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Are We Not Men? We Are Diva! (Awaiting Repress)In that mythical era known as the 90's, five brave young men emerged from the legendary halls of some of the mightiest bands on Fat Wreck Chords with a single mission: make all the rest of these dildo punk bands covering popular songs obsolete. They crowned themselves Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the world rejoiced. Now, seven records, scores of singles and nearly a thousand years later, having tackled every genre under the sun, the bold young knaves known colloquially as the Gimmes have ridden their success hard, and decayed into desiccated, old divas. Yet, the diva, she is immortal. And thus, imbued with the old-world, Mystic Pizza-esque swagger of Cher, the modern pop-art sensibility of Lady Gaga and the enthusiasm-for-drug-consumption of Whitney Houston, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have returned from their beauty rest, busting out of their sequined gowns, and throwing vases at their assistants in order to present you with their latest opus, entitled Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, slated to be released on none other than Fat Wreck Chords. And you'd best believe, whether because of their tantrums or their virtuosity, once you hear these fat ladies sing, there's not gonna be a dry eye in the house.
For the uninitiated, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consist of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Shiflett brother (and Foo Fighter) Chris Shiflett on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Fat Wreck-head-honcho/NOFX main-dude Fat Mike, and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson. Together, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes-an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band-contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it's a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other's eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause.
In the past, The Gimmes have tackled such disparate genres as Motown, country, show tunes and even Japanese pop (sung in real live Japanese!) but none of that enabled them to truly soar as high above the eagles as they desired, feeling the wind of other, lesser bands beneath their wings. So this time, the Fat (Wreck) Five decided to take on the un-take-on-able and hit us with cuts from the likes of Celine (gasp!) Christina (Sigh!) and Paula Abdul (oh no you di'int!) among others. And as Spike's baritone somehow manages to make Whitney Houston's (Dolly Parton-penned) Theme Song To The Bodyguard EVEN MORE EPIC, you will be moved to tears. You will find joy. You will shake in your very skin as the music of these divas gently takes you by the hand and shows you how to love again. AND! You'll buy tickets to see 'em on tour.
Because that's right folks! Nothing says 'diva' like coming to your town to bask in the torrential, gushing blasts of your love, and the Gimmes will be hitting the entire world in support of Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, except maybe Mike, who's such a diva that he's got substitutes on hand! So grab those flowers off of your grandma's grave and head out now, to check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on wax and in your town, before these five outrageous harpies either kill each other or wind up as a Vegas destination act, bloated, high on pills and uh, nevermind that last part. Just go see em, eh? It's a helluva time.
- Troy Michael (Innocent Words)1. I Will Survive
2. Straight Up
5. My Heart Will Go On
6. I Will Always Love You
7. Top of the World
9. Karma Chameleon
10. Crazy for You
11. On the Radio
12. The Way We Were
$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Gene Clark Sings For You
Produced For Release By Grammy®-Winner, Cheryl Pawelski
Restoration And Mastering By Grammy-Winner, Michael Graves
Liner Notes By John Einarson, Author Of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds' Gene Clark (Backbeat Books)
Features Previously Unseen Photos.
Gene Clark's musical legacy is most certainly assured as a singer, songwriter
and member of some exclusive company as an inductee to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a founder of The
Byrds, and collaborator in groups such as Dillard & Clark, Gene Clark and the Gosdin Brothers, McGuinn
Clark & Hillman and later as the duet partner of Carla Olson (The Textones).
His songs have been covered by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Iain Matthews, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The
Rose Garden, and Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes among many others. As well documented as Clark's career
has been, there have been remarkable discoveries over the years (see Omnivore's Here Tonight: The White Light Demos for example),
but now the Holy Grail of Clark's post-Byrds career is finally about to see the light of day:
"For longtime Gene Clark fans and aficionados, the tracks on this remarkable archival CD are the stuff of legend. Since word
first spread in the 1980s about the discovery of these 1967 recordings on a rare acetate in Liberty Records' vaults, fans have
come to regard Gene Clark Sings For You as nothing less than the Holy Grail of the singer/songwriter's extraordinary body of
work. Shrouded in mystery and the subject of much speculation and conjecture, few have ever had the opportunity to hear these
forgotten gems from one of Gene Clark's most prolifically creative periods. Until now."
Author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds' Gene Clark (Backbeat Books)
In addition to the 8 tracks from the Gene Clark Sings For You acetate, recorded in 1967 after he famously left The Byrds, there are an
additional 5 previously unknown tracks from a further 1967 acetate given to the band, The Rose Garden, for recording consideration.
This new compilation also includes a previously unissued demo rescued from a tape in the collection of John Noreen, member of
The Rose Garden. This demo of the song "Till Today" is Clark running through the song for the band who would cut it on their only
album, the 1968 self-titled effort on Atco Records (also being reissued and expanded at the same time as Gene Clark Sings For You).
Released with the full approval and cooperation with both the Estate of Gene Clark and the band, The Rose Garden, Gene Clark Sings
For You is produced for release by Grammy®-winner, Cheryl Pawelski with restoration and mastering by Grammy-winner, Michael
Graves. Liner notes by John Einarson, author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds' Gene Clark (Backbeat Books)
and previously unseen photos.1. On Her Own (Gene Clark Sings for You)
2. Past Tense (Gene Clark Sings for You)
3. Yesterday, Am I Right (Gene Clark Sings for You)
4. Past My Door (Gene Clark Sings for You)
5. That's Alright by Me (Gene Clark Sings for You)
6. One Way Road (Gene Clark Sings for You)
7. Down on the Pier (Gene Clark Sings for You)
8. 7:30 Mode (Gene Clark Sings for You)
9. On Tenth Street (The Rose Garden Acetate)
10. Understand Me Too (The Rose Garden Acetate)
11. A Long Time (The Rose Garden Acetate)
12. Big City Girl (The Rose Garden Acetate)
13. Doctor Doctor (The Rose Garden Acetate)
14. Till Today (The Rose Garden Demo)$31.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Botanical GardensDon McLean is one of America's most enduring
singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his
classic hits "American Pie" and "Vincent (Starry Starry
Night)." Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has
amassed over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide
and, in 2004, was inducted into the
Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
His songs have been
recorded by artists from every musical genre, most
notably Madonna's No. 1 recording of "American Pie"
in 2000 and George Michael's version of "The Grave"
in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War.
In 2007, Don McLean shared his life story in Alan
Howard's biography, The Don McLean Story: Killing Us
Softly With His Songs.1. Botanical Gardens
2. The Lucky Guy
3. A Total Eclipse of the Sun
4. The Waving Man
5. When July Comes
6. You're All I Ever Had
7. Rock and Roll Your Baby
8. I've Cried All the Tears That I Have
9. Ain't She a Honey
10. The King of Fools
11. Grief and Hope
12. You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes
13. Last Night When We Were Young$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker At Ru-JacFirst Ever Collection Of Parker's Classic Singles
Pressed On Yellow Vinyl
Ru-Jac Records, one of the nation's first African-American owned record labels, was formed in Baltimore in the early 1960s by Rufus Mitchell, who booked East Coast entertainment venues including Carr's Beach, a segregated summer resort near Annapolis. Ru-Jac was active into the 1970s and featured R&B, soul, funk, jazz and even rock acts. The most frequently recorded Ru-Jac artist was Winfield Parker.
Parker cut 17 recordings for Ru-Jac, the 45s of which have fetched top dollar on the collectors market, as people have hungered for this vintage sound. When Omnivore Recordings acquired Ru-Jac in 2015, even more recordings were discovered. The original singles, along with six previously unissued tracks, are finally available as Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker At Ru-Jac. Omnivore Recordings will release the collection March 25, 2016, on CD and digital. The LP will be available June 10, first limited-edition pressing on orange vinyl.
From "My Love" to "I Love You Just The Same" to the collection's title track, "Mr. Clean," this compilation presents Parker at his most soulful, along with alternate takes, demos, backing tracks and songs unheard since they were first laid to tape over five decades ago. With mastering and restoration from Grammy® Award-winner Michael Graves, they sound better than ever.
In 2013, the Global Entertainment Media Association honored Winfield with a Golden Mic Honor, alongside contemporaries like Gamble & Huff, the Three Degrees, Barbara Mason, and others. He is celebrating 58 years in the music business in 2016, and the material on Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker At Ru-Jac showcases the root of that legendary career, paving the way for a new generation of appreciation, re-examination, and soul.
The Winfield Parker release is the first to be realized out of Omnivore's acquisition of Ru-Jac Records and its publishing assets. Omnivore Recordings' Cheryl Pawelski says, "Omnivore is so pleased to have acquired Ru-Jac Records and its accompanying publishing entities, Diddy Bop and Ru-Jac. Authentic East Coast '60s soul is impossible to resist, and we're looking forward to the first release, Winfield Parker's Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker At Ru-Jac with more to follow. By the end of the year we're hoping to have at least one additional artist collection available, as well as a label overview. The Ru-Jac story centers around its founder, Rufus Mitchell, a promoter of live shows in the Baltimore area, including one of the first African American-controlled beaches, Carr's Beach. The 45s that spun out of Ru-Jac offer a tantalizing, never-before told, audio history of a time and place that we can't wait for everyone to hear."1. My Love For You - Little Winfield Parker
2. One Of These Mornings - Little Winfield Parker
3. When I'm Alone
4. Rockin' In The Barnyard
5. I Love You Just The Same (Version 1) - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
6. My Love - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
7. Go Away Playgirl
9. Sweet Little Girl - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
10. What Do You Say? - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
11. She's So Pretty
12. Oh My Love
13. I Love You Just The Same (Version 2)
14. A Fallen Star
15. Mr. Clean (Part 1)
16. Mr. Clean (Part 2)
17. Funkey Party$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CeremonyIt begins with the sound of a church organ, an arpeggio played on the lower notes, a melody teased out in the higher register, before a snare drum beats out an ominous, stuttering tattoo. Three minutes in, guitars begin to rumble like clouds gathering on the horizon, the melody slowly swelling, threatening to tear the sky apart. This is Anna Von Hausswolff's "Epitaph Of Theodor", and as dramatic, instrumental openings to albums go, it's close to overwhelming. But it's followed by something even more intense: "Deathbed", which growls and resonates sinisterly before shards of metallic thunder shatter the drones and a funereal beat forces the song to lurch forward. Only after some four and a half minutes of this ferocious clamour do we hear a human voice, and it's unleashed with a fierce power, rising and swooping, a vast bird pursuing its prey until the song reaches its final, unexpectedly triumphant climax.
You want to talk about compromises? No. Nor does Anna Von Hausswolff.
These two songs alone represent a quarter of 'Ceremony's sixty minutes, but there are eleven more on an album that confounds and dumbfounds from its start to its end. To those who used Anna Von Hausswolff's debut album, Singing From The Grave, to compare her lazily to Kate Bush, it will come as a brutal shock. The fragile atmospheres of that impressive debut, one that earned her huge acclaim in her native Sweden, have been blasted away, and what's emerged from the wasteland left behind is a dizzying masterpiece that, she proudly states, calls upon, amongst others, Elizabeth Fraser, Jefferson Airplane, PJ Harvey, Earth, Barn Owl, Nick Cave and Diamanda Galás.
Though she now lives in Copenhagen, she grew up in the once vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood of Haga in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a family who counted amongst their ancestors Bernhard Reynold von Hausswolff, an 18th Century governor of Falun, Sweden, who helped bring an end to the burning of witches. Her father, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, is a composer and visual artist who's also co-monarch of the kingdoms of Elgaland-Vagaland, so it's perhaps not surprising that she's chosen to pursue a radical direction with her music.
"I didn't just want 'Ceremony' to be a collection of songs," she says. "I wanted it to be like a film, with every single part connected to the other, with shifting moods and settings, but a thread holding all the tracks together. I listen to a lot of film scores, and in many the music is able to move freely without the typical structures that we find in commercial music."
Arguably 'Ceremony's most significant ingredient is the church organ of Gothenburg's vast Annedalkyrkan, whose pipes are featured on the album's striking cover. Employed on nine of the album's thirteen tracks, it also provided von Hausswolff with the excuse to record for five days in the century old building, its cavernous space adding to the record's formidable magnitude. (Work was completed at weekends over several months in producer Filip Leyman's studios.) She found in the organ's sound a link between her own writing and a developing obsession with "drone metal", allowing her to add layers of thick textures to the songs. But - thanks to its inevitable associations with existence and mortality - the organ also suited the themes that lay at the heart of the record, which she defines as "nature and death, or the division of humanity and nature. From the moment we exit the womb, we start our paths towards materialism and destructive behaviour, and these days I feel that the gap between nature and human is growing bigger. I wanted to grasp my inner nature and be unified with nature again. 'Ceremony' is a celebration of life and everything that it contains, especially death, because in death we will be truly one with nature again."
That's not to say that 'Ceremony' is a bleak record, something highlighted by the extraordinary "Harmonica", which sounds like Dead Can Dance channelling a Vashti Bunyan song with arrangements by Ennio Morricone. "It's a song I wrote just after my grandfather passed away," she recalls. "It's about how culture and traditions can travel from generation down to generation, and in this case from him to me by music. Just before he died, he gave me a harmonica and he told me to practise hard and only write about things that are relevant to me. His deathbed inspired me to make 'Ceremony'."
He'd surely be proud of the bold, single-minded consequences of his legacy. Whether it be the placid but grandiose "Ocean", the hymnal "Mountains Crave", the grim, experimentalist "No Body" or the oddly exhilarating "Funeral For My Future Children", 'Ceremony' is a genuinely thrilling, timeless, inventive and even sometimes - in the purest sense of the word - gothic accomplishment.
"This record isn't really about Anna von Hausswolff as a vocalist or as a person," she concludes. "It's about the music and all that it contains. Singing from the Grave was a raw and emotional record that happened fast. I think of it as an impulse. 'Ceremony' is more of a vision: something unfinished and unresolved, a glimpse of the future."1. Epitaph of Theodor
3. Mountains Grave
5. Red Sun
6. Epitaph of Daniel
7. No Body
8. Liturgy of Light
12. Funeral for my Future Children
13. Sun Rise$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now