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American UtopiaDavid Byrne announced his new album American Utopia, the former Talking Heads singer's first solo LP in 14 years.
Byrne said of American Utopia in a statement, These songs don't describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world-the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves-well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking.1. I Dance Like This
2. Gasoline And Dirty Sheets
3. Every Day Is A Miracle
4. Dog's Mind
5. This Is That
6. It's Not Dark Up Here
8. Doing The Right Thing
9. Everybody's Coming To My House
10. Here$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live at the Old WaldorfLimited Edition Of 660 Copies On Gold Vinyl
This limited edition double-LP release once again proves that there were very, very few bands in the late '70s that could match the stylistic sweep, musicianly chops, and quality of repertoire wielded by Todd Rundgren & Utopia. This August 5, 1978 set at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco captures the band at the beginning of an extensive U.S. tour, but it had already been a busy year of touring for Todd, as back in May he had assembled an all-star band for residencies at the Bottom Line in New York City and the Roxy in Los Angeles.
Performances from those shows that (along with a portion of an August 23 Utopia date from this tour) comprised the release of the double live LP Back to the Bars in December 1978, and fans of that album will find much to treasure here on this well-recorded release taken from the evening's stereo master tapes. Here you get a chance to hear Utopia back Todd on songs, like "Black and White" and "The Last Ride" (an epic version!), from which they were absent on Back to the Bars, and Live at the Old Waldorf offers such Utopia favorites as "Trapped," "Abandon City," "Back on the Street," and "Gangrene" from 1977's Oops! Wrong Planet that did not appear on Bars. Even more importantly, the band is on fire this night, displaying the rare mixture of note-perfect arrangements and improvisatory verve that made Todd Rundgren & Utopia such a must-see concert draw during the era.
One last note about this release: because Todd was such a dynamic live performer, there have been a series of authorized live "bootlegs" that have come out on CD in recent years, but very few have come out on LP; we have cherry picked what just may be the best of the bunch and put it on double gold vinyl inside a gatefold package limited to 660 copies. It belongs on your shelf right next to your other Rundgren records from the era don't miss it!LP
1. It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
2. Love Of The Common Man
4. Abandon City
5. The Last Ride
6. The Seven Rays
7. Can We Still Be Friends
8. Back on the Street
9. You Cried Wolf
2. A Dream Goes On Forever
3. Black and White
4. Eastern Intrigue/Initiation
5. Couldn't I Just Tell You
6. Hello, It's Me
7. Just One Victory$34.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
First Time Audiophile Vinyl & Gatefold Cover Presentation Of This 1973 Masterwork!
Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso From The Original Bearsville Records Tapes
As founding member of the late sixties Philly rockers Nazz, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer
Todd Rundgren was barely in his 20's when he began his long solo journey and became one of the music industry's most
prolific and celebrated rock artists.
For his 5th album Todd, the legendary Todd Rundgren delivered a huge double album event complete with 17 stellar
performances making this one of his most revered efforts of his four decade career. As with many of his solo albums, Todd
played mostly all of the instruments, sang, wrote and produced this masterwork. The album also catapulted Todd Rundren's
marquee as a singer/songwriter even further with his smash hit single A Dream Goes On Forever.
Album opener How About A Little Fanfare immediately brings the listener onto a hypnotic prog-rock journey as only
Todd Rundgren can deliver. With solid tracks like I Think You Know, filled with exceptional guitar work, solid lyrical imagery
and his soulful vocals, the artist truly pours it all out on this tune. More smashes abound as A Dream Goes On Forever sets
the other three sides of this masterwork into full swing.
Known to write some very key ballads in his long career, Todd nails one of his finest ever with his brilliant Philly soul
sound on The Last Ride. Soon to be followed with more hard rockers like his guitar driven Everybody's Going To Heaven/
King Kong Reggae and the iconic Heavy Metal Kids, the future electronica of In And Out The Chakras We Go, the soulful pop
of Izzat Love, and the superlative album closer Sons of 1984 all would go on to become Todd Rundgren staples and some
of his most enduring work ever recorded.
This amazing two album set hasn't been on vinyl for several decades that is until now Friday Music is honored to
announce for the first time ever on 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, the classic Todd Rundgren masterwork Todd. As a continuing
installment in our career spanning Todd Rundgren Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Series, this limited edition album will
also be presented for a very short time in a first time gatefold cover which will feature the original LP cover artwork, photo
and lyrics, not seen in decades.
Mastered from the authorized original Bearsville Records tapes by Joe Reagoso (Todd Rundgren, Meat Loaf, The Cars)
at Friday Music Studios, the Todd album will be one of the most anticipated audiophile albums released this fall.
Todd Rundgren Todd A history making rock album from a rock legend, an audiophile dream release first time
180 Gram Vinyl & Gatefold Cover is now an audiophile vinyl dream come true From your friends at Friday Music Stay
tuned for more Todd Rundgren & Utopia original Bearsville Records and Warner Bros. Records audiophile recordings from
Friday Music.LP 1
1. How About A Little Fanfare
2. I Think You Know
3. The Spark Of Life
4. An Elpee's Worth Of Toons
5. A Dream Goes On Forever
6. Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song
7. Drunken Blue Rooster
8. The Last Ride
9. Everybody's Going to Heaven/King Kong Reggae
1. No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator
2. Useless Begging
3. Sidewalk Cafe
4. Izzat Love?
5. Heavy Metal Kids
6. In And Out The Chakras We Go formerly: Shaft Goes To Outer Space)
7. Don't You Ever Learn
8. Sons of 1984$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Buy Now
UtopiaUtopia is the ninth studio album by Icelandic singer, Bjork. It is set for release via One Little Indian Records.1. Arisen My Senses
2. Blissing Me
3. The Gate
5. Body Memory
6. Features Creatures
9. Sue Me
10. Tabula Rasa
14. Future Forever$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Lovely SightBy the late '60s, radio-delivered psychedelia had saturated even the heartland. A Lovely Sight, Pisces' only attempt at an LP, never made wax; but the fuzz guitar phrases and tambourine shuffle of Dear One instantly illustrate the band's woozy realm. Deeper inside, bass scales borrowed from Sgt. Pepper give way to Who moves wrecked by bad fidelity and harsh intrusions of found audio. Jefferson Airplane's swirled, lysergic Haight Street utopia melds with the urban narcosis of the Velvet Underground's East Village. But Pisces hailed from another ghost town altogether: Rockford, Illinois, where rusted, endless plains bear close resemblance to a bummer acid trip or a junkie's rock bottom. In 1969, the industrial Midwest was hurting for the hard stuff, but what it got was plenty of the White Album, enough to have Jim Krein, Paul DiVenti, and Linda Bruner recording through a glass onion all their own. The unsettling balance of their unissued LP combines homespun psychedelic vision and secondhand studio trickery with naive readings of the rock sound of the day, resulting in a diverse, haunted rock headspace few coastal bands ever flew through, let alone over.
1. Dear One
2. Children Kiss Your Mother Goodnight
3. Motley Mary Ann
4. Say Goodbye To John
6. Genesis II
8. The Music Box
9. Like a Hole In the Wall Where the Rat Lives
10. Are You Changing In Your Time
11. In the Dreams of Paula
12. Elephant Eyes
13. Circle of Time
14. A Flower For All Seasons
15. In the Summer the Grape Grows$25.99Vinyl LP + Limited 45 - Sealed Buy Now
Bat Out Of Hell (Colored Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)Ranked 343/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Pressed On Limited Edition 180-Gram Red Colored Vinyl
Mastered Impeccably From The Original Cleveland International Records/Epic Records Tapes By Joe Reagoso At Acoustech / RTI
Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell album will forever be one of rock and roll music's most enduring masterpieces. Sung and performed by Meat Loaf, composed by Jim Steinman and produced by Todd Rundgren, this 1977 forty times plus platinum classic will stand always as one of the most successful albums in recording history
With its rock opera anthems like the ultimate power ballad Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, the theatrical Paradise By The Dashboard Light and of course the stellar heavy metal title track Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf delivered his entire persona powerfully into each and every Jim Steinman masterpiece.
The who's who list of musicians is second to none, with of course Todd Rundren and Utopia, Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Edgar Winter, Ellen Foley, Jim Steinman, and even The New York Philharmonic!
It is with much honor and respect to announce the Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Limited Edition release of the captivating Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf. To celebrate its thirty-third year anniversary, we are releasing it in a super limited run gatefold cover with all of the lyrics and graphics as you remember them.
Mastered impeccably from the ORIGINAL Cleveland International Records/Epic Records tapes by Joe Reagoso at AcousTech/ RTI, this limited edition album will be one of the most anticipated releases of this year. Absolutely one of the finest sounding albums in our lifetime, this will be one of your favorite audiophile treasures for many years. ROCK ON!1. Bat Out Of Hell
2. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go
5. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad
6. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
7. For Crying Out Load$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Howard TateSinger Howard Tate cracked the R&B Top 20 three times in the late 1960s, left music and endured hardship and anonymity for nearly 30 years and beginning in the early 2000s returned to his rightful place as one of America's most revered soul performers.
Tate was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1939 and moved with his family to Philadelphia as a young boy. In his teens, he joined a north Philadelphia gospel group, the Gainors, that also featured to-be star Garnet Mimms. The group recorded in the early 1960s for Mercury Records and Cameo Records before Tate left to become the featured singer of organist Bill Doggett's group.
In the mid-'60s, Mimms urged producer Jerry Ragovoy to check out Tate, and from 1966 to 1969 Tate and Ragovoy recorded about 10 singles, the first for the Utopia label, the rest for Verve. Ain't Nobody Home (1966), Look At Granny Run Run (1966) and Stop (1967), all written or co-written by Ragovoy, each charted R&B Top 20. But to rock audiences, Tate was best known as the original performer of Get It While You Can, which became one of Janis Joplin's signature tunes. Tate's debut album, Get It While You Can, was released in 1966 to tremendous acclaim. Rolling Stone called the album a spectacular showcase of suave, muscular good-powered singing, heavily influenced by Sam Cooke, with a joyous, shrieking falsetto that became Tate's trademark.
Tate recorded a few more singles for Lloyd Price's label, Turntable, before reuniting briefly with Ragovoy for sessions on Atlantic. After one more single on Epic in 1974, Tate all but vanished. Despite his success, he was unhappy with how the music business was treating him, never having seen any royalties.
Tate sold securities in the New Jersey and Philadelphia areas into the 1980s when he succumbed to substance abuse and endured a very tumultuous period of homelessness and personal loss. He turned his life around and began work as a minister and counselor in the early 1990s. Then in 2001, a musician Tate had toured with back in the 1960s saw him in a supermarket and within hours Tate's old producer, Jerry Ragovoy, was calling, resulting in a return to the studio for the Grammy-nominated Rediscovered. He followed up with Howard Tate Live in 2006, A Portrait Of Howard - with guests Lou Reed, Carla Bley and Larry Goldings - in 2007 and Blue Day in 2008.
Music luminaries have recognized and celebrated Tate's trademark voice throughout the years, with Elvis Costello calling him the missing link between Jackie Wilson and Al Green. Among the well-known musicians that have covered songs originally recorded by Tate are Joplin (Get It While You Can), Jimi Hendrix (Stop), Hugh Masekela (Stop), B.B. King (Ain't Nobody Home), Ry Cooder (Look At Granny Run Run) and Grand Funk Railroad (Look At Granny Run Run).
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Look At Granny Run Run
2. Sweet Sixteen
3. Louisiana 1927
4. Ill Be Home
5. Dear Lord
6. Aint Nobody Home$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP D2D -Sealed Direct to Disc (D2D) Buy Now
RuntTODD RUNDGREN'S DEBUT MASTERWORK!!!!
First Time Audiophile Vinyl & Gatefold Cover Presentation
Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso and Kevin Gray from the original Bearsville Records tapes
As founding member of the premiere late sixties power pop rockers Nazz, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter
and producer Todd Rundgren was barely in his 20's when he began his long solo journey with success as one of the music
industry's most prolific and celebrated rock artists.
His first solo album Runt showed a dazzling array of songs, displaying not only his rock and roll side but ventures into
jazz, R&B, eastern and blues. With help from his friends Hunt and Tony Sales, the power trio nailed one of the finest albums
of the classic rock era and also catapulted Todd Rundren's marquee as a singer/songwriter with his smash hit single We
Gotta Get You A Woman.
Ever the rock journeyman, Todd Rundgren had already produced, mixed or played on albums by legendary recording
artists like The Band and Paul Butterfield. Always called on to bring his musical genius for others, his initial hit recordings
that make up the Runt album show how versatile and important the artist is. Check out his burning guitar riffs on album
opener Broke Down And Busted or the gritty country blues feel of Once Burned, plus the New York funk/jazz of I'm In The
Clique, three fan favorites that truly have stood the test of time.
Known to write a hit ballad more than a few times in his career, Todd goes on record early here with one of his finest
tracks ever with his brilliant Believe In Me. Followed closely by his masterpiece We Gotta Get You A Woman, even more pop
sounds continue with his classic medley Baby Let's Swing/The Last Thing You Said/Don't Tie My Hands, and the haunting
Beach Boys/Gregorian Chant feel of There Are No Words.
This amazing album hasn't been on vinyl for several decades that is until now Friday Music is honored to announce
for the first time ever on 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, the classic Todd Rundgren debut masterwork Runt. As a first installment
in our career spanning Todd Rundgren Friday Music180 Gram Audiophile Series, this limited edition album will also be presented for a short time in a first time gatefold cover which will feature the original inner sleeve artwork, not seen in decades.
Mastered from the authorized original Bearsville Records tapes by Joe Reagoso (Todd Rundgren, Cheap Trick, Hall
& Oates) at Friday Music Studios with Kevin Gray, the Runt album will be one of the most anticipated audiophile albums
released this year.
Todd Rundgren Runt A history making rock album from a rock legend, an audiophile dream release first time
180 Gram Vinyl and Gatefold Cover is now an audiophile vinyl dream come true .From your friends at Friday Music
Stay tuned for more Todd Rundgren and Utopia original Bearsville Records and Warner Bros. Records audiophile recordings
from Friday Music.1. Broke Down And Busted
2. Believe In Me
3. We Gotta Get You A Woman
4. Who's That Man?
5. Once Burned
6. Devil's Bite
7. I'm In The Clique
8. There Are No Words
9. Baby Let's Swing/The Last Thing You Said/Don't Tie My Hands
10. Birthday Carol$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
You and the Night Soundtrack
"This score is really for lovers and ghosts." -Anthony Gonzalez
M83 is excited to announce their latest collaboration: the soundtrack to Yann Gonzalez's first feature film, You And The Night. Anthony warns that You And The Night is not a typical M83 release. "People who only like "Midnight City" are going to be disappointed. Mellow and romantic, this soundtrack pays tribute to French soundtracks from the 70s and is much more intimate than Hurry Up, We're Dreaming and the Oblivion Soundtrack. This score is really for lovers and ghosts."
Growing up together in Antibes, France, Anthony and his brother Yann were both inspired from an early age by European filmmakers such as Luis Bunuel, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Similar themes underline each of their individual artistic expressions, via both film and music: an appreciation for the majesty of hope and an overall embrace of humanity. Describing his career up until now, Yann explains "if all of my films are put together they form a kind of ensemble, a sort of community. And that is precisely what You And The Night is about: an emotional community, the utopia of a community." For the Gonzalez brothers community and family allowed them to grow into their roles as filmmakers and musicians, so when the time came to chose someone to create a soundtrack for his first feature film it was obvious that Yann would look to work with his brother. "Music is an organic part of the films I make." "M83's compositions bring together the most diverse kinds of music that can only communicate in the end through the logic of emotion and the faith you place in them."
For Anthony You And The Night is a film about love, loss, new love and melancholia. He comments "The movie is very emotional and it's the movie of my brother, so it was a very important project for me. Yet as we share the same values, have the same artistic influences, it was also a very natural and uncomplicated process."
In creating this sultry and luminous soundtrack Anthony reunited with several of his previous collaborators. Joe Trapanese (Oblivion, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming) returned to assist with the orchestral arrangements, whilst long-term M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby (M83, White Sea) and Susanne Sundfør (Oblivion) performed vocals on several tracks on the album. Evolving from their time working together on Oblivion's title track, it seemed a natural step for Sundfør to become involved in the recording sessions for You And The Night. Susanne comments "It was very inspiring to see how Anthony works and how his perfectionism and high ambitions brought out the best in everyone around him. It's something I'm grateful to have been a part of, and I think the soundtrack ended up sounding beautiful and mystical, just like the movie."
Once again You And The Night highlights the musical richness of M83 and adds an impressive chapter to the growing repertoire of work that Gonzalez has produced since his initial, self-titled release. M83, in 2001, right through to the 2011 Grammy Nominated release Nominated Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, which included the platinum selling hit-single "Midnight City".
Though of course, as Anthony warns, don't expect to hear anything like that on this record!1. L'inconnu
4. a la Lumiere des Diamants
5. Mon Enfant
6. First Light
7. Ali & Matthias
8. a la Lumiere des Diamants II
10. Vision II
11. Nous II
12. Ali & Matthias II
13. Too Sudden Silence
15. Un Nouveau Soleil$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ride The VoidSouthern California traditional metallers Holy Grail present their sophomore album, Ride The Void. The follow-up to 2010's Crisis In Utopia, Ride The Void was recorded with producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed, Children Of Bodom) throughout the year, working around national tours with Dragonforce and Valient Thorr. The cover artwork was created by famous American digital matte artist Dylan Cole, who is well-known for his work on movies like The Lord Of The Rings, Avatar and Daredevil.1. Archeus
2. Bestia Triumphans
3. Dark Passenger
4. Bleeding Stone
5. Ride The Void
6. Too Decayed To Wait
8. Take It To The Grave
9. Sleep Of Virtue
10. Silence The Scream
11. The Great Artifice
12. Wake Me When It's Over
13. Rains Of Sorrow$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Mountain MovesThis is no time for the tortured artist. Right now, we're living in two worlds at once.The first is a death-driven monoculture: cutthroat, cynical, exploitative, literally deranged. This is the dominant, unlistening world, the unmoved mountain. Then there's the other world: the still-breathing, idealistic, and wholly life-affirming underground.
Mountain Moves is a celebration of the under-sung communities that have nourished us with their joy, their energy, their individualism, their pointless beauty.Starring the singing, playing, and songwriting of guests whose musical and political voices we admire, Mountain Moves is partly an ecstatic snapshot of a would-be utopia.
Fragmentation is more than an aesthetic. One moment your head's exploding over the stupidity and sadism of our leaders and systems, the next your favorite singer has just emailed you a vocal track recorded in their hotel room on tour. Mountain Moves explores the extremes of despair and hope that make up so much of our minute-to-minute experience.
We met a lot of crowds this year, at Brazilian music festivals, arena shows, protests.The power and potential of a crowd is like music itself - inspiring, healing, urgent.We made Mountain Moves fast, in hopes of capturing some of that communal energy. Please dance and sing along.
-Deerhoof1. Slow Motion Detonation (ft. Juana Molina)
2. Con Sordino
3. I Will Spite Survive (ft. Jenn Wasner)
4. Come Down Here & Say That (ft. Laetitia Sadler)
5. Gracias a la Vida (Violeta Parra)
6. Begin Countdown
7. Your Dystopic Creation Doesn't Fear You (ft. Awkwafina)
8. Ay That's Me
9. Palace of the Governors
10. Singalong Junk (ft. Xenia Rubinos)
11. Mountain Moves (ft. Matana Roberts)
12. Freedom Highway (The Staple Singers)
13. Sea Moves (ft. Chad Popple & Devin Hoff)
15. Small Axe (Bob Marley)$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Like Water For ChocolateCommon spent the '90s carrying the Native Tongues torch through an era dominated by gangsta rap, earning a sizable underground following. Positive-minded alternative rap came back into vogue by the new millennium, and Common managed to land with major label MCA for 2000's Like Water for Chocolate. The album established him as a leading figure of alternative rap's second generation, not just because of the best promotion he'd ever had, but also because it was his great musical leap forward, building on the strides of One Day It'll All Make Sense. There's production work by the Roots' ?uestlove, neo-soul auteur D'Angelo, the Soulquarians, and DJ Premier. But the vast majority of the album was handled by Slum Village's Jay Dee, and his thick, mellow, soul- and jazz-inflected sonics make Like Water for Chocolate one of the richest-sounding albums of the new underground movement. Common isn't always a master technician on the mic, but it hardly matters when the music serves his deeply spiritual vision and smooth-flowing raps so effectively. The singles The Light and The 6th Sense are quintessential Common, uplifting and thoughtful, and helped bring him a whole new audience. They're well complemented by the slinky, jazzy funk and lush neo-soul ballads that make up the record. Not everything is sweetness and utopia, either; Common sends up his own progressive image on A Film Called (Pimp), which features a hilarious guest appearance by MC Lyte, and spins a gripping first-person tale of revenge on the streets on Payback Is a Grandmother (though the tougher Dooinit feels a bit forced). The album could have been trimmed a bit to keep its momentum going, but on the whole, Like Water for Chocolate is a major statement from an artist whose true importance was just coming into focus.
- Steve Huey (All Music)1. Time Travelin' (A Tribute to Fela)
3. Cold Blooded
5. The Light
6. Funky for You
7. The Questions
8. Time Travelin' Reprise
9. The 6th Sense
10. A Film Called (Pimp)
11. Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World)
13. Payback Is a Grandmother
14. Geto Heaven, Pt. 2
15. A Song for Assata
16. Pops Rap III...All My Children$35.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
SONM-EPI-7717xAirborne Toxic Event
Dope MachinesEvery so often, one song can change everything. For The Airborne Toxic Event, that particular number happened to be an A Capella version of Queen and David Bowie's classic duet "Under Pressure".
"Somebody played it for me, and it blew my mind," declares vocalist and guitarist Mikel Jollett. "I made a decision to change my whole approach to music. I just wanted to be joyful about it. I wasn't going to worry anymore. For the first three records, I thought mostly like writer. My mindset changed. It was about inventing a musical logic that was unabashedly catchy and rhythmic, but way weirder than anything we've done in the past."
That "logic" came to life while Mikel composed "Hell and Back" for the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack in August 2013. Under a tight deadline, he had no choice but to produce the track himself-a first for the Los Angeles outfit. However, he didn't stop there.
The frontman would go on to personally produce The Airborne Toxic Event's fourth full-length album and first for Epic Records Dope Machines with the blessing and support of Steven Chen [guitar, keyboards], Anna Bulbrook [violin, keyboard, backing vocals], Daren Taylor [drums], and Adrian Rodríguez [bass].
"Producing was massively challenging and super fun," admits Mikel. "When we finished the last record, our producer Jacquire King said to me, 'I think you're ready to produce an album now.' I felt like we had reached the apotheosis of being a proper rock band. This was the exact opposite. It was me alone in a room for 12 hours a day working harder than I'd ever worked."
Early in the process, Mikel tapped into a boundless aesthetic, embracing electronic elements as well as pop structures and unbridled rock 'n' roll bombast. At the same time, it defied categorization at every turn. "That's one of the hallmarks of the record," he affirms. "It doesn't sound like anything else."
The first single "Wrong" merges striking synths and an electronic swing with an evocative refrain punctuated by a robust groove. It's borderline danceable, but always chant-able.
"It's just about a guy feeling insecure," explains Mikel. "I wrote it at a time of massive upheaval in my life. We all have that moment. You look over everything and think, 'I am an idiot!' It's not every day, but you wish you could start over. That's the idea."
"California" turns a spotlight on a different side of the Golden State from the perspective of a true native. All the while, it still boasts an unshakable refrain and intricate instrumentation.
"I grew up in California," he goes on. "My parents were hippies, and I was born in the back of a VW bus on the beach. I was around everybody from Beatniks to gang members to kids who just emigrated from Guatemala or Ethiopia. None of this had anything to do with the popular image of what California is-that idea of palm trees and movie stars. As soon as you've got an idea of utopia, it begs a dystopia. It's an idea of apocalypse right around the corner in a place that's considered ideal."
Simultaneously, the title track tempers a distinct guitar bounce with entrancing harmonies, making for a provocative and potent dichotomy.
"You can interact with all of these dope hand devices, but they make you sort of dopey an hour later," he sighs. "You make music with them. They can save you from a heart attack. They're little extensions of the things that make us fundamentally human, which is the desire to interact with one another. The machines are all of these things at the same time."
In the middle of 2014 after moving on from Island Records, Epic Records C.E.O. L.A. Reid reached out and signed them-for the second time.
"L.A. signed us way-back-when at Island," recalls Mikel. "He literally saw us at Bowery Ballroom in New York, came backstage, and offered us a record deal. The moment we were free, he sent us a deal memo. It's a pleasure to be working with him again. He's a big believer, and he brings a lot of energy to this."
They've carried a similar energy through three full-length albums: The Airborne Toxic Event , which spawned the gold-selling single "Sometime Around Midnight", All At Once , and Such Hot Blood . In addition to reaching gold status, iTunes named "Sometime Around Midnight" the "#1 Alternative Song of the Year", and it spent a staggering eight weeks at #1 on Billboard's Heatseakers Chart. HBO utilized it on their high-profile Network Season Promo. The group has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman four times, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno four times, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! three times. Moreover, they've taken the stage at festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza and sold over 50,000 tickets in 2013 alone.
In many ways though, Dope Machines signals something of a rebirth.
"It's like debuting a new phase," concludes Mikel. "It was a new approach. We've got a new label. We threw out everything we were tired of and moved on to a brand new palette. That was the goal. This isn't what The Airborne Toxic Event is supposed to be. This is who we are.1. Wrong
2. One Time Thing
3. Dope Machines
5. Time To Be A Man
6. Hell And Back
7. My Childish Bride
8. The Thing About Dreams
9. Something You Lost
10. Chains$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now