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You Want It Darker

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  • You Want It Darker You Want It Darker Quick View

    $22.99
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    You Want It Darker

    Leonard Cohen, the acclaimed composer of Hallelujah, continues to astonish his audience. At age 82, he presents his uncompromising and urgent new album, You Want It Darker. Described by early listeners as a masterpiece and classic Cohen, You Want It Darker, is the latest chapter in Leonard's significant contribution to contemporary music and thought. These startling songs have been beautifully realized in this his 14th studio album featuring 9 new tracks including the title track, all produced by his son, Adam Cohen.
    1. You Want It Darker
    2. Treaty
    3. On the Level
    4. Leaving the Table
    5. If I Didn't Have Your Love
    6. Traveling Light
    7. It Seemed the Better Way
    8. Steer Your Way
    9. String Reprise / Treaty
    Leonard Cohen
    $22.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • May You Marry Rich May You Marry Rich Quick View

    $17.99
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    May You Marry Rich

    In keeping with their single minded voyaging between disparate sonic realms, Colourmusic's greatest influence has always been their own intuition. Take new album May You Marry Rich, released via Memphis Industries on 24 March 2014: described by co-founder, vocalist and guitarist Ryan Hendrix as their "purple album," it's an LP that takes the four-piece's previous full-length, 2011's My ___ Is Pink, as starting point and expands upon it in different and unusual directions. May You Marry Rich is a darker affair, though, with its twelve sprawling tracks obsessing over mankind's seemingly insatiable lust for pure happiness. "It's about having the option to have anything you want, like a King, and asking whether that would make you happy," Hendrix explains. "It's about happiness and a theory that we're not wired to have contentment as our genetic disposition."
    1. The Duchess
    2. Dreamgirl '82
    3. Rendezvous With Destiny
    4. Silvertape
    5. Satyricon
    6. Audacity Of Hope
    7. Overture
    8. Horse Race
    9. Snake In The Mouth
    10. Object
    11. Untitled
    12. Idiot
    Colourmusic
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Cry Baby Cry Baby Quick View

    $21.99
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    Cry Baby

    The Cry Baby album is a softpack with a full-color 32-page storybook written by Melanie Martinez and illustrated by Chloe Tersigni.


    Melanie Martinez wants to tell you a story. It's fictional, but it's also about her, in a way that's somewhat exaggerated and darker than reality. The tale traces through Melanie's debut album Cry Baby, a collection of pop songs that draw inspiration from singer-songwriter folk and hip-hop and follow a character who learns to be more comfortable with who she is. The journey of the character, who Melanie dubbed Cry Baby, mirrors the musician's own.

    1. Cry Baby
    2. Dollhouse
    3. Sippy Cup
    4. Carousel
    5. Alphabet Boy
    6. Soap
    7. Training Wheels
    8. Pity Party
    9. Tag, you're it
    10. Milk and Cookies
    11. Pacify Her
    12. Mrs. Potato Head
    13. Mad Hatter
    Melanie Martinez
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Abhorrent Endings Abhorrent Endings Quick View

    $12.99
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    Abhorrent Endings

    New Lows are one of Boston's heaviest bands, taking inspiration from legends like Ringworm, (early) Bolt Thrower, and others. Their previous release Harvest of the Carcass (Deathwish 2011) was highly praised by kids and critics worldwide as one of the heaviest releases of that year. A release that led to New Lows infamously touring the United States with Nails, Ringworm, and label mates Bitter End.


    Abhorrent Endings is the latest offering from New Lows. A crude five song crusher that shows the band digging into the rubble in search of something darker and heavier than ever before. A purposefully unpolished and brilliantly flawed exercise in aural chaos that will leave you bruised yet wanting more.

    1. Abhorrent Endings
    2. There's No Roses InThe Rubble
    3. Osaka Sun
    4. Carving Crosses
    5. Shelter Shard
    New Lows
    $12.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • One True Vine One True Vine Quick View

    $19.99
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    One True Vine

    Coming off the huge success of her first collaboration with Wilco frontman
    Jeff Tweedy - the Grammy winning You Are Not Alone - Mavis Staples
    wanted to make their second album together both a continuation of the
    joyous spirit of the first, and an evolution. With new song offerings from
    Alan Sparhawk of Low, Nick Lowe, and three new Tweedy originals, One True
    Vine is at once a darker and more uplifting album, anchored by reinventions
    of two 70s classics - Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That?" and the Staples
    Singer's "I Like the Things About Me." Tweedy and Staples have constructed
    a dense narrative arc, that starts with the literal soulsearching of Sparhawk's
    "One Holy Ghost" and Tweedy's "Jesus Wept," and then breaks wide open
    with Nick Lowe'ssoaring "Far Celestial Shores," a song he wrote for Mavis
    after touring together with Wilco. After that,the album builds to full tent
    revival mode, as the dark night of the soul passes and joy arrives in the form
    of Mavis' glorious voice. Closing out with Tweedy's rapturoustitle track,
    One True Vine truly builds on the promise of You Are Not Alone, and will
    delight the myriad fans discovering Mavis for the first time though her
    Grammy wins and performances, her White House performance in the
    tribute to Memphis Soul, and the glorious second act of this American icon.
    1. Holy Ghost
    2. Every Step
    3. Can You Get To That
    4. Jesus Wept
    5. Far Celestial Shores
    6. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today
    7. Sow Good Seeds
    8. I Like The Things About Me
    9. Woke Up This Morning (With Jesus On My Mind)
    10. One True Vine
    Mavis Staples
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Get Back (On Sale) Get Back (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $17.99 $14.21 Save $3.78 (21%)

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    Get Back (On Sale)

    It's doubtful that Stephen McBean set out to make The Great Rock 'N' Roll Primer when he started conjuring the
    songs that would come to be Pink Mountaintops' Get Back.


    The record's beginnings were reasonably straightforward: McBean had moved to Los Angeles, taken a long hiatus
    from Black Mountain and an even longer one from Pink Mountaintops when he met producer Joe Cardamone, lead
    singer of Icarus Line at Valley Recording Company in Burbank,CA.The two bonded quickly over Flying Nun bands,
    Television Personalities, Roxy Music, Johnny Thunders, and Born Against. Joe was excited to meet someone he
    actually liked. Stephen was excited to work with someone who said Sing it like you would've sung it when you were
    21. Simple enough,right?


    But ask him to set the scene and you'll hear about a motorcycle shop owned by Michael Barragan, former member
    of Los Angeles noise rock band Plexi. You'll hear about an endless supply of rock 'n' roll video documentation for
    last minute inspiration or de-evolution in the living room.Ask who's on the record and you'll get a constellation of
    greats:J Mascis(DinosaurJr &Witch),Rob Barbato (Darker My Love,The Fall & Cass McCombs), Steve Kille (Dead
    Meadow), Daniel Allaire (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cass McCombs & Darker My Love), Annie Hardy (Giant
    Drag), Jon Wahl(Clawhammer), and Gregg Foreman (Cat Power & Delta 72).Randal Dunn (Sunn O))),Earth, Sun
    City Girls, Boris) mixed Get Back at Avast! Studios (Bikini Kill, Mudhoney, Christ On A Crutch, Soundgarden) in
    Seattle. Howie Weinburg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Danzig, Ramones, Slayer) mastered it in Laurel Canyon.


    Ask about the record itself and McBean will tell you about Alleys, curbs, walls, and cigarette stained gig flyers.An
    island on the Pacific coast. Fake British towns. Slayer posters.The beauty of youth.It's about listening to Driver's Seat
    and 'Guns of Brixton' and hotboxing The Duster. And suddenly it becomes clear: when the aliens do touch down
    and they don't know rock 'n'roll, you can play them Get Back start to finish, and that'll be all they need.


    Get Back comes out swinging with Ambulance City, a head-trip of a song with a chugging, insistent, oddly timeless
    guitar riff sitting front and center.The Second Summer of Love needs almost no explanation; it dives into 80s VHS
    saturation and never comes up for air. Sell Your Soul is a deep sigh and a motorcycle ride, a roll in the grass
    lamenting summertime blues with a little grit and a little harmony. And North Hollywood Microwaves is
    downright obscene. But what better way to start Side B than this? You can listen at hushed volumes so your parents
    don't hear, you can crank it in a dorm room, you can smirk to yourself from the safety of rock 'n'roll's old age.You
    start to wonder- why don't all Side Bs start with a song like this one


    The number of platitudes in music hit critical mass years ago, and among those tropes is that annoying, inescapable
    mantra:rock 'n'roll is undefinable.And yeah,sure, that's true. It's different things to different people. It starts with
    guitars, maybe, and ends with a stage-dive, or spit, or feedback. Rock 'n'roll is drugs, is rebellion, is youth, is sex, is
    cosmic. It's wanting more than you have.Rock 'n'roll is butts and cigarette butts.And Pink Mountaintops might not
    be the best-known band ever to make rock 'n' roll, but in Get Back they just might have written its scripture -- an
    exploration and celebration of what, exactly,rock 'n'roll can be.

    1. Ambulance City
    2. The Second Summer of Love
    3. Through All The Worry
    4. Wheels
    5. Sell Your Soul
    6. North Hollywood Microwaves
    7. Sixteen
    8. New Teenage Mutilation
    9. Shakedown
    10. The Last Dance
    Pink Mountaintops
    $17.99 $14.21 Save $3.78 (21%)
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Kiss: MTV Unplugged Kiss: MTV Unplugged Quick View

    $34.99
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    Kiss: MTV Unplugged

    Celebrating four decades of decibels, KISS, Mercury Records and UMe proudly announce reissuing the legendary KISS albums on 180g audiophile vinyl
    starting in 2014. Remastered to high definition 192kHz/24-bit audio for maximum fidelity, these albums have never sounded so amazing and now
    vinyl collectors will get what they've been demanding. All posters, sleeve art, stickers, etc that appeared in the original LP release where applicable have
    been faithfully reproduced for the KISS Army.


    On April 10, KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - which will be broadcast in May -
    and then will kick off a summer co-headlining tour with Def Leppard starting in June.


    After sinking deep into this musical celebration, even the not-so-avid listener will surely know something more about Kiss, a classic rock icon of the '70s roaring back in vibrant and passionate form. This recording of a session done expressly for the program MTV Unplugged in 1996 brought together a special group for a remarkable, if unexpected, reunion. Throughout this record, you can feel the support and raw adoration of the audience present, certainly a mixture of long-time fans and new admirers. The members of Kiss got together to rock hard on their axes and crash big on the drums, bringing a renewed sense of freshness and excitement. Nearly rock & roll legends, they exceeded expectations and, given their newfound energy, charisma, and love for the music, their performance provided the catalyst for the beginning of a successful world reunion tour. Coming Home delivers a feverish and electric opening that gets the crowd on its feet in a hurry. Soon the emotion and presence of this group are brought back with startling grace and wisdom on Plaster Caster, and the beautiful acoustic medley Goin' Blind. The decades of Kiss, their costumes, and their wild stadium shows roll back in a heartbeat through the crashing tune Do You Love Me. Perhaps one of the most bewildering tunes that really reflects the image of Kiss is the rocking blues tune Domino. The crowd is really fired up now, next experiencing the charming and soulful power rock ballad Sure Know Something. A World Without Heroes is very subdued and reflective. Rock Bottom is delicate and mysterious in the opening seconds, with a lush minor harmony delivered picking style on the acoustic. Now it gets rough, expresses Stanley, grooving in a racy blues statement. See You Tonight is a romantic and pretty ballad delivered with sweetness, and the group sings, I'll see you tonight/And if I can't, I'll cry, I'll cry/I see you tonight, outside. Then on comes the darker resonance of the band with I Still Love You, expressing grave longing after a grueling breakup. I got to make you see, is a gripping line in a haunting bridge section, before the shouted, emotional, sometimes painful chorus: Girl, it seems the price I have of losing you/Will be my hell to pay/It makes me want to die/'Cause I still love you. The solo during the bridge is reminiscent of the chord structure of the Guess Who's Undun. After this painful, depressing song, new breath is found with Every Time I Look at You, a song of forgiveness, delivered with sincerity and the feeling of hope: Every time I hold you/The things I never told you seem to come easily/'Cause you're everything to me. The bridge is brilliant and seems to elevate the melody to a gratifying level, before breaking into a chilling guitar improv, layered over with a shimmering string orchestra. Beth is the most heartwarming song of Kiss' power ballads: Beth I know you're lonely/And I hope you'll be alright/'Cause me and the boys will be playing all night. Finally, a Kiss show wouldn't be complete without the ultimate party song, Rock and Roll All Night, a tune still electric without electric guitars.


    - Shawn M. Haney (All Music Guide)

    LP 1
    1. Comin' Home
    2. Plaster Caster
    3. Goin' Blind
    4. Do You Love Me
    5. Domino
    6. Sure Know Something
    7. A World Without Heroes
    8. Rock Bottom


    LP 2
    1. See You Tonight
    2. I Still Love You
    3. Every Time I Look At You
    4. 2,000 Man
    5. Beth
    6. Nothin' To Lose
    7. Rock 'N' Roll All Nite
    8. Got To Choose

    Kiss
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Antiphon Antiphon Quick View

    $19.99
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    Antiphon

    Midlake returns with their new studio album "Antiphon". An antiphon is a call-and-response style of singing, from Gregorian chants to sea shanties. In the
    case of Denton, Texas' favorite sons Midlake, it's the perfect title for a bold response to a new phase in the band's illustrious career, with a re-jigged lineup
    and a newly honed sound as rich and symphonic as it is dynamic and kaleidoscopic.


    Anyone who knows Midlake's preceding albums will recognize some constituent parts of Antiphon: the quirky psychedelia of 2004 debut Bamnan and
    Slivercork, the '70s soft-rock strains of breakthrough album The Trials Of Van Occupanther and the Brit-folk infusion of 2010's The Courage Of Others.
    But their fourth album is another fascinating departure, but also a logical progression. The sound is simultaneously familiar and changed.


    "It's always through the scope of Midlake," says vocalist/guitarist Eric Pulido, "but on Antiphon we wanted to embrace the psychedelia, style and nuance
    you might hear in bands from yesteryear while also being aware of music influences leading up to and present now. The result was less folk and more
    rock. Less nostalgic and more progressive. Now the sky's the limit."


    This growth is down to the ambition and ability of Pulido (vocals, guitars, keyboards) Paul Alexander (bass, keyboards, bassoon, guitars, backing vocals),
    McKenzie Smith (drums, percussion) and Eric Nichelson (guitars, autoharp), plus Jesse Chandler (keyboards, piano, flute, backing vocals) and Joey
    McClellan (guitars, backing vocals) from Midlake's last live incarnation. But it's also down to the absence of Midlake's former principal singer Tim Smith,
    who left the band in November 2012.In the fall-out over the spoils of what had been recorded, the remaining members decided to start afresh, and wrote
    and recorded Antiphon in six harmonious months - bar 'Vale', which had been demoed without Smith during one of the sessions. With its ravishing,
    rippling textures symptomatic of Antiphon's scale, 'Vale' showed how far they'd already come. The remaining nine tracks - the album is free-flowing in
    feel, concise in structure - confirm it's very much Midlake, but uncannily rebooted, and relaxed.


    After the costumed antics of the band's last two album covers, the color-saturated globe on Antiphon takes a different tack, and a broader picture outside
    of Midlake's internal dynamic. "It conjures imagery of a celebratory fireworks display," Pulido suggests "but it's actually a diagram of an exclusive group of
    connected entities with disproportionate amounts of control over the global economy. It's a beautiful way to show a darker side of things in the world."


    Antiphon has a similarly paradoxical nature - from stress and upset, something positive and creative has emerged. Midlake is dead, long live Midlake.

    1. Antiphon
    2. Provider
    3. The Old And The Young
    4. It's Going Down
    5. Vale
    6. Aurora Gone
    7. Ages
    8. This Weight
    9. Corruption
    10. Provider Reprise
    Midlake
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • New York Before The War New York Before The War Quick View

    $16.99
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    New York Before The War

    Jesse Malin returns in the New Year with a brand new album: New York Before The War, preceded by a single, Addicted.


    Arriving almost five years on from his last record (2010's Love It to Life), Jesse's artistic ambitions for New York Before the War, were high: he knew he had to make it count. "I wanted to make a record that encompassed everything I've done, since I started with my hardcore band, Heart Attack, when I was twelve or or thirteen through bands like D Generation and then my solo career, but I also wanted to challenge the listeners who have been with me - and challenge myself."


    Pared down from close to forty songs, New York Before the War album more than matches that ambition: A soundtrack to a life lived with meaning. "This is an era when music is so disposable," Malin worries. "People talk about the death of the album and even the death of rock & roll. But this is not just a shuffle of songs. There is a cinematic thread, a story."


    Sessions for the album began in Virginia, Nashville before moving on to New York, finishing up at the Magic Shop in Soho. Players include such downtown New York all-stars as guitarist Derek Cruz, bassist Catherine Popper and drummer Randy Schrager. Don Dilego produced early sessions for the album in Virginia, and Malin and Cruz co-produced in New York. Brian Thorn, who worked on David Bowie's The Next Day, engineered and mixed the album.


    Opening with The Dreamers, a haunting ballad that evokes both the alienation and the sense of deep connection that travel can bring (and very nearly became the album's title track), the album moves on through darker meditations like She's So Dangerous and Bar Life. Elsewhere, taut, upbeat rockers like Freeway (which features a blistering solo by the MC5's Wayne Kramer) and Turn Up the Mains (with Alejandro Escovedo on backing vocals) dictate the pace and Peter Buck contributes a vintage R.E.M.-style guitar part to I Would Do It For You, a tale of personal loyalty filled with longing and an aching sense of conviction.

    1. The Dreamers

    2. Addicted
    3. Turn Up The Mains
    4. Oh Sheena
    5. She's So Dangerous
    6. The Year That I Was Born
    7. Boots of Immigration
    8. Freeway
    9. Bent Up
    10. She Don't Love Me Now
    11. Death Star
    12. I Would Do It For You
    13. Bar Life
    Jesse Malin
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Stage Fright (On Sale) Stage Fright (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)

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    Stage Fright (On Sale)

    180 Gram Numbered, Limited Edition


    1970 Set an Organic, Iconic Rock Landmark - In Special Textured Finish Gatefold Jacket


    Record Shivers With Raw Emotions, Dark Confessionals, and Intense Singing


    Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Analog Tapes: Transcendent Sound


    A sharp stylistic and thematic detour away from its first two albums, the Band's Stage Fright is a compelling snapshot of a group coping with massive success and internal changes. Recorded in 1970 at the Woodstock Playhouse, the set shivers with raw emotions, dark confessionals, and intense singing. Largely devoid of the quintet's trademark all-for-one harmony vocals, Stage Fright is an utterly distinctive piece of the Band's catalog-and a historic landmark that's a necessary part of any music collection.


    "When Stage Fright came about, all I was doing was feeling my way along. But, where everybody was in a huddle on both Big Pink and The Band, with Stage Fright it didn't feel like we were all connected in the same kind of way. In this period of experimentation in life, in music, in drugs, people kept wanting to stretch and reach and go somewhere and try things and, in the course of that, some real alienation can take place as well. When these things are chemically induced, you can feel an incredible shutdown of communication." -guitarist Robbie Robertson, as told to Rob Bowman


    Such splintered camaraderie and personal demons appear in now-famous songs such as the title track, "The Shape I'm In," and "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show." The music is rife with palpable tension, and as a credit to the Band's unique sound, absolutely singular. It's impossible to think of any other group playing these tunes. Robertson's balladic ode to his daughter, "All La Glory," featuring a gorgeous vocal turn from Levon Helm, provides a sunny contrast to the darker compositions.


    Circumstances behind the recording sessions also reflected the mood. While the Band had intended to capture the album in one take in front of a small crowd at the theater, the town residents vetoed the idea due to concerns over being inundated by too many visitors. Consequently, the Band played to an audience of no one, sometimes with the curtains closed and other times, with them open. Todd Rundgren, who engineered the album, couldn't even see what was going on-he was sitting in a canvas prop tent that became the control room, behind the theater.


    As always, Mobile Fidelity half-speed mastered this numbered limited-edition 180g LP from the original master tapes for a superior sonic experience. This analog edition of Stage Fright bursts with supreme tonal clarity and an airiness that brings the genius of Rundgren's preservation of high frequencies to complete realization. Even the fine textures of the hand drums on the stunning "Daniel and the Sacred Harp" come to light with microscopic detail. Perfectly blended, MoFi's Stage Fright takes its place as the most balanced and punchy record in the Band's oeuvre.


    Stage Fright is part of Mobile Fidelity's effort to present the Band's timeless music in the highest fidelity possible.


    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. Strawberry Wine
    2. Sleeping
    3. Time to Kill

    4. Just Another Whistle Stop
    5. All La Glory
    6. The Shape I'm In
    7. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
    8. Daniel and the Sacred Harp
    9. Stage Fright

    10. The Rumor
    The Band
    $34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Brandt Brauer Frick: DJ-Kicks Brandt Brauer Frick: DJ-Kicks Quick View

    $25.99
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    Brandt Brauer Frick: DJ-Kicks

    There's a common thread that runs through all of Brandt Brauer Frick's music. It is this: interesting things happen at the interface of machine and hand-made music. The Berlin trio's 2010 album, 'You Make Me Real', fused techno and classical. The 2011 follow-up, 'Mr Machine', saw them go the whole classical-meets-club hog with a ten-piece ensemble playing dance music live. Then, earlier this year, came 'Miami', a darker, more song-based collection exploring the same man-machine ideas. The Berlin trio's installment of the DJ-Kicks series does the same thing with a mix. Not for them the algorithmic rigidity of cutting and pasting tracks together on Ableton. They recorded the mix in one day, out of hours at Berlin's legendary Watergate club, using only vinyl and dub plates. "We didn't want to record it in our studio or at home, mainly because we preferred an intense session with limited time," explains Paul Frick. "That feels more like a unique situation and it enforces the tension and the necessity to do it right. Because we mixed it live there are mistakes and flaws, some rougher transitions in there. We are not super technical DJs. We like it when you hear those imprecisions because it's human. It feels like someone is behind the mix, rather than a computer." After all the conceptualizing, perhaps most importantly of all, the end result is that rare thing: a dancefloor mix full of emotion. Interesting things happen when humans and machines meet.
    LP1
    1. Brandt Brauer Frick - Hugo (DJ-Kicks)
    2. Glenn Astro - How I Miss You *
    3. Piano Tool
    4. Galaxy 2 Galaxy feat. Atlantis - Transition
    5. Le K - Abraz *
    6. Percussion Tool


    LP2
    1. Dollkraut - Rollercoaster *
    2. Parental Control - Feel Like
    3. James Braun & Troels Abrahamsen - Wooden Knuckles *
    4. Cosmin TRG - Echolab Disaster *


    * exclusively produced for DJ-Kicks

    Brandt Bauer Frick
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Generation Generation Quick View

    $20.99
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    Generation

    Joyrides atop a walloping disco beat and furious percussive guitars, headed somewhere between the Rapture, Chic, and Talking Heads, but with a cartoonish giddiness that takes me back to the heyday of Junior Senior and Scissor Sisters. - Stereogum


    Rising stars - DJ Mag


    On their full-length 2014 debut Voyage, L.A duo De Lux learned how to
    take their influences and create a sound all their own-a beyond-their-years
    synthesis of post-punk, disco, funk and of course synthesizer wizardry,
    drawing inspiration from the same combination of agitation and exhilaration
    that helped LCD Soundsystem and Talking Heads deliver some of the most
    danceable social commentary ever. And now that they've found their sound,
    De Lux are creating a story to go with it on their new album Generation: "All
    of these things that they put us through," sings co-founder and multi-instrumentalist
    Sean Guerin, "I'm writing it down / I'm writing it down."


    They first started writing Generation in the kind of uncommitted
    instances that happen so rarely once a new band puts out its first album. Once
    Voyage was released, De Lux found themselves playing and interviewing and
    touring and remixing-"All fun!" says Sean-but they had to fight to find time
    to write. A random Instagram of work-in-progress song "It's A Combination"
    was the tipping point, when Sean and co-founder Isaac Franco realized they'd
    been rough-drafting for a year: "Let's finish it now," they decided, and that's
    the exact moment when Generation officially started.


    They returned to the L.A. practice space where they wrote and recorded
    Voyage, this time with new instruments-like the little-known but sought-after
    synthesizer guitar beloved of King Crimson's Adrian Belew-and new inspirations,
    chief among them punk peformance artist Karen Finley, whose 1987
    debut album Sean discovered at a Seattle record store simply because it
    looked promising. Her infamously uncensored lyrics made him realize there
    was more he could sing about, too: "You admire the ambition behind her
    saying whatever she wants," he says.


    So if Generation is a darker album than Voyage-and it's inherited plenty
    of the modern urban anxiety of David Byrne-that's because it's a fearlessly
    honest and candid album, too. In fact, call it a millennial documentary. In
    Generation's eleven songs, De Lux chart the distance between childhood and
    adulthood, nostalgia and aspiration and dream and reality, all with unflinching
    autobiographical detail. (And with a secret nod to the Pokemon theme, too.)
    Says Sean: "When I write lyrics, I try and be as specific as possible. We think
    about if someone listens to us in 30 years: 'Oh, that's what was going on at
    that time.'"


    The result is a sort of Less Than Zero for the post-Social Network era.
    Think of it as a nighttime freeway drive that starts with the propulsive "L.A.
    Threshold" and rides the borderline between feel-good rhythm and artfully
    sophisticated sentiment. "There's dark moments, but it's still fun," explains
    Sean. "The first album was just more innocent." There's new space in De Lux's
    sense of rhythm and groove, says Isaac, for Sean to say what he needs to say:
    "The song gives him the freedom to be himself."


    And so Generation is an album about high highs, low lows and the vast
    space in between. "Center of L.U.B" is a roller-skate jam that starts with a
    Can-style guitar riff before spinning into an examination of one utility company
    employee's ennui-you knew this wasn't going to be a love song,
    right?-while "It's A Combination" is a brooding Italo disco track and
    unexpected piano piece "Conditions" is like Harry Nilsson or John Lennon
    suddenly transplanted to Rough Trade Records. Then there's the alternately
    hilarious and harrowing "Oh Man The Future"-a satirical reading on the shape
    of things to come, propelled by a bass-and-drum rhythm right off one of ESG's
    first EPs-to the desolate-yet-funky "When Your Life Feels Like A Loss," where
    De Lux dissect just what happens when "you think you're special/no, you're
    not special/you're just an average guy."


    In other words, Generation isn't a departure. This is De Lux going
    deeper, not farther away, and the result is surely the most anthropologically
    daring dancefloor album of the year. That might seem difficult to pull off, but
    that's why they did it, explains Sean: "At some point we realized creativity is
    just limitless," he says. "You can do anything. There might be certain people
    who think, 'Oh, you can't do that.' That's when you say, 'Well-I'm doing it!'"

    1. LA Threshold
    2. 30
    3. Living In An Open Place
    4. Center of L.U.B.
    5. Simba Simba Simba
    6. No One Really Cares Who You Are
    7. Oh Man The Future
    8. Conditions
    9. When Your Life Feels Like A Loss
    10. It's A Combination
    11. Someday Now
    De Lux
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Nightbringers (Pre-Order) Nightbringers (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $25.99
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    Nightbringers (Pre-Order)

    Any band that has earned an army of devout followers through dropping seven killer full-lengths - and touring their collective ass off for sixteen years - could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they could take it easy as they wade into their eighth release. But that's just not The Black Dahlia Murder's style, and Nightbringers is testament to that. Having released their most accomplished, aggressive, and emotionally diverse music to date in the form of 2015's Abysmal, the Michigan quintet have once more pushed themselves to new heights, and the 34 minutes of searing melodic death metal that comprises Nightbringers is riveting listening. "I always feel a responsibility to the people who support this band when we start making a new record," asserts vocalist Trevor Strnad. "The pressure that comes from people being excited to hear what you come up with next can be intimidating, but it's so exciting that those people love you so much for just doing what you do. It makes you want to honor what you've done in the past, but also excite them with where you go next, and that definitely drove us on Nightbringers. When we started writing I honestly didn't know we had this album in us, and I feel really proud of it. It's a great moment for us."


    Rather than meticulously plan things out or stick rigidly to any kind of template, when it comes to writing The Black Dahlia Murder prefer to let things happen organically. In the hands of guitarist Brian Eschbach - who co-founded the band with Strnad in 2001 - and new recruit Brandon Ellis (Cannabis Corpse/ex-Arsis) Nightbringers is rich with dynamic riffs that are at once fresh and classic TBDM, resulting in a collection that shifts through many moods and effortlessly incorporates various elements of extreme metal. With guitarist Ryan Knight having amicably stepped down in 2016, the addition of twenty-four-year-old Ellis to the band's ranks has helped usher in an exciting new era. "He's very professional for his age, I think he's skilled far beyond his years, and his live energy is exceptional. When Max (Lavelle, bass) joined the band he challenged a lot of us on stage to raise our personal bar, and Brandon's pushed that even further," states Strnad. "Brandon coming into the band and writing a bunch of songs was an awesome surprise too. He really took the reins, and this record is also the most involved that Alan (Cassidy drums) has been too. The way that we were doing the demos and bouncing things back and forth he had a lot of room to do what he wanted to do, and I think it's definitely a more colorful album for that. I also think as we get older the emotional content goes up. I think we better realize how to grip the listener. Personally, I try to write lyrics that are going to match each part, and kind of ramp up those feelings that we're putting across." Strnad's statements are vividly borne out by every moment of Nightbringers. For fans attending 2017's Summer Slaughter tour, the first taste of of the record came with the inclusion of the title track in their set, which has an undeniable immediacy to it, rich with hooks and boasting a "circusy, evil and playful" air. By contrast, "Catacomb Hecatomb" is suffused with tragedy, the mournful tone of its slower passages deeply affecting. This too is dramatically different to "As Good As Dead", which has some swagger to it that Strnad likens to Megadeth, or "Matriarch", described by Eschbach as a "wild, neoclassical romp" and stands as one of the most cutthroat and all out aggressive tracks in the quintet's arsenal. Upon first hearing the latter, Strnad was intent on matching its visceral intensity. "I felt inspired to write very violent lyrics to it. It's told from the perspective of a woman who is trying to have a child and not having any luck, and she goes kind of crazy and stalks this other woman who is due to have a child. She finds her moment to take it from her, cutting it right out of her stomach." While Strnad explores a variety of themes and ideas with his lyrics, they are united by the album's title, which embraces a tenet that has been central to The Black Dahlia Murder's output since the very beginning. "A lot of archaic ideas that are still upheld - such as marriage and monogamy - came from Christianity, whether people want to acknowledge it or not, and to me, death metal has always been bucking that. It's 'being-the-villain music', because we're the enemy of Christianity, the enemy of all that is good and traditional. Death metal is for free thinkers, it's for showing people the path to inner strength and operating on your own will, instead of being told what to do and living in fear, and songs like the title track and "Kings Of The Nightworld" are about leading a legion of awakened minds into battle." Following this theme also motivated Strnad to forge into ever-darker territory, even when this meant tearing things up and starting over. "I felt I needed to rise to the occasion to make as much of the blood and guts and heinousness as possible, and there was actually a couple of points where I rewrote some songs. I just didn't feel like they were dark enough, or violent enough, so I was really trying to ramp up the monstrous aspects of things, and definitely trying in different ways to take down tradition."


    Rather than decamp to a single studio, the members split off when it came time to start laying down the songs - all well versed in how to get the best out of their individual performances. With former bassist Ryan Williams once again assisting, the drums were tracked at The Pipe Yard in Plymouth, Michigan and rhythm guitars in the band's practice space in Warren, Michigan [was bass tracked there too?]. Ellis then recorded his many blistering solos in his home studio, while Strnad headed to Full Force Studios on Long Island, with Joe Cincotta (Suffocation, Internal Bleeding) overseeing his sessions. For the unique and haunting cover art they turned to Kristian Wåhlin, aka Necrolord, who has designed seminal artwork for the likes of At The Gates, Bathory, Emperor and also TBDM's 2007 release, Nocturnal. "I think he's the most prominent artist when it comes to classic releases in the melodic death metal genre, and kind of bringing things full circle with it being the ten-year anniversary of Nocturnal felt right. By now people probably wouldn't have expected us to go back to him, so it's kind of a surprise, but at the same time it's a very classic cover too." With the band celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the aforementioned album by playing it in its entirety on Summer Slaughter, it has given them a moment to reflect not only on the road that has led them to here but also that which lies ahead. "When I think back to when we started the band I feel very proud of everything we've done, and I also see a lot of improvement over the years," says Strnad. "In the early songs I can hear us as kids, and then segueing into our adulthood as musicians and writers, but sixteen years in I still feel young as a band. I feel like we have a shit ton left to do, and I think we're sitting pretty with the best lineup we've ever had. I also think Nightbringers could be our finest hour yet. I feel very strongly that it will affect people, I want to get all of these songs in people's ears, and I want them to check out everything we've got on this record. There's so much variety and so many great ideas, and I think that this could take us to another place."

    1. Widowmaker
    2. Of God and Serpent, of Spectre and Snake
    3. Matriarch
    4. Nightbringers
    5. Jars
    6. Kings of the Nightworld
    7. Catacomb Hecatomb
    8. As Good as Dead
    9. The Lonely Deceased
    The Black Dahlia Murder
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • There's A Riot Goin' On (45 RPM) There's A Riot Goin' On (45 RPM) Quick View

    $49.99
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    There's A Riot Goin' On (45 RPM)

    Ranked 99/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

    Sly And The Family Stone There's A Riot Goin' On 180 gram 45RPM 2LP from ORG Music


    Inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999 & Ranked #99 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time!


    More than four decades after they first stormed the Pop and R&B charts in the winter of 1968 with "Dance To the Music" - a groundbreaking jam that has the distinction of being chosen for the Grammy Hall Of Fame, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock, and Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time - the music of Sly and the Family Stone is more vital than ever.


    The band's catalog (every single composition penned by Sylvester Stewart aka Sly Stone) includes their three career-defining RIAA gold Billboard #1 Pop/ #1 R&B smashes, "Everyday People," "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Again)" and "Family Affair," and their signature Top 40 hits that began with "Dance To the Music" and went on to include "Stand!," "Hot Fun In the Summertime," "Runnin' Away," "If You Want Me To Stay," "Time For Livin', and more.


    Those songs not only inspired an era of youthful rebellion and independence, but also had a potent effect on the course of modern music in general. A dazzling fusion of psychedelic rock, soul, gospel, jazz, and Latin flavors, Sly's music brought the next step - funk - to a disparate populace of hip artists. From Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, to the halls of Motown and George Clinton's P-Funk, from Michael Jackson and Curtis Mayfield, down the line to Bob Marley, the Isley Brothers, Prince, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arrested Development, the Black Eyed Peas, the Roots, OutKast and on and on, Sly's DNA is traceable to every cell of the musical stratosphere.


    Since it took almost two years to make, the fifth album by bonafide superstars Sly and the Family Stone had everyone salivating in anticipation. Needless to say, Sly did not disappoint! 1971's There's A Riot Goin' On finds the Bay Area-based genius getting funkier than ever before, even as his artistic vision becomes progressively darker. Some may have been disappointed that Sly didn't simply re-create the chart successes of earlier singles, but who can argue with the flat-out brilliance of turning recent big hit Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) on its head to create the mind-boggling Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa.


    Two of this hypnotic album's best tunes Family Affair and Runnin' Away were gigantic chart hits, and There's A Riot Goin' On hit #1 Pop/ #1 R&B within a few weeks of its release in November, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that Sly Stone could totally deliver the goods! A transformative masterpiece, There's A Riot Goin' On was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, and is ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine's '500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.'

    Luv N' Haight

    Just Like A Baby

    Poet

    Family Affair

    Africa Talks To You The Asphalt Jungle

    There's A Riot Goin' On
    Brave & Strong

    (You Caught Me) Smilin'

    Time

    Spaced Cowboy

    Runnin' Away

    Thank You For Talking To Me Africa
    Sly & The Family Stone
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP- 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Weatherhouse Weatherhouse Quick View

    $22.99
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    Weatherhouse

    Four years after the unexpected and exquisite treat that was Philip Selway's debut album Familial, the man formerly known only as the drummer of Radiohead returns with his sophomore record, Weatherhouse. At ten tracks and 38 minutes, the album is as concise in shape as it is expansive in mood and assured in execution, mining a generally darker, fuller sound than its gentler, more acoustic-based predecessor and reflecting the band-centred nature of its construction and its creator's growth in confidence.


    Weatherhouse was made in collaboration with Adem Ilhan and Quinta; artists in their own right who had previously performed in Philip's backing band. "From the outset," Selway recalls, "we wanted the album to be the three of us, and we covered a lot of instruments between us. With a studio full of inspiring gear and a great-sounding desk, we felt like a band. Different musicians stretch you, and I felt stretched on Weatherhouse, but very enjoyably so." Working mostly out of Radiohead's studio in Oxfordshire, Adem also produced and engineered Weatherhouse, while Quinta played an equally integral role in the arrangements. The album was mixed by David Wrench.


    Album opener 'Coming Up For Air' sets the scene with its brooding, spectral mood, mantra-like pattern and Selway's simmering, reverb-drenched vocal exploring the album's dominant theme. "It's very much about taking stock of my life. I wanted to convey a sense of release and affirmation," he says. "This was the first song that we recorded. Immediately it felt in a very different space from Familial."


    The album's talismanic qualities explore a world of hope and plans, connection and disconnection - between family, friends and self - and dreams and fears: "I love records that you can almost live in, where the songs become talismans that you take to heart. That's what I was trying to create in Weatherhouse." With its emotional frankness, haunting melodies and gripping tension, Selway has made a great artistic leap and created something that even the most experienced singer-songwriters would be proud of.

    1. Coming up for Air
    2. Around Again
    3. Let It Go
    4. Miles Away
    5. Ghosts
    6. It Will End in Tears
    7. Don't Go Now
    8. Drawn to the Light
    9. Waiting for a Sign
    10. Turning It Inside Out
    Philip Selway
    $22.99
    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
  • Home Again Home Again Quick View

    $19.99
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    Home Again

    Few records make such an instant impression as Home Again, the debut album by Michael Kiwanuka, winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 prize. Immersing the listener in a sound that is both modern and at the same time as familiar as the classics, it manages to strike the balance between being contemporary and somehow utterly timeless. For Kiwanuka, key musical touchstones include Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack's First Take, Bill Withers' Live At Carnegie Hall and D'Angelo's modern soul landmark Voodoo.


    Born in Muswell Hill to Ugandan ÉmigrÉ parents, Kiwanuka was brought up in a home from which music was largely absent, with his first introduction to rock (Nirvana, Radiohead) arriving at the same time as he began to hang with the skater kids in the north London suburb during his early teenage years. Later coming across a soul compilation album given away with a music monthly, he was enthralled by the sound of Otis Redding's studio talkback discussions with his engineer while recording an outtake version of (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay. From this point on, he resolved to make music that sounded raw and authentic.


    Though deeply into soul and jazz, he found real inspiration in the cross-pollination of the two styles with folk in the music of Bill Withers. "Bill Withers was very rootsy and earthy," he points out, "but people branded him as a soul singer. To me, he was a folk artist. So that encouraged me to keep going, 'cause I didn't know where I would fit in as a black guy with an acoustic guitar."


    While performing on the acoustic circuit around London, Kiwanuka quickly attracted interest and made connections, not least with his current manager who in turn garnered the attention of Communion Records, the label that in 2011 released the singer's first two acclaimed EPs, Tell Me A Tale and I'm Getting Ready. Both of these EPs, as with Home Again, were produced by Paul Butler (The Bees) in his vintage equipment-stuffed basement studio at his house in Ventnor on the Isle Of Wight. Together the pair played almost every instrument to be heard on the album, with Butler's remarkably intimate, detailed productions adorned with everything from flute to brass to sitar to aching strings, perfectly matching Kiwanuka's visions for his songs.


    "The way we made the record was very modern," the singer points out. "There was loads of editing. We manipulated it to get exactly what we wanted." From the opening bars of the stirring Tell Me A Tale, it is instantly clear that Home Again is a very special album. While its more upbeat characteristics are embodied in the Prince Buster-like loping of the lovelorn but irresistibly catchy Bones and the rolling soul groove of I'll Get Along, elsewhere it proves itself to be a record of real stripped-down beauty.


    In I Won't Lie, with its gospel-infused echoes of The Staples Singers, Kiwanuka offers something akin to a modern spiritual, while in Rest he turns in a tender love lullaby and in Always Waiting, he blends classical elements with the confessional intimacy of Roberta Flack. It is with the title track of Home Again, however, that Michael Kiwanuka feels the record's sounds and themes are ultimately encapsulated. "That's the song that really for me ties everything together," he says. "It's one of the earliest songs I wrote for the album and even though I progressed and changed stuff in the studio, it was the one I could never throw away. Like a lot of them, it's a hopeful song. I use home as the metaphor for contentment and peace within."


    Other parts of the record, on the other hand, find Kiwanuka struggling for peace of mind and using his songs as a form of self-empowerment, not least in the soulful I'm Getting Ready, the darker, unburdening Any Day Will Do Fine and the self-explanatory Worry Walks Beside Me. "It can really paralyze you, if you worry too much," the singer admits. "I do tend to overthink things. All of these songs are me talking to myself, really. Trying to encourage myself to believe."

    1. Tell Me A Tale
    2. Rest
    3. I'll Get Along
    4. Home Again
    5. I'm Getting Ready
    6. Bones
    7. Always Waiting
    8. I Won't Be Long
    9. Any Day Will Do Fine
    10. Worry Walks Beside Me
    11. Lasan
    Michael Kiwanuka
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lay My Soul To Waste (Out of Stock) Lay My Soul To Waste (Out of Stock) Quick View

    $19.99
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    Lay My Soul To Waste (Out of Stock)

    A Pale Horse Named Death is Sal Abruscato's band, so it's his musical fingerprint, and the band's sound and style is as distinct as his DNA.


    While it is true that Abruscato co-founded Brooklyn's black-humored doom legends Type O and that he manned the kit for LoA during their watershed albums River Runs Red, Ugly and more, A Pale Horse Named Death is his brain trust. He sings and writes the songs, and stepped out from behind the drumset to play guitar.


    His main partner in the band is Matt Brown, a fellow Brooklynite, who is also a seasoned studio vet -- a producer and engineer who has toured with luminaries like Lou Reed, Jane's Addiction and more.


    In the live realm, the lineup includes Type O drummer Johnny Kelly, guitarist Eddie Heedles and bassist Eric Morgan.


    On the surface, A Pale Horse Named Death are impressive. But you'll want to dig deeper and immerse yourself in all the sonic and lyrical layers, because the band isn't afraid to plume the depths of darkness that humanity is capable of. It's murky stuff, but someone has to do it.


    A Pale Horse Named Death arrived with And Hell
    Will Follow Me (2011). They have firmly implanted
    their roots in the metal scene with Lay My Soul to
    Waste. It's a metal album that headbangers who enjoy a walk on the darker side of life will end up revering and responding to.


    "It's the same gloomy atmosphere," Abruscato continued. "If anything, it's darker. The artwork is darker, and people already think the first one is dark. We went further into that. The record itself, lyrics and sound, are darker. It's that progression."

    1. Lay My Soul to Waste
    2. Shallow Grave
    3. The Needle in You
    4. In the Sleeping Death
    5. Killer by Night
    6. Growing Old
    7. Dead of Winter
    8. Devil Came With a Smile
    9. Day of the Storm
    10. DMSLT
    11. Cold Dark Mourning
    A Pale Horse Named Death
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
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