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Dead Can Dance'
WARB-4AD-2114xDead Can Dance
Into The LabyrinthInto The Labyrinth (1993) is Dead Can Dance's sixth album, one of their most successful releases, its title a reference to the Greek legend of Theseus going into the Labyrinth to slay the Minotaur. It came when Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard had embarked on more individual personal paths, now writing their songs independent of one another, and on separate continents. Engineered and produced by Brendan at his Quivvy Church studio in Ireland, the album is an audiophile benchmark and also noted for being their first without any guests, instead they played all the instruments.
The 2016 LP version is also a double LP like the original release, but comes with brand new artwork and a changed track ordering.LP 1
1. Yulunga (Spirit Dance)
2. The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
3. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
4. The Carnival Is Over
7. Towards The Within
1. Tell Me about The Forest
2. The Spider's Stratagem
4. How Fortunate The Man With None
6. Spirit$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-3814xDead Can Dance
The Serpent's EggDead Can Dance's fourth album, The Serpent's Egg (1988), came during a prolific period for the band, being released just four years after their debut. It was also the first they made at their own studio which, according to Brendan Perry, allowed them to continue to grow in their own self-proclaimed direction. A minimal yet rather grandiose record which includes fan favourites "The Host Of Seraphim" and "Ullyses", The Serpent's Egg is a triumph and perhaps the finest example of where Brendan and Lisa's diametrically different influences were overcome to form a new, almost synaesthetic whole.1. The Host Of Seraphim
2. Orbis De Ignis
4. The Writing On My Father's Hand
5. In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings
6. Chant Of The Paladin
7. Song Of Sophia
9. Mother Tongue
10. Ullyses$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-2916xDead Can Dance
Within the Realm Of A Dying SunWith Dead Can Dance now firmly centred round the core of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, they released their third album Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun in the Summer of 1987, showing both a continued maturity in their sound and rise in their popularity. Recorded during an intense period of musical and personal growth for the band, the album's eight songs are split equally between the duo with the first half being sung by Brendan and the second Lisa. At the time, Q Magazine described the album as combining "superb voice, ethereal church choirs, sweeping strings and a brochure of ethnic music: Middle Eastern, Indian, Moorish, anywhere but London's East End where the couple resided." The album's cover only adds to the album's aura of mystery with a haunting photograph of the family grave at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris of famed French biologist François-Vincent Raspail.1. Anywhere Out Of The World
3. In The Wake Of Adversity
5. Dawn Of The Iconoclast
7. Summoning Of The Muse
8. Persephone (The Gathering Of Flowers)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-2817xDead Can Dance
Garden Of The Arcane Delights + Peel SessionsGarden Of The Arcane Delights is the only EP released by Dead Can Dance, coming out in 1984 and acting as a bridge between their first two albums. Its sleeve a sketch by Brendan Perry, depicting "primal man deprived of perception, standing within the confines of a garden containing a fountain and trees laden with fruit... a Blakean universe in which mankind can only redeem itself, can only rid itself of blindness, through the correct interpretation of signs and events that permeate the fabric of nature's laws." This new expanded version sees the EP faithfully pressed on to one piece of a vinyl with a second disc being added, compiling both of the band's sessions for John Peel, recorded in the same time period.LP 1: Garden Of The Arcane Delights
1. Carnival Of Light
2. In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated
3. The Arcane
4. Flowers Of The Sea
LP 2: The John Peel Sessions
1. Instrumental (1983 Peel Session)
2. Labour Of Love (1983 Peel Session)
3. Ocean (1983 Peel Session)
4. Threshold (1983 Peel Session)
5. Flowers Of The Sea (1984 Peel Session)
6. Penumbra (1984 Peel Session)
7. Panacea (1984 Peel Session)
8. Carnival Of Light (1984 Peel Session)$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
WARB-4AD-2312xDead Can Dance
Spleen and IdealDead Can Dance's second album, Spleen And Ideal (1985), saw them experiment more with instrumentation, abandoning guitars in favor of cello, trombone and timpani. Widely acclaimed, there was now a richness of unification between voice and music, lyrics and structure, showing they had a concrete sense of the aural ideal they were striving towards. It's title was taken from Spleen et IdÉal, a collection of poems by 18th century French poet Charles Baudelaire.
The 2016 LP version is a repress of the original release.1. De Profundis (Out Of The Depths Of Sorrow)
3. Circumradiant Dawn
4. The Cardinal Sin
6. Enigma Of The Absolute
9. Indoctrination (A Design For Living)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-3913xDead Can Dance
AionWith the industrial textures of their eponymous debut behind them, the fifth album from Dead Can Dance (Aion, released in 1990) is perhaps the most focused and concise of their albums. Predominately recorded at their own studio in Southern Ireland, it features guest vocals from soprano David Navarro Sust. His vocals add to Brendan and Lisa's opposing yet complimentary styles. The Middle Ages and the early Renaissance are a core influence for Aion; an atmosphere only amplified by the album's cover, a section from the Earth phase of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch's famed triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights.1. The Arrival And The Reunion
4. The Song Of The Sibyl
5. Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book
6. As The Bell Rings The Maypole Spins
7. The End Of Words
8. Black Sun
10. The Promised Womb
11. The Garden Of Zephirus
12. Radharc$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-3715xDead Can Dance
SpiritchaserSpiritchaser, Dead Can Dance's seventh album, was released in 1996 and was the final studio album the band released with 4AD (it was to be another 16 years until they reconvened to make their eighth, Anastasis). Again recording at Brendan's Quivvy Church in Ireland and as hinted at by the album's title, the band had moved their focus away from the traditional medieval and Eastern sound of their middle albums to work with African and Caribbean tribal rhythms. Still unmistakeably Dead Can Dance, percussion is at the forefront throughout Spiritchaser and despite contributions from Ronan O'Snodaigh, Renaud Pion, Lance Hogan, Robert Perry and Peter Ulrich on a few tracks, the album is mostly just Perry and Gerrard. In fine voice throughout, like their whole career's work, their strong singing remains the centerpiece.LP 1
2. Song Of The Stars
4. Song Of The Dispossessed
5. DedicacÉ Outò
1. The Snake And The Moon
2. Song Of The Nile
3. Devorzhum$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-4AD-2718xDead Can Dance
Toward The WithinReleased in October 1994 and out of print on vinyl ever since, Toward The Within was an audio and video document of the 1993 sell-out Dead Can Dance World tour. Recorded at the Mayfair Theater in Santa Monica, California, it marked one of the final performances at the historic theatre as it later suffered major structural damage in an earthquake in 1994. Despite being a live recording, Toward The Within includes twelve previously unrecorded tracks as well as material from their six previous studio albums.LP 1
2. Persian Love Song
3. Desert Song
4. Yulunga (Spirit Dance)
5. Piece For Solo Flute
6. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
7. I Am Stretched On Your Grave
1. I Can See Now
2. American Dreaming
5. Song Of The Sibyl
8. Don't Fade Away$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
WARB-4AD-2213xDead Can Dance
Dead Can DanceThe uncompromising eponymous debut, Dead Can Dance (1984), harnessed a bewitching barrage of sounds (including the distinct sound of the yangqin) with the then five-piece interchanging instruments to leave the vocals of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry as the only constant. The album's cover was important as an introduction too, a Papua New Guinean mask that some believe when worn, a life force can be put into the inanimate wood - the dead can dance.
The 2016 LP version is a repress of the original release.1. The Fatal Impact
2. The Trial
6. East Of Eden
8. A Passage In Time
9. Wild In The Woods
10. Musica Eternal$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CeremonyIt begins with the sound of a church organ, an arpeggio played on the lower notes, a melody teased out in the higher register, before a snare drum beats out an ominous, stuttering tattoo. Three minutes in, guitars begin to rumble like clouds gathering on the horizon, the melody slowly swelling, threatening to tear the sky apart. This is Anna Von Hausswolff's "Epitaph Of Theodor", and as dramatic, instrumental openings to albums go, it's close to overwhelming. But it's followed by something even more intense: "Deathbed", which growls and resonates sinisterly before shards of metallic thunder shatter the drones and a funereal beat forces the song to lurch forward. Only after some four and a half minutes of this ferocious clamour do we hear a human voice, and it's unleashed with a fierce power, rising and swooping, a vast bird pursuing its prey until the song reaches its final, unexpectedly triumphant climax.
You want to talk about compromises? No. Nor does Anna Von Hausswolff.
These two songs alone represent a quarter of 'Ceremony's sixty minutes, but there are eleven more on an album that confounds and dumbfounds from its start to its end. To those who used Anna Von Hausswolff's debut album, Singing From The Grave, to compare her lazily to Kate Bush, it will come as a brutal shock. The fragile atmospheres of that impressive debut, one that earned her huge acclaim in her native Sweden, have been blasted away, and what's emerged from the wasteland left behind is a dizzying masterpiece that, she proudly states, calls upon, amongst others, Elizabeth Fraser, Jefferson Airplane, PJ Harvey, Earth, Barn Owl, Nick Cave and Diamanda Galás.
Though she now lives in Copenhagen, she grew up in the once vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood of Haga in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a family who counted amongst their ancestors Bernhard Reynold von Hausswolff, an 18th Century governor of Falun, Sweden, who helped bring an end to the burning of witches. Her father, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, is a composer and visual artist who's also co-monarch of the kingdoms of Elgaland-Vagaland, so it's perhaps not surprising that she's chosen to pursue a radical direction with her music.
"I didn't just want 'Ceremony' to be a collection of songs," she says. "I wanted it to be like a film, with every single part connected to the other, with shifting moods and settings, but a thread holding all the tracks together. I listen to a lot of film scores, and in many the music is able to move freely without the typical structures that we find in commercial music."
Arguably 'Ceremony's most significant ingredient is the church organ of Gothenburg's vast Annedalkyrkan, whose pipes are featured on the album's striking cover. Employed on nine of the album's thirteen tracks, it also provided von Hausswolff with the excuse to record for five days in the century old building, its cavernous space adding to the record's formidable magnitude. (Work was completed at weekends over several months in producer Filip Leyman's studios.) She found in the organ's sound a link between her own writing and a developing obsession with "drone metal", allowing her to add layers of thick textures to the songs. But - thanks to its inevitable associations with existence and mortality - the organ also suited the themes that lay at the heart of the record, which she defines as "nature and death, or the division of humanity and nature. From the moment we exit the womb, we start our paths towards materialism and destructive behaviour, and these days I feel that the gap between nature and human is growing bigger. I wanted to grasp my inner nature and be unified with nature again. 'Ceremony' is a celebration of life and everything that it contains, especially death, because in death we will be truly one with nature again."
That's not to say that 'Ceremony' is a bleak record, something highlighted by the extraordinary "Harmonica", which sounds like Dead Can Dance channelling a Vashti Bunyan song with arrangements by Ennio Morricone. "It's a song I wrote just after my grandfather passed away," she recalls. "It's about how culture and traditions can travel from generation down to generation, and in this case from him to me by music. Just before he died, he gave me a harmonica and he told me to practise hard and only write about things that are relevant to me. His deathbed inspired me to make 'Ceremony'."
He'd surely be proud of the bold, single-minded consequences of his legacy. Whether it be the placid but grandiose "Ocean", the hymnal "Mountains Crave", the grim, experimentalist "No Body" or the oddly exhilarating "Funeral For My Future Children", 'Ceremony' is a genuinely thrilling, timeless, inventive and even sometimes - in the purest sense of the word - gothic accomplishment.
"This record isn't really about Anna von Hausswolff as a vocalist or as a person," she concludes. "It's about the music and all that it contains. Singing from the Grave was a raw and emotional record that happened fast. I think of it as an impulse. 'Ceremony' is more of a vision: something unfinished and unresolved, a glimpse of the future."1. Epitaph of Theodor
3. Mountains Grave
5. Red Sun
6. Epitaph of Daniel
7. No Body
8. Liturgy of Light
12. Funeral for my Future Children
13. Sun Rise$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Basement TapesRanked 291/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Recorded in Basement of Big Pink with The Band: Modern Americana Starts Here
Audiophile Sound at Last: Sonic Subtleties, Loose Interplay, Organic Spirit, Warm Textures Presented Like Never Before on Definitive Mobile Fidelity Reissue
Dylan at His Most Humorous, Unguarded, Loose: Folk Tales, Weird Narratives, Rock Ballads, Inside Jokes, Allusions Pepper Alchemic Material
Includes This Wheels on Fire, You Aint Goin Nowhere, Tears of Rage, Million Dollar Bash, Yazoo Street Scandal
The Freewheelin Bob Dylan, Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde, and Blood on the Tracks Also Available from Mobile Fidelity
Basements have long been associated with raw, off-the-cuff rock n roll, the damp and dark spaces serving as the woodshedding venues for countless bands. Yet no basement is more famous, and none yielded music as familiarly weird, wholesomely American, joyously loose, and identifiably humorous as that in the upstate New York house dubbed Big Pink the location where, during the summer and early fall of 1967, Bob Dylan and The Band played a vivid tapestry of covers, originals, and traditionals that signaled the advent of Americana. Once again, the Bard changed the world.
As part of its Bob Dylan catalog restoration series, Mobile Fidelity is thoroughly humbled to have the privilege of mastering the iconic LP from the original master tapes and pressing it on dead-quiet LPs at RTI. The end result is the very finest, most transparent analog edition of The Basement Tapes ever produced and the first-ever analog reissue. Inimitable, the particulars of The Basement Tapes especially, the gather-round-in-a-huddle assembly of the instrumentalists, home-made character, domestic vibe, and low-volume nature of the recordings come to fore here in a manner that takes the listener down the stairs at 2188 Stoll Road and brings the images of Dylan, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, and Co. to life.
Fresh off experiencing a motorcycle accident and the wrath of audiences hostile to his embrace of amplified music, Dylan elected to retreat to the comforts of rural and family life. He soon began collaborating with members of the Band in his house, ultimately moving the sessions to Big Pink. Informal, peaceful, relaxed, open-minded: The collaborations blanket country stomps, roots hootenannies, forgotten spirituals, earthy originals, chaotic marches, dreamscapes, dance tunes, folk laments, catch-as-you-can improvisations. On The Basement Tapes, mythical ghosts and dead legends reappear, reveling in the absurdity, comedy, mystery, aura, and alchemy.
In Invisible Republic, his scintillating book about the sessions, cultural critic Greil Marcus states: At a time when the country was tearing itself apart in a war at home over a war abroad, the music was funny and comforting; it was also strange, and somehow incomplete. Out of some odd displacement of art and time, the music seemed both transparent and inexplicable when it was first heard, and it still does. Indeed, The Basement Tapes appear to emanate from an indefinable chasm between modern and ancient, self-evident and mysterious, shapeless and fully formed, abstract and concrete, histories unwritten and chronicled. But every note chimes with freenessa liberating fun, humble simplicity, and bond-creating camaraderie felt in every hoot, holler, laugh, and false start.
The Basement Tapes capacity to remain so gloriously honest and timeless performances that genuinely could've been made today, ten years from now, or back in the 1930's helps account for their emotional resonance and unsurpassed reputation as a snapshot of how unencumbered American music, and art with deep historical roots and connective cultural tissues, is supposed to sound.
Mobile Fidelity's reissue squares away the late-night bleariness, jovial atmosphere, low-ceiling dimensions, and ensemble-based perspective of the sessions, allowing the listener to become Hamlet, the dog who slept nearby Dylan, Robertson, and Co. as it all went down. This is not to be missed.
Given the sonic and artistic merit of this album, we anticipate huge demand.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Odds and Ends
2. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)
3. Million Dollar Bash
4. Yazoo Street Scandal
5. Goin to Acapulco
6. Katies Been Gone
7. Lo and Behold
8. Bessie Smith
9. Clothes Line Saga
10. Apple Suckling Tree
11. Please Mrs. Henry
12. Tears of Rage
13. Too Much of Nothing
14. Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
15. Aint No More Cane
16. Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)
17. Ruben Remus
18. Tiny Montgomery
19. You Aint Goin Nowhere
20. Dont Ya Tell Henry
21. Nothing Was Delivered
22. Open the Door, Homer
23. Long Distance Operator
24. This Wheels on Fire$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The High FrontierLumerians release The High Frontier on through Partisan Records. The name for the album comes from a term coined by Gerard K. O'Neil in his illustrated 1976 book depicting human colonisation of space. The High Frontier contains Krautrock inspired exploration, Afrobeat's ritualistic rhythms, post-punk guitar noise and cracked-glacÉ synth lines culled from perverse 1970s sci-fi soundtracks.
It's a cacophony of sound in which Lumerians acknowledge the role noise and rhythm has always played in transcendent and ecstatic rituals the world over, from the repetitious drums of tribal animists to the penetrating electronic pulses of neon dance clubs.
The six tracks and 33 minutes that make up The High Frontier were recorded and produced in Lumerians' self-built studio/brewery: a room housed in a converted store-front church in a neighbourhood affectionately referred to as the "Murder Dubbs".
The High Frontier brings back the sound of prog rock that was so familiar in the 70s. Uncut described the album as: "a fruitful collision between Boredoms, Neu! and the Grateful Dead" and they are spot on.
Track one Dogon Genesis could easily fit itself into the 70s with no questions asked. Dogon Genesis is a fantastic first track that prepares the listener for the rest of the album. Dogon Genesis could refer to the Dogon tribe of Mali which gives a good indication of how bonkers the record is.
Title track The High Frontier has a completely different sound to that of Dogon Genesis. It's a slower tempo with more deep, bass tones coming through. The drum beat produces a mesmerising rhythm alongside the swooping synth sounds.
Previously disclosed track, The Bloom follows the same theme as The High Frontier. It's strange and eery. It is probably the most experimental song on the record which introduces lots of sounds and plays with the concepts of prog rock to create a brilliantly atmospheric track. The synth sounds heard at the beginning almost sound like sirens, building a sense of tension and fear into the listener.
Koman Tong breaks the album away from eerie and unnerving and plunges it into summer happiness. Koman Tong is still very experimental but it starts to introduce the idea of world influences into Lumerians' music, the guitar is distorted leading it to sound faintly like a sitar in parts while gongs and bells can be heard in the background. It's the best track on the record by far. There is just so much to catch and involve yourself in that you will instantly become lost in the music - cliched as it may sound.
Smokies Tangle turns the album back to its 70s prog rock style while the last track, Life Without Skin again oozes world influences, foreign vocals and jazz inspired drum beats to create a superb end track. It has a fantastic rhythm and melody and can easily be placed as one of the best songs on The High Frontier. It's also one of the only tracks on the album that uses influences from Lounge - think Bonobo vs prog rock and you're almost there.
The High Frontier is a mesmerizing account of weirdness and oddity that will leave you wanting to hear more. Each track has so many layers to it that you really will become immersed in this record. It's 33 minutes of experiments, fusion of genres and rule-breaking in the music world. A triumph.
- Rocking Republic1. Burning Mirrors
2. Black Tusk
3. Shortwave Fields
4. Atlanta Brook
6. Calalini Rises
8. Melting Space
9. Gaussian Castles$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Modern Guilt (Awaiting Repress)Modern Guilt is the eighth official studio album and eleventh overall by American alternative artist Beck. The album lasts 33 minutes, making it the shortest album by Beck to date. Modern Guilt features two contributions by Cat Power and was produced by Beck and Danger Mouse.
Modern Guilt indulges Beck's love of Sixties psychedelic music, and the results are vividly rendered - all acid-trip guitars, mod dance-party beats, daisy-chain harmonies and thundering percussion. But beneath the DayGlo arrangements lie some deeply bummed-out songs about living in a time of war (Walls), environmental degradation (Gamma Ray) and widening generation gaps (Youthless). Danger Mouse brings a hip-hop DJ's love of funky old rock records; Beck brings the end-of-the-Sixties, pre-apocalyptic hangover.
Taken as a whole, the album's first five songs stand among Beck's strongest work. The most dazzling example is Chemtrails, which nods through a heroin haze of droning guitars while Beck imagines jets flying above a sea full of dead people. The song title comes from a conspiracy theory that holds that some jet trails are actually chemical sprays engineered by the government for secret purposes. But you don't have to know the reference to feel the dread. Staring at the corpses, Beck sings, So many people, where do they go? The morbid answer is implied: No matter where all the lonely people come from, they all end up in the same place.
That last song sums up Beck's biggest issue on the album: Don't know what I've done, but I feel ashamed. That's modern guilt for you: knowing the world's going to hell and feeling partly responsible, but not quite knowing what to do about it. Some days, we're worse than you can imagine/And how am I supposed to live with that? he sings on Walls. A few lines later, he finds his own reason to carry on: We do the best with the souls we're given. And not long after he sings these words, the song cuts out abruptly in the middle of the melody. Like Tony Soprano said, you never know when your time is gonna come.
--Melissa Maerz, www.rollingstone.com1. Orphans
2. Gamma Ray
4. Modern Guilt
6. Walls (feat. Cat Power)
8. Soul of a Man
9. Profanity Prayers
10. Volcano$24.99Vinyl LP - LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Band Of Outsiders
Limited Edition Black And Red Splattered Vinyl
When jazz hits you in the face with a stack of bricks, Mike Dillon is there...twisting chaos into order before turning it back on itself again. -Splinters & Candy
The Mike Dillon Band is a predictably gruesome and sublime elixir of stealthy jazz vibes, street poetry raps and post-punk sonic carnage. -Boulder Weekly
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when The Mike Dillon Band is supplying the dance music. The psychedelic rock group shakes and gyrates with heavy, vibraphone driven grooves, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion. -Pittsburgh City Paper
How many artists can claim being praised a punk rock provocateur, jazz vibraphone visionary and percussion virtuoso in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders-released via Brooklyn label The Royal Potato Family-Mike Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers-whom Dillon describes as "a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade"-provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion ("All Walks of Life") as she simultaneously ups the band's art-rock ante ("Carly Hates The Dubstep"). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults ("Homeland Insecurity"), deep funky go-go ("Head"), ska grooves ("Here The Burro") and experimental hip-hop beats ("7AM At The Jazzfest") with all points covered in between.
Dillon recorded Band of Outsiders at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon's work. In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.
"Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs," explains Dillon. "Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet."
Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon's trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived for the past seven years in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones. Dillon discounts those rumors: This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts."
Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013-both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic-its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that's played 400-plus shows over the last two years.
"People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It's a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us," concludes Dillon. "But you know, I really don't care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There's a reason we called the record what we did. We're the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let's leave it at that."1. Head
2. Hand of God
3. Homeland Insecurity
4. Hero The Burro
5. Carly Hates The Dubstep
6. Great Lakes Tuna
8. All Walks of Life 9. Celebrate the Hate
10. 7AM at the Jazzfest
11. So Long Pal
12. Baby Flint Talk
13. Dauphine & Desire$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015New York City is a big place. A loud place. Some of that noise is music. And some of the music is noise.
Sucking it all in and turning it loose with prejudice, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion takes a ferocious bite out of the Big Apple with their new long-player, Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015, the first record of the new era that demands to be stopped and frisked!
Like the best sides that percolated up from the Bronx, the Lower East Side, and Greenwich Village across the 1970s and '80s - Freedom Tower is more than a high-octane dance party record, it is a document of New York City, a chronicle of grit and terror and love!
It's all here: The Hustler and The Trust Fund Baby, the Mosh Pit Casualty, the Celebrity Chef, the Crooked Cop, the Struggling Artist, the Sucker MC, the forgotten Sex Workers and Last-Chance Cinderellas. Within these grooves are cold-water tenements, blue-chip galleries, dingy Avenue B studios, and the last real warrior poet whose dark magick brings garage rock ghosts back from the grave!
Freedom Tower is a radical portrait of New York City set to the savage funkacide of the Blues Explosion, locked and loaded with the most deadly, predatory guitar riffs that primitive magnetic tape can handle . From start to finish, Freedom Tower is overmodulated, cooked with dirt, and finished in acid rain! Freedom Tower is packed with the kind of beats and rhymes that will make even the most reserved Walter Mitty jump back and say "damn!"
For nearly a quarter-century the Blues Explosion have been sweating, freezing, eating, drinking, fucking, fighting, winning, and losing in New York City, perpetrating some of the most timeless moments of musical mayhem in the history of Manhattan and beyond. As ever, Jon Spencer tells the tales, Judah Bauer plays the blues, and Russell Simins smashes things to bits... And as always Blues Explosion stomp on the faux underground oasis peddled by bourgeois hipsters and marketing jocks to deliver the real deal - rock'n'roll that is unapologetically nasty and strong.
Rehearsed and polished in a string of secret gigs and unannounced opening slots in theaters, hotel bars, and dives (often under assumed names), and then recorded at the legendary Daptone House Of Soul in Bushwick and mixed with hip-hop cult legend Alap Momin at the cutting edge of Harlem, Freedom Tower is the most provocative statement of urban pathos and panache ever recorded.
Play this record at all-night rent parties, picnics, discotheques, and protests!
There are eight million stories in the Naked City - but there is only one Blues Explosion!
Freedom Tower - dig it now, while you still can!1. Funeral
2. Wax Dummy
3. Do The Get Down
4. Betty vs. the NYPD
5. White Jesus
6. Born Bad
7. Down and Out
8. Crossroad Hop
9. The Ballad Of Joe Buck
10. Dial Up Doll
11. Bellevue Baby
12. Tales of Old New York: The Rock Box
13. Cooking for Television$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ranked 316/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
They say you can never go home again.
Yet, on their new Interscope Records release and fifth album, Rock Steady, No Doubt has embarked on a globe-spanning musical adventure that proves, once and for all, that home is where the heart is.
At the heart of the quartet's fifteen-year musical journey is a sound, a style and a sensibility that celebrates their enduring bond with millions of fans worldwide: the sheer pleasure of pure pop - danceable, hummable, instantly accessible songs that have become indispensable additions to the soundtrack of our life and times. And now with Rock Steady, that soundtrack signals a return to some of the key creative elements that have made No Doubt one of today's most popular and enduring bands. Simply put, No Doubt is ready to party.
"It's the hardest thing in the world just to be simple, to let the music and the words speak for what you're feeling and, hopefully, to share that feeling. And the feeling we all shared on this album turned out to be pretty simple, too: we were in a good mood."
So says vocalist, lyricist and glorious gamine Gwen Stefani on the inspiration that ignited the dozen deliriously entertaining new tracks comprising Rock Steady. With all-original material penned by Gwen and No Doubt's dynamic songwriting duo of Tony Kanal and Tom Dumont and a roster of producers that pretty much covers the cutting edge of the studio art, Rock Steady, recorded in such far flung locations as London and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Jamaica, is without question the most eclectic, wide-ranging and stylistically diverse offering in the band's extraordinary career. It is also a loving tribute to the musical roots that have nourished No Doubt from their very inception.
"We were on tour pretty much all of last year," explains drummer Adrian Young, "and whenever we had some down time, we found ourselves listening to lots of dancehall. It was kind of like getting back to where we once belonged." Dancehall, the exuberant evolution of reggae, ska and calypso currently rocking the clubs and studios of Jamaica, proved a potent point of departure for the group when they convened in early 2001 to begin work on a new album. "We were part of the whole ska revival back when we first got together," continues Adrian. "The fact is, we had to work hard to prove we had a wider range, and I guess we did that. Because this time around we didn't feel like we had anything to prove. The whole point was to follow the music, wherever it led."
"Following the music" would lead the quartet to a variety of exotic locales as they indulged their instincts and experimented with sounds and settings that would capture the sensational new music beginning to emerge. "This album was less about technique and more about attitude," asserts Tony. "We took it one day at a time and it became a very spontaneous process. Tom had set up a studio at his place in L.A. and we'd meet there just to try out different ideas. Whereas before we'd write everything with a guitar or bass, this time we started with just beats and grooves and keyboards and built from there. After a week or two of songwriting, Gwen had a trip planned to London. Since we were having such a good time we just packed up and followed her over there. We knew we were onto something."
"It felt like starting over," is Tom's assessment. "We had spent two years working on Return Of Saturn because we felt it was important to prove we could do a record that had depth and substance. Once we got that out of our system it was time to have some fun."
Return Of Saturn, the group's smash 2000 release, did indeed establish No Doubt's ability to fashion songs of substance as well as style. It also conclusively demonstrated that the group's 1995 breakthrough release, Tragic Kingdom was more than a flash in the pan, although it was a distinctly dazzling flash that elevated the group to world class status with a solid string of hit singles. "We'd already done most of what we'd set out to accomplish," continues Tom. "We wanted try something fresh."
Something fresh and, as it turned out, something tried and true. "With all the dancehall we'd been listening to it was only natural that some of that rhythm would seep into our new songs," Gwen adds. "We ended up going to Jamaica without really knowing exactly what we'd find when we got there. That was the whole plan from the beginning not to have a plan."
What No Doubt found in the lush musical environs of the island was a creative collaboration with some of Jamaica's most revered producers including the legendary team of Sly & Robbie who sat behind the board for the album's debut single "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All," a tune written by Gwen with Eurthymics mainstay Dave Stewart during the group's London sojourn. They would also go on record with the fast rising dancehall duo of Steely & Clevie, who worked their magic for the incendiary selection, "Start The Fire." Remarks Tom, "Going to Jamaica and working with the great artists there had always been a dream of ours. Having that opportunity is one the best things about having some success. It's more important than any amount of fame or fortune."
As the spring of 2001 turned to summer the pace of recording stepped up, along with the group's increasingly bold ventures into new creative territory. In Los Angeles they added hip-hop to the mix with the streetwise sensibilities of The Neptunes, co-writers on the album's opening track, the scorching "Hella Good." Next they huddled with high-profile mixmaster Nellee Hooper on Rock Steady's title track as well as such standout selections as "In My Head," "Running," "Detective" and the above mentioned "Hella Good." Along the way they logged time with William Orbit for "Making Out," Ric Ocasek on "Platinum Blonde Life" and "Don't Let Me Down," and the inimitable Prince who co-produced and provided backing vocals on the drop dead gorgeous "Waiting Room."
But mixing and matching songs and producers was only part of the creative evolution that took place with Rock Steady. Says Tony, "Our attitude from the beginning was that we'd do whatever it took to make the music work. We've always been a very self-contained unit. This time we wanted to open it up, to find out what other people could bring to the party."
"The whole album was an exercise in spontaneity," adds Gwen, "and that challenged me to write more directly from my thoughts and feelings. I threw away my thesaurus and put aside my influences, everyone from Joni Mitchell to Sylvia Plath. I wanted to write songs about how it felt to be alive right now and that feeling, despite everything that going on in the world, is optimistic and full of hope. This is a time to affirm what's good and positive in our lives and if we can convey even a small part of the fun and excitement we had making this music, then we've done what we set out to do."
Hot on the heels of Rock Steady's release comes news of an extensive touring schedule that includes select dates with U2 as well as an extensive itinerary of international headlining dates. "We're primarily a live band," comments Tony. "That's how we started and that's how we maintain contact with our fans. Over the past couple of years, as the No Doubt machine got bigger, it's been more difficult to maintain that connection. But this time around,we're determined to stay true to the spirit of the music. It's about having a good time, about dancing in aisles and singing along. We all need that and it's what this tour is going to be about."
"After fifteen years together you naturally create all kinds of rules about how things should be," concludes Gwen. "There comes a time when you've got to throw the rules out and start all over again. That's what keeps it fun and interesting. For us that time has come."
It's a sentiment that gets to the heart of the brilliant music on Rock Steady, an album that finds No Doubt comfortable at home with the risks and rewards of true originality. It's also proof positive that, when No Doubt throws a party, everyone's invited.LP1
2. Hella Good
3. Hey Baby
4. Making Out
5. Underneath It All
7. Don't Let Me Down
1. Start The Fire
3. In My Head
4. Platinum Blonde Life
5. Waiting Room
6. Rock Steady$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now