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Sky Blue Sky2-LP Wilco Set also Comes Complete with the CD of the Album!
It's been a while since the last offering from Jeff Tweedy and Co, but three years of slavering from fans is about to be rewarded with this seventh studio album. Well... Sky Blue Sky was well worth the wait! Though Wilco are known as purveyors of alt country rock, Sky Blue Sky is an astounding demonstration of their ability to move between soulful acoustic folk, jazzy blues, country skank and pumping rock. Tweedy has the vocal range of three people, from country lilt to blues ache to folk sweetness - all this often in the space of one song. And what songs they are. 'You Are My Face' is a classic Wilco segue, as a sleepy 'Beatles-esque' ditty is suddenly interrupted with a jazz guitar explosion twinned with Tweedy's achy blues voice before returning seamlessly to piano tinkle and smooth vocals. There are stories of love lost and found, told with originality, humour and sweetness. 'How can I warn you my tongue turns to dust? Lack of disgust doesn't mean that I don't care. It means I'm partially there,' sings Tweedy on the delicately beautiful 'Please Be Patient With Me'. The instrumentation is a mini-rock opera in itself. Glorious riffs, thumping piano and virtuoso guitar solos from Nels Cline are orchestrated with skill, complementing the intricately composed and woven melodies. Simple and soothing, yet rich and rewarding, this is an album you unknowingly yearn for, like a cool hand on a hot forehead. A great album from a band in their prime. Our highest recommedation!
Wilcos first studio album in three years, Sky Blue Sky, has been perhaps the most ardently awaited release of 07. Eager fans had taken to shouting out pleas for information to bandleader Jeff Tweedy during his recent solo acoustic tour, and the web chatter has been virtually deafening. Critic Katie Toms of Londons The Observer addressed fan speculation in an advance review, declaring, with unalloyed delight: Boy, was it worth the wait.... Simple and soothing, yet rich and rewarding, this is an album you unknowingly yearn for, like a cool hand on a hot forehead. A great album from a band in their prime.
Sky Blue Sky is as eloquently straightforward as Wilcos last studio recording, the Grammy-winning A Ghost Is Born, was daringly experimental. Tweedys lyrics deal forthrightly with romantic separation and reconciliation, their bittersweet quality giving way, as the album progresses, to a more uplifting, redemptive mood. Tweedy quite literally banishes the darkness on the penultimate track, the inspiring, gospel-tinged What Lightthe albums first singleand concludes with a deeply affecting, til-death-do-us-part lullaby, On and On and On.
There are hints of early-seventies Southern California folk-rock sweetness in the harmonies throughout the band-produced Sky Blue Sky, a bluesy Allman Brothers feel to the guitar /keyboard interplay, and plenty of brash guitar solos that take songs like You Are My Face and Shake It Off in thrilling, unexpected directions. This is especially good news for the crowds that will fill the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, this June, where the band plays the first U.S. date of its 2007 world tour in support of Sky Blue Sky. Principal songwriter Tweedy cut these tracks in the bands Chicago studio with members John Stirratt (bass, vocals), Glenn Kotche (drums), Mike Jorgensen (keyboards), Nels Cline (guitars) and Pat Sansone (guitars, keyboards, vocals)all of whom are also becoming notable performers in their own right. A Ghost Is Born co-producer Jim ORourke returns as music contributor.1. Either Way
2. You Are My Face
3. Impossible Germany
4. Sky Blue Sky
5. Side With the Seeds
6. Shake It Off
7. Please Be Patient With Me
8. Hate It Here
9. Leave Me (Like You Found Me)
11. What Light
12. On and on and on$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
First Time Available on Vinyl
Low Estate is the 2nd album from 16 Horsepower; the Denver-based Alt-Country rock group revolving around the ingenious songwriting and vocals from David Eugene Edwards, also known for Woven Hand. Armed with banjos, accordions, slide guitars, violins and a heartfelt croon, the band are considered to be at the peak of their powers on Low Estate, with soundscapes are rich in darkness and mystery, accentuating the uniqueness of the group that lived on in Woven Hand.1. Brimstone Rock
2. My Narrow Mind
3. Low Estate
4. For Heaven's Sake
5. Sac Of Religion
6. The Denver Grab
7. Coal Black Horses
8. Pure Clob Road
9. Phyllis Ruth
10. Black Lung
11. Fire Spirit
12. Golden Rope
13. Hang My Teeth On Your Door
14. Ditch Digger
15. The Partisan$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You Are Always On Our Minds (Discontinued)Colored Vinyl
Features legendary Mike Watt (Minutemen, firehose, Stooges) on bass, Thollem McDonas (Nels Cline, Tsigoti, etc ad infinitum) on keyboards/piano, John Dieterich (Deerhoof, Natural Dreamers) on guitar, and Tim Barnes (Silver Jews, Jim O'Rourke) on Drums. Veering between the tightly woven and the completely unhinged, trading deep gulfs of ponderous melancholy with gentle, fractured pop fairytales, this release keeps the listener guessing without ever abandoning their own special brand of earthy hall-of-mirrors music. Cover artwork by Rachel Carns (The Need, King Cobra, Kicking Giant).1. Forces Conspiring
2. Before Our Eyes Arrived
3. We Learned The Unreasoning
4. Thinks This
5. Buoy Buoy
6. They Pretty Right
7. First Shallows
8. Occasional Cracker
9. All Us Conked
10. Forces Perspiring
11. Semina System
12. The Down Moveables
13. Voice Thrower
14. Be The Same
15. Thin Incision Split Decision
16. Slow Choirds
17. We've Got A Long Ways To Go, We're Almost There$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Up To HereImport
Canada's favorite boys the Tragically Hip push the sounds of heartland and down-home country-rock on their second album, Up to Here. This album also marks the band's first stateside release, and basically it's a record of burgeoning talent, suggesting what is yet to come from the Tragically Hip. Frontman Gordon Downie is raw and rugged, twisting American trad rock into gritty rock & roll. There's a lot of heartfelt emotion woven into pure musical swagger on songs like New Orleans Is Sinking and When the Weight Comes Down. Blow at High Dough follows the lead of its foot-stompin', hand-clappin' rock tracks.
-All Music Guide1. Blow At High Dough
2. I'll Believe In You (or I'll Be Leaving You Tonight)
3. New Orleans Is Sinking
4. 38 Years Old
5. She Didn't Know
6. Boots Or Hearts
7. Everytime You Go
8. When The Weight Comes Down
9. Trickle Down
10. Another Midnight
11. Opiated$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dark PlaceSome singers can create a mood far before the first syllables of lyric have been
woven into a full story; a tone, mixed to dissolve perfectly into music, can say it
all. Such is the case with Jessie Baylin, whose ethereal voice shoots the opening
notes of Dark Place, her fourth album, into instant emotive territory - it envelops
in a mysterious gauze, setting the stage for what is her most raw, personal
work yet and also her most thrilling.
Baylin's always been adept at capturing the fragile, complex state of
human relationships with a hand that understands the middle ground - things
aren't always what they seem, and she isn't afraid to play in that treacherous territory.
She often weaves a forlorn lyric with an optimistic vocal lick, or a cheerier
song with a foreboding crunch of guitar, looming like a distant thunderstorm; it
sometimes makes it difficult to tell if a track is innately happy or sad, but that's
the point. Dark Place is the epitome of this dichotomy.
It's the combination of elements on Dark Place that make it such a
rattling look into not only Baylin's mind but the human condition: her voice, in its
other-worldly tone that can be both angelic and deeply plaintive, cuts through
poetic lyrics with throbbing guitars that carve scratches at the beautiful surface,
bounding free of both classification and genre. She's Nico, if she could sing like
Nina Simone; she's Dusty Springfield fronting Mazzy Star. "Dusty," she says,
before adding, "on Quaaludes."1. Creepers (Young Love)
2. To Hell And Back (
3. Black Blood
4. White Noise
5. Kiss Your Face
6. All That I Can Do
7. The Ringer
8. London Time
10. Dark Place
11. Do You Wanna Dance$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
No PopSince their blown-out 2011 debut Hollandaze, Toronto trio Odonis Odonis has continued to push their sound further into the depths of post-apocalyptic experimentation. Following 2016's foreboding Post Plague, No Pop is the band's starker, more dance-floor-friendly fourth LP. Executed with precision, every sonic component of No Pop commands attention. Stripping down instrumentation to a handful of synths and an electronic drum kit, the band worked quickly to write and record, bringing demos and improvised takes into the studio and completing the recording process over the course of three days. The result is a focused blend of hard-hitting industrial, techno, and noise - but each track on No Pop is never just one of those elements.
Pulsing rhythms lay the ground for textural soundscapes masterfully woven together to create a palpable sense of doom that is thick and satisfying. Taking its name from the anti-commercial No Pop movement, which infers that there is no expiration date on music nor is it limited by geographic or regional boundaries, No Pop is raw with emotion that's elevated by deft production. Each hypnotizing meditation captures an uncomfortably honest cynicism with a brush of humor, emphasized by sparse vocals that taunt the current dystopia of technology, human emptiness and the mundane. No Pop is the soundtrack of a sinking ship, and we're all happily aboard to go down with it.1. Night Beat
2. Check My Profile
3. Nasty Boy
9. By The Second
10. Needle$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Run River North
2-LP Gatefold Package With Bonus Track
"Run River North stays the course - and finds success." - NPR
"Snappy rock and chamber folk frames their tales of their parents' dreams and struggles to find purchase in America."
- Wall Street Journal
"the band's ambitious folk pop instrumentals, and embellished with frontman Alex Hwang's dulcet, Ben Gibbard-like tones,
is a sense of possibility" - MTV World
In the course of several months, Run River North went from playing a handful of hometown shows in Los Angeles to
performing to an audience of millions on late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! It was an explosive trajectory for the sextet,
whose uplifting anthems march to the beat of drums, jangling guitars and a rapturous string section. The rapid ascent from
obscurity launched a new chapter for the band (then called Monsters Calling Home), whose upcoming full-length self-titled
debut ventures further into effervescent rock anchored with a down-home aesthetic.
The band recorded their self-titled debut with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill, Band of Horses). The songs ebb
and flow with optimism, traversing emotional and musical landscapes woven into the strings duo of Daniel Chae and
Jennifer Rim, alongside the galloping rhythm section of bassist Joe Chun, keyboardist Sally Kang and drummer John
Chong. Together, their voices coalesce as one, a chorus calling out with a gentle urgency. The music of Run River North
explores the ever-shifting search for self, from the energetic indie-rock interludes to the lonesome guitar strums, always
asking the question: Is home a place or is it the people in your life? "We're not a posh, polished pop sound," says Alex
Hwang, Run River North's singer/songwriter. "We have stories we want to tell and they take a little more time. After all, the
journey to find your place is a long one, it's an ongoing, evolving adventure."1. Monsters Calling Home
3. Lying Beast
4. Run River North
5. Growing Up
6. Fight To Keep
7. In The Water
11. Banner$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Scriabin & Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas (Speakers Corner)
Glenn Gould's highly self-willed art of piano playing has not only contributed to the building of a myth around his artistic personality, but also placed several works from the vast piano repertoire under the magnifying glass (as it were) in musical life. One such work is Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 3 whose psychological, cyclical programme is held together by the theme, which recurs throughout the four movements. Unlike many other recordings, in Gould's hands the piece takes on a pleasantly non-romantic pathos. Gould subdivides the various states of mind through many breathing spaces and softens the tone to pianissimo, thus forcing the listener to hold his breath and concentrate wholly upon the finely woven counterpoint.
In contrast, Prokofiev's Piano Sonata in B flat major is overwhelmingly raging with its hammering staccatos, yet not omitting to add a bold, and at times derisive character. The slow second movement is at times bell-like, and filled with a great radiance and a fine sparkle. It is followed by a final movement, which lasts several minutes and has a steely, aggressive nature. As incomparable as the works are in their structure, they both explore the mental extremes of human emotions.
Recording: July 1967 / January, February and June 1968 at Columbia 30th Street Studio by Fred Plaut
Production: Andrew Kazdin
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.Alexander Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor, Op. 23
Serge Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83 - Glenn Gould$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Santa Rosa FangsSanta Rosa Fangs is a stirring, stunning, and cinematic look and listen into the sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional journey of the venerable California musician Matt Costa through the tangled groves and grapevines of his home state.
Throughout the album's twelve songs, Costa illuminates what he has learned and how he has grown in the past 15 years of his career. His music has taken him around the world, allowing him to work with diverse, respected artists and to connect with people everywhere-from his albums released on Brushfire Records to recording with Belle and Sebastian in Glasgow, to penning film scores and releasing a variety of genre-bending EP's, and to finally coming home to Los Angeles's Dangerbird Records for his first new proper full-length release in nearly five years. A rebirth in a sense, through his keen pop sensibility, studious songwriting, technical mastery, and a modern-meets-vintage sound bursting with bite, Costa has recorded the album of his career, one sure to reach new shores and sailors alike.
"In the past 15 years of my career, I feel I've continually been breaking through, speaking out, and reaching different people," Costa says. "If one of my songs connects now to someone who didn't connect before, then we have a dialogue together. That's the point of music, to have that dialogue and tell a story, and to entertain with a sound that has depth."
He began the recording of Santa Rosa Fangs over a year and a half ago, though some songs here predate that mark. Over the past few years, Costa had challenged himself to explore new terrain, from the acoustic-fingerpicking/lo-fi garage/experimental sounds of 2015's EP's to the acid-washed and reverb-laden soundtrack to the film Orange Sunshine to another complete album that never saw the light of day. Realizing he sought a collection of dyed-in-the-wool songs rather than sonic experiments, in July of 2017 he and producers Peter Matthew Bauer (The Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks) entered a studio to begin work.
"There's a difference when I sit down to write sonic textures and when I sit with a guitar or piano and write a song," he says. "These new songs went back to a traditional sense, and when stripped back to their purest form, they still work. They tell a story, the melodies aren't leaning on anything, and they make instrumentation around them come to life in a new way, but their core is strong. My goal for the EP's was to develop conceptual ideas, making each one in a short period and with their own concepts; Orange Sunshine was a bigger exercise in that. Now, this record is all of those things I was exercising come into their own. It's more of a visualized record that takes you into the world of the Santa Rosa fangs."
The tale of Santa Rosa Fangs centers around a young woman named Sharon, her two brothers Ritchie and Tony, and their story of love, loss, and coming of age in a timeless yet contemporary California. It is replete with long distance love affairs and nostalgic romances woven through the loom of tragedy and time. Interestingly, rather than setting out to create a specific narrative, Costa began noticing a theme in the new songs as he wrote them: an unconscious embodiment of the surroundings in which he himself had grown up. According to Costa, the titular teeth refer to that inescapable feeling of a romantic, tragic, and eternal bite that certain places and events will always hold on us.
"I've interwoven my own stories into a fictional idea of what 'Santa Rosa Fangs' is, from my own time spent living in Northern and Southern California and years driving up and down the coast, seeing the landscape and where life can pull you within one state," Costa says. "It is all these things-the 'bite that is eternal, the smile in the neon'-and it has fangs. They stick with you: the romantic, the tragic, all that. It's the characters' story and my story, too, contemporary but still tortured by the past. It's a window into a time period but spoken as if it's the present. The beauty of love and loss doesn't have a date on it; it's timeless."
The album follows the siblings as they search for love and meaning in their lives, which are ultimately cut short by the passing of both brothers in unrelated accidents. Sharon, left battling with her own mortality and forced to see through a shattered lens, becomes the story's grieving, guarded hero and, as Costa says, is "a little bit me, and a little bit everyone." Similarly, the origin of the characters has one foot in reality and one in the ether. The song "Ritchie" is based on a true family saga, as two of Costa's cousins were twin brothers who died within a year of each other in motorcycle and car accidents in the early 1980s. Likewise, "Phosphorescent Letter" is the story of a local friend's daughter who endured a long-distance, online relationship with a boyfriend in Australia; in that dramatic situation Costa saw a through-line for Sharon's tale. "Because she is so tortured by loss she's afraid of love, so she sets herself up for a distant relationship, illuminated on her phone," he says. "It's a real-love thing that happens frequently these days."
Other concrete inspirations found their way into Santa Rosa Fangs as well. Costa imagined his creations in a setting similar to that of a Jim Jarmusch film, with dramatic events unfolding around them as they attempt to go about their daily lives as earnestly as possible. He also cites Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska as an influence for its songs and characters as well as its moments of sparseness. Like that iconic record, the cover of Santa Rosa Fangs is a stark black-and-white photograph tinged with deep red text, featuring three youths running along a freeway overpass. It's not clear whether the trio-Costa's real-life Orange County neighbors-are sprinting for joy or to escape some unknown entity; Costa hints that to him they are running away from the grabbing hands of time. "The song 'Time Tricks' is about that, too: it's inevitable and coming for you."
Costa also found inspiration in working with Bauer and Stumpf, whom he had previously admired from a distance and whose music resumes he respects greatly. "I really connected with Pete and Nick and took their lead on several ideas," he says. "That's why you partner with someone-you want their input. I shaped things a little differently by listening through their ears than I would have otherwise." Costa cites "Real Love," an upbeat, heavy tune written in 5/4 time, as such a moment of collaboration. Originally intended as an acoustic song, he was encouraged by his producers to approach it from a fresh direction. "I had done that sort of thing before, a Nick Drake, fingerpicking type thing," he says. "Pete and Nick inspired me to take it to a new place. To write a driving rock song in 5/4 is a real challenge, but I had the basis in my pattern and we all drove it home with a really strong beat. On my own I might have stuck with a simpler take, but it felt good to tackle some new ground."
In another circumstance, Costa again came up with two variations of the same song, but rather than being forced to choose between the two, he simply used both. As a result, "I Remember It Well" bookends the album, first as a rollicking, piano-driven number that sets the record's tone and pace, and second as a sparser, quiet version to end it. The latter was the initial version and was also the first song written for the album some four years ago. "That song is both the entrance and exit to this world, and also shows the process of how you can take a song, do it two ways, and both can be impactful and give you different feelings."
No matter how his process or approach may change-in the present moment or in any era of coming-of-age throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career-Costa recognizes that one unique thing in his work will always stay the same: his perspective. "Essentially, what it comes down to is this: I sit down with a guitar, and these are songs," he says. "I've worked hard to understand how to produce them in certain ways. You can try to dress up a song and put a different sound to it, but if the song isn't that kind of song then it's not going to work. I've had to exercise both of those qualities equally-to know how to develop these sounds sonically, and then when I know sonically where I want it to go, I have to write to that. I guess that knowledge comes with 15 years of songwriting experience. I couldn't have made this record any other time than now."
For Matt Costa, the world of Santa Rosa Fangs is the past, present, and future of his life all rolled up into one long stretch of sunlit California coastline.1. I Remember It Well
4. Pacific Grove
5. Santa Rosa Fangs
6. Time Tricks
7. Coming Around
9. Phosphorescent Letter
10. Windy Smile
11. Real Love
12. I Remember It Well #2$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now