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Just One Of Those Things'
Just One Of Those ThingsContrasting downbeat ballads with an ironic brassy, upbeat big band attitude, the ironic Cole Porter standard Just One Of Those Things sets the tone for a distinctive, pungent experience of love and disillusionment with a swing. Brilliantly backing the intimately expressive and supremely musical voice of the incomparable Nat King Cole, a big band with no strings smolders, swings, saunters, storms, sighs and sizzles with the arrangements of the distinctive Billy May. Featuring top shelf interpretations of These Foolish Things, Who's Sorry Now? The Party's Over and more, this album is among its era's finest recordings of popular music and its quality, style and spirit remains unexcelled.
Using the original 3-track session tapes from Capitol's vaults and all-analogue systems including custom headstacks, 3-track preview heads, console and monitoring chain installed at AcousTech specially for these releases, mastering engineers Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman realize the stunning beauty of these recordings. A superb track recorded for the album, You'll Never Know, which was omitted due to space constraints, is included in this double 45-RPM 180-gram album set. Included with this deluxe reissue is a striking six-panel booklet complete with rare photos, a 2,200-word essay by Jordan Taylor on the album and a 1,200-word essay by Michael Fremer about the remastering process. This truly is a no-expenses-spared project, resulting in the ultimate version of this title and a historic reissue.
Originally released in 1957.
This title is not eligible for discount.When Your Lover Has Gone
A Cottage For Sale
Whoâs Sorry Now?
Once In A While
These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You
Just For The Fun Of It
Donât Get Around Much Anymore
Just One Of Those Things
The Song Is Ended
I Should Care
The Partyâs Over
Youâll Never Know$54.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Swing EasySwing Easy! is Frank's second Capitol release and is a companion piece to the Songs For Young Lovers 10" (his
first Capitol release). The two "albums" were later combined into one "2-fer" which is still active today (on CD). It features classic performances of well-known standards including "All Of Me," "Just One Of Those Things," "Get
Happy" and more!1. Just One Of Those Things
2. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter)
4. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)
5. Taking A Chance On Love
6. Jeepers Creepers
7. Get Happy
8. All Of Me$22.9910 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
My Midnight ThingsSince 1983, the name Lizzy Borden has been synonymous with heavy metal music of the highest caliber. With My Midnight Things he has reaffirmed this standing, delivering the biggest, most dramatic, moving and cinematic record of his career, and one of the most essential additions to the genre in 2018. While showcasing a diverse range of sounds, tones and moods, it is unmistakably the work of the man who released a string of classic albums in the 1980s and two more in the 00s, but with a new fire burning at the heart of the record, it is one that he has lovingly crafted for those who scream along with every word at his shows. "On our last tour across Europe, Asia and South America, I noticed that the audience had changed," he states. "It got a lot younger. I looked out to see all these kids in every country singing at the top of their lungs to songs that were written before they were born, and that made me want to start writing some full-blown albums just for them. I wanted to make songs that would be theirs, albums that they could be a part of."
Having not dropped a record since 2007's mighty Appointment With Death, fans have understandably champed at the bit waiting for new material. Though penning numerous songs throughout that period, when it became time to seriously focus upon writing an album, the multi-instrumentalist did what needed to be done to be sure of creating the best possible music. "I knew the only way I could find what I was looking for was to lock myself away and experiment, so that's what I did. I wrote and recorded in my studio in North Hollywood in a very industrial area all night every night, with only sirens from fire trucks and these songs to keep me company. It was a lonely time, but very fruitful. You might even hear some of those sirens in some of the songs if you listen closely." Starting with between forty and fifty songs, he steadily whittled these down to fifteen, and finally to the ten that made the record, only wanting the very best to make the cut. As with all of his albums, once Borden hones in on a core subject matter he builds the album around it, and in the case of My Midnight Things, the theme is that of love. However, adopting a different approach to writing than usual, rather than starting with music, he instead focused on the lyrics, and penned the music later to best serve the stories being told, wanting every song to stand up on its own while keeping the storyline of the record moving forward. "I just let the lyrics drive the mood and the way I would sing each song, but overall I kept it varied and engaging enough so that listeners will want to devour the whole album in one sitting, without you hearing me repeat myself."
The diversity of the record makes it abundantly clear that he succeeded, and it makes for a thrilling ride from start to finish. Opening with the titanic stomp of the title track, the cinematic feel kicks off from the start, a serpentine seductiveness coiling through it, and the likes of "A Stranger To Love" and the bruising "Our Love Is God" inhabit similarly dark territory. The more stripped down, haunting strains of the reprise of the title track - which was in fact the first version penned - is achingly frail, and then counterpointing all of the record's darker and more brooding moments are the upbeat "Long May They Haunt Us", the hugely anthemic and uplifting closer "We Belong In The Shadows", and the frankly glorious "Run Away With Me". While the title of the album "means many different things" to Borden, he chooses not to disclose these, allowing listeners to find their own meaning in it, which is something important to him. In terms of the record's central theme, he acknowledges that while "love" seems somewhat obvious, he tried to find a way to see it through a different lens. "Sometimes being in love is the worst thing that can happen to you if you're with the wrong person and you can't stop it, and sometimes it's the best thing in the world. I knew I could find things in between every other song that's been written about it. So that was the challenge. But, even though I write with a theme in mind and with different personalities singing each song, I never write in storyboard form. I always try to write in poetry form. I think you can search for more meaning that way, from one line to the next there can be multiple meanings, as opposed to being trapped telling a story."
Having signed a new contract with Metal Blade on the strength of three demo tracks, Borden opted to produce My Midnight Things himself, with Joey Scott as co-producer, who also handled all the drumming duties. Having an old school approach to his drumming, feeding off the vocals, lyrics and melody rather than just acting as a time keeper, he was perfectly suited to Borden's approach to the record, which also applied to his role as co-producer. "I knew what I was going for and had doubts that I could find a producer who would understand that. My approach is very different than what is happening in today's music, but Joey got that and wanted the same thing." With Marliese Quance Mildenberger handling the majority of the keyboards, her unique melancholy playing style added even more "emotion and dimension" to each song, while Borden himself handled all of the bass, guitars, some keys and all of the vocal parts. Anyone exposed to My Midnight Things will find it hard to deny that like all of his records, it is a true vocal tour de force, each track endowed with a phenomenal amount of layering to create something that is uniquely Lizzy Borden. "The style that I record vocals harkens back to The Beatles and Queen. It's time consuming and tedious, but the result gives you a more multi-dimensional feel than you would get with a single vocal. When I recorded 'Master Of Disguise' (1989), I was clocked in at a seven-octave vocal range between all the backing and lead vocals. It gave the feel of multiple personalities within my voice, and I've used that technique on the last four albums."
That every song on the record could be released as a single is testament to just how strong this collection is. While truly a record for his fans, its appeal will easily reach much further, and Borden is as eager to get back on stage as his devout followers who cannot wait to see him back up there. "I've already started working on the 'My Midnight Things' Show, and I really can't wait to play these songs live. There are so many talented players out there in the world, I know I will find the right guys or girls to be on stage with me in my touring band, and just based on what is being talked about, so far it will be the best show I've ever done. I really do feel a new excitement that I have not felt in years. The best is yet to come."Tracklist coming soon!$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Things to Remember - The Pamper DemosLiner Notes By Grammy-Winning Writer Colin Escott
Photos From Bear Family Label Founder Richard Weize's Personal Collection
Remastered By Mike Milchner At Sonicvision For Fidelity Far Superior To Prior Incarnations
Available On A 2xLP Set Pressed On Red Vinyl Limited To 1000 Copies
Housed In A Gatefold Jacket
The First Blossoming Of One Of The Truly Singular Talents In American Music
For the series of sessions that laid the foundation for Willie Nelson's career and thus changed the course of modern country music, these recordings have been treated pretty cavalierly over the years. But first, a little history Willie Nelson was a struggling songwriter, hungry for work and maybe even just plain hungry, when he moved to Nashville in late 1960 with his wife and kids and met Hank Cochran, who was a writer for Pamper Music. Pamper, which was owned by country star Ray Price, fiddle player Hal Smith, and a baker (!) from Pico Rivera, California named Claude Caviness, was the hottest publishing company in town, thanks to writers like Cochran and Harlan Howard and songs like "Heartaches by the Number" and "I Fall to Pieces." At first, Willie wasn't going to sign with Pamper because Hal Smith wouldn't give Willie the draw he needed, but Cochran told Smith to front Willie fifty bucks a week from his own draw. So Willie, determined to reward Cochran's trust, got to work. "I was writing to prove I could write," he said. "To get the money and feel like I was earning it." He would end most work days with a new song, and then he and Cochran would call a session with A-team musicians who didn't have major label studio work that day. The result: a body of work that just may well represent the most fertile creative period ever to issue from a country songwriter.
The songs Willie recorded for Pamper during the early '60s remain among his most famous, and include tunes he still performs to this day: "Crazy," "Funny (How Time Slips Away),' "Night Life," "Pretty Paper," "Half a Man," "Hello Walls," "Healing Hands of Time," and more. And these, the Pamper demos, are the first recordings of those legendary songs. In other words, this is what artists and label guys back in the day heard when Hal Smith or Hank Cochran handed over a little acetate, and said, "Hey, listen here to what our guy Willie Nelson just come up with." It simply doesn't get much more historic than that! But, for some reason, these demos have hitherto turned up in bits and pieces, mostly on budget packages with little documentation or care.
Now, finally, these incredibly important recordings are getting the respect they deserve. Things to Remember-The Pamper Demos brings together these 28 performances for the first time (several of which have hitherto eluded compilation), all remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision to sound much better than they ever have, and annotated by Grammy-winning writer Colin Escott, with photos courtesy of Bear Family label founder Richard Weize. Available from Real Gone Music as a gatefold , red vinyl double-LP limited to 1000 copies, this collection is indispensable for any Willie Nelson fan or any lover of great country music it's the first blossoming of one of our greatest songwriters, presented the way work of this stature should be, with great sound and packaging.LP 1
1. Where Were You Yesterday
2. More Than One Way to Cry
3. I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye
4. A Broken Promise
5. I'm Gonna Lose a Lotta Teardrops
6. Little Things
7. Will You Remember Mine
8. My Own Peculiar Way
9. I Gotta Get Drunk
10. Half a Man
11. You Left a Long Time Ago
12. Undo the Right
13. I've Just Destroyed the World
1. Are You Sure
2. Country Willie
3. Three Days
4. You Wouldn't Cross the Street
5. Pretty Paper
6. Night Life
7. Hello Walls
8. Healing Hands of Time
9. Good Times
10. Funny (How Time Slips Away)
12. Within Your Crowd
13. Save Your Tears
14. A Moment Is Very Long
15. Things to Remember$39.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Right Stuff SoundtrackBy flying higher and faster than any other man had ever dared before, Chuck Yeager set the pace for a new breed of hero. Those that had just one thing in common...The Right Stuff.
Varese Sarabande presents Bill Conti's original score from the 1983 film starring Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid and Barbara Hershey.1. Breaking The Sound Barrier
2. Mach I
3. Training Hard / Russian Moon
5. Mach II
6. The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You / The Yellow Rose Of Texas / Deep In The Heart Of Texas / Dixie
7. Yeager and the F104
8. Light This Candle
9. Glenn's Flight
10. Daybreak in Space
11. Yeager's Triumph
12. The Right Stuff (Single)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Grand Master Of The Soprano Saxophone (Pure Pleasure)Sidney Bechet's historic recordings for Blue Note and RCA Victor tend to overshadow some of his other work because they have been reissued more frequently, though there are lesser-known dates worth acquiring as well. This Columbia LP compiles three separate recording sessions made between 1938 and 1947. Bechet sticks almost exclusively to soprano sax throughout each of them and has ample space for his solos, full of his trademark heavy vibrato.
The earliest set matches him with drummer Zutty Singleton, bassist Henry Turner, and guitarist Leonard Ware (all members of his working band at the time), along with pianist Dave Bowman and baritone saxophonist Ernie Caceres. The Bechet-Singleton collaboration Jungle Drums has delightful solos by the two reeds, along with Singleton's exotic tom-toms.
Six tracks come from a 1947 quartet with pianist Lloyd Phillips, bassist Pops Foster, and either Freddie Moore or Arthur Herbert on drums. Bechet's swinging tribute to a legendary jazzman, Buddy Bolden Stomp, a romp through Just One Of Those Things, and a heartfelt arrangement of Laura are the highlights of this session.
Another 1947 session gives a preview of the future of classic jazz, featuring a sextet led by Bechet's star pupil, a young Bob Wilber, along with Dick Wellstood, who would rise to fame as a master stride interpreter. Bechet plays soprano sax and Wilber sticks to clarinet on two numbers, though they switch roles on Kansas City Man Blues. While Wilber doesn't have Bechet's strong vibrato on soprano sax, they are harder to tell apart on clarinet.
- Sydney Bechet (soprano saxophone)
- Ernie Caceras (bassoon)
- Bob Mielke (trombone)
- Bob Wilber (clarient)
- Lloyd Phillips (piano)
- Dave Bowman (piano)
- Leonard Ware (electric guitar)
- Henry Turner (bass)
- George Pops" Foster (bass)
- Zutty Singleton (drums)
- Arthur Herbert (drums)
Recording: November 1938 and July 1947
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Love For Sale
2. I Had It, But It's All Gone Now
3. Jungle Drums
4. Buddy Bolden Stomp
5. My Woman's Blues
6. Polka Dot Stomp
8. Just One Of Those Things
9. Kansas City Man Blues
10. Shake 'em Up
11. Chant In The Night
12. The Song Of Songs
13. What A Dream$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
Echo In The ValleyWith one eye on using the banjo to showcase America's rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn's second album Echo in the Valley is simultaneously familiar and wildly innovative.
"Some of the most interesting things in the world come together in strange and unique ways and show our diversity," reflects Bela, a fifteen-time Grammy award winner who is often considered the world's premier banjo player. "The banjo is just one of those things. It's a great example of how the world can combine things and create surprising hybrids," a reference to the ancestral African roots of the banjo combining with Scotch-Irish music in Appalachia.
Echo in the Valley is the follow up to Bela and Abigail's acclaimed, self-titled debut that earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. This time around, the mission was to take their double banjo combination of three finger and clawhammer styles "to the next level and find things to do together that we had not done before," says Bela. "We're expressing different emotions through past techniques and going to deeper places." The results are fascinating, especially considering their strict rules for recording: all sounds must be created by the two of them, the only instruments used are banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele to an upright bass banjo), and they must be able to perform every recorded song live.
Fleck and Washburn met at a square dance and began playing music together a dozen years ago, beginning with the Sparrow Quartet. They married shortly thereafter and became parents to a cute little tot. They've been touring the globe as a duo for years, almost nonstop but for each other's performances with various other musical iterations: Bela with the likes of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Chick Corea and Chris Thile, among many others, and Abigail with Wu Fei (a master of the ancient 21-string Chinese zither), The Wu-Force and Uncle Earl.
With the exception of a few restyled traditional tunes, all tracks on Echo in the Valley are originals, and are largely co-written - a different creative approach from their first album, where songs were mostly his or hers.
"This time, we really wanted to truly write together," Bela adds. "We spent a lot of our time on the lyrics, deciding what we want the songs to communicate, both literally and under the surface."
Echo in the Valley reflects relevant issues while simultaneously connecting us to our past through wild re-imaginings of traditional pieces. New original tunes range from "Over the Divide," a song inspired by Hans Breuer, who worked to ferry Syrian refugees to safety, to "Blooming Rose," inspired by Native American voices and lamenting a continual distancing from nature, and "Don't Let It Bring You is an emphatic mantra for hard times.
With I don't wanna cry, cry, cry, oh, "Let it Go" is ultimately about release from the pain of transition, surrendering to growth. The song acknowledges that we must let our children grow up; the concession that youthful innocence will one day give way to adult cares and worries.
Clarence Ashley's "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" has been turned into a rural blues, and Bela's well-known piece "Big Country" is framed by the traditional Appalachian tunes "Sally in the Garden" and "Molly Put the Kettle On," a medley Bela and Abigail performed hundreds of times on stage before recording. "'Big Country' is one of the most beauty melodies I have ever heard played on the banjo," says Abigail, who takes the lead on this version.
"Come All You Coal Miners" is the point-of-view of coal-miner advocate Sarah Ogan Gunning, whose passages remain poignant and powerful today. "This song came from a very emotional, mother-driven, daughter-driven, wife-driven place, and there are not many songs throughout history from that perspective, so I am incredibly moved by her," says Washburn.
As the story goes, Bela was struck by the sound of Mr. Earl Scruggs' banjo when hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. He got hold of a banjo, took his musical namesakes (Bela for Bartok, Anton for Weburn, Leos for Yanecek) to heart, and has since continuously broken new musical ground with his instrument. Fleck has the distinction of being nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and has brought his banjo through scorching hot newgrass, traditional bluegrass, otherworldly funk, modern jazz, African originals, transatlantic Celtic, and classical realms, with two self-composed banjo concertos to his name (The Impostor and Juno Concerto), with a third one in the works.
Abigail was similarly jolted into life as a banjoist, but for her it was hearing Doc Watson.
"I was proud to discover that I came from a country where you can hear that ancient sound - from Africa, from Scotland, from Ireland - all mixed up in this beautiful new sound, with those ancient tones in it," Abigail reflects. "The ancient sounds of our culture remind us who we are, and in them, we see a constellation of who we are becoming."
Washburn has imbued this philosophy in all aspects of her work, from the string band Uncle Earl to her acclaimed solo albums, Song of the Traveling Daughter and City of Refuge, and her semi-autobiographical theatrical work, Post-American Girl, as well as in her musical ambassadorship with China, a country with which she has a long, profound history. Abigail is deftly following in the footsteps of the founding mothers of folk, and has become a prominent voice of old-time in our time while bringing to light those ancient sounds of American and Far East cultures in new and exciting ways.
Bela and Abigail's creative process on Echo in the Valley is sonically made manifest in the record's major themes of harmony, empathy and surrender. As Abigail explains, the intense, intimate collaboration that Fleck and Washburn put forward on this project required "a spirit of staying strong, but also a willingness to release into the other's ideas to create something new," possibly something bigger and more beautiful than one could do on one's own.1. Over The Divide
2. Take Me To Harlan
3. Let It Go
4. Don't Let It Bring You Down
5. Sally In The Garden / Big Country / Molly Put The Kettle On
6. My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains
7. Hello Friend
8. If I Could Talk To A Younger Me
9. On This Winding Road
10. Come All You Coal Miners
11. Bloomin' Rose$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Deer Tick Vol. 1The best art often challenges widely held preconceptions about performance and beauty.We're moved when we find the sublime in the gross, entranced when crassness collides with grace. It makes poetic sense that one of this practice's finest current purveyors is named after a blood-sucking survivor.
Deer Tick: undercutting expectations since 2004.
I think a lot of my favorite artists have always done stuff like that, Deer Tick front man John McCauley says from his home in Nashville, reflecting on his band's love of unexpected mashups: tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars; classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high. Deer Tick's perfected it all, mostly as an outlier, revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their highly anticipated new project(s), two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol.2, the crew from Rhode Island prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age.
Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently.Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band's longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk.
McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression. I think it's something that was bound to happen, just because I've always had one foot in each door, he says. Every album we've put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.
It's been four years since Deer Tick's last release Negativity, and devotees have grown restless. It wasn't that the band-made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan-was withholding information. They just weren't sure they had anything more to share. It wasn't anything that we actually talked about, McCauley says. We never said, 'Hey, we should take a break,' or 'Maybe this isn't working anymore.'We just took some time off. We'd just done our 10-year anniversary shows, and I had a kid like two weeks later. He pauses before adding with a hint of a laugh, We just kind of got comfortable away from each other.
McCauley, O'Neil, and the two Ryans popped up solo and on others' projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. The couple's little girl is now two years old. For the first time ever, Deer Tick-an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artistic output-took a backseat.
When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another.Playing that week with the guys made me really want to do it-it made everyone want to do it, McCauley says. So we started making some plans to go in the studio.
The result, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, is a bold double punch that reminds us not only why Deer Tick has been so missed, but why they've become important artists. The songwriting on both volumes is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O'Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self important,McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock and-rollsongs of myself delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.
Vol. 1 opener Sea of Clouds is a dreamy mediation on letting go, featuring stripped down instrumentation that swells into a mini-symphony, all anchored by angelic harmonies and McCauley's familiar melodic snarl. It's not the only time McCauley mulls over what it takes to move on. Heart-tugging Only Love mixes sadness and hope for a snapshot of impending loss. I thought, 'Nobody writes a song about that kind of weird, ominous feeling you get in the final 24 to 48 hours of a relationship,' McCauley says. I wanted to capture that mood ina song.
Sauntering Card House is a flamenco-soaked threat with grotesque imagery, while lounge readyCocktail is a wry, piano-fueled stroll through fond boozy memories. I guess it's kind of a song about my strange relationship with alcohol-I'm still learning how to deal with it,McCauley says. I'm not a teetotaler. I've tried that. It's not for me. I'm not into the support group thing. I enjoy life with a drink. Trying to keep my life in balance can be hard, but it's something I'm capable of doing now.
Tricky relationships with drugs and alcohol are addressed in different ways on both volumes.Hushed Vol. 1 closer Rejection pulses with vulnerability. I wrote it about trying to help somebody in some way, McCauley says. What was going through my mind but I didn't sayin the lyrics is just reaching your hand out to somebody who's going through substance abuse problems. Vol. 2's Jumpstarting-a favorite track of McCauley's-offers the same kind of lifeline: he shouts startlingly sweet promises over crunchy guitars.
Look How Clean I Am immediately follows. Written and sung by O'Neil, the song doesn't poke fun at sobriety but offers a droll takedown of how some use it as a means or marketing vehicle to further celebrity. It's one of many genuinely funny moments on the project. JumpingS.M.F., (aka Shitty Music Festival) written and delivered by McCauley, takes hilarious shots at a summer institution. I thought I'd write that one for any band who's ever had a bad time ata music festival. It's one of my attempts at humor on the record, but then it just kind of comes off as anger, McCauley says with a laugh.
McCauley wrote gorgeous instrumental Pulse thinking about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He lets his piano do the talking. It's a Whale is punk perfection, all screams and growling guitars. That's probably the most political I'll ever get in a song, McCauley says. I tried to put myself in the really dark headspace of maybe a men's rights activist or something like that while trying to poke fun at it. His chants of Atta boy! Atta girl! are the ideal blend of smirk-inducing and scary.
McCauley says he believes Sea of Clouds and It's a Whale probably best capture theextremities of both records. He's right, of course: it's Vol. 1's quiet vs. Vol. 2's loud-Deer Tick's dual personalities, finally channeled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven't entirely figured out yet,McCauley says. I don't really know what's going to happen, but that's part of the excitement for me.1. Half Believing (By The Black Angels)
2. Card House
3. Doomed From The Start
4. Hope Is Big
5. Only Love
7. Me And My Man
8. End Of The World
9. Limp Right Back
10. Rejection$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sacred GroundHowling's album Sacred Ground stands for many things at once: collaboration, improvisation, simplicity, unexpected happenstance. "Our process was very, very organic. For both of us, it's just about the creation. Each song has a little journey of its own. The vision's beautiful between us because there's a lot of trust. It's very intuitive process where we fall in love with on element of the song or one element of a though, and we follow that until both of those ideas have been met." - Ry X, Howling.1. Signs
2. Stole The Night
3. Interlude I
4. X Machina
7. Short Line
9. Interlude II
12. Lullaby$27.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
VolcanoJames Bagshaw (vocals, guitar), Tom Warmsley (bass, backing vocals), Sam Toms (drums) and Adam Smith (keys) - are set to release their new album, Volcano, via Fat Possum.
All the elements people loved with Temples' debut, Sun Structures, remain intact, but this time, there is a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. It's clear Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to their potential, immediately evident with "Certainty." Its beefed-up beats reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. "If there's a sense of scale," says frontman James Bagshaw, "It was really just a result of implementing a load of things that we didn't know about the first time around. We didn't even have a subwoofer to listen back to things that we did on Sun Structures, so there was nothing below 50Hz on that record. We didn't even know those frequencies were there!"
Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Temples' melodies seem to come effortlessly. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. One thing is certain; it's harder to spot the influences this time around. Mystical language has been supplanted by something more direct. They've been broken down and blended together - fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, resulting in a sound that is undoubtedly Temples. As described by co-founding member Warmsley, "we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards."1. Certainty
2. All Join In
3. I Wanna Be Your Mirror
4. Oh The Saviour
5. Born Into The Sunset
6. How Would You Like To Go?
7. Open Air
8. In My Pocket
10. Mystery Of Pop
11. Roman Godlike Man
12. Strange Or Be Forgotten$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Massachusetts 2010Trained as a painter but best known for his role as a founding member (and the extraordinarily agile bassist) of chamber pop heavy-hitters Ra Ra Riot, Mathieu Santos has surprised himself by making a solo record. The songs that compose Massachusetts 2010, to be released this summer on Barsuk, were first written, you guessed it, last year in the great state of Massachusetts. Following their recording, however, those demos were set aside and left to sit while Santos spent time on the road with his main band. In the winter and spring of 2011, he returned to the 10 songs with fresh perspective and a critical distance from the context in which they were originally written.
Applying his visual artists focus on only the most essential compositional elements, Santos borrowed a friends guest house in rural New Jersey and finalized the album in just a few days there. He worked quickly, maintaining the impulsive freedom of the original writing process but stripping down the palette and creating an arresting sonic environment that sparkles with tantalizing abstract imagery and finely-observed details, set against a backdrop of wide open spaces.
Santos sings with an echoing, bounding tenderness on opener I Can Hear The Trains Coming, and its balance of youthful exuberance and skillful elegance sets the tone for the rest of the album. Spritely vocals bounce off stark arrangements, the instrumentation referencing the natural musicality of ordinary things from seagull shrieks to dial-up modem rings. As the album title suggests, these songs represent a particular time and place for Santos, and although the lyrics are largely impressionistic, phrases emerge regularly to make the album resonate with echoes of warmth, loneliness, love, regret, loss, and joy. Even if you werent there then, Massachusetts 2010 is a place and time that anyone with ears and a heart can hear and feel.1. I Can Hear The Trains Coming
3. Id Go
4. (I Just) Need To Know
5. Good Return Theme
6. Northern Mentality
7. I Said So
8. Silly Thoughts
9. Wait To Get Up
10. The Bay/Where To Find Her
$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Skin & EarthThroughout a year long process, she began secretly working on an unprecedented idea writing and drawing her own comic book based around this alter ego of sorts. And on top of that, just to make things more difficult - an album to coincide with the whole thing.
Thus came Skin&Earth, the Canadian singer's fourth record and her most open and vulnerable to date. In the past, Lights wouldn't write about being angry or Lights wouldn't write a song about fighting or Lights wouldn't write about sex, she says. So En is me in another dimension, and I was able to write about all the things that I never wrote about before.
The album form of Skin&Earth also brings help from some of music's brightest including Corin Roddick of Purity Ring, Big Data and Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots. Everything that happened on this record was really fun and natural and felt like we were all working towards the same goal, she says. It was this organic mutual fan-ship kind of thing that brought it all together. She continues, This is the most fun I've had doing a record. I've never felt that I understood a record more and I've never felt like I understood a reason for a record more.
Ultimately for Lights, the most important takeaway from the story of Skin&Earth is of a young woman entranced by a spirit that she and she alone must overcome. This is based on internal, emotional stress and turmoil - stuff that I've dealt with and stuff that a lot of people have dealt with. I've always believed that all those battles can be fought and you come out of this stronger. And that was the foundation of the story, she says. At the end of the day, if nothing else, I want people, especially young women, to see in this character a little bit of themselves - see that an ordinary person can do amazing things and fight battles nobody else can see, and there's no shame in that. In fact, there's a lot of beauty in it.1. Intro
3. Until the Light
4. Savage (feat. Josh Dun)
5. New Fears
7. We Were Here
12. Magnetic Field
13. Fight Club
14. Almost Had Me$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rat FarmDesert-rock legends Meat Puppets returns this spring with their 14th studio album - the 12-track Rat Farm, which Curt Kirkwood dubs "real blown-up folk music"
The album - the band's fourth since the return of Cris Kirkwood in 2007 - is due out April 16 on Megaforce Records. In addition to the Kirkwood brothers, the band now features drummer Shandon Sahm, son of Doug Sahm, as well as Curt's son Elmo Kirkwood on second guitar.
Of the new album, Curt Kirkwood says:
"I tried to write stuff that would stand on its own - just the chords and the melodies, and play it kind of straight. I think that was the guiding boundary that I gave myself. It was one of those things where a lot of times, in the past especially, Cris would go, 'Well, that's all there is? Let's put a prog rock part in the middle.' But I tried to hold it off as much as I could."1. Rat Farm
2. One More Drop
4. Leave Your Head Alone
6. You Don't Know
8. Time and Money
9. Sometimes Blue
10. Original One
11. River Rose
12. Sweet$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ski MaskIslands' latest, Ski Mask, percolates with the kind of polymorphous pop and hooky, left-of-center rock songs that have long been the bands stock in trade.
"This record is really about being angry. For better or worse, this record kind of sums up my experience thus far with being in a band. I feel like we're kind of at a crossroads and this record is kind of me just declaring forfeiture in some ways. Like the third act of a movie-just after it seems like all hope is lost, that's when the big breakthrough moment happens. For Islands, this is us waiting for the breakthrough moment."
"This record is kind of a culmination of all the different things we've done over the years. It's basically a melting pot of all those sounds. So much of this record is about identity-specifically, the quest for finding out your own identity. ... All of these feelings and ideas that have been bubbling up over the course of four previous albums finally came to the surface on this one. This record is like a summation of Islands, everything we've ever done distilled into one record. It's basically an essential introduction to Islands-it's everything we've ever been about."
- Nick Thorburn1. Wave Forms
2. Death Drive
3. Becoming the Gunship
5. Sad Middle
6. Hushed Tones
7. Here Here
8. Shotgun Vision
9. Of Corpse
10. We'll Do It So You Don't Have To
11. Winged Beat Drums$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-MER-2311xHiss Golden Messenger
Lateness Of Dancers"Mystical country, like an eerie yellowing photograph." --David Bowie
Lateness of Dancers is the fifth full-length from Hiss Golden Messenger. It's an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of Taylor's last record, 2013's Haw, or to the searching of 2010's Bad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP he made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son. Lateness of Dancers was recorded in a tin-roofed barn outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina, last fall and includes many of Taylor's longtime collaborators, like Phil and Brad Cook of Megafaun, the guitarist William Tyler, and his erstwhile recording partner Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man contributes backing vocals; her tender, wooly voice both complements and challenges Taylor's.
The record takes its name from a Eudora Welty story, which is noteworthy not because of its origins-although there are hints of Welty in Taylor's work, and not just Welty but Flannery O'Connor and Faulkner and Barry Hannah and Larry Brown and the whole pantheon of brutal and exquisite southern writers-but because Taylor is the type of person who recognizes the beauty in a phrase like that. It is a record about self-discovery and self-knowledge, and how impossible it is to outsmart yourself. I don't know how you learn a lesson like that, except the hard way. "The misery of love is a funny thing / The more it hurts / The more you think / You can stand a little pain," he sings on "Mahogany Dread," one of Lateness' most telling tracks. These are the kinds of lies we tell ourselves to feel the things we want to feel, even when those pleasures are buried in a whole lot of hurt.1. Lucia
2. Saturday's Song
3. Mahogany Dread
4. Day O Day (A Love So Free)
5. Lateness Of Dancers
6. I'm A Raven (Shake Children
7. Black Dog Wind (Rose of Roses)
8. Southern Grammar
9. Chapter & Verse (Ione's Song)
10. Drum$18.99150 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DreamlandNatalie Bergman has had her picture taken on countless occasions -- hundreds of studio portraits and live shots and backstage festival snaps. But the simple, gorgeous black & white photo of Bergman on the cover of Wild Belle's Dreamland that she describes as just me and this sort of abyss That one was lensed by the person who best knows how to capture her essence on celluloid: Her older brother and bandmate, Elliot Bergman. Besides being Wild Belle's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Elliot has an equally impressive flair for visual arts, from painting and sculpture to bronzemaking and photography. An avid collector of vintage cameras, Elliot brought along a recently acquired Polaroid Land Camera to a show Wild Belle played in Denver this summer: The duo grabbed a quick moment at their hotel to take the portraits of each other that grace the front and back of their new record. The pictures Elliot takes of me are always really beautiful and it's because he knows me better than anyone else on this Earth, says Natalie. Adds Elliot: I like that it's a photo of Natalie just being Natalie. And the stark contrast of her in the foreground with the dark background really fit with these collages she has been doing. Natalie is in the light but the shadows are pretty heavy and you can't really tell where she is or what's back there.
Recorded at studios in their native Chicago, Natalie's new home of Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Dreamland -- Wild Belle's bold, evolutionary new album -- derives from an era in the singer's life when she was struggling to get control of what she describes as the anger and deep sorrow that plagued her at the end of her most recent romantic relationship. For a woman whose music has always been inspired by her desire to translate her complicated feelings into immediately relatable songs, there was certainly plenty of grist for the mill. Dreamland tracks such as Losing You and It Was You (Baby Come Back) offer glimpses of the darkness that Natalie battled during the early months writing for the duo's sophomore full-length. But there are also genuine moments of lightness and ecstatic triumph, like Giving Up On You -- an irresistibly kinetic, punk number Wild Belle recorded with TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek producing.
I was very heated when we were making this record. My body, my heart and my soul were filled with a flame, which sounds very dramatic but it's the truth, says Natalie. I had a healing moment when I moved to LA earlier this year, because I was far away from my ex and I felt like I was getting rid of a lot of baggage. That was the redemptive, triumphant time for my lyrics. On 'Giving Up On You,' I sing: 'Now I smile so bright, you can see me from outer space, look at me shine. Baby it's about time, I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.' All the songs I wrote near the end of making the album have that sentiment: 'Now look at where I am, after all the turmoil that was inside of me, I'm here and I'm happy and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.'
The follow-up to 2013's Isles, Dreamland expands the band's ambitions in every way. It's deeper, it's more fun, it's more haunting, it's got more grooves, Elliot says. There's sorrow and pain but there's also hope and joy -- all those things can coexist in the songs because they coexist in life. He continues: Dreamland, that's not some kind of idealized notion of where we live and I hope people hear that as a question: What is the Dreamland What is our dream here The album doesn't get overtly political, but we're dealing with a lot of the things that are dark about what's happening now. 'Throw Down Your Guns' is about a relationship but is also kind of about the messed up situation that we're in right now. The chorus, 'Throw down your guns / In the name of love, I put my hands up,' to me can be heard in a number of ways, including as a prayer for peace or a cry out against violence.
Importantly, the album also shares its name with one of the first songs Natalie remembers Elliot introducing her to: Bunny Wailer's 1970 reggae classic, Dreamland. One year for Christmas, he gave her a compilation of female artists who recorded at Jamaica's legendary Studio One, and it included Della Humphrey's version of the song. Natalie listened to it over and over and over again. I was so in love with it, she says. From there, I started my exploration of rocksteady and ska and lovers rock and anything that had to do with Jamaican music from the Fifties onward.
The duo started writing music together several years ago, after Elliot took a sixteen year-old Natalie on tour to play percussion with his acclaimed Afrobeat ensemble, NOMO. I can present a song to Elliot and he has this foresight -- he can see things further than I see them, and he helps me realize things, she says. I'd been writing very simple melodic love songs since I was fifteen years old. I definitely have a pop sensibility in my style, and that's a great platform for Elliot to work from, because it's fun for him to have a cool little pop song and combine it with more eccentric sounds and make it into a weird, unique percussive jam. Sometimes he'll bring the jam to me and because we've got this routine together, we can write a song together wherever we are.
Work on the album began in early 2014, in Chicago. The song that opens Dreamland -- Mississippi River -- was also the first one to come together in the studio. It was sparked by a moment of musical serendipity: The record starts with this pulsing ARP drone, says Elliot, which is a very expensive esoteric nerdy synthesizer that's complicated to program. Natalie and I had this weird, symbiotic thing where I was playing three chords off the ARP and she started playing different three chords on this out-of-tune autoharp she brought over. They were both completely in the wrong key, and yet perfectly in tune with each other. That was like the new bar for the record. It was like, 'Yeah, we're going to put synthesizers and saxophone and kalimbas on these songs, and we're going to have lavish string arrangements if we want to. We were getting comfortable with all of the materials that we love, and being like, 'I love this, so let's do it.
They tracked several songs at home in Chicago last year, and then at the start of 2015, Natalie packed all of her belongings into the Wild Belle van and drove from Chicago to Venice, California. She rented a house where Elliot joined her a couple weeks later. When I had my place in Venice, Elliot would wake up earlier than I would and start making dope beats, says Natalie. One day he made this ridiculous song, 'The One That Got Away,' and the beat and underlying track were so exciting that it didn't take very long to write. Our friends came over and were jumping on the tabletops, dancing, getting naked because they loved the song so much.
Playing the new songs at Lollapalooza for the first time with an eight-piece band, says Elliot, I had a feeling onstage that I'd never had before with Wild Belle, where you're part of a sound that's much bigger than you could make on your own. It's this charged-up badass feeling. It's about a groove and rhythmic energy and force and momentum and making a big, dark, deep sound -- something that moves people and makes you want to dance and makes you want to shout. It's tapping into a deeper musicality that I've always been looking for.1. Mississippi River
2. Losing You
6. Giving Up On You
7. It Was You
8. Throw Down Your Guns
9. The One That Got Away
10. Our Love Will Survive
11. Rock & Roll Angel$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BirdsSeth Glier's new album Birds is steeped in conflict and contradictions. There's grief and loss, but also strength and resilience; doubt and dismay, but also a sense of optimism as Glier confronts heavy topics and wrestles them into the daylight.
Glier (pronounced Gleer) recorded Birds in an airy loft in western Massachusetts outfitted with a grand piano and floor-to-ceiling windows. Birds roost just outside those windows, on the roof of the converted mill building where he lives, and they became his sympathetic audience while Glier made the album. I felt a tremendous amount of comfort talking to the Birds, he says I'd check in with them regularly to see how they thought things were going so far.
Birds is Glier's fifth album, and the latest entry in a burgeoning career that has included a Grammy nomination and a pair of Independent Music Awards while touring with artists including Ani DiFranco and Ryan Adams.
The songs on Birds range from personal to political, and are bound together by the awareness that our world is a fragile place that is all the more magical for it. Glier makes that point on a large scale with Water on Fire, a terse, grinding tune that opens with a cynical reworking of a Ray Charles lyric as Glier uses fracking to dig into the false equivalence between freedom and capitalism. Hasn't Hit Me Yet has a more visceral, intimate approach: the soulful slow jam, full of warm guitars and multi-tracked vocals, is about the death of Glier's autistic brother.
Together, those songs represent the opposite poles of Birds. I was really trying to explore connections on this record, Glier says. Among those connections is the one between race and the criminal justice system on Justice for All, a raw chain-gang stomp that sounds almost like an old field recording. Like I Do takes a more oblique tack, drawing out feelings of anger through the use of noisy synthesizers and fuzzed-out bass pads.
The songs on Birds reflect a scope of sound and style: the title track is lush and & orchestral, for example, while Too Much Water pairs Glier's voice and piano with subtle accompaniment from horns, for a classic, elegant feel that calls to mind Harry Nilsson in the early '70s. People Like Us is jaunty and up-tempo, while the trebly guitar arpeggios and moaning saxophone on Just Because I Can sound like a sock-hop slow dance, until you zero in on lyrics delivered by a narrator who dynamites his domestic bliss simply for the power trip. Conflict. Contradiction.
Even the cover tune, a reimagined version of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth, evokes urgency. Although it was written 50 years ago, it's still about what's happening right now, Glier says.
Birds began taking shape after Glier lost his brother, Jamie, who died in October 2015, and inspired a TED Talk performance that Glier gave in 2016. My brother passing away was a huge component of where I was and what I was looking for, Glier says. In particular, I was looking for meanings, wanting his life to mean more than just being over.
For a long time afterward, Glier passed the time by writing songs and inspecting each melody with the feathered fellows by his windowsill. Instead of recording the album in a Los Angeles studio, as he did on his 2015 album If I Could Change One Thing, he decided to make Birds at home.
I thought that I should just stay close to the windows here, Glier says. I think this sort of happened by accident, but by the time I started recording the record, it was fall in New England, which is a profoundly beautiful death. The air is full of honesty, the sky is full of geese, and there is bright gorgeousness woven into the dying of things. It all seeped into the textures of this record.1. Sunshine
2. Water On Fire
4. Just Because I Can
5. People Like Us
6. Like I Do
7. For What It's Worth
8. Too Much Water
9. Justice For All
10. Hasn't Hit Me Yet
11. I'm Still Looking$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
...Little Broken HeartsMastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio from the original source recordings!
200-gram audiophile vinyl double-LP pressing by Quality Record Pressings. Gatefold, tip-on jackets on heavy cardboard stock, deluxe high quality!
Part of Analogue Productions' reissue of the Norah Jones' solo catalog, featuring the individual albums Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, Not Too Late, The Fall and Little Broken Hearts. Each album will also be featured in an exclusive LP box set to come that will include Norah's Covers album!
Norah Jones' Little Broken Hearts was created in collaboration with producer Brian Danger Mouse Burton, best known as the producing ace for Gnarls Barkley with singer Cee Lo Green. Jones and Danger Mouse wrote all of the material for the album together at the producer's studio in Los Angeles, and the duo performed all of the instruments themselves. This is their second time working together - Jones previously appeared as a vocalist on Rome, Danger Mouse's collaboration with Italian composer Daniele Luppi. Though Little Broken Hearts is the result of a partnership between Jones and Danger Mouse, the record will be credited only to her.
The album's sound ranges from experimental chamber serenades to stark, electronic-embellished confessions. It's obviously very different than anything Norah's ever done, Burton says. I don't know what people will think - I hope they like it, and she doesn't lose a bunch of fans.
I'd never gone in with nothing and wrote songs from scratch, and I'd never played bass before on a record, Jones told Rolling Stone. I was out of my comfort zone - but I was comfortable because we're friends.
Adds Burton, The best thing was having just the two of us on those first sessions, not a whole band. Norah had as many, if not more, great ideas than I did.
One of the boldest departures is Take It Back, which features fuzzed-out guitars and spooky, distorted vocals. I never knew how to get weird sounds, Jones says. It was all about finding a balance between those effects and making sure my voice was clear and sounded like me.
In its own quiet way, Little Broken Hearts hews closer to heartbreak classics like Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear than to anything in Jones' back catalog, Rolling Stone reports, This time, I've been way less concerned with self-editing, Jones says. I'm not sad, but there's a lot of hurt in there. And it felt great to say what I felt and put it down on tape. Doing that made me so happy! This album is all about saying things that needed to be said.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Good Morning
2. Say Goodbye
3. Little Broken Hearts
4. She's 22
5. Take It Back
6. After The Fall
7. 4 Broken Hearts
8. Travelin' On
9. Out On The Road
10. Happy Pills
12. All A Dream$44.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
LP 2At a time when the music world is saturated with more bands than ever, Restorations are a refreshing change of pace: an act who undeniably embody the DIY spirit but also bring along a real breadth of musical knowledge and an unlikely set of influences that somehow manage to work perfectly together.
Formed out of the ashes of the long-running Philadelphia rock act Jena Berlin, Restorations sees the band-vocalist/guitarists Jon Loudon, Dave Klyman and Ben Pierce joining forces with drummer Carlin Brown and bassist Dan Zimmerman, crafting an album that transcends punk rock and picks up where they're extremely well-received self-titled LP left off.
LP2 is a unique blend of indie rock, punk rock and focused psychedelia that can only come from spending a decade honing their skills organically. After producing their music largely on their own the band linked up with close friend Jon Low (Local Natives, Twin Sister, Kurt Vile) at Philadelphia's Miner Street Studios to create an album that captures the unbridled energy, sonic grandeur, and sheer volume of the band's live performances.
From the driving, anthemic vibe of "The New Old" to the inventive indie rock of "The Plan," LP2 is a remarkably diverse album, which makes sense when you consider how varied the members' respective tastes are. "I think the influences for us are a little broader than a lot of bands because we don't have one central songwriter," Loudon explains, citing everyone from the classic punk acts, classic rock, metal, drone and noise. "Over the years we've become more comfortable with trying stranger things and odder combinations to see what works," he continues. "The general rule is, if everyone is into it then we just go for it. We really carried that spirit into these songs."
Lyrically, LP2 sees Loudon once again collecting his own vignettes and pairing them with the
group's music to create a narrative that isn't linear but is instead as vast as the instrumentation that supports it. "The theme of this band is boredom and repetition and focusing on little tiny moments and that type of thing, so this record is just a collection of those stories," he explains. Sharing these stories is what lies at the core of the band. Restorations aren't looking to be the biggest band, they just want to continue to create music, evolve, and bring their musical stories all over the world.
"I feel like if we tried to set a real goal with this band it would be kind of pointless because we've been doing it long enough where if you think you're getting to a certain level then you're just setting yourself up for disappointment," Klyman explains. "So it's better to just see what happens, which is how we've always approached this band." Whatever ends up happening, there's no question that with these songs as a vehicle, Restorations is headed somewhere uncharted and they invite you to come along for the ride.1. D
2. Let's Blow Up the Sun
3. Civil Inattention
4. Kind of Comfort
5. In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe
6. New Old
8. The Plan
9. Adventure Tortoise$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Temporary People (Awaiting Repress)Temporary People is the second LP by Joseph Arthur And The Lonely Astronauts, a NYC-based collective. Arthur, along with guitarists Kraig Jarret Johnson (The Jayhawks) and Jennifer Turner (Fur Slide, Natalie Merchant), drummer Greg Wieczorek (Twilight Singers) and bassist Sibyl Buck, descended upon the Catskill wilderness to conjure what Arthur testifies as a fully-realized, awesome explosion of rock and roll. The best and truest things are born out of necessity, Arthur explains. I hung onto the recording of this album like a man in the middle of the ocean would to a a piece of wood floating by, you can hear it in the songs and you can hear it in the band pulling together. This album is the sound of survival. The follow up to 2007's Let's Just Be, Temporary People finds the Astronauts steeped in rattling anthems (Faith, Temporary People), unearthly rock revivals (Dead Savior, Look into the Sky) and classic country inspired hymns (Say Goodbye, Turn You On).
Jo is one of those rare writer-performers where you get the sense, whatever your belief, that something greater is being channeled through his music and voice. Like Patti Smith, Grant Lee Phillips, Thom Yorke, he trances and the voice, the meaning, becomes bigger than him, bigger than a few pop chords or words strung together. It touches something very deep and universal. - Michael Stipe, R.E.M.1. Temporary People
3. Say Goodbye
4. Dead Savior
5. Look into the Sky
6. Sunrise Dolls
7. Dream is Longer than the Night
8. Heart's A Solder
9. Turn You On
10. Winter Blades
12. Good Friend$12.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Garden State SoundtrackThe soundtrack to Zach Braff's Garden State is nearly as much of a piece with the film as the similarly sweet, quirky combinations of sound and vision in Wes Anderson's films and soundtracks. Garden State, however, is more modern in its outlook and more emotionally direct, with a mixtape earnestness belied by using not one but two songs from the Shins' Oh, Inverted World. New Slang is an obvious choice, as the song just seems to grow in stature as time passes, but Caring Is Creepy, Oh, Inverted World's vulnerable, ever-so-slightly unhinged opening track, is not, and adds to the personal, diary-like feel of the album. The bright poignancy of the Shins' tracks stands out even more among the low-key melancholy of songs like Coldplay's Don't Panic, Remy Zero's Fair, and Colin Hay's I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You. The inclusion of Hay's track, Bonnie Somerville's Winding Road, and the Cary Brothers' Blue Eyes shows that Garden State doesn't go for the hipster, too-cool-for-school poses that one might expect from the soundtrack of a hot indie movie, even with the inclusion of Iron & Wine's cover of the Postal Service's Such Great Heights. Still, there's something of a collegiate feel to the soundtrack, especially with the re-rediscovery of Nick Drake (One of These Things First) and Simon & Garfunkel (The Only Living Boy in New York) as well as the tentative forays into electronica and trip-hop like Zero 7's In the Waiting Line, Frou Frou's Let Go, and Thievery Corporation's Lebanese Blonde. Perhaps this collegiate feel comes from the fact that those years are often the time when many people are the most ready and willing to explore music that is new to them (but not necessarily new), but, as the success of Garden State's soundtrack shows, any time can be the right time.
- Heather Phares (All Music Guide)LP 1
1. Don't Panic (Album Version) - Coldplay
2. Caring Is Creepy (Album Version) - The Shins
3. In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
4. New Slang (Album Version) - The Shins
5. I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You (Album Version) - Colin Hay
6. Blue Eyes (Album Version) - Cary Brothers
7. Fair (Album Version) - Remy Zero
1. One Of These Things First (Album Version) - Nick Drake
2. Lebanese Blonde (Album Version) - Thievery Corporation
3. The Only Living Boy in New York - Simon & Garfunkel
4. Such Great Heights (Album Version) - Iron And Wine
5. Let Go (Album Version) - Frou Frou
6. Winding Road (Album Version) - Bonnie Somerville$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Best Of The Boiler Room ClassicsIt's been over three years since Oscillate Wisely, the debut album from Mike Adams At His
Honest Weight. A lot has happened to all of us since then, but it was a particularly action-packed time for ol' Mike. His newborn son requiring emergency heart surgeries immediately
after birth (doing ne now!), his former rock band of nearly 10 years calling it quits, and plenty
of other heavy things have helped shape the follow-up, Best of Boiler Room Classics, into one
of the most believably moving albums to come around in a long time.
But forget about all that stu for a minute because we need to talk about how great these
SONGS are! And these are real songs, daddy! Verses, choruses, hooks, bridges, you know,
well-written timeless songs that at least some of us will be listening to 50 years from now. The
same mixing/mastering team of Adam Jessup & Eric Day have returned and have really taken
their time to make this album sound like exactly one million bucks. The thoughtful, hard work
that went into this record has resulted in something truly special, like a Midwestern Tusk made
by fun, lovable people who actually get along really well.
Best of Boiler Room Classics has the subtle, earnest warmth of an album like the Clientele's
Strange Geometry but with the arena-ready grandeur of ELO's Out Of The Blue. While there is
an unforgettable instant catchiness to these songs, there is a depth, both lyrically and musically,
that makes repeated listens a delight.
While this is not a country album by any means, songs like "Count On It" and "Don't Want It,
Don't Get It" nd Mike's comforting words gripping your heart like an old Roger Miller ballad.
Speaking of "Count On It", just wait until those actual strings kick in at 2:27! It'll do something
What if the GBV albums on TVT had been produced by Cowboy Jack Clement?
What if The Wonders songs in That Thing You Do were actually performed by The Pernice
Brothers? What if Dee Dee Ramone wrote "Late For The Sky" instead of Jackson Browne?
What if Todd Rundgren engineered a Cass McCombs record?1. If
2. Be Free, Live Well
3. I'm Worried
4. Findings of Feeling, Findings of Fact
5. A Woman Is The New Man
6. Count On It
8. The Bright Line
9. Don't Want It, Don't Get It
10. The Fingers You Know
11. That's Itt, Cuz
12. Good Thing Going$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FreedomRefused came to an end in front of 50 kids at a basement show in a Virginia college town in 1998,
just as their release of the same year, The Shape of Punk to Come, was taking its first steps toward
becoming an acknowledged classic and a massive influence on a generation of bands. Refused Are
Fucking Dead! became the slogan, as kids discovered Shape and its breakout track "New Noise"
only to find their new heroes disbanded.
Refused Are Fucking Alive! After a 2012 invitation to reform for the Coachella festival, Refused followed
its first shows in 15 years with a triumphant tour, as every kid who had discovered them after
death came out to see them reborn. Now comes Freedom, the first album in almost 20 years, on
Epitaph, the label that released The Shape of Punk to Come all those years ago. Freedom explodes
out of the speakers with opening track "Elektra," as frontman Dennis Lyxzen's throat-shredding
declaration that "nothing has changed" catapults Refused into the 21st century. If Shape blasted
apart the constraints of the punk and hardcore worlds with which Refused had long been associated,
Freedom goes a step further by incorporating the wide-ranging influences that have shaped
each band members' personal tastes. Produced by Nick Launay (Gang Of Four, Public Image Ltd.,
Nick Cave, Arcade Fire) with additional work by fellow Swede and longtime Refused fan Shellback,
Freedom is not just a follow-up to Shape, but a living breathing snapshot of a band, alive, now.
"It's not a reunion anymore," Lyxzen insists. "This is one of the most radical things we've ever done,
both musically and lyrically."1. Elektra
2. Old Friends / New War
3. Dawkins Christ
5. Thought Is Blood
6. War On The Palaces
7. Destroy The Man
9. Servants Of Death
10. Useless Europeans$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hug Of Thunder"I don't want to go out there being presumptuous," Kevin Drew says, "because, I've worn those presumptuous shoes before, and you don't want it to feel like, 'Oh, what a let-down.'" That's the fear when you bring back one of music's most beloved names seven years after their last album. But with Hug of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, Drew and his bandmates have a right to feel presumptuous.
They have that right because they have created one of 2017's most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. On Hug of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene - well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines - refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn't just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year - a song that will become as beloved as "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.
Its title, Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group's comeback, and how they sound playing together again: "It's just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder."
Broken Social Scene had reconvened, in varying forms, several times over the past four years - the odd festival show here and there, preferably ones that involved the least possible traveling. But the idea that they might turn their hand to something more than greatest-hits sets had been stirring since November 2014, when producer Joe Chiccarelli told Drew the group needed to make a new album.
"He started showing up at our label, asking if we were going to make an album," Drew recalls. "He just didn't give up; he just kept saying, 'You've got to strike, you've got to do this, the time is now,' and so finally we agreed."
As might be expected to be the case with a many-headed hydra of a group, getting all the principals to agree wasn't easy. Drew's co-founder Brendan Canning was keen, but Drew and fellow BSS lifer Charles Spearin took more persuading. A turning point for Drew came with the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, which made him feel the world needed an injection of positivity: "It just sort of made us want to go out there and play. Because I think we've always been a band that's been a celebration."
Canning picks up the story: "By autumn of 2015 we had started getting together and trying some ideas out, just getting back in that jam space, in Charles' garage. Then we set up shop in my living room and we were starting to come together in a very familiar kind of way, jamming in the living room, eating meals in the kitchen together, because that's what the band is about: 'Hey, let's all get on the same page and get the energies flowing in the same direction.'"
Recording finally began in April 2016 at The Bathouse studio on the shores of Lake Ontario, with later sessions in Toronto and Montreal, before the group went right back to basics. "It was very beautiful the way that it ended in Charlie's little rehearsal garage space," Drew says, "after going to all these studios. We just worked there, doing backup vocals and handclaps and all the shit we used to do when we were younger." And then it was to Los Angeles, where the album was mixed.
The result is a panoramic, expansive album, 53 minutes that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: "Stay Happy" lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. "Gonna Get Better" makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That's not to say it's an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring "There was a military base across the street," the listener is caught in the division between the national security provided by national defense, and the menace of the same thing.
The gestation of Hug of Thunder was no idyll. When You Forgot It in People made their name, Broken Social Scene were young men and women. Fifteen years on, they were adults in or on the cusp of middle age, and - as Drew puts it - "all the adult problems in the world were happening around us individually, whether it was divorce or cancer". Three members of the band lost their fathers while the album was being recorded, "and it seemed like the days of going in the studio, getting stoned, drinking five beers and saying, 'Who gives a fuck?' were over".
Then there's the fact of the size of the ensemble, and the number of competing voices. "You don't always get the final say with Broken Social Scene," Canning says, with a certain degree of understatement. He compares the process of getting everyone to agree on a song to party politics: "It's like you're trying to get a bill passed through the House - you have to be really committed to wanting to win."
But, still, if they were to return, it had to be with everybody, no matter if that meant things might get unwieldy. "I'd like to believe that Broken Social Scene can be whatever it can be," Canning says, "but I think the fact we'd gone away for so long meant we really, we really couldn't have done the same thing without everyone involved, you know?" The story of Broken Social Scene, he insists, was built on the involvement of everyone, and so if the story was to be continued, those same people had to return.
"The thing that has changed is that the relationships between us are established," Drew suggests. "And in a family, you ebb and flow and you come and you go and you're in love and then you're annoyed - but it's established now, the relationships aren't going anywhere, you know? And I think through time, because we've been through so much together, personally and professionally, when we're all on stage, everybody knows what they're doing, everybody has a melody to back up someone else, you feel supported, you're a crew, there's nothing but protection all around you."
Canning picks up the theme: "Before we were making this record, I said to everyone: 'We all basically want the same thing, we might just have slightly different roadmaps on how to get there. So how do we stray off on certain country roads but get back onto the main thoroughfare?'"
That Broken Social Scene was a family again, driving along the same main road, became apparent to UK fans in September 2016, when the group - with Ariel Engle the latest woman to assume the role of co-lead vocalist - came over for less than a handful of festival shows, to test the waters. Their Sunday teatime appearance at End Of The Road - an ecstatic hour of maximalist music, physically and emotionally overwhelming - ended up being one of the biggest hits of the festival. It achieved what Drew has always felt music needed to do: it created transcendence, a pocket of time where everyone present was living only in the moment.
"My 11-year-old nephew asked me, 'Uncle Kev, why do adults get drunk?' and I looked at him and thought, 'OK, brilliant question, I'm going to give a brilliant answer,'" Drew recalls. "And I looked at him for about 10 seconds and I said, 'Because they want to feel like you. Because they want to feel like a kid again, they want to forget everything, they want to be innocent.' We are built in a way now where you can't do that because you're walking around with the anti-transcendence box in your pocket, and in your hand, and in your home, and on your bedside table: it's the anti-transcendence. It's called your phone! And we're getting killed, we're getting killed!"
So what do Broken Social Scene want listeners to take from Hug of Thunder? Canning wants it to make them "pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes". For Drew, it's about what it's always been about: making the connection. "I just hope they understand that there's others out there, that they're not alone," he says. "I know that's silly! But you'd be surprised how many times I've had to tell people, 'Hey, you're not alone on this, you're not alone thinking these things.' I mean, with the title Hug of Thunder, I want to hold people. I want to fucking hold them. And when we do shows, I'm not: 'Look at me, I'm elevated up on the stage,' It's: 'We're here with you, this is us together.' Broken Social Scene is about the people, and it's always been about the people."1. Sol Luna
2. Halfway Home
3. Protest Song
5. Stay Happy
6. Vanity Pail Kids
7. Hug of Thunder
8. Towers and Masons
9. Victim Lover
10. Please Take Me With You
11. Gonna Get Better
12. Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now