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Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti17 years strong, Sexmob are a venerable New York City music institution. The band's four founding members-Steven Bernstein, Briggan Krauss, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen-defy genre, instead replacing it with their own inimitable musical language. It's fitting then that for their first new album in over seven years, Sexmob would choose to re-imagine the music of Nino Rota. It was Rota's imaginative compositions that set the tone for the surrealist films of the legendary director Federico Fellini. The Italian filmmaker once said, My films, like my life, are summed up in circus, spaghetti, sex, and cinema. Thus accordingly Sexmob have dubbed their tribute, Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti. The 13-track collection is a welcome return to form by these giants of the NYC downtown scene as they dive headlong into Rota's iconic Fellini film melodies. The quartet fearlessly blows apart musical parameters whether steering the arrangements through gutbucket swing or igniting them with New Orleans brass band second-line fervor; dubbing them out into ether or blasting them with punk jazz abandon. These classic themes are the perfect foil for Sexmob's improvisational psychedelia, old world beauty and hypnotic groove.1. Amacord
2. Il Teatrino Delle Suore (Juliet of the Spirits)
3. La Strada
4. Volpina (Amacord)
5. Paparazzo (La Dolce Vita)
6. Toby Dammit's Last Act (Spirits of the Dead)
7. La Dolce Vita
8. Zamparo (La Strada)
9. Nadia Gray (La Dolce Vita)
10. The Grand Hotel (Amacord)
11. Gelsomina (La Strada)
12. I Vitelloni$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Songs From The Vanished FrontierSongs from the Vanished Frontier, the second album from New York's Yellowbirds, includes love songs and breakup songs, happy numbers and sad numbers, tunes about not believing in the truth and, alternately, tunes about delivering it. There's bracing rock 'n' roll and bubbling folk, drifting jangle and swiveling R&B. But the thread that unites these nine instantly affecting songs is their search to find the signal amid the noise that is, to understand the world and its whirlwind and to deliver just a little bit of clarity every three or four minutes.
Singer, guitarist and songwriter Sam Cohen who first came to prominence as part of the experimental psych rock band Apollo Sunshine founded Yellowbirds as an outlet for new songs he'd been writing following his former band s dissolution. Yellowbirds debut album, The Color, was released by The Royal Potato Family in 2011 and received favorable reviews, with Pitchfork noting that the record espoused 'an endearing raggedness, as though Cohen invited you into his living room.' Vanished Frontier hinges on the same intimacy. The album glows with spectral harmonies and interwoven textures, decorative percussion and brilliant guitar playing; but, these are songs that could stand on their own, stripped of all that. In the end, the noise supports the signal.1. Stop Tonight
2. Mean Maybe
3. Love Stories
4. Young Men of Promise
5. The Ceiling
6. The Vanished Frontier
8. For Girls Who Love To Sing
9. What's Out There$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Knives & TeethTom Hamilton is best known as one of the founding members of the highly successful electro-rock band, Brothers Past, an endeavor that infused the song structures of The Grateful Dead into the experimental music of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher (a sort of "Pink Floyd with laptops," as Hamilton calls it). When the strictures of band life became creatively stifling, Hamilton decided in 2007 to form American Babies. A loosely-organized operation wherein Hamilton is the sole constant member, American Babies have released three sets over the course of six years: their self-titled debut, which won them numerous festival appearances as well supporting gigs with Sheryl Crow, Derek Trucks and The National; a 2010 EP called Weight of the World; and, in 2011, their second long player, Flawed Logic.
Knives & Teeth is the powerful new American Babies album fromThe Royal Potato Family. The 10 songs range from uplifting to heartbreaking as Hamilton considers the secrets of childhood, the impending doubts of adulthood and the weight of strained friendships, all set to a soundtrack with the brashness of The Replacements, the sonic intensity of David Bowie and the acoustic majesty of Led Zeppelin.
When asked to describe his new record, Knives & Teeth, Hamilton's answer is short and compact but, like his lyrics, is loaded with deeper meaning: "It's a 40-minute existential breakdown."1. When I Build My Fortune
2. Cold Blooded
3. Old Fashioned
4. Bullseye Blues
5. This Thing Ain't Goin' Nowheres
7. They Sing "Old Time Religion"
8. Running In Place
9. Fire Sale
10. Telephone$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-ROY-7176xJacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
WorkerWhile navigating 20 years, 16 members, 25 albums, and countless tours around the world, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has become an institution in modern music. Defined by evolution and change, the band has invented its own language, one that permeates JFJO's sound regardless of configuration. Although there is no Jacob or Fred, the last 20 years have indeed been a Jazz Odyssey.
With a nod to their history in place, it didn't take JFJO long to return to the ideal that's led them to where they stand today. That is to surge forward, fearlessly and freely, in line with their creative impulses. Thus the electrifying trio of keyboardist Brian Haas, guitarist Chris Combs and drummer Josh Raymer followed their muse into ever-evolving terrain to write and record Worker.
Incorporating indie and electronic music influences within their process, the 11-track effort is a meticulously crafted, intricately woven, genre-defying statement. But don't let its precision fool you: This is visceral live music, played by sentient beings. Worker probes the nexus of modern and primitive, fearlessly merging analog and digital sounds (all the bass on the album comes courtesy of a pair of Moog synths), composition and improvisation with real-time sequencing. As it's been for 20 years, JFJO's musical instincts light the way. So it goes, and rightfully so, on this perpetually inspired jazz odyssey. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Worker available now via the Royal Potato Family.1. New Bird
2. Appropriation Song
4. Hey Hey NSA
5. Say Nothing
6. Council Oak
8. Let Yourself Out
10. Better Living Through Competitive Spirituality
11. The Finder's Keeper$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-ROY-3888xRobert Walter's 20Th Congress
Get Thy BearingsRobert Walter performs all his own stunts. For 20 years, the San Diego native has been pulling drawbars and pushing the limits of the Hammond B3 organ. As a founding member of the Greyboy Allstars, he helped usher in the funk-jazz renaissance of the early '90s and has continued to keep one hand comping chords in the instrument's funky past, while the other explores ever-new melodic terrain. On June 25, his long-standing project, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, returns with, Get Thy Bearings, via The Royal Potato Family. It was a recent move from New Orleans to Los Angeles that jump-started the 20th Congress who hadn't recorded a studio album in ten years. The nine-track effort presents Walter's organ, piano, Rhodes and synthesizer driving an all-star line-up rounded out by guitarist/bassist Elgin Park, drummer Aaron Redfield, sax players Karl Denson and Cochemea Gastelum, and percussionist Chuck Prada.
Get Thy Bearings is drenched in the vintage old school soul, funk and jazz vibe of Walter's heroes like Big John Patton, but it also reflects his recent work scoring films. There's a conceptual depth to the songwriting that draws on elements of narrative and character development, lending a cinematic color to the proceedings. The tracks range from the Sly Stone-style soul vamp of Little Business to the heavy gospel of Crux. Dog Party might as well be the theme song to a cartoon of the same name, while Don't Chin the Dog shifts from delicate shuffle to horn-drenched boogaloo. Things get eerie on Up From the Skies, a Jimi Hendrix cover rendered nearly unrecognizable in washes of electric Miles. Similarly, the album's title track is a shrewd reworking of the 1968 Donovan tune Walter first discovered on compilation of sample-friendly breakbeats, full of fuzz guitar and a mercurial organ solo.1. Hunk
2. Little Business
3. Get Thy Bearings
5. Dog Party
6. Inversion Layer
8. Don't Chin The Dog
9. Up From The Skies$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SwiftMarco Benevento is used to doing things for himself. Since launching his solo career six years ago, Benevento has co-founded the label that releases his music, The Royal Potato Family, and built the studio, Fred Short Sound, where he works whenever he's not on the road. He's written, arranged and played his largely instrumental anthems, leading a band from behind his customized piano and a tiny armada of drum-machines and sequencers, keyboards and pedals. But until Benevento set out to complete his fifth solo album, he'd never sung his own songs, a strange omission for music that's so often been lyrical. That changes-decisively, assuredly, triumphantly-on Swift, the boldest and most bracing album of Benevento's career.
Abetted by producer Richard Swift (Shins, Damien Jurado, Foxygen) and featuring Benevento's core touring band: Dave Drewitz on bass (Ween) and Andy Borger on drums (Tom Waits, Norah Jones), an ease and energy radiate throughout Swift, its nine tracks every bit as delightful and kinetic as the title suggests. Opener "At the Show" is a handclap invocation, the big-bottomed drums and fleet keyboard line motioning toward the dance floor. "Eye to Eye" moves with an indomitable swagger, while closer "Free Us All" prompts eyes-closed, mouths-open bliss. Even "No One is to Blame," the album's ostensible down-tempo drift, can't suppress the excitement of the new setting, the new singer or the new approach. Its climax offers arching catharsis, Benevento's multi-tracked harmonies curving like a rainbow. On "If I Get to See You At All," Dreiwitz's bass dances atop the track, his rich fuzz-tone affording the melody the feeling of a sinister carousel. And on "The Saint," he and Borger emerge as powerhouse, the viscous bass line rumbling over drums that slow and spring, stutter and stomp. A minute into the track, Benevento has to wait for just the perfect moment in which to slide his silvery piano.
An album of crisp, strange pop songs, sliced through with a wholly original approach to piano, electronics and songwriting, Swift is the singular artistic statement Benevento was destined to create at this point in his continually evolving body of work.1. At The Show
2. If I Get To See You At All
3. Witches Of Ulster
4. Eye To Eye
5. Coyote Hearing
6. One And One Is Two
7. The Saint
8. No One Is To Blame
9. Free Us All$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Band Of Outsiders (Awaiting Repress)
Limited Edition Black And Red Splattered Vinyl
When jazz hits you in the face with a stack of bricks, Mike Dillon is there...twisting chaos into order before turning it back on itself again. -Splinters & Candy
The Mike Dillon Band is a predictably gruesome and sublime elixir of stealthy jazz vibes, street poetry raps and post-punk sonic carnage. -Boulder Weekly
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when The Mike Dillon Band is supplying the dance music. The psychedelic rock group shakes and gyrates with heavy, vibraphone driven grooves, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion. -Pittsburgh City Paper
How many artists can claim being praised a punk rock provocateur, jazz vibraphone visionary and percussion virtuoso in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders-released via Brooklyn label The Royal Potato Family-Mike Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers-whom Dillon describes as "a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade"-provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion ("All Walks of Life") as she simultaneously ups the band's art-rock ante ("Carly Hates The Dubstep"). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults ("Homeland Insecurity"), deep funky go-go ("Head"), ska grooves ("Here The Burro") and experimental hip-hop beats ("7AM At The Jazzfest") with all points covered in between.
Dillon recorded Band of Outsiders at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon's work. In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.
"Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs," explains Dillon. "Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet."
Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon's trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived for the past seven years in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones. Dillon discounts those rumors: This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts."
Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013-both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic-its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that's played 400-plus shows over the last two years.
"People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It's a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us," concludes Dillon. "But you know, I really don't care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There's a reason we called the record what we did. We're the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let's leave it at that."1. Head
2. Hand of God
3. Homeland Insecurity
4. Hero The Burro
5. Carly Hates The Dubstep
6. Great Lakes Tuna
8. All Walks of Life 9. Celebrate the Hate
10. 7AM at the Jazzfest
11. So Long Pal
12. Baby Flint Talk
13. Dauphine & Desire$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Between The Needles And NightfallBetween The Needles And Nightfall was conceived at Trout Recording in Brooklyn, NY where engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Akron/Family) tracked Marco Benevento and his trio over three days. To achieve the colors he envisioned, Benevento recorded on a baby grand piano bolstered by guitar pick-ups, amplifiers and a myriad of pedals and circuit bend toys, while overdubbing Moog, Optigan, Mellotron and Farfisa. He then transferred the tracks to his home studio, taking the next two months to cut, loop and shape the pieces into full-fledged songs.
For the final mixes, Benevento handed off his work to three of his favorite engineers: Mell Dettmer (Sunn O))), Eyvind Kang, Jesse Lauter (Low Anthem, Elvis Perkins) and Vid Cousins (Amon Tobin, Kid Koala). The results range from the day-glo electro-rock of It Came From You to the simply-stated lullaby Illa Frost to the shimmering Arcade Fire-meets-Brad Mehldau anthem Two Of You.1. Greenpoint
2. Between The Needles
3. Two Of You
5. It Came From You
6. Ila Frost
8. You Know I'm No Good
9. Music Is Still Secret
10. Wolf Trap
11. Snow Lake$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-ROY-4143xJacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
Stay GoldJacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, the Tulsa, Oklahoma institution founded by pianist Brian Haas returns with a new full length album, Stay Gold. The effort refines JFJO's singular vision that's been dubbed 'Red Dirt Jazz,' sounding equal parts earthy and nimble, pastoral and sweeping, elegant and free. The quartet taps into their birthright, drawing upon 'The Tulsa Sound' born of hometown heroes like JJ Cale, Bob Wills and Leon Russell, while growing these roots from a jazz foundation that's built firmly upon the influence of giants such as Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, JFJO recorded the album at acclaimed engineer/musician David Teegarden's Natura Digital Recording Studios just outside of Tulsa. The eight-track effort captures the band's strongest songwriting and most compelling improvisations to date.1. The Sensation Of Seeing Light
2. Trampoline Phoenix
4. The Return
5. Song For Lauren
6. Hamby's Window
7. Stay Gold
8. This, Our Home$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Always Be Happy, But Stay EvilA force greater than the sum of its colossal parts, Garage A Trois features Seattle-based saxophonics masater Skerik, Brooklyn-based sound-sculptor/keysman Marco Benevento, punk rock vibraphone hero Mike Dillon and New Orleans funky drummer/beat master Stanton Moore.
After the rousing success of the quartet's 2009 release, Power Patriot, Garage A Trois headed to Studio In The Country in Bogalusa, LA to record with revered sound engineer Randall Dunn (Southern Lord). A laser sharp foucs was paid to capturing Garage A Trois' sinewy, fourth-dimensional, polychromatic instrumental songwriting. The resulting album Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil delivers from track to track.No Listing Available.$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Lost Cause Ministrels (Awaiting Repress)Grayson Capps' fifth studio album, The Lost Cause Minstrels, finds the Mobile, Alabama-based singer/songwriter coming of age. That doesn't mean his oft-unholy tales of the Southern Gothic have lost any of their luster. Quite the contrary, Capps' Tao-tinged philosophical musings revealed inside songs shuddering with spit, stomp and snarl are as potent as ever.
Look no further than Highway 42, No Definitions and Rock N Roll to hear that Capps cedes no quarter. It's just that this time his bark and his bite is older, wiser and more accepting of the unanswered questions mucking up the universe. Occasionally, even a celebratory mood can prevail like the horn-fueled romp Ol' Slac, an ode to the rebirth of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras, or Coconut Moonshine, a character sketch based on Mr. Jim who inhabits the hallowed roadside barbecue joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Two rare but classic American roots numbers are born again here, as well: Taj Mahal's country-blues paen Annie's Lover and Richard Rabbit Brown's jaunty Jane's Alley Blues, (the original recording preserved on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music). In less metaphorical terms, Capps' real life situation has evolved and it's reflected in the album's spirit.
Capps co-produced The Lost Cause Minstrels with his longtime partner and revered engineer/producer 12:46:12 AM (Queens of the Stone Age, Dylan Leblanc, Sheryl Crow) and it results in a highly anticipated next chapter from one of the finest Southern troubadours in modern times.1. Coconut Moonshine
2. Highway 42
3. John The Dagger
4. Yes You Are
5. Jane's Alley Blues
6. Yes You Are
7. Annie's Lover
8. Ol' Slac
9. Paris France
10. No Definitions
11. Rock N Roll$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
REDD-ROY-0366xSteven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
MTO Plays SlyNew York City's favorite 'little big band' Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra cracks open wide the monumental songbook of Sly & The Family Stone on its third album, MTO Plays Sly.
On this freewheeling and jubilant 13-track tribute, MTO, propelled by a dynamic cast of special guests, treats Sly and Co. with the same reverence it would Duke Ellington or Count Basie, illuminating the melodic and harmonic sophistication of the iconoclast's body of work by re-imagining the music through the filter of their own downtown NYC aesthetic, while upholding th Day-Glo soul and psychedelic funk that is the backbone for classics like M'Lady, Everybody People and Family Affair.
MTO is Steven Bernstein, Peter Apfelbaum, Doug Wieselman, Erik Lawrence, Curtis Fowlkes, Charlie Burnham, Matt Munisteri, Ben Allison and Ben Perowsky. MTO Plays Sly also features many special guests including Anthony Hegarty, Bernie Worrell, Bill Laswell, Dean Bowman, Martha Wainwright, Sandra St. Victor, Shilpa and Vernon Reid.1. Stand ft. Sandra St. Victor, Bernie Worrell and Vernon Reid
2. Family Affair ft. Antony Hegarty
3. Sly Notions
4. Que Sera, Sera ft. Martha Wainwright
5. M'Lady feat. Dean Bowman
6. You Can Make it If You Try
7. Everyday People ft. Shilpa Ray
8. Bernie Interlude ft. Bernie Worrell
9. Skin I'm In ft. Sandra St. Victor
10. Sly Notions 2/Fun ft. Dean Bowman
11. Time feat. Dean Bowman and Vernon Reid
12. Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa (Bill Laswell mix translation)
13. Life$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sweeten The Distance (Awaiting Repress)The first line of the title track on Neal Casal's tenth studio effort Sweeten The Distance says much about where the storied singer/songwriter/guitarist finds himself in his career: Nothing's gonna stop you now, everything you want is coming in good time. After 20-plus years of writing songs, recording albums and touring the world, there's a confidence and patience in his latest work that reveals an artist in full creative flight.
Produced by Thom Monahan (Fruit Bats, Devendra Banhart, Vetiver), Sweeten The Distance is indeed a defining moment in Casal's discography. Rich acoustic textures and sophisticated melodies of songs like Bird With No Name, and Need Shelter and Gyrls of Wynter give way to a psyched-out ambience on White Fence Round House, Feathers for Bakersfield and How Quiet It Got.
The depth of production, with its purposefully layered sounds and oceanic atmospherics, makes Sweeten The Distance as much a multi-dimensional headphone experience as a soul-stirring modern songwriter record. And as such, Casal emerges as an essential voice in the new cosmic California movement.
In addition to his critically acclaimed solo work, Neal Casal made a name for himself as the lead guitarist in Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, with whom he recorded four albums: Easy Tiger, Follow the Lights, Cardinology and III/IV. Currently he serves as a central component of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood with whom he contributes lead guitar and vocal harmonies. Over the last year, Casal also added guitar and vocals to Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire, Fruit Bats Tripper, The Jayhawks Mockingbird Time, Vetiver The Errant Charm and a forthcoming recording by Beachwood Sparks.1. Sweeten The Distance
2. Bird With No Name
3. Need Shelter
4. Let It All Begin
5. White Fence Round House
6. So Many Enemies
7. Feathers For Bakersfield
8. Time & Trouble
9. How Quiet It Got
10. The Gyrls of Wynter
11. Angel and Youre Mine$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Gorelick (Awaiting Repress)Dead Kenny Gs have made their punk rock masterpiece. A 17-minute EP entitled Gorelick. Not one more second is needed as the DKGs slash and burn their way through six tracks, including originals like Beer, Daddy Issues and Punk Rock Girlfriend, plus a bruising rendition of their namesake The Dead Kennedys' Kill The Poor.
The combustible punk-jazz trio featuring saxophonist Skerik, bassist Brad Houser and vocaslist/vibraphonist/drummer Mike Dillon have garnered a fanatical cult fan-base over years of incessant touring and critical praise, as well as through related projects like Garage A Trois, Critters Buggin and Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle. Gorelick will be released as a limited vinyl pressing with only 500 copies being issued.
Dead Kenny Gs is a definitive statement of purpose: a resolute denunciation of all-things artificial. Skerik and his compatriots use their un-compromised art to draw an aesthetic line in the sand at the expense of crass commercialization that contaminates our art, our food, and what passes for our political discourse. It's fun, fearless, and, if you are the ass-shaking type, you can get down accordingly. - Popmatters1. Gorelick
2. Kill The Poor
3. Trivial Assault
4. Punk Rock Girlfriend
5. Daddy Issues
6. Beer$11.9912 Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
TigerFace (Awaiting Repress)Over three previous studio albums, pianist/sound-sculptor/songwriter Marco Benevento has set forth a vision for instrumental music that connects the dots between Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other. On his fourth studio recording, 'Tigerface', the 34-year old artist takes the next step forward in this evolution. Benevento paints his songs in a myriad of sonic colors, shimmering in acoustic piano, synths and analog keyboards. The tunes themselves conceptualized from seemingly every wisp of melody, hook and cadence that s ever tickled his ear. The album was recorded and mixed by Tom Biller (Silversun Pickups, Fiona Apple) and Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Akron/Family), while Benevento invited a stellar cast of musicians to help capture his ideas, including drummers Matt Chamberlain (Bill Frisell, Pearl Jam), John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & The Cake) and Andrew Barr (The Barr Brothers), bassists Dave Dreiwitz (Ween), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) and Mike Gordon (Phish), violinist Ali Helnwein (Traction Avenue Chamber Orchestra) and saxophonist Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness). For the first time on record he uses vocals, inviting Kalmia Traver (Rubblebucket) to sing on the infectious dance rock rave-up 'Limbs Of A Pine' and the pastoral psych rock meditation 'This Is How It Goes'. Other standouts include the angelic Arcade Fire meets The Flaming Lips anthem 'Eagle Rock', the soaring garage psychadelia of 'Going West', the piano riff rock jaunt 'Escape Horse', and the happily lilting 'Fireworks', which bounces along like a long lost Italian folk song beamed down to him by ancestors from his father s homeland. As anybody who's seen Benevento perform live can attest, the pianist eyes closed, smile wide across his face, fingers free-flowing across the keys is a satellite to the muse. 'Tigerface', indeed, is the commitment to this idea; a record that rides the yes wave and in the process becomes a soundtrack for fellow travelers chasing the horizon ahead.1. Limbs Of A Pine
2. This Is How It Goes
4. Going West
5. Eagle Rock
7. Do What She Told You
8. Escape Horse
10. This Is How It Goes (instrumental)$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
HandsMovement becomes contagious listening to Superhuman Happiness' first full-length album, Hands. The relentlessly creative band whose sound has been dubbed "physical cinematic dance rock" has crafted an LP that runs the gamut from celebratory syncopated handclaps ("Our Favorite Part") to the coronation grandeur of church bells ("Second Heart"), from art-pop dance beats ("See Me On My Way") to math rock angularity ("Half Step Grind"). The lyrics to Superhuman Happiness songs come at you in a flurry of pop sensibility but lean metaphysical, peppered amid the vastness of cinematic layers of instrumentation. Guitarists Luke O'Malley and Ryan Ferreira trade highlife picking and revving power chords as Nikhil Yerawadekar's ropey bass lines weave and bob through the pulsing beats issued from Miles Arntzen's drum kit. Waves of sound issue from Jared Samuel's array of analog keyboards and lush accents from Eric Biondo's playful harmonies. Stuart Bogie's horns, abetted by long-time collaborator Colin Stetson, round out Hands' multi-dimensional sound.1. Our Favorite Part
2. I Can Hear You Calling
3. Sentimental Pieces
4. Pattern Recognition
5. See Me On My Way
6. First Heart
7. Second Heart
8. Elevator Elation
9. Half Step Grind
10. Second Heart (Reprise)$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
No Morphine, No LilliesTo say that Allison Miller is a diverse drummer would be an understatement. Her broad-ranging credits with Kenny Barron, Ani DiFranco and more make a statement alone. Miller's Boom Tic Boom band is comprised of leading-edge player's featuring Myra Melford on piano, Jenny Scheinman on violin, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Miller on drum. Their second release as a band, No Morphine, No Lilies (April 2013). is at turns challenging and accessible, teasing and tough, virtuosic but never overbearing. It thrives on surprises and projects a vast array of tonal colors, rhythmic and harmonic shape-shifts and rich emotions. The end result is a modern sound with a full commitment to the groove.1. Pork Belly
2. Early Bird
4. The Itch
5. Speak Eddie
6. Six Nettes
7. Spotswood Drive
9. The Kitchen
10. Sun Comes Up On The Reservoir
11. Nuh-Uh, No Sir$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-ROY-4793xBrian Haas & Matt Chamberlain
FramesThe debut Brian Haas & Matt Chamberlain album Frames features 11 instrumental compositions that spiral through the tempered scale. A through-composed work for piano and percussion, it was written entirely by Haas, the internationally renowned pianist and founder of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Now based in Santa Fe, Haas wrote Frames as a suite, equally influenced by stride piano masters Earl Hines, James P. Johnson and Fats Waller; the early minimalist works of Philip Glass and Steve Reich; and the lush aesthetic of modernists James Blake, Flying Lotus and Nigel Godrich. The music is pastoral, intensely melodic and tells the story of an imagined human life.
"After several years of non-stop touring with my band Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey I felt completely drained," explains Haas. "I was pulled to move to the high desert and mountains of Sante Fe; the space/distance from the road, the unearthly view from my house and the strange hum of my new surroundings inspired this music. What started as an exercise in all 12 keys turned into Frames."
Brian Haas has recorded 21 albums and toured the world for two decades with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a band he started while a student at The University of Tulsa. Grammy Award-winning drummer Matt Chamberlain is one of the most revered musicians of his time having toured and recorded with the likes of Brad Mehldau, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Critters Buggin, Tori Amos, Bill Frisell and Frank Ocean among others.1. Birth
2. Open Windows
3. Death: An Introduction
5. Of Many, One
8. Death: An Observation
9. Closing Window
10. An Empty House
11. From Nothing, Infinite$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
This Is The Town: A Tribute To Nilsson Vol 1 (Awaiting Repress)Pressed On Yellow Limited Edition Vinyl
This Is The Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume One), is a 20-track collection that celebrates the artistry and songs of the legendary singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Produced by Kenny Siegal and recorded over the course of 2013 at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY, the album features a diverse gathering of young artists performing songs that span the breadth of Nilsson's repertoire, including "Early In The Morning" by Langhorne Slim, "Jump Into The Fire" by Low Cut Connie, "Are You Sleeping" by Marco Benevento, "Rainmaker" by Yellowbirds, "Think About Your Troubles" by Willy Mason and "Everybody's Talkin'" by Tracy Bonham. Harry's daughter Annie Nilsson contributes a rendition of "Gotta Get Up," along with the original illustrations that serve as the album's artwork.
"Each artist has taken a Nilsson song that meant something to them, and with passion and inspiration, transformed it into something that is both a fitting tribute, and entirely their own," Kenny Siegal explains. "In doing so, they are helping Harry Nilsson to be remembered as his songs live again through these new creative interpretations."
Harry Nilsson's son Zak Nilsson has endorsed This Is The Town, stating: "There is a huge breadth of talent here. So many of these songs grabbed me from the first phrase, like it kicks in and I'm just sitting here thinking, 'oh wow.' Some of them are just absolutely perfect. They are covers of Harry's songs, but they have a lot of those sort of signature Nilsson twists in them. The kind of versions only real fans of Harry's music could put together."
Conceived by Kenny Siegal as a two volume set, he is already at work recording the second edition to the tribute.1. Langhorne Slim - Early In The Morning
2. Dawn Landes - You're Breakin' My Heart
3. Low Cut Connie - Jump Into The Fire
4. Jenny O - 1941
5. The Mommyheads - Me and My Arrow
6. Annie Nilsson - Gotta Get Up
7. Blueberry - Poli High
8. Willy Mason - Think About Your Troubles
9. Yellowbirds - Rainmaker (Nilsson /Martin)
10. Johanna Warren - Without Her
11. The Wiyos - Nobody Cares About The Railroads Anymore
12. Rasputina - Sweethaven
13. Church of Betty - Without You
14. Marco Benevento - Are You Sleeping?
15. Tracy Bonham - Everybody's Talkin' (Fred Neil)
16. Stellacutta - Everything's Got 'Em
17. Brian Dewan - Coconut
18. Johnny Society - Mr. Richland's Favorite Song
19. Mamie Minch - Don't Forget Me
20. Josh Kaufman - I Said Goodbye to Me$21.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Conversations (Awaiting Repress)Stanton Moore calls his latest album Conversations both a return to my roots and a reinvention. The New Orleans drummer, who is by all counts regarded as one of the great funk musicians of all time, has delivered his first jazz trio recording. It's a return to Moore's roots because he finally gets the opportunity to record with pianist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton whom he came up playing alongside on the New Orleans' club circuit. It's a reinvention because after years of delivering huge grooves and unrelenting funk at some of the worlds more revered rock clubs and festivals, Moore is stepping back to focus on the subtlety of swing and improvisation, while presenting the music via intimate settings like that of his trio's home-base Snug Harbor.
As for the album's title, one listen and it's clear. There's a vigorous musical dialogue happening among the three musicians, as they tell stories, explore ideas and trade thoughts on tracks like Lauren Z, Big Greaze and the Herbie Hancock classic Driftin'. The big easy is always close at hand with the majority of the material coming from the New Orleans composers, including James Black (Magnolia Triangle and In The Keyhole), Steve Masakowski (The Chase) and Paul Barbarin (Paul Barbarin's Second Line).
With Conversations, Stanton Moore shines a light on a side of his musical personality that will be new to fans, but every bit as compelling as the substantial body of work he's already established over the course of his 20-year career.1. Lauren Z
4. Magnolia Triangle
5. Waltz For Old Souls
7. The Chase
8. Big Greaze
9. In The Keyhole
10. Paul Barbarin's Second Line
11. Prayer$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
REDD-ROY-5929xEdward David Anderson
Lies & WishesEdward David Anderson is an artist as ancient as he is modern. In a time when the music business desperately flails about, grasping at any new trend that will save its sinking ship, he exists far beyond its confines. Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, I'm the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother. The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson's an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.
I feel like every experience, every mile, every interaction, every tune, sort of got me to where I am at this moment, Anderson recounts while shedding light on the over-arching theme that ties together the 10-track collection. The songs on the record are confessional by nature. They are songs about loss and love and living and hope. Halfway through my life, it's an honest look in the mirror.
Anderson's journey over the last five years and his response to the challenges he faced is what sets the lifers apart from those that concede the artistic pursuit. The dissolution of Backyard Tire in 2011 was the first obstacle to overcome. The band had built a devout cult following around the U.S., counting Cracker, Reverend Horton Heat and Clutch among their fans, all of whom took BTF on the road exposing them to a wider audience. It was around this time that Steve Berlin of Los Lobos was first drawn to Anderson's songwriting.
"Backyard Tire Fire opened a show for us and I remember being backstage and listening to their music and I was like, 'Wow, that song sounds really familiar. Whose cover is that? It's a classic tune,'" says Berlin. "It turns out that they were all Ed's originals. They just had that instantly memorable quality to them. So, I introduced myself at the show and we became buddies and then collaborators. Ed's music is so evocative, so well written. I honestly think he is as talented as anyone in the songwriting world and it is important that he be heard."
Anderson adds: I was just starting to get back on the road again after Tire Fire split, touring with my friend Johnny Hickman and I got inspired to get back in the studio. I had these songs and had something pretty interesting to say based on the experiences I just went through. I knew if I could get Steve Berlin involved, who is an old friend that I've worked with in the past, it could be something special."
It was just prior to this that Anderson's mother passed away, while the previous winter his wife lost her mother, both to extended illnesses. It was a defining moment for the 40-year old artist and culminated in a torrent of songwriting. Indeed, songs like Lies & Wishes Lost & Found and Chain Reaction delve deep into the human condition, asking difficult questions of both himself and his loved ones.
"A lot of the subject matter on this record came from reflecting on these painful experiences" says Anderson. After losing my mom, I decided I've got to make a record and dedicate it to her and make a statement here on my own.
Musically speaking, the core of Lies & Wishes is built around refined melodies, acoustic guitars and sparse arrangements, yet Berlin's production colors the tracks with squalls of electric guitar, affected vocals, drum loops and assorted analog keyboard flourishes. It should also be noted that fans of Anderson's vintage rock and roll songwriting from his Backyard Tire Fire days will find plenty to love on tunes like "Nothing Lasts Forever," "Taking It Out On You" and "The Next Melody," which deliver the big hooks and classic refrains on which he so effortlessly hangs his hat.
This is where we find Edward David Anderson today. His heart's on his sleeve and it's that of an artist. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but as the songs on Lies & Wishes bare out, when the muse calls, he will be there to answer.
I needed to make this album, he concludes. I feel like it's undoubtedly my finest work to date, the beginning of the next chapter for me.1. Lies & Wishes
2. Lost & Found
3. Son Of A Plumber
4. Pins & Needles
5. Taking It Out On You
6. I Missed You
7. Nothing Lasts Forever
8. Chain Reaction
10. The Next Melody$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Field NotesWil Blades Field Notes features guitarist Jeff Parker of Tortoise and drummer Simon Lott from New Orleans.
"He is the future to carry on the legend, the legacy of the organ, of the B-3." - Dr. Lonnie Smith
When Wil Blades sits down at the Hammond B3, count on inspired music to follow. The 34-year old, Chicago-native, Berkeley-based artist is a cornerstone organist of his generation-a modern voice in a lineage that includes giants like Richard "Groove" Holmes, Charles Earland and Brother Jack McDuff.
Having studied at the feet of the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith and played alongside the likes of John Lee Hooker, Melvin Sparks and Idris Muhammad, Blades has absorbed the spirit of the masters. His extensive collaborations also reflect the high regard in which he's held by contemporaries, including Stanton Moore, Anders Osborne and Nicholas Payton.
Having released a critically acclaimed co-led duo album Shimmy with Medeski Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin in 2012, Blades returns with a deeply soulful and sinuous nine-track effort, Field Notes, on which he's found fronting his own trio featuring Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and New Orleans' drummer Simon Lott.
From the recording's outset, it's easy to picture Blades fingers free-flowing across the keys, feet gliding along the bass pedals in a continuous dance. Syncopation drives songs like "Miller's Time" and "Addis" as the trio locks in tight to a relentless groove. But there's also a refined harmonic vision and deep affection for melody on tracks like "(I Can't Stand) The Whole Lott of You" and "Dewey" where Blades' Clavinet adds a fresh sonic dimension to the proceedings. Shades of psychedelia are weaved within "Parks 'N' Wreck," while a tip of the hat to vintage soul jazz balladry informs "Forgetful" and classic pop swing is at the heart of "I Get The Blues When It Rains."
In its sum, Field Notes is a masterful statement from an artist who's poised to keep the timeless sound of the Hammond B3 organ as vital and compelling today as it's ever been in the history of modern jazz and rock.1. Miller's Time
2. (I Can't Stand) The Whole Lott of You
6. Park N' Wreck
8. Red Lanterns Are Blue
10. I Get The Blues When It Rains$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-ROY-7329x6 String Drag
Roots Rock 'N' RollSo thrilled to get to see 6 String Drag again. They're as great as ever. Like reconnecting with a long lost friend." - Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)
The first new album in over 17 years from the seminal alt-country, Raleigh, NC-based legends.1. Drive Around Town
3. Give Up The Night
4. Kingdom Of Gettin' It Wrong
5. Precious Things
6. Happier Times
7. Choppin' Block
8. Me & My Disease
10. Hard Times, High Times
11. I Miss The Drive-In$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Arms & HandsCornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is one of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing. On his latest album, Arms & Hands, he assembles the ideal trio to bridge that divide. Joined by bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bill Goodwin, along with special guests Brian Drye (trombone), Daniel Carter (alto saxophone), and Jeff Lederer (soprano/tenor saxophone), Knuffke creates a set of music that is both engaging and inventive.
Helias is best known for his work with jazz experimentalists like Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell, and Gerry Hemingway, his band BassDrumBone with Hemingway and Ray Anderson, and his trio Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey. Goodwin, on the other hand, is recognized as a premiere straight-ahead drummer, through his decades-long relationship with saxophonist Phil Woods and credits that include such giants as Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Dexter Gordon, Jim Hall, Gary Burton, and Art Pepper.
The chemistry between the trio is irrefutable on Arms & Hands, which is a showcase for the immense creativity of all three musicians. Knuffke intentionally wrote compositions that took advantage of Goodwin's gift for groove and swing while remaining open enough to allow the improvisations to wander however far afield the moment might call for.
Kirk Knuffke is a prolific composer and improviser who has worked with a host of incredible musicians including Roswell Rudd, William Parker, Uri Caine, Myra Melford, Allison Miller, Steve Swell, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Steven Bernstein, and Mary Halvorson. Internationally, he has played with ensembles at jazz festivals in Saalfeldan Austria, Willisau Switzerland, The North Sea Jazz festival in Holland, The Moers festival as well as festival dates in Canada, Mexico, Italy and France. He is currently a member of the Matt Wilson Quartet. Knuffke is also a member of the Mark Helias Quartet, the Andrew D'angelo Big Band, Josh Roseman's Extended Constellations, Kenny Wollesen's Wollesonic and Allison Miller's Boom tic Boom. Knuffke's leader debut, Big Wig, was released by Clean Feed in 2008, followed by the trio recordings Chew Your Food and Amnesia Brown and the quartet album Chorale. He has also recorded several duo CDs with pianist Jesse Stacken and one with percussionist Mike Pride, and co-led the collaborative trio Sifter with Mary Halvorson and Matt Wilson and a quartet with saxophonist Ted Brown.1. Safety Shoes
2. Bright Light
7. Arms & Hands
10. Thanks A Lot$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now