- Lowest Price
- Highest Price
Dynamite StepsGreg Dulli and Co. Return With Their Most Ambitious, Cohesive Record to Date
Extraordinary Singing and Transcendent Arrangements
Whenever youre here, youre alive are the first words sung on Dynamite Steps, the fifth album from Greg Dullis Twilight Singers collective, and the groups first in five years. The Twilight Singers previous release, the acclaimed confessional opus Powder Burns, came out in 2006.
Dynamite Steps is clearly the next chapter, a whole new level of catharsis and progress, evocatively cramming all the highs and lows of the maverick singer/songwriters past half-decade into unexpected sonic trapdoors. Shot on location at various locales significant to Dullis life, you can hear the sense of place emanating up from the grooves of Dynamite Steps. Here, the weary nighttime decadence of New Orleans rubs up against the oppressive sunshine of Los Angeles and the desolation of Joshua Trees desert vistas.
Dynamite Steps explores the thin line between life and death, mortality and immortality, resignation and celebration that mythical moment when your life flashes before your eyes, drawn out here over the course of eleven songs. The albums forty-three minutes prove an unflinching odyssey through the dark side, but one thats ultimately redemptive in its scope and power.1. Last Night in Town
2. Be Invited
4. Get Lucky
5. On the Corner
7. She Was Stolen
8. Blackbird and the Fox
9. Never Seen No Devil
10. The Beginning of the End
11. Dynamite Steps$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Higher TruthMulti-Grammy Award winning, Golden Globe nominated and acclaimed singer songwriter Chris Cornell has just
released a new solo studio album, 'Higher Truth.' Produced by Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam,
Neil Young) the album will now be available on 180-gram vinyl on 2 LPs, housed in a gatefold jacket with foil stamping. The single, 'Higher Truth' has been the most added song at Modern Rock radio 3 weeks in a row!
Chris Cornell possess an easy, quiet confidence throughout this handsome, burnished record, an album that occasionally recalls the breaking twilight of Euphoria Mourning but feels warmer and looser than that 1999 solo debut. O'Brien favors subtle shading over bombast, so even when the tracks are built up with pianos, strings, harmonies, and fuzz guitars, it feels intimate, almost acoustic. This illusion persists because there are a fair share of spare, delicate solo numbers here, interwoven among those bolder but still quiet pop tunes. While Higher Truth never seems as self-consciously confessional as Euphoria Mourning, this mellow simplicity is an attribute: a relaxed Cornell creates a comforting mood piece that's enveloping in its warmth.1. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
2. Dead Wishes
3. Worried Moon
4. Before We Disappear
5. Through The Window
7. Murderer Of Blue Skies
8. Higher Truth
9. Let Your Eyes Wander
10. Only These Words
12. Our Time In The Universe$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Blues FuneralBlues Funeral is the first release from the Mark Lanegan Band since 2004's acclaimed Bubblegum. The album was recorded in Hollywood, CA by Alain Johannes at his 11AD Studio. The music was played by Johannes and Jack Irons with appearances from Greg Dulli and Josh Homme among others. Mark Lanegan has sung with the Screaming Trees, Queens Of the Stone Age, The Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins, Mad Season, Soulsavers and Isobel Campbell. Limited edition grey vinyl.1. The Gravedigger's Song
2. Bleeding Muddy Water
3. Grey Goes Black
4. St Louis Elegy
5. Riot In My House
6. Ode To Sad Disco
7. Phantasmagoria Blues
8. Quiver Syndrome
9. Harborview Hospital
11. Deep Black Vanishing Train
12. Tiny Grain Of Truth$26.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Where some artists write from the head and others from the heart, Whigs' songwriter/frontman Greg Dulli writes from the groin. His lyrics are filled with dark images of romantic obsession. Perhaps no other band can play with such restraint, letting musical tension build until it can do nothing other than explode. Dulli in his finest voice can move from desperate screams to a quiet sinister crooning at the turn of a chord. The band split up in 2001. Greg Dulli continued recording and performing as part of the Gutter Twins (with Mark Lanegan) and The Twilight Singers.
1965 is the name of their sixth and final album originally released in 1998. Its cover photograph shows astronaut Ed White on the first American space walk as part of the Gemini 4 flight which took place in, you guessed it, 1965.
Includes 7 bonus tracks and an 8 page bookletSide A:
1 Somethin' Hot
3. Uptown Again
4. Sweet Son Of A Bitch
6. Citi Soleil
1. John The Baptist
2. The Slide Song
5. The Vampire Lanois (Instrumental)
1. Somethin' Hot (12" Version) *
2. Miss World *
3. Papa Was A Rascal *
1. 66 (Radio Version #1) +
2. The Singer +
3. Somethin' Hot (Live Version) +
4. 66 (Live Version) +$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Temporary People (Awaiting Repress)Temporary People is the second LP by Joseph Arthur And The Lonely Astronauts, a NYC-based collective. Arthur, along with guitarists Kraig Jarret Johnson (The Jayhawks) and Jennifer Turner (Fur Slide, Natalie Merchant), drummer Greg Wieczorek (Twilight Singers) and bassist Sibyl Buck, descended upon the Catskill wilderness to conjure what Arthur testifies as a fully-realized, awesome explosion of rock and roll. The best and truest things are born out of necessity, Arthur explains. I hung onto the recording of this album like a man in the middle of the ocean would to a a piece of wood floating by, you can hear it in the songs and you can hear it in the band pulling together. This album is the sound of survival. The follow up to 2007's Let's Just Be, Temporary People finds the Astronauts steeped in rattling anthems (Faith, Temporary People), unearthly rock revivals (Dead Savior, Look into the Sky) and classic country inspired hymns (Say Goodbye, Turn You On).
Jo is one of those rare writer-performers where you get the sense, whatever your belief, that something greater is being channeled through his music and voice. Like Patti Smith, Grant Lee Phillips, Thom Yorke, he trances and the voice, the meaning, becomes bigger than him, bigger than a few pop chords or words strung together. It touches something very deep and universal. - Michael Stipe, R.E.M.1. Temporary People
3. Say Goodbye
4. Dead Savior
5. Look into the Sky
6. Sunrise Dolls
7. Dream is Longer than the Night
8. Heart's A Solder
9. Turn You On
10. Winter Blades
12. Good Friend$12.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Keep You CloseFor the past two decades, dEUS have been thrilling us with their kaleidoscopic sound and its unexpected turns. US audiences can now join in on the latest adventures as their latest two albums, Following Sea and Keep You Close, are released in the US for the first time on [PIAS] America.
Keep You Close sees lead singer and lyricist Tom Barman determined to return the band to a more personal lyrical style and a warmer musical approach. The album features vocals from Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers frontman Greg Dullion on the track The Dark Sets In. The album was produced by Dave Bottrill (Muse, Tool, Placebo) and Adam Noble (Guillemots, Mumford and Sons, Paul McCartney).1. Keep You Close
2. The Final Blast
3. Dark Sets In
4. Twice We Survive
6. Constant Now
7. The End of Romance
8. Second Nature
9. Easy$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Psychic Temple IIIt may seem hard to imagine a place where indie rock visionaries like Sufjan Stevens and Castanets' Ray Raposa could meld minds with the genius of Brian Wilson, where death metal pioneer Paul Masvidal might wield his legendary six-string chops on a blissed-out soul ballad, where adventurous young jazz players like Kris Tiner and Devin Hoff share credit with Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens and singer/songwriter Aaron Roche.
Long Beach composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist (not to mention truck driver) Chris Schlarb has not only imagined such a place but has now made it manifest for a second time. Released by Asthmatic Kitty, Psychic Temple II is a labor of love, envisioned by Schlarb to bring his most far-ranging inspirations to life - as he puts it, "a dream ensemble that could never actually exist." The ensemble's sophomore release was painstakingly constructed over more than a year with the cooperation of some of the most progressive musical minds from a staggering variety of genres.
"I love interesting juxtapositions, where you bring together people from different communities," Schlarb says. He cites iconoclastic predecessors like Bill Laswell's ever-changing group Material, which once brought together a young Whitney Houston with jazz legend Archie Shepp and future Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers producer Michael Beinhorn to cover a song by Hugh Hopper of English prog-rock pioneers Soft Machine. On 2010's Psychic Temple, Schlarb assembled a 29-member ensemble that included Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, vocalist Julianna Barwick, and pianist Mick Rossi of the Philip Glass Ensemble.
"It seems like a crazy combination of people," Schlarb says, "but they're all just musicians. Why not bring them all together? It may not always work, but it's always worth reaching further."
Psychic Temple II reaches beyond the long-form experiments of its predecessor for a more tightly focused yet conceptually dense collection whose songs are no less exploratory for their briefer durations. "I never see the point in continuing to regurgitate," Schlarb says of the new album's unique direction. "What was natural at that time would now feel contrived. I have to keep moving forward."
Schlarb also includes three cover songs by composers who share his boundary-demolishing mindset: Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," Frank Zappa's "Sofa No. 2," and Brian Wilson's "'Til I Die," a gorgeous, lesser-known Beach Boys song that features vocals by Sufjan Stevens, Castanets' Ray Raposa, and Cryptacize's Nedelle Torrisi.
Psychic Temple had its origins in Create (!), a large improvising ensemble with which Schlarb used to perform. The free-form group would often incorporate multiple drummers, a concept that Schlarb decided to pursue in a more composition-oriented setting. No matter how much Psychic Temple mutates from track to track, the rhythmic possibilities of its two drummers (in this case, Tabor Allen and Andrew Pompey) remain intact.
Schlarb's imaginative leaps are evidenced from the outset of Psychic Temple II, on the intoxicating opening track, "Seventh House." Featuring the sinuous vocals of Sarah Negahdari, who recently served as touring bassist for Silversun Pickups, the song weaves together lyrical and musical references to Neil Young's "Will To Love," to the Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers album Pisces, and to Sheena Easton's notorious Prince-penned pop hit "Sugar Walls."
Then there's "The Starry King Hears Laughter" and "She Is the Golden World," two songs that pay simultaneous homage to poet William Blake and jazz legend Bill Evans; or "Solo in Place," Schlarb's attempt to filter classic soul through his own "weird prism," a missing link between the Isley Brothers and the Alan Parsons Project that features guitar wizard Paul Masvidal of the death metal bands Death and Cynic.
Despite such a mind-blowing array of talent from the farthest reaches of the musical spectrum, Psychic Temple II is a surprisingly cohesive album, a testament to Schlarb's clear controlling vision. "One of the fundamental flaws of modern music is the idea of the record as a pastiche," he says. "With hip-hop and R&R records starting in the '90s, you had ten tracks with ten different producers so every track sounded completely different. There was no aesthetic where you could just put on a record and listen to it beginning to end. I admire people who are control freaks."
Schlarb has wielded control over a number of vastly different projects himself. The New York Observer called his debut solo album, Twilight & Ghost Stories, "40 minutes of avant-garde bliss," while Interoceans, recorded with experimental jazz duo I Heart Lung, was chosen by NPR as one of the top five jazz albums of 2008. He composed the score for Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren's video game Nightsky and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Meet the Composer. In 2001, Schlarb founded the eclectic Sounds Are Active record label, which has released music by the likes of Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Castanets.1. Seventh House
2. The Starry King Hears Laughter
3. Solo In Place
4. Bird In The Garden
5. 'Til I Die
6. She Is The Golden World
7. Steppin' Out
8. All I Want Is Time
9. Sofa No. 2
10. NO TSURAI
11. Hyacinth Thrash Quarter$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Winter TaleA Winter Tale is the highly anticipated debut studio album from British singer/songwriter/guitarist Bobby Long. Currently residing in New York City, the 24-year old Long has been writing finely-crafted songs since taking up the guitar at age 17; from then on he's been creating memorable songs inhabited by hauntingly poetic lyrics. After relocating to London from Wiltshire in the countryside of Southwest England, he became a fixture at London's open-mic nights while attending London Metropolitan University where he studied Music in Film and wrote his thesis on The Social Impact of American Folk Music.
As Long became more entrenched in London's burgeoning open mic circuit, he met actor and fellow musician Robert Pattinson, who would go on to sing Let Me Sign (co-written by Long and friend Marcus Foster) over a crucial dramatic scene in the blockbuster film Twilight. The inclusion of the song in the film's soundtrack gave Long a head start on a legion of fans.
A Winter Tale features Nona Hendryx (LaBelle) on backing vocals, B. J. Cole (Elton John, Sting) on pedal steel, and Icelandic singer Lay Low on several tracks. Produced by Grammy winner Liam Watson (The White Stripes)1. A Winter Tale
2. Who Have You Been Loving?
3. The Bounty of Mary Jane
4. In The Frost
5. Sick Man Blues
6. Penance Fire Blues
7. A Passing Tale
8. Dead and Done
9. Being a Mockingbird
10. Two Years Old
11. A Stranger Song$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Angus SoundtrackClear Vinyl
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Angus Soundtrack, SRCvinyl is bringing it to vinyl for the first time ever! The album has been mastered for vinyl by Kevin Gray at Coherent Studios and is pressed on limited edition 180 gram vinyl.
The film's soundtrack accurately reflects the melodic ideas prevalent in the alternative rock scene at the time. Most of the bands perform songs that closely resonate with the themes of the film while keeping a fast yet upbeat tone, a sharp departure from the age of grunge, which had just reached its twilight. (It should be noted that Angus' penchant for flannel and denim, as well as his defeatist persona, are concepts more closely associated with grunge.) However, several key songs are absent in the CD that was released, most notably ''Fade into You'' by Mazzy Star, the song that was played as Angus and Melissa danced, and ''Rubella'' by the Smoking Popes.
Weezer's initial offering, a song entitled ''Wanda (You're My Only Love)'' (or sometimes just ''Wanda''), was written specifically for the movie but rejected for being ''too much of a strict interpretation of the movie'' and for not sounding enough like what was expected of Weezer at the time. The previously written, more uptempo ''You Gave Your Love to Me Softly'' was used instead, and the rejection of the former song was known to have hurt Weezer's singer and songwriter Rivers Cuomo at the time. Though Weezer never properly recorded ''Wanda'', Cuomo released his 1994 demo of the song (along with the story of the song's submission and rejection) in 2007 on the albumAlone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.
The unique version of ''Am I Wrong'' by Love Spit Love, mixing marching band horns into the original version of the song which interplay well with Richard Butler's raw vocals.
Green Day contributed ''J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)'', a song written by bassist Mike Dirnt about his friend who died in a car accident when he was 19. This song peaked at number one on the Modern Rock Billboard charts of 1995. This song was later released on their 2001 greatest hits album, International Superhits. Meanwhile, Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong co-produced ''Back to You'' by the Riverdales with producer Mass Giorgini, which was featured during the dance sequence at the high prom in the film.
The music supervisors for Angus were Elliot Cahn and Jeff Saltzman, who, at the time, also managed two of the soundtrack's artists: Green Day and The Muffs.
1. Green Day - J.A.R.
2. Ash - Jack Names The Planets
3. Dance Hall Crashers - Enough
4. Ash - Kung Fu
5. Riverdales, The - Back To You
6. Smoking Popes - Mrs. You And Me
7. Weezer - You Gave Your Love To Me Softly
8. Goo Goo Dolls - Ain't That Unusual
9. Muffs, The - Funny Face
10. Tilt - White Homes
11. Pansy Division - Deep Water
12. Love Spit Love - Am I Wrong$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Duskland"He dwells in the same darkness as Cass McCombs, punctuating the cobwebbed stillness with lowing organ and severe, almost pagan imagery. The Crimson moon, the city of refuge: Thesewould be hapless signi ers in
another singer's mouth. Cale's drawl molds them back into tremendous fra gments, oating in a skyline somewhere just beyond the dusk. All of Duskland possesses that same fantastic self-assurance." -Stereogum
Zachary Cale has been releasing records under his own name for just shy of a decade. Duskland,
the title of his latest record, is a work of craftsmanship full of elegant lyricism and mysterious
imagery; a collection of songs that look directly into the face of darkness yet drive beyond it,
forging new paths.
Allegorical in nature, Cale's songs move away from the inward reveries of his last album, Blue Rider,
and divide outward into the voices of others. The album projects images of wide-open spaces and
landscapes constructed from half remembered dreams. There isn't always a clear resolution, characters
remain in a state of twilight, wandering from place to place in search of an undefined illumination. The
lyric: So many lifetimes I lived in one / I've got to bury them now / No surprises this time around /
Not beneath this crown, taken from I Left The Old Cell, aptly captures the human complexities found
throughout the songs.
Taking cues from artists like Oh Mercy/Time Out of Mind era Dylan and Nick Cave's work with the
Bad Seeds, Duskland evokes a restless spirit, one that is informed by American myths and tall tales.
There's a Western flair to many of the album's songs with nods to soundtrack composers such as
Morricone and the dream-laden noir of Badalamenti. Many of the album's highlights maintain a
ceremonial grace. Sundowner opens the album with a lush organ progression played over a
plaintive march. As the tension builds, Cale muses Branded as a fugitive / Dressed in the clothes
of an innocent / Sirens ricochet / From bloodless lips I hear them call my name. From there the
album moves forward like one long processional; Cale leads his band through up-tempo folk rock
and charming country waltzes to minor key dirges and atmospheric instrumentals until ending with a
horn section dragging over a funeral beat in the long form ballad Low Light Serenade.1. Sundowner
2. Blue Moth
3. I Left The Old Cell
6. Dark Wings
7. I Forged The Bullet
8. Changing Horses
9. Low Light Serenade$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MTV Unplugged - Summer SolsticeIn the land of the midnight sun, the clocks tick slightly different than they do elsewhere. This is especially true during the summer solstice, when the sun hardly sets at all, bathing the small Norwegian island of Giske - where a-ha played their first ever two acoustic concerts - in an eerie twilight.
Giske is a tiny island in close proximity to the city of Ålesund on the shore of the North Atlantic Ocean - a popular city much frequented by day trippers arriving on huge cruise ships during Norway's short yet intense summer season. But a-ha's audience didn't get to Giske on such boats. Coming from destinations all over the world, for them getting to Giske meant embarking on a plane to Oslo and from there to Ålesund. And from there you finally have to drive through a series of seemingly endless and frighteningly deep undersea tunnels to reach Giske, an island so beautiful and, well, remote, that one immediately wonders why a-ha handpicked this specific location to play their long awaited first MTV Unplugged shows on the night of the 2017 summer solstice, right where the world seems to end.
Pål Waaktaar-Savoy: "Choosing Giske is like most of the things we do: It's been 50% chance and 50% planned. We were discussing many different places to play these special shows - among them Manaus in the Amazon jungle, Berlin, London and New York. At the end of the day it was the Ocean Sound Recordings studio in Giske that made the difference. We knew that we could rehearse undisturbed in an extremely good sounding facility."
a-ha booked the Ocean Sound Recordings studio, which looks out onto the ocean, to revisit their own back catalogue for two weeks together with producer Lars Horntveth, who had already been working on the acoustic arrangements for more than half a year. The nearby Øygardshallen (Giske Harbour Hall) turned out to be the perfect venue to stage their two first ever acoustic shows: They simply had to lay cables from A to B and then were able to use the studio at Ocean Sound Recordings to capture the shows perfectly. a-ha performed in front of an audience of just 250 people - the Øygardshallen's glass front allowed the audience to gaze out into the pale night and onto a number of LED video steles that had been set up behind the band, serving as a minimalist backdrop to the concert. Suffice to say, the concerts were sold-out within minutes, as a-ha were to play "concerts so close to our audience like never before". As Magne Furuholmen puts it: "These were by far the most intimate concerts we've ever given."
Yet the beauty of the North Atlantic Ocean, the light of the midnight sun and the exclusivity of the concerts are only one half of the story. The other half is that the idea of a-ha playing their vast catalogue of world hits stripped down to their very essence is indeed a promising endeavor.
Pål: "We've talked about this idea for so many years. And in many of our concerts we've also played some acoustic songs. But if you consider that we don't use much technology at all when we write the songs, the idea an entirely acoustic show makes total sense. Playing all these songs now in their acoustic versions is like returning to their origins."
Magne expands the thought in a more universal direction: "Most of our songs draw inspiration from a childhood directly exposed to Norwegian culture, even the folk music tradition, perhaps more so than we thought. We were constantly faced with questions from journalists implying how our 'Norwgian-ness' was a unique part of our sound, even though we lived and worked in London.
As a creative person it is almost easier to tap into this nordic mindest from a distance. History is full of good examples of how iconic Norwegians in the past did their best work away from home; The writer Henrik Ibsen wrote on universal topics with a strong Norwegian tone while living in Italy, Edvard Munch's melancholic force defined expressionism while living in Berlin - yet he simply couldn't be from anywhere but this country. And of course there is Edvard Grieg, who took a lot of inspiration directly from folk music. His music always felt particularly resonant in our ears growing up. With such strong figures and influences defining what it is to be a Norwegian, it becomes part of what you are. Our darker, melancholic streak definitely harks back to these early influences. We feel connected to all that, which is why we thought returning home for this project was a very natural step.
Morten Harket stresses the fact how crucial it was to have arranger/producer Lars Horntveth on board as a catalyst and fearlessly driving force behind the scenes: "He confronted our music by presenting completely new arrangements, also taking out 'untouchable' parts, which easily came across as being disrespectful. I say this as a compliment, by the way... And of course we hated it! But we also needed it! This was exactly what we had asked of him. We needed someone who would boldly question everything that we stood for as a band - someone who could stand up to us. Of course it led to shouting matches. It's part of the creative process. Lars deserves the credit for bringing the band closer together than we have been for a very long time."
For the MTV Unplugged shows, a-ha played 17 songs in completely new arrangements as well as two new songs and two cover versions on vintage acoustic instruments, accompanied by a backing band featuring Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums, Even Ormestad on acoustic bass, Morten Qvenild on piano and various acoustic keyboards, Lars Horntveth on multiple instruments and Madeleine Ossum on violin and vocals, Tove Margrethe Erikstad on cello and Emilie Heldal Lidsheim on viola and backing vocals. Furthermore, a total of four guest stars served as duet partners for Morten Harket. Most notably, Echo & The Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch had been invited by Magne Furuholmen to sing "Scoundrel Days" and Ian's very own "The Killing Moon" on the first of the two shows. On the second night, a-ha were joined by Alison Moyet of Yazoo fame to duet with Morten on "Summer Moved On". Highasakite's Ingrid Helene Håvik guested on "The Sun Always Shines on TV" on both nights, while, last but not least, American singer Lissie did the same on "I've Been Losing You".
"In the cacophonic world of popular music, with its high-impact effects and productions, the music is often somewhat lost as it ends up being premeditated." Morten Harket addresses the subject of subtlety: "The world of pop is a world where everything always has to be more than anything else."
Attending the concerts and the last full day of the rehearsals, you could tell that the whole group and especially Morten did indeed try to reveal the soul of each and every song performed. During the last run-through on the day before the first night the band took things extremely seriously. Songs were started, stopped and deconstructed. Discussions between Morten and the group as well as with the recording engineers dealt with the tiniest details of sound, cohesiveness and attitude. As a result, the two shows benefited profoundly, both in terms of microstructure (the new arrangements reveal so much of the songs' essences), as well as in that the overall dramaturgic arc of the concerts, which steadily built towards a climax that would astound even the most dedicated follower of the group. During the encore, a-ha would play - "as usual" - their first and biggest hit to date, "Take On Me". But an unexpected chord change in the chorus and the skeletal arrangement not only allowed a new perspective on the song's lyrics, it also left the audience with tears in their eyes.
Magne: "When you rearrange songs for an acoustic rendition it is also an opportunity to do more than to just simplify them. I especially like what happened when we took a fresh look at Take on me, which went from being an uptempo syntheziser-driven popsong to a much more melancholic, yearning ballad in this slowed down arrangement, it shows with much more clarity how the song at its core is not some standalone upbeat track, but belongs squarely inside our catalogue alongside more thoughtful, darker songs like scoundrel days etc.
There are only a few bands in the world who can look back on similarly close ties with the music channel MTV as a-ha. Alongside the likes of Duran Duran and Yello, in 1985 a-ha were worldwide pioneers who immediately understood the power of the music video as both a narrative and commercial tool. Steve Barron's classic "Take On Me" clip is still a milestone of music video and in 2003 was voted by the MTV audience as one of the top ten best videos ever made. There have long been efforts by a-ha and MTV to organize an Unplugged concert.
The fact that the two MTV Unplugged concerts in June 2017 actually took place on Giske also left a deep impression on a-ha themselves. Like every other band that has been successful on a worldwide scale for over three decades, a-ha have had their share of problems, split-ups and re-unifications. A thoughtful Magne reflects: "After such a long time, a-ha have now become a band that simply continues from project to project. This turned out to be a very healthy approach for the three of us, because going acoustic also had the taste of a new project."
Pål: "When we recorded our last few albums, we were sometimes working pretty isolated from each other. We should do this again - sitting and recording in the same room together for a couple of weeks or months and see what comes out as a result. We may argue about a lot of things, but we are also a band that has very close ties."
After the closing applause that seemed would never end, the band left the stage and walked out of Øygardshallen into the living daylights. Having performed two triumphant concerts together, the three band mates climbed into three separate vehicles and headed off into the sunlit night. But everybody in the audience had a feeling that a-ha had now just opened a brand new chapter in their unparalleled career. To quote a line from one of the highlights of these unplugged shows: "Cause I've been told / Stay on these roads / We shall meet, I know."
-Max DaxLP 1
1. This Is Our Home (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
2. Lifelines (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
3. I've Been Losing You (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
4. Analogue (All I Want) (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
5. The Sun Always Shines on TV (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
6. A Break in the Clouds (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
7. Foot of the Mountain (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
1. Stay on These Roads (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
2. This Alone Is Love (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
3. Over the Treetops (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
4. Forever Not Yours (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
5. Sox of the Fox (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
6. Scoundrel Days (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
7. The Killing Moon (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
1. Summer Moved on (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
2. Memorial Beach (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
3. Living a Boy's Adventure Tale (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
4. Manhattan Skyline (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
5. The Living Daylights (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017 / LP Edit)
6. Hunting High and Low (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)
7. Ake on Me (Live from MTV Unplugged, Giske / 2017)$45.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Red Letter Year (Out Of Stock)The dozen tunes on Ani DiFranco's new studio album Red Letter Year celebrate existence, profess love and condemn religious fundamentalism with an infectious sense of glee. Joining Ani here are producer Napolitano (Joseph Arthur, The Twilight Singers, Squirrel Nut zippers) and a group of guest artists that includes long-time Ani collaborator Jon Hassell (Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Ry Cooder) on trumpet and the Rebirth Brass Band, which shines on the Dixieland instrumental Red Letter Year (reprise).
Ani's band, which features bassist Todd Sickafoose (who also did the string arrangements), vibraphonist Mike Dillon and drummer Allison Miller, is a major source of Red Letter Year's singular personality. On Emancipated Minor, Miller's driving beat tethers to Ani's killer electric guitar hook, while Sickafoose's strings add an otherworldly element to the proceedings. Dillon's vibes on All This are as rich and open-minded as the little folksinger's defiant lyrics.1. Red Letter Year
2. Alla This
4. Smiling Underneath
5. Way Tight
6. Emancipated Minor
7. Good Luck
8. The Atom
9. Round A Pole
10. Landing Gear
12. Red Letter Year (Reprise)
13. Emancipated Minor (Extended Mix)$15.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Undefeated (Out of Stock)Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he's the son of iconic Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, was born into Nashville's Music Row elite, and counted artists like Shel Silverstein as close family friends and George Jones and Tammy Wynette as next door neighbors. Instead, Bobby blazed a path of unique songwriting craftsmanship with a voice that blows through you like an unyielding wind on the desolate prairie.
Undefeated is BBJ's first release since 2010 and what he calls his "break-up record," but the whole of it is much more involved: this isn't escapism; it's an emotional survival guide. Undefeated is ten songs of reality checks, clever wordplay, and daring arrangements, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a bar stool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows.
Like a bespectacled, curly haired prizefighter whose opponent is on the ropes, Bobby goes at each release as if it might be his last round, focused, and full of energy and purpose. Undefeated is no different. The song list is a war chest of formidable uppercuts (e.g. distorted pop rock gems "North of Alabama By Mornin'" and "Don't Stand At the Stove"), eye-splitting right jabs (open and orchestral "Don't Wanna Know" and "The Elegant Imposter"), and sneaky left hooks (the crescendoing "As Forever Became Never Again").
Undefeated is an album of distinct balance, but with raw and varied textures. "North of Alabama By Mornin'" leads with a murky, palm-muted electric guitar and striding, crunchy organ backbeat; a combination that is undeniably kinetic à la Humble Pie's '70s boogie grooves and sinister and sexy, like a Southern doppelganger to Greg Dulli/The Twilight Singers. Bare Jr.'s ghostly high/low vocal layers echo the bleak picture of a metaphorical road trip, when his confidence slips, "Am I holding the steering wheel or is it holding me?/ The transmission is slipping like a pigeon through a tiger's teeth." By the song's finale, though, jubilant yelps ("Oh! Ho! Ho! We're goin' home!") and the electric guitar's pinch-harmonic wailing, indicate that things are headed in the right direction.
What's most striking about BBJ is his proficiency with a broad sonic palette that fluently conjures uncommon impressions of life's soul-arresting experiences. "The Big Time" is rock 'n' roll reinterpreted through the lens of soulful pedaled bass, celebratory and punchy brass, and the facade of big-city talk ("You're gonna miss me after I hit the big time/ Gonna get brand new famous friends."). In "Blame Everybody (But Yourself)" the band - Young Criminals' Starvation League - taps into a piano-inflected British invasion/Herman's Hermits sort of vibe, blended with the melancholic echo chamber aesthetic of My Morning Jacket.
At other moments, Bobby channels his country DNA (like in the Hayes Carll co-penned "My Baby Took My Baby Away"), mirror-ball gazing '70s R&B/soul ("Undefeated"), and bright ballads from the hills and hollers of Venice Beach ("If She Cared"). From anyone else, this refusal to play it on the straight and narrow would sound cluttered and disjointed, but Bobby never breaks a sweat.1. North of Alabama By Mornin'
2. If She Cared
3. The Big Time
4. Don't Wanna Know
5. The Elegant Imposter
7. My Baby Took My Baby Away
8. Blame Everybody (But Yourself)
9. As Forever Became Never Again
10. Don't Stand At The Stove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock