THANK YOU FOR A FANTASTIC RECORD STORE DAY 2015:
As the dust settles round these parts, we just want to say a warm and hearty THANK YOU to our hundreds and hundreds of customers and friends that came through the store on Record Store Day this past Saturday. It was the most fun yet, and maybe the smoothest. It was great to see so many of you throughout the day and share in such a wall-to-wall musical bonanza. We hope you all found something great you were looking for, whether you camped out all night, or strolled in on a whim.
A big thanks to all the DJs for keeping the day full of some very diverse music; thanks to our foodie/drinky friends at The Great Dane, Crescendo, Barriques and Pizza Brutta, for keeping everyone full of delicious treats; thanks to everyone who volunteered in any way; and thanks to YOU for celebrating one of the greatest institutions we have in our communities, the independent record store! Here's to another great year and (eventually, no rush) another splendid Record Store Day.
NEW OR NOTEWORTHY THIS WEEK:
The slowed R&B producer Shlohmo makes quite a left turn on his third full length, moving from the loose, jazzy feel of his last release to a narcotized, hazy, trappish sound well reflective of the darkening musical zeitgeist in the wider electronic scene. Tinny, paranoiac synth melodies and weeping guitar lines tussle with skittering beats, nearly nauseating in their sibilance on some tracks (I envision someone having a panic attack in the fitting room if this came on at Hollister), before finding redemption in imperceptibly slowly swelling chords. Like the photocopied rose that adorns its cover, this album feels like a thing of beauty reduced to something more inscrutable, fouled up, crushed. It's a conceit that may not make for album of the year, but its certainly the coolest stuff I've heard from the guy.
- Evan / Strictly Discs
CD $13.99 / LP $24.99
One of the more startling releases of the year comes from the Indonesian duo Senyawa, a pair of improvisers with scant recorded output but a reputation for burning up the international festival scene with their superhuman live show. On paper, the combination of a vocalist (Rully Shabara) and a player of a single instrument (Wukir Suryadi, on his homemade bamboo zither called a bambuwukir) does not sound like a pairing powerful enough to wake the dead, but there are pieces on this album that summon the strength of ten men. Senyawa draw on the traditional Javanese shadow play sound, a ritualistic music of undulating rhythms and murmurations, and graft on the raw physical characteristics of metal, punk, even techno. Shabara's voice is capable of many things: hypnotic chanting, ululating like the greatest Tuvan throat singers, or a doomy, gasping rasp. With one stringed instrument, Suryadi marshals an incredible range of frequencies, from chest-knocking bass, to delicately entrancing plucks, to frenzied noise. I have no idea what is going on here really, and I don't think anyone truly will for another good long while. Check this out while you can.
- Evan / Strictly Discs
Graceful and lush, Brunswick is just the second album from the UK group Bambi Davidson, following a long creative re-incubation and the addition of two new members. The amniotic, bubbling atmospherics on this album indicate a band with years of extra-sensory communication under their belt, recalling the laconic hypnosis of Neu! at their headiest. Far from just retreading "kraut" tropes, however, BD keep one foot in the chilly waters of coldwave, while the other points toward the beachy, Balearic post-rock on which the Claremont 56 label has long put their signature mark. There is a lulling listenability present on certain totemic "motorik" pieces (Kraftwerk's Autobahn, Cluster's Zuckerzeit, and "Mother Sky" from Can, for example), and this album modestly, yet confidently puts this oddly named band in that company. Recommended if you like any of the aforementioned groups, or if you dig the more far out moments from Tame Impala.
- Evan/Strictly Discs
An awe-inspiring stillness reigns over this LP of guitar sketches from contemporary ambient performer Jonny Nash, best known for his work in the balearic chiller duo Land of Light, and his recent release with Young Marco and Gigi Masin as Gaussian Curve. Nash has a remarkable command over the emotional resonance of the guitar, setting himself forth as an heir to 6-string expressionists like Manuel Gottsching, Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column, and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins. The tracks here have very little adornment beyond some subtle guitar effects, a ticking rhythm box, and the occasional hushed vocal, and yet each one slowly ambulates into a transcendental space. Solitude without loneliness, placidity without stasis, like a slowly rippling body of water. This LP should come packaged with a free gust of cool breeze, but luckily we have an abundance of that already.
- Evan / Strictly Discs
Dunedin, New Zealand. Where every other citizen is in a smart, jangly pop band. And the rest are in synth-wave duos. What makes Death and the Maiden's self-titled debut such a compelling listen is that they haven't exactly decided which one to be. The album links martial synth programming with gloriously trembling guitar and Lucinda King's reverbed, angelic vocals for a sound that reminds equally of Dead Can Dance, Chris and Cosey, the Chills, and Galaxie 500. The band is at its best when it locks into a hypnotic minimalism, channeling the austerity of minimal wave, spartan indie-pop, and doleful Velvets worship into one slackjawed beast of a sound. Chalk another one up for the land down under.
- Evan / Strictly Discs
CD $16.99 / LP $21.99
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SOME OF OUR SELECTED & NOTABLE RELEASES FOR APRIL 21:
Tallest Man On Earth Indie-Only LP pre-order:
Indie-only LP version available for pre-order - pressed on white vinyl (limited to 6,000 copies) - streets May 12. Pre-order by stopping in the shop, calling (608.259.1991) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surfer Blood Indie-Only LP pre-order:
Indie-only LP version available for pre-order - pressed on blue and white swirl vinyl (limited to 1,500 copies - streets May 12. Pre-order by stopping in the shop, calling (608.259.1991) or emailing email@example.com.
Blanck Mass Indie-Only LP pre-order:
Indie-only LP version available for pre-order - double LP pressed on clear vinyl (limited to 2,500 copies) - streets May 12. Pre-order by stopping in the shop, calling (608.259.1991) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT MUSIC TRIVIA MONDAY MAY 11TH AT THE HIGH NOON SALOON:
Our next MUSIC TRIVIA at the High Noon Saloon will be MONDAY, MAY 11th. Registration starts at 5:30 with the first question at 6PM. Two for one happy hour at the High Noon Saloon...JOIN US!
UPCOMING NEW RELEASES & REISSUES OF NOTE - PREORDER NOW:
Blur - Magic Whip CD/LP
Braids - Deep In The Iris CD/LP
1939 Ensemble - Black Diamond Pearl CD/LP
The Hotelier - It Never Goes Out CD/LP
Charlie Parr - Stumpjumper CD/LP
Robert Pollard - Faulty Superheroes CD/LP
Horace Silver Quintet - S/T and Cape Verdean Blues LP reissues
J.B. Smith - No More Good Time in the World for Me CD w/Book (Dust-to Digital)
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - Never Were The Way She Was CD/LP
Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor, Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. 1 LP reissue
Cecil Taylor - Conquistador! LP reissue
McCoy Tyner - Time For Tyner LP reissue
Sonny Vincent & Rocket From The Crypt - Vintage Piss CD/LP
Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol. 3 CD/LP
Raekwon - Fly International Luxurious Art
Michael Angelo - S/T LP reissue
Robbie Basho - Twilight Peaks CD/LP reissue
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Musique de film imagine CD/LP
Alex Cobb - Chantepleure LP
Paul de Jong (of The Books) - IF CD/LP
Lawrence English - Peregrine CD/LP
Bill Fay - Who Is The Sender? CD/LP
Koss (Kuniyuki Takahashi) - Silence CD/LP
Soichi Terada Presents Music From the Far East CD/LP
Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail, Abacab, And Then There Were Three, Duke, Wind & Wuthering LP reissues
OUR WEBSITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION:
We are working on some updates, if you encounter issues or need assistance, please email email@example.com or phone the shop at 608.259.1991.
This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.
Almost exactly 3 years ago to the day, the band dropped their first album and astounded the musical world Their unique sound owed more than a bit to 60s soul. This new one owes more than a bit to 70s soul and funk. The songs are more obtuse and dense and to a certain extent more proggy This album may require a bit more attention than the first, but you are more than adequately rewarded for your slight trouble. The singer , Brittany Howard, changes her vocal inflection and timbre to suit each song and mood. The vocal chops displayed on this album are quite remarkable. Obviously a lot of thought went into the planning and production of this album. I can imagine that in a few years people will be talking about what an absolute masterpiece that "Sound & Color" is. Yep, it is that good.
- Ted Talks
This is a concept album about professional wrestlers that John Darnielle, the band's main singer and songwriter for over 20 years, idolized in his youth growing up on the West Coast. It seems that he was deeply touched and affected by the champions of the squared circle and remembered the wrestlers for decades longer than most fans did. The songs treat his heroes as friends and acquaintances and imagines their daily lives of traveling the wrestling circuit and even what he imagined their life was after they left the ring. The songs are presented in a reverential tone, but there a few songs that convey the joy Darnielle must have felt while he sat transfixed watching wrestling on the upper reaches of the UHF dial on a lonely Saturday night. And while the names of the grapplers may not mean much to those that grew up in Wisconsin watching the AWA wrestling organization out of Minnesota, the sentiments are still the same. A no-brainer for Goats fans, and also for those that grew up cheering on their pro-wrestling favorites. Even if they don't like to admit it now.
- Ted Talks
It is hard to imagine that the band will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next year. The band, however, have had several long hiatuses during the intervening 39 years. Releasing 13 albums during those years may not seem like much, but each Wire album is seen as a precious jewel that needs to get the fans through the unknown number of years before the next release The last few albums have seemed to inhabit their more "punkier" sounds of the late 70s. This new one seems to take the influences from their "154: masterpiece and their more electronic works of the late 80s. The sound seems more epic in nature, and song lengths are increased to fit the ambitious material. You may even use the word majestic to describe some of the tracks. Rest assured that the band still knows their way around a pop song. Chalk up another win for the boys in Wire. May they keep releasing albums for as long as they are able.
- Ted Talks
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Ethan, Evan, Luke, Jimi, Zack & Justin