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Into The Mystic'
It's Too Late To Stop NowThough he's released several fine live recordings over the course of his career, It's Too Late To Stop Now is the definitive live Van Morrison album. Van is backed here by a loose-but-funky, horn-driven band and the generous set list reaches as far back as his days with Them and continues up through his 1973 release Hard Nose Highway. Featured here are Van's wonderful re-interpretations of Muddy Waters (I Just Want To Make Love To You), Sonny Boy Williamson (Help Me) and Sam Cooke (Bring It On Home To Me) along with stunning versions of his classics Domino and Into The Mystic among others. An exceptional live document!LP 1
1. Ain't Nothin' You Can Do (Live)
2. Warm Love (Live)
3. Into the Mystic (Live)
4. These Dreams of You (Live)
5. I Believe to My Soul (Live)
6. I've Been Working (Live)
7. Help Me (Live)
8. Wild Children (Live)
9. Domino (Live)
10. I Just Want to Make Love to You (Live)
1. Bring It on Home to Me (Live)
2. Saint Dominic's Preview (Live)
3. Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket (Live)
4. Listen to the Lion (Live)
5. Here Comes the Night (Live)
6. Gloria (Live)
7. Caravan (Live)
8. Cyrpess Avenue (Live)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Blowin' Your Mind! (Awaiting Repress)It was a brand new day for Van Morrison when the Belfast, Ireland legend cut Blowin' Your Mind!, his spellbinding 1967 debut solo album! Fresh from a string of smash singles fronting British Invasion heroes Them, Van rode Brown Eyed Girl, one of the all- time great teen-angst tales, to the top of the charts, then sailed off into the mystic with haunting, slowed-down classics like He Ain't Give You None, T.B. Sheets and Who Drove the Red Sports Car. Blowin' Your Mind!is a hypnotic tour de force that ranks with the very best material Van Morrison ever recorded.1. Brown Eyed Girl
2. He Ain't Give You None
3. T.B. Sheets
4. Spanish Rose
5. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)
6. Ro Ro Rosey
7. Who Drove the Red Sports Car
8. Midnight Special$28.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
One Of My KindIncludes 60-minute DVD Documentary on The Story of the Mystic Valley Band & Outtakes from Band Sessions on 180g LP/CD
Phil Schaffart was not hired by Conor Oberst to make the film One of My Kind. He was hired to make sure the guitars stayed in tune. But Phil had a video camera with him as the Mystic Valley Band came together for the first time at Valle Místico in Tepoztlán, Mexico in January of 2008 and so he started filming what he sensed was something special.
"When I started filming, none of us had the intentions of turning what was being shot into a film," says Phil, "but the things we were seeing, feeling and capturing with the music proved to be inspiring in ways we were not prepared for."
Later that year after touring for the Conor's self-titled Merge release, the Mystic Valley Band went back into the studio, this time at the Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, Texas where they recorded their follow-up release, Outer South. This album was a reflection of what the MVB had become over the preceding 10 months. Now, the song writing was no longer Conor's sole responsibility as the other members of the band all spread their own musical and compositional wings. All the while, Phil continued to film what was going on with the band, capturing the year of touring, the almond orchards in Texas, the temples and steep cliffs of Mexico and the evolution of a group of musicians that started as not much more than an idea for a different way to make a record, and ended up being a fully realized rock band.
"Something was happening between the six members of the band musically that was effortless and natural in a way I had not seen before;" Phil continues: "In Texas we started thinking that the footage could be turned into a documentary film." Phil returned to Omaha later and enlisted the help of the H Minus Production team and after many grueling hours in the edit suite, a film was born.
Team Love is proud to release the final version of the film, One of My Kind as as 60-minute documentary. To accompany this, they are including eleven songs compiled from the outtakes of both Mystic Valley Band sessions on 180g vinyl LP and CD. It's a release for those that were lucky enough to experience the magic and excitement of the Mystic Valley Band when their jackets were still clean and their chemistry was bursting with ideas and potential.LP/CD
1. One Of My Kind
2. Gentelman's Pact
3. Corina, Corina
4. Synesthete Song
6. Central City
7. I Got The Reason #1
8. Phil's Son (Learn To Stop Me)
11. White Shoes (Reprise)
DVD: Documentary by Philip Schaffart
- One Of My Kind: The Story of the Mystic Valley Band$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + DVD + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Power Windows200 Gram Vinyl
Remastered At Abbey Road Studios Using The Direct To Metal Mastering Audiophile Copper Plating Process, All From Original Analogue Masters
Power Windows introduced more keyboard synthesizers into the band's sound. The Big Money and Mystic Rhythms were both made into music videos featured in MTV's rotation at the time. This was the era in which the band were expanding into new directions from their progressive rock base, and they had on their then recent albums tightened up their sidelong suites and rhythmic abstractions into balled-up song fists, art-pop blasts of angular, slashing guitar, spatial keyboards and hyperpercussion, all resolved with forthright melodic sense1. The Big Money
2. Grand Designs
3. Manhattan Project
6. Middletown Dreams
7. Emotion Detector
8. Mystic Rhythms$29.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shades Of BlueFirst Pressing Of 1,000 Numbered Copies On Blue And White Mixed Vinyl, Black Vinyl Thereafter
Interpretations And Remixes Of Blue Note Classics The Look Of Slim, Distant Land, Stormy, Live Performance Of Peace/dolphin Dance And Many More Tracks
Shades Of Blue is a unique project that turns over the legacy of the esteemed Blue Note jazz label to one of hip-hop's most unique artists, Madlib. He is considered to be one of hip-hop's most inventive visionaries and connects it's productions through smart lyrics and poetics.
The album opens with the declaration that We are now having a little cooking session for Blue Note right here on the scene... Madlib was afforded the opportunity to mine the crates of Blue Note. On Shades of Blue, he delivers remixes and brand spanking new interpretations of Blue Note classics.
Whether funking out Ronnie Foster's original Mystic Brew and transforming it into the Mystic Bounce, or giving Wayne Shorter's Footprints a go with Yesterday's New Quintet, rest assured that Madlib's innovative sonic vocabulary will fill the ears.
Other artists receiving a Madlib reimagination include Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Bobby Hutcherson, Horace Silver, The Three Sounds and many more.
Pitchfork album reviewer Scott Hreha rates the album 8.6 Listening to Madlib's music, I'm reminded of the Black radical maestros responsible for some of the outermost-limits music-making of the past half-century: Sun Ra, George Clinton, Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
In 2014, it ranked at number 11 on Paste's 12 Classic Hip-Hop Albums That Deserve More Attention list.LP 1
2. Slim's Return
3. Distant Land
4. Mystic Bounce
6. Blue Note Interlude
7. Please Set Me At Ease
8. Funky Blue Note
9. Alfred Lion Interlude
1. Sleeping Into Tomorrow
2. Andrew Hill Break
4. Song For My Father
6. Peace / Dolphin Dance
7. Outro$42.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
HalfaxaHalfaxa is Grimes' sophomore LP. Originally available as a limited CD release, it's now available worldwide on LP.
Claire Boucher speaks a different language. And Halfaxa, her second album, feels like the dictionary from which we might discern just where this being comes from. Halfaxa is simultaneously more human than Geidi Primes, and yet falls deeper into a hole of mystical obscurity. The lyrics, as throughout this album, are designed to be an additional instrument, and not necessarily a device that gives obvious meaning to the proceedings.
There is a strong focus on primeval and simplistic percussion to Boucher's music, though I am apprehensive to compare it directly to club music. Even with all the fog and barriers she presents us with, at the core of her music is the human heart. There is a heartbeat in every note. Her breath is often used as a percussive element. Somehow, Grimes says more about life through her methodology than through what she literally chooses to say. Like all great world music, her sound transcends language.1. Outer
2. Intor / Flowers
7. Dream Fortress
8. world princess
9. † River †
10. Swan Song
12. My Sister Says The Saddest Things
14. Favriel$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
RopechainGrampall Jookabox's second release braids holy fear, schizophrenic inspiration, baroque pop references, and deep, mystical love into a formidable work likely to leave aficionados of rock 'n' roll trapped in an obsessive cycle of listening and re-listening.1. Black Girls
2. Let's Go Mad Together
4. Old Earth, Wash My Beat
5. Girl Ain't Preggers, The
6. You Will Love My Boom
7. I Will Save Young Michael
8. One Thing, The
9. We Know We Might Be Fucked
10. Strike Me Down
11. I'm Absolutely Freaked Out$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Anutha ZoneFor those of us who long for the days when Dr. John smeared himself with face paint, wore impossibly large headdresses, and sang about gris-gris, gumbo ya-ya, and croker courtbullion, Anutha Zone is indeed a heartening development.
In the late 60s Dr. John was a visionary musical alchemist, working with psychedelic imagery and funky rhythms to nab the rock crowd, then plying them with spooky swampland mythology and raw Southern R&B.
On Anutha Zone, Dr. John digs deep into that murky musical well once again, with stunning results. John Gris, Party Hellfire, and Soulful Warrior brilliantly fuse slow-burn grooves, sly musicianship, and Dr. John's elegantly gruff vocals, conjuring images of dark revelry down French Quarter back alleyways. This was the comeback of 1998, hands down.
The Music On Vinyl re-issue also contains the insert with a beautiful picture of the mystic man and credits information.1. Zonata
2. Ki Ya Gris Gris
3. Voices In My Head
4. Hello God
5. John Gris
6. Party Hellfire
7. I Don't Wanna Know
8. Anutha Zone
9. I Like Ki Yoka
10. The Olive Tree
11. Soulful Warrior
12. The Stroke
13. Sweet Home New Orleans$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Saint BartlettSaint Bartlett opens up with a grandiosity yet unheard on a Damien Jurado album. The album strips away the many layers of paint from the house down the street we know Jurado has occupied for the last decade. The new coat is exhilarating. It makes the whole neighborhood shine. It's a modest grandiosity; still homegrown. The mellotron swells, heavenly handclaps ring in stereo and big drums create a sky for the songs to fly in. And the words. Words spring forth from within the volcano of Jurado, full of hope. There's so much hope, in fact, that album opener Cloudy Shoes turns into a call-and-response with himself, as though it were a dialogue between two halves of himself.
Richard Swift's Spector-esque production is spot-on. He ferries Jurado across theriver, where the metamorphosis occurs. He then ferries him back, and it is through Swift's lens that we see Jurado not as a folk singer, but as a mystic somewhere between Van Morrison, Scott Walker and Wayne Coyne. Saint Bartlett was made entirely at Swift's National Freedom studio in Oregon, in just under a week with only Jurado and Swift as the performers.1. Cloudy Shoes
3. Rachel & Cali
4. Throwing Your Voice
7. Kansas City
10. The Falling Snow
11. Beacon Hill
12. With Lightning In Your Hands$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Culture Of FearLP reissue of Thievery Corporation's 6th studio album originally released in 2011.
Eric Hilton and Rob Garza craft a simmering and hazy collection of atmospheric gems that recalls their early production work but reflects a thoroughly
contemporary zeitgeist of socio-political angst and unease. Utilizing a team of skilled session players from their acclaimed live show and beyond, Culture
of Fear finds the duo easing into expansive multipart space-jams like "Tower Seven" and jazzy instrumental b-boy breaks like "Light Flares." Not only are
usual suspects like multilingual chanteuse Lou Lou and dancehall toaster Sleepy Wonder back to lend their haunting vocals, but several new contributors
also join the Corporation. Renowned hip-hop MC Mr. Lif blazes the microphone on the title track "Culture of Fear" with a scathing flow that aims to uplift
and enlighten as it does burn down babylon! Rising star Ras Puma also drops mystic incantations on "False Flag Dub" and the slow burning roots reggae
throwback "Overstand." It's not all fire and brimstone however, as Shana Halligan of Bitter:Sweet coos sultrily over booming tribal rhythms on "Is it Over?",
and newcomer Kota lends angelic and sprightly verses on album closer "Free."1. Web of Deception
2. Culture of Fear
3. Take My Soul
4. Light Flares
6. Where It All Starts
7. Tower Seven
8. Is It Over?
9. False Flag Dub
10. Safar (The Journey)
13. Free$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
You Are My Sunshine
Black & Grey Splatter Vinyl
Something dreadful happened with Jamey Johnson, Twiggy Ramirez & Shooter Jennings created this piece of music. It can only be described as a sonic journey, the first of which takes one of the most well-known songs and reinvents it to possibly it's true meaning using much ritual when it comes to the creation and conjuration of the music. Side B is a mystical sound collage that takes the listener on a dark ride into the subconscious using many methods of sub sonic sound synthesis.1. You Are My Sunshine
2. There Is No Sunshine$10.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Montgomery MovementFunk's answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama,
Florida's Montgomery Express stood at the crossroads
of politically conscious soul and mystically awakened
dance music. Comprised of two blind musicians in
their 20s and a teenage rhythm section, their lone LP
was cut in 1972 for Orlando's Dove label, then reissued
on Folkways two years later. Although the label usually
steered clear of soul music and anything remotely
commercial sounding, Montgomery Express tapped into
Folkways' Guthrie-cum-Chamber Bros. nerve.
"My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music.
I've been involved in supernatural things,spoken with
spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know
I've heard it." -Paul Montgomery1. Montgomery Movement
3. Steal Away
4. Precious Wing
5. Party Fever
6. I'm Standing by
7. Gotta Make A Come Back
8. Left Me With A Memory$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Until The Quiet ComesComposed, according to FlyLo, as a collage of mystical states, dreams, sleep and lullabies, Until the Quiet Comes has the distinct feel of this nocturnal trip. From the twitching descent into a subconscious state and the out-of-focus time-ether of the journey that follows, the sound is an unhinged, yet elegant evolution of the melodic and rhythmic interplay that is woven into the DNA of Flying Lotus' aural personae. The album, featuring guests Erykah Badu, Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat & Thom Yorke, is set for release on October 2. UTQC is fueled by FlyLo's first ever full US Tour, multiple videos, creative visual assets and massive support from his ever-growing group of press and fans. Notable followers include Odd Future (Earl Sweatshirt collaboration with Adult Swim online now), Schoolboy Q (who's been in the studio) and rising super-producer Clams Casino.1. All In
2. Getting There (feat. Niki Randa)
3. Until The Colours Come
5. Tiny Tortures
6. All the Secrets
7. Sultan's Request
8. Putty Boy Strut
9. See Thru to U (feat. Erykah Badu)
10. Until the Quiet Comes
11. DMT Song ft. Thundercat
12. The Nightcaller
13. Only if You Wanna
14. Electric Candyman (feat. Thom Yorke)
15. Hunger (feat. Niki Randa)
16. Phantasm (feat. Laura Darling)
17. Me Yesterday/Corded
18. Dream to Me$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hardly CriminalCrash's story unfolds with that particularly Southern swagger and with a tale of a Louisiana boy bred on Waffle House breakfasts and monster truck rallies, local Rodeos and the flicker of family bonfires. There was college for a hot minute, there was a move to the Irish Channel, there was the soaking in of all that is New Orleans, wet heat and Sazeracs, the wailing horns of jazz funerals, the teetering handmade floats of Mardi Gras, crawfish and etouffee and howling at the moon. There was work where he could get it, toiling as a PA on the studio sets, Hollywood coming south for the tax credits. It was on these film productions where crash earned his nickname, something to do with a questionable work ethic and repetitive tardiness (he admits you d have to ask one Ms. Rita Wilson for the real deal details). And yet despite his reputation (or perhaps because of it), he was anointed "assistant" to Johnny Knoxville during The!Dukes!of!Hazzard s run. (One can only imagine ) crash later joined the critically adored local act The Deadly Syndrome as lead singer and frontman, bringing his gris gris into the beautiful belly of the L.A. beast. Since then, crash has been barreling ahead, recording prolifically with The Deadly Syndrome, working with famed producer Daniel Lanios, composing a live stage score, acting in a few national commercials, and finally, after Deadly disbanded in 2013, heading out on the road with his pals, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, as percussionist and angelic vocal accompaniment. And somewhere in that heady mix in that combination of the rolling road, of California eucalyptus sway and dark NOLA mysteries, he discovered his true self - the wildaeyed, slyatongued, strutting, winking and wonderful crash of this here solo debut. Produced and engineered by the multitalented Ed Sharpe lead guitarist, Mark Noseworthy, (and featuring friends from the Zeros, Dawes, The Mystic Valley Band and more ) Hardly Criminal is the culmination of all that is strange and sad, hilarious and harmonious, about crash s own true tale. It is story a moving, funny, weird, and stunningly beautiful. You can hear the South, yes, Neville swing and Dr. John juaju, but you can also hear smooth soul, booty funk, and ragged folk, a mix of sounds taken from his past and pushed into the future, all accompanied by a deadpan storytelling prowess and a voice like a Cajun Prince (as in "The Artist Formerly Known As"). Hardly!Criminal! is the sum of crash s best parts - the sonic celebration of his story so far. So, set down a spell, cool yer bones, cher... and listen1. Hardly Criminal
2. Motion Animal
3. All My Friends
4. High Wall
5. Mine Always, Lioness
6. Britches Catch Fire
7. Song For The Birds
9. Mad At The Clouds
10. If God Was A Cajun
11. Almighty Equal$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Are We ThereFor all the attention that was paid to her 2012 break-through Tramp, Sharon Van Etten is an
artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper,writing from a place of honesty
and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match.
Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is
Are We There, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy,sublime generosity, and immense
Most musicians are quite happy to leave the production end of things to someone else. It's
enough to live your music without taking on the role of producer as well. Yet Van Etten knew it
was time to make a record entirely on her terms. The saying goes "fortune favors the bold" and
yet this boldness had to be tempered. For this,Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music
producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on Boardwalk Empire,they gently moved
into new roles,rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman's studio in New
Jersey. Lerman's studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make Are We There the way she
imagined.Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods
Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins, and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam
Granduciel from The War on Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater),Jana Hunter(Lower Dens),
Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott(Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C. Morris and Mickey Freeze.
It is clear from the opening chords in the first song, Afraid of Nothing, that we are witnessing a
new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing,producing and performing from a place
that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying
away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Etten's songwriting continues to
evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then
resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and
loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary,waiting, of silence.
The artist who speaks in such a voice is urging us to do something,to take hold and to go deeper.
Living in this way,the questions of life remain alive, as close and steady as breathing. Many of the
ballads of old are as dark as pitch, and people for whom the issues of life and death were as vivid
as flame wrote them.You could turn off the electricity,remove all the instruments and Sharon's
voice and words would remain.They connect her to the mystic stratum which flows just beneath
the everyday, which is rarely acknowledged as the forces of distraction sweep our attention away.1. Afraid of Nothing
2. Taking Chances
3. Your Love is Killing Me
4. Our Love
6. I Love You But I'm Lost
7. You Know Me Well
8. Break Me
9. Nothing Will Change
10. I Know
11. Every Time the Sun Comes Up$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Primitive And Deadly
Contains Vinyl Only Exclusive Track: Badgers Bane
This deluxe vinyl version of the new Earth studio opus comes in a thick Stoughton old style tip-on jacket with a soft-touch UV varnish.
Primitive And Deadly, is EARTH's tenth studio collection. Dylan Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing an Ouroborean creative cycle, twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music. For the first time in their diverse second act, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson's guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH's music, it's been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.
On Rooks Across the Gates, a song stylistically the closest to the folk inspired modality of Angels Of Darkness, Carlson stretches out into some of his most lyrical playing to date, creating an almost symbiotic relationship between his performance and the vocals of old friend Mark Lanegan. From the Zodiacal Light, meanwhile, takes the late 60s San Franciscan/freaked-out jazz-rock transcendence of The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull and quickly re-appropriates that sound into a musky torch song for the witching hour.
This contradictive tension between a band pushing itself ever-forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where EARTH recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).
Thick, dense and overdriven, melodically rich and enveloping, Primitive And Deadly is EARTH reaffirming their position as a singular point in the history of rock.
produced by earth
recorded at rancho de la luna, joshua tree, ca by mathias schneeberger, assisted by dave catching
additional recording and production at crackle & pop and avast, seattle, wa by randall dunn
mixed at avast, seattle, wa by randall dunn
mastered at chicago mastering services by jason ward
dylan carlson - guitars
adrienne davies - drums and percussion
bill herzog - bass
brett netson - additional guitars
jodie cox - additional guitars
mark lanegan - vocals
rabia shabeen qazi - vocals
randall dunn - moog synthesizerLP 1
1. Torn By The Fox Of The Crescent Moon
2. There Is A Serpent Coming
3. From The Zodiacal Light
1. Even Hell Has Its Heroes
2. Rooks Across The Gate
3. Badgers Bane (exclusive vinyl only bonus track!)$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
New Masses For Squaw PeakNew Masses for Squaw Peak gifts unto us bold, surprising new textures and denser, cheekier ideas and themes. Its packed tight with style: gauze-flange experimentation; jazz-chord death-pop; shifty proto-prog; historical and personal mythologies weaved through its passages. Yet, claustrophobic it is not. New Masses for Squaw Peak is as wide-open of a landscape as its title may suggest. It is also a well-traveled collection of songs: laid to tape in the belly of an abandon Philadelphia textile factory; run through three mixing boards by three separate sets of hands; and ultimately sculpted into its final form by the gentlemen to conjured it in the first place. And oh joy, what conjuring.
Mystics Pharaohs (Masc. Pharaohs) begins with a big, fat wink to Enos Here Come the Warm Jets (a hallmark of Squaw Peak) before descending into its own purply blackhole of dark, dissonant whitefunk. A metallic sonic fog allows guitar stabs and squalls, and the pings of ringleader Nathan Pembertons vocal calls, to hit you twice then thrice, then unravel out into the cosmos. All players here (multi-instrumentalists Josh Martin and Brian Forfa; and drummer John Frank) are using both sides of the brain at every turn, the instinctual, tribal rhythm with which we are born and the semi-learned, nervy way we manipulate that instinct. The instinct that tells us to stay and play inside our comfort zone, and the secret instinct to see what lies just beyond its boundary. Cor-Du-Roi, another standout, is almost perpendicular to Mystics Pharoahs with its shambling, assured pace and melodies all tinny and distant. Its a risky number for Holiday Shores in its maturity and subtle composition. It also just might be their most inspired, beautiful piece to date. We find this kind of maturity and patience again with deep-cut Coming to Shores, an ambient-pop sci-fi wash that almost falls into the new classical phylum.
Pemberton and Martin prove time and again that they share more than just a keyboard table in the live setting; they share an endlessly searching, creative brain. Pembertons jazz keyboards are often interlocked with Martins plinkety-plankety lyrical guitar. On Shadie Spun Gold and in other spots, like pulsing leadoff track Airglow their separately played parts are hocketed to create the larger melody, with notes falling just left of where Steely Dan might drop them (which sounds awesome). Holiday Shores might be prog-rock in the way that Ariel Pink might be prog-rock. Its shape-shifting pop songcraft that will slip from your fingers like a sea cucumber the very second you think you have hold.1. Airglow
2. We Couldn't Be Together
3. Threepeat Got Old
4. Ocotillo Dripping
6. Squaw Peak
7. Mystic Pharaohs (Mas Pharaohs)
8. Coming To Shores
10. New Masses
12. Shadie Spun Gold$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!In that mythical era known as the 90's, five brave young men emerged from the legendary halls of some of the mightiest bands on Fat Wreck Chords with a single mission: make all the rest of these dildo punk bands covering popular songs obsolete. They crowned themselves Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and the world rejoiced. Now, seven records, scores of singles and nearly a thousand years later, having tackled every genre under the sun, the bold young knaves known colloquially as the Gimmes have ridden their success hard, and decayed into desiccated, old divas. Yet, the diva, she is immortal. And thus, imbued with the old-world, Mystic Pizza-esque swagger of Cher, the modern pop-art sensibility of Lady Gaga and the enthusiasm-for-drug-consumption of Whitney Houston, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have returned from their beauty rest, busting out of their sequined gowns, and throwing vases at their assistants in order to present you with their latest opus, entitled Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, slated to be released on none other than Fat Wreck Chords. And you'd best believe, whether because of their tantrums or their virtuosity, once you hear these fat ladies sing, there's not gonna be a dry eye in the house.
For the uninitiated, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consist of Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape on the guitar, Shiflett brother (and Foo Fighter) Chris Shiflett on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer and Fat Wreck utility superhero Dave Raun on the skins, and are rounded out by Fat Wreck-head-honcho/NOFX main-dude Fat Mike, and incomparable crooner Spike Slawson. Together, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes-an outfit that has always operated more like a beer-hall Pussycat Dolls than a regular mortal band-contain so much hot air, so much pomp, so much attitude, that it's a wonder that these guys can still manage to pull their five individual tour buses into the same parking lot, put their differences aside and belt out the ballads without clawing each other's eyes out. But they do, for the love of the fans, the music, and of course, the applause.
In the past, The Gimmes have tackled such disparate genres as Motown, country, show tunes and even Japanese pop (sung in real live Japanese!) but none of that enabled them to truly soar as high above the eagles as they desired, feeling the wind of other, lesser bands beneath their wings. So this time, the Fat (Wreck) Five decided to take on the un-take-on-able and hit us with cuts from the likes of Celine (gasp!) Christina (Sigh!) and Paula Abdul (oh no you di'int!) among others. And as Spike's baritone somehow manages to make Whitney Houston's (Dolly Parton-penned) Theme Song To The Bodyguard EVEN MORE EPIC, you will be moved to tears. You will find joy. You will shake in your very skin as the music of these divas gently takes you by the hand and shows you how to love again. AND! You'll buy tickets to see 'em on tour.
Because that's right folks! Nothing says 'diva' like coming to your town to bask in the torrential, gushing blasts of your love, and the Gimmes will be hitting the entire world in support of Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!, except maybe Mike, who's such a diva that he's got substitutes on hand! So grab those flowers off of your grandma's grave and head out now, to check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on wax and in your town, before these five outrageous harpies either kill each other or wind up as a Vegas destination act, bloated, high on pills and uh, nevermind that last part. Just go see em, eh? It's a helluva time.
- Troy Michael (Innocent Words)1. I Will Survive
2. Straight Up
5. My Heart Will Go On
6. I Will Always Love You
7. Top of the World
9. Karma Chameleon
10. Crazy for You
11. On the Radio
12. The Way We Were
$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Approximately Infinite UniverseThere's a fury at the core of Yoko Ono's 1973 rock opus Approximately Infinite Universe that was not apparent on previously recorded efforts. Ono has always been a master of turning pain and sadness into art, but here, there's a clenched-fist intensity that sets it apart in her deep, unparalleled catalogue. Ono is angry. She proved that one can carry a boundless love for humanity and still be furious -furious at male/female relationships, at war, at your partner.
Meanwhile, on a sonic level, Ono ups the ante on the more centered rock-n-roll sounds she approached with 1971's Fly. The album is one of the most traditional-sounding rock chapters in Ono's sprawling catalogue. There are moments here that absolutely rival Jersey legends the E Street Band, though of course Ono's vision leads her band down darker, more mystical paths than the E Street Band ever dared tread. Approximately Infinite Universe is an essential and progressive piece of Ono's output, both in the advancements she made as a songwriter/conceptualist, and as a solidified statement of her staunch feminist role within the very male-dominated mainstream rock ghetto of the mid-1970's.LP 1
1. Yang Yang
2. Death Of Samantha
3. I Want My Love To Rest Tonight
4. What Did I Do!
5. Have You Seen A Horizon Lately
6. Approximately Infinite Universe
7. Peter The Dealer
8. Song For John
9. Catman (The Rosies Are Coming)
10. What A Bastard The World Is
11. Waiting For The Sunrise
1. I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window
2. Winter Song
3. Kite Song
4. What A Mess
5. Shiranakatta (I Didn't Know)
6. Air Talk
7. I Have A Woman Inside My Soul
8. Move On Fast
9. Now Or Never
10. Is Winter Here To Stay?
11. Looking Over From My Hotel Window
12. Dogtown$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Zombie BirdhouseTwelve albums into the fray, Iggy Pop has found sanctuary on Animal Records, a Chrysalis subsidiary whose roster is overseen by Chris Stein of Blondie. Now that Iggy's free of major-label expectations (not that he ever capitulated), one might have anticipated something on the order of Metallic K.O. Revisited. Surprisingly, Zombie Birdhouse is a brainy, well-plotted collection with more depth than could have been expected from the author of I Wanna Be Your Dog.
This album may just be Iggy's Morrison Hotel; like that Doors classic, Zombie Birdhouse takes an almost novelistic look at the character of America that is by turns funny and angry, reverential and irreverent. It's filled, too, with an almost mystical primitivism that brings out the shaman in Iggy's soul. The Doors analogy is unavoidable in this sense, of course, but all this imitation is sincerely flattering, and it's been awhile since we've had a convincing shaman on the scene. Besides, the rich lyrical imagery and musical daring of Zombie Birdhouse, particularly on the first side, are enough to make it a minor classic in its own right. Take Life of Work, in which Iggy Pop has refashioned an old sea shanty into a sad riddle for the working class: What do you do with a life of work?/Face it in the morning. The Ballad of Cookie McBride is just amazing; it sounds like a Bob Dylan lament sung by Leon Russell with a twist of Lizard King metaphysics (Hi-hi-ho, it's a watery day/On my way to an unmarked grave). Throughout, Iggy's collaborator, guitarist-keyboardist Rob duPrey, manages to produce some fascinating noise by altering, filtering and treating his instruments. Chris Stein and Clem Burke of Blondie provide the exotic rhythmic spice that seasons this record to perfection.
- Parke Puterbaugh (Rolling Stone)1. Run Like A Villain
2. The Villagers
3. Angry Hills
4. Life Of Work
5. The Ballad Of Cookie McBride
6. Ordinary Bummer
7. Eat Or Be Eaten
10. The Horse Song
11. Watching The News
12. Street Crazies$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CommuneThere is no direct association between mysterious Swedish
psychedelicists GOAT and Argentinian master of magical realism, Jorge
Luis Borges. Yet their mission appears to be the same. Borges generated
his ideas from historical curiosities across the globe-knife duels on the
South American plains, Middle Eastern heresiarchs, Chinese pirates-and
twisted them into fictions that blurred the lines between footnotes and
outright fantasy. GOAT's sound is the sonic embodiment of this principle,
working heavy psych-rock, Nigerian afrobeat, German krautrock, Anatolian
funk, and a host of other micro-niches into a hallucinatory celebration
of rock's diverse manifestations.
Despite the success of GOAT's critically-acclaimed 2012 debut, World
Music, the individual identities involved remain shrouded in mystery:
GOAT performs in masks, and spokespersons maintain that the group
is simply an ongoing multi-generational collective of musicians from the
isolated, Swedish locality of Korpilombolo, a junction of native Sami
people, Scandinavian settlers, and the rare wayfaring outsiders. Beyond
that, GOAT divulges very little. It's as if GOAT are taking cues from Borges'
short story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," wherein a clandestine enclave
of intellectuals attempt to create a new reality by inserting articles on a
fictitious, puzzling state into modern encyclopedias. Borges' secret
society wanted their heretical ideologies to infiltrate common thought
through an invented past; GOAT wants to revitalize the communal
experience of rock music by creating an alternate origin story.
Ultimately, it is GOAT's music that speaks the most about them, and
on Commune GOAT deliver a heavy dose of acidic grooves, hypnotic
incantations, and serpentine guitar lines, building on the much-lauded
sound of World Music to explore new territories. Starting with the layered
percussive groove, Eastern guitar flourishes, and convoking vocals of
"Talk To God," Commune re-establishes the trance-inducing rhythms
and exotic blaze of guitar that characterized World Music. From there,
the album launches into darker and more propulsive territories,
occasionally emerging for breaths of transcendental '60s psych-pop and
driving proto-metal fuzz.
"GOAT is mainly a symbol of sacrifice. To sacrifice the individual for
the collective good. To become one with the rest of humanity and
universe," said an unnamed GOAT conspirator in a rare correspondence.
With that philosophy, GOAT is propagating their crossbred music and
mysticism by sharing Commune with the world. And, while we'll never
see GOAT's faces on the cover of a glossy magazine, their intoxicating
conjurations are poised to infiltrate our collective psyche with the
subversive magical allure of a Borgesian fable.1. Talk to God
3. The Light Within
4. To Travel the Path Unknown
7. Hide From the Sun
9. Gathering of Ancient Tribes$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sheer Heart AttackQueen II was a breakthrough in terms of power and ambition, but Queen's third album Sheer Heart Attack was where the band started to gel. It followed quickly on the heels of the second record -- just by a matter of months; it was the second album they released in 1974 -- but it feels like it had a longer incubation period, so great is the progress here. Which isn't quite to say that Sheer Heart Attack is flawless -- it still has a tendency to meander, sometimes within a song itself, as when the killer opening Brighton Rock suddenly veers into long stretches of Brian May solo guitar -- but all these detours do not distract from the overall album, they're in many ways the key to the record itself: it's the sound of Queen stretching their wings as they learn how to soar to the clouds. There's a genuine excitement in hearing all the elements to Queen's sound fall into place here, as the music grows grander and catchier without sacrificing their brutal, hard attack. One of the great strengths of the album is how all four members find their voices as songwriters, penning hooks that are big, bold, and insistent and crafting them in songs that work as cohesive entities instead of flourishes of ideas. This is evident not just in Killer Queen -- the first, best flourishing of Freddie Mercury's vaudevillian camp -- but also on the pummeling Stone Cold Crazy, a frenzied piece of jagged metal that's all the more exciting because it has a real melodic hook. Those hooks are threaded throughout the record, on both the ballads and the other rockers, but it isn't just that this is poppier, it's that they're able to execute their drama with flair and style. There are still references to mystical worlds (Lily of the Valley, In the Lap of Gods) but the fantasy does not overwhelm as it did on the first two records; the theatricality is now wielded on everyday affairs, which ironically makes them sound larger than life. And this sense of scale, combined with the heavy guitars, pop hooks, and theatrical style, marks the true unveiling of Queen, making Sheer Heart Attack as the moment where they truly came into their own.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music)1. Brighton Rock
2. Killer Queen
3. Tenement Funster
4. Flick Of The Wrist
5. Lily Of The Valley
6. Now I'm Here
7. In The Lap Of The Gods
8. Stone Cold Crazy
9. Dear Friends
11. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
12. She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilettos)
13. In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shrink DustCalgary, Alberta's Chad VanGaalen's blood flows by unrestrained creative
impulses. He has never worked in a commercial recording studio. By
his hands alone, one line, sound, shape or word leads organically to the
next. Over the last ten to fifteen years, Chad has been producing living
maps in songs, drawings, modified instruments, animations and
performances--shifting forms pointing to another world, infinitely more
liveable, maybe hidden just under the surface of our own
In Shrink Dust, Chad's fifth full-length album under his own name, we
have a new window into his world. The album is, in Chad's view, a country
record. It is also partially a score to Chad's soon-to-be released, animated,
sci-fi feature, Translated Log of Inhabitants ("It's like Bob and Doug
McKenzie in space," says Chad).
Always a fan of esoteric instruments, Chad taught himself to play an
aluminum pedal steel guitar. His experiments with this instrument unify
the album, along with themes of death, transformation, fear, benign evil,
and the eccentricity of love. A newfound affection for The Flying Burrito
Brothers, and the sci-fi mysticism of the 1980s graphic novel The Incal
by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, also drove the album.
Somehow, with all of its disparate influences and components, Shrink
Dust might be one of the most accessible moments in CVG's creative
life, simply because it is more apparent than ever how much fun he is
having blurring the lines between the vivid worlds of his creation, and
the world his audience inhabits. For those who are open to it, Chad's
adventures in music and art illuminate a path that is more colorful,
playful, and sustainable than those commonly available to us. A path
that is, most importantly, always changeable.1. Cut Off My Hands
2. Where Are You?
3. Frozen Paradise
5. Weighed Sin
8. Leaning On Bells
9. All Will Combine
10. Weird Love
11. Hangman's Son
12. Cosmic Destroyer$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
VolcanoJames Bagshaw (vocals, guitar), Tom Warmsley (bass, backing vocals), Sam Toms (drums) and Adam Smith (keys) - are set to release their new album, Volcano, via Fat Possum.
All the elements people loved with Temples' debut, Sun Structures, remain intact, but this time, there is a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. It's clear Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to their potential, immediately evident with "Certainty." Its beefed-up beats reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. "If there's a sense of scale," says frontman James Bagshaw, "It was really just a result of implementing a load of things that we didn't know about the first time around. We didn't even have a subwoofer to listen back to things that we did on Sun Structures, so there was nothing below 50Hz on that record. We didn't even know those frequencies were there!"
Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Temples' melodies seem to come effortlessly. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. One thing is certain; it's harder to spot the influences this time around. Mystical language has been supplanted by something more direct. They've been broken down and blended together - fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, resulting in a sound that is undoubtedly Temples. As described by co-founding member Warmsley, "we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards."1. Certainty
2. All Join In
3. I Wanna Be Your Mirror
4. Oh The Saviour
5. Born Into The Sunset
6. How Would You Like To Go?
7. Open Air
8. In My Pocket
10. Mystery Of Pop
11. Roman Godlike Man
12. Strange Or Be Forgotten$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now