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Beautiful Lies You Could Live InBeautiful Lies You Could Live in was the sixth Tom Rapp/Pearls Before Swine release and the fourth and last on Warner Brothers. Originally released in 1971 with a more country/rock sound, Beautiful Lies includes a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Bird On A Wire" and a brief setting of A.E. Housman's poem, Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries, sung by Elisabeth Rapp.1. Snow Queen
2. A Life
4. Simple Things
5. Everybody's Got Pain
6. Bird On A Wire
7. Island Lady
8. Come To Me
10. She's Gone
11. Epitaph$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Use of AshesThe fourth album from this psychedelic folk group (second for Warner/Reprise) was released in 1970 and features songs written by Tom Rapp while living in Holland. Recorded in Nashville with the towns top session musicians including Charlie McCoy, Kenny Buttrey and Neil Young producer David Briggs. A subversive, tender, moving, goofy, maddening, and profound record.1. The Jeweler
2. From The Movie Of The Same Name
3. Rocket Man
4. God Save The Child
5. Song About A Rose
6. Tell Me Why
8. The Old Man
10. When The War Began$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
1971's Pearl Showcases Janis Joplin at Her Peak: Chart-Topping Record Includes Hits Me and Bobby McGee, Mercedes Benz, and Get It While You Can
Mastered From the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity 45RPM Pressing is Definitive-Sounding Analog Version of Masterpiece Ranked #135 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Joplin Displays Balance of Impeccable Timing, Devastating Vulnerability, and Raw Emotion: Full Tilt Boogie Band, Producer Paul Rothchild Complete Album Steeped in Soul and Loaded With Spirit
Janis Joplin wouldn't be denied on Pearl. The powerhouse vocalist had kicked her addictions, teamed with a stupendous band, and partnered with a producer that knew how to best showcase her voice on record. She came to the sessions with an armload of astonishing songs, and a burst of creative energy that mirrored her rejuvenated emotional state and undeniable spirit. You can hear it on every note of the 1971 record. Ranked #135 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, Pearl sold more than four million copies and stands as the first female rock superstar's definitive studio work. Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP presents the lasting artwork like never before.
Mastered from the original master tapes, cut at 45RPM, and pressed on dead-quiet vinyl at RTI, the iconic audiophile label's analog reissue takes Joplin and Co.'s stupendous performances to newly transcendent levels. Boasting a fidelity that further magnifies the singer's passion and producer Paul A. Rothchild's clear production, this pressing benefits from increased spaciousness, dynamics, and openness afforded by the wider grooves. Joplin's husky, strong, and penetrating singing has never sounded so vibrant or made deeper connections. Warm, organic, and free of any artificial ceilings, this version lets you step into Sunset Sound Recorders with the performers, such is the degree of realism and authenticity. Indeed, few, if any words, describe Joplin better than authentic, and her spirit comes to life on this 2LP set in positively transcendent fashion. Like its headliner, this pressing leaves it all on the floor.
While Joplin's electrifying vocal prowess is universally lauded - she's recognized as the greatest white female blues singer the world has ever seen - her mix of compassion, confidence, and charm play as large a role in attracting listeners and keeping them ensnared more than four decades after her tragic death. And on Pearl, she burrows into deeper stylistic veins, teasing out sides of her persona and craft she'd never previously displayed. Her signature desperation, sadness, and vulnerability remain - the harrowing, lonely wail that begins her soul-ravishing take on Jerry Ragovoy's Cry Baby, underlined with a Wall of Sound-like piano accompaniment, could only come from a person severely scarred by loss and disappointment - yet Joplin also reveals a sense of humor and beatnik innocence that helped propel the album to the top of the charts for nine straight weeks.
Playfully introduced as a song of great social and political import, the acapella Mercedes Benz reflects Joplin's throaty timbre as well as her enhanced, sunnier mood. Similarly, her definitive read of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee signals a laidback demeanor and a move into country strains, with the delivery as natural, carefree, and loving as any in the rock canon. As she does throughout the record, Joplin invests her all in the narrative so that there's no line between the performer and the song. She makes everything on Pearl feel autobiographical, and by extension, gut-wrenchingly honest, and devastatingly intimate. Joplin achieved these feats often during her brief career, yet there are differences on Pearl, chiefly among them her balance of impeccable timing and raw emotion. Heart-aching anthems such as A Woman Left Lonely offer both grit and control, subtlety and attack, resulting in cathartic releases distinguished with originality, personality, and instinctual passion.
Pearl remains Joplin's finest hour, with credit also owed to the Full Tilt Boogie Band - the only group she ever considered to be her own - as well as the Doors alum that sat behind the boards. Joplin and Rothchild both admitted to sharing a common bond and understanding, with the latter inheriting the role of teacher and Joplin, a willing student ready to discover how she could use her voice in new, more expressive ways. The fruits of the pair's labors fill Pearl, be it the guardedly optimistic Get It While You Can or assertive, fleet-footed Move Over.
Experienced in the new light brought to fore by this definitive Mobile Fidelity analog edition, Joplin's swan song is no longer about a masterpiece that its creator never lived to see finished. Rather, it's about a once-in-a-lifetime vocalist realizing mammoth potential and wringing passion out of every note. It's not a tragedy, but a triumph. Get it while you can.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Move Over
2. Cry Baby
3. A Woman Left Lonely
4. Half Moon
5. Buried Alive In The Blues
6. My Baby
7. Me And Bobby McGee
8. Mercedes Benz
9. Trust Me
10. Get It While You Can$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Pagan DayOfficial Reissue Of The 1984 Classic
Legendary Conceptual Audiovisual Group Formed By Throbbing Gristle Co-Founder Genesis P-Orridge & Alternative TV's Alex Fergusson
Collection Of Early Demos And Sketches By P-Orridge & Fergusson
Vinyl Has Been Out Of Print Since 1986
Includes The Bonus Track "Farewell"
Shortly before Christmas 1984, the core songwriters, Genesis P-Orridge and Alex Fergusson, of underground arts collective Psychic TV, quietly released a limited edition record containing sketches and ideas for songs. Some songs would become later fully-realized arrangements, some abandoned and others were justcovered in praise of their creator. The record, in recognition of its seasonal release,was simply titled A Pagan Day and would capture the intimate songwriting sessions that were prevalent during a crucial time in the band's career.
In classic Psychic TV fashion, rumors and myths surround the album's creation.Most have suggested that it was recorded in a single session over a cup of coffee on a lone 4-track cassette recorder above an old YMCA building in London,though later revealed that the recordings were from various sessions over the course of a couple years prior to the record's release. After quickly pressing the songs to vinyl, the record was originally only available through Rough Trade fora few hours on December 23, 1984, and pressed on picture discs, which adorned a photo of P-Orridge's first born, Caresse, in exactly 999 copies. The pressing sold out immediately that day which caused Temple Records, their "in-house label", to later release a standard reissue version in 1986.
What makes the songs, or rather versions of songs, so unique is the primitive and fragile nature of the arrangements while the flimsy, immediate vocal delivery makes the album sit unknowingly between demo and fully realized album."Baby's Gone Away" and "New Sexuality" are just a couple examples of songs tha tfans of Psychic TV became intimately familiar with from live experiences, buton A Pagan Day, they are released in their infantile stages with no full band, just Alex & Genesis finding their way through the songs with an acoustic guitar, drum machine and organ. "Cold Steel" shows a true peek behind the curtain, sung effortlessly by Fergusson and would then later become the classic standard "The Orchids." Most notable is the band's cover of Pearls Before Swine's "Translucent Carriages" of which P-Orridge accords special praise to Tom Rapp, the song's original author and icon to both P-Orridge and Fergusson.1. Cadaques
2. We Kiss
4. Cold Steel
7. Farewell (Bonus Track)
8. Translucent Carriages
10. Baby's Gone Away
12. New Sexuality$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BinauralRemastered Reissue - NOT REMIXED
Binaural is the sixth studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, originally released on May 16, 2000, through Epic Records. Following a full-scale tour in support of its previous album, Yield (1998), Pearl Jam took a short break before reconvening toward the end of 1999 to begin work on a new album. During the production of the album, the band encountered hindrances such as singer Eddie Vedder's writer's block, and guitarist Mike McCready's entrance into rehabilitation due to an addiction to prescription drugs.
The music on the record featured an experimental sound, evident on songs that used binaural recording techniques. The atmospheric tracks, mostly featuring somber lyrics dealing with social criticism, led the band to convey these themes with images of nebulas in the album artwork. Binaural received positive reviews and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.LP 1
2. Gods' Dice
4. Light Years
5. Nothing As It Seems
6. Thin Air
1. Of The Girl
4. Sleight Of Hand
5. Soon Forget
6. Parting Ways$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Want To Live HighA debut album that never was, Rokk's I Want To Live High is that rare misshapen pearl clenched tightly between the shells of a music industry shucked long ago. Too soulful for its disco-era release date, the sextet's 1976 Tollie-issued 45 "Patience" (as featured in Eccentric Soul: Omnibus) tracked well in Rokk's hometown of Los Angeles, but was withdrawn before patience ran out with the spring rains of 1977. Tracked simultaneously was this entire shelved album full of Rokk's mid-tempo grooves, flute-lead funk, sultry female backing vocals, slap bass, chorus-drenched guitars, and lyrics about getting baked and eating baked apple pie. Jazzy, with plentiful slices of Broadway, Innervisions, and Rokk's own stoned brand of hornrock, had I Want To Live High ever gotten so high as actual record store shelves circa late 1977, it would've surely sobered up to the commercial onslaught of saturday night disco juggernauts and the pummeling forces of earth, wind, and fire.1. Patience
2. You've Neen too Long
3. I Want To Live High
4. It Better Git Better
5. Don't Be No Fool
6. From Within
7. Baby Please$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Big Fish SoundtrackImport
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Gatefold Sleeve / 4-Page Booklet
PVC Protective Sleeve
The soundtrack to Tim Burton's neo classic moving picture Big Fish (2003), starring Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Marion Cotillard and Jessica Lange, collects classic Pop songs and a score of longtime collaborator Danny Elfman (Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks! and others).
The 2LP soundtrack also contains a new song from Pearl Jam, specifically written for the movie: Man of the Hour. The soundtrack's Pop songs range from Bing Crosby's early-'30s Jazz hit Dinah to the '50s nostalgia of Buddy Holly's Everyday and Elvis Presley's All Shook Up, right up to the '60s and '70s recollections of Canned Heat's Let's Work Together and Ramblin' Man by the Allman Brothers Band.
The album was nominated for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.LP 1
1. Pearl Jam - Man Of The Hour
2. Bing Crosby - Dinah
3. Buddy Holly - Everyday
4. Elvis Presley - All Shook Up
5. The Vogues - Five O'Clock World
6. The Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man
7. Canned Heat - Let's Work Together
8. Danny Elfman - Pictures
9. Danny Elfman - Big Fish (Titles)
10. Danny Elfman - Shoe Stealing
11. Danny Elfman - Underwater
12. Danny Elfman - Sandra's Theme
1. Danny Elfman - The Growing Montage
2. Danny Elfman - Leaving Spectre
3. Danny Elfman - Return To Spectre
4. Danny Elfman - Rebuilding
5. Danny Elfman - The Journey Home
6. Danny Elfman - In The Tub
7. Danny Elfman - Sandra's Farewell
8. Danny Elfman - Finale
9. Danny Elfman - End Titles
10. Danny Elfman - Jenny's Theme
11. Bobbi Page And Candice Rumph - Twice The Love (Siamese Twins' Song)$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
RideFor his fiftieth birthday, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian wanted one present more than any other - the reunion of one of his favorite unsung heroes, Mother Superior - only he wanted to be a part of the lineup. They're a great, classic band that hit me in the same spot as all my favorite '70s bands, whether it's UFO, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick or KISS, Ian explains. I knew getting to play with them would be like joining KISS.
Thanks to Scott's wife Pearl Aday, who has been working with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson for years, all it took was a quick phone call and the stage was literally set for Scott's dream gig.
The band, which quickly gained the interests of Joey Vera (Armored Saint/Fates Warning) and John Tempesta (White Zombie, The Cult) called itself Motor Sister after the Mother Superior song Little Motor Sister and got together the day before the party to rehearse in Ian's jam room. The energy in the room was amazing, Ian says. It felt awesome. It was just something we did for fun and to celebrate my birthday.
The minute I started to play with Scott, Joey and John the chemistry was amazing, Wilson says. We sounded like a band that had been together forever. Enthralled at the idea of making a record of his favorite Mother Superior songs, Ian contacted producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and asked if he thought it was possible to recapture the same spontaneous energy generated at their makeshift gig. He said, 'Yeah, we can make the record in two days and we can make it sound really good.' So that's what we did, Ian says. A week and a half later, we made the record in LA over a two day period. We recorded the whole thing live in the studio.
While everyone in Motor Sister is busy with their day jobs, they are all interested in playing live as much as possible. We are a great live band Ian says. We proved it to ourselves in my jam room. It was our ability to play live together that made this happen and I can see us getting onstage and playing this shit back-to-back, Ramones-style, and just blowing people's minds with the power of these songs. And the door is always open to write more material because Pearl and Jim are always working together and I'm always with them. So we'll see what happens in the future.LP 1
1. A Hole
2. This Song Reminds Me of You
3. Beg Borrow Steal
4. Fool Around
5. Get That Girl
6. Head Hanging Low
1. Fork in the Road
2. Little Motor Sister
3. Pretty in the Morning
6. Devil Wind$30.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ThunderpussyWhat if Thor's Hammer of the Gods from "Immigrant Song" landed in the hands of four wise, willful, and wild women? Well, it would sound something like Thunderpussy.
The quartet-Molly Sides [vocals], Whitney Petty [guitar], Leah Julius [bass], and Ruby Dunphy [drums]-do the most rock 'n' roll thing possible and quite literally fuck up every rock 'n' roll stereotype you know to be true, piercing the halls of Valhalla in the process. Think of it like an inverse Frank Frazetta painting where it's the Amazonian siren wielding all of the world's power instead of Conan (he's on the sidelines in awe). More simply, instead of Page and Plant, Perry and Tyler, and Jagger and Richards, you get Molly and Whitney. Known for earth shattering pipes, heart-stopping performance art, and a propensity to literally writhe through a crowd, Molly is the consummate ideal front-person-bold, brilliant, brazen, and beautiful. At her righthand, you've got Whitney as the ultimate 21st century axe-slinger-cool, collected, and crazy on that fretboard. Rounding out the fray, Leah and Ruby cook up the tightest rhythm section this side of Cream (no kidding).
So, what is it that turned the Seattle-based group into a quiet phenomenon with the endorsement of Rolling Stone and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready as well as a string of already legendary performances under their high-waisted belts (we're looking at you, Sasquatch)? It'd be too easy to say it's the power of the P----
Whitney steps in, "People talk about that magic. There's some voodoo happening between Molly and I, which is like a cosmic connection. She has this power. Somehow, I'm under her spell when we're performing-we all are."
"The truth is, I feel the same way about Whitney, Leah, and Ruby," smiles Molly. "We're all in this together."
That unity drives the band's forthcoming full-length debut Thunderpussy [Stardog Records/Republic Records] produced by Sylvia Massy. The lead single Speed Queen begins with a revving engine and arena-size percussion before snapping into a muscular and majestic riff and vocal proclamation, "Long live the Speed Queen."
"The 'Speed Queen' is this mythic and magical woman who rides a motorcycle and travels around the country," explains Whitney. "Nobody knows too much about where she came from or where she's going, but she changes everyone she meets because she's that powerful. I was thinking of Molly when I wrote it."
Its companion track "Badlands" evokes bluesy Zeppelin-style mysticism with a fury that certainly wouldn't be out of place on Aerosmith's Rocks-but is completely at home on Speed Queen.
"It nods to that classic Terrence Malick movie Badlands with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek," adds Molly. "It's an on-the-run love song between two outlaws."
Among its arsenal, Thunderpussy also boasts a song produced by McCready "Velvet Noose." Everything comes together into one cohesive and classic vision of rock music recharged, reinvigorated, and resurrected in what can only be described as a diamond in the muff: Thunderpussy.
"Being a lover of rock 'n' roll music for my whole life, you either have it, or you don't," Whitney leaves off. "If you find it, cultivate it, treat it like a wild animal, and tame that raw energy, but not too much. That's what this is."1. Speed Queen
4. Torpedo Love
5. Velvet Noose
6. Gentle Frame
7. All In
8. The Cloud
9. Pick It Up
10. Utero Tango
12. Young & Pure$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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
StiffThree years on from their critically acclaimed "barbeque" record Corsicana Lemonade, White Denim are back with more than just a new album to commemorate. Their sixth record, Stiff - out 25 March 2016 via Downtown/Sony Red - is a return to the Austin quartet's frenetic rock band roots, and is both a jubilant thrill ride and joyous celebration of their past ten years. Heading into the studio with an external producer to oversee a whole album for the first time - and even writing a tune with Cass McCombs ('Thank You') - the band teamed up with the legendary Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, The Staves) to produce their first truly live record, one teeming with a cool '70s undertow, tumultuous riffs and a feverish energy that's resulted in arguably some of their biggest and brawniest songs to date.
With drummer Joshua Block and guitarist Austin Jenkins now pursuing other production ventures, vocalist/guitarist James Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki spent a long time reassessing exactly what White Denim meant to them. "The big thing for Steve and I was trying to define what made us want to keep going," Petralli explains of the album's early days. "What's our partnership about? What's cool about this? We learnt a lot making D and Corsicana Lemonade. We wanted to take some of those lessons and apply it back to our original mission statement. We were trying to get back to some of the things that made us excited about the band in the first place."
Opener 'Had 2 Know (Personal)' is the embodiment of that mission statement. Described by Petralli as "a reassertion of our initial intent to make songs that satisfy our urge to play fast", it sets the tone brilliantly for the bulk of Stiff, right from its idiosyncratic, Red Krayola-sampling beginning to its huge, golden era chorus. While it remains distinctively White Denim, there's a reinvigoration permeating through its riffs via new guitarist Jonathan Horne and a beefed-up rhythm section thanks to the work of new drummer Jeffrey Olson. Every single high octane turn - from the tremendously fun 'Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)' to the outrageously shredding 'Holda You (I'm Psycho)' - sounds like a band re-energised and revitalised, resulting in what Petralli describes as a "high heat, high energy, good times record". Having previously sold out Shepherd's Bush Empire and having toured with Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys, Stiff is full to the brim with songs that sound ready to now lift White Denim to similar heights.
For the most part, Stiff is an album crammed with adrenaline-fuelled sing-alongs that show off the band's staple technical abilities. But it's also one that sees some new shades that they've developed along the way, too. Citing new wave and the razor-sharp pop punk of Buzzcocks as influences this time round, there's an addictive Elvis Costello circa This Year's Model quality to 'Real Deal Momma', a tune that highlights the band's love for hummable synthesisers and curious, affecting oddities. Then there's the cow bell calm and backing vocals laden brilliance of 'I'm The One (Big Big Fun)', that along with 'Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)' (a song Petralli says "wants to be on a collection of doo wop songs written in 2016") shows a softer and more intricate side to the band while fully emphasising Petralli's vocal excellence.
Of the artwork - which was created by collagist Eugenia Loli - was inspired and worked from the band's previous album covers and videos as a visual template. Ultimately, it's a fleeting visit to a place the band have been before, with the covers of Workout Holiday and D being collages too. Stiff was even originally stylised 'Stif', which when spelt backwards spells out the title of their second full-length Fits. Then there's 'Mirrored In Reverse', a nod to the Fits track 'Mirrored And Reverse'. "I mean, we're ten!" Petralli says in disbelief while explaining all of the record's throwbacks. "We did think about naming this record Ten and referencing the Pearl Jam cover!"
Recorded with nothing but equipment that Petralli describes as being "past a certain point in the '70s", he explains that Stiff is an album made "entirely the old way". "It was tracked live to 16-track tape with very little overdubs," he says. "It was very hardcore record making - traditional in every aspect." Recorded with Ethan Johns in Asheville, North Carolina over a twenty-day period, Petralli and the band had an intense but deeply educational time with Johns. "It was really cool. The guy had these stories that were just unbelievable. He started talking about playing with Jimmy Page when he was a kid, and he lived in the studio where The Rolling Stones and The Faces would just hang out. Having Ethan in the room pushing us really made it more of an 'in the moment' and a visual thing. Capturing live performances is what he does really well."
To make things even more celebratory, there was an extra ten day stint spent with go-to White Denim man Jim Vollentine, who Petralli describes as "my guy, man". He continues: "we've made a lot of records together now. When we left the studio in Asheville with Ethan, we thought we gotta work on this record some more, you know? Though it was really just mixing, which we did with respect to Ethan's arrangements and his recording. I feel like I really haven't made anything like this before."
Ultimately, Stiff is the sound of a band finding their feet again and having the time of their lives. It's a record that refuses to buckle under the pressures of life, instead offering up a soundtrack to sing, dance, shout and scream along to. As a White Denim album, it's a joyride through the past ten years of the band's idiosyncratic catalogue while simultaneously pushing things further forward into new territories. "It's similar to our first record [Workout Holiday] in that we found the initial energy and just went with that," Petralli says of the initial studio spark that started it all. "We thought, what's the fundamental thing that made us want to get into a van and quit our terrible jobs and start this whole thing in the first place? And it was loud, fast-playing, rock and roll."1. Had 2 Know (Personal)
2. Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)
3. Holda You (I'm Psycho)
4. There's a Brain in My Head
5. Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)
6. (I'm the One) Big Big Fun
7. Real Deal Momma
8. Mirrored in Reverse
9. Thank You$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shiver + ShakeShiver + Shake was recorded and produced by esteemed Seattle producer Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blind Melon) at London Bridge Studio.
""Cold Feet Killer" is one of the first and oldest My Goodness songs," singer/guitarist Joel Schneider explains to Purevolume.com. "I actually wrote the majority of the music on acoustic guitar before the band got its start. In a way it was one of the first few songs that ended up inspiring the creation of My Goodness."
Consisting of Schneider and drummer Andy Lum, My Goodness formed in Seattle in 2008 and quickly took the Northwest by storm with their feverish concoction of blues-infused rock. The duo spent years honing their songwriting and playing to growing crowds with bands like Bosnian Rainbows, The Thermals, The Cave Singers and Augustines; all of which has led to this pivotal, career defining moment, the release of their new album, Shiver + Shake.
My Goodness' connection to the Seattle music they grew up on is strikingly audible. Bands from Nirvana and Soundgarden, to bands from the early 00s Seattle scene such as Botch, Blood Brothers, Murder City Devils and Harkonen were on heavy rotation for Schneider and Lum throughout their formative years. Dig deeper still and you find them tapping into a rich seam of blues, old and new - from Muddy Waters through Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside to the musical sass of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Though a very different prospect, the energy, intensity and attitude of hardcore and the groove of the blues feeds into everything My Goodness does. Ultimately it's all rock music though. Big throbbing rock music.
In the spring of 2014, My Goodness enlisted the help of friend and local Seattle musician Cody Votalato (The Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love) who joined them as a part time member on bass guitar for their first full U.S. tour. Votalato will continue performing live with the band when possible.
- Music Connection1. Shiver + Shake
2. Sweet Tooth
3. Back Again
4. Pay No Mind
5. Hangin' On
6. Check Your Bones
7. Cold Feet Killer
8. Letter To The Sun
10. Say You're Gone
11. C'mon Doll
12. Lost In The Soul
13. Hot Sweat$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now