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First Time On LP In North America.
First Album In The Merge Records 25th Anniversary Reissue
Nixon was released in early 2000. It was Lambchop's fifth LP, and the first
record of any kind that the band had released in over a year, after a
half-decade in which scarcely three months went by without some kind of
new Lambchop music. Starting with the swell of horns in the middle of
album opener "The Old Gold Shoe," Nixon glides easily from one unexpected
grace note to the next, peppering in funk, R&B, gospel, country, vintage
folk-and integrating them all, not presenting them discretely. Lambchop has
always taken its Nashville origins seriously, making use of the wide variety of
talented musicians who live and work in Music City.
Nixon drew Lambchop's usual raft of mixed reviews and modest sales
stateside-though the positive reviews were more positive than ever, as many
critics put the album on their year-end best-of lists, and fans who'd long loved
the band felt more comfortable evangelizing to newcomers about such an
accessible, tuneful record. Over the years, as Lambchop has continued to
experiment, making more albums that are just as conceptual and well
executed, Nixon has grown in stature as a sort of origin point.
Yet as much as it was the kickoff to a new chapter in Lambchop's story, Nixon
was also an ending of sorts, at least as far as Wagner is concerned. On the
records that have followed, he's tended to work with fewer personnel on any
given track, moving away from Nixon's bigger sound. "Nixon might've been
the peak of the 14-person Lambchop," he says. It was also the last Lambchop
album to be recorded almost entirely with the old analog methods, which is
something that Wagner marvels at now, given how complex these songs were
to assemble.1. The Old Gold Shoe
3. You Masculine You
4. Up With People
5. Nashville Parent
6. What Else Could It Be?
7. The Distance From Her to There
8. The Book I Haven't Read
9. The Petrified Florist
10. The Butcher Boy$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live at XX MergeFirst Time Pressed To Vinyl
"The results are in and it's unanimous -- Lambchop stole the show at XX Merge." -- WASHINGTON POST
"..the Nashville weirdos have never gotten the popular attention they've long deserved. Friday night, they won the capacity crowd at the Cradle forever. It was a revelatory
moment, suggesting that we've got five years from right now to reconsider Lambchop." -- PITCHFORK
"It truly was a performance for the ages." -- AQUARIUM DRUNKARD
As Merge fans know, Lambchop has been on the label since 1993, releasing a string of widely varied but consistently brilliant records. But the live Lambchop experience has been somewhat elusive in the U.S. While the band has toured the gilded theaters of Europe and elsewhere for nearly two decades, the Nashville group has seldom toured their home country. To help celebrate Merge's 20th Anniversary the band showed up in one of their largest lineups in recent memory -- 11-strong, including multiple
guitars, keyboards, piano, and a horn section. By the end of their set, everyone in the packed Cats Cradle - band and audience both - was levitating a few inches off the ground.
Lambchop's set at XX Merge was professionally recorded and filmed, and is available now on vinyl for those who missed it, or for those who want to go back again.1. Introduction (Jon Wurster)
2. I Will Drive Slowly
3. The New Cobweb Summer
5. Sharing a Gibson With Martin Luther King Jr.
6. What Else Could It Be?
7. Joke (Tony Crow)
8. National Talk Like a Pirate Day
9. Hey, Where's Your Girl?
10. Your Fucking Sunny Day
11. Up With People
12. Give It$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The DietDiets? Who needs 'em? Well, if you're like Buddy Hackett, or us you do. A few years ago, I came across a 45-second monologue about trying to lose weight, performed by the comedian Buddy Hackett. It was on a 78 RPM record on the Coral Records imprint. It occurred to me that it could make an interesting dance recording given the right situation and circumstance. Equally inspirational was the book Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture 1970-1979 by Tim Lawrence. In reading it, I saw parallels between the dance culture of that era and the indie-rock/punk/experimental music culture. It unlocked in my mind a genre of music long dormant in memory yet an influence so prevailing in a variety of current musical genres. Woe be it unto the man whose tastes are frozen forever, for given time, space, and understanding, such things become reborn and reimagined as we search for a creative kernel of truth. I went about the realization of this idea with fellow Lambchops and electronic-minded musicians Ryan Norris (Coupler) and Scott Martin (Hobbledeions). Together we became HeCTA.
Using the idea of combining the notion of "song" and elements from stand-up comedy, and electronic music and a shared love of the electronic form and its many permutations, we respectfully, playfully explored and experimented. It was to be an equal sharing of ideas, influences, and missteps. We were looking for a new way of making songs incorporating these things, to make something concise on beat. The form is not such a surprise when you consider other electronic collaborations I've been involved with: Zero 7's remix of Lambchop's "Up With People" and co-writing X-Press2's "Give It." The results became The Diet, and those songs are with us now. As HeCTA, we take our approach seriously and are respectfully aware of the great electronic music created throughout its history continuing into the present-so much so that when it came time to mix these recordings, we reached out to some of the central figures of the genre. Such greats as Morgan Geist, John McEntire, and Q all had a hand in shaping the refined sound we present to you. With invaluable creativity and engineering by Jeremy Ferguson at Battle Tapes in Nashville, we together created what we consider to be a collection of songs that move and move through you, from the dashboard to the dance floor, from Decatur to Dornburg, from Dorchester to Detroit. Suck it up, hippies. This music is our attempt to extend the boundaries of our expression and have some fun. It's not Americana, house, techno, trap, juke, or blaze. Why would it be? And like any good diet, it will be reviled then ultimately loved by all who give it a chance to work its way into their lives. We love you for trying, and we're trying to love you back. -kurtx1. Till Someone Gets Hurt
2. Sympathy for the Auto Industry
4. Like You're Worth It
5. The Concept
6. Change Is In Our Pocket
7. We Are Glistening
8. Give Us Your Names
9. We Bitched We Bovvered and We Buildered$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FlotusFor Love Often Turns Us Still-officially titled FLOTUS-is like many
of Lambchop's records: a subtle masterpiece, the kind that slowly
and generously reveals its quiet wisdom to those patient and attentive
enough to receive it.
Start to finish, FLOTUS is imbued with that magic energy that comes
when an artist stumbles upon the thrill of the new-something that
makes them crazy enough to want to start the whole process over
again. The album is bookended by two long-form pieces: the first,
"In Care of 8675309," is most reminiscent of where Lambchop has
been, while the second, the sprawling, hypnotic "The Hustle," suggests
where they might still be headed. The latter seamlessly shifts between
movements, a foundation suggestive of krautrock and early electronic
music, gorgeously ornamented with perfectly placed piano and horns.
Drawing upon a diverse palate of influences and transcending each
one, it's a stunning piece of work-certainly one of the most
impressive achievements of Lambchop's catalogue.
Watching an established artist work with a new set of tools is a gift
and a true litmus test for authenticity-the result depending not on the
tools, but on the unique sensibilities of the artist using them.
FLOTUS is anchored by those sensibilities and is brimming with
the many hallmarks of Lambchop's catalogue: the same beautifully
nuanced arrangements, the same unparalleled ability to capture the
eternal in life's quotidian struggles. Kurt Wagner has made a new path
to the same old joys, and in the process, he found a record that sounds
like no one else-or, completely, unmistakably, like himself.LP 1
1. In Care of 8675309
2. Directions to the Can
6. Old Masters
1. Relatives #2
2. Harbor Country
5. The Hustle$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Behold The SpiritLimited to 500 copies.
William Tyler is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a guitarist who has spent the last several years recording and touring with Silver Jews and Lambchop among others. In addition he has contributed to albums by artists as diverse as Charlie Louvin, Candi Staton and Wooden Wand, as well as taking part in a large ensemble piece by composer Rhys Chatham. He also recently contributed a track to Tompkins Squares acoustic guitar compilation, Imaginational AnthemVolume 4 : New Possibilities.
Behold The Spirit reveals an astounding array of talents. In addition to his beautiful playing, Tyler is also an ace arranger, augmenting complex textures and various instrumentation with his lyrical compositions. A stunning, beautiful and varied guitar album for the ages.$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
and mesmeric curiously unsettling.
like a sedated Lucinda Williams
swathed in watery echo.
-ALL MUSIC GUIDE
Jones lets a little light in, if only
to show how dark the world can be.
Based in Nashville, but raised in a coal miner's company house on the banks of
Buffalo Creek, WV, Stone Jack Jones is the descendant of four generations of
coal miners. After being rejected from military service in Vietnam due to
epilepsy, and discouraged from pursuing the coal mining business, Jack decided
to start wandering. By the time he landed in Nashville, where he met Roger
Moutenot, Patty Griffin, and Kurt Wagner, Jack had worked as a carny, an escape
artist, a ballet dancer, a professional lute player, and even owned a strip club.
Ancestor was produced in collaboration with Roger Moutenot (known for his
work with Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, and many others), and features contributions by Patty Griffin, and Lambchop members Ryan Norris, Scott Martin, and
Kurt Wagner. Intensely meditative, the album patiently explores the hardness of
the coal mines, the mystery of suicide, the comfort of a dog's acceptance, the
idea that forgetting all you know can be the first step towards hearing and
reconnecting with your muse, and one man's gratitude for the love he's been
given and the life he's had the chance to live.1. O Child
3. Black Coal
4. State I'm In
6. Red Red Rose
7. Way Gone Wrong
9. Good Enough
11. Petey's Song$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Love & Torture
Simultaneously claustrophobic and
mesmeric curiously unsettling.
"...Breathtakingly insightful and poetic..."
Beautifully desolate piece of Americana that
wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack
for True Detective.
- THE TIMES (UK)
A smokey lament that comes off like a
slightly jazzier Spiritualized.
Stone Jack Jones is a survivor. On two separate occasions the rare and mysterious blood
condition that courses through his steely West Virginian veins almost killed him. Doctors couldn't
fully explain or treat his malady, but Jack pulled through, even after receiving last rites on one
occasion. Spending a little time at Death's door gave him unique perspective on life. While
recovering from one of his near death experiences he deeply pondered the necessity of death,
the torturous pain that comes with the death of someone you love, and eventually arrived at the
simultaneously comforting and alarming conclusion that he was both alive and dead at the same
In 2014 Jack released Ancestor, an album which The Quietus called " breathtakingly insightful
and poetic ", and SPIN called undeniably compelling ". As a tribute to his father, Ancestor
was a remembrance of mountain string bands, with many of the songs worked out as an acoustic
three-piece sitting together in a bluegrass circle. For his new album Love & Torture he took a
different approach, working out the foundations for most of the songs in the studio with producer
Roger Moutenot. Rather than recording everything over of a few days or weeks in the studio, the
two met up sporadically over the course of many months, giving the songs plenty of time to
gestate and evolve in stride with Jack's life. When it felt right, they'd invite long-time collaborators
including Ryan Norris, Scott Martin, and Kyle Hamlett into the studio to improvise and explore
where each song would go next. Having worked and created with the same guys for several years,
their trust and intimacy let them extract moments of brilliance from the ether.
The album opens with the woozy groove of Shine (one of two songs on the album featuring
vocals by Patty Griffin), which Jack describes as a contemplation of what heaven might be like.
The following song Thrill Thrill explores the helplessness he felt in the clutches of the blood
disease that nearly killed him. Lambchop's Kurt Wagner contributes some serious low-end to the
song Circumstance. As Jack recalls, I asked Kurt if he thought he could sing lower than me and
he gave me a wily smile with a deep long ooooh yeah, took a sip of whiskey and put it in the
basement. The mood lightens a bit on the drinking song Russia on which Jack's wife Hollis
chants verses from Russian poet Alexander Blok, while Ben Smythe contributes a frenetic and
deranged penny whistle to the party. The album concludes with the joyful acceptance and
appreciation of Amen, another song about Jack's celebration of life. As dark as his creative
output can seem at times, it's heavily infused with Jack's undeniable light and his patient will to
...knock a hole in the sky. Seek light in the dark. Have secrets and make the air vibrate and
shake reality so she shows her many faces. Like a collection of swirling and inviting mantras
Love & Torture is a sonic dialog that pulses with the all of the grace and bliss that has touched
Jack's incredible life.1. Shine
2. Thrill Thrill
3. Q and K
10. Say Amen$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stay RecklessAustin Lucas' release of Stay Reckless marks an important moment for this young troubadour who has amassed fans from Bloomington, IN to Prague.
Inspired by X, producer Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Jason Isbell) captures an alt-country album brimming with punk rock energy and heartland earnestness. In
2007 Lucas began to entwine his punk rock nature with his bluegrass upbringing eventually collaborating and touring with Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music and traveling the country on The Warped Tour, Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour and
The Revival Tour. Being raised by accomplished bluegrass musician Bob Lucas and then embarking on a stripling discovery, Austin Lucas has come full circle with Stay Reckless, a record that
embodies the work of an experienced troubadour.1. Let Me In
2. Alone In Memphis
3. Four Wheels
4. Small Town Heart
6. Save It For Yourself
7. Different Shade Of Red
8. Stay Reckless
9. So Much More Than Lonely
10. Gift And A Gamble
11. Splinters$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Farmer's CornerFollowing the critically acclaimed Blood Oaths of the New Blues, James Jackson Toth a.k.a Wooden Wand decided to try something different: instead of spending a week in a studio with the same people, the same engineer, the same equipment and the same state of mind, he would record in fits and starts, whenever - and wherever - he felt like it. Over six sessions in four studios spanning three states, he began amassing tracks. Toth then chose his favourites for Farmer's Corner, which is, remarkably, the very first self-produced Wooden Wand album. Aided on the majority of the tracks by bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Jim O'Rourke, Grand Ulena ), and guitarists William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo) and Doc Feldman. The result reflects Toth's omnivorous musical and narrative obsessions. The arrangements - think Little Feat covering Harvest Moon - only serve to highlight his capabilities as both a songwriter and storyteller. The collected songs form an easy entry into the ever-growing Toth output, where outlaws on the run, epic landscapes, endless travels, agitated insomniacs and ditch-digging memory-evaders lurk behind every turn.1. Alpha Dawn
2. Uneasy Peace
3. When the Trail Goes Cold
6. Sinking Feelings
7. Home Horizon
8. Port of Call
9. Gone to Stay$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Summer of the Shark
First Time Pressed To Vinyl
LP Pressed To White Vinyl
Portastatic's The Summer of the Shark will be available for the first time on vinyl
as part of a monthly series of reissues to mark the 25th anniversary of Merge
Mac McCaughan, co-founder of Merge Records and frontman of the band
Superchunk, began recording solo albums under the name Portastatic in the
early '90s. Beginning with this album, Portastatic evolved from a lo-fi side
project to become McCaughan's main focus throughout Superchunk's long
hiatus in the early '00s.
McCaughan wrote the songs on The Summer of the Shark in 2001 while
Superchunk was on tour in support of Here's to Shutting Up, which was
released mere days after the September 11 attacks and would be the band's
last studio album for nine years. The resulting batch of songs was the last
Portastatic album recorded almost entirely at home; it was also the most
emotionally resonant, and musically compact collection to date.
Upon the album's release, then Chicago Tribune reporter John Cook wrote
of the album: "It is the most effective and moving musical answer yet to what
has happened to us over the last two years. Faced with an enormous
catastrophe, McCaughan elected to make a small record. There are no heroes
rushing up stairwells and no dissections of good and evil-only scared,
confused people and local heartbreaks."
Recorded at McCaughan's home studio in Chapel Hill, The Summer of the
Shark included contributions from Janet Weiss (Wild Flag, Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), Tony Crow (Lambchop), Margaret White (Versus, Matt Pond PA),
Matthew McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger), Aaron Oliva, and
John Plymale.1. Oh Come Down
2. In the Lines
3. Windy Village
4. Through a Rainy Lens
5. Don't Disappear
6. Swimming Through Tires
8. Noisy Night
9. Clay Cakes
10. Drill Me
12. Hey Salty$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Falling Faster Than You Can RunWell, it doesn't take long for Falling Faster Than You Can Run to reveal that Nathaniel Rateliff isn't in a very good place. His deep funk is revealed very quickly on the opening track 'Still Trying': "If you roll in it long enough/your shit won't even smell" sings Rateliff, in between crying out, unaccompanied, "I don't know/I don't know/a god damned thing".
And that's the feeling that sticks throughout this, often very fine, new record from Denver, Colorado's Missouri-born Rateliff. On his second full-length album (dropping the & the Wheel from his name) loneliness is writ large: not the kind of loneliness from actually being along, but the kind that comes from being constantly surrounded by people yet unable to shake the feeling of complete isolation. Rateliff has toured with many, many acts over the past few years and most recently has spent time with Dr Dog and fellow Denver act (and friends) The Lumineers. Thankfully, Rateliff rarely sounds like his friends (you might say I'm not a fan) and instead writes and plays music with a lot of heart and soul. It's often his voice that's the star of the show thanks to the subtly-arranged instrumentation: part matured Kurt Wagner burr and part throat-ravaged bluesman ( a bit The Tallest Man on Earth) it's a voice you could listen to all day. But good voice is nothing without good songs, and Rateliff comes with plenty of ammunition on Falling Faster Than You Can Run.
"Still Trying" is an arresting opener; while Rateliff's heart-wrenching roars are the highlight, the backing isn't too shabby either - acoustic guitar and bass drum battle for the spotlight on a ragged country song, and it sounds authentic, like Rateliff has lived what he's singing. And things get better quickly: "I Am" is mostly just Rateliff and his guitar, as broaches his isolation singing: "you'll never know what's buried there / less you dig around". The music swells as he sings the title over and over, following a similar pattern to the album opener. But before things get too familiar, Rateliff picks up the pace with a couple of full band numbers that could almost be considered jaunty, if we were to ignore the lyrics. "Don't Get Too Close" is fine enough and ticks over nicely like a quickstep, but "Laborman" is even better. Like Wilco at their poppiest, it flies off on crunchy and bright electric guitars which belies the lyrical content: "I got a feelin' / a sleepin' depression / that somebody's gonna get hurt", sings Rateliff, followed by "you got the harness/so where you gonna drag me now?" You can see a pattern developing here; Rateliff's stuck somewhere he doesn't want to be, lonely, but how does he get out of it? Take another look at that album cover too - a couple share a bed, an arm reaches out yet it doesn't touch the other person. It's basically a visual encapsulation of what's being sung about.
The epic electric storm of "Forgetting Is Believing" leads a trio of great closing tracks, ending with the Lambchop-murmur of the title track. Rateliff's baritone is exposed and dusty as he sings "leave me alone/you can see me fall/faster than you can run", ending as he started the record - alone and isolated.
Falling Faster Than You Can Run feels, through the dirt, the shit and the whisky, and despite the loneliness, like a hard-earned triumph for Nathaniel Rateliff.
- Andrew Hannah (The Line Of Best Fit)1. Still Trying
2. I Am
3. Don't Get Too Close
5. How To Win
6. Nothing To Show For
7. Right On
8. Three Fingers
9. Forgetting Is Believing
10. When Do You See
11. Falling Faster Than You Can Run$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You Don't Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold (Out of Stock)In 1955, country and pop music legend Eddy Arnold released a version of the classic song You Don't Know Me which he wrote with Cindy Walker. This album pays tribute to that standard as well as 18 other legendary songs by The Tennessee Plowboy who was
one of the most influential artists in country
Produced by punk rock legend Cheetah Chrome and Bobby Bare producer Don Cusic, this tribute record
features a who's who list of artists such as Alejandro Escovedo, Frank Black, Peter Noone, Pokey LaFarge, Jason Isbell, Lambchop and many more!
Recorded at four iconic Nashville studios with an all-star group of backing musicians, You Don't Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold is a fitting tribute to a true music icon.1. Alejandro Escovedo - "It's A Sin"
2. Chuck Mead-"Anytime"
3. Bobby Bare, Jr. - "Make The World Go Away"
4. Mary Gauthier - "You Don't Know Me"
5. Peter Noone - "Something Old, Something New (Something Borrowed & Blue)"
6. Jason Ringenberg - "Texarkana Baby"
7. Mandy Barnett-"How's The World Treating You"
8. Pokey LaFarge - "Lovebug Itch"
9. Cheetah Chrome-"What Is Life Without Love"
10. Jason Isbell - "Johnny Reb, That's Me"
11. Chris Scruggs - "Just A Little Lovin'(Will Go A Long Way)"
12. Melinda Doolittle -"Bouquet of Roses"
13. The Bluefields - "That's How Much I Love You"
14. Pete Mroz - "Cattle Call"
15. Bebe Buell - "I'll Hold You In My Heart"
16. Lambchop - "Jim, I Wore A Tie Today"
17. Sylvain Sylvain - "That Do Make It Nice"
18. Drivin' N' Cryin' - "Wreck of the Old 97"
19. Frank Black - " Don't Rob Another Man's Castle$28.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Shaken (Out of Stock)"...spine-tingling, spectral folk-pop." - NPR MUSIC
Copenhagen, Denmark native Maggie Bjorklund has made a name for herself as an exceptionally gifted pedal steel guitarist/singer/composer, who crafts elements of country, indie rock, film scores, psychedelia, and pop into a stylistically unique blend of roots music. Over the years she has landed coveted touring gigs with Jack White (and performed on his latest album Lazaretto), X's John Doe & Exene Cervenka, Mark Lanegan, Howe Gelb, & Calexico's Joey Burns & John Convertino to name a few. With the release of her second album Shaken, Bjorklund puts together an A-plus band, consisting of drummer Convertino, cellist Barb Hunter, Jim Barr (Portishead) on bass, John Parish
(PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) on guitars & production and a featured guest vocal appearance by Kurt Wagner (Lambchop). Written during a time of major personal upheaval, the songwriting here has a profound, cathartic, and purposeful inspiration Shaken is filled with potent memories and emotional out-pouring, translated into dark, warm sonic textures that flow like sepia-tinged lucid dreams, held together with Bjorklund's distorted, ghostly swells and breathy waves of pedal steel.1. Dark Side of the Heart
3. Bottom of the Well
4. The Road to Samarkand
5. Fro Fro Heart
6. The Unlucky
7. Name in the Sand
8. Missing At Sea
11. Teach Me How To Say Goodbye$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock