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UNIM-CAP-0814xLittle Big Town
The BreakerLittle Big Town will release their brand-new record, The Breaker via Capitol Nashville. The collection, which features their now No. 1 single "Better Man," was written and recorded during one of their busiest and most successful years to-date, so they weren't able to write as many songs for it as they have for previous albums.
"We had an incredibly like creative year last year. I mean, we went from starting this record to making the Pharrell record, which was unexpected but such a joy and so creative in a different way than the records that we make with Jay [Joyce]," says LBT's Karen Fairchild. "And so, we were writing, and then we were writing with Pharrell and then that ended up being a record. And then we were planning the tour and we went out on the road with Luke for 70 shows, and it just never stopped. And it was like all year long output, output, output of creative. And so yeah, the writing scenarios on the record might not look like they have on past records, but it was just the way it was going to happen. I mean, when you're that busy it's like the success also makes it difficult to like write all the time, because writing on the road is not the easiest thing in the world. You have a million distractions, and so there's all kinds of things like getting focused. But we had also the blessing of having all of these incredible songs sent to us and they seemed to be piecing themselves together."1. Happy People
2. Night On Our Side
3. Lost In California
5. Drivin' Around
6. We Went To The Beach
7. Better Man
9. Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old
10. Beat Up Bible
11. When Someone Stops Loving You
12. The Breaker$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-CAP-9042xLittle Big Town
Pain KillerCapitol Records Nashville, GRAMMY Award-winning group Little Big Town release their sixth studio album, Pain Killer. The album, produced by Jay Joyce, features current single Day Drinking, the bands highest chart debut to date, and was written by LBT s Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet and songwriters Troy Verges and Barry Dean. The foursome co-wrote eight of the 13 tracks on the album.
Sometimes you don't know what's going to happen in the studio. You just have to dive in head first and work hard to do something unique, said Fairchild. We're always striving and pushing ourselves to go somewhere new. Pain Killer is a new place for sure.
Individually, they are four of the best singers in the world, said Mike Dungan, Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville. Together, they are awe-inspiring. As a band, they are forever focused on taking it to the next level. The result is Pain Killer...simply the best one yet.
Little Big Town, who have been together for 15 years, release Pain Killer on the heels of their highly successful, platinum-selling album Tornado almost exactly two years later. Tornado was one of only 10 country albums to achieve platinum certification in 2013 and features back-to-back #1 hit singles Pontoon and Tornado. The 2x platinum-selling Pontoon took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and the CMA Award for Single of the Year.1. Quit Breaking Up With Me
2. Day Drinking
3. Tumble and Fall
4. Pain Killer
5. Girl Crush
6. Faster Gun
7. Good People
8. Stay All Night
9. Save Your Sin
10. Live Forever
11. Things You Don't Think About
12. Turn The Lights On
13. Silver and Gold$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Off The Beaten Path (Deluxe)Justin Moore s always had a thing about doing it his way. Call it stubborn redneck mettle, a well-developed case of who I am or just the fierce commitment to blaze a trail inherent to people from his home of Poyen, Arkansas. It doesn t mat ter why, just that the blazing sense of off the beaten path drives his album of the same name.
There s a strong vein of tenderness and decency holding Moore s kind of country together. Look no further than Rhett Atkins/Ben Hayslip/Ross Copperman-written Point At You, the lead single, that acknowledges every wild hair Moore has, but hits the bottom line of his goodness via the woman who became his bride.
Get loud, get rowdy, but get home and emerge solid family men dedicated to some basic ideals that have defined this country. One need look no further than The Warren Brothers/Lance Miller/Austin Cunningham-penned opener Old Back In The New School to understand Moore is all about the things that last, the wild times and the enduring values making for a way of life worth living.
It s that kind of edge that draws a singer like Miranda Lambert to duet on the somber heartbreaker Old Habits. A little bit rowdy, a little bit sentimental, a whole lotta roughneck, Moore has dented the country radio charts with three #1s in the anything but big city Small Town USA, the sentimental family embracing If Heaven Weren t So Far Away and the fidelity pledge Til My Last Day, in addition to the Top 10 mission declaration Backwoods.
But the hits don t really tell the whole story. This is the man whose first single a digital only release was I Could Kick Your Ass, who flexed his sense of humor with the new guy mocking Bait A Hook and unapologetically throw down How I Got To Be This Way. And long before booty country became a touchstone, Moore dropped the swaggering Back That Thing Up.
Indeed, Booty Country is full force on OFF THE BEATEN PATH. He has the Kim Kardashian and J-Lo invoking I d Want It To Be Yours co-written with Stover and Brandon Kinney and the slip into the night guitar grinder Off The Beaten Path that slithers through the Patron and the moonlight.Good ole boys doing what they re good at. Moore has built a career eschewing the path most taken, building a fanbase of people just like him.
Take a certain amount of swagger, add some hard-rocking guitars and add Country Radio, a howler that celebrates the ultimate lube for escaping the boredom and expectations. There s the same kind of bulked up, bearing down picture of pride of Lettin the Night Roll, pure freedom and the will to be alive.
Two strong hands, a back that can shoulder anything, this is working man s post-modern American and that respect is what binds him to his woman in That s How I Know You Love Me. Ultimately, she refuses to make him change, and takes what s there for what it is, loving him for all its busted glory.
To believe in values that last, to embrace what is enough and know it s more than plenty, that is the greatest truth for a man like Moore, who sees no reason to leave the place he grew up. Beyond the hits, the gold-certified albums and the momentum of a career hitting its stride, OFF THE BEATEN PATH is a collection of classic postcards that make up the ascending This Kind of Town and the driving chugger One Dirt Road.
You don t have to take it from Moore, though. No less than the great Charlie Daniels, a man who s hung tough for hardcore old school values is featured on For Some Ol Redneck Reason, a pledge of allegiance to living true to principles and never giving into convention. This is one of the truest event moments as Moore dials it back, unfurling the map of his heart and soul.1. Old Back In The New School
3. Lettin' The Night Roll
4. Old Habits
5. Point At You
7. I'd Want It To Be Yours
8. This Kind Of Town
9. Dirt Road Kid
10. Country Radio
11. That's How I Know You Love Me
12. One Dirt Road
13. Off The Beaten Path
14. Field Fulla Hillbillies
15. Big Ass Headache
16. For Some Ol' Redneck Reason$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
StorytellerStoryteller is Carrie Underwood's fifth studio album and her first in almost three-and-a-half years. It was produced by Mark Bright and Jay Joyce, who were also responsible for acts like Little Big Town and Eric Church.
Carrie Underwood emerged from the promise of her 2005 American Idol win to become a true multi-format, multi-media superstar, spanning achievements
in music, television, and film. A seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has amassed nearly 100 major honors, sold more than 56 million records worldwide,
and recorded 21 #1 singles, 11 of which she co-wrote. The first female artist to be twice named the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year,
Underwood was recognized as Pollstar's top female country touring artist for her headlining tours in 2008, 2010, and 2012.
Her four studio albums, Some
Hearts, Carnival Ride, Play On, and Blown Away - each certified multi-Platinum or Platinum, and each an American Music Awards winner as Country Album of the
Year - tallied 38 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with songs that have been streamed more than 1.4 billion times worldwide.LP 1
1. Renegade Runaway
2. Dirty Laundry
3. Church Bells
5. Smoke Break
6. Choctaw County Affair
7. Like I'll Never Lose You Again
1. Clock Don't Stop
2. The Girl You Think I Am
4. What I Never Knew I Always Wanted$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Sundown Heaven Town (Deluxe)McGraw takes us back to that place with Sundown Heaven Town, his thirteenth studio album (and second release for Big Machine Records).
I picture a little town, like the one I grew up in, he says of the album's picturesque title. It's late in the afternoon. Sunset. Maybe some kids are playing baseball, and their family members are in the stands. You're at the point where the working week has given way to the weekend. That's my idea of sundown in heaven town.
Sundown Heaven Town pays tribute to those two decades, putting a new stamp on all of the sounds the revved-up country rockers, the nostalgic ballads, the down-home numbers that have made McGraw one of the best-selling country artists of the modern era.
From the banjo riff that kicks off the opening track, Overrated, to the digital percussion that pushes Lookin' for that Girl into pop-influence territory, Sundown Heaven Town mixes the old with the new, the rustic with the modern, the organic with the electric. It's a country record, in other words... with all the twists and turns we've come to expect from someone who's been at the top of the genre since 1994.
This album is very encompassing of everything that I've done in my career, McGraw explains. It's a good microcosm of what my 20 years in music has been. You can hear parts of my career throughout all these songs, as well as the future and where my music is headed.
Sundown Heaven Town also shines a light on the family, friends, and collaborators who've played roles in McGraw's career. His first cousin, Catherine Dunn, joins him on Diamonds Rings and Old Barstools, a classic-sounding country ballad about love on the rocks. His wife of 18 years, Faith Hill, lends her award-winning vocals to Meanwhile Back at Mama's, which doubles as the album's first chart-topper. Longtime friend Kid Rock makes an appearance, too, raising a rootsy ruckus on the bonus track Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs.
I love being able to collaborate with great people, he says. To be in a place in your career where you can call up somebody like Keith Urban or Kid Rock and ask them to play or sing on a song with you, and they do it... How cool is that?
Several months before the album's release, McGraw launched the Sundown Heaven Town 2014 Tour, giving the singer a chance to perform some of the album's songs long before they hit stores. After spending countless summers on the road McGraw knew that his new songs deserved to be heard not only on the radio, or in a pair of fans' earbuds, but on stage. After all, there's an immediacy to Sundown's faster tunes, an anthemic vibe that owes just as much to the amphitheater as the honky tonk.
A family man and devoted husband, McGraw also shines a light on his softer side with tracks like Words are Medicine and Portland, Maine. He recorded his vocal parts for the latter song in just 10 minutes. The result is a wounded, wistful ballad, driven forward not by a drumbeat, but an acoustic guitar. McGraw may look larger than life while standing onstage... but when he sings about heartache, he sounds just as vulnerable as the rest of us. Maybe that's why he considers Portland, Maine one of the album's best songs, a difficult distinction to make on a record that spawned three hit singles before the album's release.
From start to finish, Sundown Heaven Town tips its cowboy hat to the traditions of country music, then tosses a some new ingredients into the mix. The result is a melting pot of everything Tim McGraw does best. It's a country album for 2014, anchored by a fondness for the genre and the desire to push it into uncharted territory. More than anything else, it's proof that artists can sound contemporary without chasing after current trends. After all, trends don't last but songs do. Especially songs like these.1. Overrated
2. City Lights
3. Shotgun Rider
5. Diamond Rings and Old Barstools with Catherine Dunn
6. Words Are Medicine
7. Sick Of Me
8. Meanwhile Back At Mama's feat. Faith Hill
9. Keep On Truckin'
10. Last Turn Home
11. Portland, Maine
12. Lookin' For That Girl
13. Still On The Line (No Ghost Ending)
14. Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs duet with Kid Rock
15. Kids Today
16. I'm Feelin' You
17. The View
18. Black Jacket$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Big Day In A Small TownFour-time GRAMMY nominee and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Brandy Clark is following up her 2013 smash debut album 12 Stories with the release of Big Day in a Small Town, to be released on Warner Bros. Records. With "Girl Next Door serving as the first single, Big Day in a Small Town is Clark's first major-label album. Big Day was produced by Jay Joyce.
"When I made 12 Stories, I think my dreams were a lot more realistic, in that I didn't expect a lot to happen... then it did," Clark says. "This time, my dreams are very much what they were when I was going to Vince Gill and Patty Loveless concerts and decided I was going to move to Nashville. Right now, my dreams are as big as when I was naïve enough to really dream them."
Clark is featured in The Outlaws issue of Garden & Gun with Matt Hendrickson raving, Big Day in a Small Town has the same biting wit as her 2013 debut 12 Stories, but it's an even richer collection of songs, with a life-in-the-middle-of-nowhere thread running through the album.
Big Day in a Small Town tells the stories of the football star, the father, the homecoming queen, and the hairdresser because those are the stories and people that Clark grew up knowing. "All these songs, there's some little truth in them, somewhere, that resonates with me or that is about me," she confesses.
12 Stories was featured on Best of lists from New York Magazine, NPR, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The New York Post and The Boston Globe in 2013. That same year, The Los Angeles Times called it "the country debut of the year.1. Soap Opera
2. Girl Next Door
3. Homecoming Queen
5. You Can Come Over
6. Love Can Go to Hell
7. Big Day in a Small Town
8. Three Kids No Husband
10. Drinkin' Smokin' Cheatin'
11. Since You've Gone to Heaven$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Down To My Last Bad HabitVince Gill will release his latest album, Down To My Last Bad Habit, on a limited edition VINYL to commemorate his
25th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member. The Vinyl will be packaged in a limited edition Nashville HATCH
print. It will feature all songs from the album including "Take Me Down" featuring Little Big Town as well as
duets with Chris Botti and Cam.
Vince Gill has released thirteen albums and sold over 26 Million albums.1. Reasons For The Tears I Cry
2. Down To My Last Bad Habit
3. Me And My Girl
4. Like My Daddy Did
5. Make You Feel Real Good
6. I Can't Do This
7. My Favorite Movie
8. One More Mistake I Made
9. Take Me Down
10. I'llBe Waiting For You
11. When It's Love
12. Sad One Comin' On (A Song For George Jones)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of SongFor his fifth album, Amos Lee took a different path for the recording, working in a new city with a new producer. Recording with Amos' road tested touring
band, the album was the first project to be recorded in a brand-new studio, built in a converted church in Nashville by producer JAY JOYCE (Emmylou
Harris, Little Big Town, Eric Church). The follow-up to 2011's chart-topping Mission Bell brings the artist into new sonic territory, while retaining the
trenchant impact of the scenes, characters, and stories in his writing. Joyce introduced a broader palette to Amos' work, creating a richness and a variety
that's never distracting or self-conscious. Being in Nashville also allowed several remarkable guests to come by the sessions including ALISON KRAUSS
and PATTY GRIFFIN lend heavenly vocals.
Amos' last album was a surprise entry at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and in an amazingly consistent career he's now sold a million albums over his first
four albums. With each album, Amos has deepened his connection to the Nashville community earning fans and performing with an A to Z of the country
world, from Lady Antebellum from Zac Brown. Making the album with a proven country hitmaker and doing a much-buzzed about showcase in Nashville in
June has furthered that cause. Major daytime and latenight TV looks, NPR looks, AAA domination, a series of high-profile synch placements and an
amazing sold out tour this fall and early next year will insure that there are drivers for this album well into 2014.1. Johnson Blvd.
3. Tricksters, Hucksters, and Scamps
4. Chill In The Air
5. Dresser Drawer
7. High Water
8. The Man Who Wants You
10. Plain View
11. Mountains of Sorrow
12. Burden$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Restoration: The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin
Some of the world's biggest pop, rock and country artists are celebrating Elton John's most beloved and legendary catalog of hits with two albums Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Mercury Nashville). The superstar lineup features artists both new and iconic reinterpreting the timeless songs of the over 50 year writing partnership that Elton and Bernie Taupin share. These renditions and artists show the depth of the catalog these two icons have created, which can easily cross musical genres and their unparalleled influence across popular music of all styles.
Revamp features the hits reimagined by the best in pop, rock and urban with Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, P!nk and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith,
Restoration highlights countries biggest stars with thoughtful interpretations by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill and Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack.
"'It's always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it," adds Elton John. "As songwriters, Bernie and myself are thrilled when singers we admire and respect as much as those on Revamp & Restoration choose to add their own unique twist in the process. It means that our music is still relevant and ultimately that our songs continue to reach new audiences. We're humbled and thank them all for their generosity."
"Because of our love of all kinds of music, we're not stuck in one genre," said Bernie Taupin. "From day one we borrowed from everything that's good about American music - whether it's blues, country, gospel, pop, pure rock - everything got thrown in the mix. I think that's why our music over the years has been so varied. It would be tiring if you just got stuck in one niche your entire career, especially when it's one as long as ours."
The album art for Restoration was created by Bernie. The rustic musical instruments and flags from both nations is an extension of his mixed-media art that's another form of expression. It symbolizes the role that U.S. culture and its native music has played as a driver in the John/Taupin canon.
"For me, there's an irony about the American flag," Taupin says. "It's been battered and beaten and burned, but it's resilient. It's always come back. I incorporate it with other things, and lately I've done a lot of pieces with deconstructed guitars and other found materials: barbed wire, broken bottles, things that people identify with on an everyday level. If it's on the floor and it works, I'll put it into the artwork. But it all goes hand in hand with my belief in America and my interest, I would say obsession, with Americana."
Revamp has a pop art cover based on the Terry O'Neil photograph of Elton that was recreated in neon. The covers are very different from each other because they represent totally different albums.
"We have two completely different albums; Revamp being the pop one and Restoration being the country one and God we have so many great artists doing our songs, it's quite incredible," said Elton John. "Restoration was Bernie's project and he's a huge country fan. The 'Revamp' was more my project. He came up with an astonishing list of country performers both new and legendary. On Revamp I wrote out a wish list of people that I would love and asked them and to my surprise most of them said yes and we have quite an astonishing eclectic crew."1. Rocket Man - Little Big Town
2. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters - Maren Morris
3. Sacrifice - Don Henley and Vince Gill
4. Take Me To The Pilot - Brothers Osborne
5. My Father's Gun - Miranda Lambert
6. I Want Love - Chris Stapleton
7. Honky Cat - Lee Ann Womack
8. Roy Rogers - Kacey Musgraves
9. Please - Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton
10. The Bitch Is Back - Miley Cyrus
11. Sad Songs (Say So Much) - Dierks Bentley
12. This Train Don't Stop - Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris
13. Border Song - Willie Nelson$35.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-GEF-8642xSiouxsie & The Banshees
Through The Looking Glass (Pre-Order)You could argue that after seven studio albums a covers album might seem a somewhat step back creatively, not so with Through The Looking Glass - The songs carefully chosen to reflect the individuals own childhood and teenage years, these had to ring true for Sioux to sing them and to believe in them. Remastered from the original ¼" tapes and cut at half speed at Abbey Road studios, London. Both artwork and audio have personally been overseen and orchestrated by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin. The Banshees cover songs such as Sparks' 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us', Roxy Music's 'Sea Breezes' and The Doors 'You're Lost Little Girl' their infinite capacity to surprise making each one their own.1. This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us
2. Hall Of Mirrors
3. Trust In Me
4. This Wheel's On Fire
5. Strange Fruit
6. You're Lost Little Girl
7. The Passenger
9. Sea Breezes
10. Little Johnny Jewel$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Howlin' GangSlug Guts hail from the baron, heat stricken confines of Brisbane, Australia, a town as desolate as it is depressing and suburban. Slug Guts began when four degenerates had little else to do but form a band in the tradition of Pussy Galore, X (Australia not LA), and Birthday Party. In the first four months of the band Slug Guts recorded their first LP Down on the Meat which was released on Stained Circles Records (Jay Reatard, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Dirtbombs). Slug Guts will embark on their first US tour in March of 2011 including the Sacred Bones showcase at SXSW.
Making their intentions clear with the bleak opener Howlin, Slug Guts take an intentionally crude and nihilistic approach to Howlin' Gang. Like their Australian heroes the Birthday Party, they concentrate on the dark, fractured end of post-punk, riddling the 13 songs with tom-heavy, oil-can percussion, jagged guitar chords, meaty basslines, and snarling baritone vocals. Because the album was recorded with little overdubbing, in only a week, empty space plays a big part to give the feel of a band playing live in an open warehouse. The slow and sleazy pseudo-ballads Down in the Mornin' Sun and Angie (not the Rolling Stones tune) fill the void, with guest vocalists Angela Bermuda of Circle Pit and Sarah Spencer of Blank Realm. Otherwise, it's sleazy, cacophonous bashing for the majority of the generally disturbing, and immensely satisfying, remainder. - Jason Lymangrover1. Howlin'
2. Cold Bones
3. Chrome Crucifix
4. Praggin' the Cowboy
5. Hangin' In the Pisser
6. Down In the Mornin' Sun
8. Town Tied
9. Spring Hill Lair
10. White Cross
11. Wild Country
12. Down In the Hole
13. Angie$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
City Wrecker EPHello everyone and anyone.
I recently made some more recordings under the name Moonface, which take the form of a 5 song EP called City Wrecker, and run at around half an hour.
City Wrecker is the title track of the ep. I wrote it before Miley Cyrus released "Wrecking Ball", but I cannot prove it. Oh well. In describing the song (and maybe the whole EP) I would say it's the aesthetic opposite of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, which is not to say that's a good thing or a bad thing, just an apple for you to hold up beside your orange. Regardless of all that, my friend Eetu, who recorded this EP, still likes to call the song "Wrecking Ball" and to sometimes call me Miley, but that's okay cuz we're buddies.
I lived in Finland for a couple of years, but now I live in a little town nestled in the woods of Vancouver Island. This is a recent move, and so City Wrecker represents the last album I completed in Helsinki. Maybe I will go back to that big icy lighthouse, and all the lovely weirdos within I have come to love, one day, but for now I have used it up.
I have a tendency to wreck the places I live. I am a luster scraper; a green grass imaginer. I wreck places emotionally, as in, even though they stay the same objectively, they somehow worsen in my heart. I wreck their meaning, and so ultimately their function. No more crackling inspiration. I waste my own time. I get bored. I turn gardens into dust bowls.
And I am a city wrecker not just for myself, but for those close to me as well, for my wrecking is a quiet and creeping poison that is hard to identify; hard to see coming through my mist of moods. I fuss, and then still am dissatisfied, making my loved ones feel sad and helpless, angry and confused, and perhaps most terribly, responsible. Though of course they are blameIess and magnificent.
I suppose this is why I have moved so many times in my life. It is not a good characteristic, and one I should work toward eradicating from my personality. But having regret is also unhealthy. So, I am Popeye?
Anyway, all of the songs on this ep, in one way or another, are about places. Going in and going out. Regret and hope. The past and the future. Ducking out early from your own farewell party. That's why it's called City Wrecker.
-Spencer Krug1. The Fog
2. City Wrecker
3. Running in Place with Everyone
4. Helsinki Winter 2013
5. Daughter of a Dove$13.99Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
NVMLike a fluorescent-lit snack-aisle oasis in some desolate interstate road stop, brimming with Skittles and limited-edition Sno Balls, Tacocat's Easter-egg-hued pop-punk-pop is bubblegum-sticky with hooks, bound to brighten up the most drab stretch of bummer backroad.
The band's four-person, seven-layer-burrito came together organically: Lelah Maupin (drums) and Eric Randall (guitar) met in their native Longview, WA-two hours south of Seattle, the very town that Green Day named their breakout debut single after. Lelah's family room was wallpapered with framed Magic Eye posters, hence Stereogram, the cross-eyed love letter to that bizarre '90s optical fad. She met lanky Eric while both worked at Safeway, wearing the chain's distinctive navy aprons before breaking north to Seattle. Eric's band The Trashies practiced and played in the basement of the 24/7 House in the Central District, where Long Beach, CA native Bree McKenna (bass) was living, amongst the dust, boxes, and spiders. Lelah met Butte, MT native Emily Nokes (voice, tambourine) in one excruciatingly early/boring graphic design class, slipping her a doodled-upon note; she soon noticed Emily's big voice while she sang along with R. Kelly on the radio. Emily and Bree hit it off one sloshy night at the Comet. Eric impressed Emily with his reenactments of scenes from Anaconda. Sometime around 2007, via countless raucous house party shows, the legend of Tacocat was born.
The foursome would quickly make a name for themselves with their simply energizing power pop, drawing on classic Northwest energy with an uncommonly upbeat, surfy swag that could only come from gray skies and hydroponic sunshine. Their sly and unabashed '90s revivalism has, in the past, found the band pondering Evan Dando and Waterworld-and Bree herself explains finding about riot grrrl via Napster and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You. They've described themselves variously as Feminist sci-fi and Equal parts Kurt and Courtney; oh well, whatever NVM.
NVM-Tacocat's second full-length album and first for Hardly Art, opens up like some mystery shoebox, wistful, instantly nostalgic: snapshots of mortifying exes (You Never Came Back) and sketchy party situations (Party Trap), maybe a postcard with an alien smoking a joint. Cigarette cellophane-wrapped weed nugs, pain pill crumbs and wrapped tampons (all the girls are surfing the wave, surfing the crimson wave today"), all serve as a roadmap through Tacocat's bong-ripped reminiscences, scenarios all-too familiar and hilariously improbable. There's the notoriously inconsistent #8 Metro line (F.U. #8) and the accountability-allergic, black-clad brick-heavers of This Is Anarchy. The protagonist of Psychedelic Quinceañera-based on Bree-just wants to dance with rainbows, mind-expansion style, instead of having to wear a frilly dress in front of her whole family. Emily daydreams of a Bridge to Hawaii, where even the destitute could walk their asses to paradise-before being snapped out of it by cat-calls from construction workers, business dads, and drunk hobos (Hey Girl); sweaty jerks telling her that she should smile!
NVM all that, though: you should, and will, smile-either a wry little corner-lifter or a big ear-to-ear equator-and shake what's yours, when you hear the whippet-smart latest album from the world's favorite palindromic band. Text a friend.
--Larry Mizell1. You Never Came Back
2. Bridge to Hawaii
3. Crimson Wave
5. Pocket Full of Primrose
6. Psychedelic Quinceañera
7. Time Pirate
8. This is Anarchy
9. Hey Girl
10. Party Trap
11. F.U. #8
12. Alien Girl
13. Snow Day$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wheedle's Groove: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogie: Volume II 1972-1987In 2004, the first volume of Wheedle's Groove shone a light on the formerly unheralded soul scene in 1960s and '70s Seattle, followed by a new album in 2008, and then an award winning feature-length documentary film. The on-going Wheedle's Groove series continues to present a vast chapter of the city's musical heritage that has little to do with long-haired rock dudes with guitars. No - in the world of Wheedle's Groove, platform shoes and pimp hats were the order of the day.
But unlike Volume I, Seattle's soul scene did not stop in 1975. A new volume, Wheedle's Groove Vol. II, documents the period from 1972 to 1987, when funk was superseded by disco and modern soul. Heading into the '80s, artists in the Emerald City caught wind of the hip-hop and electro scenes that were growing in bigger cities across America, and gave the music their own distinct spin.
As the years unfurl in the tracks of Wheedle's Groove Volume II, so does the recent history of American music, the songs tracing technological changes and social change, and music's move from the club to disco as live bands moved aside for DJs. Witness Septimus, on the cusp of both, blending a live drummer with a Roland drum machine and cutting 'Here I Go Again' on a disco-friendly 12" single.
Separated from the major centers of soul music, Seattle was a scene that developed out of the gaze of the mainstream music industry, but one that moved just as fast. As John Studamire of the band Priceless remembers, "A lot of the groups around town would have to incorporate that disco sound or you'd sound totally dated."
Seattle's size and location had a great effect on its sound. Artists on the scene were accustomed to playing small, discreetly segregated club shows and pressing short runs of 45s for local radio stations. Touring happened mostly on a regional scale and artists popped up in a variety of different bands. Fans of Volume I will recognize some familiar names here: Robbie Hill's Family Affair turn in the soul-jazz gem 'Don't Give Up' and Cold, Bold & Together present the undeniable vocal beauty of 'Let's Backtrack.'
Compiled and sequenced by Seattle's DJ Supreme La Rock, this 18-track compilation will also introduce you to the long-forgotten blue-eyed soul boy Don Brown ('Don't Lose Your Love') and frustrated talents Push, overlooked for record deals on account of singer "Big Joe" Erickson's larger-than-life heft ('You Turn Me On'). There's Frederick Robinson III and his gospel-funk protest tune 'Love One Another', Tony Benton of Teleclere being Seattle's answer to Prince ('Steal Your Love') and Seattle Mariners baseball star Lenny Randle recording a tribute to their infamous stadium.1. Epicentre - Get Off The Phone
2. Priceless - Love In Your Life
3. Don Brown - Don't Lose Your Love
4. Deuce featuring Clevon - Your Love Is Fine (Lovin' Fine)
5. Push - You Turn Me On (Portland Session)
6. Seattle Pure Dynamite - I Wonder Love
7. Septimus - Here I Go Again
8. Priceless - Look At Me
9. Lenny Randle & Ballplayers featuring Rashawna - Kingdome
10. Malik Din - Trouble In Mind
11. Romel Westwood - I'm Through With You
12. Teleclere - Steal Your Love
13. Steppen Stones - Darlin Oh Darlin
14. Cold, Bold & Together - Let's Backtrack
15. Unfinished Business - Holding On
16. Frederick Robinson III - Love One Another
17. Bernadette Bascom - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
18. Robbie Hill's Family Affair - Don't Give Up$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Dark HorseAn atypical country artist, Devin Dawson's approach to music is not different on purpose, it's different with purpose. He grew up just outside the gates of Folsom Prison, drawing inspiration from Johnny Cash,Alan Jackson,Marvin Gaye and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Pulling from these influences, he began to write in a style that is definitively country. Dawson's lyrics full of romance and vulnerability, delivered with a distinctive saw-toothed vocal, draw you in from the first verse and keep you hooked until the very last chord.
Since the release of his debut single All On Me earlier this year, the California-native has already made his TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers,landed multiple Grand Ole Opry performances, and received critical praise from a multitude of outlets including. His unique mix of organic roots and high-voltage country is showcased masterfully on his forthcoming debut Dark Horse,produced by the daring Jay Joyce(Eric Church,Little Big Town,Brothers Osborne). With a co-write credit on every track, the result will further establish Dawson's building reputation as a dark horse set to emerge as one of the most exciting modern storytellers the format has ever seen.1. Dip
2. All On Me
3. Asking For A Friend
4. Second To Last
6. I Don't Care Who Sees
7. Secondhand Hurt
9. War Paint
10. I Can't Trust Myself
12. Dark Horse$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now