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  • Fight The Good Fight Fight The Good Fight Quick View

    $19.99
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    Fight The Good Fight

    The Interrupters are an L.A. based four-piece bound by their rebel spirit and deep love of punk, rock, ska and 2 Tone.


    They make super high-energy rock -n-roll that's equal parts catchy and confrontational.


    Their third album, Fight The Good Fight, was produced by Rancid's Tim Armstrong and released on his Hellcat imprint for Epitaph Records. The album features front-woman Aimee Interrupter, guitarist Kevin Bivona, bassist Justin Bivone and drummer Jesse Bivona, spitting out lyrics that take on matters as thorny as family, friendship, martial law and loyalty, while churning out bouncing rock-steady rhythms and snarly guitar riffs.


    The Interrupters have built their live act of unstoppable energy and a feeling of easy community that reflects their familial vibe.


    They had toured the world with the likes of Green Day and Rancid and played huge festivals from The Vans Warped tour to Coachella.


    "There is usually a dance party going on in the crowd, which we appreciate since we always have our own dance party happening on stage," says guitarist Kevin Bivona. The Interrupters will be dancing their way to a town near you this summer on many festivals and tours including The Punk in Drublic Festivals, Back to The Beach Festival and the Main Stage on Vans Warped Tour.

    1. Title Holder
    2. So Wrong
    3. She's Kerosene
    4. Leap of Faith
    5. Got Each Other (feat. Rancid)
    6. Broken World
    7. Gave You Everything
    8. Not Personal
    9. Outrage
    10. Rumors and Gossip
    11. Be Gone
    12. Room With a View
    The Interrupters
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • God Luck And Good Speed (Awaiting Repress) God Luck And Good Speed (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $21.99
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    God Luck And Good Speed (Awaiting Repress)

    Nearly five years after their second CD, the underrated Sixteen Tons, was seemingly flushed like so much unwanted bong water down the toilet of stoner rock's decline in popularity, the members of North Carolina's Weedeater found the strength to roll up a new one after hooking up with the Southern Lord label, and duly re-emerged with a hell of a comeback album. In fact, it's' a good bet that their invariably baked fan contingent would likely bestow 2007's God Luck and Good Speed with the highest possible honor of calling it really good shit, full-to-bursting with coarse, crusty, stoner sludgecore of the highest market value. This becomes immediately apparent on the album's impressive opening triple threat -- the earth-shaking grooves of the title track, the uproarious speed-blast of Wizard Fight, and the groove-driven laughs of For Evan's Sake -- all of which surf on surging waves of feedback, their tendrils forming dirty electric causeways for an extended, uninterrupted buzz. Then suddenly, all is quiet for the one-off austerity of Alone, featuring only a banjo, an acoustic bass, and vocalist Dixie Dave Collins replacing his trademark croak with a drunken baritone à la Tom Waits, stinking drunk out on the bayou. (Curiously, this track alone was recorded by Corrosion of Conformity's Mike Dean, while the rest of the album was produced by indie rock staple Steve Albini.) Punishing, viscous volume and distortion are resumed by subsequent aural bulldozers like the instrumental $20 Peanut, the doomy but somewhat dull Dirt Merchant, and the oddly named epic Weed Monkey (all interlocked by even more feedback, naturally). And to emphasize their sub-Mason Dixon line allegiance, Weedeater deliver an aptly sludge-encrusted cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gimme Back My Bullets as sung by Swamp Thing. Final verdict? The wait was worth it: God Luck and Good Speed is definitely some of Weedeater's strongest stuff yet.

    - Eduardo Rivadavia (All Music)
    1. God Luck & Good Speed
    2. Wizard Fight
    3. For Evans Sake
    4. Alone
    5. $20 Peanut
    6. It Is What It Is
    7. Gimme Back My Bullets
    8. Weed Monkey
    9. Willow
    Weedeater
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress) Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress)


    Pressed On 2x 180-Gram Vinyl


    New Artwork Which Finally Sees Mustaine's Original Vision Fully Realized As An Actual Sculpture


    Brilliant Remix By Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel) Which Restores Previously Unheard Parts And Performances, Allowing You To Experience This Album With A Whole New Level Of Details And Notably Increased Sonic Force


    Remastered By Ted Jensen For An Optimal Listening Experience


    Featuring An Introduction By Mustaine, Live Recordings Covering All Album Songs, And The Original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" Demo


    The story of Dave Mustaine's fights with Metallica, which ultimately led to the birth of his own band MEGADETH is basic knowledge of every metal head out there and nothing that's necessary to revisit when talking about the debut assault "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!". It was, is and forever will be one hell of an aggressive, no-holds-barred, maniacal speed/thrash record that now returns in its ultimate version! From the new artwork, which finally sees Mustaine's original vision fully realized as an actual sculpture to the brilliant remix by Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel), which restores previously unheard parts and performances, allowing you to experience this album with a whole new level of details and notably increased sonic force. Featuring an introduction by Mustaine, live recordings covering all album songs and the original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" demo, the 2018 edition of "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!" is a must for each and every MEGADETH fan! Now, rattle your goddamn head!

    LP 1
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
    4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
    5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
    7. Mechanix (Remastered)
    8. These Boots (Remastered)


    LP 2
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
    4. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
    5. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    7. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    8. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
    9. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
    10. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

    Megadeth
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)


    Pressed On 2x 180-Gram Red Colored Vinyl


    New Artwork Which Finally Sees Mustaine's Original Vision Fully Realized As An Actual Sculpture


    Brilliant Remix By Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel) Which Restores Previously Unheard Parts And Performances, Allowing You To Experience This Album With A Whole New Level Of Details And Notably Increased Sonic Force


    Remastered By Ted Jensen For An Optimal Listening Experience


    Featuring An Introduction By Mustaine, Live Recordings Covering All Album Songs, And The Original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" Demo


    The story of Dave Mustaine's fights with Metallica, which ultimately led to the birth of his own band MEGADETH is basic knowledge of every metal head out there and nothing that's necessary to revisit when talking about the debut assault "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!". It was, is and forever will be one hell of an aggressive, no-holds-barred, maniacal speed/thrash record that now returns in its ultimate version! From the new artwork, which finally sees Mustaine's original vision fully realized as an actual sculpture to the brilliant remix by Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel), which restores previously unheard parts and performances, allowing you to experience this album with a whole new level of details and notably increased sonic force. Featuring an introduction by Mustaine, live recordings covering all album songs and the original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" demo, the 2018 edition of "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!" is a must for each and every MEGADETH fan! Now, rattle your goddamn head!

    LP 1
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
    4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
    5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
    7. Mechanix (Remastered)
    8. These Boots (Remastered)


    LP 2
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
    4. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
    5. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    7. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    8. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
    9. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
    10. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

    Megadeth
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Empire (Awaiting Repress) Empire (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $14.99
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    Empire (Awaiting Repress)

    Since forming in 1988, Madball has been responsible for some of the most important releases in metal and hardcore. From the seminal Ball of Destruction EP (1989) to the landmark albums Set It Off (1994), through their career defining resurgence at Ferret Music. The former partners at Ferret have now reconnected with Madball to be the cornerstone of the Good Fight Music roster with the release of Empire.
    1. Invigorate
    2. Danger Zone
    3. Timeless
    4. All Or Nothing
    5. Glory Years
    6. Empire
    7. Shatterproof feat. Roger Miret
    8. The End
    9. Con Fuerza
    10. R.A.H.C.
    11. Hurt You
    12. Tough Guy
    13. Dark Horse
    14. Spider's Web
    15. Delete
    16. Rebel4life18
    Madball
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Long Live (Awaiting Repress) Long Live (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $17.99
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    Long Live (Awaiting Repress)

    Includes Download Card


    The Chariot's most critically acclaimed album goes vinyl! Here on limited edition black and white splattered 180g vinyl in custom sleeves and with download card from Good Fight Records.


    Originally released in 2010 and produced by Matt Goldman, Long Live is the fourth full-length from American mathcore group The Chariot.

    1. Evan Perks
    2. The Audience

    3. Calvin Makenzie
    4. The City
    5. Andy Sundwall
    6. The Earth
    7. David De La Hoz
    8. The Heavens
    9. Robert Rios
    10. The King
    The Chariot
    $17.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Greying Greying Quick View

    $17.99
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    Greying

    Here we have it. Finally, the long awaited, highly anticipated fourth full-length from NJHC veterans The Banner. After six years, a brief break-up, line up changes and a satiating cassette, Greying is here, and it's all that it was cracked up to be. The Banner has been a constant touchstone in this writer's life for nearly a decade, and my excitement for this record has been explosive. Frailty, another explosive item, was the first vinyl I ever owned, and that album was punishingly heavy, tearing their fan base wide open with its sledgehammer breakdowns and unrivaled fury. In short, Frailty was pissed, and executed it well. The Banner arguably reached their hallmark sound with their second LP, Each Breath Haunted, which wrapped their classical horror themes and self-loathing into a neat, bleak package. Greying sits between those two albums, combining Each Breath Haunted's icy worldview with Frailty's palpable wrath, creating eleven torturous songs dripping with venom.

    - Bruce Wolfbiter (CVLT Nation)
    1. The Dying Of The Light
    2. Circle Of Salt
    3. Crippling Despair
    4. Sunlight
    5. Unbaptized
    6. A Quiet Corner
    7. Send Me Down
    8. VIII
    9. She Upon The Black Wolf
    10. Bones To Dust
    11. Sunset
    The Banner
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Young Blood Young Blood Quick View

    $19.99
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    Young Blood

    Canadian metal/hardcore act Obey The Brave has just announced through a little video that they have signed to Epitaph Records (US) and Distort Records (Canada).



    The band originates from Montreal and Ottawa, Canada, and since their formation just this past January, has gained quite a following. They guys recenty released their debut EP "Ups and Downs" last month through Good Fight Music, and are now preparing for the big leagues. Epitaph will be releasing Obey The Brave's forthcoming debut full-length album, "Young Blood", August 28!

    1. Lifestyle
    2. Is Starts Today
    3. Self Made
    4. Live and Learn
    5. Garde La Tete Froide
    6. Grim
    7. Get Real
    8. Time For A Change
    9. Unstoppable
    10. Early Graves
    11. Burning Bridges
    Obey The Brave
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Jar Jar Quick View

    $14.99
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    Jar

    Daylight spent the past few years honing their grunge buzzing, and desperate sad sound across four EP's, showcasing and perfecting a talent for writing both jarringly heavy and delicately emotional songs. With high-anticipation, the Pennsylvania four-piece deliver JAR, their debut full-length. Engineer & producer Will Yip's massive production knocks you on your ass from the very first drum hit and snarling guitar riff. The stadium-sound drums, plus pulsing bass and walls of buzzsaw guitars are all mixed with the size and clarity of major label grunge breakthrough records like Nirvana's Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. Daylight have delivered a towering rock record and an early contender for album of the year.


    After a string of EPs throughout the past six years, Daylight's debut LP makes good on all the hype that's surrounded the band of late, with 12 tracks produced by Will Yip (Title Fight, Man Overboard) that push the recording's boundaries past any sense of genre one might apply. In terms of aesthetic (rather than specific tone), it reminds of the grungy, '90s-inspired post-hardcore of Pennsylvania brethren Title Fight's 2012 stunner Floral Green, or Colourmeinkindness by labelmates Basement; similar to those albums, Jar fuses a wide range of influences from Nirvana and Foo Fighters to Cave In and Seaweed into a seamless, spatial organic mush, for a thrillingly unpredictable and compelling listen.4/5 - Altpress.com

    1. Sponge
    2. Life In A Jar
    3. Outside of Me
    4. Sheltered
    5. Crawl
    6. Last October
    7. Youngest Daughter
    8. Knew
    9. No One's Deserving
    10. Hole In The Ground
    11. In On It
    12. Around the Railing
    Superheaven
    $14.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Pitch Perfect Soundtrack Pitch Perfect Soundtrack Quick View

    $19.99
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    Pitch Perfect Soundtrack

    Beca (Anna Kendrick) is that girl who'd rather listen to what's coming out of her headphones than what's coming out of you. Arriving at her new college,
    she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls
    and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together, in the new out-loud comedy Pitch Perfect.


    When Beca takes this acoustic singing group out of their world of traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to
    climb their way to the top of the cutthroat world of college a cappella. This could wind up either the coolest thing they'll ever do or the most insane, and it
    will probably be a little of both.


    Loaded with new takes on old favorites to hits of right now that are seamlessly mixed together, mashed-up and arranged like you've never heard before,
    Pitch Perfect is directed by Jason Moore, who opened our eyes to the very misbehaved life of puppets in the surprise Broadway sensation Avenue Q.

    1. Don't Stop The Music
    2. Let It Whip
    3. Since U Been Gone
    4. Cups
    5. Riff Off
    6. Bellas Regionals
    7. Right Round
    8. Pool Mashup
    9. Party In The U.S.A.
    10. Trebles Finals
    11. Bellas Finals
    12. Toner (Instrumental Suite)
    13. F**k You (The Sockapellas)*
    14. Blame it on the Boogie (The Footnotes)*
    15. The Final Countdown (Hullabahoos)*
    16. Open Season (High Highs)*


    *Bonus Tracks

    Various Artists
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sunset Motel Sunset Motel Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sunset Motel

    Beginning with Millican, 1998's self-released debut, Reckless Kelly emblazoned a reputation as no-nonsense insurgents capable of raising the rafters while still retaining the heart, soul and sentiment that can only come from honesty, soul and conviction. With every album that followed - Under the Table and Above the Sun (2003), Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), Somewhere in Time (2010), the Grammy-nominated Good Luck & True Love (2011) and the Grammy-winning Long Night Moon (2013) - they've affirmed that commitment, not only in their devotion to essential Americana, but by emulating its very definition as well. No individual or any ensemble, and certainly no poser or pretender better exemplify what that broad genre is all about than this band called Reckless Kelly.


    Nowhere is that more evident that on the group's new album Sunset Motel, an effort that effectively sums up their strengths while marking a new milestone as well. It's been 20 years since the group's founding, and while they've had to fight for wider recognition, fans, critics and contemporaries have been quick to sing their praises.

    1. How Can You Love Him (You Don't Even Like Him)
    2. Radio
    3. Buckaroo
    4. Sunset Motel
    5. The Champ
    6. One More One Last Time
    7. Forever Today
    8. Volcano
    9. Give It Up
    10. Who's Gonna Be Your Baby Now
    11. Moment in the Sun
    12. Sad Songs about You
    13. Under Lucky Stars
    Reckless Kelly
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Hits The Hits Quick View

    $32.99
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    The Hits


    First Time 180 Gram Translucent Blue Vinyl & Gatefold Cover!


    Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso & Pressed At R.T.I.


    Features All Of Their Biggest Epic Records Era Hits


    REO Speedwagon have been a favorite rock band of choice in the hearts and minds of classic rock music lovers for many years now. Led by the dynamic vocalist and front man Kevin Cronin, this powerful quintet hit the top of the charts many times with their mega-times platinum albums and hit singles that Epic Records awarded them with their first Greatest Hits collection simply titled THE HITS!


    As time has been good to them, the album firmly places them as one of the industry's most popular acts of all time. Jam packed with smash hit singles and unforgettable album tracks, THE HITS kept REO Speedwagon all over the radio dial and packing in concert arenas ever since.


    Who could ever forget the amazing rockers like Don't Let Him Go, Time For Me To Fly and Keep Pushin', plus the solid power ballads like Take It On The Run, and of course the super sounds of Keep On Loving You and Can't Fight This Feeling. This album was such a smash, some radio stations could even play it in its entirety due to the amazing number of chart topping songs it contained.


    Friday Music once again brings back the definitive classic rock albums with our latest home run by REO Speedwagon. Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso (REO/STYX/ALICE COOPER), this special Anniversary Edition is pressed on 180 gram audiophile translucent blue vinyl by RTI. We are also presenting this limited edition album in a first time gatefold cover, which features photos and original liner notes to this incredibly popular rock album.


    REO Speedwagon...THE HITS... a once in a lifetime album, impeccably mastered for the audiophile rocker in all of us... from your friends at Friday Music. ROCK ON!

    1. I Don't Want To Lose You
    2. Here With Me
    3. Roll With The Changes
    4. Keep On Loving You
    5. That Ain't Love
    6. Take It On The Run
    7. Don't Let Him Go
    8. Can't Fight This Feeling
    9. Keep Pushin'
    10. In My Dreams
    11. Time For Me To Fly
    12. Ridin' The Storm Out (Live)
    REO Speedwagon
    $32.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Amphetamine Ballads Amphetamine Ballads Quick View

    $21.99
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    Amphetamine Ballads


    At a time when most of what passes for alternative rock sounds desiccated,
    Amphetamine Ballads feels raw and potent and alive."
    - The Guardian


    "The Amazing Snakeheads' debut album Amphetamine Ballads is not for prissy pants, it
    growls and grimaces across filthy blues like a pub fight in Nashville."
    - Noisey


    "Amphetamine Ballads showcases a group with good taste, and the ability to cook up
    an adrenalised racket or a melancholy fog. [ ] As long as boring bands exist, this kind of
    piss and vinegar will always be welcome."
    - NME


    Domino Records is proud to present Amphetamine Ballads, the debut album from
    Glasgow's The Amazing Snakeheads. A monument to
    the redemptive powers of rock 'n' roll - full of rage, romance and dark humor -
    Amphetamine Ballads is an uncompromising, astonishingly visceral debut album. On
    the strength of early singles and their live shows, The Amazing Snakeheads have
    established themselves as a force of nature not to be reckoned with and one of the most
    promising rock 'n' roll bands to come out of the UK in ages.


    Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland the Amazing Snakeheads - Dale Barclay, William
    Coombe & Jordan Hutchison - look like they sound: all pomade, shades, denim,
    leather and signet rings. Amphetamine Ballads is the soundtrack to the dark corners
    of nightclubs and those dimly lit alleyways off the main drag. The smell of smoke
    and liquor pervades everything. Recorded at night time at The Green Door Studio in
    Glasgow, this is a subterranean record - an album that can show you round the parts of
    a city that come alive after dark.


    The Amazing Snakeheads never really formed as such - their conception seemingly
    more preordained than planned. Dale and William had been friends since childhood;
    Jordan was Dale's neighbor who became a close friend. While they each played music,
    they never really harboured ambitions to play in bands - the prospect of aiming high
    and missing was almost enough to put the trio off even trying. When the band finally
    got together and started playing shows, their shows quickly gained an infamous
    reputation. On stage, Dale appears possessed by music, rock'n'roll channeled through
    every sinew in his body. Announcing themselves in the summer of 2013 with a one-off
    7", a ferocious 84-second long strut called "Testifying Time," the band's reputation was
    quickly solidified. And now with Amphetamine Ballads set for release this summer, The
    Amazing Snakeheads will deliver on the promise on those live shows and early singles!

    1. I'm A Vampire
    2. Nighttime
    3. Swamp Song
    4. Here It Comes Again
    5. Flatlining
    6. Where Is My Knife?
    7. Every Guy Wants To Be Her Baby
    8. Memories
    9. Heading For Heartbreak
    10. Tiger By The Tail
    Amazing Snakeheads
    $21.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense Quick View

    $19.99
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    Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense

    Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense: Fela explains the role of the teacher in any society with the concept that: all the things we consider as problems, and all the good things we accept from life as good, begin with what we are taught. The individual teaching begins with when we are children - our mother is our teacher. When we come of school age, our teacher is the school-teacher. At the university, the lecturers and professors are our teachers. After university-when we start to work, government becomes the individual's teacher. When then is government's teacher? 'Culture and Tradition' says Fela. This is the order of things everywhere in the world. However, it is the problem side of teacher and student that interests Fela in this song. Because every country in this world except in Africa, it is the respective culture and tradition of that country that guides the government on how to rule their people. Going for specifics, Fela mentions France, Germany, England, Korea, Japan, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Etc., it is the culture of these countries that shapes and guides their respective government's decisions. The culture and traditions of these countries serve as a teacher to their respective governments. Turing his attention to Africa and her problems. Problems which he had sang about: corruption, inflation, mismanagement, authority stealing, electoral fraud, the latest addition which even makes him laugh is -austerity. Fela says if you ask him why 'austerity makes him laugh? The answer is that it is beyond crying. The government steals money from the country, the same government is introducing austerity measures-forcing the poor people to pay for their own greed and calling it 'austerity measures'. How funny if to say the least. Who taught African 'leaders' to rule the way they do today? 'Na the oyinbo' (meaning in Yoruba language: 'it is them white folks') referring to ex-colonial ruler of each country. Take electoral fraud, which is a true test of our democracy. Many African leaders rig elections with impunity and their respective ex-colonial rulers say nothing against this form of 'democracy'. While the same 'white folks' are quick to claim credit for Africa's 'civilization'-which Fela disputes in this song. Is this democracy? , he asks. Turning to other problems like the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor. Particularly, since the rich are the rules, and also the people stealing the country into poverty. Is this democracy? Or dem-all-crazy? In conclusion, as an African personality, Fela says he is not in the same league as those who believe in dem-all-crazy, so he calls on the Western powers who claim to be Africa's teachers not to teach him nonsense-Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense.


    Look and Laugh: By 1981 when Fela wrote and started to perform live the song Look And Laugh, he was living a life that could be described as a recluse. Fela, who loved to go out in public places, clubs, etc. Suddenly, was always found sleeping or playing sax at home with women around him, or performing at the Africa Shrine. His old attitude of keeping abreast of events, giving lectures at universities and institutions of higher learning stopped. He rarely gave press conferences or press releases, like he used to do. Finally he wrote the song to explain what was going-on with him. He sang: ' many of you go dey wonder why your man never write new song! wetin I dey do be say I dey look and laugh.' Meaning: many of you must have been wondering why, your man has not written new songs! what I am doing is just look and laugh! Fela went on to explain his contributions and sacrifices for the cause of black emancipation, the countless beatings and arrests from the Nigerian police and army, his trials and tribulations, his ultimate sacrifice being the burning down of Kalakuta by the Nigeria army. But despite his sacrifices and sufferings like millions of other Africans, it was obvious that things were not getting better for the average man on the street. There is still injustice everywhere, no freedom, no happiness. All these made him feel disillusioned and all he could do about the situation is to Look and Laugh.


    Just Like That: This song is a call to arms from Fela to all Africans to rise up and do something about the political, economic, social and cultural retrogression that has plagued Africa since independence. For more than three decades of independence, there is glaring mismanagement of people's lives, corruption in the highest echelon of government-all these carried out with impunity-'Just Like That' he sings. Using the Nigerian experience as an example of the 'lack of maintenance culture', in Africa's present day neo-colonial administrations, he says: 'White man ruled us for many years, we had electricity constantly, our leaders take over! No electricity in town-Just like that!' Fela explains that the attempt to transplant 'Western style democracy' in an African society is the cause of all the problems. Despite calls for African Unity from leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, who said: '..Until all foreign institutions and culture are removed from the African land, that is when the African genius will be born and African personality will find its fulfillment..'. Instead of heeding Nkrumah's call, Nigeria's political founding fathers, like most African leaders at independence, chose the option of fashioning the constitutions of their respective countries after those of the departing colonial 'masters'-Just Like That. The ambiguity of such decisions can be seen in the poor imitation we make of our attempt at 'Western style democracy'. Persistent political gangsterism, military coups, and sometimes wars, are means used to enforce the already compromised constitutions. As another example of enforcing a fragile constitution, Fela stresses the face that in 1966, Nigeria for a civil war to keep the country ONE. General Gowon, the military head of state, divided Nigeria into twelve administrative regions, subsequent administrations divided the regions into more-Just Like That. He adds that if the idea of the civil war was to keep the country ONE, sub-dividing Nigeria into more regions would separate rather than unite the country. Turning to the position of traditional rulers in the mess called government, Fela sings: ' nothing good for town to give the youths good examples, how our traditional ruler they do, them come make youths look-up to Europe and USA, in those places them don lose them common sense, na the number of Nuclear weapons you get, na him give you power pass! Right now! Fight now! Suffer must stop! Just Like That". Therefore, calling on the people to fight now for a better society.

    1. Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense
    2. Look and Laugh
    3. Just Like That
    Fela Kuti
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (Awaiting Repress) Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $25.99
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    Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (Awaiting Repress)


    Marks The 15th Anniversary Of The Band, Founded And Led By Efrim Menuck Of Godspeed You! Black Emperor


    First New SMZ Full Length Since GYBE's Return To Action In 2011


    Recorded In Quebec By Greg Norman (electrical Audio)


    Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (SMZ) has traced a barbed-wire arc of
    genre-defying protest music since its inception in 1999. Formed by Efrim Menuck, with
    Thierry Amar and Sophie Trudeau, the initial iteration of the band was a predominantly
    instrumental trio that forged a more intimate and ragged chamber-punk than Godspeed
    You! Black Emperor, in which group all three founding SMZ members also played (and
    continue to play). Through seven albums from 2000-2010, SMZ expanded its line-up and
    shifted towards an increasing use of lead and group vocals, with Menuck penning politically charged lyrics to anchor long-form multi-movement compositions that juxtaposed electrified
    guitars against a 4-piece string section of violins,cello and contrabass.


    Most recently, SMZ has pared back to five players, with Menuck's massive spectrum spanning electric guitar sound emerging as the spine around which two violins, bass (now
    more often electric than acoustic) and drums are deployed. SMZ have managed a handful
    of short tours in the past couple of years (in the gaps between GYBE commitments) and
    as anyone who has seen the band in its recent incarnation can attest, their current sound
    is more honed, laser-guided and bone-rattling than ever, melding hardcore, blues, garage
    and dark metal influences that have nothing to do with anything so quaint as "post-rock"
    (a tag the group has always and rightly rejected).


    Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is the first definitive document of
    the band's newfound sound and style as a quintet. It's also their first single LP-length
    work since the band's debut record as a trio almost 15 years ago, and features road tested pummeling rock-outs "Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of MontrÉal)", "Take
    Away These Early Grave Blues" and "What We Loved Was Not Enough" alongside the
    previously unheard lullabyes/minuets "Little Ones Run" and "Rains Thru The Roof At Thee
    Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steeze)" and the album centerpiece "Austerity Blues" with
    its closing lyric "Lord let my son live long enough to see that mountain torn down"
    sung in varying incarnations throughout the second half of this 14-minute epic.


    This lyric in many ways encapsulates Menuck's unflinching take on a world replete with
    shabbiness, greed and injustice, seen through the lens of parenthood, mortality, endurance
    and defiance. There are few other musicians who deliver social critique with the courage
    and honesty of lines like "All our cities gonna burn / All our bridges gonna snap / All our
    pennies gonna rot / Lightning roll across our tracks / All our children gonna die". Feel-good
    music this is not; but neither can it reductively be tagged apocalyptic or world-weary.
    Fuck Off Get Free rages with scorn and with hope, utterly passionate but pointedly
    unromantic. Thee Silver Mt. Zion once again demonstrates, like few other bands working
    today, that there is much to fight for and against, and plenty more fight songs to sing.

    1. Fuck Off Get Free (for The Island Of Montreal)
    2. Austerity Blues
    3. Take Away These Early Grave Blues
    4. Little Ones Run
    5. What We Loved Was Not Enough
    6. Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (for Capital Steez)
    Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
    $25.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Clown (Speakers Corner) The Clown (Speakers Corner) Quick View

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    The Clown (Speakers Corner)

    Who hasn't got an ancient, worn-out copy of The Clown on his shelf, with a tatty cover and torn inner sleeve? Or maybe one of the rare re-releases made of cheap, thin vinyl with dreadful graphic art? And if you haven't heard this gem for a long time, despite the flood of Mingus LPs, CDs and downloads on the market, then you really should seize this opportunity to do so. The Clown was, and still is, an absolute must-have for every jazz collector. The small ensemble, only five musicians, came into the New York Atlantic Records studio in March 1957 to record music exclusively composed by the double bassist. Over the next 15 years, three of them were to be heard in numerous concerts with other ensembles. But the original recordings on this LP were the most deeply concentrated, the most versatile, and quite simply the best of all. The more so because the label attached great importance to optimal studio conditions and allowed the instrumentalists plenty of time to make the recordings.


    In the present new release, The Clown can be enjoyed to the full from the very first note of Haitian Fight Song up until the words William Morris Sends Regrets in the title work.

    Musicians:



    • Charles Mingus (bass)
    • Curtis Porter (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone)
    • Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
    • Wade Legge (piano)
    • Dannie Richmond (Drums)
    • Jean Shepherd (Vocals)



    Recording: February and March 1957 in New York City by Tom Dowd and Larry Hiller in mono

    Production: Nesuhi ErtegÜn




    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    1. Haitian Flight Song
    2. Blue Cee
    3. Reincarnation of a Lovebird
    4. The Clown
    Charles Mingus
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Awakening The Awakening Quick View

    $19.99
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    The Awakening

    Long known for carrying the hard rock torch with a positive message, P.O.D. are looking forward to sharing The
    Awakening with fans around the world. The album travels on a journey based on the good and bad choices of a
    central character, exploring the consequences of his decisions. The Awakening is meant to be listened to in its
    entirety, says P.O.D. singer and lyricist Sonny Sandoval. Every song ultimately explores a character dealing with life, making mistakes, fighting, trying.
    1. Am I Awake
    2. This Goes Out To You
    3. Rise Of NWO
    4. Criminal Conversations
    5. Somebody's Trying To Kill Me
    6. Get Down
    7. Speed Demon
    8. Want It All
    9. Revolución
    10. The Awakening
    P.O.D.
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Melophobia Melophobia Quick View

    $16.99
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    Melophobia

    Cage The Elephant's highly anticipated forthcoming third studio album, entitled 'Melophobia', is released via RCA Records. The album was recorded in Nashville, TN and reunites the band with producer Jay Joyce who produced the group's prior two releases.


    This album has tested us as individuals and as a collective. We're five people fighting for our own ideologies of good music - we clash stylistically and sometimes even personally, said drummer Jared Champion. The studio is the place where we push all of those individual creative emotions together and smash them to the dispersion point until they explode like a Timebomb. With the explosion arrives something beautiful and in the end, when you listen back and goose bumps prick your skin like the first few drops of a summer rainfall on searing concrete, you know that you and your band of brothers have created something substantial. Conquering our melophobia is what drives us.


    The new album is the follow up to 2011's acclaimed sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and has sold over 250,000 copies to date. Rolling Stone, New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly praised the release as one of the best rock albums of the year. The album also spawned the hit single Shake Me Down which spent six weeks at #1 at Alternative radio. Their acclaimed self-titled debut album was released in 2009 and has sold over 550,000 copies to date. The album remained on the Billboard 200 Chart for an astounding 73 consecutive weeks and produced three Top 5 singles at Alternative Radio, including the massive hit Ain't No Rest For The Wicked. In additional to numerous Sold Out headline runs, Cage The Elephant has toured with Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Stone Temple Pilots, Foals, Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, and many more.


    - BWWMusicWorld

    1. Spiderhead
    2. Come A Little Closer
    3. Telescope
    4. It's Just Forever (featuring Alison Mosshart)
    5. Take It Or Leave It
    6. Halo
    7. Black Widow
    8. Hypocrite
    9. Teeth
    10. Cigarette Daydreams
    Cage The Elephant
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Reflection Eternal Reflection Eternal Quick View

    $34.99
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    Reflection Eternal


    Universal Music Enterprises Continues Its "Respect The Classics" Tribute To Many Of Hip-hop's Finest With The Vinyl Reissue Of Rap Icon Talib Kweli's
    Historic Rawkus Records Catalog


    After releasing a handful of essential 12s on various Rawkus Records projects in the late '90s, Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek were on the verge of becoming one of hip-hop's best-kept secrets. Yet their original incarnation as a duo expanded into a triumvirate with the inclusion of Mos Def and transformed their eventual manifestation into Black Star, thwarting their initial bid for acclaim. While Kweli's stardom may have been initially eclipsed by his more charismatic cohort, Mos Def, Reflection Eternal houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation's most poetic MCs. Kweli is a rare MC, as his lyricism resounds with a knowledge that transcends his still tender age. He does not aspire to reprogram the masses with this album, just rehabilitate them, as he laments on The Blast: They ask me what I'm writing for/I'm writing to show you what we fighting for. In an effort to celebrate life, Kweli breaks down hip-hop's obsession with death on Good Mourning and Too Late. But it is his varied lyrical content that is most inspiring, effortlessly transitioning from the poignant circle-of-life epic For Women to the rugged Some Kind of Wonderful and Down for the Count, featuring Rah Digga and Xzibit. While the unassuming, largely minimalist grooves that Hi-Tek supplied on Black Star's debut longed for a dramatic flair, he displays a remarkable maturation on Reflection Eternal. In fact, Tek's loping keyboard wails, soulful staccato claps, and shimmering piano loops are often sublime in their arrangement and outcome. Though Kweli and Hi-Tek's debut harbors over-ambitious tendencies, clocking in at over 70 minutes in length, they are a duo that will undoubtedly stain their memory into hip-hop's collective memory with this noteworthy debut. Welcome to the new generation of Native Tongue speaking.


    - Matt Conaway (All Music Guide)

    1. Experience Dedication
    2. Move Somethin'
    3. Some Kind Of Wonderful
    4. The Blast
    5. This Means You
    6. Too Late
    7. Memories Live
    8. Africa Dream
    9. Down For The Count

    10. Name Of The Game

    11. Ghetto Afterlife
    12. On My Way
    13. Love Language
    14. Love Speakeasy

    15. Soul Rebels
    16. Eternalists
    17. Big Del From Da Natti

    18. Touch You
    19. Good Mourning
    20. Expansion Outro

    Talib Kweli
    $34.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Symmetry In Black Symmetry In Black Quick View

    $22.99
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    Symmetry In Black

    First time available on vinyl - Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Crowbar with the release of Symmetry in Black


    In a genre as prone to flights of fancy as heavy metal, Crowbar have always felt like a grounding presence, anchored to reality with their seemingly impossible heaviness. Keeping up their good works, the New Orleans sludge metal masters return with their tenth album, Symmetry in Black, an exercise in consistency that proves the band is still up to the task after 25 years of brooding sonic devastation. The album finds the band shifting gears from the pummeling assault of 2011's excellent Sever the Wicked Hand to something slower (though with Crowbar that's a fairly relative term).


    Some things haven't changed, however, namely the powerful playing and singing of Kirk Windstein, whose anguished bellows and penchant for lumbering riffs continue to act as Crowbar's bellwether. While this consistency has been key to their longevity, what really makes Crowbar special is their relatability. When other bands are off telling tales of demons and black rituals, Windstein and company take on earthly woes like addiction and fearing our own mortality. Despite their delivery over a brooding, glacially paced riff, lines like Reject the thought of losing what is mine/Ascend above your own demise, from Reflection of Deceit, feel like they're meant to empower listeners rather than bring them down. Symmetry in Black is an album that shows us we don't have to waste our time fighting imaginary enemies, because the real world is plenty full of darkness that, much like Crowbar themselves, is always there.

    1. Walk with Knowledge Wisely
    2. Symmetry in White
    3. The Taste of Dying
    4. Reflection of Deceit
    5. Ageless Decay
    6. Amaranthine
    7. The Foreboding
    8. Shaman of Belief
    9. Teach the Blind to See
    10. A Wealth of Empathy
    11. Symbolic Suicide
    12. The Piety of Self-Loathing
    Crowbar
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Wild World Wild World Quick View

    $35.99
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    Wild World

    At first glance the striking artwork for Bastille's hugely anticipated second album, 'Wild World', may prompt a number of questions. Who are the two individuals balanced precariously above a cityscape? Why are they there? What will happen next? But Dan Smith's own interpretation of the image is one that runs through many of the songs on Wild World, "To me, the image isn't about what's just happened or what happens next," he begins. "It's not about how they got there or how they get down. It's about sharing a moment - two friends existing in that split second in that exact space, two people framed in the vast context of this huge mad metropolis that we've all built. They're there out of choice."


    The London four-piece release their hugely anticipated second album, 'Wild World' in 2016. The album follows the band's global four million selling, multi-platinum debut, Bad Blood.


    The announcement follows a fever pitch build spearheaded by infectious new single 'Good Grief', which received an incredible reaction across media and charted as last week's highest new entry as well as achieving the most week-one streams ever for an alternative single. The surreal video for the track clocked up over half a million views in just 48 hours and the band's recent triumphant Glastonbury set drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend and was hailed by the NME as "A masterclass in how to win Glastonbury."
    Wild World retains the vivid, rich, filmic song-writing of its predecessor but pushes the band's distinctive sound in exciting new directions. Lyrically, too, it's a leap forward, "If our first album was about growing up and the anxieties surrounding it" Dan explains, "Our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you, both as you see it and as it's presented to you through the media. It's also about asking questions of the world and of the people in it. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating - at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark."


    Written by Dan Smith and co-produced with Bastille fifth member Mark Crew, Wild World was recorded in the same tiny, South London windowless basement studio where the band recorded its predecessor. It's a collection of fourteen songs (nineteen on the deluxe edition) that sees Bastille at their boldest and most daring. Anthemic yet thought-provoking tracks include the fiery, string-laden, 'The Currents', a poignant and timely song that was written about, "Specific public figures on both sides of the Atlantic, and how it can be hard to believe they can think certain thoughts, let alone say them out loud or get on a podium and broadcast them." As well as the bombastic 'Send Them Off!' which boasts the attitude of a classic hip hop song set against the lyrical narrative and insecurities that are part of Bastille's own DNA, whilst referencing both The Exorcist and Othello. The track exemplifies Dan's belief in shuffle culture and the end of rigid genre boundaries. There's also the pensive, stripped back Depeche Mode-esque sound bed for the band's beautiful album trailer, 'Two Evils' which was recorded in one take; As well as the irresistible and rousing 'Snakes' and the guitar heavy 'Blame', which Dan describes as, "Our first foray into big guitar riffs, in a fictional standoff between two gangsters."


    But at the heart of it all, there's a sense of escapism that runs through Wild World and a fascination with the human condition and the relationships we all forge, fight over and sometimes forget. "The world can seem a fucked up place," Dan concludes. "But people - well, people can be amazing. The relationships you choose to have in your life are the main solace. They're the things that make life awesome."

    1. Good Grief
    2. The Currents
    3. An Act of Kindness
    4. Warmth
    5. Glory
    6. Power
    7. Two Evils
    8. Send Them Off!
    9. Lethargy
    10. Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)
    11. Blame
    12. Fake It
    13. Snakes
    14. Winter of Our Youth
    Bastille
    $35.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Open Book Open Book Quick View

    $18.99
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    Open Book

    Fred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.

    The seven pieces on Open Book (set for release via Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.

    For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I'm dealing with at times, Hersch says. But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that's a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don't play in public all that much.

    The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist's meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year's Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2007 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.

    Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005. Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet's timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.

    The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation Through the Forest. Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.

    The creation of Through the Forest was as unplanned and spontaneous as the music itself. In Seoul for a pair of solo concerts during a break in a tour of Asia with his esteemed trio, Hersch overslept during an after-breakfast nap and rushed to take the stage at JCC Art Center Concert Hall for his afternoon performance. The titular forest is, in part, a jetlag and coffee-fueled dreamscape through which Hersch wanders, applying his vivid powers of observation to unusual terrain. I was a little groggy, my defenses were down, and rather than fight it I just gave in to it, Hersch recalls. I'd never really done anything of that length in public where I had no agenda and was able to stay in that zone for such an extended period of time. I realized it was something special, something different that might be the core of an album.

    Through the Forest became the leaping-off point for an album intended to be singularly divulgent and reflective. A few months later, Hersch returned to the same hall and recorded the remainder of Open Book alone in the empty venue (with the exception of Benny Golson's classic Whisper Not, taken from a concert during that return engagement).

    The album opens with the stark musings of The Orb, taken from Hersch's autobiographical music-theater piece My Coma Dreams. A love letter to Hersch's longtime partner, AIDS activist Scott Morgan, The Orb is the final dream depicted in the show, and in this solo rendition becomes a nakedly heartfelt outpouring of raw but tender emotion. The mood then takes a turn for the playful and swinging on Whisper Not, a longtime staple of Hersch's repertoire that here becomes a vibrant, virtuoso marathon of thematic exploration.

    The piece also serves as an ideal mirror to the album's other composition from the pen of a jazz icon, Thelonious Monk's Eronel. Hersch has long been recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the Monk songbook, but despite including one of the iconic composer's pieces in every one of his sets for most of his career, Hersch had never tackled this particular tune, co-written by pianist Sadik Hakim. Monk's original stride-inflected lines come in for a dizzying array of variations in Hersch's endlessly imaginative take.

    The music of Brazil has also been a constant in Hersch's career, in particular the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the subject of one of the pianist's earlier solo efforts, 2009's Fred Hersch Plays Jobim. Picture in Black and White is a new addition to that repertoire, majestically transformed from a bossa nova feel to a crystalline hybrid with Chopin's last nocturne. On the other side of Through the Forest in the album's symmetrical structure comes Hersch's own classical-flavored Plainsong, a spare, lyrical piece composed in the bucolic setting of the MacDowell Colony, the inspirational artists' retreat in rural New Hampshire.

    Open Book ends on a meaningful ellipsis, Billy Joel's moving And So It Goes. In title alone it's an apt conclusion, suggesting an embrace of life as lived and hinting at its open-ended continuation. The full lyrics, which Hersch has performed in duo settings with singers including frequent collaborator Kate McGarry, remain unspoken here but obviously deeply felt in every note. I connect with the sentiment of the words, Hersch says, and it felt like a good benediction to the whole album.

    1. The Orb
    2. Whisper Not
    3. Zingaro
    4. Through The Forest
    5. Plainsong
    6. Eronel
    7. And So It Goes
    Fred Hersch
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Absolute Zero Absolute Zero Quick View

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    Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero is the debut album by Irish quintet, Little Green Cars. Absolute Zero's 48 minutes, crafted in unabashed earnestness with the aid of seasoned epic-producer Markus Dravs (Mumford and Sons' Sigh No More and Babel, Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and The Suburbs, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto), acts as a soul-bearing report, as guileless as the young five-piece themselves, on the act of simply growing up; a process that requires, at once, so little and so much effort it could explode you from the inside at any moment.


    "This record constantly jumps between two contrasting perspectives: the beauty of a reckless youth and the fear and confusion caused by our ever-pending adulthood," Appleby explains. "It's a hopeful and naïve look at love and life in general, which gives the album its bright days - but also deals with isolation, unrequited love and madness. We wanted to express both a feeling of strength and vulnerability, so the work had to encompass both the light and dark."


    "These are all feelings we've had, as a group or as individuals. We hope this is something people can relate to. That's always been why music has been written; it's a voice for people who don't have a voice. Hopefully someone can find some sort of comfort or solace in this. "


    The band -a group of 20-year-old friends with a habit of waxing deadly serious about their ever-expanding ambitions - convened in 2008 in a bungalow in Stevie Appleby's parents' backyard for as ordinary a reason as any: as the frontman admits sheepishly, they wanted to win a battle of the bands competition. With guitarist Adam O'Regan and bassist Donagh O'Leary friends since primary school, and the rest having met in secondary, the five rehearsed for the gig, at which they promptly lost out to another local band.


    The defeat, however, was surprisingly fuel enough. It inspired them to work harder, to work through their remaining two years of school, during which they produced a massive catalog of demo recordings, blending acoustic and electronic, classical and punk, djembe drums and synth strings. Then, in 2010, not long before graduation, then-rising manager Daniel Ryan found them at one of their sparse live gigs. With just one client already under his wing, he approached the young band with a terrifying, yet exhilarating ultimatum: Do you want to go to university, or do you want to really be in a band?


    "That was the first time we considered looking that far ahead," says guitarist/vocalist/primary songwriter Faye O'Rourke. "We were trying to avoid thinking about the future because of the prospect of college, but " The choice became obvious. And like that, they dove in. For two years they redoubled their efforts, crafting a wide-eyed musical narrative that mirrored their evolution as an ensemble until, inevitably, label suitors began to knock. Since 2011 they've been quietly boiling down those demos into an album - the first they've ever recorded.


    "The main thing I want to hear out of an artist I admire is the truth," says Appleby. "How they really felt. If I'm going to say something, it may as well be the truth." The lengths to which Appleby, O'Rourke and the rest of the band will go to tell that truth have yet to reveal their depth, but a full-steam-ahead debut record is a good place to start. Finally, five years' worth of backyard Garage Band tracks have a name: Absolute Zero.


    The songs of Absolute Zero have only begun to see the light of day, because, as Appleby puts it, "we've always been more interested in recording and writing and experimenting with everything than in touring. [The past five years] was time spent finding our sound, finding ourselves. We've gone through everything, from acoustic guitars to electronic music. We needed the time to grow up as people and as musicians."


    In other words, this is a debut that is a sum total of its creators' ascent to this moment. It is a desperate, under-pillow diary; a painstakingly lettered love note dropped in a locker; a collective, yet very personal, dissertation. On the record's debut single The John Wayne, a fierce paean to the ones who so easily break our hearts, the lot of them proclaim, "It's easy to fall in love with you/It's easy to be alone/It's easy to hate yourself when all your love is inside someone else." On "My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me," O'Rourke is torn between the heartbreak and the healing that comes from being heartbroken, "But my heart burned out til it was no more/still I wait on the ground, I don't know what for/There is a heart in you/where is the heart in me?/This love's killing me, but I want it to." And by its early-morning close, when Appleby asks, "And who will write and who will fight for this man/I know I am?/And if you're running out of space/Please don't erase your time with me," it becomes clear that it's not just love Little Green Cars are grasping at: even amidst an ex-lover's plea for acknowledgement, the search has grown far beyond that.

    1. Harper Lee
    2. Angel Owl
    3. My Love Took Me Down to The River to Silence Me
    4. The Consequences of Not Sleeping
    5. Big Red Dragon
    6. Red and Blue
    7. The Kitchen Floor
    8. The John Wayne
    9. Please
    10. Them
    11. Goodbye Blue Monday
    Little Green Cars
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Little Death Shaker Little Death Shaker Quick View

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    Little Death Shaker

    Stripped of all noise influences and focusing on straight-up songs, Little Death Shaker is a record evocative of late nights and dusty parking lots, long drives and boozy hookups. This is the work of a dude who's spent his youth and young manhood on tour and it comes through in both the music and the lyrics. Where Castanets' lyrics gave us Ray Carver-ian fragments and it's-what-you-leave-out-that-counts minimalism, here we see Raposa back from the battleground with stories to tell.



    This is the most lyric-heavy Raposa's been and it's also the most playful and humorous, and you get the feeling some of these songs would be the ones that would go down best near 2am at some weird sports bar dive in southeast Alabama/Iowa/Mississippi. (We can just see some big biker dude/fallen NASCAR star/Gary Busey lookalike sitting back-to-bar, Bud in hand, having a good-natured laugh over the punchline from Some of My Friends or the WTF premise of the Dan Reeder penned You'll Never Surf Again.)



    The record begins with fighting spirit. Allegiance comes on with a punch of electric guitar and Raposa singing I woke up feeling/bold as shit. It's his rowdiest and most confident song to date, a real knockabout that'll take you by surprise if you're used to Castanets. Up next the title track verges on Queen (Flash Gordon soundtrack?) and Some of My Friends is a barnburner with the ghosts old Sun Studios players holding court.



    Highlights are many. The dark-as-Skoal interstate roller Whippoorwill, the slowly ramping Some Kind of Fool, which rolls easy and pretty with backup vocals from Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent before building to a shitkicking rock 'n' roll peak where we find Raposa delivering some of his best and most racy lyrics, singing the very un-indie-rock, I could spend this good money wherever I care to/taste all the honies that I choose /lay myself down beside anyone's flower/all alive in the morning with the dew. It's a song about libertine freedom and heartbreak ignored and taking the bull by the horns and being, well, kind of a bastard.



    More highlights: Castanets collaborator Talia Gordon taking main vocals on You're Not Standing Like You Used To (Kate Wolf); the after-afterhours minor chord jam Stateline, Little Death Shaker's most ruckus track of all, a late-night spent trapped in the stripclub/rig cab/country bar/tour van/your own damn head. At 10 minutes it's a tale of drugs and wayward love, a real red-lit kind of aloneness, backed by a legit live crawl, with high and ghostly organ and distorted vocals crackling like a bad CB connection.



    With Meridian, Raposa and Houck bring back the vibe of Some Kind of Fool and take it on a humid trip through the deepest South, gators in the water, snakes in the sand, a stormhead looming over the sun-dappled river. When Raposa sings oh honey here comes the storm you can just FEEL the weather breaking.



    One of this record's real charms is you can close your eyes and see these 13 tracks played live; you can see the drummer leaning over his kit with his brushes (and sunglasses on?), the backup singers standing around the mic, beers in hand, eyes closed, swaying side to side, the lights crisscrossing the stage. Meridian is no different. You can see this band. You can see these people playing together, and in a world of records that bands can't duplicate live, it's crazy-refreshing!



    The album's closer, Allegiance 2, brings backlongtime Castanets collaborator Bridgit Jacobsen (nÉe Decook) for a hushed and barely-there apology. Oh lord be kind to me/after all these devils I have kissed. As a prayer, a shrug, and an exhausted offering, it's a fitting way to end an album so concerned with sin and vice. It's also a fitting end-introduction to this new band. So meet Raymond Byron and the White Freighters and their record Little Death Shaker. Here's to the new!

    1. Allegiance

    2. Little Death Shaker

    3. Some of My Friends

    4. Turnpike/Bedsheet

    5. You'll Never Surf Again

    6. Don't That Lake Just Shine

    7. Whippoorwill

    8. A Little More Credit

    9. Some Kind of Fool

    10. You're Not Standing Like You Used To

    11. Stateline

    12. Meridian, MS

    13. Allegiance 2
    Raymond Byron And The White Freighter
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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