- Lowest Price
- Highest Price
Five Leaves Left'
Five Leaves Left: Deluxe Edition
Ranked 283/500 On Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Original shop poster
Live Mini-Poster (full color both sides)
Reprint of Nick's handwritten set list
This first studio album from Nick Drake, which has garnered posthumous praise and remarkable all-time greatest album ratings, is an exact replica of the original 1969 release: It is pressed on heavyweight audiophile vinyl and remastered from near-original master tapes by the album's original engineer, John Wood. Although the original tapes were unusable, John Wood had made a safety copy of the album in 1969 and those reels were used for this latest session.
The deluxe release comes in a box containing the original shop poster, a smaller live poster and a reprint of Nick's handwritten set list used for his live appearances, together with reproductions of the master tape and box lids. The disc is housed is a single-pocket, textured sleeve just as the original release would have been.Side 1
Time Has Told Me
Way to Blue
Day Is Done
The Thoughts of Mary Jane
Man in a Shed
Saturday Sun$59.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Paradise is There: The New Tigerlily RecordingsNatalie Merchant's career began when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. Serving as lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometime pianist, Merchant released five critically acclaimed studio albums with the band, including the platinum-selling In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man's Zoo (1989), Our Time in Eden (1992), and MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1993, after 12 years, to record her first solo album. Tigerlily (1995) was certified five-times platinum, and was followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), and Motherland (2001).
In 2010, Merchant returned with a thematic double album entitled Leave Your Sleep, her debut for Nonesuch Records. A meditation on childhood and mothering, the anthology comprised 19th and 20th century American and British classic children's poetry by the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Robert Graves, Edward Lear, and E.E. Cummings that Merchant had set to music. The result was praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic, with The Wall Street Journal calling it an ideal fit between poetic and musical forms, and the Independent, a hugely ambitious and beautifully realized double album.1. San Andreas Fault
2. Beloved Wife
5. The Letter
6. Where I Go
7. I May Know the Word
8. Seven Years
9. Cowboy Romance
11. Wonder$26.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Five Leaves Left (Awaiting Repress)Nick Drake's bucolic autumnal shades in his debut album of a similar name, heralded a new signing for Island Records: not traditional enough to be folk,
not weird enough to be psychedelic, Drake avoided the pitfalls of what was expected and collaborated with producer Joe Boyd, orchestrator Robert Kirby
and recording engineer John Wood to make a singular and almost unique record released to a largely indifferent media.
A few leaves fell in the right place and Nick's reputation grew, despite his early death at 24 in 1976, escalating into the world-wide fame he enjoys today.
Released initially only on vinyl and cassette, these formats became redundant with the dawning of CD and downloads - leaving a gaping hole that was
filled by high collectors prices for original pressings and the inevitable poor quality bootlegs.1. Time Has Told Me
2. River Man
3. Three Hours
4. Way to Blue
5. Day Is Done
6. Cello Song
7. The Thoughts of Mary Jane
8. Man in a Shed
9. Fruit Tree
10, Saturday Sun$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
A TreasuryA singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, Nick Drake
produced three studio albums of sombre beauty: FIVE LEAVES LEFT (1969),
BRYTER LAYTER (1970), and PINK MOON (1972). It's impossible to
keep count of the contemporary artists who cite Drake as an inspiration,
but a cursory round-up includes R.E.M., Paul Weller, Travis, Portishead,
The Coral, Coldplay, David Gray, Super Furry Animals and Beth Orton.
Along with household names of his creative lifetime - the Stones,
The Beatles, Marley, Hendrix - his albums have become an unofficial set text
for anyone passionate about music.
A Treasury is the definitive collection of 15 classic songs by Nick Drake.
With all the profile that he received earlier in the year for his 'rarities' release,
this is the perfect album for curious music lovers to pick up.1. Introduction
2. Hazey Jane II
3. River Man
4. Cello Song
5. Hazey Jane I
6. Pink Moon
7. Poor Boy
9. Place To Be
10. Northern Sky
12. Fruit Tree
13. Black Eyed Dog
14. Way To Blue
15. From The Morning$34.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Left My Heart In San FranciscoCan there really be a definitive album from a singer whose voice is one of the most immediately recognized and internationally cherished, and whose command of songs is akin to the manner in which an able-bodied masseuse handles delicate muscle tissues? If so, then I Left My Heart In San Francisco is that record, the 1962 effort a turning point for the great Tony Bennett and an all-time pop standard. Winner of two Grammy Awards, the record contains Bennetts signature track as well as eleven other indelible classics.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited-edition 180g LP presents Bennett in the finest sound hes ever enjoyed. Amazingly, this landmark recording has lavished in the vaults over the years and longed for the restoration that meticulous engineering can bring. Gone is the veiled haze that hung over the orchestrations, artificial ceiling that held back the highs, and cloudiness that obscured the entire range of Bennetts vocals. Previously unheard levels of warmth, expressiveness, and detailing are just some of the hallmarks of this terrific audiophile delight.
At the time of the albums sessions, Bennett found himself caught between the need to sing thin uptempo numbers in order to appease the marketplace and the desire to move beyond the jazzier material he tackled in the late 50s. Unwilling to compromise his will to sing ballads and swing, Bennett, along with producer Ernest Altschuler and arranger/pianist Ralph Sharon, found the perfect combination on I Left My Heart In San Francisco, replete with expansive orchestration, period echo, anthemic ballads, and lush pop arrangements that still leave plenty of room for intimacy and delicacy.
Theres little left to say about the timeless title track, amidst the most definitive songs ever recorded. Similarly, the closing The Best Is Yet to Come ranks equally high, with Bennetts rendition coming a full two years before Frank Sinatras version. Its no wonder why The Voice deemed Bennett his favorite singer. The proof is everywhere, whether on the brassy Rules of the Road, big-band bossa nova send-up of Cole Porters Love for Sale, tender Have I Told You Lately?, or the white-gloves treatment of the Broadway tune Once Upon a Time. Bennetts charismatic personality and refined singing ring true throughout, his burnished baritone as clear as spring water.
Now, hear this triumphant performance as if Bennett is singing to you on a private stage. Witness every breath, and experience the thrill of the singer holding a note for what seems like eternity on I'm Always Chasing Rainbows without flinching. Seldom, if ever, has a vocalists singing sounded so effortlessly natural and innate. Mobile Fidelitys 180g LP is simply unmatched in terms of sonics, spaciousness, and sensation.
One of the five-best vocal albums ever made. Order your collectors copy today!
This title is not eligible for discount.1. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
2. Once Upon a Time
3. Tender Is the Night
5. Love for Sale
6. Taking a Chance on Love
7. Candy Kisses
8. Have I Told You Lately?
9. Rules of the Road
10. Marry Young
11. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
12. The Best Is Yet to Come$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Family TreeFamily Tree features previously unreleased tracks from the vaults of the Estate of Nick Drake. The album, produced by Drake Estate manager Cally, tells the story
of Nick Drake's musical development in the years prior to recording his official debut, Five Leaves Left. Family Tree
explores the upbringing of an artist who - in his tragically short career - produced three albums which continue to
be treasured by fans. Recorded in the late 1960's, the 28 tracks feature lo-fi recordings made on a reel-to-reel tape
1. Come In To the Garden (Introduction)
2. They're Leaving Me Behind
3. Time Piece
4. Poor Mum (performed by Molly Drake)
5. Winter Is Gone
6. All My Trials (featuring Gabrielle Drake)
7. Mozart: Kegelstatt Trio for clarinet, viola and piano
8. Betty & Dupree
9. Strolling Down the Highway
10. Paddling In Rushmere
11. Cocaine Blues
13. Been Smoking Too Long
14. Black Mountain Blues
15. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
16. If You Leave Me
1. Here Come the Blues
2. Sketch I
3. Blues Run the Game
4. My Baby So Sweet
5. Milk and Honey
7. Bird Flew By
9. Strange Meeting II
10. Day Is Done
11. Come Into the Garden
12. Way To Blue
13. Do You Ever Remember? (performed by Molly Drake)$45.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Made To Love Magic
The rarities collection, Made to Love Magic, contains demos captured in 1968 (when Drake was studying at Cambridge University) as well as solo-acoustic sketches of later songs - and a newly discovered piece, Tow the Line, which Drake scholars believe is one of the last things he committed to tape. The song, recorded in 1974, was found, unlabeled, at the end of a master tape when original engineer John Wood was mixing this album.
Tow the Line, which lasts 2:16, is classic Drake, as simple as Pink Moon or any of his later works but almost more compelling because of its assertive, driving rhythm. Drake was an unerringly precise guitarist, and Tow the Line is an excellent showcase for his devices: He outlines the verses using a tapestry of delicate, yet tense, descending chords, and then chops out blunt, almost growly blues references on the refrain.
There are other delights on Magic, among them a solo treatment of River Man (from Five Leaves Left) without the string orchestra; the somber, anguishing love ode Clothes of Sand; and a relaxed journey through Rider on the Wheel. Far more interesting than typical demos, laced with the shadowy moods some artists spend years chasing in studios, these casual performances suggest that there was never anything casual about Drake's art: Even when he was just jotting down some idea, he couldn't help infecting it with that strange, mournful magic.
- Tom Moon (Rolling Stone)1. Rider On The Wheel
3. River Man
5. Thoughts Of Mary Jane
7. Hanging On A Star
8. Three Hours
9. Clothes Of Sand
11. Time Of No Reply
12. Black Eyed Dog
13. Tow The Line$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Swim TeamMusic thrives on freedom. Without boundaries or blueprints, songs not only come to life, but last for a very long time to come.
Dirty Heads' sixth full-length offering, SWIM TEAM [Five Seven Music], finds the group at its most free. The Orange County, CA quintet-Jared "Dirty J" Watson [co-lead vocals], Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell [co-lead vocals, guitar], Jon Olazabal [percussion], Matt Ochoa [drums], and David Foral [bass]-traffic between alternative, hip-hop, reggae, and rock with the same spirit and spark that's powered them since the beginning.
As a result, the hooks naturally became bigger, the experimentation got bolder, and the smoke blazed brighter
"We've put in so much hard work over the years that we have the freedom to do whatever we want now," affirms Jared. "Making the new record, I re-fell in love with everything about being in this band: writing music, playing shows, having fun, and where we're at. We spent every day not only working on songs, but laughing our asses off. What other people said didn't matter. The rules of being a proper songwriter and all of that bullshit didn't matter. If something felt good, we left it in there. It was so cool to get back to that feeling. Creating music was completely free. It was just fucking fun!"
For the better part of 15 years, Dirty Heads have quietly worked towards this point. In 2008, they emerged with the fan favorite full-length debut, Any Point In A Storm. Signature single "Lay Me Down" achieved an RIAA gold certification and clinched #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart for 11 weeks-a record run for that year. 2014 saw Sound of Change debut at #8 on the Billboard Top 200, garner acclaim from the likes of Esquire, and vault "My Sweet Summer" to the top of Alternative Radio. Most recently, 2016's self-titled Dirty Heads went Top 15 on the Top 200 and spawned the smash "That's All I Need," which racked up over 10.5 million Spotify streams and counting. Noisey summed up the album best as, "Killer." Simultaneously, they remain one of the world's most engaging and exhilarating live acts, selling out sheds coast to coast.
During early 2017, the group started writing songs with no expectations or plans and soon found themselves working on what would become SWIM TEAM. That boundless environment immediately fostered inspiration.
"We had some time off, and we were like, 'We might as well get in the studio and see what happens'," recalls Duddy. "In doing that, we were able to come up with some really good ideas. We didn't have any pressure to put out new music. It's a lot more ambient and simple. We went heavier on the hip-hop, which I love. After the first song, we agreed to just finish a record. We were all inspired."
In order to capture those moments, Dirty Heads handpicked a team of collaborators-Jonas Jeberg [Demi Lovato, Juicy J, Jason Derulo], "Lay Me Down" partner-in-crime Rome [Enrique Iglesias] of Sublime with Rome, Blueprint [Jay-Z, Kanye West, Timbaland, Eminem, Nas, Prodigy], Oren Yoel [Miley Cyrus, Kanye West], HEAVY [Andrew McMahon], and The Score-and recorded between Los Angeles and Orange County.
"On the last album, it was like a mad speed dating rush with a bunch of producers to see who worked best," says Jared. "We had never done that before, and it was cool. It was a different vibe, studio, and guy every day. There are only a few producers on SWIM TEAM. The only new guys were HEAVY, and we hit it off immediately. We were molding and mutating what Dirty Heads are but with something new. We wanted to create songs we hadn't heard before."
That brings us to the first single "Vacation." Produced by Jeberg, "Vacation" sways from bright sun-soaked piano and booming horns into an unshakable and hashtaggable chant, "Hey, I'm on vacation every single day cuz I love my occupation. Hey, I'm on vacation, if you don't like your life then you should go and change it."
"We spent eight years in a van, worked hard, and now we're here," says Duddy. "It's almost like a vacation now."
"I want 'Vacation' to speak to people out there who have paid their dues and love their jobs," adds Jared. "For those who don't enjoy what they do every day, it sends a message that, 'It's not too late to do something else.' If you're not happy, life is way too fucking short to hang around and do things you don't love. We're blessed to do something we're passionate about. We hope you feel the same!"
Working with HEAVY, the emotional "Celebrate" volleys from vulnerable verses into confessional raps and a heart-wrenching refrain about being away from home. It's a classic pop ballad Dirty Heads-style with the power to resonate amongst listeners everywhere.
"It strikes a chord for those of us who travel a lot and leave friends and families at home," explains Duddy. "We miss so much on the road. We're humans. We have wives. We have kids. We're happy to do what we love, but at the same time we miss our loved ones."
Then there's "High Tea," which tows the line between 1940s-inspired crooning and grimy East Coast rhyme gymnastics like The Ink Spots guesting on Paul's Boutique.
"That's my favorite song we've ever written," beams Jared. "The melody was super catchy, and there's an old school guitar part. We juxtapose those mellow, airy, and ethereal elements with hard-hitting hip-hop. We were drinking these weed kombuchas at the time," he laughs.
In the end, SWIM TEAM represents Dirty Heads at their most dynamic, diverse, and definitive.
"When you hear it, I just want you to walk away thinking, 'Damn, that sounds like Dirty Heads'," concludes Duddy.
Jared leaves off, "I want you to feel the same way I did making it. Join this weird, odd, and wonderful secret society we've created over the past fifteen years. You're part of it now. Welcome to the team."1. Staloney
2. High Tea
3. Mad At It
6. Diamonds And Pearls
7. Get Somewhere
8. So Glad You Made It
9. God Damn Liar
11. West Coast$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DunesOver the past three years,the Santa Barbarian comrades that make up Gardens &Villa -Chris Lynch,Adam
Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop, and Dusty Ineman - went from playing local bills to being
veterans of the road.After releasing their self-titled debut on Secretly Canadian in 2011, they pushed their
van's odometer into the six-digit range, zigzagging North America and Europe with over 350 shows in just 2
years. Gardens & Villa emerged a wiser, crystallized version of themselves.
Those experiences planted the seeds for the band's new batch of cohesive, personal, and beautifully layered
pop songs - homegrown in the confines of the band's beach side practice space. When it came time to
record, they searched out acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, LCD
Soundsystem, Hercules & Love Affair) and these five surf-town natives found themselves traveling to the
unlikely locale of Benton Harbor, MI (pop. 10,040) in January. There they landed at the Key Club, located
deep in the recesses of a converted locksmith's building where they would record what would become their
second full-length, Dunes.
Gardens &Villa burrowed into the Key Club's retro-themed studio and living space, only leaving the facility
five times over the next month. The disconnect between Santa Barbara's familiar sunny beaches and
Michigan's snow-covered lake shore led to the group's creative unraveling in the studio. The band lost track
of the hours, days, and weeks as blinking analog machines captured the intense journey. In the process,
Dunes was poured through Sly Stone's original custom-built Flickinger recording console.
With just a week left before deadline, Gardens & Villa sought a brief refuge from the studio where their
progress had stalled. They went on a trip,traversing winding roads past frozen tundra and barren trees and
into the wilderness of the nearby state park's tall dunes. The group climbed to the top and collapsed into a
combination of sand and snow.Simultaneously reminded of home as well as their distance from it,their jaws
dropped as they turned to see Lake Michigan's majestic and surreal expanse stretching toward the horizon.
Supported by Goldsworthy's guidance, the band went back to the studio and ultimately emerged with a
record beaming with dystopian energy, subconscious lyrics, and uncompromising sincerity. Lynch has
seamlessly integrated his bansuri flutes and Rasmussen has fleshed out his looming synths alongside shades
of '80s cult films soundscapes that lurk just underneath the songs in an unnoticeable-yet-omnipresent
fashion.Like the awe-inspiring clarity of sitting atop Michigan's dunes,the band's forthcoming record shares
a clear and evocative vision of where Gardens & Villa's members have traveled, what they've learned, and
what lies ahead.1. Domino
2. Colony Glen
3. Bullet Train
6. Purple Mesas
9. Thunder Glove
10. Love Theme$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Paper GodsDuran personified new wave for much of the mainstream audience. Duran Duran's reputation was built through music videos, which accentuated their fashion-model looks and glamorous sense of style. Without music videos, it's likely that their pop-funk -- described by the group as the Sex Pistols meets Chic-- would never have made them international pop stars.
Inspired by David Bowie and Roxy Music, as well as post-punk and disco, schoolmates Nick Rhodes (keyboards) and John Taylor (guitar) formed Duran Duran in 1978 with their friends Simon Colley (bass, clarinet) and Stephen Duffy (vocals). Taking their name from a character in Roger Vadim's psychedelic sci-fi film Barbarella, the group began playing gigs in the Birmingham club, supported by a drum machine. Within a year, Duffy and Colley both left the and were replaced by former TV Eye vocalist Andy Wickett and drummer Roger Taylor. After recording a demo, John Taylor switched to bass and guitarist John Curtis joined the band, only to leave within a matter of months. The group placed an ad in Melody Maker, which drew the attention of Andy Taylor, who became their guitarist. Following Wickett's departure in 1979, a pair of singers passed through the group before Simon LeBon, a former member of the punk band Dog Days and a drama student at Birmingham University, joined in early 1980.1. Paper Gods (feat. Mr Hudson)
2. Last Night In The City (feat. Kiesza)
3. You Kill Me With Silence
4. Pressure Off (feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)
5. Face For Today
7. What Are The Chances?
8. Sunset Garage
9. Change The Skyline (feat. Jonas Bjerre)
10. Butterfly Girl
11. Only In Dreams
12. The Universe Alone$32.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Fuchsia Swing SongDuring the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Times readers what titles they'd like to see make the list. This album is one of five new reissues that were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
Recorded in 1964 immediately after leaving the Miles Davis Quintet, Sam Rivers' Fuchsia Swing Song is one of the more auspicious debuts the label released in the mid-'60s. Rivers was a seasoned session player (his excellent work on Larry Young's Into Somethin' is a case in point) and a former member of Herb Pomeroy's Big Band before he went out with Davis. By the time of his debut, Rivers had been deep under the influence of Coltrane and Coleman, but wasn't willing to give up the blues just yet. Hence the sound on Fuchsia Swing Song is one of an artist who is at once very self-assured, and in transition.
Using a rhythm section that included Tony Williams (whose Life Time he had guested on), pianist Jaki Byard, and bassist Ron Carter, Rivers took the hard bop and blues of his roots and poured them through the avant-garde colander. Today, players like Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, and James Carter do it all the time, but in 1964 it was unheard of. You either played hard bop or free; Davis' entire modal thing hadn't even completely blasted off yet. The title and opening track is a case in point.
Rivers opens with an angular figure that is quickly translated by the band into sweeping, bopping blues. Rivers legato is lightning quick and his phrasing touches upon Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Coleman, and Coltrane, but his embouchure is all his. He strikes the balance and then takes off on both sides of the aisle. Byard's comping is actually far more than that, building in rhythmic figures in striated minors just behind the tenor. Downstairs Blues Upstairs sounds, initially anyway, like it might have come out of the Davis book so deep is its blue root. But courtesy of Byard and Williams, Rivers goes to the left after only four choruses, moving onto the ledge a bit at a time, running knotty arpeggios through the center of the melody and increasingly bending his notes into succeeding intervals while shifting keys and times signatures
He never goes completely over the edge as he would on his later Blue Note dates. The most difficult cut on the date is Luminous Monolith, with its swing-like figure introducing the melody. Eight bars in, the syncopation of the rhythm sections begins a stutter stem around the time and then the harmony with Byard building dense chords for Rivers to jump off of. On the Connoisseur Series CD (shame on Blue Note once again for making some of its best outside records limited editions; titles like this should be as readily available as Horace Silver's Song for My Father, but the label had been playing it ever so safe for a while and making fans buy the limited number of titles over and again) there are alternate takes of Luminous Monolith and three more of Downstairs Blues Upstairs, making it a very worthwhile look at the entire session.
This is a highly recommended date. Rivers never played quite like this again.
- Thom Jurek1. Fuchsia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
6. Ellipsis$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You're A Very Lovely WomanAmong folk-rock devotees and power-pop cultists, Emitt Rhodes is a legendary figure with a powerful mystique. The prodigiously talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist first came to prominence as the teenaged leader of The Merry-Go-Round, a unique L.A. baroque folk-rock quartet whose lone 1967 album is now regarded as being in the same class as the debut discs of such 60s contemporaries as the Byrds, Love, the Left Banke and the Buffalo Springfield.
The Merry-Go-Roundwhich also included guitarist Gary Kato, ex-Leaves bassist Bill Rinehart and former Grass Roots drummer Joel Larsonscored an early hit with the infectiously jangly Live. The song (which would be covered in the 80s by the Bangles) became a major regional hit in the Los Angeles area. Lives equally distinctive B-side, Time Will Show the Wiser, was covered the following year by Fairport Convention. The bands second single, the bittersweet, orchestrated Youre a Very Lovely Woman, was an equally impressive achievement.
Those three songs are all featured on Youre a Very Lovely Woman, which offers a consistently intoxicating mix of Beatlesque vocal harmonies, ringing folk-rock guitars, sparkling songcraft and playful baroque and psychedelic touches.
Although The Merry-Go-Round would disband two years after releasing their only LP, the album has gained steadily in notoriety and prestige over the years. Original copies of the album have become rare collectors items, regularly changing hands for exorbitant prices among fans.
Now, Youre a Very Lovely Woman is once again available on vinyl to thrill longtime admirers and new fans alike. Mastered from the original analog tapes and pressed on high-quality high-definition vinyl, the album includes complete, meticulously reproduced original cover art.1. Live
2. Time Will Show the Wiser
3. On Your Way Out
4. Gonna Fight The War
5. Had To Run Around
6. We're In Love
7. You're a Very Lovely Woman
8. Where Have You Been All My Life?
9. Early In the Morning
10. Low Down
11. Clown's No Good
12. Gonna Leave You Alone$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
VisualsMew frontman Jonas Bjerre has worked on the projections for the band's live shows since their early days. Usually, the Danish trio finish an album and Bjerre gets to work on the visuals. For their seventh record, though, the singer decided to turn things upside down, working on the visuals first and seeing if they informed the music. The resultant record feels like a culmination for one of rock's most ambitious and inventive groups: Visuals is where Bjerre and his bandmates, bassist Johan Wohlert and drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen, join the dots of a career that has spanned over two decades. "We do everything on this album ourselves," says Bjerre. "We produced it ourselves, I did the artwork, I'm doing the visuals. Visuals felt like a fitting title. I like the idea that each song has a visual aspect to it somehow."
Mew have a tradition of, as Bjerre puts it, hiding away in a cave for three or four years between albums. The tour that accompanied 2015's +- album found the band reaching a creative peak that they felt was too exhilarating to be dampened by a period of extended cave-dwelling. They arrived home with demos that had been written on the road and the spark was lit. They wanted to break the cycle and make an album quickly. "We just felt like, "if we do it the normal way, it's gonna be another three or four years before we get to do it again'," says Bjerre. "If you keep doing it like that, ultimately you make a handful of albums and then you're ready for retirement." The trio wanted to make an album spontaneously, keeping the energy they'd generated on the road going.
They set to work in Copenhagen and started knocking the demos they'd written on tourbuses and in hotel rooms into shape. At the same time, new songs were emerging in reaction to what was going on around them. Mew aren't a political band but couldn't help but be affected by rolling news and the death of an icon. "It was pretty dark last year, so some of the darkness in the lyrics comes from that. You definitely get the feeling that things don't last forever when someone like David Bowie dies." Visuals was completed in just under a year - what Bjerre describes as an "incredible" feat for a band used to periods of prolonged tinkering. "Spending less time on it, you can still maintain the feeling you had when you first wrote it," says Bjerre.
Bjerre doesn't know where Mew songs come from. He finds it hard to pin down his lyrics, his melodies, himself. It's what makes his band so special, that thrill that songs could go anywhere, that understated verses could suddenly rocket skyward, anthemic choruses could implode into beautiful soundscapes or sophisticated grooves could be crushed like a tincan. "I don't consciously know why the songs come out the way they do," says Bjerre. "It's a lot of trial and error for us. Even though a song is on an album, it keeps growing because we get to go out and perform it for an audience. I like the thought it can keep growing. It's never really finished."
Visuals is Mew at their most compact, their chemistry at its most potent. With only one song over five minutes, it's their most concise album. Bjerre says there was no need for a grand, overarching concept. Each song on Visuals represents its own little chapter and story: nothing needed to be overly long. "Each album is like a collection of thoughts and ideas that fit the time we're in," he says. "They're like little diary entries, except they're a little bit more veiled perhaps. To me, albums are memories of times in my life."
The song that led the way was the slow-building euphoria of Nothingness And No Regrets. Bjerre says that Mew lyrics often have two or three different meanings, and the opener is a reflection on life and death at the same time as "imagining this team of people trying to accomplish something and ultimately failing." The expansive 80s-style pop of The Wake Of Your Life is about legacy and what's left after you've gone. "These are things you think about more and more the older you get." It started out as a synth-pop track with lots of programming before taking on a different shape when the band added guitars over the top. "We try to change the method of how we reach the destination all the time cos if you do things the same way all the time, the results will often be very similar," says Bjerre.
The discordant stomp of Candy Pieces All Smeared Out came about after Bjerre went back over some demos he'd made as a youngster on an Omega 500. "Some of them were interesting sonically so I kept some of the programming. We built the song on top of this really weird 8-bit computer track." The song sums up the emotional to and fro and ca
ptivating contrariness at the heart of Visuals: it's an album that's both nostalgic and contemporary, that looks back whilst marching forward.
The blissful glide of In A Better Place is a prime example of the impulsive environment that the songs were written in, a drumbeat by Jorgensen inspiring Bjerre to write a song immediately, whilst the atmospheric rock of Ay Ay Ay was based around a choir part that Bjerre had come up with a few years ago. All of the vocal parts were recorded in the booth that Bjerre had constructed in his apartment in Copenhagen. "I like waking up in the middle of the night and feeling inspired by something and being able to go in my booth and just sing it," he says.
Bjerre says that the celebratory groove of Learn Our Crystals "is one of our weirdest songs." Poppy and fantastical, it had a familiar feeling to the singer as soon as he wrote it. The soulful sway of Shoulders has an R'n'B feel to it, whilst Bjerre had earmarked the mesmerising intricacy Carry Me To Safety as the album's closer as soon as it'd been written. "I just like how it twists and turns," he says. "It's a reflection on life and being in a band, what it means to be in a band, dedicating so many years of your life to this thing."
Twenty years into their career, Mew have the irrepressible ebullience of a band on their debut album. Visuals feels like the beginning of a new chapter. "Mew is what I always come back to, it's a companion to my life. It's always been there, as long as I can remember. It's a big part of the footprint that we'll leave behind," says Bjerre. Mew march on: this is the sound of a band seizing the moment.1. Nothingness and No Regrets
2. The Wake of Your Life
3. Candy Pieces All Smeared Out
4. In a Better Place
5. Ay Ay Ay
6. Learn Our Crystals
7. Twist Quest
11. Carry Me to Safety$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Condolences (Gray w/Black Splatter)Pressed On Gray Vinyl With Black Splatter
A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 90s, WEDNESDAY 13 has firmly established himself as the world's premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. With a vivid and vile imagination that has endeared him to countless fans of riff-driven macabre over the last two decades, he has been one of rock's most prolific protagonists, spreading his credo of grave-robbing rock 'n' roll and Hallowe'en debauchery around the globe and unleashing a seemingly endless stream of blood-spattered albums and EPs.
"All my favorite stuff, like KISS and ALICE COOPER and TWISTED SISTER, those guys set the bar pretty high," he states. "I always wanted to do something in the worlds of those bands. That's the blueprint. It had to be as outrageous and crazy as that and I wanted to be on someone's wall one day and have their parents say 'Oh my god, what is that?' The formula's still there from when I started doing it as a kid and started wanting to be in a band. It's just GI Joe and Dracula!"
After several years of sharpening his creative teeth, WEDNESDAY 13 emerged from the fetid crypt of obscurity with his band FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS FROM PLANET 13, those masters of snotty schlock rock that released an astonishing five studio albums and six EPs between 1996 and 2002. Always the leader of the revolting pack, WEDNESDAY 13 then became a bona fide international rock star as frontman for the MURDERDOLLS, his collaboration with SLIPKNOT's Joey Jordison. The band took the world by storm, with Europe and the UK, in particular, succumbing to the feral charms of 2002 debut album, »Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls«; a raucous eruption of big tunes and bad attitude that noisily redefined the horror punk genre. After MURDERDOLLS went on an extended hiatus in 2004, WEDNESDAY 13 embarked on a widely lauded solo career that again provided him with an outlet for his relentless outpouring of fiendish musical and lyrical ideas. Albums like »Transylvania 90210« (released by Roadrunner in 2005), »Fang Bang« and »Skeletons« all cemented our pallid hero's reputation as the bastard son of ALICE COOPER and THE MISFITS, while his outlaw country project, BOURBON CROW and one-off glam metal vehicle, GUNFIRE 76 proved that he had sufficient versatility to survive outside the graveyard and abattoir.
MURDERDOLLS reconvened in 2010 for the vicious »Women And Children Last« album and another successful world tour before disappearing once more into the freezing midnight fog, leaving WEDNESDAY to revive his solo career with a few thousand volts of wicked electricity yet more highly praised albums and tours including 2014's scintillating acoustic opus »Undead Unplugged« and the following year's thunderous »Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out & Plague«. However, absolutely nothing that WEDNESDAY has created in the past has even touched upon the horrifying potency and allure of his brand new studio album, »Condolences«.
Frustrated with the arduous process of releasing his own music, our favorite black-hearted freak has thrown himself and his music into a whirling maelstrom of reinvention. The result is not just the heaviest and most authentically disturbing record of the great man's career but also a huge creative leap forward, neatly encapsulated by the new album's simple and direct title.
"It's more of a serious WEDNESDAY 13 record, I guess," he says. "The campiness has gone and it's taken a darker vibe. It's definitely not in the camp, sleazy world anymore. The band is visually stronger and that's taken things to a new level. Normally my album titles are parodies of something, like »Women And Children Last«, that's a VAN HALEN album title gone wrong! (laughs) So I wanted to make sure that this record came across as a brand new version of WEDNESDAY 13."
In musical terms, »Condolences« showcases WEDNESDAY's growing obsession with the world of heavy metal and its endless possibilities for exploring tales of horror and violence. Produced by renowned studio guru Zeuss, new songs like anthemic first single 'What The Night Brings' and the pile-driving 'Blood Sick' still exhibit a dash of B-movie weirdness and are full of WEDNESDAY's trademark twisted lyrics, but where previous albums were rooted in the worlds of punk rock and glam metal, »Condolences« is a full-on modern metal record with gigantic balls and the attitude to match. From the glowering menace of 'Good Riddance' to the grandiose hellishness of the album's 7-minute title track, it's living, breathing, murdering proof that the WEDNESDAY 13 of 2017 means business. And business is mean.
"The punk rock vibe has left the building and it's become a full-on metal vibe," WEDNESDAY agrees. "I've been the horror-punk guy for years, but this is horror metal. It's just evolution. Over the last ten years, I've become a metalhead for the most part. That second MURDERDOLLS record just amped the whole thing up, and the guys in the band have influenced me with so much other stuff. It's not just me with my SEX PISTOLS, ALICE COOPER and RAMONES records anymore! (laughs) Now I've got my band incorporating everything from death metal to rock'n'roll. It's all across the boards. There are no rules. We can do whatever we want, whatever fits."
Manifestly the strongest, heaviest and most individual album of his lengthy career, »Condolences« promises to push WEDNESDAY 13 into heavy music's upper echelons once again. With determined plans to tour relentlessly in support of the new record, the future is looking dark, dangerous, exhilarating and wildly, unapologetically theatrical.
"It's non-stop touring once the record comes out," WEDNESDAY concludes. "We just did our first video for 'What The Night Brings' and the visuals are really cool. I've incorporated a lot of stuff I've been doing live, like this devil character I've been transforming into at shows, and that got worked in. We're taking the music, the imagery and the entire stage show up a level. It's gonna be a full-on theatrical stage production, so I'll be busy as fuck on stage! I've been doing this shit for so many years, I started thinking 'How can I make this fun again?' (laughs)"1. Last Rites
2. What The Night Brings
4. Blood Sick
5. Good Riddance
6. You Breathe, I Kill
7. Omen Amen
8. Cruel To You
9. Eulogy XIII
10. Prey For Me
11. Lonesome Road To Hell
13. Death Infinity$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDI-SUN-5817xThe Pleasure Seekers
What A Way To DieThe archetype for the '60s-era girl group was etched indelibly into stone, like a commandment: three pretty girls with matching outfits and bouffant hairdos would sing, with musical backing supplied by a bunch of guys standing in the shadows. The Quatro sisters shattered that archetype forever with the Pleasure Seekers, an all-girl teenage rock & roll group who played all the instruments themselves and were fully capable of wiping the stage with any male band that crossed their path.
The Quatro girls had been brought up in a musically-minded family, nurtured with classical piano and vocal lessons. As Patti recalls, "By 1964, I had been taking guitar lessons, hanging with musicians in the local music scene. We had seen a Beatles concert, and I was quite dazed and focused at the event, watching the audience cry and scream out of control. It was my epiphany moment, and I was determined to start an all-girl band."
Shortly thereafter, the first lineup of the Pleasure Seekers fell into place with Patti Quatro (lead guitar), Marylou Ball (rhythm guitar), Suzi Quatro (bass), Diane Baker (keyboards), Nan Ball (drums) and vocal duties shared by all. Around the fall of 1965 the girls dared local teen club manager Dave Leone to give them a slot at his popular Hideout Club, claiming they were better than most of the other live bands there. "You're on," responded Leone, "in two weeks. Three songs!"
The Pleasure Seekers were soon a popular feature at the club, honing their skills alongside the likes of the Rationals, the Amboy Dukes and Bob Seger & the Last Heard. "In the beginning, there was a lot of skepticism," remembers Patti, "especially the first night. The boys crowded the stage, the girlfriends pulled them away with laughter, as if 'Girls playing?! Yeah, right!' It was always satisfying to see them be silenced quickly when we began playing. We grew used to seeing slack jaws open in surprise." Next they were asked by Leone to record and release a single on his Hideout label.
That March 1966 release is now regarded as the greatest "girl garage" single of the era: "Never Thought You'd Leave Me" b/w "What a Way to Die." "Dave brought lyrics, and we put the songs together quickly," remembers Patti. "We felt very legit in making this record at a small local studio. Nan was the sexy voice on 'Never Thought You'd Leave Me,' and there was lots of laughter as Marylou added the screams on 'What a Way to Die.'" Suzi Quatro remembers the recording as "very important and memorable."
The Pleasure Seekers were soon in demand in the region, playing teen clubs, parties, colleges and local TV shows. After a series of lineup changes, the band brought in older Quatro sister Arlene (keyboards) and Darline Arnone (drums), the first female drummer sponsored by Slingerland Drums. A short time later, Pami Benford joined-up on guitar and bass (that lineup lasting through most of 1968). "It was a very versatile group," remembers Patti, "with Pami and Suzi sharing bass, and Pami and I sharing lead and rhythm guitars."
"The gender bias was my hot button," recalls Arlene, "along with confidence in our musical abilities. With women musicians dismissed as a novelty, I delighted in watching the audience go from skepticism/ridicule, to shock/cheers." For Suzi, though, this period was where she learned her craft: "I considered myself a musician, and didn't really think about gender too much." Two tracks recorded in 1967, but unissued at the time, "Elevator Express" and "Gotta Get Away," highlight the band's growing musical maturity since their Hideout debut. "Detroit was the best learning ground in the world for musicians," recalls Suzi, "with an amazing energy and creativity that is in every successful artist that has come out of the city." "We were actually one of the earliest Detroit bands traveling the country," adds Patti. "Everyone wanted this unusual all girl band who rocked an entire Motown revue (changing instruments and singers throughout) and an entire Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour revue, as well as covering English bands, acid rock and everything in between."
Signing up with Associated Booking Corporation, the group began making the transition from local to national act. Producer Dick Corby caught the Pleasure Seekers at Trude Heller's in New York's Greenwich Village and signed them to a Mercury Records deal in early 1968. To keep rein on their finances in NYC, Patti recalls, "We booked Arthur's nightclub for a month, staying at the infamous rock Gorham Hotel, recording by day-playing by night." Also in residence were the Who, the Blues Magoos and an assortment of other bands. "Hitting NYC as young teens, it was exciting, scary, fun-all emotions churning," she continues. "We felt we had hit the big time, going from the tiny local Hideout session to the huge Mercury professional studio facility, complete with session people adding strings and other elements."
A single pairing "Good Kind of Hurt" and "Light of Love" was released in April 1968, while a third song, "Locked in Your Love," remained in the can. The group then headed out to the Northwest for a lengthy tour. "The Northwest tour was awesome," remembers Patti. "We were billed with Canned Heat, Boyce & Hart and Merilee Rush, and were held over six weeks to tour with Eric Burdon and the Animals. The Mercury single was out, momentum was surging." Both sides of the single were getting airplay, but ultimately it failed to gain any traction. "Really neither song reflected our own sound," admits Patti. "We rearranged 'Light of Love' for live performance, feeling disconnected to the record, yet realizing we had to play ball with the executives to keep us rolling."
Ultimately Mercury's vision for the Pleasure Seekers clashed rather sharply with the band's vision. "The suits wanted tits and ass," recalls Darline, "wowing Vegas crowds, playing tinkly tunes in lavish costumes." "In that male-dominated music era, we were strictly a novelty, and a high-risk endeavor," adds Patti. "The record executives felt women musicians would fall in love or get pregnant so were not worth investing the time and money. We had to kick down many doors. We were serious musicians, and in it for the right reasons. In the end, we were not happy with a forced direction that Mercury Records had in mind, and ended up leaving the label to rock our music in our own fashion."
After a memorable 1968 Far East tour, playing for wounded returning American soldiers from Vietnam, the Pleasure Seekers (with new drummer Nancy Rogers) returned to a Detroit that was now, in Patti's words, "exploding with heavier sounds. That sparked us to change direction with new ideas we had been exploring. Arlene left the band and we brought in our youngest sister Nancy (vocals). With Suzi's Joplinesque vocals combined with Nancy's wailing 'female Robert Plant' style, we enjoyed a harder edged, 'double-punch' effect."
The last four songs on the album, "White Pig Blues," "Brain Confusion," "Where Have You Gone?" and the atmospheric psychedelic mover "Mr. Power," all date from this 1968-69 period when the Pleasure Seekers were playing the Grande Ballroom alongside the MC5, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes and SRC. With this change in musical direction and the departure of Arlene and Pami, the band forged on as Cradle. Suzi Quatro departed for England in 1971, launching a successful solo career. Patti and Nancy continued with Cradle until 1973 when Patti joined another pioneering female rock group, Fanny.
The Pleasure Seekers reunited recently in April 2012 (minus Suzi) for a well-received show in their hometown, where they were inducted into Detroit's Hall of Fame. "I think all of us Quatro girls are extremely proud of our pioneering days" reflects Patti. "In a renaissance-era of music, we kicked down doors for women to rock heavy. There were key times in our lives of making decisions that may have turned us towards larger fame, but less happiness-depending on your philosophy of such things. The Pleasure Seekers could have been a Las Vegas show act bringing in buckets of money or on Motown, turned very formulaic girlie-soul. But we stayed true to our goals, and I don't think any of us have any regrets of staying our course and playing the music that moved us. It's all been a thrilling ride with great memories."
- Mike & Anja Stax (Ugly Things magazine)1. Intro By DJ The Lord
2. Gotta Get Away
3. Never Thought You'd Leave Me
4. Light Of Love
5. Good Kind Of Hurt
6. What A Way To Die
7. Elevator Express
8. Locked In Your Love
9. White Pig Blues
10. Brain Confusion
11. Where Have You Gone
12. Mr. Power$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hard Times Are Relative (Pre-Order)Release Date: June 15, 2018*
Our favorite songs are like one-night stands: passionate or sad, capable of recalling moments with Proustian power. Our favorite artists are lifelong companions: fixtures we turn to for comfort and highs.
Over the last two decades, Jason Boland and the Stragglers have delivered and become both.
"We've always just wanted to entertain ourselves and put out music that would be a part of people's lives, not just something passing to them," says Boland. "We want to be something more monolithic." He pauses and grins as he adds, "We're just a social experiment at this point."
Boland is talking about the deep body of work he's created with his band of jangly honky-tonk aces, the Stragglers--Grant Tracy on bass; drummer and background vocalist Brad Rice; Nick Worley on fiddle, mandolin, and harmonies; and Cody Angel on guitar and pedal steel. Fronted and co-founded by Boland with Tracy and Rice, the band has featured only a handful of other members over the last 20 years, all of whom--whether they're currently Stragglers or not--are like brothers. As they've independently sold more than half a million albums, the outfit has packed iconic dancehalls, theaters, and other big rooms across the country.
With their new record Hard Times are Relative, Boland and the Stragglers stack the smart, road-ready outlaw country longtime fans have come to expect alongside creative risks that flirt with punk and psychedelic sounds. The 10-song collection is a rare blend of instantly gratifying and rewarding of closer listens--a definitively Stragglers accomplishment. "It's an upbeat album--a lot of fast songs, but it doesn't try to be fast," Boland says with characteristic insight. "It just sits in the pocket."
No one has combined Woody Guthrie's conscience with Waylon Jenning's panache quite like Boland and the Stragglers. Since debuting in 1999 with the Lloyd Maines-produced Pearl Snaps, the band has matured without taming their refreshing irreverence. "We always joke that we try to take as much as we can from Lloyd and apply it to producing our own records," Boland says. "We've worked with him so many times. The most obvious thing he taught us is: just be musical. Don't hammer through the songs like a garage band all the time."
That mix of subtle musical sophistication and unruly Oklahoma junkyard pedigree has resulted in some of the best independent honky tonk in recent memory. "You just have to be where you are--keep plugging away and doing the best you can at any moment," Boland says, reflecting on their career thus far. "For a bunch of slackers [like us], that's not too terribly tough."
Co-produced by the Stragglers, David Percefull, and Adam Odor, Hard Times are Relative is the band's ninth studio record. All songs were recorded live to tape and without the use of any computers--now a Stragglers' hallmark. Upbeat steel guitar kicks off album opener "I Don't Deserve You" before Boland's signature baritone thunders in, smooth and stronger than ever. When fellow sly honky-tonk champ Sunny Sweeney joins him in out-front harmonies, the two become the rootsy dream team you never knew you always wanted.
The album's title track is a masterpiece: an epic story song about a young orphaned brother and sister depending on the land and one another. Rich details layered over strings paint a scene that's compelling and lush. The song has become one of Boland's favorites. "Folk music is hard to write. Country music is hard to write," he says, reflecting on the difficulty of spinning a long tale while keeping it simple and engaging. "When you hit your own little tuning fork in your head, that one is a hard sell, even to me. But I enjoy that song."
"Right Where I Began" sounds like vintage Stragglers: clever wordplay and muscly guitars ready for two-steppers. Fiddle and vocal showcase "Searching for You" shows off Rice's and Worley's harmonies that are downright divine. Crunchy guitars drive "Dee Dee OD'd" as Boland offers another round of wry observations. Easy gem "Going Going Gone" makes a solid argument for fiddle in rock-and-roll as Boland deftly turns a baseball metaphor into a classic leaving song.
Gorgeous waltz "Do You Remember When" bemoans some of modern life's emphasis on disposability and the dismissal of heritage. Rollicking "Tattoo of a Bruise" picks up the same idea, and is tongue-in-cheek country doo-wop, fueled by fiddle, steel, and drums. "I'm not judging anybody," Boland clarifies. "Our music has always called it like we see it, right or wrong, smarter or dumber."
Praise for the past but acknowledgement of nostalgia's limitations is a career-long theme for Boland, and one that this record continues to carry. "We don't want to lose the chili recipes and the Schroeder Halls because people are moving on to faster, louder, and newer," he says. "But instead of just hemming and hawing, remembering what's old and gone, we want to have new experiences within those frameworks--make memories with what's left of the good stuff."
With lines like "Empty pockets don't mean you need money / It's just another place to put your hands / And focus on that rock you've been kicking / One day it's going to be a grain of sand," "Predestined" challenges listeners as it soothes. The song is a lyrical victory for Boland, who's long-since become a master of distilling heady ideas into digestible nuggets.
Penned by Oklahoma music godfather Randy Crouch, "Grandfather's Theme" serves as the album's climactic closer. Attacked with psychedelic ferocity by the band, the song picks up the record's recurring concepts of the ground's insistence on shifting, inevitability, and our complex relationship with the past. Stripped down as Boland sings, the song soars off into a trippy, robust jam-band send-off--a serious triumph especially considering it's a defiantly analog recording. "We're fighting the digital world because they can make it so huge," Boland says, discussing the balancing act of filling out songs while letting them breathe. "I'm really proud if what we did."
As he mulls over where the Stragglers have been and where they're headed, Boland comes back to one idea over and over again: he and his band are who they are, and with that genuineness comes grit, beauty, and staying power. "We're fortunate that we're not trying to fool anybody," he says. "That's what it comes down to. We're all loners but somehow a team. Now that I can look at it all, I can see: it's been fun."
Here's to the next 20 years.
*Please note that release dates are subject to change.1. I Don't Deserve You
2. Hard Times Are Relative
3. Right Where I Began
4. Searching For You
5. Do You Remember When
6. Dee Dee OD'd
7. Going Going Gone
8. Tattoo of a Bruise
10. Grandfather's Theme$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now