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  • Underwater Moonlight Underwater Moonlight Quick View

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    Underwater Moonlight

    Swarming hymns of 2nd generation psychedelic pop mastery, The Soft Boys' two most influential and groundbreaking albums are finally back in print via Yep Roc Records. Main man Robyn Hitchcock, along with demon guitarist Kimberley Rew, bassist Matthew Seligman and drummer Morris Windsor manage to bottle '60s guitar pop, shake it up with caged teenage fury and cut it all with a healthy dose of lyrical levity. A Can of Bees and Underwater Moonlight, seen as fatally un-hip when originally released would go on to be seen as seminal albums and become catalysts for '80s jangle pop and college rock, directly inspiring band's like R.E.M. and The Flaming Lips.
    1. I Wanna Destroy You
    2. Kingdom of Love
    3. Positive Vibrations
    4. I Got the Hots
    5. Insanely Jealous
    6. Tonight
    7. You'll Have to Go Sideways
    8. Old Pervert
    9. Queen of Eyes
    10. Underwater Eyes
    Soft Boys, The
    $17.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • A Can Of Bees A Can Of Bees Quick View

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    A Can Of Bees

    Swarming hymns of 2nd generation psychedelic pop mastery, The Soft Boys' two most influential and groundbreaking albums are finally back in print via Yep Roc Records. Main man Robyn Hitchcock, along with demon guitarist Kimberley Rew, bassist Matthew Seligman and drummer Morris Windsor manage to bottle '60s guitar pop, shake it up with caged teenage fury and cut it all with a healthy dose of lyrical levity. A Can of Bees and Underwater Moonlight, seen as fatally un-hip when originally released would go on to be seen as seminal albums and become catalysts for '80s jangle pop and college rock, directly inspiring band's like R.E.M. and The Flaming Lips.
    1. Give It To The Soft Boys
    2. The Pig Worker
    3. Human Music
    4. Leppo and the Jooves
    5. The Rat's Prayer
    6. Do the Chisel
    7. Sandra's Having Her Brain Out
    8. The Return of the Sacred Crab
    9. Cold Turkey (John Lennon)
    10. School Dinner Blues (Live)
    11. Wading Through A Ventilator (Live)
    Soft Boys, The
    $17.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • I Wanna Go Backwards I Wanna Go Backwards Quick View

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    I Wanna Go Backwards

    Limited Edition


    Robyn Hitchcock has finally begun the daunting task of compiling his groundbreaking post-Soft Boys solo catalog with the I Wanna Go Backwards box set. The first of two upcoming collections, I Wanna Go Backwards includes three of his most classic albums. Hitchcock's first solo album Black Snake Diamond Role is a private rock album featuring ex-Soft Boys, a Vibrator, a Fur and other friends. I Often Dream of Trains finds Robyn at his all-acoustic zenith with a seminal collection of kaleidoscopic, stripped down folk. Eye continues in the tradition of Trains draping Hitchcock's signature layered lyrical imagery over his most musically direct work to date. All the albums feature bonus tracks and enhanced liner notes: reminiscences (BSDR & WTMB), an excerpt from a novel in progress (Trains), and original poetry (Eye), plus previously unseen photos and Hitchcock cartoons. Additional bonus material includes While Thatcher Mauled Britain Part 1 & 2, a two-disc comprehensive look at a labyrinth of Robyn's largely unreleased solo b-sides, outtakes and home recordings. Black Snake Diamond Role and I Often Dream of Trains have been remastered for this collection.


    In addition to the exclusive box set packaging, all three albums will also be simultaneously re-released individually, allowing fans to fill the gaps in their Hitchcock compendiums. Individual album versions will also feature the bonus tracks included on the box set versions as well as the enhanced liner notes. In addition to compact disc format the set will also be released in an eight-record vinyl box set version complete with original LP artwork. The combined release of the I Wanna Go Backwards box set and the individual albums that comprise it are the definitive document of a career defining period of creation for one of the worlds most eccentric and beloved singer/songwriters, a must-have for collectors and fanatics alike.







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    The Man Who Invented Himself      
    Brenda's Iron Sledge      
    Do Policemen Sing?      
    The Lizard      
    Meat      
    Acid Bird      
    I Watch The Cars      
    Out Of The Picture      
    City Of Shame      
    Love      
    All I Wanna Do Is Fall In Love      
    A Skull, A Suitcase & A Long Red Bottle Of Wine      
    It Was The Night      
    I Watch The Cars No. 2      
    Give Me A Spanner Ralph      
    It's A Mystic Trip      
    Grooving On A Inner Plane      
    Happy The Golden Prince      
    Nocturne (prelude)      
    Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl      
    Cathedral      
    Uncorrected Personality Traits      
    Sounds Great When You're Dead      
    Flavour Of Light      
    Ye Sleeping Nights Of Jesus      
    This Could Be The Day      
    Trams Of Old London      
    Furry Green Atom Bowl      
    Heart Full Of Leaves      
    Autumn Is Your Last Chance      
    I Often Dream Of Trains      
    Nocturne (Demise)      
    Winter Love      
    The Bones In The Ground      
    My Favourite Buildings      
    I Used To Say I Love You      
    Chant/Aether      
    Heart Full Of Leaves (Alternate)      
    I Often Dream Of Trains (Demo)      
    Not Even A Nurse      
    Slow Chant/That's Fantastic Mother Church      
    Traveller's Fare      
    Cynthia Mask      
    Certainly Cliquot      
    Queen Elvis      
    Flesh Cartoons      
    Chinese Water Python      
    Executioner      
    Linctus House      
    Sweet Ghost Of Light      
    Transparent Lover      
    Beautiful Girl      
    Clean Steve      
    Raining Twilight Coast      
    Agony Of Pleasure      
    Glass Hotel      
    Satellite      
    Aquarium      
    Queen Elvis II      
    Century      
    Shimmering Distant Love      
    Lovers Turn To Skulls      
    The Beauty Of Earl's Court      
    She Reached For A light      
    August Hair      
    Take Your Knife Out Of My Back      
    Fiend Before The Shrine      
    Raymond Chandler Evening      
    Birdshead      
    Victorian Squid      
    You've Got      
    Captain Dry      
    Raining Twilight Coast (Demo)      
    Point It At Gran      
    Vegetable Friend      
    Flesh Number 1      
    Surgery      
    I Got A Message For You      
    If I Could Look      
    Parachutes & Jellyfish      
    Queen Elvis (Demo)      
    Nothing      
    Stranded In The Future      
    Melting Arthur      
    The Abandoned Brain      
    You're So Repulsive      
    Opiatrescence      
    September Cones      
    Lovely Golden Villains      
    Dr Sticky (live)      
    Toadboy      
    Trash      
    Pit Of Souls (Country Version)      
    Mr Deadly      
    Let There Be More Darkness      
    Listening To The Higsons      
    College Of Ice      
    My Favourite Buildings (Demo)      
    Lightplug      
    Sleeping Knights Of Jesus (Demo)      
    Insect Mother      
    I Wanna Go Backwards    
    Robyn Hitchcock And The Venus 3
    $99.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 8 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Robyn Hitchcock (Awaiting Repress) Robyn Hitchcock (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $19.99
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    Robyn Hitchcock (Awaiting Repress)

    Robyn Hitchcock is the follow up to 2014's critically acclaimed The Man Upstairs. The new record was recorded in Nashville, Robyn's new home base in the US, and was produced by Robyn and Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). This is the first time Robyn has made a full band album in the studio since 2008 and the record features a lot of key players, including Gillian Welch, Emma Swift, Pat Sansone (Wilco, The Autumn Defense) and Grant-Lee Phillips. The psych-rock influence is a callback to his days with The Soft Boys and his early solo albums.
    1. I Want to Tell You About What I Want
    2. Virginia Woolf
    3. I Pray When I'm Drunk
    4. Mad Shelley's Letterbox
    5. Sayonara Judge
    6. Detective Mindhorn
    7. 1970 In Aspic
    8. Raymond and The Wires
    9. Autumn Sunglasses
    10. Time Coast
    Robyn Hitchcock
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit (On Sale) 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $24.99 $17.49 Save $7.50 (30%)

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    7800 Degrees Fahrenheit (On Sale)

    Bon Jovi's sophomore release found the New Jersey group continuing with its engaging mix of hard rock dynamics and blatant pop-metal overtones, and primed the pump for the coming popular explosion of Slippery When Wet. Ever since the keyboard call to arms of the breakthrough Runaway, Bon Jovi had understood that real success lay in a billowing smoke, soft-focus derivation of true metal, where Journey-style synthesizers and soft rock chorus vocals were the name of the game. To that end, 7800° Fahrenheit tempered its black-leather rock & roll with a rudimentary form of the sound that would make Bon Jovi superstars. They puffed out their chests for the groupie-groping, Mötley CrÜe-style catcalls of In and Out of Love and made sure King of the Mountain rumbled with boys-night-out bravado. But they seemed much more comfortable with the twittering ballad Silent Night or Price of Love, where arena-ready riffing met smoke machine keys and vocal trills. There was even Tokyo Road, a valiant attempt at the epic scope of Springsteen that featured a Japanese-language intro and full-on character development. It was in these moments -- when the tenets of metal tried on the hairstyles of pop -- that 7800° Fahrenheit burned its brightest; the professional songwriting and increased cash flow of Slippery When Wet just made the existing mercury burst.
    1. In And Out Of Love
    2. The Price Of Love
    3. Only Lonely
    4. King Of The Mountain
    5. Silent Night
    6. Tokyo Road
    7. The Hardest Part Is The Night
    8. Always Run To You
    9. To The Fire
    10. Secret Dreams
    Bon Jovi
    $24.99 $17.49 Save $7.50 (30%)
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sooner Or Later Sooner Or Later Quick View

    $25.99
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    Sooner Or Later


    Sooner Or Later Brings Back Into Print All Neo Boys Releases That Have Long Been Unavailable To All But Scouring Collectors, And Also Releases Material That Never Saw The Light Of Day


    In 1978, the city of Portland, OR erupted with a radical form of artistic expression some refer to as "punk" or "new wave." Restless teenage crowds were gathering in quiet alleys and meeting halls, anxious to shake off their cultural ties, and at the heart of this legendary movement was the powerful all-girl punk group the Neo Boys. Though an active band for just five years (1978-82), teenage sisters Kt (bass) and Kim Kincaid (vocals), together with Pat Baum (drums) and guitarists Jennifer Labianco and Megan Hengtes forged a place for women in the growing punk rock scene, and redefined gender roles in the 80's movement of rock and roll.


    With their bleached hair, melodic bass lines, surfy guitar strums and straight-forward poetic lyrics, they were a stand-out in the rising new wave/punk scene. Neo Boys regularly shared bills with Greg Sage and The Wipers, opened for Nico, played their first show with Television and participated in founding Portland's first all-ages collective DIY performance space, Clockwork Joes.


    Yet somehow this incredible legacy was nearly lost in the annals of history. Calvin Johnson, a Neo Boys fan since hearing their first single thirty years ago, worked with the band members to track down the missing tapes of their recordings through a rabbit hole of Northwest basements and closets. The result is Sooner or Later (KLP247), a comprehensive double LP collection of Neo Boys recordings from 1977-1982. Included are their long out-of-print 1980 7" EP (released on Greg Sage's Trap Records), and the 1982 self-released EP Crumbling Myths. Sooner or Later also contains studio recordings, early demos and live sessions that have never before been available to the public.


    Sooner or Later is divided between the Neo Boys' early, raw punk era and their more accomplished '80s era during which they recorded Crumbling Myths (which was originally meant to be an album but was cut down to a seven song EP at the last moment). "Time Keeps Time," a bouncy bass-heavy track, made popular again by Grass Widow's cover on their Milo Minute 7", demonstrates the Neo Boys timeless appeal. And Kim Kincaid's soft, not-too-sweet vocals in "Nothing To Fear," which makes two appearances on the collection, speaks to the power of the band's ideals, and the importance of pursuing your artistic vision, even in the face of adversity.


    The Neo Boys were an outspoken feminist fixture in the development of the NW underground music scene, and this legacy is cemented with the release of their complete recordings, Sooner or Later.


    "Neo Boys have been an influence not only on my approach to melody, but also to a world of imagination where anything is possible. Their music is just as pertinent and relatable today as it was 30 years ago, and with existential songs about alienation, societal problems and love, they created a world I have taken refuge in during times when I felt the effects of narrow attitudes about gender and women's voices in music." - Hannah Lew, Grass Widow

    LP 1
    1. Kids
    2. No Venue
    3. Put A Penny In
    4. Never Comes Down
    5. I'm Free
    6. I Don't Belong
    7. Caution
    8. Abnormal Chick
    9. Empty My Head
    10. Give Me The Message
    11. Rich Man's Dreams
    12. Never Comes Down
    13. There Is A Place
    14. Movie
    15. WWII
    16. Time May Tell
    17. Little Man
    18. Image of Guilt
    19. Broken Mirror
    20. Let Go
    21. Running In The Shadows


    LP 2
    1. Poor Man's Jungle
    2. City Unlimited
    3. In Disguise
    4. Split
    5. Days In Heaven
    6. Between Borders
    7. Under Control
    8. Dirty White Lies
    9. Obscure Emotion
    10. No Form
    11. Look
    12. Time Keeps Time
    13. Cheap Labor
    14. Hands Down
    15. Nothing To Fear
    16. Someday Maybe
    17. Ancient Youth
    18. On Common Ground
    19. In This Circle of Time
    20. Under Control
    21. Nothing To Fear
    22. Falling
    23. Living For A Change

    Neo Boys
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Begone Dull Care Begone Dull Care Quick View

    $19.99
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    Begone Dull Care

    Begone Dull Care is the remarkable new album from the Junior Boys duo of Jeremy Greenspan and Matthew Didemus. The album is the band's third release, following the critical and commercial successes of Last Exit (2004) and So This Is Goodbye (2006). The title is a reference to a short film by the pioneering Oscar-winning Scottish-Canadian animator and electronic composer, Norman McLaren, who was a big influence on the conception and creation of the album. McLaren's influence can be felt throughout the record from the post-industrial stomp of opener Parallel Lines to the soothing romanticism of What It's For, which brings the album to an achingly soft close. Lead single, Hazel could well be described as Sign Of The Times re-imagined as an effervescent song of romantic yearning instead of the predecessor's dark reflection of Reagan's America.
    1. Parallel Lines
    2. Work
    3. Bits And Pieces
    4. Dull To Pause
    5. Hazel
    6. Sneak A Picture
    7. The Animator
    8. What ItÆs For
    Junior Boys
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Closer To Home Closer To Home Quick View

    $39.99
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    Closer To Home

    Produced by Terry Knight, Closer To Home is Grand Funk Railroad's third studio album, and was released in 1970. The album reached Gold record status the same year, making it the group's third Gold record in one year. The album's inside artwork shows a live photo of the band performing at Madison Square Garden in February 1970.


    Closer To Home was the record that really broke them through to the commercially successful level of Metal masters such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Rather than rushing headlong into their typical hard, heavy, and overamplified approach, Grand Funk Railroad began expanding their production values.


    Most evident is the inclusion of strings, the acoustic opening on the disc's leadoff cut, Sins a Good Man's Brother, as well as the comparatively mellow Mean Mistreater. But the boys had far from gone soft. The majority of Closer To Home is filled with the same straight-ahead rock & roll that had composed their previous efforts.

    1. Sin's A Good Man's Brother
    2. Aimless Lady
    3. Nothing Is The Same
    4. Mean Mistreater
    5. Get It Together
    6. I Don't Have To Sing The Blues
    7. Hooked On Love
    8. I'm Your Captain
    Grand Funk Railroad
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Time Time Quick View

    $16.99
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    Time

    On his latest release, Alex Calder's strong love for classic 60's/70's guitar pop (Beach Boys, Beatles) as well as soft spots for Prince and Hall and Oates display his self proclaimed 'fascination with pop music'. While his influences certainly shape his work, it is his natural ear for melody and movement that make Calder's work both fluid and engaging. His knack and ambition both in his song writing and production provide a solid foundation for Calder's music to drift in an out of psychy realms.


    'Suki and Me' has an air of mischief as it is tardily pushed along by it's bass line, (apt for someone who's perfect evening involves unlimited pinball and Bud) while avoiding the temptation that often comes with self-recording/producing to over layer his work. There are no over drenched chorus or walls of sound, instead leaving space for melody and texture to be neatly co-existent. Alex has found the sweet spot between slacker pop jangle and snug rhymtic production to create reassurance his songs have a are going somewhere.


    To call his music lazy would be misdirected however, the sense of dragging is delicately addressed in almost voyeuristically in Lethargic. Intimate handclaps and shakers make it easy for one to visualize the living from which it came as Calder questions what to do with his time both literally and existentially.

    1. Suki and Me
    2. Light Leave Your Eyes
    3. Location
    4. Time
    5. Captivate
    6. Fatal Delay
    7. Letargic
    Alex Calder
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Mind Of Mine (Deluxe Edition) Mind Of Mine (Deluxe Edition) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Mind Of Mine (Deluxe Edition)

    Mind of Mine is the debut studio album by English singer and songwriter Zayn. It is set to be released on vinyl via RCA Records. Zayn cites to establish his solo career in music, following his departure from boy band One Direction. Primarily R&B and alternative R&B, the album blends elements from a number of genres, including pop, folk, dub, soul, funk, electronic, Qawwali, hip hop, reggae, classical and soft rock, among others. Featuring the singles Pillowtalk, Wrong, and Like I Would.
    LP 1
    1. MiNd Of MiNdd (Intro)
    2. PILLOWTALK
    3. iT's YoU
    4. BeFoUr
    5. sHe
    6. dRuNk
    7. INTERMISSION: fLoWer
    8. rEaR vIeW
    9. wRoNg - ZAYN (feat. Kehlani)
    10. fOoL fOr YoU


    LP 2
    1. BoRdErSz
    2. tRuTh
    3. lUcOzAdE
    4. TiO
    5. BLUE
    6. BRIGHT
    7. LIKE I WOULD
    8. SHE DON'T LOVE ME

    ZAYN
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Neck And Neck Neck And Neck Quick View

    $34.99
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    Neck And Neck

    Includes 2 Grammy Award Winning Tracks


    Originally released in 1990, two generations of leading and groundbreaking guitarists combined their efforts to create this legendary album. American Country music legend Chet Atkins and British singer-songwriter, guitarist and Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler joined forces to produce the wonderful album Neck And Neck.


    The single Poor Boy Blues won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. So Soft Your Goodbye won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance. The reissue of this classic album is pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl.

    1. Poor Boy Blues
    2. Sweet Dreams
    3. There'll Be Some Changes Made
    4. Just One Time
    5. So Soft, Your Goodbye
    6. Yakety Axe
    7. Tears
    8. Tahitian Skies
    9. I'll See You In My Dreams
    10. The Next Time I'm In Town
    Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Smith Westerns Smith Westerns Quick View

    $16.99
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    Smith Westerns

    Rummaging through 1970s glam, Phil Spector teen-pop, and Nuggets garage-punk with the youthful abandon of kids finding new toys in the attic, the Smith Westerns' self-titled debut exudes an earnestness almost as pure as its recording levels are deafening. Their simple, sweet choruses about boys and girls in love could spike the punch at a 1970s TV show school dance.


    When singing guitarist Cullen Omori, his bassist brother Cameron, second guitarist Max Kakacek, and a drummer known as Hal have the tunes to make themselves heard over their vintage aesthetic, The Smith Westerns' teenage kicks are hard to beat. Take string-swept glam ballad Be My Girl. which softly punctuates one of the year's most wrenchingly innocent hooks with somewhat risque pick-up lines. There's less lyrical subtext, but no less raunchy production, on the glam-rock boogie of Girl in Love, a come-on cursorily addressing the fleetingness of youth. It's only fitting that the Smith Westerns both look and sound like the Black Lips' good-bad not-evil twins.


    These guys are sort of literally true to their school, garage-rocker Miss Alex White is a fellow Northside College Prep magnet-school alum, and their time on the road with the likes of Jay Reatard and Nobunny is evident on fine 60s-style frat-rocker Gimme Some Time. With fuzzed-out xylophone, frenetic opener Dreams suggests the group's most recent tour with Girls and Los Campesinos! might serve them better for a follow-up. Diamond Boys almost earns its piano on the strength of its adolescent grandiosity, but We Stay Out lets lo-fi become the end rather than the means, with a guitar line that sounds like a bee buzzing underwater.

    1. Dreams
    2. Boys Are Fine
    3. Gimme Some Time
    4. Girl In Love
    5. We Stay Out
    6. Tonight
    7. Be My Girl
    8. The Glam Goddess
    9. Diamond Boys
    10. My Heart
    Smith Westerns
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Babel Babel Quick View

    $16.99
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    Babel


    Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.


    Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!



    There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.

    So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.


    Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.


    The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.


    While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.


    Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.


    There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.


    Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.


    1. Babel
    2. Whispers In The Dark
    3. I Will Wait
    4. Holland Road
    5. Ghosts That We Knew
    6. Lover Of The Light
    7. Lovers' Eyes
    8. Reminder
    9. Hopeless Wanderer
    10. Broken Crown
    11. Below My Feet
    12. Not With Haste
    Mumford And Sons
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Psychic Temple II Psychic Temple II Quick View

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    Psychic Temple II

    It may seem hard to imagine a place where indie rock visionaries like Sufjan Stevens and Castanets' Ray Raposa could meld minds with the genius of Brian Wilson, where death metal pioneer Paul Masvidal might wield his legendary six-string chops on a blissed-out soul ballad, where adventurous young jazz players like Kris Tiner and Devin Hoff share credit with Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens and singer/songwriter Aaron Roche.


    Long Beach composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist (not to mention truck driver) Chris Schlarb has not only imagined such a place but has now made it manifest for a second time. Released by Asthmatic Kitty, Psychic Temple II is a labor of love, envisioned by Schlarb to bring his most far-ranging inspirations to life - as he puts it, "a dream ensemble that could never actually exist." The ensemble's sophomore release was painstakingly constructed over more than a year with the cooperation of some of the most progressive musical minds from a staggering variety of genres.


    "I love interesting juxtapositions, where you bring together people from different communities," Schlarb says. He cites iconoclastic predecessors like Bill Laswell's ever-changing group Material, which once brought together a young Whitney Houston with jazz legend Archie Shepp and future Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers producer Michael Beinhorn to cover a song by Hugh Hopper of English prog-rock pioneers Soft Machine. On 2010's Psychic Temple, Schlarb assembled a 29-member ensemble that included Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, vocalist Julianna Barwick, and pianist Mick Rossi of the Philip Glass Ensemble.


    "It seems like a crazy combination of people," Schlarb says, "but they're all just musicians. Why not bring them all together? It may not always work, but it's always worth reaching further."


    Psychic Temple II reaches beyond the long-form experiments of its predecessor for a more tightly focused yet conceptually dense collection whose songs are no less exploratory for their briefer durations. "I never see the point in continuing to regurgitate," Schlarb says of the new album's unique direction. "What was natural at that time would now feel contrived. I have to keep moving forward."


    Schlarb also includes three cover songs by composers who share his boundary-demolishing mindset: Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," Frank Zappa's "Sofa No. 2," and Brian Wilson's "'Til I Die," a gorgeous, lesser-known Beach Boys song that features vocals by Sufjan Stevens, Castanets' Ray Raposa, and Cryptacize's Nedelle Torrisi.


    Psychic Temple had its origins in Create (!), a large improvising ensemble with which Schlarb used to perform. The free-form group would often incorporate multiple drummers, a concept that Schlarb decided to pursue in a more composition-oriented setting. No matter how much Psychic Temple mutates from track to track, the rhythmic possibilities of its two drummers (in this case, Tabor Allen and Andrew Pompey) remain intact.


    Schlarb's imaginative leaps are evidenced from the outset of Psychic Temple II, on the intoxicating opening track, "Seventh House." Featuring the sinuous vocals of Sarah Negahdari, who recently served as touring bassist for Silversun Pickups, the song weaves together lyrical and musical references to Neil Young's "Will To Love," to the Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers album Pisces, and to Sheena Easton's notorious Prince-penned pop hit "Sugar Walls."


    Then there's "The Starry King Hears Laughter" and "She Is the Golden World," two songs that pay simultaneous homage to poet William Blake and jazz legend Bill Evans; or "Solo in Place," Schlarb's attempt to filter classic soul through his own "weird prism," a missing link between the Isley Brothers and the Alan Parsons Project that features guitar wizard Paul Masvidal of the death metal bands Death and Cynic.


    Despite such a mind-blowing array of talent from the farthest reaches of the musical spectrum, Psychic Temple II is a surprisingly cohesive album, a testament to Schlarb's clear controlling vision. "One of the fundamental flaws of modern music is the idea of the record as a pastiche," he says. "With hip-hop and R&R records starting in the '90s, you had ten tracks with ten different producers so every track sounded completely different. There was no aesthetic where you could just put on a record and listen to it beginning to end. I admire people who are control freaks."


    Schlarb has wielded control over a number of vastly different projects himself. The New York Observer called his debut solo album, Twilight & Ghost Stories, "40 minutes of avant-garde bliss," while Interoceans, recorded with experimental jazz duo I Heart Lung, was chosen by NPR as one of the top five jazz albums of 2008. He composed the score for Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren's video game Nightsky and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Meet the Composer. In 2001, Schlarb founded the eclectic Sounds Are Active record label, which has released music by the likes of Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Castanets.

    1. Seventh House
    2. The Starry King Hears Laughter
    3. Solo In Place
    4. Bird In The Garden
    5. 'Til I Die
    6. She Is The Golden World
    7. Steppin' Out
    8. All I Want Is Time
    9. Sofa No. 2
    10. NO TSURAI
    11. Hyacinth Thrash Quarter
    Chris Schlarb
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (Colored Vinyl) Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (Colored Vinyl) Quick View

    $28.99
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    Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (Colored Vinyl)

    Pressed On Clear Pink & Clear Blue Vinyl


    With these soft spoken words on the simply-titled opening track-"Intro"- M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez introduces us to his sixth record and first double disc album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.


    Dauntlessly singing into the void that was left behind since Saturdays=Youth, Gonzalez suddenly surges with overwhelming emotion as the music mounts an invisible precipice. Historically, he softly eased you into his world, introducing you to the lush and radiant spaces between captivating melodies and intimate lyrics, but not this time. Not on this record.


    Graduating from the fuzzy, fumbling emotional cobwebs and draped ambiance of past records, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming careens past its audience. Brazenly stretching out along the horizon, spilling glittery, golden arms of sound across the landscape, it holds your breath hostage without you even noticing you were missing it. If it seemed that Anthony was basking in the sunshine-drenched days of his youth when he released Saturdays in 2008, then it can be said that in 2011, at the age of 30, he is tempestuously charging towards his future with Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.


    Relocating to Los Angeles from Antibes, Gonzalez surrounded himself with players pivotal to completing his childhood dream of a double disc record. Producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp) and guitarist Brad Laner (from 90s band Medicine) had been hugely influential on Anthony growing up and now were central to the new record's creation.


    "In France there is this show on TV where at the end there is a musical guest who plays one or two songs. I remember one night when I was a teenager being at home watching the best of performances and looking at this crazy bass player with a big afro and thinking, 'Wow this guy is so cool.' "And now I am working with him. It's so intense that thinking about it makes me feel weird. But it's weird in a super good way. Same thing with Brad, I was listening to his music when I was first getting into music and now he's on my album."


    Anthony and Justin met backstage in 2009 at Scotland's T In The Park. Later, "he came to me very genuinely stating that 'he was a fan and that he would love to work with me,'" explains Gonzalez. "I love when people do that because I can tell it's coming from the heart. He was sincere and that's the way I like to work with people."


    Stepping away from his work with producers Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson on Saturday, Gonzalez freckles his new chapter with signature M83 fingerprints while pushing himself beyond the constricting emotions of a guarded musician. Bored with being frustrated and shy, Anthony is respectful of the precious time given to him and doesn't want to leave behind any regrets, thus thrusting himself into the spotlight vocally. He tests out different ways of singing, ranging from a spectral breathy whisper to a howling scream, and each voice clings to us like a dew-heavy spider web at dawn.


    Fans will recognize band member Morgan Kibby, her vocals flirting with the shadowy places in between verses, leaping off the record in spoken word or blending with an adult choir. Morgan will join Anthony on tour but she was never meant to sing as much on this record as she had on pervious projects. Quenching his desire to work with a different person on each record, Gonzalez added LA-based chanteuse Zola Jesus to the mix for the completion of "Intro." "The song was already written but I really wanted a female vocal on it and I was kind of struggling to find the right person, but then I heard her music and it just made sense."


    Where Saturday=Youth is drenched in lustful exploration and hungry adolescent wonder, Hurry Up is decadently cunning and seductive. "Intro" and "My tears are becoming a sea" eerily croon to you, swirling all of the glitter and growth from the past records into an epic swell, mysteriously and dramatically warning you of the impact you are about to experience. "Midnight City" (disc one) and "OK Pal" (disc two) are humid, adrenaline driven dreams unlike anything we have heard from M83 in the past. "Midnight City" adeptly sweeps you through abandoned concrete streets swimming in broken neon light and aggressively pushing and pulsating to synthetic beats. While "OK Pal" catcalls you to a locker full of mapped out Peter Gabriel-esque echoing lyrics, leaving you stranded in a post-apocalyptic landscape. These journeys are about awakening, craving and conquering. Throughout Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Anthony carries the listener to different countries of sound in his own universe, "We didn't need a story, we didn't need a real world. We just had to keep walking and we became the stories- we became the places." Drifting away from his previous records and reigned in politeness he unleashes all that he has been dreaming of and yearning for. Even when he takes a second to look back on "Echoes of Mine" the velvety, elderly voice of a woman heartbreakingly tells the story of a girl drenched in the shadows of her youth, knowing she has to grow up.


    Grandiose in scale and inspired by Smashing Pumpkin's revered double disc Melancholy & The Infinite Sadness, Anthony has long had the goal to create his own monumental double disc record. "I saw when I was a teenager that I could dig into it [the album]. It was like a treasure. If I were a teenager nowadays I would try to find something as creative as this album. They had so much to say in their songs."


    Impressed with the juxtaposing sun and moon artwork featured on Melancholy, Anthony focuses in on another natural duality: siblings. The cover artwork mirrors this relationship, featuring a photograph of a little boy with a little girl sitting on a bed. The photograph perpetuates the conversation for the two distinct voices we behind each disc, representing two sides of an overall piece that are almost the same. "I want people to listen to it as two different human beings that are connected somehow, but every song on the album has a secret on the other side."


    Soaring and scraping up against the sky while sharing each uncharted frontier with new collaborators is what M83 does best. Gracefully coming into the next decade of his life, Anthony delivers what makes each record sincere, innocent, and full of joy: he gives us his past and his future.


    "I think it is a reflection of my 30 years of being a human being. It's a compilation of all my previous music together. It's a retrospective of myself."

    LP 1
    1. Intro
    2. Midnight City
    3. Reunion
    4. Where The Boats Go
    5. Wait
    6. Raconte moi une histoire
    7. A Train To Pluton
    8. Claudia Lewis
    9. This Bright Flash
    10. When Will You Come Home?
    11. Soon, My Friend


    LP 2
    1. My Tears Are Becoming A Sea
    2. New Map
    3. OK Pal
    4. Another Wave From You
    5. Splendor
    6. Year One, One UFO
    7. Fountains
    8. Steve McQueen
    9. Echoes Of Mine
    10. Klaus I love You
    11. Outro

    M83
    $28.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Take Offs and Landings Take Offs and Landings Quick View

    $24.99
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    Take Offs and Landings

    Etched D-Side


    Take Offs and Landings is now available on vinyl (180-gram), with a special etching on the 4th side.


    Los Angeles, California, circa 2001. Rilo Kiley comes into the room. The Echo Park-based songwriters and multi-instrumentalists have an uncanny knack for fashioning pop songs that sound like something you've been humming all your life. The 3-boy/1-girl quartet's picture already appears in several dictionary editions next to the Indie Pop entry. They are skilled. They can go from a swirling, indie-rock opus to a softly strummed, country-tinged ballad of heartbreak and not cheapen the transition with irony. Their songs are riddled with impossibly catchy melodies, off-kilter lyrics, sweetness, light and sadness. Most importantly, though, Rilo Kiley really means it, and their honest instinct for subtle songwriting sets them apart from the herd of twee popsters that infest the pop spectrum.

    1. Go Ahead
    2. Science Vs. Romance
    3. Wires And Waves
    4. Pictures Of Success
    5. August
    6. Bulletproof
    7. Plane Crash In C
    8. Variations On A Theme (Science Vs. Romance)
    9. Small Figures In A Vast Expanse
    10. Don't Deconstruct
    11. Always
    12. We'll Never Sleep (God Knows We'll Try)
    13. Rest Of My Life
    14. Variations On A Theme (Plane Crash In C)
    Rilo Kiley
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • In Roses In Roses Quick View

    $16.99
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    In Roses


    Second Full-length Release For Hardly Art


    Recorded In Analog At Tiny Telephone In San Francisco



    There are times when beauty and sadness are inextricably linked. Massachusetts-based Gem Club understands this fragile symmetry. The band-singer/pianist Christopher Barnes and his collaborators, cellist Kristen Drymala and vocalist Ieva Berberian-create music that is intimate, graceful, and filled with melancholy.


    In 2009, Gem Club's primary songwriter Christopher Barnes began playing local solo shows. The enthusiastic reception led him to bring Drymala and Berberian into the fold, and the six-song Acid and Everything EP was self-released the following year. Breakers, their subsequent full-length, paired plaintive piano melodies with impressionistic lyrics. Made primarily in Barnes's bedroom, the album displayed how music, even at its most minimal and hushed, could be cathartic, even transcendent.


    For the new In Roses, Gem Club have ventured beyond the isolation of the bedroom to record in San Francisco at John Vanderslice's analog studio Tiny Telephone. Barnes worked closely with arranger and conductor Minna Choi of The Magik*Magik Orchestra, who, Barnes says, "helped reshape the new songs in fresh and unimagined ways," The resulting album is more expansive, more majestic, than prior Gem Club releases. There are spacious, grand flourishes-the church-choir voices on "Idea for Strings"; the reverberating drumbeats that propel the melody of "Braid"-yet the music retains the intimacy of previous works.


    Because In Roses is an album of haunting piano songs, it might seem felicitous to the listener that Christopher Barnes once lived in a disused Boston piano factory. Nights, from behind neighboring doors, he could hear strangers fighting, throwing loud parties, even shooting scenes for porn films. While life exploded around him, Barnes retreated, "trying to re-create these landscapes with music." But he is quick to note that In Roses takes a different approach to the landscapes of the world than before. "Whereas Breakers was more about the body and inward-gazing, the new album is about me looking out on relationships I've had or wish I've had." Many lyrics address "the crashing realization that lives are no longer happening the way we want." Other songs are elegies for those Barnes has idolized or loved, but has lost: "Soft Season" is inspired by the life and death of early-90s gay adult film actor Joey Stefano ("I'm a boy on my back," Barnes sings, "and I'm more of a man"); the harrowing closer "Polly" is a song he wrote about his relationship with his late aunt.


    Beauty and Sadness is the title of a 1964 novel by the late Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata, but the name could also serve to describe the music of Gem Club. During one scene of the book, Kawabata writes, "He heard a sound that only a magnificent old bell could produce, a sound that seemed to roar forth with all the latent power of a distant world." With In Roses, the beautiful and sad sounds of Gem Club come roaring forth with increasing power.


    --Scott Heim

    1. [Nowhere]
    2. First Weeks
    3. Michael
    4. Hypericum
    5. Idea for Strings
    6. Soft Season
    7. QY2
    8. Speech of Foxes
    9. Braid
    10. Marathon (In Roses)
    11. Polly
    Gem Club
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Deer Tick Vol. 2 Deer Tick Vol. 2 Quick View

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    Deer Tick Vol. 2

    The best art often challenges widely held preconceptions about performance and beauty.We're moved when we find the sublime in the gross, entranced when crassness collides with grace. It makes poetic sense that one of this practice's finest current purveyors is named after a blood-sucking survivor.

    Deer Tick: undercutting expectations since 2004.

    I think a lot of my favorite artists have always done stuff like that, Deer Tick front man John McCauley says from his home in Nashville, reflecting on his band's love of unexpected mashups: tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars; classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high. Deer Tick's perfected it all, mostly as an outlier, revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their highly anticipated new project(s), two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol.2, the crew from Rhode Island prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age.

    Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently.Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band's longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk.

    McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression. I think it's something that wa sbound to happen, just because I've always had one foot in each door, he says. Every album we've put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.

    It's been four years since Deer Tick's last release Negativity, and devotees have grown restless. It wasn't that the band-made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer DennisRyan, and bassist Christopher Ryan-was withholding information. They just weren't sure they had anything more to share. It wasn't anything that we actually talked about, McCauleysays. We never said, 'Hey, we should take a break,' or 'Maybe this isn't working anymore.'We just took some time off. We'd just done our 10-year anniversary shows, and I had a kid like two weeks later. He pauses before adding with a hint of a laugh, We just kind of got comfortable away from each other.

    McCauley, O'Neil, and the two Ryans popped up solo and on others' projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. The couple's little girl is now two years old. For the first time ever, Deer Tick-an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artistic output-took a backseat.

    When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another.Playing that week with the guys made me really want to do it-it made everyone want to do it, McCauley says. So we started making some plans to go in the studio.

    The result, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, is a bold double punch that reminds us not only why Deer Tick has been so missed, but why they've become important artists. The songwriting on both volumes is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O'Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self important,McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock and-rollsongs of myself delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.

    Vol. 1 opener Sea of Clouds is a dreamy mediation on letting go, featuring stripped down instrumentation that swells into a mini-symphony, all anchored by angelic harmonies and McCauley's familiar melodic snarl. It's not the only time McCauley mulls over what it takes to move on. Heart-tugging Only Love mixes sadness and hope for a snapshot of impending loss. I thought, 'Nobody writes a song about that kind of weird, ominous feeling you get inthe final 24 to 48 hours of a relationship,' McCauley says. I wanted to capture that mood in a song.

    Sauntering Card House is a flamenco-soaked threat with grotesque imagery, while lounge readyCocktail is a wry, piano-fueled stroll through fond boozy memories. I guess it's kindof a song about my strange relationship with alcohol-I'm still learning how to deal with it,McCauley says. I'm not a teetotaler. I've tried that. It's not for me. I'm not into the support group thing. I enjoy life with a drink. Trying to keep my life in balance can be hard, but it's something I'm capable of doing now.

    Tricky relationships with drugs and alcohol are addressed in different ways on both volumes.Hushed Vol. 1 closer Rejection pulses with vulnerability. I wrote it about trying to help somebody in some way, McCauley says. What was going through my mind but I didn't say in the lyrics is just reaching your hand out to somebody who's going through substance abuse problems. Vol. 2's Jumpstarting-a favorite track of McCauley's-offers the same kind of lifeline: he shouts startlingly sweet promises over crunchy guitars.

    Look How Clean I Am immediately follows. Written and sung by O'Neil, the song doesn't poke fun at sobriety but offers a droll take down of how some use it as a means or marketing vehicle to further celebrity. It's one of many genuinely funny moments on the project. JumpingS.M.F., (aka Shitty Music Festival) written and delivered by McCauley, takes hilarious shots at a summer institution. I thought I'd write that one for any band who's ever had a bad time at a music festival. It's one of my attempts at humor on the record, but then it just kind of comes off as anger, McCauley says with a laugh.

    McCauley wrote gorgeous instrumental Pulse thinking about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He lets his piano do the talking. It's a Whale is punk perfection, all screams and growling guitars. That's probably the most political I'll ever get in a song, McCauley says. I tried to put myself in the really dark head space of maybe a men's rights activist or something like that while trying to poke fun at it. His chants of Atta boy! Atta girl! are the ideal blend of smirk-inducing and scary.

    McCauley says he believes Sea of Clouds and It's a Whale probably best capture theextremities of both records. He's right, of course: it's Vol. 1's quiet vs. Vol. 2's loud-Deer Tick's dual personalities, finally channeled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven't entirely figured out yet,McCauley says. I don't really know what's going to happen, but that's part of the excitement for me.

    1. Don't Hurt
    2. Jumpstarting
    3. Look How Clean I Am
    4. It's a Whale
    5. Tiny Fortunes
    6. Sloppy
    7. Wants / Needs
    8. S.M.F.
    9. Pulse
    10. Mr. Nothing Gets Worse
    Deer Tick
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Deer Tick Vol. 1 Deer Tick Vol. 1 Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Deer Tick Vol. 1

    The best art often challenges widely held preconceptions about performance and beauty.We're moved when we find the sublime in the gross, entranced when crassness collides with grace. It makes poetic sense that one of this practice's finest current purveyors is named after a blood-sucking survivor.

    Deer Tick: undercutting expectations since 2004.

    I think a lot of my favorite artists have always done stuff like that, Deer Tick front man John McCauley says from his home in Nashville, reflecting on his band's love of unexpected mashups: tender lyrics layered over pissed off guitars; classical music flourishes delivered nearly naked and high. Deer Tick's perfected it all, mostly as an outlier, revered by a legion of fans, respected by peers, but not part of any one scene. With their highly anticipated new project(s), two new albums released simultaneously titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol.2, the crew from Rhode Island prove that their punk-roots rock has only gotten better with age.

    Ambitious and smart, the twin albums complement one another but also stand independently.Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band's longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk.

    McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression. I think it's something that was bound to happen, just because I've always had one foot in each door, he says. Every album we've put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.

    It's been four years since Deer Tick's last release Negativity, and devotees have grown restless. It wasn't that the band-made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O'Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan-was withholding information. They just weren't sure they had anything more to share. It wasn't anything that we actually talked about, McCauley says. We never said, 'Hey, we should take a break,' or 'Maybe this isn't working anymore.'We just took some time off. We'd just done our 10-year anniversary shows, and I had a kid like two weeks later. He pauses before adding with a hint of a laugh, We just kind of got comfortable away from each other.

    McCauley, O'Neil, and the two Ryans popped up solo and on others' projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. The couple's little girl is now two years old. For the first time ever, Deer Tick-an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artistic output-took a backseat.

    When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another.Playing that week with the guys made me really want to do it-it made everyone want to do it, McCauley says. So we started making some plans to go in the studio.

    The result, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, is a bold double punch that reminds us not only why Deer Tick has been so missed, but why they've become important artists. The songwriting on both volumes is masterful. McCauley wrote most of the tunes alone, but O'Neil and Dennis Ryan also make killer contributions. Self-aware and never self important,McCauley excels at provocative lyrics that are sometimes confessional, sometimes accusatory. His compositions capture those internal contradictions that define us, like rock and-rollsongs of myself delighting in the multitudes and putting them on display.

    Vol. 1 opener Sea of Clouds is a dreamy mediation on letting go, featuring stripped down instrumentation that swells into a mini-symphony, all anchored by angelic harmonies and McCauley's familiar melodic snarl. It's not the only time McCauley mulls over what it takes to move on. Heart-tugging Only Love mixes sadness and hope for a snapshot of impending loss. I thought, 'Nobody writes a song about that kind of weird, ominous feeling you get in the final 24 to 48 hours of a relationship,' McCauley says. I wanted to capture that mood ina song.

    Sauntering Card House is a flamenco-soaked threat with grotesque imagery, while lounge readyCocktail is a wry, piano-fueled stroll through fond boozy memories. I guess it's kind of a song about my strange relationship with alcohol-I'm still learning how to deal with it,McCauley says. I'm not a teetotaler. I've tried that. It's not for me. I'm not into the support group thing. I enjoy life with a drink. Trying to keep my life in balance can be hard, but it's something I'm capable of doing now.

    Tricky relationships with drugs and alcohol are addressed in different ways on both volumes.Hushed Vol. 1 closer Rejection pulses with vulnerability. I wrote it about trying to help somebody in some way, McCauley says. What was going through my mind but I didn't sayin the lyrics is just reaching your hand out to somebody who's going through substance abuse problems. Vol. 2's Jumpstarting-a favorite track of McCauley's-offers the same kind of lifeline: he shouts startlingly sweet promises over crunchy guitars.

    Look How Clean I Am immediately follows. Written and sung by O'Neil, the song doesn't poke fun at sobriety but offers a droll takedown of how some use it as a means or marketing vehicle to further celebrity. It's one of many genuinely funny moments on the project. JumpingS.M.F., (aka Shitty Music Festival) written and delivered by McCauley, takes hilarious shots at a summer institution. I thought I'd write that one for any band who's ever had a bad time ata music festival. It's one of my attempts at humor on the record, but then it just kind of comes off as anger, McCauley says with a laugh.

    McCauley wrote gorgeous instrumental Pulse thinking about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. He lets his piano do the talking. It's a Whale is punk perfection, all screams and growling guitars. That's probably the most political I'll ever get in a song, McCauley says. I tried to put myself in the really dark headspace of maybe a men's rights activist or something like that while trying to poke fun at it. His chants of Atta boy! Atta girl! are the ideal blend of smirk-inducing and scary.

    McCauley says he believes Sea of Clouds and It's a Whale probably best capture theextremities of both records. He's right, of course: it's Vol. 1's quiet vs. Vol. 2's loud-Deer Tick's dual personalities, finally channeled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven't entirely figured out yet,McCauley says. I don't really know what's going to happen, but that's part of the excitement for me.

    1. Half Believing (By The Black Angels)
    2. Card House
    3. Doomed From The Start
    4. Hope Is Big
    5. Only Love
    6. Cocktail
    7. Me And My Man
    8. End Of The World
    9. Limp Right Back
    10. Rejection
    Deer Tick
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Allegory & Self Allegory & Self Quick View

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    Allegory & Self

    Remastered Reissue Of The Classic Hyperdelic Record

    Legendary Conceptual Audiovisual Group Formed By Throbbing Gristle Co-Founder Genesis P-Orridge & Alternative TV's Alex Fergusson

    Vinyl Has Been Out Of Print Since 1988

    Guest Appearances By Dave Ball (Soft Cell), Rose Mcdowall (Strawberry Switchblade), Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson & Monte Cazazza

    Includes Psychic TV's Biggest Hit Ever, "Godstar"

    Beginning in 1982, the conceptual audiovisual troupe labeled Psychic TV set outon a multimedia journey filled with subversion, liberation, and rebellion. Materialized between Throbbing Gristle co-founder Genesis P-Orridge and AlternativeTV songwriter Alex Fergusson, Psychic TV started pulling in familiar faces with the likes of Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, Paula P-Orridge, Jhonn Balance,David Tibet, John Gosling, and countless others. While the members' previous works took root in the counterculture zeitgeist of late '70s UK punk and conceptual art, it was no longer a question of how to rebel against authority, but rather how to carefully subvert it through collective infiltration. Parallel to Psychic TV,its members formed the anti-cult faction The Temple of Psychick Youth, further propagating the Psychic TV message and vision.

    While the ensuing years saw Psychic TV's major label infection and record breaking live album release binge, it wasn't until 1988 that the band started to ready itself for a chart-friendly pop endeavor in the form of Allegory and Self.This would be the band's most notable and successful endeavor, but tragically, it would be the final songwriting collaboration between P-Orridge and Fergusson .Allegory and Self was a perfect storm of catchy pop melody along with subversive counter-culture reference and occult leanings, packaged in a perfect bundle of underground hits.

    The record's opening track "Godstar," a song gushing obsessive praise upon the fallen Rolling Stones member Brian Jones, would give the album its most notable identity. "Godstar's" melodic hooks and haunting, Phil Spector-era lyrical chant gives into to all the hallmarks of a chart-topping hit. "Just Like Arcadia"and "Being Lost" follows in similar footsteps, charging along with a somewhat whimsical Beach Boys-esque pop quality. The album also contained a sneak-peak into what direction Psychic TV was heading into going forward, apparent in the acid house number "She Was Surprised." Tracks like "Starlit Mire" and "Thee Dweller" reflect more of what the Psychic TV live experience was akin to in the '80s, aggressive and hypnotic. Altogether, Allegory and Self would stand alone as the band's signature apex from the original '80s lineup.

    1. Godstar
    2. Just Like Arcadia
    3. Southern Comfort
    4. We Kiss
    5. She Was Surprised
    6. Caresse Song
    7. Starlit Mire
    8. Thee Dweller
    9. Being Lost
    10. Baby's Gone Away
    11. Ballet Disco
    Psychic TV
    $20.99
    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
  • Winged Life (Out of Stock) Winged Life (Out of Stock) Quick View

    $17.99
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    Winged Life (Out of Stock)

    Talk Talk covering early Elton John or Bert Jansch anticipating the Smiths; that's as close as we can get to describing Shearwater's Winged Life. The truth is, with its elaborate and unconventional arrangements, richly layered production and conscious efforts to not recreate the past, this is a difficult record to pigeonhole. One or two songs on Winged Life partake of the somber, restrained delicacy of Shearwater's last two records, but everywhere else the band has loosened up, allowed that delicacy to bloom or crumble, and is trying new things -- from the dark and urgent groove of Whipping Boy to the buoyant pop of A Makeover, from the The World in 1984's wry soft rock to the almost prog-y tension of Sealed. As a result, Winged Life bridges many musical gaps. Its songs are melodic and narrative-based enough to appeal to fans of Belle & Sebastian, yet unique enough to be mentioned in the same breath as artists like the Notwist or Broken Social Scene. (Shearwater's Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg are also members of Okkervil River.)
    1. Hush
    2. My Good Deed
    3. Whipping Boy
    4. Kind
    5. Makeover
    6. St. Mary's Walk
    7. Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine
    8. (I've Got A) Right to Cry
    9. World in 1984
    10. Convert
    11. Sealed
    12. Set Table
    Shearwater
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
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