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The Beautiful And Damned'
The Beautiful & The Damned'The Beautiful and Damned' album and short film paints a very dire portrait of Gerald/G-Eazy that is very real and has never been shared by him before.
Originally Gerald saw limitations in his life so he created G-Eazy as a way to make it past those and live how he thought he wanted to live and become that rockstar he thought he wanted to be. The problematic pattern that has come from the rise of this star is that G-Eazy lives a constant dark clichÉ of addiction and over indulgence in his favorite vices that surround him each night in the lifestyle in which he's found himself. Heavy handed in reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, 'The Beautiful and Damned' shows us hung-over Gerald left having to clean up reckless G's aftermath on a daily basis.
The dueling narrative he conveys is as desperate, humble, and confessional as it is brazen, celebratory, and loud in its own hubris. He is in the middle of a very serious conflict with his alter ego and he has genuine concern as well as thoughts about how to get back to who he is as person.
This album and film is about the duality of these two characters who wrestle inside of him, and the beginning of that communication and process on how to preserve his true self.
On the back of his monstrous first single, "No Limit" featuring A$AP Rocky and Cardi B from his forthcoming album The Beautiful & Damned, the Bay Area's own multi-platinum rapper and producer G-Eazy has announced the highly personal 20-track double-album will be out on vinyl via RCA Records.
Special guests on the album include a cast of heavy-hitters featuring Halsey, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Kehlani, E-40, Charlie Puth, Anna of The North, and more.LP 1
1. The Beautiful & Damned (feat. Zoe Nash)
2. Pray For Me
3. Him & I (feat. Halsey)
4. But A Dream
5. Sober (feat. Charlie Puth)
7. No Limit (feat. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B)
8. The Plan
9. That's A Lot
10. Pick Me Up (feat. Anna of the North)
2. Leviathan (feat. Sam Martin)
3. Crash & Burn (feat. Kehlani)
4. Summer In December
5. Charles Brown (feat. E-40 & Jay Ant)
6. No Less (feat. SG Lewis & Louis Mattrs)
7. Mama Always Told Me (feat. Madison Love)
8. Fly Away (feat. Ugochi)
9. Love Is Gone (feat. Drew Love)
10. Eazy (feat. Son Lux)$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Damn Country Music (Deluxe)
2 LP 180g Blue Vinyl in Gatefold Jacket
Deluxe Edition Contains 3 Additional Bonus tracks
On his 14th studio full-length, Tim McGraw pens a love letter to his lifeblood and his line of work. Damn Country Music is a beautifully drawn set of intimate storytelling, panoramic choruses, and memorable duets-including opening highlight "Here Tonight," which features vocals from McGraw's daughter Gracie. Its title track in particular is one of McGraw's finest to date, a slice of heart-wrenching perspective with imagery as gorgeous as the ribbons of steel guitar that halo it.1. Here Tonight (featuring Gracie McGraw)
2. Losin' You
3. How I'll Always Be
4. Damn Country Music
5. Love Runs
6. What You're Lookin' For
7. Top Of The World
8. Don't Make Me Feel At Home
9. Want You Back
10. California (with Big & Rich)
11. Humble and Kind
12. Everybody's Lookin'
13. Kiss A Girl
14. Country and Western$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Black Beauty28-page, full-color book (11" x 11")
Extensive essay by Ben Edmonds (Creem, Rolling Stone, Mojo) featuring all-new interviews
Abundant, never-before-seen photographs by Herbert Worthington (Fleetwood Mac's Rumours)
Brilliantly mastered by multi-GRAMMY® nominee Dan Hersch (Paul Simon, Kinks, Cars,The Band)
Mastered for vinyl by multi-GRAMMY® winner Doug Sax (The Who, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd)
Black Beauty, the never-before-released masterpiece by Arthur Lee's legendary psychedelic rock band Love, is available on 180-gram vinyl LP. Recorded in 1973 for the ambitious new label Buffalo Records,
the album remained unreleased when the company folded. Finally, after 39 years High Moon Records is honored to fulfill Arthur Lee's wish that Black Beauty be heard by music fans worldwide. Black Beauty is making its first-ever official release
in any format, anywhere! With unparalelled sound and state-of-the-art packaging, critics are hailing Black Beauty as an instant classic. Black Beauty is that rarest of rock artifacts: an unreleased,
full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical
genius. Black Beauty is the missing link in a catalog that includes Forever Changes, the classic 1967 Love album the New York Times called "one of the most affecting and beguiling albums of all time. With Black Beauty, Arthur Lee manages to combine searing 70's-rock with gorgeous melodies and stellar songwriting - topped off by his most distinctive, snarling, soulful vocals ever. With its wonderfully eclectic collection of songs, the
album offers Love fans a rare glimpse into a previously undocumented phase of Arthur Lee's fabled career, while shining a light for new fans to discover the unique genius that is the music of Arthur Lee and Love.
It's tempting to play what-if with Love's lost labor, Black Beauty, which was recorded in 1973 but shelved for nearly four decades. What if Buffalo Records hadn't gone out of business just prior to the album's release? What if Black Beauty had actually hit stores? What if it hadn't languished in limbo until years after Arthur Lee's death? Would it have stopped Love's slide into obscurity? Would it have signaled a comeback for the man who masterminded Forever Changes, still one of the most complex and compelling artifacts of 1960s Los Angeles? Would his life and career have played out any differently? Would we think of him today as something other than a cult artist, inspired as well as damned by his era?
It's difficult to imagine any answers to those questions, but it says a lot about Lee that the album even raises these what-ifs and coulda-beens. The very qualities that made him such a fascinating voice-- restlessness, excitability, paranoia, perfectionism, single-mindedness-- may have doomed any commercial prospects more than his notorious fear of travel ever did. After recording Forever Changes, he fired the band and hired new musicians to take their places. Every subsequent album featured a different line-up, although the changes seem based more on personality than on musical direction or ability. Never stagnant, Love was in constant flux, always in a state of development but never quite arriving. So the operative question becomes: Was this the version of Love that Lee had been working toward?
For Black Beauty-- which is finally seeing release via High Moon Records, although the reissue has been delayed for two years-- Lee assembled guitarist Melvan Whittington, bass player Robert Rozelle, and drummer Joe Blocker. This may be the hardiest and most muscular of Love's post-Changes rosters, with remarkable force and range. With crisp production by Paul Rothchild, best known for his work with the Doors, Love build from a potent blues rock foundation not dissimilar to that of Jimi Hendrix, but without the distracting shamanistic persona and guitar pyrotechnics. "Walk Right In" struts into country rock territory, rewriting Cannon's Jug Stompers 1929 hit into a plea for empathy, and "Beep Beep" attempts a sort of pop reggae, albeit not entirely convincingly.
On the whole, this particular line-up sounds perfectly rough and unrehearsed, generating a tense energy on "Skid" and "Stay Away" even as they suggest a band still figuring out exactly what they can do together. It's a strong album, but it's not another Forever Changes, whose accomplishments in retrospect were unrepeatable, or even another Four Sail. On the other hand, Lee wasn't aiming to craft something in that vein. Still, especially considering the professional setbacks he had faced in the years leading up to Black Beauty-- which includes being dropped by Elektra and shuffling through a series of independent labels-- Lee sounds engaged and invigorated, forgoing the bitterness that had rankled the band for a slightly more hopeful outlook. On stand-out "Can't Find It", he sings, "Every time I cry my heart out, and every time I play the fool, but there's gotta be something in this lonely world for me." The confession is all the more bittersweet for being capped with the line, "but I can't find it without you." It's ostensibly a love song, but could just as easily be addressed to his audience. His creative satisfaction relies on having a listener to complete the circuit, which makes this album's long shelf life all the sadder.
-Stephen M. Deusner (Pitchfork, May 15, 2013)1. Young & Able
2. Midnight Sun
3. Can't Find It
4. Walk Right In
6. Beep Beep
7. Stay Away
8. Lonely Pigs
9. See Myself In You
10. Product Of The Times$26.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Beautiful! The Youngbloods Live In San Francisco 1971First Time Vinyl Release
From The Original Analog Masters
Gatefold Album With Rare Photos And New Liners
By the time the Youngbloods, always crowd faves at the west coast ballrooms, performed live for San Francisco's free-form radio pioneer KSAN in 1971, they'd honed their set to a fine gloss. Featuring the smooth as apple-butter voice of Jesse Colin Young and the guitar/keyboard wizardry of Banana, backed by the rock-solid bass-and-drum tandem of Michael Kane and Joe Bauer, the Youngbloods positively sparkle here. We're elated to present for the first time on vinyl a 12-song set that's equal parts rocking R&B, dreamy jazzers and honky tonk flag-wavers, with just a little bit of psychedelic weirdness-topped off, of course, by a knockout version of their generational anthem, "Get Together." The Youngbloods: at the top of their game, making it all look so easy-and so damn beautiful. Mastered from the original analog reels and pressed on lush 180 gram vinyl.1. Six Days On The Road
2. Country Home
3. On Sir Francis Drake
5. Drifting And Driftin
7. Old Dan Tucker
8. You Can't Catch Me
9. On Beautiful Lake Spenard
12. Get Together$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
White Colored Vinyl
Intoxicating and memorably tuneful - Pitchfork
Gorgeously Weary - The Guardian
An idiosyncratic, deeply individual voice - Clash Magazine
The new album from Tropics, aka 27 year old Chris Ward, looks
outwards, armed with a newfound confidence that foregrounds his
vocal performance and songwriting.
It's a musical progression that mirrors a personal one: the early Tropics
output was all made in the idyllic, if isolated setting of Ward's
grandmother's empty house in the seaside town of Southsea, which
he moved into after graduating from university to focus on writing
and recording. He was alone there - "like, really alone. For days, I had
literally no distractions." Having moved to London in 2013, Ward now
splits his time between the city and the road, having played in
America, Mexico and across Europe throughout the past year with his
live band Keith Vaz and Morgan Hislop.
Tropics' new full-length Rapture is the culmination of this journey. A multi-instrumentalist
from an early age, Ward has always drawn on his musical upbringing
when composing, but this time around he's pushed himself to develop
a fuller sound than ever with the help of Vaz, Hislop and specialist jazz
drummer Gillan McLaughlin. Taking influence from Beach Boys, Max
Roach and Arthur Russell, Ward has crafted an album that fuses his
love of avant-garde percussion, 70s and 80s singer-songwriters such
as Peter Gabriel known for pop-leaning hooks, and deep production
that takes cues from ambient music.
The very first iterance of the record is the crystal clear vocal that kicks
off 'Blame'. Ward explains that performing live so much caused him to
step outside of his comfort zone: "I used to be a bit dubious about
using my vocal too much, and felt like my strength was in sampling
and playing keys. It's kind of switched now in that I feel a lot more
comfortable just holding a microphone and losing myself." Inspired by
the vocal performances of the likes of Little Dragon and Innovative
Leisure labelmates Rhye, Ward also found a new lease of life in
experimenting with more androgynous vocals.
But even as his sound has greater scope than ever before, Rapture is
still a deeply personal endeavour. The majority of the songs started
life in Ward's home, in front of a piano, before being built on in the
studio. The first half of the record is a chronicle of a whirlwind
relationship: the piano-led title track "Rapture" addresses this theme,
striving for the throes of ecstatic happiness but never quite making it
there. "It's got this feeling of hope and joy, even though it is coming
from a sad place," says Ward. "It's about the struggles in your life to
get to where you want to be." Elsewhere, lyrics such as, "You ran away
just like my luck did" hint at Ward's love for literature and his poetic
touch, something he further explores on the album's second side.
Later, the album grows more ambient and the literary references more
apparent. "Gloria" takes its name from the character of a frustrated
wife in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned. Likewise,
"Torrents of Spring" - also named for a work of 20th century American
fiction - builds to a sax-led climax over two painstaking minutes, and
the penultimate "House of Leaves" is "a really slow-burning ambient
instrumental; it's kind of a nod to the first stuff I made".
Whether filling dance floors or simply filling up your headspace,
Rapture is an intricate and intimate record that presents the many
faces of Tropics in a more revealing light than ever before.1. Blame
6. Perfume Kinship
7. Torrents of Spring
8. Home & Consonance
10. House of Leaves
11. Not Enough$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Evil SpiritsThe Damned have announced details of their new album, Evil Spirits, their first new album in a decade. It was made at Atomic Sound Studios in Brooklyn with Bowie collaborator/producer Tony Visconti. Says Captain Sensible:
We deliberately recorded the album retro style. The same way our debut album was made, basically. There's something wonderful about the seventies sounds; glam, rock and punk records, they all sound so great and Tony specializes in beautifully crafted old school production. He had us all playing live, bashing it out in the same room with a focus on getting the initial band version of each song as close as possible to the finished thing.1. Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow
2. Devil In Disguise
3. We're So Nice
4. Look Left
5. Evil Spirits
6. Shadow Evocation
7. Sonar Deceit
9. Daily Liar
10. I Don't Care$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Alien (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)Mondo is proud to present Jerry Goldsmith's score to Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece, Alien. An absolute essential soundtrack for not only fans of the franchise, but of the legendary composer, and of science fiction and horror cinema itself. There is no doubt Alien is a monumental achievement in movie making, it's tense, terrifying and pretty damn untouchable. The score by Jerry Goldsmith is an absolute masterclass in building tension and scaring the hell out of you within the film but it also is a beautifully orchestrated stand alone listen full of excitement that harks back to many of the rollicking adventure scores of the 40s & 50s.LP 1
1. Main Title
2. Hyper Sleep
3. The Landing
4. The Terrain
5. The Craft
6. The Passage
7. The Skeleton
8. A New Face
9. Hanging On
10. The Lab
11. Drop Out
1. Nothing To Say
2. Cat Nip
3. Here Kitty
4. The Shaft
5. It's A Droid
6. Parker's Death
7. The Eggs
8. Sleepy Alien
9. To Sleep
10. The Cupboard
11. Out The Door
12. End Title$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Catacombs Of The Black VaticanCatacombs of the Black Vatican will stand as an enduring testament to Black Label Society s sheer force of will and mastery of each and every musical neighborhood the hard rock titans choose to stomp through. The aggressive bite of the barnstorming BLS banger Damn the Flood sits comfortably right alongside the stripped down, emotionally searing Angel of Mercy, Scars and Shades of Gray. The album's opening tracks, Fields of Unforgiveness and lead single My Dying Time, drop the throttle into swampy, down-tempo menace that wouldn't sound out of place in a Classic Rock band's catalog nor at the creative height of the grunge era.
There's a beauty in caveman like simplicity, in the break-bottles-and-break-necks gusto of a loud power chord. To many listeners, Wylde invented pinch harmonics every bit as much as Chuck Berry s dreamt up the duck walk. When the Guitar Hero franchise was all the rage, Wylde was a playable character in the game.
Every time you're going to make a new record, it's exciting, he says of the run-up to the creation of Catacombs of the Black Vatican. When you're in the studio you can approach it like Salvador Dali where you've got a blank canvas in front of you. You can paint a little bit, sit back and look at it and go, Oh man, let's add a little more red over here, let's make this darker over there. Because live? It's a free-for-all. People are bleeding. There's fire going on. You're getting attacked by grizzly bears.1. Fields of Unforgiveness
2. My Dying Time
4. Angel of Mercy
5. Heart of Darkness
6. Beyond the Down
8. Damn the Flood
9. I've Gone Away
10. Empty Promises
11. Shades of Gray$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Doin' It To DeathFor starters, this platter begins with one of the great intros of all time: "Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the
world. You are about to witness the eighth "
Lodged in a deep groove between the JB's' debut LP Food For Thought (1972) and the more complex and at-times political Damn Right, I Am
Somebody (from 1974) sits the ridiculously vampy and infectious classic, Doing It To Death. First moving hips and making heads nod in 1973,
the James Brown-produced, 5-song album is one big funk lick, broken up into many delicious moving parts.
As with pretty much everything produced by the JB's - led by Fred Wesley with heavy help from a supporting cast that included saxophonist
Maceo Parker, guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon "Cheese" Martin and drummer John "Jabo" Starks - all songs began and revolved around
a devastating riff. The title track is most certainly guilty-as-charged, as it starts strutting right out of the gate and continues for just over 10
minutes, driven by a guitar lick and MCed by the inimitable James Brown, with soloists stepping up and out while the song chugs on.
The other centerpiece of the album is the 8-minute "You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight," whose groove is
interestingly teased two times before it arrives in full form. The song title itself is provocative, and the music keeps a stone-cold groove despite
the less than cheery undertones. Again driven by an infectious guitar morsel, the breakdowns in this song gave sampling producers and DJs
sweet dreams in the '80s, and Fred Wesley's trombone solo rides beautifully over the group's cries of "We need some money."
Beyond the aforementioned sure-shots, the twitchy "More Peas," "La Di Da La Di Day" and the much jazzier, solo-heavy "Sucker" round out
this incredible album. It's just another perfect example of how James Brown's funk machine could stop the world when they hit a groove.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Introduction To The J.B.'s
2. Doing It To Death - Part 1 & 2
3. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
4. More Peas
5. La Di Da La Di Day
6. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
8. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Fiendish Threat (Awaiting Repress)The king of Hellbilly, Mr. Hank3 himself, is pleased to announce a triple-threat of new releases. Hank3 will release a brand new DOUBLE country album, entitled Brothers of the 4x4, and a single punk album, entitled A Fiendish Threat, with his new project "3".
Recording in his own home and releasing music on his own label, the Megaforce distributed Hank3 Records, allowed Williams complete creative control during the four month period it took to make both records.
Besides living the songs subject matter first, Hank3 sang and played both guitar and drums on the records. As if pulling triple duty wasn't enough, he engineered, produced, mixed and mastered all the tunes as well. Not bad for someone who in his own words is dyslexic and has ADD, according to Hank3 "my mind is all over the place". But even a man talented and driven enough to do (count 'em) seven jobs at once has his limits, so Hank3 has once again assembled a top-notch ensemble of pickers and pluckers for Brothers Of The 4x4 and A Fiendish Threat.
The required stand-up bass holds the low end down at the deft hands of Zach Shedd, with David McElfresh and Billy Contreras whipping razor sharp bows across the fiddle. Daniel Mason handles banjo, with a special guest appearance on Possum In A Tree by former National Old-Time Banjo Champion Leroy Troy working his banjo in the old school clawhammer style, while Andy Gibson wrings the sweetest of notes out his stand up steel guitar. Finally, long-time collaborator and fellow multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Johnny Hiland rips his chicken pickin' guitar to feathers and shreds.
With the release of Brothers of the 4x4 and A Fiendish Threat, Williams is ready to hit the road, and when he hits the road, he hits it much harder than most. Hank3 shows are legendary for their length and intensity, averaging three hours a night, starting with a country set and ending with whatever his latest musical experiment happens to be. For this touring cycle, fans will get to taste the hardcore punk horror rock of A Fiendish Threat, a rippingly fast blast of sounds reminiscent of The Misfits, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, The Ramones and other punk rock greats that are as much a part of Hank 3's musical identity as his country roots. But A Fiendish Threat, like all of the man's musical output, is anything but a formulaic, by-the-numbers rehash of what has been previously done by others. Stand up bass, fiddle, and banjo are not exactly standard instruments in punk rock, but they are on this record, riding beneath 3's howling distorted vocals. Perhaps this is the birth of rebelcore punk? Whatever you want to call it, Williams has left his own touch on the genre, even utilizing a bizarrely beautiful Hula-music-on-acid sounding Hawaiian guitar at times. Some of the songs can make the listener feel like someone dropped LSD in their cheap draft beer at a CBGB matinee show headlined by a ghoulish Hawaiian punk band. A Fiendish Threat is yet another of Williams already numerous signature sounds, and he's excited to put it in front of the audience for the first time. You know when you do a new record, you just want to play it for all your friends. That's what I'm excited for with this punk record, I get use a voice that doesn't get used that often, and pay respects to some of my influences at the same time. Doing this record made feel like I was growing stronger- it took some of the years off me, to tell you the truth. Playing it makes me feel young again, he laughs, How long I will be able to pull it off all depends on the voice, man."
With these dual releases, Brothers Of The 4x4 and A Fiendish Threat added to his already huge and varied arsenal of music, Hank3 will be raising all sorts of hell on stage while the fans raise their glasses in the audience once again, and you can bet your last dollar a damn good time will be had by all. The man goes full throttle all the time, every time, as anyone who has ever been to one of his innumerable shows will attest.
Listen to Brothers of the 4x4 and A Fiendish Threat, go to a show, and find out for yourself. Just remember the next day, after a few aspirins, a dinner at your own table, and a sleep in your own bed, that Hank3 will be down the road doing his thing again, and for that rebel, "doing the best I can" means something a little different than it does for the average man.1. Can I Rip U
2. Different From the Rest
3. There's Another Road
4. Broke Jaw
5. Watchin U Suffer
6. Breakin Free
7. Face Down
8. New Identity
9. Feel the Sting
10. Fight My Way
11. Full On
12. Your Floor
13. A Fiendish Threat$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Rimsky-Korsakov: ScheherazadeRCA Living Stereo Classical LPs - The Gold Standard For Top Quality Orchestral Performance And Sound!
Remastered And Cut At 33 1/3 RPM By Ryan Smith At Sterling Sound
Lacquers Plated By Gary Salstrom And Pressed On 200-Gram Vinyl At Quality Record Pressings!
Grade A+. Another one of HP's favorites, this LP (at least in its earliest pressings) is famously wonderful sounding, and the Analogue Productions version certainly lives up to the hype. Once again string tone - and this disc is celebrated for its string tone - is ravishingly beautiful. The bass is astonishingly deep and authoritative. And the dynamics are tremendous. In sum, I highly recommend all of these celebrated RCAs in their Analogue Productions reissues. They will cost you $30 a disc, which is a more-than-fair price considering that they are, IMO, uniformly superb (yes, better than the Classic Record versions). - Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound.com, June 11, 2013
We compared this new 200-gram, 33 RPM LP from Analogue Productions with the original RCA Living Stereo issue and Classic Records' 33 RPM version, and were surprised at the outcome. Why? Because to these ears, the new Analogue Productions version was the more relaxed and natural sounding of the bunch. The sound is as it should be, inviting the listener into the music and entirely constant with Reiner's readings. ... If ever there were a must-have LP in the recent wave of audiophile vinyl reincarnations, this is it. Treat yourself and thank (Analogue Productions' Chad) Kassem for doing it the justice it deserves. - Harry Pearson, HP Soundings, May 2013.
Without a doubt, the AP pressing sounds much more natural than the Classic Records reissue; the sound is simply less forced, as if the notes and rhythms have more air to explore, more ambient Hall to reverberate, and more of the acoustic envelope to reveal. ... the vinyl is so damn quiet, you can turn it up without any hesitation ... The solo violin is the heart of this recording and it's supposed to sound seductive, and on this reissue, it does. One thing if for certain, there is a lot more information coming through than on the original. The AP pressing takes the simplistic approach of the Chesky, but with a more developed sound, making the Chesky appear a bit more subdued by comparison. ... If you are interested in hearing this classic RCA in all of its natural glory, you needn't look any further than Chad Kassem's latest offering. If this is any indication of Analogue Production's current batch of RCA reissues (approximately 24 more on the way), it just may be a new golden age for the modern vinyl listener. - Joey Weiss, HP Soundings, May 2013
The second movement is just ravishing in the beauty of the Chicago's playing and Reiner's romantic approach; there is some staccato triple-tonguing done by trumpeter Adolph Herseth in the fourth movement that should leave you, if not him, breathless. But let is just be said that, after you hear this, no other Scheherazade will ever replace it in your affections. HP's The Golden Dozen LPs - Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2007
The jewel in the Living Stereo crown. This, like the Respighi, is considered one of the very best LPs by Reiner, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and RCA's crew. Another Mohr and Layton classic.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. The Sea And Sinbads Ship
2. The Story Of The Kalender Prince
3. The Young Prince And The Young Princess
4. Festival In Bagdad; The Sea; The Ship Goes To Pieces On A Rock Surmounted By A Bronze Warrior$34.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Foil DeerSpeedy Ortiz said they would get the flowers themselves. What a lark! What a plunge!
When considering Massachusetts' Speedy Ortiz, that line from Virginia Woolf comes to mind. Not only for the obvious echoes to DIY, a form and function that's characterized the band's nascency, but in the proto-feminist undertones driving much of their sophomore album, Foil Deer. "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss," Sadie Dupuis sings on "Raising the Skate," invoking in spirit one half of the Carter-Knowles clan and echoing the other's wordplay. And wordplay makes sense, considering Dupuis-the band's songwriter, guitarist, and frontwoman-spent the band's first few years teaching writing at UMass Amherst. She's drawn to the dense complexity of Pynchon, the dreamlike geometry of Bolaño, the confounded yearning of Plath-all attributes you could easily apply to the band's 2013 debut Major Arcana, which fans and press alike have invested with a sense of purpose and merit uncommon in contemporary guitar rock.
The group, including Mike Falcone on drums, Darl Ferm on bass, and new addition Devin McKnight of Grass is Green on guitar, have spent the last year on an almost endless cross-continental touring jag, tagging along with the likes of The Breeders, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, and Thurston Moore. That shift into full-time musicianship brought with it an attendant reordering of priorities when it came to songwriting, and the band members' lives in general. They would get the damn flowers themselves.
Dupuis wrote much of Foil Deer at her mother's home in the Connecticut woods, where the songwriter imposed a self-regulated exile and physical cleansing of sorts, finding that many of the songs came to her while running or swimming alone. "I gave up wasting mental energy on people who didn't have my back," she says. "Listening to our old records, I get the sense I was putting myself in horrible situations just to write sad songs. This music isn't coming from a dark place, and without slipping into self-empowerment jargon, it feels stronger." Many of the songs deal with a similar sense of starting over, editing out the unnecessary drama. "Boys be sensitive and girls be, be aggressive," she sings on "Mister Difficult."
And while their debut album was recorded on the fly, Speedy Ortiz spent almost a month in the studio on Foil Deer. Falcone's drums are taut, mechanistic; Ferm's bass ranges from the aggressive rattle of an AmRep classic to smoother, hip-hop inspired lines. McKnight, meanwhile, lends spacier, textural riffs to complement Dupuis' wiry, melody-driven guitar style. "The demos for our songs have always had tons of small details and production experimentation, but we never had any money to pay for more than a couple days in the studio, so the songs came out very live-sounding and guitar heavy," Dupuis says. It was recorded and mixed at Brooklyn's Rare Book Room with Nicolas Vernhes (Silver Jews, Enon, Deerhunter), with the record mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, Haim, Beauty Pill), lending a more polished sound and a pop sensibility that will stand out to existing fans and new converts alike. For all the lyrical complexity and guitar-based excursions Speedy Ortiz have built their reputation on to this point, Foil Deer has a sense of light-footed fun. What's the point of doing things yourself if you're not going to enjoy the trip?1. Good Neck
2. Raising the Skate
3. The Graduates
4. Dot X
7. Swell Content
9. My Dead Girl
11. Mister Difficult
12. Dvrk Wvrld$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Dreamt I Was A CowboyMiniature Tigers mastermind Charlie Brand has been in a relationship with actress Mae Whitman for a while now, and things seem to be going great. How do I know this? Well, there are interviews from both Brand and Whitman out there that say so, but for the purposes of this review, Exhibit A is the new Miniature Tigers record. I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy is a loose concept album about being in love, complete with sappy ballads, angst that it's all going to fall apart, and even the concept album staple-a dream sequence.
Two things are striking about this album from the get-go. There's a warmth and intimacy to opener "My Girl Forever" that sticks around for the length of the album. Brand, it turns out, is pretty good at producing indie-pop that sounds honestly romantic. That warmth makes a cheesy sentiment like, "You will be my friend forever / You will be my girlfriend" sound lovely. The other thing is the song's opening electric guitar riff, which sounds slightly out of tune. That riff runs through the entire song and eventually normalizes even though it never ends up being quite in tune. It's a weird element and a portent that Brand is going to re-embrace the off-kilter sounds that dominated Miniature Tigers' early records.
"Dreaming" is a relaxed, slightly Caribbean-styled song dominated by a bassline played on a bass marimba and a repeating high register xylophone-esque note run. Both are cool effects that give the song a nice groove. This leads right into "I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy", where Whitman takes the lead vocals. Her breathy, quiet singing fits in snugly with the song's languid vibe. "I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy" also works as a transition point on the album. Afterward, the songs are more idiosyncratic and often more interesting.
"Wish It Was Now" is a '60s-style folk song that hits all the right buttons. A pile of acoustic guitars is accompanied by a jangling tambourine while Brand sings possibly the best melody on the album. The multi-layered vocals on the chorus, a simple recitation of "wish it was now", are beautiful, and it all meshes together into a sublime moment. "Wheat" features a prominent pedal steel guitar and some nicely placed percussion rattles, giving the song a light Texas country feel.
Then there's "Nobody Else", which features an out-of-nowhere sample of obscure '60s singer Millie Small with her lovely high-pitched squeak of a voice. The song opens with Small singing "What am I living for / If not for you, baby!", then uses that "baby!" as the song's anchor and hype man, punctuating many of Brand's lines. The song itself is a catchy, piano-based ballad with a warm '70s soft rock bridge, but the sample sells it. It's so effective that once you've heard the song a few times, you want to hear her "baby!" at the end of every line, not just occasionally.
The record ends with two quiet songs, either of which would make a solid closer, but they represent two different moods. "I Never Want Our Love to End" is sparsely arranged with great harmonies, but the overwhelming feeling is melancholy as Brand sings about his insecurities. "I'm Awake Now" uses both chirpy and lush synths to provide a sunny, relaxed, early morning feel. Lyrically, though, the song starts out depressed as Brand contemplates the fact that he's so damn happy in bed with his new girl but that they're both going to have to leave, and it will be over. But the song ends with him deciding that he's going to do whatever it takes to make what's apparently a one-night stand into a relationship.
This kind of unabashed romanticism shouldn't really work. And in the past, Miniature Tigers' attempts at straight-up love songs haven't always been successful. But Brand's honesty goes a long way here, and his willingness to use unusual sounds cuts through the cheese to make the album just a bit weird. I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy ends up effectively splitting the difference between the band's early days of twee sounds with strange lyrics and their middle period of big hooks but not very distinctive sounds.
- Chris Conaton (popmatters.com)1. My Girl Forever
2. Crying In The Sunshine
3. Pictures Of You
5. I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy
6. Wish It Was Now
8. Nobody Else
9. Before You
10. I Never Want Our Love To End
11. I'm Awake Now$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
More FaithfulMore Faithful is No Joy's third full-length for Mexican Summer, and bears the fruits of a band that redefined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome - the juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of dimed amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music - is as unwavering as ever. But where Wait To Pleasure balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, More Faithful documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance, one in which the group, recording in NYC and Costa Rica, pushed themselves to new peaks of intensity.
All of the record's 11 songs, in whole or in part, jump at the listener with atypical tunings and key changes, tension from odd time signatures and an upfront rhythmic presence, and the force demonstrated in their live show. It's the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made to date, taking their set of influences to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. Shoegaze and ethereal and alternative rock revivals be damned; More Faithful pushes No Joy to the breaking point. They've leveled themselves, turning a break-up record into a breakthrough.1. Remember Nothing
2. Everything New
3. Hollywood Teeth
4. Moon in my Mouth
5. Burial in Twos
6. Corpo Dæmon
8. Chalk Snake
9. Rude Films
10. I am an Eye Machine
11. Judith$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now