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  • Dick's Picks Vol 6 (Awaiting Repress) Dick's Picks Vol 6 (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $99.99
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    Dick's Picks Vol 6 (Awaiting Repress)

    LIMITED EDITION! Hand Numbered 1-1500!

    Artwork, Packaging And Mastering All Approved By The Band


    Remastered From The Original Analog Tapes


    Recorded on Oct. 14, 1983 at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT



    After sticking to the 1970s for each of the previous volumes, the preeminent live concert series from the Grateful Dead moves into the '80s with Volume 6. The complete three-hour concert is a remarkable snapshot of the Dead's live output in their third decade on the road. Originally released on CD in 1997, Volume 6 is now the latest installment in Brookvale Records' critically-acclaimed Dick's Picks Vinyl Series.


    This stunning 5-LP set is pressed on 180 gram audiophile-grade black vinyl and limited to only 1500 copies worldwide. Each 12 x 12 box set is individually hand-numbered and features artwork, packaging, and mastering all approved by the band. As was the case with the three preceding volumes, Dick's Picks Volume 6 has been painstakingly remastered for vinyl from the original tapes by longtime Bay-area engineer Jeffrey Norman. Whether you're a diehard Deadhead or just a casual listener, we think you'll agree this classic recording has absolutely never sounded better.

    1. Alabama Getaway
    2. Greatest Story Ever Told
    3. They Love Each Other
    4. Mama Tried
    5. Big River
    6. Althea
    7. C.C. Rider
    8. Tennessee Jed
    9. Hell In A Bucket
    10. Keep Your Day Job
    11. Scarlet Begonias
    12. Fire On The Mountain
    13. Estimated Prophet
    14. Eyes Of The World
    15. Drums
    16. Spinach Jam
    17. The Other One
    18. Stella Blue
    19. Sugar Magnolia
    20. U.S. Blues
    Grateful Dead
    $99.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 5 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (Awaiting Repress) The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $44.99
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    The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (Awaiting Repress)

    In 2003, Warner Bros/Rhino released the epic 17 track CD The Very Best Of Grateful Dead featuring the band's hits and classic tracks not only from the Warner vaults, but from the Grateful Dead label and Artista Records. All 17 tracks off the CD, hand picked by Dead archivists, have been lovingly remastered by Friday music honcho Joe Reagoso with Kevin Gray. Friday Music is proud to present the release for the first time as a limited-edition, 2 disc, 180 gram audiophile vinyl release housed in a gatefold cover with a bevy of rare photos and a complete LP vinyl full-color cover discography.
    1. Eyes Of The World
    2. Truckin'
    3. Box Of Rain
    4. Touch Of Grey
    5. Sugar Magnolia
    6. U.S.Blues
    7. One More Saturday Night
    8. Casey Jones
    9. Fire On The Mountain
    10. Uncle John's Band
    11. The Music Never Stopped
    12. Friend Of The Devil
    13. Franklin's Tower
    14. Hell In A Bucket
    15. Ripple
    16. Estimated Prophet
    17. The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
    Grateful Dead
    $44.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Wake The Dead (Awaiting Repress) Wake The Dead (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $15.99
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    Wake The Dead (Awaiting Repress)

    It's a beautiful thing when a good band turns to great; when they put out an album that ends all skepticism concerning the band and turns everyone's head. Such is the case with Comeback Kid's spectacular sophomore effort, Wake The Dead.


    The band's passion-filled debut, Turn It Around, put this band near the forefront of the straight edge hardcore movement, with its breakneck speeds and heart-stomping breakdowns. Still, people argued that it was a bit too generic for comfort, and that the album's songs blended into one another after five songs, making for a rather boring listen after ten minutes. Now, I don't know if the band took those comments to heart, but Wake The Dead has remedied any problems the band has had in the past and has turned out to be a flawless effort from a band who will no doubt be name-dropped as one of the most elite bands in hardcore after this release.


    Where Turn It Around failed, Wake The Deaad excels; each song is rather distinct, not in the fact that there are a lot of "departures" to be found, but that each song has its own identity and its own parts that are unique to the song. Also, the length of the album has been cut short by four tracks, from fifteen to eleven, making for a more concise (but no less intense) listen. Lastly, the production is as in-your-face as a hardcore album could sound, making the move to Victory Records (I know, we all groaned when we heard it) a seemingly helpful move. Simply put, Wake The Dead sounds as amazing as the music is. The vocals are cleaner, the drums are more effective, and the gang vocals sound fuller. Check the end of the title track for proof; it's the best sing-along since Bane's "Can We Start Again."


    Comeback Kid's music has also taken a turn towards the more punk rock-influenced hardcore spectrum, exchanging breakdowns for sheer speed and surprisingly more melodic (but no less hard-hitting) riffs. In fact, there's almost nary a breakdown to be found here; you've got your typical slower-paced rhythms to get the kids stomping, but nothing as earth-shattering as the end of, say, "All In A Year," the opener from the band's debut. The most amazing part is that you will not even notice; the songs are that good. Besides, you can still get all of the breakdown mayhem found on their debut if you see them live, which I highly consider, for they're currently on the straight edge hardcore tour of a lifetime, opening for Bane and With Honor.


    There's also nothing like listening to an album for the first time and being ripped in half by an amazing album opener; "False Idols Fall" is the quintessential hardcore anthem. It's got speed, power, gang vocals, and a powerful closing, and all you can do after the song is over is smile because it was just so absolutely perfect. I can't remember the last hardcore song that made me smile. From the opening, to the insane gang vocals of "Wake The Dead," to the anthemic and soon-to-be crowd favorite "Partners In Crime," to the technicality of "Bright Lights Keep Shining," you're left in awe at how good this band sounds. Scott Wade's vocals are top-notch and unbelievably charismatic, and the guitar work is spectacular, not for its technicality and hard-to-play parts, but just for making some of the best hardcore riffs I've ever heard. Every song is excellent, and, as stated before, each has its own identity, something that is hard to come by in recent years with hardcore music.


    This is a hands down ten out of ten. I've heard very few albums that have knocked me on my ass past a month's worth of listening, but Wake The Dead has done it. This is one hell of musical accomplishment, and is 100% deserving of a perfect rating. Pick this up TODAY.


    - Dan Perrone (Punk News)

    1. False Idols Fall
    2. My Other Side
    3. Wake the Dead
    4. The Trouble I Love
    5. Talk is Cheap
    6. Partners in Crime
    7. Our Distance
    8. Bright Lights Keep Shining
    9. Falling Apart
    10. Losing Patience
    11. Final Goodbye
    Comeback Kid
    $15.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • 1000 Hurts 1000 Hurts Quick View

    $26.99
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    1000 Hurts

    1000 Hurts is the third full length album by Shellac, released July 31, 2000 (see 2000 in music). It is Shellac Record #11. In its official promotional materials Shellac described this album as follows: There are no 12-minute songs on this one. This record is more mean-spirited. Todd sings. The cover is a clear homage to the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks series of live albums. The album was named Rockfeedback magazine's record of the decade.

    1. Prayer to God
    2. Squirrel Song
    3. Mama Gina
    4. QRJ
    5. Ghosts
    6. Song Against Itself
    7. Canaveral
    8. New Number Order
    9. Shoe Song
    10. Watch Song
    Shellac
    $26.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Evening Descends The Evening Descends Quick View

    $14.99
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    The Evening Descends

    This wholly demented ensemble from Norman, OK dabbles in glam, slips in a little funk and soul, drinks the psychedelic Kool-Aid, blasts the synths, cranks up the guitars, and wraps it all up with a dose of pop smarts. Picking up where their 2006 debut So Gone left off, Evangelicals leave behind much of their ADD-addled approach, instead taking their wealth of great ideas and harnessing them for good. The hyperactive, overdriven pop is still here, but is balanced with restraint. Josh Jones' wild narratives and propulsive pop songs are anchored with the right balance of stoicism and wit by the bass and drums.
    1. Evening Descends, The
    2. Midnight Vignette
    3. Skeleton Man
    4. Stoned Again
    5. Party Crashin'
    6. Snowflakes
    7. How Do You Sleep
    8. Bellawood
    9. Paperback Suicide
    10. Here in the Deadlights
    11. Bloodstream
    Evangelicals
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Neighb'rhood Childr'n Neighb'rhood Childr'n Quick View

    $24.99
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    Neighb'rhood Childr'n

    When Dyan Hoffman, Rick Bolz, Ron Raschdorf and W.A. Farrens drove 350 miles through the mighty redwood groves down to San Francisco to cut their first album at Leo de Gar Kulka's Golden State Recorders, they couldn't have picked a better time. It was the summer of 1967, now known as the Summer Of Love, and San Francisco was inundated with young people from all over the world, spurred on by a blossoming rock scene that included Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Co. and the Grateful Dead. And yet, none of those legends in the making ever cut an album as hard to find these days, extremely rare and collectible, as this LP by the Neighb'rhood Childr'n.


    Not only is their record hideously hard to find, it's amazingly groovy coming from four kids from a rural background. Dyan's voice has the earnest zeal of a young Grace Slick, and the complex arrangements run the table from acid-soaked tripsichord to fiery anthems meant to spur on a new generation of street-fighting men as well as lonely navigators of the mind. Not surprisingly, Dyan reveals that some of this amazing material was inspired by seeing Quicksilver Messenger Service for the first time. They were always my favorite group, she says. It just goes to show what you can soak up and give back to the world if your heart is in the right place.

    1. Up Down Turn Around World

    2. Long Years In Space
    3. Feeling Zero
    4. Over The Rainbow
    5. Changes Brought To Me
    6. Please Leave Me Alone
    7. Chocolate Angel
    8. Happy Child
    9. Patterns
    10. Happy World Of Captain K
    11. She's Got No Identification
    12. Hobbit's Dream

    Neighb'rhood Childr'n
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Jerry Garcia And David Grisman Jerry Garcia And David Grisman Quick View

    $49.99
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    Jerry Garcia And David Grisman


    Numbered Limited Edition 180g 2LP from Mobile Fidelity


    Contemporary Interest in Roots Music Kick-Started by Stellar Grammy-Nominated 1991 Collaboration


    Recording Now As Realistic, Natural, Close-Up, Intimate, and Enveloping as Any Acoustic Record Released: 1st Time-Ever on LP


    Garcia and Grisman Put on Virtuosic Performance, Make Way Through Pop Standards, Blues Classics, Folk Staples, Bluegrass Jaunts, and More


    Jerry Garcia achieved monumental accomplishments over a prolific career, yet the guitarist never sounded better than on his first official collaboration with longtime friend and fellow instrumental maestro David Grisman. Indeed, contemporary interest in roots music can be directly traced to this stellar Grammy-nominated 1991 collaboration. Putting distinctive rustic spins on pop standards, blues classics, and folk staples, the kindred musical spirits' earnest authenticity and relaxed intimacy are matched only by virtuosic playing and superb production. As realistic, warm, close-up, and immersive as any acoustic album, Mobile Fidelity's reissue raises the bar on the meaning of reference-standard.


    Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP of Garcia/Grisman takes a record forever renowned for breathtaking sonics to another level. Originally released on Grisman's fabled Acoustic Disc label and recorded at his plush studios, the album now sounds even more realistic-with distinctive tones, palpable air, smooth vocals, three-dimensional soundstaging, balanced imaging, and timbral extension that mirror the feeling and experience of hearing live music in a small space.


    Unadorned with any post-production tricks or overdubs, Garcia/Grisman breathes with naturalism and presence. You will effortlessly detect the full body of the instruments, witness the woody grain textures, and get lost in the surprisingly velvety qualities of Garcia's lullaby-like singing. Mobile Fidelity's meticulous pressing also marks the first time this delightfully joyous affair has been issued in analog form. You will never hear a better-sounding Americana-styled recording.


    Pals since the mid-1960s, Garcia and Grisman bonded over their love for traditional folk and bluegrass. The two teamed up amidst what became a gold rush of top-notch productivity and creativity for Garcia. Partnering with bassist Jim Kerwin and percussionist/fiddler Joe Craven, the pair approaches every passage with innate ease, as if either musician could finish the others sentence. The affable chemistry and soothing interplay wash over a selection of songs as notable for their diversity as the way Garcia and "Dawg" turn them into the equivalent of old friends you haven't seen in years.


    Exquisite melodies and jewel-shaped notes decorate the simple, convivial structures of tunes that hop, jump, skip, skitter, and bop. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the legendary gypsy-jazz exchanges between Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and equally sharp. Swirling with Middle Eastern modality, the closing 16-minute-plus rendition of Grisman's rippling "Arabia"-complete with a section based on a Cuban fold theme-is alone enough worth the price of admission to this sensational session. But there's so much more.


    The quartet delves into Celtic themes ("Two Soldiers"), jazz-grass ("Grateful Dawg"), old-world ballads ("Russian Lullaby"), and Appalachian flavors ("Walkin' Boss") with nonpareil skill and soulfulness. Garcia and Grisman's tandem picking throughout epitomize sublime. And for many listeners, the duo's revised version of the Grateful Dead staple "Friend of the Devil" ranks as the finest-ever recorded, the pace patient, the narrative vocals heartfelt, and the synchronous solos tailor-made for the enveloping progression. Better yet, it's all captured in astonishing fidelity.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. The Thrill Is Gone
    2. Grateful Dawg
    3. Two Soldiers
    4. Friend of the Devil
    5. Russian Lullaby
    6. Dawg's Waltz
    7. Walkin' Boss
    8. Rockin' Chair
    9. Arabia
    Jerry Garcia And David Grisman
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Antiserum Antiserum Quick View

    $20.99
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    Antiserum

    Crematory no longer need to fear comparison with the international competition, Germany's most popular Gothic Metal Band having earned itself an excellent reputation at home and abroad over the past 23 years. One reason for this is the great recognition value of their songs, along with the band's characteristic style and their unconditional determination to continue to grow as artists. None of their albums so far is a copy of any of its predecessors; each of them is an independent recording with unique features and fresh ideas. So if Crematory have decided to pick up the electronic elements from Revolution (2004) on their latest album Antiserum, they do so with different parameters and futureoriented visions.



    Along with this purposely experimental direction, Antiserum also features a number of tracks which see Crematory rely on their traditional strengths and familiar characteristics. The title song is a perfect example of typical Crematory ingredients, just like 'Back From the Dead' and 'If You Believe', which could also have featured on either of the two predecessor albums Pray (2008) and Infinity (2010). In view of the convincing result spawned by this 'Gothic Metal meets EBM' liaison, we can attest Crematory an even more homogeneous mÉlange of supposedly opposing musical directions than on Revolution.

    LP1
    1. Apocalyptic Vision
    2. Until the end
    3. Shadowmaker
    4. If you believe
    5. Inside your eyes
    6. Kommt nÄher
    7. Irony of fate


    LP2
    1. Virus
    2. Back from the dead
    3. Welcome
    4. Antiserum
    5. Shadowmaker - Elektro Mix (bonus track)
    6. Shadowmaker - Centhron Mix (bonus track)

    Crematory
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Shady Grove Shady Grove Quick View

    $49.99
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    Shady Grove


    A Natural, Acoustic Portrait of American Folk, Country, and Bluegrass Standards by Two Virtuosos: Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's Shady Grove Filled with Endearing Joy and Spirited Playing


    Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Strictly Limited to 3,000 Numbered Copies: Mobile Fidelity 180g 2LP Set Sounds Incredibly Realistic, Features Deluxe Booklet in Gatefold Jacket


    Jerry Garcia began recording with longtime friend David Grisman at the beginning of the last decade of his life, the refreshing excursions marking a full-circle return to the roots fare the white-bearded virtuoso originally performed before co-founding the Grateful Dead. Garcia's dalliances with Grisman also served another equally important purpose given they provided a much-needed outlet from the demanding pressures, schedules, and business affairs associated with his main band. The endearing joy, contagious enthusiasm, and free-spirited playing on Shady Grove attest to the collection serving as not only the finest musical snapshot of Garcia's final years, but among the best of his storied career.


    Mastered from the original master tapes, available on vinyl for the first time, and strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP set presents the 1996 collection in exquisite sound. Originally recorded at Dawg Studios between August 1990 and June 1993, Shady Grove bowed as the first release of Grisman-Garcia collaborations in the wake of the iconic guitarist's August 1995 death - and remains, by way of its genre-specific organization, a passionate albeit naturally relaxed portrait of folk, country, and bluegrass standards that provide the foundation of American songbook. To experience it all in such brilliant fidelity is to pull up a chair at the sessions themselves and enjoy a transparent view into lasting tradition and instrumental virtuosity.


    Entirely unplugged, the material emerges in three-dimensional detail on this very special audiophile pressing, the wooden tones and organic textures unfolding with wondrous openness, ease, and realism. Nothing is forced, brittle, or exaggerated. What you hear is on par with the acoustics you'd encounter at a world-class hall. Garcia and Grisman's clean, rustic picking on guitar, banjo, mandola, and mandolin harbors a rare intimacy mirrored by an equally uncommon chemistry evident by the seamless interplay.


    These traits remain in tact even when the soul mates are occasionally joined by pals such as Jim Kerwin (acoustic bass) and Joe Craven (fiddle and percussion). Garcia's singing, replete with the slight, graceful, dignified shakiness that forever defined his deliveries, comes across with utmost purity and transparency. Emotions and eagerness pour over every note. At the end of several tracks, Garcia and company exchange remarks and laughter - all indicative of the camaraderie, looseness, and spirit that carries through each tune here.


    Mobile Fidelity's audiophile edition of Shady Grove also features the kind of deluxe packaging only the best physical media can provide. Sixteen 12-inch x 12-inch pages bound to the gatefold jacket provide extraordinary insight into the songs, atmosphere, and history. Images of artifacts and telling photos serve as a visual guide. New Lost City Ramblers member John Cohen pens extensive liner notes that reveal the lasting importance and timelessness of the tunes herein. Among his observations:


    Jerry and David's performances of these traditional folk songs and ballads reconnect us all - folk singers, Deadheads, university students, hillbillies, country and western musicians - with the America [poet Kenneth] Rexroth wrote about; that [Carl] Sandburg wrote about; that the cynicism of American wars and politics, culture wars and culture politics just couldn't destroy.


    Indeed, the versions of barn-dance tunes (Shady Grove), jug-band standards (Stealin', also performed in the early days of the Grateful Dead), Delta ballads (Louis Collins), Civil War era fare (The Sweet Sunny South), and campfire songs (Down in the Valley) here astound with depth, soulfulness, and warmth. Deadheads will also find Garcia and Grisman putting a spin on two more tracks - Casey Jones and Jackaroo - long part of the iconic group's repertoire. In countless ways, Shady Grove is not to be missed, particularly on this unsurpassed pressing.



    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Shady Grove
    2. Stealin'
    3. Off to Sea Once More
    4. The Sweet Sunny South
    5. Louis Collins
    6. Fair Ellender
    7. Jackaroo
    8. The Ballad of Casey Jones
    9. Dreadful Wind and Rain
    10. I Truly Understand
    11. The Handsome Cabin Boy
    12. Whiskey in the Jar
    13. Down in the Valley
    14. Hesitation Blues
    Jerry Garcia And David Grisman
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Babel Babel Quick View

    $16.99
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    Babel


    Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.


    Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!



    There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.

    So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.


    Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.


    The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.


    While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.


    Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.


    There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.


    Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.


    1. Babel
    2. Whispers In The Dark
    3. I Will Wait
    4. Holland Road
    5. Ghosts That We Knew
    6. Lover Of The Light
    7. Lovers' Eyes
    8. Reminder
    9. Hopeless Wanderer
    10. Broken Crown
    11. Below My Feet
    12. Not With Haste
    Mumford And Sons
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Option Paralysis (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Option Paralysis (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $21.99
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    Option Paralysis (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)

    Pressed On Red Vinyl


    Limited Edition of 500 Copies


    Printed Dust Sleeve & Vinyl-Only Bonus Track


    At first glance, "Option Paralysis" seems like a highly inappropriate title to describe the constantly evolving output of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. But once you're faced with the cumulative power and vision of guitarist Ben Weinman, vocalist Greg Puciato, bassist Liam Wilson, guitarist Jeff Tuttle and new drummer Billy Rymer, you'll wonder-right after you pick yourself up off the floor-why more bands don't achieve similar force-of-nature status.


    "The title 'Option Paralysis' represents being in a situation where you have so many choices you can't decide, and end up being frozen," says founding member Weinman about the mindset permeating the band's fourth full-length album. "Back in the early days when I started to discover music, go to shows and find out about new bands, there were 'filters' from various circumstances - geography, economic status, etc - which deeply affected how a band sounded and what they stood for. Now, everyone is going through the same filter-namely computers and the internet-and everyone has the same circumstances: Everybody's seeing the same thing for the first time at the very same time, simultaneously all over the world. That very system is negatively affecting art and has created a situation where everything is influencing itself and art is not based on struggle, personal scarcity or unique and personal inspiration. This cultural revolutions is a big part of what determines our mission. We're not listening to any of the bands around us for some kind of input as to what we should sound like. At this point, we're using our own accomplishments as a measurement of what we need to do next."


    From their early days in the late-'90s as short-haired Rutgers, New Jersey, college students delivering hyper-complex thrash to audiences of boorish long-haired surly metalheads, to performing with NINE INCH NAILS on the pioneering electronic band's farewell shows, the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN have merely one prerogative: to go forward in ALL directions simultaneously. Their groundbreaking 1999 debut full-length, "Calculating Infinity", is inarguably the essential technical-metal talisman for the 21st century, melding hardcore's blinding rage with a musical vision that made most progressive-rock bands sound positively lazy by comparison. "Irony Is A Dead Scene", the band's 2002 collaboration with Mike Patton, maintained their patented extremity while exploring electronic textures. The 2004 follow-up, "Miss Machine", (the first record to showcase frontman, Puciato) was a distillation of the band's work thus far, while including jaw-dropping flirtations with mainstream metal ("Unretrofied") that further enforced DILLINGER's desire-and ability-to take their music wherever the hell they wanted. 2007's "Ire Works" had the band finding inspiration from underground glitch and breakcore electronica, as well as indigenous music genres, in a world seemingly overrun with metalcore bores and screamo trend-hoppers. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's unerring sweat equity has consistently found resonance with listeners on both sides of the stages the band trod upon.


    "Option Paralysis" marks the beginning of another trajectory in the DEP mythology. After aligning themselves with the renowned Relapse label for most of their career, the band entered into a deal with the French label SEASON OF MIST to put out "Option Paralysis", tagging their new PARTY SMASHER INC label. "We signed a pretty traditional record deal with them for one record," explains Weinman. "What's exciting is that Michael [Berberian, SOM label founder] is a really big music fan and has a great understanding of how we operate. He was totally aware of the possibilities and limitations of working with a band like us-he's not expecting pop hits-and he's been extremely enthusiastic to dive right in and make it work for everyone."


    Produced by Steve Evetts, Dillinger's new music is positively abundant with possibilities. Drummer Billy Rymer, whom Weinman describes as "young and hungry," now occupies the engine room that powers the band. Frontman, Puciato has always had a knack with a bellow that could make reciting a grocery list seem like an exhortation to open the mouth of Hell. But feeling some of the lyrics on "Option Paralysis", you can't positively determine if the singer is handing down indictments ("Farewell, Mona Lisa") or feeling emotionally wounded. "This record is concept driven but there is still a very emotional and personal aspect to his lyrics," says Weinman soberly. "He's going through transitional stages in his life right now." Nothing so eloquently supports that statement than the six and-a-half-minute "Widower", where the band are joined by veteran David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson for an aural excursion that incorporates piano-trio jazz, tender balladry and anthemic power. While there's no shortage of DEP plasma-balls on "Option Paralysis" ("Room Full Of Eyes", "Good Neighbor"), the band keep things fresh with the math-rock/free-jazz convergence of "I Wouldn't If You Didn't," the electro-tweaked "Chinese Whispers" and the closing "Parasitic Twins". The latter track sports lead vocals courtesy of guitarist Tuttle, as well as Beach Boys-styled harmonies and a major-key Weinman solo that's more Clapton (ca. Derek And The Dominos) than calculus crush. Clearly, this is not your older brother's DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. "We're just trying to make music we can be stimulated by," says Weinman about the assorted directions and sonic vistas on "Option Paralysis". "We consider ourselves songwriters, which is kind of odd when you consider the kind of band most would consider us."


    As passionate about their craft as ever, DEP are looking to ramp up things even more in 2010, with a planet-beating touring campaign that includes basement shows, a stint on the main stage at this summer's Vans Warped Tour, a performance at the legendary Cochella festival, and various points in between. But after 12 years of deliberately challenging themselves, as well as the preconceived notions of critics and the strict genre-specific zealots of the world's underground music scenes, the big question remains: What is the mission of the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN? It's a question Weinman addresses with equal parts melancholy, unwavering determination and humor. "I've been trying for a while to have someone explain that to me," he says, laughing. "Seriously, 'Option Paralysis' represents why we're here and why we're still making music. We started at a time when there wasn't all this access to the larger world. Our only goal was to make a small dent in the scene that we were in. The fact we've made it this far and that we're still relevant is really special to me. I feel that it is extremely important for bands like us to continue to represent the ethic and attitude that was present during a time that doesn't exist anymore."


    "That," he says, pausing to smile. "And I have to pay my mortgage somehow "

    1. Farewell, Mona Lisa
    2. Good Neighbor
    3. Gold Teeth on a Bum
    4. Crystal Morning
    5. Endless Endings
    6. Widower
    7. Room Full of Eyes
    8. Chinese Whispers
    9. I Wouldn't If You Didn't
    10. Parasitic Twins
    11. Chuck McChip (vinyl only bonus track)
    Dillinger Escape Plan
    $21.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Broken People Broken People Quick View

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    Broken People

    American music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.


    The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.


    With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.


    North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.


    "To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.


    Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.


    She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.


    "I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.


    "The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.


    "The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.


    "We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."


    "We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.


    As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.


    Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.


    "Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."


    "It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."


    "Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."


    "We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.


    And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.

    1. Broken People
    2. Brother, What Happened?
    3. Got It Goin' On
    4. Why Don't You Stay
    5. Take Me Home
    6. Shine On!
    7. It Ain't Easy
    8. I Need A Man
    9. Devil's Teeth
    10. Train
    11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)
    Muddy Magnolias
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel The Grinding Wheel Quick View

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    The Grinding Wheel

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like "Death Rider," "The Beast Within," and "Raise The Dead" already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.


    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.


    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. "It just makes sense for us," reflects D.D. "If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing "Grinder," the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work."


    "One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time," seconds Blitz. "Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics."


    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in "Come Heavy" and Iron Maiden in "The Long Road" and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.


    "Punk is huge for Overkill," confirms Verni. "And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world."


    Central to that premise is the incendiary "Let's All Go to Hades" which is sure to become a pit favourite. "This one was a hell of a lot of fun," says Blitz. "You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more."


    Adds D.D., "It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes."


    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is "Our Finest Hour." "It's about the recognition of sameness," explains Ellsworth. "I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune."


    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like "The Long Road." D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. "Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on "Our Finest Hour," is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.


    "I've had that kind of sound now for a long time," says Verni. "There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars."


    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. "Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds."


    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.


    "That's the strength of the band," explains Blitz. "Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization."


    And Ron? "He's one-of-a-kind," says Verni. "He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it."


    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.


    "I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.


    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.


    "For sure," says Blitz. "One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear."

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
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    The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Yellow And Black Vinyl

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like Death Rider, The Beast Within, and Raise The Dead already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby Blitz Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.

    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.

    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. It just makes sense for us, reflects D.D. If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing Grinder, the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work.

    One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time, seconds Blitz. Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics.

    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in Come Heavy and Iron Maiden in The Long Road and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.

    Punk is huge for Overkill, confirms Verni. And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world.

    Central to that premise is the incendiary Let's All Go to Hades which is sure to become a pit favourite. This one was a hell of a lot of fun, says Blitz. You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more.

    Adds D.D., It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes.

    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is Our Finest Hour. It's about the recognition of sameness, explains Ellsworth. I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune.

    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like The Long Road. D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on Our Finest Hour, is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.

    I've had that kind of sound now for a long time, says Verni. There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars.

    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.

    That's the strength of the band, explains Blitz. Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization.

    And Ron? He's one-of-a-kind, says Verni. He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it.

    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.

    I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.

    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.

    For sure, says Blitz. One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear.

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Harlem Street Singer Harlem Street Singer Quick View

    $21.99
    Buy Now
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    Harlem Street Singer

    Reverend Gary Davis, also Blind Gary Davis was a blind African American blues and gospel singer and guitarist, who was also proficient on the banjo guitar and harmonica. His finger-picking guitar style influenced many other artists .
    1. Samson And Delilah
    2. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
    3. I Belong To The Band
    4. Pure Religion
    5. Great Change Since I Been Born
    6. Death Don't Have No Mercy
    7. Twelve Gates To The City
    8. Goin' To Sit Down On The Banks Of The River
    9. Tryin' To Get Home
    10. Lo, I Be With You Always
    11. I Am The Light Of This World
    12. Lord, I Feel Just Like Goin' On
    Blind Gary Davis
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Fiddle Fiddle Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
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    Fiddle

    Reissue of Smoke Dawson's 1971 private press LP, 'Fiddle,' out on Tompkins Square.


    George Smoke Dawson played banjo in MacGrundy's Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with Peter Stampfel (later of Holy Modal Rounders) in 1960, lived for
    years at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and roamed around the US as an itinerant bagpipe and fiddle player for decades. His life is laced with small
    triumphs, and lots of tragedy. But he's still with us. Tompkins Square reissues his only album, a remarkable 1971 private press LP.


    Excerpted notes by reissue producer / Tompkins Square label owner Josh Rosenthal :

    I was doing some research for a box set of music recorded at Caffe Lena, the hallowed folk music venue located in Saratoga Springs, NY, when I came
    upon a photograph of a musician I didn't recognize. He looked like a sixth member of The Band - a handsome fiddler with wax moustache, goatee, black
    Western hat. There was a traditional air to him, a seriousness, but there was also something wild there. I needed to know who he was, and everything
    about him. The producers told me his name was Smoke Dawson, and they had tape on him. We listened, and his live version of Devil's Dream made it
    onto the box set. Then I started digging. I found a 1996 blog post from someone named Oliver Seeler, who claimed to have recorded a solo album by
    Dawson in 1971. I called the number on the site, not expecting much from an 18 year old blog post. But he picked up. He gave me background on the
    record. And, he gave me Smoke Dawson's phone number . . .

    1. John Brown's Dream
    2. Wild Goose Chase
    3. The Girl I Left Behind Me
    4. Connaughtman's Rambles/Devil's Dream/Marche Venerie
    5. Drowsy Maggie
    6. Pretty Polly
    7. Turkey In The Straw
    8. The Black Hussars
    9. Fisher's Hornpipe
    10. Apple Tune
    11. Forked Deer
    12. Cacklin' Hen
    13. Flowers Of Edinburgh
    14. Cherokee Shuffle
    15. Flop Eared Mule
    16. Lark In The Morn
    17. The Minotaur
    Smoke Dawson
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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