Save the date - April 21st, 2018 is Record Store Day (RSD) 2018!
Hey there, hi there, Strictly Discs regulars. It's Thursday night, or its Friday morning, which means we are here with the full rundown of what's what around the shop. We've got a slew of fresh arrivals and a hot new Used Vinyl Alert, so read on.We've got two fresj releases from Merge Records this week, both in stock on the label's new indies-only colored vinyl pressings. Superchunk brings us their first new album in 4 years, while upstarts Ought make their debut on the label, contorting their anguished post-punk into a new shape of dark pop to come.
In the "Things You Probably Haven't Heard Before" category we have two very wonderful reissues. The RVNG label takes a bit of a detour from it's spelunking in the forgotten caverns of new age and synth to bring us a collection of songs by late-80s songwriter Mark Renner, who amassed quite a body of work to little acclaim in the late 80s. These songs vary a good deal across the span of this set, but Renner sits squarely between the ethereal lonerism of Arthur Russell and the stoic melodies of Echo and the Bunnymen. Temporary Residence unearths two long, rare CD-only performances from Songs: Ohia, the project of the much-missed songwriter Jason Molina. I'm a pretty big Molina fan, and I'd never heard either of these songs before, and they've quickly become favorites. Both of them are staggeringly beautiful and emotionally wrenching, like the best moments of S:O's vast catalog.Lots more freshness from the indie world. Loma make their debut on Sub Pop with a gorgeous album of Talk Talky, Cocteausish drift-pop. Car Seat Headrest return triumphantly with a redone version of an early cassette release from way back in 2011. We've also got a super limited 7 inch single from everyone's favorite Courtney, Courtney Barnett, in anticipation of a new album coming from her in May. "That's too far away!" you cry? Let this single tide you over. We've also got new releases from US Girls, Shannon and the Clams, Born Ruffians, Everything Is Recorded, American Nightmare, Windhand and Satan's Satyrs, Bell Witch, and Miracle, a new synthpop project from AE Paterra of Zombi fame. We've also got the 3rd and last installment of the new Belle and Sebastian EPs, as well as a CD compiling all three of the records.The ladies do most of the heavy lifting this week, as we have a new album from Laurie Anderson (with the Kronos Quartet, no big deal) on the heels of her perfornance in Madison last week, and a lovely new record from finger-picker Sarah Louise.Brandi Carlile sounds more full of life and love than ever on her splendid new album 'By The Way, I Forgive You'. Aw, thanks Brandi. I'm With Her is a new trio formed of three formidable folkies, Aoife O'Donovan, Sarah Jarosz and Sara Watkins, and we have their debut album as a unit.Kendrick Lamar brings us a limited vinyl version of the actual 2017 Album of the Year, 'Damn.', and this is the version with silver artwork and the tracklist reversed. Our copies are numbered (by Lamar himself, I like to imagine, but it's probably by someone who knows him). We've also got a killer new album from Roy Woods, a Canadian soul musician in Drake's OVO camp. We've also got a vinyl reissue from 2Pac, and a new CD from Nipsey Hussle.Big Mark Kozelek drops two doozies on us this week. We have the vinyl version of his collab album with Parquet Courts' Sean Yeaton, and a lovely vinyl reissue of what is arguably the peak of his entire body of work: Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'.Two whoppers from the fringes of the leftfield hit the floor this week. We've got a reissue of an obscure early 90s ambient/dub/trance record by Ingleton Falls called 'Champagne in Mozambique' in on vinyl, previously only available as a cassette, packaged inside of a book, in an edition of 100 copies. This one's an indescribably beauty! You can tell they were big fans of the ambient side of the KLF, as this record drifts from nodded-out trance, to cloudy dub, to tapeloop snippets with a lazy ease. Check out a sample of 'High' and tell me you don't want to be wherever that is! Getting back to the now, we have a fresh release from the duo of German freaks Wolf Muller and Niklas Wandt called, rather ambitiously, 'Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World'. This is a massive record full of chilled grooves that flirt with tribal, jazz, and electro. Snag one or pine for it forever!Good week for boogie! And it comes from some unlikely locales. Silver Linings drop a massive new one, out of Australia, and the Star Creature label brings an LP reissue of a 2009 CD by German funksters First Touch.On the jazz front, we have an LP soundtrack from the documentary 'Chasing Trane', plus new discs from David Murray, Barney Kessel, Jaap Blonk and Terrie Ex, Andy Sheppard, the Shinya Fukumori Trio, and an LP reissue of a killer early LP by Albert Mangelsdorff.At last, we have Miley Cyrus' latest album, 'Younger Now', in stock on vinyl.New folk discs are in from Doc Watson, Anne Briggs, and June Tabor. We also have a lovely new album from North African guitar zoners Tal National.
We have two LP reissues of early rarities from New Zealand punk minimalists This Kind of Punishment, plus a new record from Lea Bertucci, three killers from the Dark Entries label by Intense Molecular Activity, Rich la Bonte, and Solid Space. New electronic EPs are in from Omar S, TBZ, Jack Peoples, Carmen, and Superstar & Star.
Heading downstairs for this weeks USED VINYL ALERT, we've got a sweet haul for you to peruse this week. Starting with the littlest records, let me emphasize to you just how dang many deep soul/blues/country 45s we have been putting out these past few weeks. Even more join them today, so have a look. Also, if you want to remove the whole 'looking' part of the process, help yourself to our new 45 GRAB BAGS. They're full of quality singles, including a lot of household names, and songs that are hard to find on LP!Lots of sweet jazz is heading out this week, with titles from Sam Rivers, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Roach, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Stanley Turrentine, Ramsey Lewis, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Tina Brooks, and Herb Alpert. We've also got a fresh crop of the highly in-demand Mosaic box sets.We've got plenty for the rock heads this week, with a slew of nice ones from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, affordable heat from Paul Simon, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, ELP, the Byrds, and the Allmans, plus a deep dive into more obscure 60s/70s psych, rock and folk, from names like Canned Heat, Druid, Eloy, the Litter, Fever Tree, Clouds, Levon Helm, David Hemmings, Kevin Coyne, Country Joe, Nektar, the Ventures, The Green, Central Nervous System, Gong, Freedom, Fat Mattress, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Dwight Twilley, and Def Leppard.Heading for the 80s, check out titles from Fetchin Bones, Fad Gadget, the Fleshtones, the Feelies, Heavenly Bodies, Nina Hagen, Julian Cope, Camper Van Beethoven, Style Council, Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode, Howard Devoto, Echo and the Bunnymen, Yaz, Flash and the Pan, and Peter Gabriel.Loads of great blues in this week from Koko Taylor, BB King, Lightning Slim, Robert Johnson, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Bill Broonzy, and Bo Diddley. A whole lot of Bo Diddley.On the soul and funk tip, there's plenty of James Brown, Edwin Starr, Walter Jackson, Wilson Pickett, Billy Preston, Jimmy Castor, the Stylistics, and Jimmy Ruffin. We've also got Prince, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, plus some raps from Redman, MC Hammer, and more, and a nice run of 90s deep house/euro house singles.Newer titles are in from Leon Bridges, Ryan Adams, the American Scene, and Tame Impala.Country and folk in good supply from Wanda Jackson, Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Andersen, Pete Seeger, David Allan Coe, Judee Sill, and Fotheringay, plus a nice selection of regional/small press folk records.We wrap it up with a lot of great childrens records, soundtracks and, because the world needs laughter, plenty of comedy!
Our next MUSIC TRIVIA at the High Noon Saloon is Tuesday, April 10th. Registration starts at 5:30 with the first question from Angie and Marty at 6PM. Save the date for May 8th!
The basement is fully stocked with new and vintage equipment:
New turntables (Pro-Ject Debut Carbon) & New speakers (Kantu YU2)
Vintage turntables, speakers & receivers starting at $99.
Full vintage systems including turntable, receiver & speakers, starting at $299.
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.
Ezra Furman – “Transangelic Exodus” This is Mr. Furman’s seventh album, either as a member of a band or as a solo artist, since 2007. According to the press surrounding this release, this album is a collection of personal and autobiographical sketches. The music Mr. Furman has composed fleshes out those sketches. He utilizes a whole variety of different musical styles to get the lyrics across. The styles include seventies pop, punk, psychedelica, neo-disco, singer-songwriter pop, along with a few others. You would think that by using all those disparate styles that “Transangelic Exodus” would be a total stylistic mess. Quite to the contrary, Mr. Furman’s musical gifts make this album a fascinating listen. The different styles totally complement the lyrical themes about growing up confused and accepting your sexuality and the ramifications of that sexuality - regardless of what society thinks. This album is the furthest thing from a musical mess and failure. “Transangelic Exodus” is nothing short of a great album. - Ted Talks
Susanna’s last name is Wallumrod and she is from Norway. She composes and releases original material, but also specializes in covers. And “Go Dig My Gave” is a collection of covers. Susanna covers English and American folk songs, Elizabethan ballads, Joy Division, Charles Baudelaire, Lou Reed and Elizabeth Cotton. The only instruments used are baroque harp, violin, accordion and African finger organ. The songs are slowed down, and the sparse instrumentation focuses the listener’s attention on the lyrics and the melodies of each song. Her musical skills can make a ballad from four hundred years ago sound as current and modern as a Joy Division. Listening to this I can’t help think of Nico. But Susanna’s voice is not like Nico’s Teutonic voice of doom. I am reminded more of Nico’s approach to cover material. “Go Dig My Grave” is an engaging look at the power of a great song stripped down to its basics, and interpreted by a masterful musician and vocalist. - Ted Talks
Belle & Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems [Limited Edition LP Box Set] - Matador
A new Belle & Sebastian release is always something to cheer. So three new releases leads to the inevitable conclusion: three cheers! Here is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the official London residence of the US ambassador (the last president’s ambassador, not the current one’s). Murdoch, as ever, is not the only writer. Sarah Martin (violin/vocals) brought in the delicious ‘The Same Star’, which marries Belle and Sebastian’s melodiousness to a pounding Motown backbeat, and was produced by Leo Abrahams (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts, Regina Spektor). “We’d met Leo in February of 2016, and I’d say that meeting and the recording of ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ were the first tangible steps of this EP project,” Martin says. “We didn’t have a stack of songs to play him, but we liked him and he became a part of the plan from that point - and when I’d got to a point with ‘The Same Star’ where it just needed to be recorded, I thought it could benefit from having a producer to steer things, and fortunately we had a slot in the diary marked ‘Leo’ coming up. It’s not a song we’d laboured over playing for months - it fell together quite quickly thanks in large part to Bob’s [Bobby Kildea, guitarist] enthusiasm and Stuart’s willingness to dismember an old song and repurpose the break, so that it wasn’t just the same three chords over and over and over.” There’s one big reason why 15 songs are coming out on three EPs, rather than one album. “We’d made a couple of LPs, Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister, within the space of six months,” Murdoch says, remembering the early days of the band’s career, and how that fed into their decision-making this time.
Pianos Become The Teeth - Wait For Love - Epitaph
Wait For Love, their fourth album, sees Pianos Become The Teeth taking another sonic step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres. The Baltimore natives have produced a collection of songs that feature lush soundscapes and a more nuanced and melodic sound when compared to the screamo-aggression of their early work. Fans who have followed the band’s trajectory—from their 2013 split with Touché Amoré—can trace the way the band’s sound has evolved from a melodic screamo act to a group that create heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of distortion and dissonance.
Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive - Merge Records
After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.” That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What A Time To Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years, out February 16, 2018, on Merge Records. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”
Ought - Room Inside The World - Merge Records
On Room Inside The World—Ought's third album and their first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.
Born Ruffians - Uncle, Duke & The Chief - Yep Roc Records
Produced by Richard Swift (Foxygen, The Shins), Uncle, Duke & The Chief is a record less concerned with what sounds hip than what feels good. In the Born Ruffians case that meant shedding some of their more arty influences (the Pixies, Talking Heads) and reconnecting with the sounds they first heard on their parents turntables as kids: Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, and pre-psychedelic Beatles. It's about going back to the deepest, most satisfying itch to scratch, says lead singer Luke Lalonde. And in doing so, the album takes you back to a time when the Ruffians sounded less like a band and more like a gang, raising a wild ruckus and speaking in telepathic tongues.
Caroline Rose - Loner - New West Records
The songs and narrative’s on Loner reflect my life over the last couple years––I joined Tinder, I got my first apartment and painted it teal, I went to parties, I discussed politics, I had a girlfriend, we traveled the country, we broke up. I learned, for better or worse, how to be a member of the modern world. Turns out the modern world is terrifying. Tired of the bottomless pit of sad songs, I decided to put a spin on my greatest songwriting inspirations––misogyny, unplanned pregnancy, Capitalism, anxiety, loneliness and death––and wrap such depressing subject matter in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito…Because it’s hard being serious all the time and sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail. Loner reflects the styles of music I love––pop, folk, punk, electronic, and surf music––all thrown into a blender with a ladle full of cheeky satire. I call it Schizodrift. It sounds like Blondie drunk on mai tais. Loner was co-produced by myself and the wonderful Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul & The Broken Bones) and recorded in freezing Northern California, in addition to my parent’s attic and my last apartment. It was mixed by sound guru Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Show Me The Body) in Brooklyn, NY. - Caroline Rose
Joshua Hyslop - Echos - Nettwerk Records
Joshua Hyslop's new album Echos, releases on February 23, 2018 (Nettwerk) and is an empathetic collection of stories reflecting the Vancouver based singer/songwriters personal experiences as well as those around him. Since emerging with his 2012 full-length debut Where The Mountain Meets The Valley, Joshua Hyslop has accumulated over 65 Million streams worldwide, performed over 200 shows spanning North America and Europe, garnered critical acclaim and support throughout the media and industry peers, and has carved out an impressive diehard fan base.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section and don't forget that many of these titles are also available on vinyl.