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Now Here Is Nowhere'
(K)no(w)hereThe third full-length from Baltimore's Wilderness was conceived as one musical piece, the result of being invited to collaborate with renowned visual artist Charles Long. The eight identifiable parts of the record are not readily separated from each other; such is the flow from and into each part. The result comes across as more dynamic and the perceived space they inhabit seems more vast.High Nero
Strand the Test of Time
<....^....>$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
TigermilkTigermilk is simply gorgeous, an unaffected debut equal to the Smiths' finest work, and seemed to arrive fully formed out of nowhere in May 1996. In songs like the pastoral, shimmering The State I Am In and the wonderfully naive We Rule the School, bandleader Stuart Murdoch had already laid the seeds that would later come to such full, poignant fruition on If You're Feeling Sinister and The Boy with the Arab Strap. The 10 songs here have such a natural pop sensibility, such a grace and resonance, it's hard now to believe that Tigermilk was only originally intended as a small-time project between seven Glaswegian friends (the original vinyl release was limited to 1,000 copies). Whimsical, surreal, and beautiful, this reissue is well worth the wait. --Everett True1. The State I Am In
3. She's Losing It
4. You're Just A Baby
5. Electronic Renaissance
6. I Could Be Dreaming
7. We Rule The School
8. My Wandering Days Are Over
9. I Don't Love Anyone
10. Mary Joe$22.99Vinyl LP Buy Now
Good News For Modern Man
First Time On Vinyl For This 1999 Solo Album From Ex Husker Du Drummer/songwriter!
No one has to ask what the hell happened to Grant Hart? anymore. When last heard from in 1994, he was releasing his second LP with Nova Mob. His absence since was perhaps atypical, but here he is again, resuming his solo career for the first time in ten years. The good news is that Good News doesn't sound like Nova Mob or 1991's visceral Last Days of Pompeii, nor does it repeat his more introspective 1989 solo LP Intolerance or 1988's accomplished 2541 EP. Production-wise, this is the most pleasant Hart has come across. A sugar rush is added to his pronounced hooks, adding warmth without robbing the attack of vitality. It's hard to describe -- the first thought might be the exuberance of Cheap Trick on Surrender, only not so thumping. Songs such as Nobody Rides for Free and Seka Knows are not traditional power pop as much as vaguely restrained, crunchy-under-the-surface melodic rock songs with slight '60s influence. This steady, understated exhilaration is consistent with Hart's affable personality. You see it most on the lightest selection, Run Run Run to the Centre Pompidou, a jaunty pop romp to nowhere in gay Paris. But it's just as prevalent in the slower, demure tracks such as You Don't Have to Tell Me Now and, most unique of all, the Chills-like New Zealand hush of Teeny's Hair. Hart's control now is as impressive as when he was contrarily blistering the night with such incredible intensity behind the drums in 1984. His best LP since he parted company with Bob Mould and Greg Norton? Very likely!
- Jack Rabid (All Music Guide)1. Little Nemo
2. Think It Over Now
3. Nobody Rides For Free
4. Run Run Run To The Centre Pompidou
5. You Don't Have To Tell Me Now
6. Teeny's Hair
7. A Letter From Anne Marie
8. In A Cold House
9. Seka Knows
10. Remains to Be Seen
11. Let Rosemary Rock Him, Laura-Louise$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
A Salty Dog (Awaiting Repress) (On Sale)
Procol Harum Fuses Classical Structures, Rock Motifs, and Sweeping Melodies with Unparalleled Virtuosity: A Salty Dog Features Ravishing Symmetry Between Piano, Organ, Guitar, and Strings
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes for Reference-Level Sound, Clarity, and Presence: Ultra-Dynamic Mobile Fidelity 180g Vinyl LP Limited to 3,000 Numbered Copies
A call for all hands on deck opens Procol Harum's third album, and with that command, an effort that witnesses the band coming into its own as a collective capable of fusing classical structures with rock motifs via an expertise, virtuosity, and style matched by none of its peers is on its way to making history. A Salty Dog survives as proof no other artist ever sounded like Procol Harum - while also demonstrating few collectives boasted a lineup full of such ace instrumentalists. Stacked with exploratory themes, boundary-crossing directions, and sweeping melodies, A Salty Dog proudly veers off traditional course and ventures to intrepid places forbidden to even the most thrill-seeking groups of the highly experimental era.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g vinyl LP takes its place as the definitive-sounding analog version of the record. The intertwined symmetry between organist Matthew Fisher and pianist Gary Brooker, central to every song on the set, gets revealed with newfound detail, openness, and clarity. Produced by Fisher, A Salty Dog now resonates with a presence and immediacy stunted on prior editions. The full-bodied tones, front-to-back imaging, and grand dynamics inherent on this audiophile edition elevate the 1969 favorite to landmark status. In addition, the evocative cover art, which pays homage to the Player's Navy Cut logo, is reproduced in faithful-to-the-original fashion.
The cinematic breadth of the sonics parallels the scope of the bold arrangements, which include strings, recorders, bells, celeste, and a myriad of guitars. Brooker and Fisher split vocal duties, save for on Crucifiction Lane, which boasts a rare lead from marvel-in-the-making Robin Trower. The latter's prodigious guitar lines add another distinctive element to the compositions and further up the ante of the interplay between Brooker and Fisher. Trower accents tracks such as the topsy-turvy The Milk of Human Kindness with bluesy vibes and jolts Juicy John Pink by way of jukejoint energy. Not to be outdone, B.J. Wilson's still-unsung percussion draws from R&B and swing techniques to supply a natural albeit firm footing.
For all the proficient playing and narrative storytelling, the most impressive feat surrounding A Salty Dog remains its accessible complexity and relative modesty. Procol Harum never comes across as pretentious, self-indulgent, or contrived. Anchored by Fisher's unique Hammond M102 organ riffs, the works function as a summation of their parts. Tunes like Wreck of the Hesperus serve as wondrously varied tapestries stitched with swelling chamber rhythms, barbed thickets of distortion, and thundering progressions. It's a ravishing picture of majestic subtlety and sheer power.
NME wrote shortly after the record's release that the most exciting facet of this tremendous album is not so much that it contains the Procols' best recorded works to date, but that their potential is still nowhere near being fully spent. Rolling Stone concurred, observing, 'Too Much Between Us' is the kind of song you can float away on - its background and vocal of marimba and acoustic guitar in a perfectly understated waltz-time are beautifully ethereal.
A notable footnote, Fisher departed Procol Harum shortly after the release of A Salty Dog, permanently impacting the band's trajectory and sound. His performances here are just one reason this inimitable album carries sway nearly five decades after its release.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. A Salty Dog
2. The Milk Of Human Kindness
3. Too Much Between Us
4. The Devil Came From Kansas
6. Juicy John Pink
7. Wreck Of The Hesperus
8. All This And More
9. Crucifiction Lane
10. Pilgrim's Progress$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
No More Shall We PartNo More Shall We Part ends a four-year silence from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. A best-of was issued in 2000, but no new material has appeared since 1997's landmark album, The Boatman's Call. With that record Cave had finally delivered what everyone knew he was capable of: an entire album of deeply tragic and beautiful love songs without irony, sarcasm, or violent resolution. It appears that The Boatman's Call has altered the manner in which Cave writes songs, and the Bad Seeds illustrate them. Two musical directors -- the ubiquitous Mick Harvey and Dirty Three violinist Warren Ellis -- craft a sonic atmosphere whose textures deepen and widen Cave's most profound and beautiful lyrics to date. The ballads have the wide, spacious, sobering ambience one has come to expect from the Bad Seeds. There is an ethereal change in sound in the up-tempo numbers, which are, for lack of better terminology, musical novellas. They plumb the depths of blues, yet contain glissando and crescendos from the orchestral music of composers such as Fartein Valen and Olivier Messiaen. There are places, such as in Oh My Lord, where rock & roll is evoked as a device, but this isn't rock music. A listen to As I Sat Sadly By Her Side, Hallelujah, and the aforementioned track (the most rock song here) will attest that it is merely one color on a musical palette that is more expansive now than at any time in the band's history. Also in the band's musical treasure trove is the addition of the McGarrigle sisters on backing vocals - nowhere is their contribution more poignant than on the tenderly daunting, haunted house that is Love Letter. Lyrically, and as a vocalist, Cave has undergone a startling, profound metamorphosis. Gone is the angry, humorous cynic whose venom and bile touched even his lighter moments. His deep taunting ambivalence about Jesus Christ and Christianity in general is gone, vanished into a maturity that ponders spiritual things contemplatively. Humor that pokes fun churchianity remains, but not as a source of its inspiration. Over these 12 tracks, Cave has taken the broken heart--so openly exhibited on The Boatman's Call--and elevated it to the place where he has learned to live with, and speak from it as both an artist and a human being. Leonard Cohen stated in the song Anthem, that, there is a crack in everything/that's where the light gets in.No More Shall We Part is a mosaic of those cracks. If this album is about anything, it is about love's ability to survive in the world. It is examined concretely and abstractly; to the point where it meditates on this theme even cinematically. His methodology for the listener is, even though these are intimate conversations, the effect is illustrated in widescreen. In this way, Cave touches the heart in the same way Andrei Tarkovsky's films Stalker and The Sacrifice and Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire do. There is powerful emotion here, spiritual, psychological and romantic, without a hint of the sentimentality that would make it false. As both a singer and a songwriter, his work has been transformed into something so full of depth, color, and dimension, that there is simply no one except his mentors working on this level in popular music. In the opening moments of As I Sat Sadly By Her Side, a tenderly, softly sung vocal delivers: Then she drew the curtains down/And said when will you ever learn/That what happens there beyond the glass/Is simply none of your concern/God has given you but one heart/You are not a home but the hearts of your brothers/God don't care for your benevolence anymore/But he cares for the lack of it in others/Nor does he care for you to sit at/Windows in judgement of the world he created/While sorrows pile up around you/Ugly, useless and over-inflated/At which she turned her head away/Great tears leapin' from her eyes/I could not wipe a smile from my face/As I sat sadly by her side. The title track is a ballad that could have been lifted from The Boatman's Call, except it lacks the reaching tragedy. And Cave sings in a tenor no one thought him capable of -- And all the birds will sing to your beautiful heart/Up on the bell/And no more shall we part. The chaos of earlier Bad Seeds outings does kick up on The Sorrowful Wife, where violins and Blixa Bargeld's guitars duel with Jim Sclavunos's drums for domination of the sonic torrent. The record closes with two of Cave's most beautiful songs, a near country gospel waltz called Gates to the Garden with the McGarrigles sweetening an already lovely tome to redemptive love. Finally, Darker With the Day, illustrated by Harvey's striking pianistic ballad framework touched by Bill Evans' technique, is as strikingly autobiographical as Cave has ever been, highlighting the extremes of good and evils that inform and torment the protagonist's inner emotional life within in a single day. There is loss and the seeking of deliverance and, in a statement not so much of recognition that this is simply fate, he also acknowledges hope: All these streets are frozen now/I come and go/Full of a longing for something I do not know. As he calls to a lover gone seemingly forever, he comes to the conclusion that for him, redemption is in love itself, whether divine or profane; the only hope is that love, between two people or between an individual and her or his creator, depends on one's openness to receiving it. Who can argue with him? No More Shall We Part leaves listeners in awe, full of complex emotions, and pondering the notion that they've been in the presence of great redemptive art--which Henry James calls, the thing that can never be repeated.
- Thom Jurek (All Music)1. As I Sat Sadly by Her Side
2. And No More Shall We Part
4. Love Letter
5. Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow
6. God Is in the House
7. Oh My Lord
8. Sweetheart Come
9. The Sorrowful Wife
10. We Came Along This Road
11. Gates to the Garden
12. Darker with the Day$22.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UndeadA Premium RTI Pressing, From The Original U.K. Mono Masters
Immortalized on the silver screen, Ten Years After's landmark performance of "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock galvanized their reputation as road warriors capable of rousing large crowds - such as the 400,000 festival-goers mesmerized by Alvin Lee's white lightning on his bright red Gibson ES-335."I'm Going Home" could also light up a room as small as Klooks Kleek in London, as heard on their second album, 1968's Undead. But while it was the first recording of the song (with wires running from Decca Studios next door to capture it), it hardly came from nowhere. Alvin Lee and bassist Leo Lyons learned the value of extended jamming as far back as 1962 while playing Hamburg in the Jaybirds, and not long after they began covering Gene Vincent's "I'm Going Home (To See My Baby)" in Ten Years After - it was reworked into something entirely original. Or more specifically: stripped down, repainted, rebuilt and retooled into a drag racer that would scorch crowds for years to come. Undead was the first recorded evidence of that live legacy. Condensed to the best five of the May 14, 1968, set, the album sees the band do further long bluesy jamming with "I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Be Wrong Always," "Spider in My Web," and pound Gershwin into submission (courtesy drummer Ric Lee) on "Summertime/Shantung Cabbage." And on a killer cover of "(At the) Woodchopper's Ball," the band's jazzy blues is hot enough to turn Woody Herman's classic into sawdust - replete with Alvin Lee and organist Chick Churchill trading solos. Rightly regarded as one of the best live albums of its era, Undead is reissued here in its rare mono mix, which has been out of print everywhere for nearly 50 years.It's very much alive on this vinyl edition, which features primo sound and the beautiful negative-image original cover.
Now Sundazed proudly presents the searing guitar of Alvin Lee & Chick Churchill's haunting organ textures as they were meant to be heard, from the original U.K. MONO masters and pressed on premium RTI vinyl!1. I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Be Wrong Always
2. Woodchopper's Ball
3. Spider In My Web
4. Summertime/Shantung Cabbage
5. I'm Going Home$24.99Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
The Basement Tapes (On Sale)Ranked 291/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Recorded in Basement of Big Pink with The Band: Modern Americana Starts Here
Audiophile Sound at Last: Sonic Subtleties, Loose Interplay, Organic Spirit, Warm Textures Presented Like Never Before on Definitive Mobile Fidelity Reissue
Dylan at His Most Humorous, Unguarded, Loose: Folk Tales, Weird Narratives, Rock Ballads, Inside Jokes, Allusions Pepper Alchemic Material
Includes This Wheels on Fire, You Aint Goin Nowhere, Tears of Rage, Million Dollar Bash, Yazoo Street Scandal
The Freewheelin Bob Dylan, Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde, and Blood on the Tracks Also Available from Mobile Fidelity
Basements have long been associated with raw, off-the-cuff rock n roll, the damp and dark spaces serving as the woodshedding venues for countless bands. Yet no basement is more famous, and none yielded music as familiarly weird, wholesomely American, joyously loose, and identifiably humorous as that in the upstate New York house dubbed Big Pink the location where, during the summer and early fall of 1967, Bob Dylan and The Band played a vivid tapestry of covers, originals, and traditionals that signaled the advent of Americana. Once again, the Bard changed the world.
As part of its Bob Dylan catalog restoration series, Mobile Fidelity is thoroughly humbled to have the privilege of mastering the iconic LP from the original master tapes and pressing it on dead-quiet LPs at RTI. The end result is the very finest, most transparent analog edition of The Basement Tapes ever produced and the first-ever analog reissue. Inimitable, the particulars of The Basement Tapes especially, the gather-round-in-a-huddle assembly of the instrumentalists, home-made character, domestic vibe, and low-volume nature of the recordings come to fore here in a manner that takes the listener down the stairs at 2188 Stoll Road and brings the images of Dylan, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, and Co. to life.
Fresh off experiencing a motorcycle accident and the wrath of audiences hostile to his embrace of amplified music, Dylan elected to retreat to the comforts of rural and family life. He soon began collaborating with members of the Band in his house, ultimately moving the sessions to Big Pink. Informal, peaceful, relaxed, open-minded: The collaborations blanket country stomps, roots hootenannies, forgotten spirituals, earthy originals, chaotic marches, dreamscapes, dance tunes, folk laments, catch-as-you-can improvisations. On The Basement Tapes, mythical ghosts and dead legends reappear, reveling in the absurdity, comedy, mystery, aura, and alchemy.
In Invisible Republic, his scintillating book about the sessions, cultural critic Greil Marcus states: At a time when the country was tearing itself apart in a war at home over a war abroad, the music was funny and comforting; it was also strange, and somehow incomplete. Out of some odd displacement of art and time, the music seemed both transparent and inexplicable when it was first heard, and it still does. Indeed, The Basement Tapes appear to emanate from an indefinable chasm between modern and ancient, self-evident and mysterious, shapeless and fully formed, abstract and concrete, histories unwritten and chronicled. But every note chimes with freenessa liberating fun, humble simplicity, and bond-creating camaraderie felt in every hoot, holler, laugh, and false start.
The Basement Tapes capacity to remain so gloriously honest and timeless performances that genuinely could've been made today, ten years from now, or back in the 1930's helps account for their emotional resonance and unsurpassed reputation as a snapshot of how unencumbered American music, and art with deep historical roots and connective cultural tissues, is supposed to sound.
Mobile Fidelity's reissue squares away the late-night bleariness, jovial atmosphere, low-ceiling dimensions, and ensemble-based perspective of the sessions, allowing the listener to become Hamlet, the dog who slept nearby Dylan, Robertson, and Co. as it all went down. This is not to be missed.
Given the sonic and artistic merit of this album, we anticipate huge demand.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Odds and Ends
2. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)
3. Million Dollar Bash
4. Yazoo Street Scandal
5. Goin to Acapulco
6. Katies Been Gone
7. Lo and Behold
8. Bessie Smith
9. Clothes Line Saga
10. Apple Suckling Tree
11. Please Mrs. Henry
12. Tears of Rage
13. Too Much of Nothing
14. Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
15. Aint No More Cane
16. Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)
17. Ruben Remus
18. Tiny Montgomery
19. You Aint Goin Nowhere
20. Dont Ya Tell Henry
21. Nothing Was Delivered
22. Open the Door, Homer
23. Long Distance Operator
24. This Wheels on Fire$49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Dreamt I Was A CowboyMiniature Tigers mastermind Charlie Brand has been in a relationship with actress Mae Whitman for a while now, and things seem to be going great. How do I know this? Well, there are interviews from both Brand and Whitman out there that say so, but for the purposes of this review, Exhibit A is the new Miniature Tigers record. I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy is a loose concept album about being in love, complete with sappy ballads, angst that it's all going to fall apart, and even the concept album staple-a dream sequence.
Two things are striking about this album from the get-go. There's a warmth and intimacy to opener "My Girl Forever" that sticks around for the length of the album. Brand, it turns out, is pretty good at producing indie-pop that sounds honestly romantic. That warmth makes a cheesy sentiment like, "You will be my friend forever / You will be my girlfriend" sound lovely. The other thing is the song's opening electric guitar riff, which sounds slightly out of tune. That riff runs through the entire song and eventually normalizes even though it never ends up being quite in tune. It's a weird element and a portent that Brand is going to re-embrace the off-kilter sounds that dominated Miniature Tigers' early records.
"Dreaming" is a relaxed, slightly Caribbean-styled song dominated by a bassline played on a bass marimba and a repeating high register xylophone-esque note run. Both are cool effects that give the song a nice groove. This leads right into "I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy", where Whitman takes the lead vocals. Her breathy, quiet singing fits in snugly with the song's languid vibe. "I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy" also works as a transition point on the album. Afterward, the songs are more idiosyncratic and often more interesting.
"Wish It Was Now" is a '60s-style folk song that hits all the right buttons. A pile of acoustic guitars is accompanied by a jangling tambourine while Brand sings possibly the best melody on the album. The multi-layered vocals on the chorus, a simple recitation of "wish it was now", are beautiful, and it all meshes together into a sublime moment. "Wheat" features a prominent pedal steel guitar and some nicely placed percussion rattles, giving the song a light Texas country feel.
Then there's "Nobody Else", which features an out-of-nowhere sample of obscure '60s singer Millie Small with her lovely high-pitched squeak of a voice. The song opens with Small singing "What am I living for / If not for you, baby!", then uses that "baby!" as the song's anchor and hype man, punctuating many of Brand's lines. The song itself is a catchy, piano-based ballad with a warm '70s soft rock bridge, but the sample sells it. It's so effective that once you've heard the song a few times, you want to hear her "baby!" at the end of every line, not just occasionally.
The record ends with two quiet songs, either of which would make a solid closer, but they represent two different moods. "I Never Want Our Love to End" is sparsely arranged with great harmonies, but the overwhelming feeling is melancholy as Brand sings about his insecurities. "I'm Awake Now" uses both chirpy and lush synths to provide a sunny, relaxed, early morning feel. Lyrically, though, the song starts out depressed as Brand contemplates the fact that he's so damn happy in bed with his new girl but that they're both going to have to leave, and it will be over. But the song ends with him deciding that he's going to do whatever it takes to make what's apparently a one-night stand into a relationship.
This kind of unabashed romanticism shouldn't really work. And in the past, Miniature Tigers' attempts at straight-up love songs haven't always been successful. But Brand's honesty goes a long way here, and his willingness to use unusual sounds cuts through the cheese to make the album just a bit weird. I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy ends up effectively splitting the difference between the band's early days of twee sounds with strange lyrics and their middle period of big hooks but not very distinctive sounds.
- Chris Conaton (popmatters.com)1. My Girl Forever
2. Crying In The Sunshine
3. Pictures Of You
5. I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy
6. Wish It Was Now
8. Nobody Else
9. Before You
10. I Never Want Our Love To End
11. I'm Awake Now$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now