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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt CheapThere's a real sense of menace to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, the title song of AC/DC's third album. More than most of their songs to date, it captured the seething malevolence of Bon Scott, the sense that he reveled in doing bad things, encouraged by the maniacal riffs of Angus and Malcolm Young who provided him with their most brutish rock & roll yet. But for as glorious as the title track was, the entire album served as a call to arms from a group that wanted nothing more than to celebrate the dirtiest, nastiest instincts humans could have, right down to the insurgent anti-authority vibe that runs throughout the record. Take Big Balls -- sure, it's a dirty joke, but it's a dirty joke with class overthrow in mind. There's a sense on Dirty Deeds that AC/DC is storming the gates -- they're problem children sick of waiting around to be a millionaire, so they're gonna make their own money, even if they take down others as they go. That's what gives Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap its supercharged, nervy pulse; there's a real sense of danger to this record, something that can't be hidden beneath the jokes. Maybe that's why the album wasn't released in the U.S. until 1981, after Bon's death, after AC/DC had become millionaires -- if it arrived any earlier, it would have been too insurrectionist for the common good.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music Guide)1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
2. Love at First Feel
3. Big Balls
5. Problem Child
6. There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'
7. Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)
8. Ride On
9. Squealer$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP -Sealed Buy Now
$19.99 $14.99 Save $5.00 (25%)
Notes Of Blue (On Sale)Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt.country movement of the 1990's. A movement that was the precursor to what is now widely referred to as Americana.
The 10 songs on Notes Of Blue are inspired by the spirit of the blues, but not the standard blues as most know it. The unique and haunting tunings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James and Nick Drake were all points of exploration for Farrar for the new collection. The album opens with the country soul of "Promise The World", followed by "Back Against The Wall", a song that could stand alongside the great Son Volt songs of their early albums.
Farrar possesses one of the most distinctive voices in roots, rock, country or any genre. He exudes a soulful longing combined with a wise-beyond-his-years command that is as arresting and compelling as ever. As a songwriter, Farrar's depth and poetic penchant has been the foundation of a thoughtful, deep and intelligent body of work. Both attributes are on full display on Notes Of Blue, as he touches on themes of redemption and the common struggle, both of which are at the core of the blues. Whether you call it alt.country, Americana, roots rock, insurgent country or just good ol' rock 'n' roll, musical trends appear and disappear on regular basis. Notes Of Blue is a testament to the legacy of inspiration and creative spirit that Jay Farrar and Son Volt continue to uphold.1. Promise the World
2. Back Against the Wall
4. Cherokee St
5. The Storm
6. Lost Souls
8. Sinking Down
9. Cairo and Southern
10. Threads and Steel$19.99 $14.99 Save $5.00 (25%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
Volunteers (On Sale)Jefferson Airplane Volunteers on Numbered Limited Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity
Seminal 1969 Album Steeped in Revolution, Vitality, Protest: The Aural Equivalent of a Demonstration March, Jefferson Airplane's Uncompromising Volunteers Rooted in Belief Music Can Change World
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Wider, Deeper Grooves on 180g 45RPM 2LP Set Yield Superior Transparency, Rich Nuances, and Engaging Dynamics on Set Ranked #370 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Defiant, Assured, Cohesive Songs Filled With Driving Psychedelia, Rustic Country, and Crunchy Acid-Rock: Guest Musicians Include Jerry Garcia, Stephen Stills, and David Crosby
Awash in controversy and loaded with revolutionary protest, Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers stands as the last album made by the group's classic lineup and brings insurgent closure to the peace-and-love era. The potent 1969 record confronts war, politics, greed, and environmental ruin in head-on fashion matched by few peers. Steeped in the belief people and music could transform the world, it steers the band in community-minded and county-rock directions, and features charged playing by guest luminaries such as Jerry Garcia, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, and Nicky Hopkins. Volunteers also benefits from being one of the first 16-track recordings. And now, the historic set can be heard in the fidelity the artists and producers intended.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set of Volunteers teems with soul-affirming energy, dynamics, immediacy, and standout textures. The wider and deeper grooves translate into finer pacing, enhanced information retrieval, and superior transparency. Soundstages stretch far and extend back, with instrumental separation giving all of the musicians their own place in the mix. As a result, subtle albeit important details - Hopkins' rollicking piano, guitarist Norma Kaukonen's biting tones, Garcia's deft pedal-steel work - emerge in three-dimensional fashion amidst a musical canvas that manages to be both edgy and produced, raw and revealing. Jefferson Airplane has never sounded more vital.
Much had changed in America - and within Jefferson Airplane - in just the two short years since the release of the San Francisco collective's breakthrough smash Surrealistic Pillow. The countercultural movement had darkened, government involvement in Vietnam escalated, and regard for human rights fallen. Retreating from the excessive experimentalism that graced its prior two LPs, the Airplane responded to the social circumstances with defiant, assured, and cohesive songs shot through with driving psychedelia, crunchy acid-rock, and rustic country. From start to finish, it's the aural equivalent of a demonstration march.
Having drawn attention for the inclusion of profanities in multiple tunes, the Top 20 LP also ran up against the nonprofit Volunteers of America after the sextet wanted to title the record Volunteers of Amerika in order to express further dissatisfaction with the country. While Grace Slick and Co. gave into the charity's desires to switch the name, there's nothing compromising about Volunteers. Kaukonen's leads cut searing swaths through urgent fare like Eskimo Blue Day and anthemic We Can Be Together, which boldly speaks out against convention and in favor of chaos and anarchy.
Indeed, in organizing a pseudo summit of many of the counterculture's leading musical figures to participate on Volunteers, the Airplane treats the album as an orchestrated stance against the establishment. Stills and Crosby assist in rocking the boat on a turbulent cover of Wooden Ships lined with Slick and Marty Balin's overlapping lead vocals. Hopkins gooses the call-to-arms title track with frisky boogie-woogie lines. Garcia lends The Farm a suitable rustic vibe, and on his final appearance with the Airplane, drummer Spencer Dryden helms the pastoral sing-a-long A Song for All Seasons.
Ranked #370 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Volunteers remains a cultural and musical touchstone.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. We Can Be Together
2. Good Shepherd
3. The Farm
4. Hey Fredrick
5. Turn My Life Down
6. Wooden Ships
7. Eskimo Blue Day
8. A Song for All Seasons
10. Volunteers$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullersWhen Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.
"I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."
The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.
But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.
Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.
In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."
Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."
"12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.
With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis1. Carson's Blues
2. New York Is My Destination
3. Instant of the Hour After
4. We of Me
6. 12 Mortal Men
7. Harper Lee
8. Lover, Beloved
9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
10. Carson's Last Supper$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
InterminationLauded as "one of the most determined and deadly thrash metal acts in recent history (Alibi), German thrash mavens DEW-SCENTED have returned with their 10th studio album Intermination. Featuring 13 punishing tracks of pure thrash metal, the album also boasts a special appearance on guest vocals from Kyle Thomas (Exhorder, Trouble) on the track Reborn in addition to a cover version of grindcore legends Repulsion's Radiation Sickness. Mixed by Dan Swano (Edge of Sanity, Opeth, Bloodbath) while featuring artwork from Gustavo Sazes (Arch Enemy, Legion of the Damned), Intermination is set to pulverize crowds worldwide on June 30 via Prosthetic Records.
The band celebrated their 20-year anniversary in 2013 by releasing the comprehensive compilation Insurgent, containing a mix of new original songs with live tracks and hard-to-find covers, which they supported with extensive touring across Europe and Japan including runs with Testament, Death Angel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Sacred Reich. They also maintained a high-profile across the festival scene with appearances at Wacken, Full Metal Cruise, Free & Easy Festival and several more. Stay tuned for news on the band's upcoming appearances!1. Declaration Of Intent
2. On A Collision Course
3. Scars Of Creation
4. Affect Gravity
5. Means To An End
6. Ode To Extinction
7. Demon Seed
8. Power Surge
9. Ruptured Perpetually
10. Living Lies
13. Radiation Sickness$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Insurgentes (Out of Stock)
Features 4 Bonus Tracks
Acclaimed for his work with Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Anja Garbarek amongst others, Insurgentes is Steven Wilson's debut album, originally released in 2009. Comprising ten tracks that range from ballads and anthems to all-out industrial noise assaults, the dark, cinematic and richly textured album represents two years' worth of creative output and numerous recording sessions worldwide in studios from Mexico City to Japan and Israel.
While Wilson is a member of several bands including Blackfield, No-Man and Bass Communion, he explains that "when I began writing these songs, I quickly realized that they would be best suited to an album under my own name. It was an intuitive, almost unconscious writing process that resulted in a kind of 'poetry of melancholy." The final product inhabits a similar experimental realm as recent albums by Thom Yorke, Portishead, and Nine Inch Nails.
Wilson recruited a stellar cast of guests to work on Insurgentes including bassist Tony Levin, drummer Gavin Harrison, and pianist Jordan Rudess, alongside Japanese Koto player Michiyo Yagi, British guitarist Sand Snowman, and jazz flautist and saxophonist Theo Travis.
Adapting the strong-bone riffing and oblique-hook strategies of progressive rock and art metal into a decisively melodic melancholy, Wilson's first solo album is among the best of his many records. - David Fricke/Rolling StoneLP1
1. Harmony Korine
4. Veneno Para Las Hadas
5. No Twilight Within The Courts of the Sun
6. Significant Other
1. Only Child
2. Twilight Coda
3. Get All You Deserve
5. Port Rubicon
6. Puncture Wound
7. Collecting Space
8. Insurgentes (Mexico)$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock