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SportsModern Baseball was formed in 2011 by
friends and guitarists Jacob Ewald and
Brendan Lukens, who were soon joined by
Ian Farmer on bass and Sean Huber on
drums. The band self-released their first EP
The Nameless Ranger in 2011 while still in
high school. Shortly after the members
relocated to Philadelphia to attend college
and quickly gained a strong following in the
Philadelphia music community, teaming up
with locals Marietta to release the Couples
Therapy split in the spring of 2012. Modern
Baseball released their debut full-length
Sports later that year on Lame-O Records,
which they self-recorded and produced.1. Re-Do
2. Tears Over Beers
3. The Weekend
5. Hours Outside In The Snow
6. I Think You Were In My Profile Picture Once
9. See Ya, Sucker
10. Look Out
11. Play Ball!
12. Coals$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You're Gonna Miss It AllPhiladelphia's Modern Baseball are a uniquely contemporary band. Their
quirky, tuneful songs convey how it feels to be young and hopeless in modern
America-a cracked cellphone clutched in one's hand, subconsciously refreshing
social media, hoping to get noticed by that girl at the party and ignored by
the ghosts from high school past. Calling on Say Anything's bravado, the Front
Bottoms' tongue-in-cheek quirk and the Weakerthans' literary misery, Modern
Baseball have made a record with remarkable depth and relate-ability.
- Mixed by Jonathan Low (The National, Kurt Vile, Local Natives)
- Mastered by Will Yip (Circa Survive,Title Fight, Man Overboard)1. Fine, Great
2. Broken Cash Machine
3. Rock Bottom
5. The Old Gospel Choir
7. Charlie Black
8. Timmy Bowers
9. Going To Bed Now
10. Your Graduation
11. Two Good Things
12. Pothole$15.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Perfect Cast EPThe Perfect Cast EP is the second EP by rock band Modern Baseball. The album was the first after a long wait since the band's previous full-length album You're Gonna Miss It All. Two singles were released from the album (Revenge of the Nameless Ranger and The Thrash Particle).1. The Waterboy Returns
2. Alpha Kappa Fall Of Troy The Movie Part Deux (2 Disc Director's Cut)
3. Infinity Exposed
4. The Thrash Particle
5. And Beyond
6. Revenge Of The Nameless Ranger$18.9912 Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
Holy GhostJust a few years after self-recording their debut album between college classes, Philadelphia's Modern Baseball will show the world a brand new version of themselves on their third full-length album, Holy Ghost. Thematically, the record is a time-capsule for the two years since the release of their Run For Cover debut You're Gonna Miss It All, curated in two parts by the band's guitarists and main songwriters, Jacob Ewald and Brendan Lukens. Splitting the record into two halves, both take the helm to curate the sonic journey into territory both familiar and foreign in the band's discography. Whether it be on the stream of consciousness report on the down-trodden Every Day" or the heartbreaking, question-filled lyrics on "Apple Cider, I Don't Mind," it becomes clear that Holy Ghost is a certainly transformative record for a band maturing into greatness.1. Holy Ghost
2. Wedding Singer
3. Note To Self
7. Coding These To Lukens
8. Breathing in Stereo
9. Apple Cider, I Don't Mind
10. What If...
11. Just Another Face$19.99Vinyl 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
The Nameless RangerModern Baseball was formed in 2011 by friends
and guitarists Jacob Ewald and Brendan Lukens,
who were soon joined by Ian Farmer on bass and
Sean Huber on drums. The band self-released
their first EP The Nameless Ranger in 2011 while
still in high school. Shortly after the members
relocated to Philadelphia to attend college and
quickly gained a strong following in the
Philadelphia music community, teaming up with
locals Marietta to release the Couples Therapy
split in the spring of 2012. Modern Baseball
released their debut full-length Sports later that
year on Lame-O Records, which they selfrecorded
After spending the summer of 2013 touring
heavily across the US, the band headed into
Studio A in Philadelphia to self-record You're
Going to Miss It All. Mixed by Jonathan Low at
Minor Street Recordings and mastered by Will
Yip, You're Going to Miss It All features 12 tracks
that showcase the band's signature witty indiepop.1. Best Friend
3. My Love
5. Home$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Exactly Like This200 Gram Double LP Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings
Understanding the importance of restraint to the blues, he skirts the predictable with fresh imagery in lyrics and his music is barb-wire sharp. - Down Beat Magazine
Doug MacLeod is a unique, powerful guitarist with a rich and soulful voice, singing original songs based on his own life and experiences. This is Genuine Original Acoustic Music at its very best.
His new album Exactly Like This is his third release with Reference Recordings. It's MacLeod at his very best, in a richly detailed recording by Grammy-winning engineer Keith Johnson, made at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California.
In live performance, Doug MacLeod assures his audience This song is going to go exactly like this. It's presented just for them, not a repeat of any performance he's ever given or will ever give. He records the same way, each of his original songs are offered with a fresh voice. Exactly Like This contains 11 new MacLeod originals reflecting and paying tribute to some of his diverse musical influences: Louis Jordan, Wes Montgomery, Jerry Reed, Tony Joe White, John Lee Hooker, and even a little Duke Ellington. In his previous 19 studio albums, several live records, compilations, a blues guitar instructional DVD and a live performance DVD, MacLeod has consistently earned raves.
His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya. MacLeod's songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night. Two of his songs are on Grammy-nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins.
Doug MacLeod isn't just a blues guy, he's a singer/songwriter/storyteller and serious guitarist. He is one of the few modern artists doing all original material and traveling the country like a troubadour. Just Doug, headed down the road in his Honda, baseball on the radio, Siri by his side and a trunk full of music!LP1
1. Rock It Till the Crows Come Home
2. Too Many Misses For Me
3. Find Your Right Mind
4. Ain't It Rough?
5. Serious Doin' Woman
1. Ridge Runner
2. New Morning Road
5. Heavens The Only Place
6. You Got It Good (And That Ain't Bad)$49.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
REDD-PRO-5945xJason Boland & The Stragglers
Hard Times Are RelativeOur favorite songs are like one-night stands: passionate or sad, capable of recalling moments with Proustian power. Our favorite artists are lifelong companions: fixtures we turn to for comfort and highs.
Over the last two decades, Jason Boland and the Stragglers have delivered and become both.
"We've always just wanted to entertain ourselves and put out music that would be a part of people's lives, not just something passing to them," says Boland. "We want to be something more monolithic." He pauses and grins as he adds, "We're just a social experiment at this point."
Boland is talking about the deep body of work he's created with his band of jangly honky-tonk aces, the Stragglers--Grant Tracy on bass; drummer and background vocalist Brad Rice; Nick Worley on fiddle, mandolin, and harmonies; and Cody Angel on guitar and pedal steel. Fronted and co-founded by Boland with Tracy and Rice, the band has featured only a handful of other members over the last 20 years, all of whom--whether they're currently Stragglers or not--are like brothers. As they've independently sold more than half a million albums, the outfit has packed iconic dancehalls, theaters, and other big rooms across the country.
With their new record Hard Times are Relative, Boland and the Stragglers stack the smart, road-ready outlaw country longtime fans have come to expect alongside creative risks that flirt with punk and psychedelic sounds. The 10-song collection is a rare blend of instantly gratifying and rewarding of closer listens--a definitively Stragglers accomplishment. "It's an upbeat album--a lot of fast songs, but it doesn't try to be fast," Boland says with characteristic insight. "It just sits in the pocket."
No one has combined Woody Guthrie's conscience with Waylon Jenning's panache quite like Boland and the Stragglers. Since debuting in 1999 with the Lloyd Maines-produced Pearl Snaps, the band has matured without taming their refreshing irreverence. "We always joke that we try to take as much as we can from Lloyd and apply it to producing our own records," Boland says. "We've worked with him so many times. The most obvious thing he taught us is: just be musical. Don't hammer through the songs like a garage band all the time."
That mix of subtle musical sophistication and unruly Oklahoma junkyard pedigree has resulted in some of the best independent honky tonk in recent memory. "You just have to be where you are--keep plugging away and doing the best you can at any moment," Boland says, reflecting on their career thus far. "For a bunch of slackers [like us], that's not too terribly tough."
Co-produced by the Stragglers, David Percefull, and Adam Odor, Hard Times are Relative is the band's ninth studio record. All songs were recorded live to tape and without the use of any computers--now a Stragglers' hallmark. Upbeat steel guitar kicks off album opener "I Don't Deserve You" before Boland's signature baritone thunders in, smooth and stronger than ever. When fellow sly honky-tonk champ Sunny Sweeney joins him in out-front harmonies, the two become the rootsy dream team you never knew you always wanted.
The album's title track is a masterpiece: an epic story song about a young orphaned brother and sister depending on the land and one another. Rich details layered over strings paint a scene that's compelling and lush. The song has become one of Boland's favorites. "Folk music is hard to write. Country music is hard to write," he says, reflecting on the difficulty of spinning a long tale while keeping it simple and engaging. "When you hit your own little tuning fork in your head, that one is a hard sell, even to me. But I enjoy that song."
"Right Where I Began" sounds like vintage Stragglers: clever wordplay and muscly guitars ready for two-steppers. Fiddle and vocal showcase "Searching for You" shows off Rice's and Worley's harmonies that are downright divine. Crunchy guitars drive "Dee Dee OD'd" as Boland offers another round of wry observations. Easy gem "Going Going Gone" makes a solid argument for fiddle in rock-and-roll as Boland deftly turns a baseball metaphor into a classic leaving song.
Gorgeous waltz "Do You Remember When" bemoans some of modern life's emphasis on disposability and the dismissal of heritage. Rollicking "Tattoo of a Bruise" picks up the same idea, and is tongue-in-cheek country doo-wop, fueled by fiddle, steel, and drums. "I'm not judging anybody," Boland clarifies. "Our music has always called it like we see it, right or wrong, smarter or dumber."
Praise for the past but acknowledgement of nostalgia's limitations is a career-long theme for Boland, and one that this record continues to carry. "We don't want to lose the chili recipes and the Schroeder Halls because people are moving on to faster, louder, and newer," he says. "But instead of just hemming and hawing, remembering what's old and gone, we want to have new experiences within those frameworks--make memories with what's left of the good stuff."
With lines like "Empty pockets don't mean you need money / It's just another place to put your hands / And focus on that rock you've been kicking / One day it's going to be a grain of sand," "Predestined" challenges listeners as it soothes. The song is a lyrical victory for Boland, who's long-since become a master of distilling heady ideas into digestible nuggets.
Penned by Oklahoma music godfather Randy Crouch, "Grandfather's Theme" serves as the album's climactic closer. Attacked with psychedelic ferocity by the band, the song picks up the record's recurring concepts of the ground's insistence on shifting, inevitability, and our complex relationship with the past. Stripped down as Boland sings, the song soars off into a trippy, robust jam-band send-off--a serious triumph especially considering it's a defiantly analog recording. "We're fighting the digital world because they can make it so huge," Boland says, discussing the balancing act of filling out songs while letting them breathe. "I'm really proud if what we did."
As he mulls over where the Stragglers have been and where they're headed, Boland comes back to one idea over and over again: he and his band are who they are, and with that genuineness comes grit, beauty, and staying power. "We're fortunate that we're not trying to fool anybody," he says. "That's what it comes down to. We're all loners but somehow a team. Now that I can look at it all, I can see: it's been fun."
Here's to the next 20 years.1. I Don't Deserve You
2. Hard Times Are Relative
3. Right Where I Began
4. Searching For You
5. Do You Remember When
6. Dee Dee OD'd
7. Going Going Gone
8. Tattoo of a Bruise
10. Grandfather's Theme$18.99Vinyl LP - 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