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Run River North'
Run River North
2-LP Gatefold Package With Bonus Track
"Run River North stays the course - and finds success." - NPR
"Snappy rock and chamber folk frames their tales of their parents' dreams and struggles to find purchase in America."
- Wall Street Journal
"the band's ambitious folk pop instrumentals, and embellished with frontman Alex Hwang's dulcet, Ben Gibbard-like tones,
is a sense of possibility" - MTV World
In the course of several months, Run River North went from playing a handful of hometown shows in Los Angeles to
performing to an audience of millions on late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! It was an explosive trajectory for the sextet,
whose uplifting anthems march to the beat of drums, jangling guitars and a rapturous string section. The rapid ascent from
obscurity launched a new chapter for the band (then called Monsters Calling Home), whose upcoming full-length self-titled
debut ventures further into effervescent rock anchored with a down-home aesthetic.
The band recorded their self-titled debut with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill, Band of Horses). The songs ebb
and flow with optimism, traversing emotional and musical landscapes woven into the strings duo of Daniel Chae and
Jennifer Rim, alongside the galloping rhythm section of bassist Joe Chun, keyboardist Sally Kang and drummer John
Chong. Together, their voices coalesce as one, a chorus calling out with a gentle urgency. The music of Run River North
explores the ever-shifting search for self, from the energetic indie-rock interludes to the lonesome guitar strums, always
asking the question: Is home a place or is it the people in your life? "We're not a posh, polished pop sound," says Alex
Hwang, Run River North's singer/songwriter. "We have stories we want to tell and they take a little more time. After all, the
journey to find your place is a long one, it's an ongoing, evolving adventure."1. Monsters Calling Home
3. Lying Beast
4. Run River North
5. Growing Up
6. Fight To Keep
7. In The Water
11. Banner$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Coast To CoastThe River City Tanlines (named in honor of the farmer tan) is a three-piece rock band from Memphis, TN. Principle songwriter and hardest working woman in the music business, Alicja Trout, is a veteran of countless noteworthy punk/indie bands over the years, including The Clears, The Lost Sounds and her current projects Alicja-pop, MouseRocket and Black Sunday. Likewise the powerful rhythm section of Terrence Bishop and John Bonds are no strangers to the scene either, having played together behind such names as Jack Oblivion, R.L. Burnside, Jim Dandy & Black Oak Arkansas, and Monsieur Jeffrey Evans.
In 2009 the River City Tanlines appeared in Craig Brewer's (Hustle and Flow, Black Snake Moan) web-series Five Dollar Cover for MTV, and performed I'm Your Negative in a rollerderby fight scene. They also have a song (Black Knight, a crowd favorite at live shows) featured in the EA Sports video game Skate. Together since late 2004, the band has toured extensively in North America and Europe playing clubs and festivals, and has ten releases on various record labels around the world. Their last album I'm Your Negative was released in 2006 by Dirtnap Records out of Portland, OR.
This, their newest offering, Coast To Coast, was produced by Bruce Watson (Hasil Adkins, T-Model Ford, John Paul Keith) at his Dial Back Sound Studios and will be released on Big Legal Mess Records/Fat Possum. The 10-song set runs the gamut from the galloping opener I Don't Get It to the poppy Stop My Heart to the Ramones-esque Pretty Please and the psyche rock of Dark Matter, all adding up to what is sure to become another Memphis classic!1. I Don't Get It
2. Stop My Heart
3. Pretty Please
5. When I Became You
6. Dark Matter
7. You Shot Me
8. Can't Stand You Anymore
9. Can You Handle This Heart
10. Waiting For Nothing$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cow / Chill Out, World! (Awaiting Repress)Being pioneers with a new album created in no more than 6 months, THE ORB are bound to be exposed to fan expectations running high, while quizzical questions about little fluffy clouds and the good old times take over. It's especially jarring as the duo of accomplished soundsmiths Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann has become known for its genre-bending curiosity and surprising sonic detours, exploring experimental soundscapes as well as club-friendly beats. The funny thing is, though, that whatever the context, you know a track from THE ORB when you hear it. Case in point: COW / CHILL OUT, WORLD!, their latest full-length offering - a masterful ambient album that branches out in many directions, but unmistakably sounds like THE ORB in either ear (and probably to your third ear, too).
The idea was simply to make an ambient album, Dr Paterson explains, we didn't look back and study earlier recordings, but wanted a more spontaneous approach, a focus on THE ORB today, our vibe in 2016. In contrast to their much-acclaimed previous full-length MOONBUILDING 2703 - which took years to prepare and finetune -, the new album was produced over the course of only five sessions in six months, directly following the like-minded ALPINE EP: it got so spontaneous that a track like 9 ELMS OVER RIVER ENO (CHANNEL 9) consisted only of material collected at North Carolina's Moogfest in May - second-hand records from local stores, field recordings, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno River, which actually exists. This geographic intimacy and the spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album so much.
Herr Fehlmann sees the duo's relentless gigging schedule as a formative influence on the new album: the countless performances we've played in the last years - probably up to 300 - have brought us closer as a musical unit. The spice of our concerts is improvisation - a fertile process that we've brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement (in this case ambient) and go wherever the flow takes us. It's an approach that one might expect from traditional acoustic instrumentation, not necessarily an electronic set-up, but for THE ORB it works wonders: we're quite happy and also a little bit proud that we've reached this level of unscripted levity with purely electronic means. We're finessing ourselves, sort of, always looking for the next sonic surprise that leaves us rubbing our eyes about how the heck we got there.
Once more, THE ORB's trademark playfulness is on full display on COW / CHILL OUT, WORLD!, and it doesn't limit itself to the multi-layered sampling and psychedelic sound composites that the duo has become known for - you'll find it in the album title as well. The simple invitation (or order?) to chill out (relax? Calm the eff down?) is converted into an acronym - and the cow that you might expect to find on a Pink Floyd cover or with iconic UK chill-out/dance pranksters The KLF. It's not so much an obscure trope coming full circle as a perfect example for THE ORB's multitimbral approach to sound and meaning - a compelling, immersive journey to diverse places and impressions. Each track title is a conceptual work in its own right, playing with multiple references, some of which remain highly personal and mysterious. But the greatest feat of THE ORB's latest outing might just be how all this semantic doodling never gets in the way of the actual listening, at all times directly relating the artists' sonic vitality and cheerful nosiness. Chill out world! and treat yourself to an outstanding new ambient experience from THE ORB.1. First, Consider The Lilies
2. Wireless Mk 2
3. Siren 33 (Orphee Mirror)
4. 4 Am Exhale (Chill Out, World!)
5. 5th Dimension
6. Sex (Panoramic Sex Heal)
7. 7 Oaks
8. Just Because I Really Really Luv Ya
9. 9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)
10. The 10 Sultans Of Rudyard (Moo-Moo Mix)$33.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Broken PeopleAmerican music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.
The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.
With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.
North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.
"To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.
Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.
She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.
"I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.
"The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.
"The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.
"We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."
"We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.
As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.
Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.
"Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."
"It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."
"Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."
"We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.
And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.1. Broken People
2. Brother, What Happened?
3. Got It Goin' On
4. Why Don't You Stay
5. Take Me Home
6. Shine On!
7. It Ain't Easy
8. I Need A Man
9. Devil's Teeth
11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BeulahBeulah. It's a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings.
It's the title of John Paul White's new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.
Beulah is also a White family nickname. "It's a term of endearment around our house," White explains, "like you would call someone 'Honey.' My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It's something I've always been around."
Beulah is also something much loftier. For the poet and painter William Blake, Beulah was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious. "I won't pretend to be the smartest guy in the world," says White, "but I dig a lot of what he's written. Beulah was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center B photo credit: Allister Ann 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D yourself. It wasn't a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state."
And perhaps the music on this album originated in that "pleasant lovely Shadow where no dispute can come." According to White, the songs came to him unbidden-and not entirely welcome. "When these songs started popping into my head, I had been home for a while and I was perfectly happy. I wasn't looking for songs. I didn't know whether any would pop back in my head again, and I was honestly okay with that. I'm a very happy father and husband, and I love where I live. I love working with artists for a label that I think is doing good work."
Far from the grind and glamour of Nashville-where he worked for years as a working songwriter before stepping into the spotlight himself-White settled in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a wellspring of gritty Southern rock and soul since the 1960s. Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by some of the Yellowhammer State's finest, including Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone's throw from White's own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head.
"Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down. I got my phone out and I'd sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off." Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit. "Then one day I told my wife I think I'm going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet."
Most artists would kill for such a downpour, but White was wary of the consequences. He knew that writing songs would lead to recording them, which would result in releasing them, and that means touring and leaving home for weeks at a time. "As soon as I write a song, I start thinking what other people might think of it. I've talked to friends about this: What is it about us that makes us do that? Why can't I just sit on my back porch and sing these songs out into the ether? I don't have an answer for it yet, but I think it's just part of who I am. I need that reaction. I need to feel like I'm moving someone in a good way or in a bad way. I need to feel like there's a connection."
White threw himself into the project, no longer the reluctant songwriter but a craftsman determined to make the best album possible-to do these songs justice. He cut several songs at the renowned FAME Studios in his hometown, where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Allmans, the Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Arthur Conley, and Clarence Carter recorded some of their most popular hits.
One product of those sessions is "What's So," which introduces itself by way of a fire-andbrimstone riff, as heavy as a guilty conscience-the kind of riff you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Sabbath album. But White's vocals are gritty and soulful, a product of the Shoals, almost preacherly as he sings about earthly and eternal damnation: "Sell your damn soul or get 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D right with the man, keep treading water as long as you can," he exhorts the listener. "But before you do, you must understand that you don't get above your raisin'." It's the heaviest moment on the record, perhaps the darkest in White's career.
At the other end of the spectrum is "The Martyr," one of the catchiest tunes White has ever penned. The spryness of the melody imagines Elliott Smith wandering the banks of the Tennessee River, yet the song is shot through with a pervasive melancholy as White wrestles with his own demons. "Keep falling on your sword, sink down a little more," he sings over a dexterous acoustic guitar theme. This is not, however, a song about some unnamed person, but rather a pained self-diagnosis: "These are the wounds that I will not let heal, the ones that I deserve and seem so real." White knows he's playing the martyr, but he leaves the song hauntingly open-ended, as though he isn't sure what to do with this epiphany beyond putting it in a song.
The rest of Beulah was recorded in the Single Lock offices/studio near White's home. "I can be more relaxed about the process. We can all just sit there and talk about records or baseball without feeling like someone's standing over our shoulders. That's a big deal to me, not to feel pressured. And I'm only about twenty yards away from home, so I can walk over and throw a baseball with my kids or make dinner with my wife."
Some of the quieter-but no less intense-songs on Beulah were created in that environment, including the ominously erotic opener "Black Leaf" and the Southern gothic love song "Make You Cry." As he worked, a distinctive and intriguing aesthetic began to grow clearer and clearer, one based in austere arrangements and plaintive moods. These are songs with empty spaces in them, dark corners that could hold ghosts or worse. "There were certain moments when Ben and I would finish up a song, listen back to it, and think how in the world did we get here. But that's just what the songs ask for. These are the sounds in my head. This is the sound of me thinking and living and breathing and doing."
Once White had everything assembled and sequenced, it was time to give the album a title, to wrap everything up for the listener. Beulah stuck-not only because of family history or Blake, but because White realized that making music was his own trip to Beulah. "If you had to sum up what music is for most people in this world, it's that. It's that escape. It's that refuge. You go there and you come back and you use that to help you with your life. You always have that as a place to go."1. Black Leaf
2. What's So
3. The Once And Future Queen
4. Make You Cry
5. Fight For You
6. Hope I Die
7. I've Been Over This Before (Feat. The Secret Sisters)
8. The Martyr
9. Hate The Way You Love Me
10. I'll Get Even$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now