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Good Old War'
Come Back As RainOver the past three years, indie-folk trio Good Old War has captivated countless audiences with their acoustic-driven, sing-along-inspiring live performances. Now, with the release of their third full-length record Come Back as Rain, the Philadelphia-based band harnesses the high-spirited simplicity that makes their shows so unforgettable.
Like Only Way To Be Alone and their 2010 self-titled sophomore effort, Come Back as Rain showcases the delicately textured melodies and multi-part harmonies that have become the band's signature. Once again revealing their penchant for infectious folk-pop, Good Old War sharpens their sound this time around by infusing Come Back as Rain with the same joyful passion they've ceaselessly brought to the stage.1. Over and Over
2. Calling Me Names
3. Amazing Eyes
4. Better Weather
5. Cant Go Home
6. Not Quite Happiness
7. Touch the Clouds (Taste the Ground)
8. It Hurts Every Time
9. After the Party
10. Loud Love
11. Present for the End of the World$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Beautiful ThingsPhoto Finish Records presents Beautiful Things, the new solo release from Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green and follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2008 debut album Avalon. Beautiful Things was recorded at The Big House in the sleepy beach town of Avalon, New Jersey, with backing and additional production from Green's fellow Philadelphians, Good Old War. In addition, the album sees guest appearances from such like-minded artists as Ida Maria, Lights, Maps & Atlases guitarist Dave Davison, Claire Wadsworth, Circa Survive comrades Brendan Ekstrom and Colin Frangicetto, and a couple other surprises.1. If I Dont Sing
2. Do It Right
3. Moon Song
4. Get Yours While You Can
5. When Im On Pills
6. Cant Have It All At Once
7. Big Mistake
8. Love You No Matter What
9. How It Goes
10. Just To Feel Alive
11. James Song
12. Blood Song
13. Lullaby$20.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MudcrutchIn the summer of 2007, Tom Petty reunited Mudcrutch, consisting of himself, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, original bandmember Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh, who joined when Mudcrutch first went to Los Angeles in search of a record deal in the early '70s. Now, more than 30 years later, Mudcrutch finally has its debut album. With new Petty songs and a handfull of covers, the self-titled release is both classic rock and a rock classic.
Petty's first band, The Sundowners, changed their name to The Epics and then to Mudcrutch around 1970. Mudcrutch became the house band at Dub's Diner in hometown Gainesville, Fl, before the group moved to Hollywood. The Mudcrutch story is told in the recent Tom Petty feature documentary Runnin' Down A Dream, directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
I just finished a record with Mudcrutch, my old band before the Heartbreakers. I am over the moon about it. I couldn't have hoped for it to be as good as it came out. - Tom PettyLP 1
1. Shady Grove
2. Scare Easy
3. Orphan Of The Storm
4. Six Days On The Road
5. Crystal River
6. Oh Maria
7. This Is A Good Street
1. The Wrong Thing To Do
2. Queen Of The Go-Go Girls
3. June Apple
4. Lover Of The Bayou
5. Topanga Cowgirl
6. Bootleg Flyer
7. House Of Stone$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Feedback200 Gram Vinyl LP
As they celebrate a thirty-year career of filling arenas, selling tens of millions of albums and playing songs with which a generation of rock fans came of age, visionary rock legends Rush decided to have a little fun with the music they grew up with. Feedback features covers of songs by The Who, The Yardbirds, Love, Cream, Buffalo Springfield and more, the trio's new LP is a rocking good time for anyone who loves Rush or just classic rock & roll.
Drummer Neil Peart, in the album's liner notes, explains, It was April of 2004, but Geddy, Alex, and I were channeling back to 1966 and 1967, when we were thirteen- and fourteen-year-old beginners. We thought it would be a fitting symbol to commemorate our thirty years together if we returned to our roots and paid tribute to those we had learned from and were inspired by. We thought we might record some of the songs we used to listen to, the ones we painstakingly learned the chords, notes, and drum parts for, and even played in our earliest bands. The tracks on this collection are songs we liked from the era that we thought we could 'cover' effectively (meaning not too many backing vocals), and have some fun with. The music celebrates a good time in our lives, and we had a good time celebrating it.1. Summertime Blues
2. Heart Full of Soul
3. For What It's Worth
4. The Seeker
5. Mr. Soul
6. Seven and Seven Is
7. Shapes of Things
8. Crossroads$21.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Good Old BoysGood Old Boys is the fifth album by Randy Newman, originally released in September 1974 on Reprise Records. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200, Newman's first album to obtain major commercial success.1. Rednecks
4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
6. Louisiana 1927
7. Every Man A King
9. Naked Man
10. Wedding In Cherokee County
11. Back On My Feet Again
12. Rollin'$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Good Times!Who's ready to have some fun with The Monkees as they celebrate their 50th anniversary? With a tour kicking off in May and the group's first new album in 20 years, GOOD TIMES!, releasing, Monkee-mania will be taking 2016 by storm!
GOOD TIMES! features all three surviving band members - Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork. The unmistakable voice of the late Davy Jones is also included with a vintage vocal featured on one song. To produce the new album, the band found the perfect musical co-conspirator in Grammy® and Emmy®-winning songwriter Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne, Ivy).
Much like The Monkees' early albums, GOOD TIMES! features tracks written specifically for the band by some of the music world's most gifted songwriters, including Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Andy Partridge (XTC), and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave) as well as a song co-written by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. The album also includes songwriting contributions by Nesmith ("I Know What I Know") and Tork as well as producer Schlesinger.
To help bring the anniversary full circle, The Monkees completed songs for GOOD TIMES! that were originally recorded and written for the group during the 60s, including "Love To Love" by Neil Diamond, which features a vintage vocal by Jones. Harry Nilsson wrote the title track "Good Times," which he recorded at a session with Nesmith in January 1968. The production was never completed, so the band returned to the original session tape (featuring Nilsson's guide vocal) and have created a duet with his close friend Dolenz. "Good Times" will mark the first time Dolenz and Nilsson have sung together since Dolenz' May 1973 single "Daybreak." Other vintage 1960's tracks included on GOOD TIMES! feature L.A.'s famed "Wrecking Crew" of session musicians.
"This is one of the most exciting Monkee projects I've been involved in for decades!" says Dolenz. "Working with Adam Schlesinger has been a pure delight and the opportunity to sing a duet with my old buddy, Harry Nilsson, is just beyond cool!"1. Good Times
2. You Bring the Summer
3. She Makes Me Laugh
4. Our Own World
5. Gotta Give It Time
6. Me & Magdalena
7. Whatever's Right
8. Love to Love
9. Little Gil
10. Birth of an Accidental Hipster
11. Wasn't Born to Follow
12. I Know What I Know
13. I Was There (And I'm Told I Had a Good Time)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
And The War Came
"A gnarly composite of blues and folk." - PASTE "Best of What's Next"
"A surprisingly pop-leaning single from a rising folk hero." - ESQUIRE
"Astonishing Unclassifiably Original. And frighteningly good." - NPR Music
"His voice is shockingly soulful, and his effects-laden guitar playing exceptional." - BOSTON HERALD
Performing live with nothing but a guitar and a homemade kickdrum built out of an old suitcase, Austin TX's "astonishing
one-man-show" (NPR Music) Shakey Graves has quickly risen from obscurity into the nation spotlight since the release of
his debut full-length LP "Roll The Bones." Nearly two years later, as word of his haunting lo-fi recordings and contrastingly explosive live show spreads, the self-released album continues to sell at a vigorous pace, consistently ranking near the top
of Bandcamp's digital best seller charts. The album was recently released as a limited edition LP, which sold out almost immediately. New listeners around the world continue to discover his music every day, often through a series of live performance videos on YouTube (collectively over 1.5 million views). His videos for Myspace and Cadillac's "One Two Watch"
documentary series have also gathered over 3 million views alone.1. This Is The Beginning
2. Only Son
3. Dearly Departed (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)
4. The Perfect Parts
5. Hard Wired
6. Family And Genus
7. Big Time Nashville Star (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)
8. Pansy Waltz
9. House Of Winston
10. If Not For You
11. Call It Heaven (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-NET-7716xGood Old War
Broken Into Better ShapeBroken Into Better Shape finds Good Old War pushing their musical boundaries to the limit. Road-weary from two years at sea, the trio (Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, Dan Schwartz) set out to write an album full of songs that were not limited to sounding perfect in a live experience. They bunkered down in Goodwin's toddler-toy-filled house and struggled for half a year to find what they were looking for. Around this time, drummer Tim Arnold left the band for Atlanta, where his fiancÉ was pregnant with their first child. Arnold's DNA remains in the band and his fingerprints are still present as a writer on some of the tracks on the record.
With half of the album's songs now written, Goodwin and Schwartz began experimenting with other writers and producers. In New York City, they dreamed up the ultra-inspirational "Fly Away" with writer Emile Haynie (fun., Bruno Mars). A trip to Los Angeles found them improbably paired in a writing session with Zimbabwe-born urban producer T-Collar, where a hook was crafted that the band were eager to take to the studio. It would become their first single, "Tell Me What You Want From Me."
Broken Into Better Shape became the record that it is in Nashville, where the band wrote and rounded out songs with producer Jason Lehning (Alison Krause & Union Station, Mat Kearney, Dolly Parton) and with the aid of a terrific group of musicians and writers. Whereas much of the band's earlier work had been written individually, this album would end up being a grand collaboration.
The result is the band's proudest moment, an album of lush, well-crafted songs with no filler, ten songs whittled down from a pool of over forty.1. Tell Me What You Want From Me
2. Fly Away
3. Never Gonna See Me Cry
4. Broken Into Better Shape
5. Small World
6. Broken Record
7. One More Time
8. I'm The One
9. Dark Days
10. Don't Forget$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Real Americans Spear ItLook Mexico has been making their favorite music since May 2004 in Tallahassee, FL. After finding their newest member Nick Chambers in recently transplanted town of Austin, TX, they joined forces with legendary producer J Robbins (Jets To Brazil, Jawbreaker, Against Me!, Braid, Murder By Death) to create Look Mexico's best effort yet, Real Americans Spear It (Adeline Records 9/2011). The band has toured just about non-stop, spending at least half of each of the past six years on the road, sharing stages with artists that include Rival Schools, The Honorary Title, Frank Turner, Good Old War, Fake Problems, and Bridge and Tunnel. Look Mexico will hit the road once again in support of their latest release including a trip across the pond in November 2011 for their first ever UK/Euro tour.1. You Hungry? Good. Cause You're Sayin' Grace.
2 . Arrest? I Don't Feel Like I'm Under Arrest.
3. That's Funny, Cause It Goes Both Ways
4 . Where Were You, Vince?
5. Runnin' Ain't Freedom (You Should Know That)$15.9912 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stephen StillsWith his 1970 self-titled solo debut, Stephen Stills, like his CSN&Y bandmates, decided to explore other musical avenues. Stills offers up his trademark Southern California folk-pop sound here while incorporating the Latin, swamp and blues influences that were just beginning to emerge in his songwriting. The London session allowed Stills to finally team up with Eric Clapton on the track Go Back Home and Jimi Hendrix, who died prior to the album's release, is notably featured on the track Old Times, Good Times. Other collaborators include John Sebastian, Rita Coolidge, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Cass Elliot. Features two of Stills' biggest hits with Love the One You're With and Sit Yourself Down.1. Love The One You're With
2. Do For The Others
3. Church (Part Of Someone)
4. Old Times Good Times
5. Go Back Home
6. Sit Yourself Down
7. To A Flame
8. Black Queen
10. We Are Not Helpless$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Perlman SoundNo one could deny that Itzhak Perlman holds a special place in the world of music - and no one could define it more eloquently than his old friend and colleague, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim: It is quite impossible to imagine today's violin heritage without the absolute musical genius of Perlman. The most obvious manifestation of that genius is the famous Perlman Sound - lustrous, warm and generous, its impact compounded by often astounding virtuosity; and yet Perlman makes it all look so easy. In fact, he communicates a positive joy in his playing.
Perlman Sound is released as a primer for the deluxe 59-album boxed set Itzhak Perlman: the Complete Warner Recordings, and may be a good option for fans who don't have enough shelf space for this expansive edition. This collection explores his artistry from the finest concerto highlights (Mendelssohn, Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Korngold, Sibelius, The Four Seasons), to virtuoso solo and chamber repertoire (Paganini Caprice No.24, Bach Partita No.3, the MÉditation from Thaïs, Flight of the Bumblebee, Zapateado) and klezmer and jazz selections. The duo partners and conductors are some of the 20th century's biggest classical stars, many of whom count among Perlman's dearest friends and collaborators.1. Thais: Meditation
2. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14
3. Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
4. Meditation, Op. 32
5. Russian Fantasy (arr. Kreisler)
6. Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42: No. 2 Scherzo in C Minor (Arr. Glazunov)
7. Legende, Op 17
8. The Old Refrain (arr. Kreisler)
9. Schon Rosmarin$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn DavisA one-night-only concert was held at New York City's Town Hall last fall, to celebrate the music of the Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis. The evening was filmed for a documentary that was broadcast by Showtime last winter, and now Nonesuch Records releases a live recording of the concert, Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of "Inside Llewyn Davis,"on January 13, 2015. The concert, documentary, and live album were produced by Inside Llewyn Davis writer/director/producers Joel and Ethan Coen and soundtrack producer T Bone Burnett. (Nonesuch also released the film's soundtrack.)
As Burnett explains, "Inside Llewyn Davis was filled with live performances of some of the folk songs that had survived the McCarthy hearings. Some of the songs were a hundred years old; some had just been written but sounded a hundred years old. In order to get attention for a film that was not exactly on the beat we decided to throw a concert featuring the actors and musicians who had performed in the movie and on the soundtrack. We also invited members of the extraordinary community of musicians who have coalesced around this old music-and have kept it alive in the wake of the most recent technological revolution-to join us that night. We asked them to perform an old song and one of their new songs.
He continues, "Several new stars emerged from their performances that evening-The Secret Sisters, Lake Street Dive, The Milk Carton Kids, Rhiannon Giddens, and Punch Brothers all proved themselves as good as the best as they took the stage next to Hall of Famers Joan Baez and Elvis Costello, and established younger artists like The Avett Brothers, Colin Meloy, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Willie Watson, Gillian Welch, and Jack White." In fact, T Bone Burnett has since produced albums by both Punch Brothers and Rhiannon Giddens, which will be released shortly after Another Day, Another Time.
Huffington Post called Another Day, Another Time "one of those only-in-New-York events," while Rolling Stone said it was "a bustling salute to the sounds and the idea of Sixties folk music," and continued, "For all the formality of the night, which was exceedingly well-paced and organized, the concert recalled a time when one or two people, bearing one or two unplugged instruments, could be as enthralling as the greatest rock or EDM track."1. Tumbling Tumbleweeds - Punch Brothers
2. Rye Whiskey - Punch Brothers
3. Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings
4. The Way It Goes - Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
5. The Midnight Special - Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Willie Watson
6. I Hear Them All/This Land Is Your Land - Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Willie Watson
7. New York - The Milk Carton Kids
8. Tomorrow Will Be Kinder - Secret Sisters & Punch Brothers
9. You Go Down Smooth - Lake Street Dive
10. Please Mr. Kennedy - Elvis Costello, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
11. Four Strong Winds - Conor Oberst, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings
12. Man Named Truth - Conor Oberst, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings
13. Blues Run the Game - Colin Meloy
14. Joe Hill - Colin Meloy, Gillian Welch, Joan Baez
15. All My Mistakes - The Avett Brothers
16. That's How I Got to Memphis - The Avett Brothers
17. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise - The Avett Brothers
18. Mama's Angel Child - Jack White
19. Did You Hear John Hurt? - Jack White
20. We're Going to Be Friends - Jack White
21. Waterboy - Rhiannon Giddens
22. 'S iomadh rud tha dhìth orm / Ciamar a nì mi 'n dannsa dìreach - Rhiannon Giddens
23. Hang Me, Oh Hang Me - Oscar Isaac, Punch Brothers, Secret Sisters
24. Green, Green Rocky Road - Oscar Isaac
25. Tomorrow Is a Long Time - Keb Mo
26. Rock Salt & Nails - Bob Neuwirth
27. The Auld Trianole - Punch Brothers & Marcus Mumford
28. Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby - Carey Mulligan, Gillian Welch, Rhiannon Giddens
29. Which Side Are You On? - Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, Chris Thile
30. House of the Rising Sun - Joan Baez, Dirk Powell, Marcus Mumford
31. I Was Young When I Left Home - Marcus Mumford
32. Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song) - Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac, Punch Brothers
33. Farewell - Marcus Mumford & Punch Brothers$44.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Like A RoseAshley Monroe, a member of the critically acclaimed trio Pistol Annies, presents her first Warner Nashville solo album, Like A Rose. Most folks, as soon as they hear Ashley Monroe, instantly recognize one thing: she's the real deal. Her songs resonate so profoundly because they reflect the experiences of an artist who, although she is just 26, has already seen both the best and worst that life has to offer.
Like a Rose has been a long time coming. Monroe has been creating music for more than half of her life-attracting along the way kudos from such music world giants as Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, Vince Gill and Jack White. Her new, full-length album release serves both to fill in the back-story and impart to us who she is today. At times her songs are dead serious, at others utterly hilarious, but always Monroe is an original with a compelling story to share.
Monroe spent her childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she immersed herself in all varieties of music ranging from country-she's not-too-distantly related to members of the legendary Carter Family-to rock, pop, rap and even opera. When she was 11, Monroe won a talent contest singing "I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and two years later her father gave Ashley her first guitar. She developed a passion for writing songs, discovering that she could easily communicate her thoughts and sentiments through a six-string and her dynamic, exceptional voice.
One of the most rewarding artistic adventures for Ashley to date has been the Pistol Annies, a trio she co-formed in 2011 with her friend Miranda Lambert, whose chart-topping hit "Heart Like Mine" Ashley co-penned, and newcomer Angaleena Presley. Pistol Annies have provided Monroe with yet another outlet for her music. Their album, Hell on Heels, garnered rave reviews. The All Music Guide called the trio "a remarkably democratic supergroup" while veteran music critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A grade, citing its "expertly executed tunes."
Despite her list of previous accomplishments, everything she's done so far feels like it's been pointing the way toward Like a Rose. With songs that run the gamut from feel-good to controversial to contemplative, the album, produced by country music titan Vince Gill, offers the full range of Ashley Monroe's songwriting and performing skills. To maintain the honesty of Ashley's songs, Gill and the singer chose to record the album the way most of the greatest albums ever were made: sans gimmickry. "We just got the band in a circle and started playing the songs," Ashley says, "and once we felt like we had a feel for it, I'd do my vocal live-I never went back in to do a second vocal. Everyone put everything we had into the songs. There was a buzz in the room. We all had fun-it felt like a big old family, the way records used to be made."
Some of the songs were newly written for the album; others date back several years and felt right to revisit. The semi-autobiographical title track, one of the uncontestable highlights of the set, was co-written about six years ago with another totem of the American song-crafting community, Texan legend Guy Clark.
One song that is bound to raise some eyebrows refers to the same favored flower of the title tune, but in a much different sense: "Weed Instead of Roses" tells of a woman's desire to get a gift she actually desires from her beau, not just something that smells good.
"You Got Me" was co-written by Monroe and Karen Fairchild. Says Ashley, "It's about an addiction to something-one thing or another, whether you're stuck in a bad relationship or alcohol or whatever it is-and you try to hide it and fight it but you're kind of saying, 'Alright, you got me.'
On a more light-hearted note is "Monroe Suede," based on "a slick character that tries to get away all the time." Another is the self-explanatory "You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter)," a duet featuring Lambert's husband, CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton. "Morning After" confronts that uneasy feeling that often follows a too-good time and "She's Driving Me Out Of Your Mind," written with Jon Randall Stewart, comes straight from one of Ashley's many journals. "Two Weeks Late" was suggested by singer-songwriter Shane McAnally, who co-wrote it with Monroe. "He came in and said, 'I heard this phrase at the ATM: I'm a dollar short and two weeks late.' That was another one that just fell out. I grabbed the guitar and we started writing it up.
"Used," another standout, is an update of a song that appeared on Monroe's Satisfied album. "It came to me when I was about 17 and my manager at the time had just bought me this old 1950s Gibson guitar," she says. It came into my mind that things are worth more used, and I thought about my mom, who had lost my dad when she was 38. I was thinking, she had two kids, she's been through a lot, and, bless her heart, it's all gonna be worth it. Vince and I worked up this new version, which made it fresh for me."
And fresh it all is. Like a Rose avoids the trappings of too much contemporary music by sticking to the basics: memorable songs, incredible musicians, a superb voice, all of it captured honestly and without frills. As the saying goes, sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. Take a whiff of Like a Rose and you'll find it smells pretty darn sweet.1. Like A Rose
2. Two Weeks Late
4. Weed Instead of Roses
5. You Got Me
6. The Morning After
7. Monroe Suede
8. She's Driving Me Out Of Your Mind
9. You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter) ft. Blake Shelton$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shine On Rainy DayOut on Low Country Sounds/Elektra Records, Shine On Rainy Day was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, etc.) and recorded live over four days in Nashville.
Of the music and working with producer (and cousin) Dave Cobb, Brent comments, "It's not as good as it's going to get. But if it's the last thing that I ever do, if I died the day after it came out, then thank God I was able to record it because the songs and the production, it was everything I wanted to say. Finally."
Dave adds, "I wanted to work with Brent for very selfish reasons. When he lifts a pen and opens his mouth, it sounds like home. I did his record because he's part of the fabric of South Georgia and the soundtrack to my family. Pure rural country soul filled music."
Already receiving notice, Brent was recently featured on WXPN's World CafÉ (listen to the full session here), while Rolling Stone featured him as one of their "30 Must-See Acts" at CMA Fest 2016, asserting, "Live, he's every bit the charming raconteur, setting up catchy rural anthems that have the loose and earthy feel of a front porch sing-along."
Additionally, earlier this year, Brent was featured on Dave's widely praised Southern Family compilation-contributing the song "Down Home" and writing the standout "Sweet By & By," which was recorded by Miranda Lambert. Of "Down Home," Wide Open Country declares, " one of the most earnest and accurate retellings of everyday life in rural Georgia. The mixture of Cobb's charming southern drawl, brilliant storytelling and flawless production melds into a track that is impossible to resist."
Born in Ellaville, GA (population 1,609), Brent moved to Nashville in 2008 and has since found widespread success as a writer with songs recorded by Lambert ("Old Shit"), Kenny Chesney ("Don't It"), Luke Bryan ("Tailgate Blues"), David Nail ("Grandpa's Farm"), Kellie Pickler ("Rockaway") and Eli Young Band ("Go Outside and Dance") among others.1. Solving Problems
2. South Of Atlanta
3. The World
4. Diggin' Holes
5. Country Bound
6. Traveling Poor Boy
7. Shine On Rainy Day
8. Let The Rain Come Down
9. Down In The Gulley
10. Black Crow$17.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Doo-Wops and HooligansIt's better if you don't understand; just listen and have a good time. That's the response Bruno Mars will give you with a smile when asked to describe his sound and music. He would much rather sing, perform and write his songs than talk about them, but that is becoming more and more unavoidable these days. It might seem that Mars appeared out of nowhere, co-writing, producing and performing on B.o.B's #1 Nothin' On You followed by Travis McCoy's chart-climbing Billionaire, but he makes one thing clear: It's not an overnight success.
Mars is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer and musician who feels most at home when he's performing. Born to a musical family in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was practically raised on the stage. His father, a Latin percussionist from Brooklyn, organized a Vegas-style revue that featured the entire family, including his mother, a talented vocalist. When a four-year-old Mars observed his family performing Motown hits, doo-wop medleys and impersonations for enthusiastic crowds all over his native Waikiki Beach, I was jealous! says Mars with a laugh. My dad put me on stage and I remember singing an Elvis song and that was it. Ever since that moment, I've been addicted.
As soon as he graduated high school, Mars left Hawaii for Los Angeles with dreams of launching his career as a performer. Those dreams got put on hold, however, when The Smeezingtons, the songwriting/production team he founded with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, suddenly took off. The pair has crafted major hits for a diverse roster of talent, including Flo Rida's Right Round, Travis McCoy's Billionaire, Brandy's Long Distance and K'Naan's Waving Flags, which was the theme song for the World Cup.
On the heels of Nothin' on You and Billionaire and as a preview of what's to come from Bruno Mars, Elektra Records released a 4-song EP aptly titled It's Better If You Don't Understand. The title is taken from a lyric to The Other Side; one of the songs included that features Cee-Lo Green and re-teams Mars with B.o.B. In preparation for this, his full length debut, Doo-Wops And Hooligans, Bruno recently released his first single Just The Way You Are.1. Grenade
2. Just The Way You Are
3. Our First Time
4. Runaway Baby
5. The Lazy Song
6. Marry You
7. Talking To The Moon
8. Liquor Store Blues (feat. Damian Marley)
9. Count On Me
10. The Other Side (feat. Cee Lo Green and B.o.B)$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Playing The AngelFrom the beginning of their career Depeche Mode have been at the forefront of remix culture; creating their own classic extended mixes back in the early 80s and over the years amassing a collection of remixers of their songs that pretty much charts the history of cutting edge dance music.
When Ultra was declared the best Depeche Mode album since Violator, those who said so must have forgotten about Songs of Faith and Devotion. When Exciter was declared the best Depeche Mode album since Violator, those who said so must have also forgotten about Songs of Faith and Devotion, in addition to having found a roundabout way of saying that it was merely better than Ultra. There's no doubt this time: Playing the Angel is both the band's best album since Violator and, more significantly, an album that is near Violator in stature. The biggest clue dropped by the band prior to its release was a quote from Dave Gahan, who said that being in Depeche Mode is better than it has been in 15 years. Some quick math reveals that Gahan was hinting at the Violator era, a time when the band's creativity and popularity peaked synchronously. It also turns out that this is a time as good as any other to be paying attention to the band. Playing the Angel lacks Songs of Faith and Devotion's end-to-end chest-beating, Ultra's grinding murk, and Exciter's desiccated patches. It takes the best qualities from those releases, combines them with a few subtle allusions to Violator -- tiptoeing the border that separates retread from reinvention -- and makes for a highly concentrated set of songs that all but demand to be heard in one uninterrupted shot. Gahan, still riding the confidence he gained as a songwriter from Paper Monsters, his 2003 solo debut, contributes three songs co-written with band associates Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott. Though none of them vie to be the album's centerpiece, it's apparent that the move wasn't a concession of desperation on anyone's part. The friendly competition seems to have kicked chief songwriter Martin Gore into high gear; he's in top form. Musically, a lot of analog gear was used, and it's apparent that the arrangements and extra sounds were less fussed over than they have been in the recent past. You get the sense that everything fell into place, as opposed to being forced or aimlessly manipulated. Despite the favoring of older gear, there's no other year in which any of the songs could've been made. Like the best Depeche Mode, almost everything on the album will make an initial wowing impact while remaining layered enough in subtle details to surprise and thrill with repeated listens. It is not the kind of album a 25-year-old band is supposed to make.
- Andy Kellman (All Music Guide)LP 1
1. A Pain That Im Used To
2. John The Revelator
3. Suffer Well
4. The Sinner In Me
7. I Want It All
8. Nothings Impossible
10. Damaged People
12. The Darkest Star$26.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Teacher Don't Teach Me NonsenseTeacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense: Fela explains the role of the teacher in any society with the concept that: all the things we consider as problems, and all the good things we accept from life as good, begin with what we are taught. The individual teaching begins with when we are children - our mother is our teacher. When we come of school age, our teacher is the school-teacher. At the university, the lecturers and professors are our teachers. After university-when we start to work, government becomes the individual's teacher. When then is government's teacher? 'Culture and Tradition' says Fela. This is the order of things everywhere in the world. However, it is the problem side of teacher and student that interests Fela in this song. Because every country in this world except in Africa, it is the respective culture and tradition of that country that guides the government on how to rule their people. Going for specifics, Fela mentions France, Germany, England, Korea, Japan, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Etc., it is the culture of these countries that shapes and guides their respective government's decisions. The culture and traditions of these countries serve as a teacher to their respective governments. Turing his attention to Africa and her problems. Problems which he had sang about: corruption, inflation, mismanagement, authority stealing, electoral fraud, the latest addition which even makes him laugh is -austerity. Fela says if you ask him why 'austerity makes him laugh? The answer is that it is beyond crying. The government steals money from the country, the same government is introducing austerity measures-forcing the poor people to pay for their own greed and calling it 'austerity measures'. How funny if to say the least. Who taught African 'leaders' to rule the way they do today? 'Na the oyinbo' (meaning in Yoruba language: 'it is them white folks') referring to ex-colonial ruler of each country. Take electoral fraud, which is a true test of our democracy. Many African leaders rig elections with impunity and their respective ex-colonial rulers say nothing against this form of 'democracy'. While the same 'white folks' are quick to claim credit for Africa's 'civilization'-which Fela disputes in this song. Is this democracy? , he asks. Turning to other problems like the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor. Particularly, since the rich are the rules, and also the people stealing the country into poverty. Is this democracy? Or dem-all-crazy? In conclusion, as an African personality, Fela says he is not in the same league as those who believe in dem-all-crazy, so he calls on the Western powers who claim to be Africa's teachers not to teach him nonsense-Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense.
Look and Laugh: By 1981 when Fela wrote and started to perform live the song Look And Laugh, he was living a life that could be described as a recluse. Fela, who loved to go out in public places, clubs, etc. Suddenly, was always found sleeping or playing sax at home with women around him, or performing at the Africa Shrine. His old attitude of keeping abreast of events, giving lectures at universities and institutions of higher learning stopped. He rarely gave press conferences or press releases, like he used to do. Finally he wrote the song to explain what was going-on with him. He sang: ' many of you go dey wonder why your man never write new song! wetin I dey do be say I dey look and laugh.' Meaning: many of you must have been wondering why, your man has not written new songs! what I am doing is just look and laugh! Fela went on to explain his contributions and sacrifices for the cause of black emancipation, the countless beatings and arrests from the Nigerian police and army, his trials and tribulations, his ultimate sacrifice being the burning down of Kalakuta by the Nigeria army. But despite his sacrifices and sufferings like millions of other Africans, it was obvious that things were not getting better for the average man on the street. There is still injustice everywhere, no freedom, no happiness. All these made him feel disillusioned and all he could do about the situation is to Look and Laugh.
Just Like That: This song is a call to arms from Fela to all Africans to rise up and do something about the political, economic, social and cultural retrogression that has plagued Africa since independence. For more than three decades of independence, there is glaring mismanagement of people's lives, corruption in the highest echelon of government-all these carried out with impunity-'Just Like That' he sings. Using the Nigerian experience as an example of the 'lack of maintenance culture', in Africa's present day neo-colonial administrations, he says: 'White man ruled us for many years, we had electricity constantly, our leaders take over! No electricity in town-Just like that!' Fela explains that the attempt to transplant 'Western style democracy' in an African society is the cause of all the problems. Despite calls for African Unity from leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, who said: '..Until all foreign institutions and culture are removed from the African land, that is when the African genius will be born and African personality will find its fulfillment..'. Instead of heeding Nkrumah's call, Nigeria's political founding fathers, like most African leaders at independence, chose the option of fashioning the constitutions of their respective countries after those of the departing colonial 'masters'-Just Like That. The ambiguity of such decisions can be seen in the poor imitation we make of our attempt at 'Western style democracy'. Persistent political gangsterism, military coups, and sometimes wars, are means used to enforce the already compromised constitutions. As another example of enforcing a fragile constitution, Fela stresses the face that in 1966, Nigeria for a civil war to keep the country ONE. General Gowon, the military head of state, divided Nigeria into twelve administrative regions, subsequent administrations divided the regions into more-Just Like That. He adds that if the idea of the civil war was to keep the country ONE, sub-dividing Nigeria into more regions would separate rather than unite the country. Turning to the position of traditional rulers in the mess called government, Fela sings: ' nothing good for town to give the youths good examples, how our traditional ruler they do, them come make youths look-up to Europe and USA, in those places them don lose them common sense, na the number of Nuclear weapons you get, na him give you power pass! Right now! Fight now! Suffer must stop! Just Like That". Therefore, calling on the people to fight now for a better society.1. Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense
2. Look and Laugh
3. Just Like That$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Back To The FrontExplaining the relevance and influence of ENTOMBED is probably as superfluous as pointing out why Slayer rule, Lemmy is bigger than God and Dio the greatest loss in metal history. A legend is a legend. Fullstop. F**k off!
If you still require a proper explanation that is less shot from the hip, well let us start with this: The Swedish Death Metal forefathers and genre innovators have inspired tons of bands all around the globe with their invincible trademark sound. However, as the band's last album "Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments" dates back to 2007, there is definitely more than a good reason for a bit of catch-up and ask why it took so long to finish the band's superb 10th opus, programmatically titled "Back To the Front", vocalist extraordinaire L-G Petrov states:
""Serpents " was a fairly good album but a little weak compared to previous works and the distribution wasn't that great yet we continued playing shows throughout the past years but never really got going with new songs. At some point we decided that it was time for a new album, so we sat down and played riffs that we had from before as well as many new riffs and started putting them together which really sparked our motivation. That really gave us a push! We feel that this is the best album so far in many years and I think you can hear it on the album!"
Thematically, the will and determination to back up such words with fantastic songs is reflected in the powerful album title and part of the concept of the record as guitarist Nico Elgstrand describes:
"A lot of the album is about being at war in different ways and struggles/shortcomings of mankind, so we felt that "Back To The Front" fitted really well. It has a military reference obviously and we also feel like a platoon (ha ha, a small platoon) that has been behind the frontlines for a long time anxious to get back into battle. Not mean and lean but rather fat and bored and really keen on getting back to what we do best, which of course is to kill! Metaphorically speaking needless to say, ha ha. Also it is a very direct way of saying we've been away for way too long, we know and that we will now aim to stay at the front until the friggin' battle is won! The cavalry has finally arrived if you will (without horses though, ha ha)!"
Well spoken, Sir, yet expectations will be incredibly high on this one as ENTOMBED's roots and legacy goes way back into the year 1987 when they formed under the name NIHILIST. In 1989 the formation changed its name to ENTOMBED and together with Morbid (for whom singer LG played drums), Treblinka/Tiamat, Grave and Dismember, ENTOMBED/NIHILIST established themselves among the earliest bands to forge the immortal Swedish death metal sound that became really popular and unique due to its punkish roots and especially that chainsaw guitar sound, today inseparably linked to terms like "Skogsberg", "Sunlight Studio" or just "Stockholm sound". Inspired by such diverse acts as Autopsy, Motörhead, Discharge or Kiss, over the years ENTOMBED did not shy away from thinking outside of the coffin resulting in a style some fans called Death'n'Roll but in the end it was, is and will be just a band with a style and impact entirely their own.
So, what awaits the listener on "Back To The Front"? Produced by Roberto Laghi (In Flames, Hardcore Superstar) at Studio Bohus (Abba, Europe) in KunÄlv, it's 666% true to the ENTOMBED everybody loves. While not falling for total regression back to the early classics "Left Hand Path" or "Clandestine", it is a total bone-crushing opus that will have fans of all periods cry tears of joy and even the most stubborn fan of the early days join in shame. "The goal was to have riffs that felt fresh and exciting, to make an album that felt old school as well as fresh and up to date, showing who ENTOMBED are today," L-G puts it quite simply and Nico continues: "I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I find it super hard to pick 2 or 3 songs as the best of it, because i really like 'em all. I think that they all have something new and fresh yet it feels very old school in some way. "Kill To Live" with its surprising ENTOMBED-intro turned out very cool and the track also has an almost cinematic yet classic metal feel to it, dunno why, but it just invigorates me. "Second To None" kinda makes me wanna drive a tank while listening, and that to me is how proper metal should sound! It makes you wanna do mighty things so to speak!"
From the morbid, pissed-off lyrics over detuned, massive riffs to the inimitable brick-heavy groove and LG Petrov's titanic roar, "Back To The Front" not only musically but also visually with its stunning painting by Necropolitus Cracoviensis Zbgniew Bielak II (Watain, Ghost, Vader) seems to send a respectful nod to the old school as L-G confirms: "The skull will always be a part of ENTOMBED. I totally agree, we have taken away some of the rock parts and gone with more metal, and I think fans new and old will appreciate that."
With European touring under way in December with label mates and black metal genre leaders WATAIN - vocalist Erik actually penned lyrics for the song "Carnage" (from "When In Sodom" EP, 2006) - and former band member Nicke Andersson contributed parts to the new song "Vulture And The Traitor", the Swedish metal platoon ENTOMBED anno 2013 has all its weapons polished and reloaded and is ready to shatter the entire music scene with an uncompromising full frontal assault. So, let us all enjoy "Back To The Front" and celebrate the fact that the legend called ENTOMBED has finally returned. Goddamn!1. Kill To Live
2. Bedlam Strike
3. The Underminer
4. Second To None
6. Waiting For Death
7. Eternal Woe
8. Digitus Medius
9. Vulture And The Traitor
10. Pandemic Rage
11. Soldier Of No Fortune$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WARB-ATL-0825xPortugal The Man
WoodstockWell, we're two full months into 2017 and the world continues to burn like an avalanche of flaming biohazard material sliding down a mountain of used needles into a canyon full of rat feces. But hey, it's not all bad: Portugal. The Man has a new album coming out called Woodstock.
PTM's last album came out over three years ago-a long gap for a band who've dropped roughly an album a year since 2006. And in true, prolific band fashion, they've spent almost every minute since 2013 working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin. They created a shit-ton of individual songs, but as a whole, none of them hung together in a way that felt right. Then John Gourley, PTM's lead singer, made a trip home to Wasilla, Alaska, (Home of Portugal. The Man's biggest fan, Sarah Palin) and two things happened that completely changed the album's trajectory.
First, John got some parental tough love from his old man, who called John on the proverbial carpet or dogsled or whatever you put people on when you want to yell at them in Alaska. What's taking so long to finish the album? John's dad said. Isn't that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out? Like fathers and unlicensed therapists tend to do, John's dad cut him deep. The whole thing started John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and, more importantly, about how to get off of it.
Second, fate stuck its wiener in John's ear again when he found his dad's ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival. It seems like a small thing, but talking to his dad about Woodstock '69 knocked something loose in John's head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them. With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and they threw it out.
It wasn't easy and there was the constant threat that the band's record label might have them killed, but the totally insane decision paid off. With new, full-on, musical boners, the band went back to the studio-working with John Hill (In The Mountain In The Cloud), Danger Mouse (Evil Friends), Mike D (Everything Cool), and longtime collaborator Casey Bates (The one consistent producer since the first record). In this new-found creative territory, the album that became Woodstock rolled out naturally from there
Remember that mountain of burning needles we were talking about? Good. Because Woodstock is an album (Including the new single Feel It Still) that-with optimism and heart-points at the giant pile and says, Hey, this pile is fucked up! And if you think that pile is fucked up too, you owe it to yourself-hell, to all of us-to get out there and do something about it.1. Number One
2. Easy Tiger
3. Live In The Moment
4. Feel It Still
5. Rich Friends
6. Keep On
7. So Young (feat. Fat Lip)
8. Mr. Lonely
9. Tidal Wave
10. Noise Pollution (feat. Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Zoe Mannville)$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
Boomer's Story (On Sale)Ry Cooder Is A Master Sonic Archeologist And Cultural Historian On Boomer's Story: Guitarist Pays Tribute To The Past And Updates Music For Future On Rustic Record Steeped In Folk, Blues, And Soul
Mastered From The Original Master Tapes, Pressed At RTI, And Strictly Limited To 3000 Numbered Copies: Mobile Fidelity 180g LP Of Boomer's Story Sounds Fantastic With Vibrant Textures
Ry Cooder's development as a peerless musician capable of grasping virtually any style began with his time spent with Taj Mahal and Captain Beefheart, but for all intents and purposes reaches epic proportions on Boomer's Story. With two ambitious albeit uneven studio albums behind him, the California native plunged into roles that still define him today - that of sonic archaeologist and cultural historian, shaping his 1972 Reprise effort with enlightened selections carved into the bedrock of America's folk, blues, and soul landscapes. Inspired, virtuosic, and poignant, Boomer's Story endures as a ravishing portrait of inspired translation and inventive craftsmanship that after years of neglect finally boasts sonics deserving of the performances.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 3000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP of Cooder's breakout teems with natural tones, front-to-back imaging, and vintage tube warmth. Boomer's Story benefits from vibrant textures and organic openness, two prized traits that come to fore with breathtaking realism on this analog reissue. Details ranging from the audible resonance of the drum skins, drifting reverb on the guitar, and the inner cavity of the piano take up residence on deep-black soundstages. Individual notes appear and recede with lifelike decay. Cooder and company sound as if they're in the room, playing in real time with one another. This record has never been more dynamic or involving.
Having initiated his self-taught learning of customs established by the likes of Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Charlie Johnson, and Robert Johnson as early as age four, and grown up a son of parents obsessed with Folkways Records, Cooder never suffers from the retro rehash fakery plaguing countless contemporary revivalists. A true original, the guitarist simultaneously pays tribute to the past and updates it for the future. Boomer's Story brims with traditional tunes (the title track, Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man), classic blues (Ax Sweet Mama, Cherry Ball Blues), and World War II standards (Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer).
A spellbinding blend of personality, respect, and innovation grace every song. Evoking the timeless rusticism and weird, old America vibe of Bob Dylan and the Band's Basement Tapes, Boomer's Story unfolds with a relaxed ease and back-porch chemistry underlined by the musicians' unpretentious demeanors and potent abilities. Drummer Jim Keltner, percussionist Milt Holland, and bassist Jim Dickinson (also a producer) are among the cast fleshing out Cooder's visions. The headliner also welcomes country-blues legend Sleepy John Estes to sing on his own President Kennedy and leans on pianist Randy Newman to help him transform the normally bellicose Rally 'Round the Flag into a patient, mournful protest.
Cooder attains equally meaningful, emotional results on a definitive wordless interpretation of the staple soul ballad The Dark End of the Street, expressing unfathomable depths of regret and longing via slide-guitar work that draws a line back to Blind Willie McTell's immortal spiritual Dark Was the Night - a song Cooder called the most transcendent piece in all American music. Indeed, the degree of interplay attained by twinkling keys, rambling beats, brass accents, and dazzling guitar lines - also finger-picked and strummed - on Boomer's Story breathes with a rare air increasingly endangered in an era of on-demand immediacy and auto-tuned imitation. This, as it's said, is the real deal.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Boomer's Story
2. Cherry Ball Blues
3. Crow Black Chicken
4. Ax Sweet Mama
5. Maria Elena
6. The Dark End of the Street
7. Rally 'Round the Flag
8. Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer
9. President Kennedy
10. Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Blood // Sugar // Secs // TrafficHey, what's this? Well that, my friend, is the newest album from The
Gotobeds, entitled Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic. It's their second
full-length LP and their first for Sub Pop. Whoa, whoa, please slow down.
I'm already completely lost. What you just said sounded like a stream of
complete gibberish. Okay, I'll lay it out for you and if you have any
questions could you yell them at me? SOUNDS GOOD. The Gotobeds
formed vaguely around 2009 in Pittsburgh and play a mutant strain of rock
music that is often filed under punk, indie rock, or 99-cent discount bin.
WAIT, THE GOTOBEDS? I HEARD THEY WERE KNUCKLEHEADS! Only if
the knuckle is the part of the human body that contains the brains. Much
like their previous releases on underground stalwart labels like Mind Cure
and 12XU, this new album artfully slips intelligence and experimentation
into a dying art form. It's a harder feat than you'd think.
And sure, their live shows have often been compared to an all night party
where I feared for my life and the lives of everybody in the five block
radius, and their recorded output is akin to the sonic manifestos of four
men deprived of human love and raised on beer and Swell Maps, Mission
of Burma, and old Fall records. But what you get with The Gotobeds,
delivered in spades on this album, is smart, noisy rock with just the right
amount of stupid.
FAIR ENOUGH. SO HOW'D THIS GET MADE? It was recorded in bursts
over several months of 2015 in their friend My War Matt's basement in
Pittsburgh. Unlike previously, the songs were conceived and recorded in
blocks, which resulted in a more experimental feel. But this is no chin
stroking curate's egg. You like loud, double guitar leads? OF COURSE I DO.
WHO DOESN'T? You're in luck, because this album is carpeted with em,
thanks to Eli Kasan and TFP. On a song like 'Bodies,' it sounds as if
you've walked into the biggest Guitar Center, but, you know, not terrible.
Keeping it all locked down is the rhythm section of drummer, Cary Belback
and bassist, Gavin Jensen. They allow the downright prettiness of a song
like Red Alphabet to shine, and the lyrics on the anti-sexism thrash of
Crisis Time to punch through.
THIS ALL SOUNDS WONDERFUL, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED
TO CARE ABOUT? Eh, probably not. Except that Tim Midyett (Silkworm,
Bottomless Pit, Mint Mile) and some bum (Protomartyr) are featured as
guest vocalists on Rope and Why'd You, respectively. Also, I'd be remiss
to not mention the fact that the band's live show is a testament to the
cathartic nature of speed, skill, repetition, noise, and red stage lights. If
you don't believe me, ask the bands they have played with, like Total
Control, Tyvek, or The Replacements. Also, they rep Pittsburgh harder than
anyone possibly could and come off better for it...which is saying
I THINK I UNDERSTAND. BLOOD // SUGAR // SECS // TRAFFIC IS THE
GREATEST ALBUM SINCE THE LAST GOTOBEDS RECORD? Yes. Now
please stop yelling. -Joe Casey, Protomartyr1. Real Maths/Too Much
3. Brass Not Rash
5. Why'd You
6. Red Alphabet
7. Cold Gold (LA's Alright)
8. Crises Time
10. Glass House
11. Amazing Supermarkets$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
NDR 60 Years Jazz Edition No. 3 - Stephane Grappelli EnsembleMono
On the 17th of May 1957 StÉphane Grappelli came to Hamburg for a recording session with a quartet in Studio 1 of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio broadcaster. From today's perspective the trip was a rare event for the then 49-year-old jazz musician, because from the end of the 1940s until the mid-1960s he was rarely to be found in a recording studio anywhere, even though he was already one of the world's best jazz violinists. His studio absence is particularly puzzling given that up to his death on the 1st of December 1997 he was probably one of the most recorded violinists in the history of music of the 20th century. But from this roughly 15-year period there is actually just a handful of released recordings by and with StÉphane Grappelli.
For the jazz violinist the years before making his trip to Hamburg in 1957 were a time of upheaval and change which left a "gap" in Grappelli's CV and discography. There are several reasons for this. One of them lies in the technical developments of the time. Music became louder. Electric guitars, improved microphones and the voluminous sound, in particular of the brass section, also led to a broadening of the dynamic spectrum in jazz. With its delicate acoustics it was difficult for a violin to assert itself against the other instruments without amplification. Before coming to Hamburg, Grappelli had already started experimenting with various pick-up systems. But he was generally dissatisfied with the results because the electrification of his instrument had an excessively alienating effect on the unique timbre of the violin and the ambience was lost. This is why he often preferred a chamber music setting in the recording studio, as this gave him the best acoustic results with just a simple microphone.
Another reason was of a personal nature. On the 16th of May 1953 the Manouche guitarist "Django" Reinhardt died. The death of his long-time friend and musical companion had deeply wounded StÉphane Grappelli. He rarely spoke about this loss. When he did, then he spoke about the years between 1934 and 1939, when they both fronted the now legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France. It was the countless recordings with this band that earned Grappelli and Reinhardt their reputation as "legends" of early European jazz. Here and in the USA: with the then so popular Hot Jazz which the pair mixed from the very beginning of their percussionless band with the Musette waltzes typical of French dance music and the music of the Manouches, the French Gypsies.
When the Second World War broke out on the 1st of September 1939, the Quintette du Hot Club de France was on tour in England. While one, Reinhardt, returned to his homeland of France, the other, Grappelli, remained in London. In his English exile the violinist became acquainted with George Shearing. An encounter with consequences. Because Grappelli - who had taught himself to play the violin as a youth before going to study classical violin at the venerable Conservatoire de Paris, after which, like many musicians of the time, he earned his livelihood playing with dance orchestras in the French capital - was always interested in being part of new musical developments. With the blind pianist who was more than ten years younger and his concept of block chords, Grappelli was given the opportunity to learn what was for him an unknown harmonic language in jazz.
But above all, up to the late 1950s Grappelli was still working on perfecting his instrumental skills. While his solo choruses on the violin with the Quintette du Hot Club de France mainly involved intensifying ornamentations, tension-escalating vibrati, glissandi and tremoli, short fill-ups and improvised melodic phrases, in the years after the end of the war he expanded the range of forms of expression on his instrument. He was inspired, for example, by the "Bel Canto" playing of the classical violin virtuosos, taught himself different type of bow strokes, and learned an unusual grip technique for the violin in order to be able to fly over the strings with the minimum of pressure. But above all he emotionalised his sound using a technique with which he preceded the played notes with a glissando from below.
StÉphane Grappelli's visit to Studio 1 at the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg in 1957 was then indeed a stroke of luck. Because on this day he had for the first time the complete repertoire of forms of expression on the violin which made him the style-forming jazz musician who earned the admiration even of instrumentalists in other genres such as the great classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin. At the same time, his tone and phrasing still had the vitality and virility of his younger years with the Quintette du Hot de France in the 1930s. And even more: In 1957 he was able to build a bridge with his violin between the swinging grandezza of the US jazz musicians and the great tradition of European music.
A major factor in making the recording session in Studio 1 of the NDR a field of experimentation for Grappelli was his rhythm group. This included his twenty-years-younger compatriot, the pianist Maurice Vander, and the two Germans Hans Last on the contra bass (yes, you've read it correctly: years later "Hans" was to become "James" Last) and Rolf Ahrens on percussion. With delicate harmony and colourful melody the three musicians cleared the ground for their leader to experiment with his violin: with his soft and broad legato bowing technique, for example, which allowed him to achieve such naturally swinging phrasing, particularly in the ballads and mid-tempo numbers, as the great US saxophonists at the time, with his sharp pizzicato which gave his solo choruses a dynamically differentiated energy level, or with his sensational flageolet tones in preparation for the climaxes of his improvisations.
Even though at first glance the repertoire recorded in Hamburg with its mixture of songs from the "Great American Songbook" ("St. Louis Blues" for example, or "Lady Be Good" and "The Lady Is A Tramp") and pieces, for example, by Django Reinhardt (in particular "Manoir De Mes Rêves" and "Nuages") appeared to offer little spectacular, in its natural and self-evident way this studio session was an illustration of what was to be Grappelli's life-long guiding principle: "Jazz is all about feeling: It is a matter of the heart", as he once summarised it in simple words "It is only when you have the feeling that the music happens as if by itself."LP1
1. Autumn In New York
2. Jeepers Creepers
3. These Foolish Things
4. She's Funny That Way
6. It Might As Well Be Spring
7. Hambourg Souvenir
8. Vours qui passez sans me voir
9. Lady Be Good
10. A Flower Is A Love-Some Thing
1. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
2. Manoir de mes reves
3. How About You?
4. The Lady Is A Tramp
5. St. Louis Blues
6. A Girl In Calico
7. I'll Remember April
8. Blue Moon
9. How High The Moon
10. Pennies From Heaven$37.99Vinyl LP Mono - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Coming Of AgeCall it a generous fluency, an affable virtuosity. Call it a true band spirit. The best bands have all had something that can't be forced: A refined mastery of music and a willingness to converse through music. That's what you hear, above all, on bassist Ben Williams' sophomore recording, Coming of Age: The sound of a musician who's cultivated an authentic rapport with some of the best young players in New York City.
We have these group texts that we send to each other all the time," Williams says of his band, Sound Effect. "We're just as entertaining to each other off stage as on. If there were ever a reality show about jazz, we'd be good candidates for it!"
Coming of Age for the 30-year-old Williams means playing a lively role among his peers and a vital part in the music world at large. After winning the prestigious Monk Institute Competition in 2009, Williams got busy turning his youthful promise into real achievement. "My career as a bandleader and composer started from the moment I won," he says. "I had this opportunity to say something-and an obligation, too." In 2011 Williams delivered a debut album, State Of Art, to great critical acclaim and toured widely as a bandleader with Sound Effect. He became a sought after and beloved sideman, playing so many sets at one year's Winter Jazzfest that he rarely left the stage. Most impressively, he assumed a highly-coveted place in guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Band. "Ben has a fearless and open-minded approach to what music can be," Metheny has said. "A wonderful combination of skills."
For all his strides in bandleading and performing, on the track Coming of Age Williams shows his greatest growth as a composer. "Composing seems like a nebulous thing," he says. "But the ability to translate a feeling into actual music, takes a lot of doing it, a lot of practice. Which chord is going to invoke this feeling? What's the best key for this idea?" And Williams has some big ideas and feelings to convey, necessitating heavy skill in musical translation and storytelling. On "Toy Soldiers," for example, a martial rhythm and chantlike riff send a message about the sacrifices of war. He wrote the uplifting "Strength And Beauty" on the day of the 2012 Newtown school shooting.
"The tragic news hit me hard, and this tune came to me as a way of feeling my way through the tragedy. The title was inspired later, when I saw how [jazz saxophonist] Jimmy Greene and his family responded to losing their daughter at Newtown. Their pain is something most of us can't even imagine, but the way Jimmy held it together and became a beacon of light and true strength was an inspiration to everyone."
Williams takes a page from the Miles Davis school of bandleading by encouraging his band members to compose in the studio, too. For the R&B tribute anthem "Voice of Freedom (for Mandela)," Williams enlisted the smooth soulfulness of singer-songwriter Goapele-and then headed in to record the song with a characteristically open mind. In the studio, saxophonist Marcus Strickland contributed an on-the-spot horn arrangement with the sunny harmony of a South African choir.
As much as Williams writes in response to politics and current events, his compositions are a respectful celebration of the musical past, too. The driving samba rhythms of "Forecast" are an homage to the jazz fusion group Weather Report, with the tune's melody inspired by Wayne Shorter's "Over Shadow Hill Way." Williams's fluid fretless grooves on "Half Steppin'" recall Jaco Pastorius's "Teen Town."
Williams sees covers of pop tunes as a bestowal to the jazz canon. "I always like to contribute new repertoire to the jazz songbook," says Williams. "For me it's very important to shout out all the young, new songs coming out." His gift on this album is a moving instrumental version of Lianne La Havas' breakup ballad "Lost & Found." Guest trumpeter Christian Scott communicates the contained heartache of La Havas's song lyrics, with a lightly arranged string quartet adding the right amount of solace.
Coming of Age concludes with the sweeping title tune, a showcase for Williams's broad stylistic range. "I wanted 'Coming of Age' to feel big," he says. "I was thinking of it in movements, as a kind of mini-symphony." In the final section of "Coming of Age," Williams picks up a bow for the only time on the record, filtering the sound to other worldly but soulful effect. "The vibe I was going for at the end was Prince," Williams says. "I wanted it to feel sonically transformed, tripped out." It's an auspicious end to an accomplished sophomore recording, with Williams' bowed strings sauntering off into the stars to explore for the next album.
Whatever comes next for Ben Williams, it's sure to be as engaging as it is virtuosic. As an artist who's come of age, Williams' raw talent has evolved into musical grace, conviction, and power. He's a musician in meaningful dialogue with his band Sound Effect, with current events, with musical styles past and present, and finally, with his listeners.
"My favorite thing is when someone comes up to me who's heard my music and they're singing one of my tunes," Williams enthuses. "Humming a melody! That's the best feeling in the world, when one of my tunes has stuck in someone's head."1. Black Villain Music
2. Voice of Freedom (for Mandela) featuring Goapele
3. Toy Soldiers
4. Lost & Found
5. Half Steppin'
6. Smells Like Teen Spirit
7. Toy Soldiers (Reprise)
8. Coming of Age$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Now Here is Nowhere (Out Of Stock)
First Time On Vinyl In The U.S. - Out Of Print Since Original Release In 2004
Each 2 LP Set Is Individually Numbered And Strictly Limited
180g, Color Vinyl Pressed At Record Industry
Comes In A Gatefold Double Pocket Aqueous-Gloss, Old School Tip-On Stoughton Sleeve With Replicated Inner Lyric Sleeves
Secret Machines, the three piece "Space Rock" alternative band from Dallas consists of Brandon Curtis on vocals, bass and keyboards, Benjamin Curtis on guitar and backing vocals, and Josh Garza on drums.
Best described as progressive rock with some Krautrock mixed in, the band's first full length release, Now Here is Nowhere, was recorded at Stratosphere Sound in NY and released May 18, 2004 on Reprise Records. All Music Guide gave the album 4 out of 5 stars. Their second album, Ten Silver Drops, like their first, did not make an impact commercially but garnered many favorable reviews. Following the release, the band was interviewed by David Bowie on radio; purported to be a big fan.
Benjamin left the band in March of 2007. The Secret Machines followed with two non-Reprise albums that failed to break and Benjamin tragically passed away from lymphoma at the age of 35. They have toured with the Foo Fighters, Spiritualized, Oasis, Kings of Leon, Interpol and many others. They have been inactive since 2010. Anyone interested in Pink Floyd, NEU, Ride, Spacemen 3, Mercury Rev, the Flaming Lips, U2, Super Furry Animals, Sparklehorse & Broken Social Scene should have this album in their collection.
"The Secret Machines create songs that are just as spacey and concept-heavy, if not quite as quirky, as those on Yoshimi and the Sophtware Slump." -Pitchfork
"A spiraling blend of infectious psychedelic pop that froths and fuzzes for a noisy hour." -Q Magazine
"The Machines have grasped that the zero tolerance of punk for the values of Yes did as much harm as good" -NME
"It's like John Bonham playing with CAN, or Pink Floyd-meet-Spirtualized with a barely repressed pop consciousness" -Uncut
"Beautifully spacey and searingly brash all at once." -Billboard
"They take Pink Floyd psychedelia, Led Zeppelin stomp and Who-inspired choruses and charge them full of big-rock beats, atmospheric keyboards and all kinds of electronic whooshes."-Rolling StoneLP 1
1. First Wave Intact
2. Sad and Lonely
3 The Leaves Are Gone
4. Nowhere Again
1. The Road Leads Where It's Led
2. Pharaoh's Daughter
3. You Are Chains
4. Light's On
5. Now Here is Nowhere$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock