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Let It Enfold YouLet It Enfold You is the second album by American rock band Senses Fail after From The Depths of Dreams. The album's title track was named after a poem of the same name by nihilistic author and poet Charles Bukowski.1. Tie Her Down
2. Lady In A Blue Dress
3. You're Cute When You Scream
4. Buried A Lie
5. Bite To Break Skin
6. Rum Is For Drinking
7. Slow Dance
8. Choke On This
9. NJ Falls Into The Atlantic
10. Let It Enfold You
11. Irony Of Dying On Your Birthday
12. Angela Baker And My Obession With Fire
13. Martini Kiss$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
If There Is Light, It Will Find YouIf There Is A Light, It Will Find You, released via Pure Noise, is the seventh full-length album by Senses Fail.
If There Is A Light, It Will Find You was produced by Beau Burchell (Moose Blood, Saosin, Hands Like Houses) and is the first time singer Buddy Nielsen has fully written the entirety of the album alone. Nielsen experienced life-altering shifts over the past two years that have contributed directly to the making of this record. The band has always been known for pushing boundaries lyrically and addressing topical issues from stage during a live show, but this time around you can feel the weight of uncontrollable stressors wearing down on Buddy as he navigates the listener through his personal life, from song to song.
Fans will notice a dramatic shift back to the band's rock roots, honing the sound they realized on iconic records like Let It Enfold You while also embracing the future of the band and personal experiences like both the loss and birth of a child. Underneath the album's brighter, melody-driven exterior lurks a dark fascination with the concept of mortality - creating a juxtaposition of light and shadows that directly reflects on Senses Fail's marked history.
Senses Fail is Buddy Nielsen (Vocals), Gavin Caswell (Guitar), Greg Styliades (Bass), Chris Hornbrook (Drums) and Jason Milbank (Guitar).1. Double Cross
2. Elevator To The Gallows
3. New Jersey Makes, The World Takes
4. Gold Jacket, Green Jacket
5. First Breath, Last Breath
6. Ancient Gods
7. Is It Gonna Be The Year?
8. "You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense
9. Orlando And A Miscarriage
10. Shaking Hands
11. Stay What You Are
12. If There Is Light, It Will Find You$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Pull The Thorns From Your HeartSenses Fail has been a regular face in modern punk rock since their debut 2002 EP. The band has sold over a million albums to date and has aged far better than most of their early 2000s emo-counterparts. 2015 will see the band again on the Vans Warped Tour this year playing the much heavier Monster Stage. With a new album produced by Shawn Lopez (Deftones, Far), Senses Fail steps out as a much more serious band. Armed with a message focused around equality and the LGBT community, Senses Fail is looking to make a new kind of noise in 2015.1. The Three Marks Of Existence
2. Carry The Weight
3. The Courage Of An Open Heart
5. Take Refuge
7. Dying Words
8. The Importance Of The Moment Of Death
9. Pull The Thorns From Your Heart
10. We Are Returning Home
11. My Fear Of An Unlived Life$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
In Your Absence (Awaiting Repress)Senses Fail presents In Your Absence, an acoustic EP of old and new songs.1. Jets To Peru
2. In Your Absence
3. Death Bed
4. Family Tradition
5. Lost And Found$13.9912 Vinyl EP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
ADAD-RIS-2310xMake Do And Mend
Don't Be Long
Colored LP In Gatefold Packaging + CD
There are musicians and there are artists, Make Do And Mend are artists. They
don't write songs, they craft them. Multiple hours are spent on every lyric, and
every chord progression, you can hear the passion in every song. The band's
latest effort, "Don't Be Long", is no exception. All 11 songs are hand-crafted
masterpieces. You can tell after one listen that this is a record that will stay in
your collection for years to come.
The band chose to re-enlist producers, Jay Maas and Nick Bellmore, the
dynamic duo behind the band's debut success, "End Measured Mile". The
result is something truly special. It's an album that will be treasured by fans
and critics alike for years to come. No strangers to life on the road, Make Do
And Mend have toured with Hot Water Music, The Wonder Years, and Senses
Fail and, like always, the band is prepared to spend all year supporting this
album on the road.
Make Do And Mend's live show is the ace up their sleeve, they connect with
their audience in a way that most bands aspire too. Every word is screamed
back at them, every bass drum hit is felt in the heart, and it's clear that there's
nowhere else anyone would rather be. Make Do And Mend isn't a band, they
are an experience, and "Don't Be Long" promises not to disappoint.1. Don't Be Long
2. Ever Since
4. Old Circles
5. Each Of Us
6. Sin Miedo
7. Sin Amor
8. All There Is
9. I Don't Wonder At All
11. Begging For The Sun To Go Down$18.99Colored Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Lost In The DreamLost In The Dream is the third album by Philadelphia band The War on Drugs,but in many ways,it feels
like the first. Around the release of the 2011 breakthrough Slave Ambient,Adam Granduciel spent the
bulk of two years on the road, touring through progressively larger rock clubs, festival stages and late night television slots. As these dozen songs shifted and grew beyond what they'd been in the studio, The War on Drugs became a bona fide rock 'n'roll band.
That essence drives Lost In The Dream, a 10-song set produced by Granduciel and longtime engineer Jeff
Zeigler. In the past, Granduciel built the core of songs largely by himself. But these tunes were played
and recorded by the group that had solidified so much on the road: Dave Hartley, (his favorite bassist
in the world), who had played a bit on The War on Drugs' 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues, and pianist
Robbie Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist who contributed to Slave Ambient. This unit spent eight
months bouncing between a half-dozen different studios that stretched from the mountains of North
Carolina to the boroughs of New York City. Only then did Granduciel-the proudly self-professed
gearhead, and unrepentant perfectionist-add and subtract, invite guests and retrofit pieces. He
sculpted these songs into a musical rescue mission, through and then beyond personal despair and
anxiety. Lost In The Dream represents the trials of the trip and the triumphs of its destination.
"I wanted there to be a singular voice, but I wanted it to be a project of great friends. Everyone in the
band cares about it so much,"he says."That is the crux of it-growing up,dealing with life,having close
friends, helping each other get by. That is what the record's all about.
As such, these tunes reveal a careful and thrilling reinvention of the sound that's become The War on
Drugs' trademark. The signature meld of long tones and scatter shot layers still stands, with phantom
drum machines and organ lines dotting the musical middle distance all across Lost In The Dream.Note
the way the keys whisper against the guitar's growl as the tempestuous"An Ocean in Between the Waves"
approaches pentecostal heat. Hear how,when a sharp and hard riff cuts into the inescapable chorus of
"Red Eyes," synthetic strings and baritone saxophone shape a soft, infinite bed beneath it. But there's a
new found directness to these tunes, too. Granduciel's voice steps out from behind its typical web of
effects-louder now, with more experiences to share and more steel from having survived them. He
sounds less like a prismatic reflection of a rock bandleader, more like the emboldened actualization of
that idea. With its crisp, unencumbered delivery, "Eyes to the Wind" becomes the album's centerpiece
and the group's new anthem.This is Granduciel's to-date triumph and the exact moment where Lost In
The Dream moves from a tale of confusion to one of resolve. Throughout most of the record, grips
loosen and senses fail, memories are mourned and expectations are abandoned. But after the Rolling
Thunder lift of "Eyes to the Wind," Granduciel finds new contentment and direction. Anguish
sublimates into deliverance. Backed by his bros, Granduciel becomes a preacher in a new pulpit.1. Under The Pressure
2. Red Eyes
4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
6. Eyes To The Wind
7. The Haunting Idle
9. Lost In The Dream
10. In Reverse$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Love Will Kill All (Awaiting Repress)Bleeding Through is one of the most important bands to take the mixture of metal and hardcore to international prominence in the last decade. Whether touring with Ozzfest (twice) as well as Vans Warped Tour, MTV's Headbanger's Ball: The Tour and with Slayer, Marilyn Manson, AFI, HIM, Machine Head, Senses Fail, Parkway Drive and more. They have been featured on the cover of Revolver (twice), Metal Edge, Outburn, Under The Volcano and Chord.1. Darkness, A Feeling I Know
2. Fade Into The Ash
3. End Us
4. Cold World
5. Dead Eyes
7. No Friends
8. Set Me Free
9. No One From No Where
12. Life$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
ADAD-INV-5268xBeing As An Ocean
Being As An OceanBeing As An Ocean is a melodic hardcore band based out of San Diego, CA. Over the past 3 years the band has released 2 albums and have delivered their self titled 3rd album. The band has toured the last year with Stick To Your Guns, Senses Fail, Hundredth, August Burns Red, and many others. Baao has a huge internet presence and one of the pioneer bands in the melodic hardcore genre uprising. The band will be touring extensively in 2015 along with the entire Vans Warped Tour on the monster stage. The band is also up for an APMA.1. Little Richie
2. Ain't Nobody Perfect
3. The Zealot's Blindfold
4. Sleeping Sicarii
5. Judas, Our Brother
6. St. Peter
7. Forgetting Is Forgiving The I
8. The World As A Stage
9. Sins Of The Father
10. ... And Their Consequence$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Young New EnglandTransit believes music is about connecting with people and that's exactly what they do. Through the honesty and individuality expressed in their music, the North Shore Boston band has been able to connect with kids from their humble beginnings in the Northeast Pop-punk scene and nationwide as they have toured more and more. Through their relentless tour schedule and incredible work ethic, the band has shared the stage with artists such as Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Senses Fail, Saves The Day, Four Year Strong, The Wonder Years and many more as well as a stint on the entire Vans Warped Tour.
When they released Listen & Forgive in fall of 2011 the band received accolades from the press for their ability to deliver a record that became an instant classic among their core fans but also transcended the genre, bringing the band to a much wider audience. With their 2nd Rise Records full length, Young New England, the band continues onward
and upward. Teaming up with Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly) as producer, the band has delivered their catchiest, most heartfelt record yet.1. Nothing Lasts Forever
2. Second To Right
3. Young New England
5. So Long, So Long
6. Weathered Souls
7. Hang It Up
8. Don't Do, Don't Stray
9. Thanks For Nothing
10. Summer, Me
12. Bright Lights, Dark Shadows
13. Lake Q$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CloudedEpitaph is pleased to welcome This Wild Life to the roster. This Wild Life will release their debut album Clouded in 2014.
Hailing from Long Beach, CA, This Wild Life is duo Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso. Jordan and Del Gross grew up in the tightknit DIY punk scene in Long Beach. They quickly became friends after working at the same musical instrument store, bonding over music of their teens. The conversations were about hardcore, punk and scream bands such as Thursday, The Used, and Senses Fail. Soon enough, they started their own pop-punk band and made music together as This Wild Life. They played fast, they played loud and they didn't stand out from the crowd until they did the least "punk" thing possible. It was also bolder than anything in the punk rock rulebook: they got quiet and played acoustically.
The music itself connected with fans, even as it surprised them. They take pride in making music based in hardcore and punk rock, but with wider appeal. In contrast to the harsh music that This Wild Life grew up on, Jordan finds inspiration for his vocals outside the hardcore punk world. "Sara Bareilles is one of my favorites. Maybe people wouldn't expect that. Or maybe they would," he laughs.
A big part of who they are as a band is to remain true to their DIY punk ethic. After shows are played, tweets responded to and comments acknowledged online. The band put in the work to gain the support of their fan base. Now, This Wild Life has an army of 80K YouTube subscribers with videos of over 2.75 million views.
Clouded is their debut full-length and was recorded with Aaron Marsh of Copeland. Clouded maintains the core attributes of their sound - Jordan's vulnerable, expressive lyrics, DelGrosso's nimble fingerpicking - while pushing themselves towards more ambitious sounds. "We tried out a string section, pianos, different kinds of guitars, we didn't want to limit ourselves," Jordan notes.
Clouded is the triumphant result of years marked by small triumphs, big struggles and countless floor shows, bringing This Wild Life's heartfelt, melodic and acoustic punk-rock to a bigger audience they've earned.1. Concrete
2. Over It
3. No More Bad Days
5. Roots And Branches (meant To Be Alone)
6. Bound To Break
7. Better With You
8. Looking Back
9. Don't Say
10. 405$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Before We Forgot How To DreamEarly on, much was made of the young age of Bridie Monds-Watson
- who performs as SOAK - but as her accomplished, wise-beyondher-years
songs and breathtakingly lovely voice reached more new
listeners, the pixie-ish, tattooed skateboarder's appeal has transcended
Before We Forgot How To Dream is a beautifully-wrought album, full
of musical turns that showcase Watson's uniquely sweet and haunting
voice, as well as lyrics that marry a sunny and romantic sense of
nostalgia with frank treatments of human failings, hopes, and - yes
Already a household name in the UK, with "Sea Creatures" in BBC
Radio 1 A-list rotation and prominent festival bookings throughout the
season, SOAK's debut appearances in NYC and SXSW this March
found her playing before capacity crowds - "the only performer to
stun the crowd into silence," noted Consequence of Sound.
US press - including heavyweights like NPR, and the New York Times
- have anointed her one of SXSW 2015's breakout performers.
The stage is set for SOAK to win the hearts of US audiences, and we
know she'll win yours, too, once you listen.1. My Brain
2. B a noBody
5. Sea Creatures
6. "A Dream To Fly"
7. 24 Windowed House
10. Hailstones Don't Hurt
11. Reckless Behaviour
12. If Everyone Is Someone - No One Is Everyone
13. Oh Brother$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Gold Colored Vinyl
"I'm starting to think that the only way Black Clouds would fail us is if they
simply decided not to show up." -Brightest Young Things
The final minutes of Black Clouds' debut album did not have a happy
ending: In a spoken word coda, Clutch's Neil Fallon repeatedly informs the
listener that "everything is not going to be OK," and despite the fact this
had already been well communicated by the album itself, this was the first
time that language had been used to articulate its quasi-nihilism. For these
Washington D.C. post-rock and metal experimentalists, it was a rare, but
vivid show-me-and-tell-me moment.
Which is to say that Dreamcation, Black Clouds' sophomore effort and Collect
Records debut, is a significantly different kind of record. That sense of doom,
once mined for its power, is more effectively harnessed for a nuanced energy-
the darkness curbed just enough to let the light in-and the result is alternately
aggressive and ambient, often in the same song, and sometimes in the same
part: "Carcosa," for one, takes equal cues from funeral and ascension, and
"Some Of Us Are Meant To Disappear" somehow pummels you into a warm
hug. A smart and measured progression, Black Clouds finds itself at their most
introspective on Dreamcation, and if this album's finalÉ eschews language
altogether for a wash of subtle chords and a blissfully ecstatic drone, it's only
because-perhaps-everything is going to be OK after all.1. We Begged For The Floods
2. Don't Look For Me
4. And Then I Dove
5. Accept The Mystery
6. Some Of Us Are Meant To Disappear
7. Mt. Rainier
8. Low Places
9. Everyone's Waiting
10. Perennial$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
If You Wait
"Longing, loving, leaving: Those are the boundaries of the impeccable
pop universe that London Grammar has built for itself."
- The New York Times
"A stylish debut that demonstrates both their immense
talent and impressive instincts."
THE NEXT BIG THING. Such a label serves at once as a curse and a blessing, for messianic crowns come studded with thorns, and chalices emblazoned with this inscription are often tainted with poison. Custodians of the title can implode under the weight of expectation, or fail to bottle further the magic of that first hit single.
Not so for English art-rock trio London Grammar. Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman have been careful to avoid the dangers of over-exposure in the nine months since first single "Hey Now" seared itself into the collective consciousness of the blogosphere, instead releasing work after work of gradually escalating beauty from the safety of the shadows.
That was until Disclosure dropped their album Settle, at which point London Grammar vocalist Hannah Reid came to wider attention on sweeping album closer "Help Me Lose My Mind," where her spine-tingling soulful singing combined with the wash of swooning synths and downbeat 80's percussion. It will come as no surprise to fans of this track to learn that Reid's magnificent vocals are integral to London Grammar's sound, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the band's discreet production and minimalist instrumentation.
The same words will be used ceaselessly to describe Reid's vocals in coming weeks - "haunting", "brooding", "ethereal". Yet none of these terms adequately conveys the way her voice melts and evolves to suit the temperament and melody of each song on If You Wait, flowing like molten gold on "Interlude", or acquiring the varied textures of a vast swathe of satin and silk on "Nightcall". Her vocal is always underscored by an enduring brittle beauty and an underlying otherworldliness, as if she honed her craft singing amidst the forests of Lothlórien, or some far-flung corner of Westeros.
Though her voice may be otherworldly, the thematic concerns of the album are very much rooted in this world - youth's timeless preoccupation with finding not only love but the nature of ourselves. These soundscapes and the lyrics that populate them are characterised by broken hearts, fractured dreams and people falling in and out of love. Perhaps the most telling lyric of all is on "Wasting My Young Years", with the heart-breaking concession of "I've heard it takes some time to get it right".
The album's first single and opening track "Hey Now" has lost none of its grandeur and remains as devastatingly beautiful as it did when released at the tail-end of 2012. It's the main track on If You Wait that justifies the comparisons with The XX - especially in terms of how the band forges the space and atmosphere from reverb-tinged percussion and Rothman's discreet, almost-spectral guitars. "Wasting My Young Years" further showcases how perfectly the band balance the interplay between Reid's vocal and the twinkling keys and subtle instrumentation that floats around it, allowing it to drive the song and dictate proceedings but never once to feel overbearing.
Latest single "Strong" mirrors the intricately weaved threadwork of sounds and elaborately crafted sense of space showcased on the opening track, but utilises a more hypnotic vocal from Reid that manages to sound simultaneously heart-rending and inspiring. Elsewhere "Interlude" is as refined a paean to love and devotion as you will hear all year, matching dual melancholic piano lines and subtly building percussion to Reid's sublime wistful singing.
There is not a single weak track, but amongst the many highlights is a spellbinding cover of French house artist Kavinsky's "Nightcall". There's a particularly gorgeous moment around the two-minute-thirty-second mark when the instrumentation is peeled away and, for a few seconds, you think the song will end - before Reid's dazzling vocal is re-introduced amidst a haze of swirling keys. It's nothing short of transcendent. Also, the flawless sequencing leads to an album that begs you to drink in its beauty by listening to it from beginning to end.
This is an enthralling, stunning, deeply emotive album that perfectly marries understated electronica to sublime vocals and melodies. In a year dominated by titanic LPs, London Grammar have not only made the most perfectly formed debut album of the year - they've made one of the best LPs, period. [A-]
- Benji Taylor (Pretty Much Amazing)1. Hey Now
2. Stay Awake
4.Wasting My Young Years
8. Metal & Dust
9. Interlude (Live)
11. If You Wait
13. High Life*
14. Strong (US Radio Edit)*
*US Bonus Track$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Soft ConnectionsIn 2005, at the age of 14, Nic Hessler created the alias Catwalk to write, record and
perform his music. Armed with Wipers and Roy Orbison records, an 8-track recorder and a
garage, Nic set out to make Catwalk the next great guitar-oriented California band like many
teenagers before him. Two tiny run 7" singles on the now defunct Yay! imprint soon appeared,
making the rounds through independent record stores and mail order distributors. This led to
the 18-year-old Nic to sign to the also new and young label, Captured Tracks. Two C/T 7"
releases in 2010 and 2011 followed, leading up to a full-fledged Catwalk LP and tour in 2011.
Press reaction was swift and, as interest was grew, Nic garnered support in his hometown of
Orange County, CA to assemble a tour line-up for the LP. However, none of that would ever
Around this time, Nic was struck with an ailment that kept him sidelined for quite sometime:
Guillain-BarrÉ Syndrome. No walk in the park, GBS prevented Nic from playing guitar,
leaving him partially paralyzed for the bulk of this lost period. While this was obviously detrimental
for Nic and Catwalk, strangely, it may have helped the musician Nic Hessler's career.
Now ditching the moniker of a hypothetical band, Nic re-emerges in 2015, healthy and reinvigorated,
with a more fully-formed and ambitious sound: the sound of Soft Connections, his
debut LP years in the making, though he's now just 23. Soft Connections bridges the songwriting
influences of the vintage American powerpop of Emmit Rhodes and Alex Chilton, along
with UK giants like The Kinks and XTC. Tracks like Hearts, Repeating and I Feel Again-two
classic singles in the radio sense of the word-show the maturity in craftsmanship Nic's been
honing these past four years.
The making of Soft Connections was a lengthy process that took place during a crucial period
of musical growth and self-exploration. It's an optimistic and introspective record about being
in-and-out of feeling - on the brink of a personal breakthrough, yet still seeking direction,
purpose, truth and permanence. Anchored by the Catwalk favorite (Please) Don't Break
Me - a song that, at one point, could very well have launched Nic into indie celebdom -
this record is now a send-off to Nic's lost time; he's moved forward, sounding better than ever
and ready to soundtrack your long road trip or failed crush. This will be the first record in what
we all hope to be a lengthy string of great albums.1. I Feel Again
2. Hearts, Repeating
3. Expel Me
5. Do You Ever?
6. All In The Night
7. All Around You
8. (Please) Don't Break Me
9. Moonlight Girl
10. Into the Twilight
11. So on You'll See, Kristine
12. Soft Connections$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Warren Zevon (1st)Import
Warren Zevon is a Rock & Roll album recorded in 1975 and released in 1976 by the artist of the same name. The album features guest appearances of artists like Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Phil Everly, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Bonnie Raitt and many more.
Warren Zevon was a ten-year music industry veteran who had written songs for The Turtles, backed up Phil Everly, done years of session work, and been befriended by Jackson Browne by the time he cut his self-titled album in 1976. Zevon sure didn't think (or write) like any of his pals in the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac; Zevon's music was full of blood, bile, and mean-spirited irony, and the glossy surfaces of Jackson Browne's production failed to disguise the bitter heart of the songs on Warren Zevon.
For all their darkness, Zevon's songs also possessed a steely intelligence, a winning wit, and an unusually sophisticated melodic sense, and he certainly made the most of the high-priced help who backed him on the album. This was the album that confirmed he was a major talent, and it remains a black-hearted Pop delight.1. Frank And Jesse James
2. Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded
3. Backs Turned (Looking Down The Path)
4. Hasten Down The Wind
5. Poor Poor Pitiful Me
6. The French Inhaler
7. Mohammed's Radio
8. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
10. Join Me In L.A.
11. Desperados Under The Eaves$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DesireRanked 174/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Multi-Platinum 1976 Record Made With Members of Celebrated Rolling Thunder Revue, as well as Emmylou Harris
Go-for-Broke Sonics: Mastered from the Original Master Tapes, Lifelike Mobile Fidelity Reissue Spotlights Live, Raw Sound of First-Take Arrangements
Effort Balances Epic Storytelling and Dylan's Heartbreak Over Failing Marriage
Includes Timeless and Tireless Songs "Sara," "Hurricane," and "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"
Bob Dylan cut Desire flanked by more than a dozen musicians, aided by a producer averse to multitracking, and bent on tequila. Reeling from the effects of his disintegrating marriage, the singer penned several of the most heartfelt songs of his career, including "Sara," the most overtly public broadcasting of his private life and emotions committed to tape. Straddling lines between haphazard and organized, loose and planned, Desire lives up its title, a masterwork that Dylan would not equal in creativity, performance, and lyricism for another two decades.
Mastered from the original master tapes on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this restored 45RPM analog version lays bare the catch-all ambience of the sessions as well as the unguarded emotionalism that fueled them. Largely captured at one unruly New York studio date, many songs are first-take arrangements, experienced on this reissue in a raw, realistic fashion that allows chords to swell, vocals to naturally carry, and percussion to span a seemingly bridge-wide soundstage. Accenting instruments-bouzouki, accordion, mandolin, violin, congas, piano-gain their own space and color the music with intriguing textures. The wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
Surging with a nothing-to-lose disposition, Desire juggles myriad styles and owns up to no single theme. Disappointment and loss related to Dylan's broken relationship surfaces directly and metaphorically, but the album isn't mired in depression or sadness. More often than not, it howls, the sprawling canvas needlepointed with complexity and diversity. In pairing with lyricist Jacques Levy, Dylan invites narrative collaboration he never again repeated, as well as an eclecticism that gives the effort its fascinating charm.
Desire finds Dylan at an evocative peak. With the tour de force single "Hurricane," he composes his first protest song in years, the enraged verses aimed squarely at maintaining the innocence of boxer Ruben Carter, falsely convicted of murder, as a violin melody swirls in the background. He finds similar inspiration in gangster Joey Gallo, turning "Joey" into a beautiful epic outfitted with Emmylou Harris' transcendent backing vocals. Flashing a sense of humor, "Mozambique" relishes an irreverent quirkiness that balances the more serious fare.
And in the nakedly biographical "Sara," Mediterranean-flavored "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)," fragile "Oh, Sister," and swirling fable "Isis," Dylan develops a series of loosely related songs at once flawless, timeless, and tireless. Rarely has the folk-rock icon addressed love, romance, and loss more openly, eloquently, or universally. It's no wonder they remain amongst the very favorites of many hardcore Dylan enthusiasts, and account for a large reason why Rolling Stone ranks Desire the 174th greatest album of all-time.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Hurricane
4. One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)
5. Oh, Sister
7. Romance in Durango
8. Black Diamond Bay
9. Sara$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Last Days of OaklandFantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to make it, who got it, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn't, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.
The first life ('who am I and where am I going?'). Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. When, at the age of 12, Negrito's family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, he was hit with an intense culture shock. Oakland in 1980s was a million miles from Negrito's conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day, living in the heart of one of the wildest, most infamous, most vibrant black communities in the nation. Shit was extra real in Oakland.
By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, but he was also caught up in street shit. This went on for several years until a near death encounter with masked gunmen. After that Negrito packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette.
The second life ('I want to be a star I think'). It didn't take long for Negrito to find himself entrenched in the 'Hollywood' lifestyle; clubs and bitches and bullshit politics that have nothing to do with great music. Negrito signed with a big time manager and soon after that, a million dollar deal at Interscope and soon after that, creative death.
The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. He was infected by the constant emphasis on 'what would sell'; which looks, hooks and gimmicks would attract an audience. He lost all sense of himself. The songs stopped coming to him, so he quit. He sold all of his shit and he quit.
In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Though he rehabbed intensely for several years, the damage was permanent. In 2008, he returned home to Oakland.
The third life (the birth of Negrito). Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He settled down, planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. This is when his specific POV of the world came into focus. His conservative Muslim values melded with the liberal, multi-cultural world of Oakland. The cynicism that comes from struggle made room for the hope that comes from cheating death. He truly knew who he was. He was confident about his place in the world because he understood it as much as any man can. And then his son was born.
With his son's entrance into the world, all the creative energy Negrito bottled for years came rushing out. His musical choices were sharp and without doubt. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. Fuck what's hot now, what moves me? Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta.
For Fantastic Negrito, derivative is the devil so to ensure his sound is his own, every chord comes from a place of immediacy. Immediacy opens the door for instinct. Instinct is God's tool that makes an artist into an individual. Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip Woods intact and builds bridges to modernity by looping and sampling his own live instruments.
When you listen to Negrito, you're invited to hear the story of life after destruction. Your dream can die. You probably will give up. But from there, you can start everything over.1. Intro - The Last Days of Oakland
2. Working Poor
3. About A Bird
4. Scary Woman
5. Interlude - What Would You Do?
6. The Nigga Song
7. In the Pines (Oakland)
8. Hump Thru the Winter
9. Lost In A Crowd
10. Interlude 2 - El Chileno
11. The Worst
12. Rant Rushmore
13. Nothing Without You
14. Push Back
15. The Shadows$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullersWhen Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.
"I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."
The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.
But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.
Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.
In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."
Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."
"12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.
With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis1. Carson's Blues
2. New York Is My Destination
3. Instant of the Hour After
4. We of Me
6. 12 Mortal Men
7. Harper Lee
8. Lover, Beloved
9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
10. Carson's Last Supper$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Clairaudience FellowshipLimited Edition
Clairaudience Fellowship is the new album from Twig Harper and Daniel Higgs, two legendary forces in the realms of experimental/noise/rock/out music.
Twig Harper is a performer and electronic sound artist who began playing guerrilla-and punk-style shows with Scheme, Mini-Systems and Nautical Almanac in the milleu of Wolf Eyes, Andrew W.K. and others involved in the Bulb/Hanson 90s noise/total music movement in Ann Arbor, MI. Moving first to Chicago and then to Baltimore, he has toured widely in the US (five multi-month tours) and Europe (twice) with Carly Ptak and others. With Ptak, he has released many recordings and co-founded the influential Tarantula Hill venue-compound. His music and performances have been characterized generally by an incredible sense of trickery and playfulness, even foolishness, but in earnest and with careful consideration.
Daniel Higgs is a musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland on whose behalf superlatives are destined to fail. It's not that his artistic output spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings simply eludes classification, it defies it. Higgs is known for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the band Lungfish, a four-piece enshrined as one of America's last true folk bands, and Higgs anointed as a patron saint to artistic purity. That the band has undertaken this pursuit in the guise of a humble rock outfit, in the absence of any public relations fanfare, metanarrative, or manifesto has been enough to endear them to tens of thousands. In recent years, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that can only be described as the ultimate in isolation, worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band. His latest solo recording Say God was released earlier this year on Thrill Jockey.1. Number One
2. Number Two
3. Number Three
4. Number Four
5. Number Five
6. Number Six
7. Number Seven$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Still Searching (Out Of Stock)Still Searching is the second studio album by American post-hardcore band Senses Fail, originally released October 10, 2006 through Vagrant Records1. The Rapture
3. Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)
4. Can't Be Saved
5. Calling All Cars
6. Shark Attack
7. Still Searching
8. To All the Crowded Rooms
9. Lost and Found
10. Every Day Is a Struggle
11. All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
12. Negative Space
13. The Priest and the Matador$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock