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Sonic Youth Sister'
Sister"Let's get something straight. There is no album in the entire corpus of indie rock-not Loveless, not Surfer Rosa, not Psychocandy-that reaches the heights of invention, joy, and magic of Sonic Youth's sublime fifth album.... The haunted reveries of Sister remain with you for years, even if you only hear them once . Sister is the sonic manifestation of refracted light. It's a record that changes you."
One of Sonic Youth's most beloved albums, 1987's Sister incorporated the dissonance of their earlier releases into more traditional song structures. It's an innovative and thrilling work assuredly delivered by a band at the peak of their powers.1. Schizophrenia
2. (I Got a) Catholic Block
3. Beauty Lies In the Eye
4. Stereo Sanctity
5. Pipeline/Kill Time
6. Tuff Gnarl
7. Pacific Coast Highway
8. Hot Wire My Heart
9. Cotton Crown
10. White Cross$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DirtyDirty finds Sonic Youth revisiting the territory the band mapped out on Sister -- merging the propulsive structures of rock (both punk and otherwise) with the gorgeous chaos of their approach to the electric guitar -- and it shows how much better they'd gotten at it in the past five years, from the curiously beautiful Wish Fulfillment and Theresa's Sound World to the brutal Drunken Butterfly and Purr. Dirty was also Sonic Youth's most overtly political album, railing against the abuses of the Reagan/Bush era on Youth Against Fascism, Swimsuit Issue, and Chapel Hill, a surprising move from a band so often in love with cryptic irony.1. 100%
2. Swimsuit Issue
3. Theresa's Sound World
4. Drunken Butterfly
6. Wish Fulfillment
7. Sugar Kane
8. Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit
9. Youth Against Fascism
10. Nic Fit
11. On the Strip
12. Chapel Hill
16. CrÉme Brûlèe$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Christmas PartyChristmas Party is the new holiday album from She & Him, the duo comprised of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Christmas Party is the follow up to their wildly popular A Very She And Him Christmas, and this new collection features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley.
Christmas Party is replete with holiday favorites - including classics like Darlene Love and Phil Spector's Marshmallow World, Bing Crosby's Mele Kalikimaka and Chuck Berry's Run Run Rudolph. But, Ward and Deschanel also may introduce listeners to the more obscure tracks such as folk-singer Vashti Bunyon's Coldest Night of the Year and the lesser know Sinatra track Christmas Memories. Pop favorites such as Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You and The Chipmunks Christmas Don't Be Late round out the celebration. Throughout the album is She & Him's signature stripped down take on production.
It was the positive experience they had recording their first Christmas record, A Very She & Him Christmas, in 2011 that brought M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel back for another round of holiday cheer. Much like their first Christmas record, She & Him bring an organic and minimalistic approach to their holiday covers. Highly produced classics get stripped down to their most fundamental elements, a style perfectly aligned with their vision. You won't find any accompanying orchestra or full-piece brass bands on Christmas Party. Instead, She & Him rely on friends and family to lend a simple and authentic holiday vibe to this album, one where the guest list speaks for itself.
In the years between the two holiday records, She & Him released Vol. 3, an album of original songs, and kept their affection for covers alive with Classics, a compilation of covers of their favorite standards. Throughout these intervening years and albums, Zooey and Ward gradually culled a new collection of holiday songs to re-interpret, tucking them away like a stack of presents growing under a tree. As Christmas Party comes to a close, the listener can take solace in knowing the door on this gathering is never fully shut. The sing-alongs, the happy accidents, the quiet moments with loved ones - they're all waiting for you whenever you wish to immerse yourself in the splendor of the season. As Ward himself says, Music is one of the purest ways into Christmas.1. All I Want for Christmas Is You
2. Let It Snow
3. Must Be Santa
4. Happy Holiday
5. Mele Kalikimaka
6. Christmas Memories
7. Run Run Rudolph
8. Winter Wonderland
9. The Coldest Night of the Year
10. A Marshmallow World
11. The Man with the Bag
12. Christmas Don't Be Late$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Music Is Painting In The Air 1974-1977Music Is Painting In the Air is a collection of new mixes and unheard music from Sensations' Fix's prolific output between 1974 and 1977. Revered as one of the great articulations of progressive music, Music Is Painting In the Air offers guide posts to those familiar with Sensations' Fix's amorphous catalog and an approachable primer to those just journeying on the sensational trip.
The story of Sensations' Fix begins - and never quite ends - with Franco Falsini. Born in Florence, Italy in 1948, Falsini became a teenage rock 'n' roll convert through a steady supply of 45s sent home by his London-based sister. Following his sister's footsteps to swinging 60s London, Falsini put his love of music into practice, fronting a space blues trio that riffed its way from the UK back to Italy in a Ford Transit.
Falsini became smitten by Vinnie Sherman, an American woman working as a waitress at a nightclub in Florence where Falsini was holding down a residency. The newlywed lovers made their way to Alexandria, Virginia in the summer of 1969. Arriving on August 15th, the first day of Woodstock, a spirit of freedom filled Falsini and fueled his creative proclivity.
Falsini blazed a trail for home recording that has impressed upon inward resourcing and reflecting musicians and DIY enthusiasts in the decades since. A technology stalwart, Falsini employed a floor model MiniMoog and a tricked-out Teac 4-track machine to transform the Virginia basement of the house shared with Sherman into a cosmic conduit and launch pad for Sensations' Fix.
The reach for space from a personal place is nowhere more apparent than on Fragments of Light, early basement recordings solicited by Falsini as deal demos and surprisingly flipped into the first of six Sensations' Fix albums released over the next five years. The up-close fidelity of Fragments - coupled with Falsini's emotive guitar leads and sparse, sentimental vocals - creates a private quality that separates the album from other extravagant progressive rock productions contemporary to its 1974 release.
Relocating back to Italy on the heels of Fragments' release, Falsini, alongside drummer Keith Edwards and bassist Richard Ursillo (both American expats), charged through another two Sensations' Fix albums, Portable Madness in 1974 and Finest Finger in 1976, and a stunning solo album Cold Nose (Naso Fredo) in 1975. Without marketing or tour support to expose Sensations' Fix to a wider European audience, Falsini and his band of psychedelic renegades left Italy for the golden shores of California and their possible salvation. In 1977, Sensations' Fix released Vision's Fugitive on an independent label and fulfilled their major label obligation shortly after with Boxes Paradise.
Falsini spent the next couple decades between New York City and Paris, creatively contentedly creating above par electro-pop (The Antennas) before returning to Florence to launch the Interactive Test dance music label. Meanwhile, the legend of Sensations' Fix grew. On his 2002 album, The Private Press, DJ Shadow sampled from two Sensations' Fix songs. More recently, Sonic Youth curated a career retrospective titled Sensational Fix at Life Gallery in Saint-Nazaire France.
For Music is Painting in the Air, Falsini and his son Jeyon set forth on a year-long voyage to restore and revisit the original Sensations' Fix analog tapes. Honoring Falsini's tradition of autonomy, this collection, as with the majority of the Sensations' Fix catalog, was mixed solely by Falsini. The sequence is chronologically defiant, encouraging the listener to free associate the recurring themes' origins and immerse in the body of music as its own universe.
Once this celestial body suit is occupied, it becomes apparent why the forward-thinking yet emotionally-accessible quality of Sensations' Fix's music is still finding the universal audience for which its intended. Falsini's disregard for time and insistence on reinvention provides an infinite reach for his music. The end-goal was seemingly unmarketable by the industry then, but perfectly harmonious with a culture constantly evolving now.LP1
1. Barnhause Effect
2. Cold Nose Part 3, 4th Movement
3. Leave My Chemistry
5. Grow On You
6. Scraping Delay
7. Warped Notions Of A Practical Joke (Instrumental)
8. Dark Side of Religion
9. Cosmic Saudade
10. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 2
11. Fragments of Light
12. Into The Memory
1. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 5
2. C'e Nessuno
4. Moving Particles
5. Cold Nose Part 3, Movement 3
6. Music Is Painting
7. Left Side Of Green
8. Chelsea Hotel (Room 625)
9. Fix A Water Fountain (Instrumental)
10. Leave My Chemistry
11. Overflowing Ashtrays
13. Cold Nose Story
14. Slow Motion Movie
15. Fortune Teller
16. Fortune Teller Coda$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Out In The StormRecorded With John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth)
LP Housed In A Matte Jacket With Silver Foil Detail
Includes A 12 x 24" Printed Poster Insert
Out in the Storm is the blazing result of a woman reawakened. Her mostautobiographical and honest album to date, Out in the Storm is a self-reflective anchorin the story of both Katie Crutchfield's songwriting and her life. The album tells thestory of taking control of a volatile situation, embracing flaws, and exploring a newsonic freedom.
The album was tracked at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia with John Agnello,known for working with some of the most iconic musicians of the last 25 years,including Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. For Agnello, it was Crutchfield's voice thatdrew him in. "The first demo song I heard was 'Fade'. The melodies, the way she singsit, the way she turns the melody, and the way she goes note to note is literally beautiful.Singers-you either have it or you don't. She has it." Agnello and Crutchfield workedtogether for most of December 2016, along with the band: sister Allison Crutchfieldon keyboards and percussion, Katherine Simonetti on bass, and Ashley Arnwine ondrums; Katie Harkin, touring guitarist with Sleater-Kinney, also contributed lead guitar.At Agnello's suggestion, the group recorded most of the music live to enhance theirunity in a way that gives the album a fuller sound compared to past releases, resultingin one of Waxahatchee's most guitar-driven releases to date. "My experience workingwith John was genuinely life-changing," says Crutchfield. "We had such a greatconnection right off the bat, and I really feel like he was always looking out for me. Hepushed me when I needed it, and gave me space when I needed it."
Crutchfield's voice oscillates between effortless grace and commanding righteousness,taking the listener with her on an explicitly personal journey. Songs like "Hear You"and "No Question" are lyrically unapologetic and musically resolute, while the softeracoustic songs like "A Little More" and "Fade" let fear and melancholy seep through.But it is on the atmospheric "Sparks Fly" where we feel an essential redemption."Sparks Fly" acts as an inner dialogue and marks the first time since the inception ofWaxahatchee that any semblance of self-love has shone through. This moment is aperspective we've yet to see from Crutchfield: it is a rediscovery of herself, and therealization of a full life she is completely worthy of. "It's about self-preservation, self-care,and reclaiming your autonomy," says Crutchfield. "When you find the things thatmake you happy, sometimes it's easier to see things that make you unhappy."1. Never Been Wrong
2. 8 Ball
4. Recite Remorse
5. Sparks Fly
6. Brass Beam
7. Hear You
8. A Little More
9. No Question
10. Fade$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
London-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney follows her 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River, with Shelter, also set for release via Nonesuch Records. The album was produced by Thomas Bartlett (David Byrne, Nico Muhly, The Magnetic Fields, Sufjan Stevens, The National, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, et al.) and features eight original songs, along with Chaney's interpretations of Purcell's O Solitude and Frank Harford and Tex Ritter's Long Time Gone, first recorded by the Everly Brothers.
Chaney describes her time writing songs for Shelter: I had been on the road a lot and was struggling with the grit and loneliness of urban life. I think I'd been questioning what home, belonging, a sense of purpose, and my own culture even meant. I'd been craving wilderness and a return to essentials for a long time. Then, while touring in the US, I realized the place I needed was already in my life. It was ancient, barely habitable, and remote.
Thus a crumbling eighteenth-century cottage in the austere but magical hills of the North Yorkshire Moors-a family retreat since my teens, with no electricity or plumbing, where the only water comes from a spring-became the home for my work on Shelter, she continues. We brought out an Arts and Crafts Bechstein piano and an old wood burner to the house; and as summer's end turned to autumn's shorter, colder days, the room with the upright and stove fueled my stay.
Chaney says of working with Thomas Bartlett, His close affiliation with such a varied and acclaimed group of artists was of enormous importance. His taste and sphere of understanding were as diverse as mine. He prioritized my compositions' meaning and lyricism, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of noisy popularity. I wanted a recording as intimate as the songs and their form. The only other musicians are Thomas and Jordan Hunt, my longtime collaborator who adds strings on select songs. It's just the three of us playing every sound you hear, using our instrumental and compositional craft, and Thomas' musician-producer's ear extraordinaire.
Born in Florence, Italy, Chaney grew up in Oxford, England, in a household whose intellectual and artistic engagement was complemented by an expansive musical soundscape. This included Billie Holiday, Mozart operas, Sandy Denny, Prince, Tracy Chapman, Bert Jansch, Michael Jackson, and Joni Mitchell. She studied at London's Royal Academy of Music, where she took in everything the conservatory had to offer. Her curiosity led her further afield, from Ligeti to West African pop, Edith Piaf to Laurie Anderson, Mary Margaret O'Hara to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Sonic Youth to Sappho, Kate Bush to old-time country music-all while finding her own voice.
The range of artists she's shared a stage with includes Robert Plant, Zero 7, the Labeque Sisters, Martin and Eliza Carthy, and Kronos Quartet, with whom she also recorded two songs for the 2017 Nonesuch album Folk Songs. Most recently she fronted a Grammy-nominated album, The Queen of Hearts, forming a new outfit, Offa Rex, with The Decemberists. The Guardian's review of that album said that Chaney has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, and fRoots said, Chaney has never sounded better, while the Arts Desk said it was her voice, with its clarity, power and emotional weight, that carries Offa Rex to the heights. The Financial Times added that Chaney's singing makes 'Willie O' Winsbury' one of the best versions ever.1. Shelter
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
6. Colin and Clem
7. O Solitude
8. Long Time Gone
9. Roman Holiday
10. House on a Hill$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
LoyaltyThe record was called Loyalty from the beginning-it was the first decision I made about it. It's a word you
usually see written in copperplate script, a virtue: LOYALTY. But the songs don't treat it that way, just as a
thing to unpack. It's a force that you have to reckon with: loyalty to the dream, to the "work," to the mythical idea of "you" that somebody thought they saw. It can be a weakness as much as a strength; it can keep you from the reality of your own life, your own self. - Tamara Lindeman
In excess virtue lies danger, or at least limits to pragmatic action-it's a lesson hard learned by anyone
disillusioned by the erosion of youthful mythologies. Strict fealty to a fixed ideal of identity doesn't do us
any favors as adults. Loyalty, the third and finest album yet by The Weather Station (and the first for
Paradise of Bachelors) wrestles with these knotty notions of faithfulness/faithlessness-to our idealism,
our constructs of character, our memories, and to our family, friends, and lovers-representing a bold
step forward into new sonic and psychological inscapes. It's a natural progression for Toronto artist
Tamara Lindeman's acclaimed songwriting practice. Recorded at La Frette Studios just outside Paris in
the winter of 2014, in close collaboration with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist),
the record crystallizes her lapidary songcraft into eleven emotionally charged vignettes and intimate
portraits, redolent of fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and David Wiffen, but utterly her
Lindeman describes La Frette, housed in an enormous, crumbling 19th-century mansion, as
"a secret garden, a place of enchantment and grace": walls mantled in ivy and lions, corridors piled high
with discarded tape machines, old reels, and priceless guitars. As she puts it, "Recording where we did
meant we embraced beauty-we weren't afraid of it being beautiful." Like the record itself, it's a quietly
radical statement, especially since certain passages achieve a diaphanous eeriness and harmonic and
rhythmic tension new to The Weather Station. The stacked vocal harmonies of "Tapes," the drifting,
jazz-inflected chording in "Life's Work," and the glacial percussion in "Personal Eclipse" contribute to a
pervading sense of clock-stopping bloom and smolder, recalling the spooky avant-soul of Terry Callier's
Beyond the decaying decadence and vintage gear, the brokedown palace atmosphere of
La Frette afforded a more significant interior luxury as well, one stated with brutal honesty in the
stunning "Shy Women": "it seemed to me that luxury would be to be not so ashamed, not to look away."
Accordingly, Loyalty brings a freshly unflinching self-examining gaze and emotional and musical control
to The Weather Station's songs. She is an extraordinary singer and instrumentalist-on Loyalty she plays
guitar, banjo, keys, and vibes-but Lindeman has always been a songwriter's songwriter, recognized for
her intricate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, and complex metaphors.
Though more moving than ever, her writing here is almost clinical in its discipline, its deliberate wording
and exacting delivery, evoking similarly idiosyncratic songsters from Linda Perhacs to Bill Callahan.
Outside her musical practice, Lindeman also happens to be an accomplished film and
television actor, and it's her directorial eye for quietly compelling characters and the rich details of the
everyday, Bressonian in its specificity and scope, that drives the limpid singularity of The Weather
Station's songs. As in Bresson's films, there is no trace of theater here, no brittle singer-songwriter
histrionics, but rather a powerful performative focus and narrative restraint, a commitment to what the
auteur called the "simultaneous precision and imprecision of music." Despite the descriptive delicacy, the
album never lapses into preciousness or sentimentality, instead retaining its barbs and bristles and
remaining resolutely clear-eyed and thick-skinned. Lyrically, Loyalty inverts and involutes the language
of confession, of regret, of our most private and muddled mental feelings, by externalizing those
anxieties through exquisite observation of the things and people we accumulate, the modest meanings
accreted during even our most ostensibly mundane domestic moments. ("Your trouble is like a lens," she
discerns in "I Mined," "through which the whole world bends.")
"Tapes" and "I Could Only Stand By" expose and exalt the quotidian-"the little tapes"
hidden beneath a lover's bed, "the sunken old moorings" at the "bruise-colored lake"-without romanticizing
these scenes of, respectively, grief and guilt. "Like Sisters" analyzes the darker contours of a
friendship with devastating scrutiny. The breathless momentum of "Way It Is, Way It Could Be"-"both
are," she sings of the way we sometimes live, for better or for worse, amid multiple truths-hinges on a
mysterious moment when two brown dogs die underwheel, then don't, and that gut-sickness is
overturned, a sin redeemed with a second glance. "Floodplain" and "Personal Eclipse" are also road songs
about traveling through, and owning, the empty places in-between, literally and figuratively-what
Lindeman deems "the various ways people try to disappear from themselves, in physical distance, in
To invoke Melville (author of PoB's namesake story), "extreme loyalty to the piety of love"
can be a destabilizing force, a kind of bondage from which we must emancipate ourselves. The line is
from his strange masterpiece Pierre, or the Ambiguities; The Weather Station's Loyalty could quite easily
support the same subtitle for the fascinating ways it navigates the deep canyons between certainty and
uncertainty, faith and doubt.1. Way It Is, Way It Could Be
4. Shy Women
5. Personal Eclipse
6. Life's Work
7. Like Sisters
8. I Mined
10. I Could Only Stand By
11. At Full Height$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
We Can Do AnythingWe Can Do Anything follows 2000's Freak Magnet and marks the group's ninth LP. It was recorded in Brooklyn, Nashville, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Denver during their summer tour. Jeff Hamilton - a multi-instrumentalist in the Femmes' ever-changing backing band, Horns of Dilemma - served as producer, while John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) mixed.
The We Can Do Anything cover art was drawn by Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies, whom Violent Femmes toured with over the summer. He also contributed accordion, guitars, keys and backing vocals to several songs on the album.
Violent Femmes frontman Gordon Gano culled a handful of songs for We Can Do Anything from his trove of old cassette demos and journals, including Big Car and I Could Be Anything. He also shared writing duties on various songs with Sam Hollander, Dave Katz and Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin; We Can Do Anything also boasts one cover, What You Really Mean, which was written by Gano's sister, folk musician and artist, Cynthia Gayneau.
-Rolling Stone1. Memory
2. I Could Be Anything
4. Holy Ghost
5. What You Really Mean
7. Traveling Solves Everything
8. Big Car
9. Untrue Love
10. I'm Not Done$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now