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  • Bridges Worth Burning Bridges Worth Burning Quick View

    $19.99
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    Bridges Worth Burning

    Barsuk is ecstatic to announce the re-release of Kind of Like Spitting's classic Bridges Worth Burning on vinyl. Released in 2002, the album was originally only briefly made available on vinyl with an extremely limited pressing. Before Bridges Worth Burning's release, Kind of Like Spitting had released six previous albums on small DIY labels (three on Portland, OR's beloved Hush Records). Taking a staunchly independent, working-class approach to making records and performing, KOLS often played in houses and in unofficial venues, sometimes as a blistering full band but more often as singer Ben Barnett and his guitar. They released 4 more full-lengths on independent Pacific Northwest labels before taking an extended hiatus in 2006. During the past 8+ years, word of mouth continued to spread about the band and Kind of Like Spitting's prolific output found a whole new generation of fans. In late 2014, the band surprised everyone by announcing it would be reforming, playing shows and releasing new music on Topshelf Records in 2015. With the band reemerging, and a wonderful album that has long been unavailable on wax, now is the perfect time to grant the wishes of KOLSfans who regularly contact Barsuk asking why they can't get Bridges Worth Burning on vinyl.
    1. Passionate
    2. We Are Both Writers
    3. Born Beautiful
    4. He Calls Me
    5. Following Days
    6. I Want Out
    7. Canaries
    8. Tyco Racing Set And A Christmas Story Fifteen Times
    9. This Lemonade Is Terrible
    10. Crossover Potential
    11. Continent
    12. Untitled
    Kind Of Like Spitting
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • More Parts Per Million More Parts Per Million Quick View

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    More Parts Per Million

    The Thermals celebrate their 10-year anniversary by reissuing their three Sub Pop albums on vinyl. More Parts Per Million is the band's debut album, originally released by Sub Pop on March 4th, 2003. The Thermals were created in 2002 by singer Hutch Harris in his Portland-area kitchen. By that summer, they was a rock band in the flesh, with Kathy Foster on bass, Jordan Hudson on Drums and Kind of Like Spitting's Ben Barnett on the guitar. The Thermals play with a joyous frenzy not unlike the idiosyncratic guitar driven indie-punk of the Wedding Present, with lyrics spewed forth from the same oblique etherland as Guided By Voices. More Parts Per Million has sold over 12,000 copies, and the vinyl has been out of print for years. Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie mixed the album at The Hall of Justice studio in Seattle, WA.
    1. It's Trivia
    2. Brace and Break
    3. No Culture Icons
    4. Goddamn the Light
    5. Out of the Old and Thin
    6. I Know the Pattern
    7. Time to Lose
    8. My Little Machine
    9. Overgrown, Overblown!
    10. A Passing Feeling
    11. Back to Gray
    12. Born Dead
    The Thermals
    $15.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Operation: Doomsday (Silver Age Set) Operation: Doomsday (Silver Age Set) Quick View

    $21.99
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    Operation: Doomsday (Silver Age Set)

    This special edition 2xLP package comes housed in an all new exclusive jacket featuring DOOM's
    infamous metal mask icon embossed out of a metallic silver foil.


    Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF Doom hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD's 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was turfed by Elektra in 1994 and Subroc (one half of the sibling rhyme duo) passed away, surviving KMD member Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF Doom. The Rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol' Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, Rhymes Like Dimes, Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting 'only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.' Doomsday features female vocalist Pebbles the Invisible accompanying the masked rhyme avenger on his journey to denounce wack MCs, while on ? he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom's avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on Tick, Tick... where he and guest MC MF Grimm's flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, many of which include snippets of dialogue from Marvel's Dr. Doom series, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today's bland commercial Rap universe, Operation Doomsday's left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.

    1. The Time We Faced Doom (Skit)
    2. Doomsday
    3. Rhymes Like Dimes
    4. The Finest
    5. Back In The Days (Skit)
    6. Go With The Flow
    7. Tick, Tick
    8. Red And Gold
    9. The Hands Of Doom (Skit)
    10. Who You Think I Am?
    11. Doom, Are You Awake? (Skit)
    12. Hey!
    13. Operation: Greenbacks
    14. The M.I.C.
    15. The Mystery Of Doom (Skit)
    16. Dead Bent
    17. Gas Drawls
    18. ?
    19. Hero vs. Villain (Epilogue)
    MF Doom
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Slow Dazzle Slow Dazzle Quick View

    $21.99
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    Slow Dazzle

    In 1975, mad scientist and Velvet Underground alum John Cale returned to the lab to record another experiment. Slow Dazzle, his fifth solo album and second collaboration with Roxy Music's Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, dissects rock and avant-garde, hacks the limbs off of pop and jazz, and fuses the styles together into a limber, impassioned creation.


    Back on domestic vinyl for the first time in decades, this RTI-pressed edition of Slow Dazzle is cut at Mobile Fidelity by in-house engineer Krieg Wunderlich and features stunning sonics. Quiet surfaces, faithful artwork, and the opportunity to hear Cale's incisive fare unfold amidst wide soundstages and black backgrounds-not to mention the emotionally unsettling content within-make this Wax Cathedral LP a must for music aficionados.


    Sometimes jaunty and beer-soaked, sometimes maniacally spitting into the microphone about killing his wife's lover, sometimes despairing, sometimes sweet, Cale holds forth with schizophrenic authority. Manzanera's sordid guitar dirges ambidextrously switch to cheerful riffs as Eno's synthesizer rubber-bands its way through sunshine and smoke-machine fog. Chris Thomas, who recorded with the Beatles and engineered albums for Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols, throws haunted violin and dissonant electric piano into the formula.


    Whether he's heaping neon sleaze atop earnest surf harmonies in an ode to the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson (Mr. Wilson), lulling you into a blurred, easy-listening trance (Ski Patrol, I'm Not the Loving Kind), or growling a pre-goth era cover of Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel" with mascara-running intensity, Cale delivers an elastic range of artistry. Ditties like "Dirty Ass Rock 'N' Roll" and "Guts" place psychopath tendencies into the body of a catchy pop song, turn up the electricity, twitch, and grab.


    By all means, Cale's experiment was a success. Slow Dazzle is alive.

    1. Mr. Wilson
    2. Taking It All Away
    3. Dirty-Ass Rock 'N' Roll
    4. Darling I Need You
    5. Rollaroll
    6. Heartbreak Hotel
    7. Ski Patrol
    8. I'm Not The Loving Kind
    9. Guts
    10. The Jeweller
    John Cale
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Johnny Throttle Johnny Throttle Quick View

    $17.99
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    Johnny Throttle

    Formed by ex-Parkinsons frontman Afonso and including former members of Menace, The Shakin Nasties, the Jackoffs, the Chinese Lungs, the Stains and Urban Shocks, Johnny Throttle have been playing drunken, beer-soaked gigs since the tail end of 2008. They play snotty, moronic and straight-to-the-point gonzo-garage punk rock, banging out furious 20-minute sets of short and catchy songs that bring to mind something like Slaughter and the Dogs meets the Electric Eels. This is probably Londons best punk rock band, and definitely the snottiest.


    Their debut release, Stukas Über Shoreditch, which came out on Wrench Records, was a two-fingered salute and a spit in the eye. After a second 45 on the legendary Crypt Records, its now time for their first full length offering which is a similarly abrasive kick to the head, a blistering, full-on, spiked slab of rampant frenzy, replete with 100mph serrating riffs, like a seriously wired Dead Boys having a party with The Stooges whilst the pub rock honk of Eddie & the Hot Rods unsuccessfully tries to calm things down.


    Like the best bands of the '70s punk era, Johnny Throttle are hugely influenced by the '60s garage bands, and were regulars in the audience, and on the stage, at the old Dirty Water Club during the last decade. But the main thing to them is that the music has to be sharp as a dagger, threatening but also beautiful. The 12 tracks on their self-titled debut are inspired mini-operas, played with the kind of near incompetent teenage enthusiasm which only borderline middle-aged, lowlifes, has-beens and never-weres can truly muster.

    1. Lost Sputnik 
    2. Alone
    3. Ann
    4. See You Again 
    5. Waking Up Alone
    6. Love Me Til I Come 
    7. I Wanna Be Your Ex
    8. Heart Of Stone
    9. Spazztastic
    10. Falling Off The Edge
    11. Time You Learnt
    12. Johnny Go Mental
    Johnny Throttle
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Crooked Teeth Crooked Teeth Quick View

    $19.99
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    Crooked Teeth

    Papa Roach has never taken the easy way out and they aren't going to start now. Over the past two decades the group have established themselves as true trendsetters in heavy music: They've been nominated for two Grammys, toured the globe with everyone from Eminem to Marilyn Manson and crafted the nÜ metal anthem "Last Resort," which is still in heavy rotation on rock radio seventeen years after its release. However, the group's tenth full-length Crooked Teeth sees the band returning to their humble-and hungry-roots. The album was recorded in a cramped West Hollywood studio with up-and-coming producers Nicholas "RAS" Furlong and Colin Brittain, who grew up listening to Papa Roach and inspired them to revisit some of the traits that personally endeared the band to them, most notably frontman Jacoby Shaddix's remarkable rapping technique.


    "We've always kind of considered ourselves to be the bastard cousins of everything we've every been involved with so we wanted to be true to that and switch things up this time around," Shaddix says. "The first time we met up with RAS and Colin, they said that [2000's] Infest was on constant rotation when they were growing up and they wanted to bring back some of that fire." The connection between the artists and producers was immediate and the first song Papa Roach-which also features guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo-came up with for Crooked Teeth was "My Medication," an instantly catchy banger that sees Shaddix spitting verses in between massive choruses and ambient accents. "I really felt like we had a personal connection and the music was just there waiting to be written and once we nailed that song things really clicked and we knew exactly what we had to do" Furlong explains. "We really followed our instincts and tried something unproven with this record and because of that we ended up with a bold, courageous and more adventurous version of Papa Roach." It was in this studio that "old school" Papa Roach ways, morphed to create this "new school" Papa Roach sound.


    From the instantly infectious nature of the title track to the atmospheric sheen of the ballad "Periscope" (which features Skylar Grey) and the hip-hop rock mashup "Sunrise Trailer Park" (which features an impassioned verse from Machine Gun Kelly). Crooked Teeth displays the various sides of Papa Roach and illustrates why they've managed to remain relevant while musical trends ebb and flow. "We didn't go into this album with the intention of trying to write radio singles," Horton explains. "The collection of songs was really about bookending everything that we've done prior to this album and reintroducing Papa Roach to people who didn't realize the depth that we have," says Palermo. "The whole idea was to take the classic elements of Papa Roach that everyone loved and revamp them into a modern version of the sound through the creative process," adds Furlong. "We just wanted to flip everything on its head and see what would happen and it turned out more amazing than any of us could have expected."


    "The people who have wanted to hear me rap for years are gonna love some of the viscousness on this record," Shaddix explains adding that while he had his own initial reservations about some of the album's more unorthodox moments - such as the 808 bass drop into a metal breakdown on the album title track, "Crooked Teeth" - ultimately those adventurous decisions are what make the album such a refreshing change of pace in a rock climate that's grown increasingly sterile. "I'd like to personally thank all of the guys in the band for making this happen because all it takes is one person to give you a shot and this was definitely mine," Furlong adds. "I want to be one of the best producers in modern day music so I wanted to work as hard for these guys as they would for themselves because as a producer it was my job to push them to get the kind of quality work everyone has been expecting."


    Just as Papa Roach felt like they still had something to prove with this record, so did the production team who attempted to bring in elements of music from different genres and parts of the world while still staying true to Papa Roach's sound. "One of the big elements in my production is finding those pockets of rhythm that people associate more with rap or reggae," Furlong explains, a fact that came in especially handy when Shaddix was fine-tuning his freestyle skills. "I know rap rhythms because I grew up listening to hip-hop, so I was able to make sure that the delivery was on point and the beat was in the pocket so it didn't suffer from a lot of the stylistic pitfalls that can happen when you merge rock and rap."


    Crooked Teeth also sees Shaddix pulling no punches lyrically, as evidenced on intensely personal tracks like "Born For Greatness," produced by Jason Evigan (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Kehlani, Madonna), which sees Shaddix getting sentimental about his three children, or "American Dream" where the lifelong pacifist begs the listener to ask, "have you ever thought war was a sickness?" "My father is a Vietnam veteran and a lot of those soldiers came back to a country where people weren't accepting them back into society or aware of the effects that war has on your psyche," Shaddix says of the song." "Post-traumatic stress disorder and the disintegration of the American family are things I've dealt with personally and I knew other people could relate to. I think that's what makes this record bold. Nothing was off limits when it came to what was on my mind."


    Never one to shy away from difficult topics, Papa Roach dug deep with Crooked Teeth and refused to censor themselves when it came to their opinion of the current political landscape and organized religion. For example, on "None Of The Above," every ounce of musical intensity on the album is mirrored by Shaddix's words whether he's screaming, singing or rhyming. "It took me a long time, but eventually I realized that in life we're all human and we all make mistakes whether you're the president or the preacher, you know?" Shaddix explains when asked about the latter song. "It's an example of how I can get lost in a storyline and explore so many different issues in one track and that's what I love about this record. Just the spark of an idea would instantly ignite and the next thing we knew we had another song that we all loved."


    In many ways making Crooked Teeth reminded Shaddix of the band's early days, well before they sold millions of albums and became a household name. "When we were in the rehearsal space I wasn't thinking about who I needed to impress, I was thinking about how much I love making music with the guys in this band," Shaddix admits. "It feels honest and it feels pure," adds Esperance. Fittingly, throughout the process, Shaddix gained inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin and Faith No More, acts who constantly redefined themselves and were never content to rest on the merits of a hit single." This band encompasses some of my greatest victories, but it's also brought out some of my darkest character flaws," Shaddix summarizes, "so I have kind of a love-hate relationship with this music, but I can't stop because I've got too much of my life invested in it at this point. We are a purpose-driven band and I've got a responsibility to myself and our fans to continue to create."

    1. Break The Fall
    2. Crooked Teeth
    3. My Medication
    4. Born For Greatness
    5. American Dreams
    6. Periscope
    7. Help
    8. Sunrise Trailer Park
    9. Traumatic
    10. None Of The Above
    Papa Roach
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • What's Going On (Pure Pleasure) What's Going On (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
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    What's Going On (Pure Pleasure)

    In 2006, exactly a year after Katrina, in the aftermath of a vicious natural disaster that displayed the incompetence of the Crescent City's infrastructure, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Government, they addressed the tragedy in the only way they know how, by re-creating the same kind of bewilderment and anger that Marvin Gaye felt and witnessed in 1971 by issuing their own take on Gaye's classic album What's Goin' On. This is a question that is proved all the more poignant given the efforts of an entire region trying not only to rebuild homes and businesses, but trying to preserve a culture as this recording was released. The Dirty Dozen recruit a number of vocalists to help out on the hinge tunes. The samples of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's voice in the aftermath of the hurricane usher in the brass slip-sliding along the dark funky overtones of Gaye's signature tune. Guitarists Doug Bossi and Ben Keeler dig into the groove, as does drummer Terence Higgins and keyboardist/producer Anthony Marinelli, as Chuck D raps the refrain in the context of modern history, the disaster, and the ineptitude and even hostility of a government who wages war and ignores domestic problems. It's a news report from the front lines as the horns cut the melody, the harmony, and the deep, steamy funk groove. What's Happening Brother, closes the funk from the inside, turning the groove back in on itself not only playing the rage, but echoing it in the grain of Bettye LaVette's vocal, which dares to spit out the truth with questions and observations in the pain of a first person narrative. The airy arrangement of Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky) is nearly mournful, nostalgic for a more innocent time, but is all the more poignant for that longing. The deep tribal drums Mardi Gras Indian-style, with the skronky saxophones, tight guitar groove, and screaming narrative in Save The Children give way to the smoothness of Gaye's melody. It's a bewildered tune, sad with undercurrents of rage. Ivan Neville's arrangement for God Is Love is a stunner, full of deeply imaginative hues and colors and gospel grooves. G. Love helps out on Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), where the musicality in Gaye's vocal disappears but is supercharged in the horn charts, and Love's vocal sounds confused, displaced, out of time against the instruments. Right On is both militant and celebratory. It's got the funk, but it's also got gospel, rock, and deep soul blaring from the trombones and the repetitive riff in the rest of the brass section. Guru from Gang Starr cuts out from the moody, spectral introduction of Inner City Blues, when Higgins drums play counter to Kirk Joseph's deep blues sousaphone on the bassline. Frustration is everywhere and the horns point fingers to this truth which Guru lays out: that today is the same and perhaps even more so than it was in Gaye's time. The desolation in Gaye's lyric isn't lost but it is fleshed out over the chart so that they are merely the ghosts from the past preaching and exhorting in this new generation. Never has party music sounded so poignant, so utterly damning and hopeful and unbowed. This is the next step in the Homecoming that was a funeral for a friend; this is the aftermath, the sound of angry resurrection coming out with the sun, one where the revolution may be televised but bursts out of the edges in the screen and makes itself known by the medium understood by the people who have to live its realization. With killer grooves that take no prisoners, What's Goin' On is the most fitting tribute yet to Gaye, because not only does it prove the timelessness of the music itself, it echoes that what is indeed goin' on (Gaye's dedication to Detroit as its decline became a reality with no onlookers interested in doing anything) is even more true today than it was in 1971.



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    1. What's Going On feat. Chuck D
    2. What's Happening Brother feat. Bettye Lavette
    3. Flying High (In the Friendly Skies)
    4. Save the Children
    5. God is Love feat. Ivan Neville
    6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
    7. Right On
    8. Wholy Holy
    9. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
    The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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