album closes with the heartbreaking All for a Love, ending
    with the refrain I can see our love is dragging you down. As dark as the sentiment
    can be, Heather always seems to be leaning into the light.

    1. Up In the Pine
    2. Mama Shelter
    3. Fall Hard
    4. Wyoming
    5. The Sentiments
    6. A Call For Distance
    7. Desert
    8. Glider
    9. All For A Love
    Heather Woods Broderick
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Deer Tick Vol. 2 Deer Tick Vol. 2 Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
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    Deer Tick Vol. 2

    The best art often challenges widely held preconceptions about performance and beauty.We're moved when we find the sublime in the gross, entranced when crassness collides with grace. It makes poetic sense that one of this practice's finest current purveyors is named after a blood-sucking survivor.

    Deer Tick: undercutting expectations since 2004.

    I think a lot of my favorite artists have always done stuff like that, Deer Tick front man John McCauley says from his home in Nashville, reflecting on his band's love of unexpected mashups: tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars; classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high. Deer Tick's perfected it all, mostly as an outlier, revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their highly anticipated new project(s), two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol.2, the crew from Rhode Island prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age.

    Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently.Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band's longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk.

    McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression. I think it's something that wa sbound to happen, just because I've always had one foot in each door, he says. Every album we've put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.

    It's been four years since Deer Tick's last release Negativity, and devotees have grown restless. It wasn't that the band-made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer DennisRyan, and bassist Christopher Ryan-was withholding information. They just weren't sure they had anything more to share. It wasn't anything that we actually talked about, McCauleysays. We never said, 'Hey, we should take a break,' or 'Maybe this isn't working anymore.'We just took some time off. We'd just done our 10-year anniversary shows, and I had a kid like two weeks later. He pauses before adding with a hint of a laugh, We just kind of got comfortable away from each other.

    McCauley, O'Neil, and the two Ryans popped up solo and on others' projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. The couple's little girl is now two years old. For the first time ever, Deer Tick-an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artistic output-took a backseat.

    When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another.Playing that week with the guys made me really want to do it-it made everyone want to do it, McCauley says. So we started making some plans to go in the studio.

    The result, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, is a bold double punch that reminds us not only why Deer Tick has been so missed, but why they've become important artists. The songwriting on both volumes is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O'Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self important,McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock and-rollsongs of myself delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.

    Vol. 1 opener Sea of Clouds is a dreamy mediation on letting go, featuring stripped down instrumentation that swells into a mini-symphony, all anchored by angelic harmonies and McCauley's familiar melodic snarl. It's not the only time McCauley mulls over what it takes to move on. Heart-tugging Only Love mixes sadness and hope for a snapshot of impending loss. I thought, 'Nobody writes a song about that kind of weird, ominous feeling you get inthe final 24 to 48 hours of a relationship,' McCauley says. I wanted to capture that mood in a song.

    Sauntering Card House is a flamenco-soaked threat with grotesque imagery, while lounge readyCocktail is a wry, piano-fueled stroll through fond boozy memories. I guess it's kindof a song about my strange relationship with alcohol-I'm still learning how to deal with it,McCauley says. I'm not a teetotaler. I've tried that. It's not for me. I'm not into the support group thing. I enjoy life with a drink. Trying to keep my life in balance can be hard, but it's something I'm capable of doing now.

    Tricky relationships with drugs and alcohol are addressed in different ways on both volumes.Hushed Vol. 1 closer Rejection pulses with vulnerability. I wrote it about trying to help somebody in some way, McCauley says. What was going through my mind but I didn't say in the lyrics is just reaching your hand out to somebody who's going through substance abuse problems. Vol. 2's Jumpstarting-a favorite track of McCauley's-offers the same kind of lifeline: he shouts startlingly sweet promises over crunchy guitars.

    Look How Clean I Am immediately follows. Written and sung by O'Neil, the song doesn't poke fun at sobriety but offers a droll take down of how some use it as a means or marketing vehicle to further celebrity. It's one of many genuinely funny moments on the project. JumpingS.M.F., (aka Shitty Music Festival) written and delivered by McCauley, takes hilarious shots at a summer institution. I thought I'd write that one for any band who's ever had a bad time at a music festival. It's one of my attempts at humor on the record, but then it just kind of comes off as anger, McCauley says with a laugh.

    McCauley wrote gorgeous instrumental Pulse thinking about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He lets his piano do the talking. It's a Whale is punk perfection, all screams and growling guitars. That's probably the most political I'll ever get in a song, McCauley says. I tried to put myself in the really dark head space of maybe a men's rights activist or something like that while trying to poke fun at it. His chants of Atta boy! Atta girl! are the ideal blend of smirk-inducing and scary.

    McCauley says he believes Sea of Clouds and It's a Whale probably best capture theextremities of both records. He's right, of course: it's Vol. 1's quiet vs. Vol. 2's loud-Deer Tick's dual personalities, finally channeled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven't entirely figured out yet,McCauley says. I don't really know what's going to happen, but that's part of the excitement for me.

    1. Don't Hurt
    2. Jumpstarting
    3. Look How Clean I Am
    4. It's a Whale
    5. Tiny Fortunes
    6. Sloppy
    7. Wants / Needs
    8. S.M.F.
    9. Pulse
    10. Mr. Nothing Gets Worse
    Deer Tick
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Deer Tick Vol. 1 Deer Tick Vol. 1 Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Deer Tick Vol. 1

    The best art often challenges widely held preconceptions about performance and beauty.We're moved when we find the sublime in the gross, entranced when crassness collides with grace. It makes poetic sense that one of this practice's finest current purveyors is named after a blood-sucking survivor.

    Deer Tick: undercutting expectations since 2004.

    I think a lot of my favorite artists have always done stuff like that, Deer Tick front man John McCauley says from his home in Nashville, reflecting on his band's love of unexpected mashups: tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars; classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high. Deer Tick's perfected it all, mostly as an outlier, revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their highly anticipated new project(s), two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol.2, the crew from Rhode Island prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age.

    Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently.Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band's longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk.

    McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression. I think it's something that was bound to happen, just because I've always had one foot in each door, he says. Every album we've put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.

    It's been four years since Deer Tick's last release Negativity, and devotees have grown restless. It wasn't that the band-made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan-was withholding information. They just weren't sure they had anything more to share. It wasn't anything that we actually talked about, McCauley says. We never said, 'Hey, we should take a break,' or 'Maybe this isn't working anymore.'We just took some time off. We'd just done our 10-year anniversary shows, and I had a kid like two weeks later. He pauses before adding with a hint of a laugh, We just kind of got comfortable away from each other.

    McCauley, O'Neil, and the two Ryans popped up solo and on others' projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. The couple's little girl is now two years old. For the first time ever, Deer Tick-an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artistic output-took a backseat.

    When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another.Playing that week with the guys made me really want to do it-it made everyone want to do it, McCauley says. So we started making some plans to go in the studio.

    The result, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, is a bold double punch that reminds us not only why Deer Tick has been so missed, but why they've become important artists. The songwriting on both volumes is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O'Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self important,McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock and-rollsongs of myself delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.

    Vol. 1 opener Sea of Clouds is a dreamy mediation on letting go, featuring stripped down instrumentation that swells into a mini-symphony, all anchored by angelic harmonies and McCauley's familiar melodic snarl. It's not the only time McCauley mulls over what it takes to move on. Heart-tugging Only Love mixes sadness and hope for a snapshot of impending loss. I thought, 'Nobody writes a song about that kind of weird, ominous feeling you get in the final 24 to 48 hours of a relationship,' McCauley says. I wanted to capture that mood ina song.

    Sauntering Card House is a flamenco-soaked threat with grotesque imagery, while lounge readyCocktail is a wry, piano-fueled stroll through fond boozy memories. I guess it's kind of a song about my strange relationship with alcohol-I'm still learning how to deal with it,McCauley says. I'm not a teetotaler. I've tried that. It's not for me. I'm not into the support group thing. I enjoy life with a drink. Trying to keep my life in balance can be hard, but it's something I'm capable of doing now.

    Tricky relationships with drugs and alcohol are addressed in different ways on both volumes.Hushed Vol. 1 closer Rejection pulses with vulnerability. I wrote it about trying to help somebody in some way, McCauley says. What was going through my mind but I didn't sayin the lyrics is just reaching your hand out to somebody who's going through substance abuse problems. Vol. 2's Jumpstarting-a favorite track of McCauley's-offers the same kind of lifeline: he shouts startlingly sweet promises over crunchy guitars.

    Look How Clean I Am immediately follows. Written and sung by O'Neil, the song doesn't poke fun at sobriety but offers a droll takedown of how some use it as a means or marketing vehicle to further celebrity. It's one of many genuinely funny moments on the project. JumpingS.M.F., (aka Shitty Music Festival) written and delivered by McCauley, takes hilarious shots at a summer institution. I thought I'd write that one for any band who's ever had a bad time ata music festival. It's one of my attempts at humor on the record, but then it just kind of comes off as anger, McCauley says with a laugh.

    McCauley wrote gorgeous instrumental Pulse thinking about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He lets his piano do the talking. It's a Whale is punk perfection, all screams and growling guitars. That's probably the most political I'll ever get in a song, McCauley says. I tried to put myself in the really dark headspace of maybe a men's rights activist or something like that while trying to poke fun at it. His chants of Atta boy! Atta girl! are the ideal blend of smirk-inducing and scary.

    McCauley says he believes Sea of Clouds and It's a Whale probably best capture theextremities of both records. He's right, of course: it's Vol. 1's quiet vs. Vol. 2's loud-Deer Tick's dual personalities, finally channeled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven't entirely figured out yet,McCauley says. I don't really know what's going to happen, but that's part of the excitement for me.

    1. Half Believing (By The Black Angels)
    2. Card House
    3. Doomed From The Start
    4. Hope Is Big
    5. Only Love
    6. Cocktail
    7. Me And My Man
    8. End Of The World
    9. Limp Right Back
    10. Rejection
    Deer Tick
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Dawning Dawning Quick View

    $21.99
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    Dawning

    Might the time finally be right for Mouth of the Architect? For a decade, the Ohio band has largely been ghettoized to cult status, familiar to Midwestern kids or those paying more than casual attention to what's clumsily called "post-metal," at least post-Isis. Between 2004 and 2008, Mouth of the Architect released three rather convincing-- if sometimes haphazardly indulgent-- records of unified doom and grace. Dependent upon extreme dynamics and grand composition, with track lengths that ticked into the teens and albums that stretched past the hour mark, Mouth of the Architect seemed like a natural recipient of the same "brainy metal" laurels then distributed by outlets as illustrious as The New York Times.


    But the ascendance never came, and since 2008's teetering Quietly, the band instead lingered at the threshold of self-destruction. They released an EP in 2010, but, as a revealing Invisible Oranges look into the band's last half-decade suggests, they mostly tried not to die-- as a group, really, or as people. "Some of us were convinced that the end was coming, either the big picture or individually," drummer Dave Mann told Brad Sanders. "Some of us, me in particular, were in a downward spiral in a lot of ways."


    The appropriately titled new album Dawning is their first in five years and their first featuring bassist Evan Danielson. It's also their best work to date, a fully realized resurrection. Dawning showcases a band that now moves with an intricacy and immediacy that indicate just what Mouth of the Architect is: a veteran group comprising members with long rÉsumÉs, who've now gotten a chance to begin again and know what to do with it. A wonder of tension and release, Dawning is designed to throw listeners into tailspins and, then, to lift them above the mess. That drama not only reflects the survival of the band that stuck around long enough to make this album but also of a group that's now pushed past the cloister of post-metal: Despite the hardened visage of tough-guy screams, burly guitar tones, and Mann's aggressive drumming, Dawning is a compulsively likable record, full of anthems meant for memorizing and environments meant for immersion. (Hell, "Sharpen Your Axes" could pass for millennial Incubus.) If you've ever liked Isis there's plenty for you here; on the other hand, if you like, say, Abbey Road-- or any music that tries to outstrip the structure of a single song while not abandoning its magnetism-- Dawning deserves your time, too.
    Should the metal prefixes "progressive" or even "post-" suggest long-winded, self-invested excursions nestled within songs that require an almanac, scrap the notion for Dawning. Yes, these songs stretch between seven and 11 minutes each, but even the longest, centerpiece "How This Will End, hinges upon narrative thrust and musical selflessness. If there are any guitar solos here at all, they come toward the start and the finish of "How This Will End, when a neon electric tone arches over a mounting cavalcade of drums and bass. Rather than serve as breaks in the momentum, though, both passages lead tremendous swells that rise to meet the troika of vocalists in another instance of triumph. Not one moment among these 11 minutes seems squandered or lost, as the quintet keeps rising and falling, churning and rebuilding.


    Opener "Lullabye" establishes that principle from the jump, or as soon as traipsing acoustic guitar and twinkling piano concede to a heroic riff wrapped within three-part, gang-style harmonies. Mouth of the Architect move constantly between parts; at various points, they leap from near-silence to a quake viscous enough to make plenty of stoner metal sound thin, from guitar leads that suggest Chicago blues moan to math-rock redirection. Behind the kit, Mann serves as the expert rudder, keeping the songs steady even as he navigates the transfers. This constant swivel also depends upon the split vocal duties of Steve Brooks, Kevin Schindel, and Jason Watkins. They trade verses, flip-flopping between pristine radio rock leads and malevolent growls, sometimes only for a line at the time. They often share choruses, delivering them the sort of group-vocal abandon that hints at a darkened Danielson Family. Their singing-- here, more charged and urgent than it's ever been-- gives all of the band's moving pieces a through-line from one side to the other.


    Talk of the tide of intelligent or somehow otherwise-elevated heavy music hasn't faded during Mouth of the Architect's temporary absence. Though both Sunn O))) and the late Isis have only released one album since MotA's last one, the acceptance of and debate over nominally black metal acts such as Liturgy, Wolves in the Throne Room, Krallice and Deafheaven has kept that conversation current. Mouth of the Architect only nods to that au courant talking point during Dawning, most notably with the blizzard of tremolo guitars that open "It Swarms" and the clattering way the band emerges from an instrumental break during "Sharpen Your Axes". But at the very least, Dawning deserves mention alongside Deafheaven's Sunbather, a record that's most notable for its holistic approach to drama and romance and the complete cinema of itself. Mouth of the Architect has long written from a vantage of imminent apocalypse, a perspective Dawning does not forego. There's talk of collapsing systems and prevailing darkness, spent luck and idolized disrepair. But at record's end, when Mouth of the Architect's three singers trade and share lines about risking it all even if they come up short, it's hard not to hear a core of redemption and potential hope within the music itself. And after returning from the brink to make one of the year's most rapturous records, metal or post-metal or whatever, there had better be.

    - Grayson Currin (Pitchfork)

    1. Lullabye
    2. It Swarms
    3. Sharpen Your Eyes
    4. How Will This End
    5. Patterns
    6. The Other Son
    Mouth Of The Architect
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Arms & Hands Arms & Hands Quick View

    $16.99
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    Arms & Hands

    Cornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is one of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing. On his latest album, Arms & Hands, he assembles the ideal trio to bridge that divide. Joined by bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bill Goodwin, along with special guests Brian Drye (trombone), Daniel Carter (alto saxophone), and Jeff Lederer (soprano/tenor saxophone), Knuffke creates a set of music that is both engaging and inventive.


    Helias is best known for his work with jazz experimentalists like Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell, and Gerry Hemingway, his band BassDrumBone with Hemingway and Ray Anderson, and his trio Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey. Goodwin, on the other hand, is recognized as a premiere straight-ahead drummer, through his decades-long relationship with saxophonist Phil Woods and credits that include such giants as Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Dexter Gordon, Jim Hall, Gary Burton, and Art Pepper.
    The chemistry between the trio is irrefutable on Arms & Hands, which is a showcase for the immense creativity of all three musicians. Knuffke intentionally wrote compositions that took advantage of Goodwin's gift for groove and swing while remaining open enough to allow the improvisations to wander however far afield the moment might call for.


    Kirk Knuffke is a prolific composer and improviser who has worked with a host of incredible musicians including Roswell Rudd, William Parker, Uri Caine, Myra Melford, Allison Miller, Steve Swell, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Steven Bernstein, and Mary Halvorson. Internationally, he has played with ensembles at jazz festivals in Saalfeldan Austria, Willisau Switzerland, The North Sea Jazz festival in Holland, The Moers festival as well as festival dates in Canada, Mexico, Italy and France. He is currently a member of the Matt Wilson Quartet. Knuffke is also a member of the Mark Helias Quartet, the Andrew D'angelo Big Band, Josh Roseman's Extended Constellations, Kenny Wollesen's Wollesonic and Allison Miller's Boom tic Boom. Knuffke's leader debut, Big Wig, was released by Clean Feed in 2008, followed by the trio recordings Chew Your Food and Amnesia Brown and the quartet album Chorale. He has also recorded several duo CDs with pianist Jesse Stacken and one with percussionist Mike Pride, and co-led the collaborative trio Sifter with Mary Halvorson and Matt Wilson and a quartet with saxophonist Ted Brown.

    1. Safety Shoes
    2. Bright Light
    3. Pepper
    4. Chirp
    5. Umbrella
    6. Next
    7. Arms & Hands
    8. Bonderizer
    9. Atessa
    10. Thanks A Lot
    Kirk Knuffke
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Little Neon Limelight (Out Of Stock) Little Neon Limelight (Out Of Stock) Quick View

    $22.99
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    Little Neon Limelight (Out Of Stock)

    "An album is, or ought to be, a complete picture. It should come in waves,
    changing its focal point when things get too predictable or settled."


    With this statement to Ann Powers that accompanied NPR's premiere of Houndmouth's
    surreal, Dylanesque ballad "For No One," singer/guitarist Matt Myers -
    perhaps inadvertently - issued a mission statement for the band's second album.
    Little Neon Limelight finds the four-piece stretching out in every direction. Working
    with producer Dave Cobb in Nashville, they were able to bring the kind of size and
    warmth that does justice to this batch of songs, worked out over eighteen months
    on the road, and resonant with joy, hurt, loneliness, glory: all of human ache and
    loveliness.


    Little Neon Limelight finds Houndmouth further differentiating themselves from the
    airtight song structures and shouty singalongs of the current "Americana" scene,
    treading into territory occupied by not only their Southern rock forebears, but with
    an attention to songwriting and vocal performance recalling at times The Band,
    Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch, the Beatles, and the Kinks.


    "If you want to live the good life, you've gotta stay away from the limelight," Houndmouth
    sings in the chorus to album track "My Cousin Greg." With their outstanding
    new record, and a substantial fanbase that swells with every show they play, it will
    soon be difficult for Houndmouth to follow their own rule.

    1. Sedona
    2. Otis
    3. 15 Years
    4. For No One
    5. Black Gold
    6. Honey Slider
    7. My Cousin Greg
    8. Gasoline
    9. By God
    10. Say It
    11. Darlin'
    Houndmouth
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
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