kimber – fela kuti reissues
lindsay – califone reissue
dario – califone reissue
jeff – nicolas jaar
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Terry Allen – Lubbock (On Everything) [Reissue/1978]2xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and visual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide. Widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, his deeply moving (and hilarious) satirical second album, a complex memory palace to his West Texas hometown Lubbock, is often cited as the urtext of alt-country. Produced in collaboration with the artist and meticulously remastered from the original analog tapes, this is the definitive edition.
Benoit Pioulard – The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter CD/LP (Kranky)
The sixth Kranky album from Thomas Meluch under the nom de plume Benoit Pioulard arrives on the 10th anniversary of his first LP Précis, and offers a rekindled focus on self-examination, as well as a return to vocal-based pop structures following the mostly instrumental Sonnet (2015). Recording for theListening Matter began during a period of grief, turmoil and self-medication, and continued throughout two years of growth and healing. Reflections on vice (“Layette,” “Anchor as the Muse”), virtue (“Narcologue”) and death (“A mantle for Charon”) feature equally in this concise treatise aimed at the flawed-but-resilient core in us all. By coincidence this album was completed on the very day Meluch’s only brother died; accordingly, it’s dedicated to him and anyone seeking paths away from their demons.
Blackberry Smoke – Like An Arrow CD/2xLP (3 Legged)
Blackberry Smoke isn’t just helping to save country music, they’re helping to save Southern rock music, rock music, American music, and music made by real humans sweating on a stage, holding real damn instruments, and testifying. In a time when we can’t agree on anything, music fans from a major swath of the population can agree that Blackberry Smoke is one badass group of hairy dudes. While much of American music has abandoned the authenticity and machismo that’s at the heart of the American sound, Blackberry Smoke has doubled down on it. Remember back to early 2015 before Aaron Watson, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson were landing #1 records on the country charts? It was actually Blackberry Smoke who claimed the very first independently-released record to go #1 with Holding All The Roses. Now they return with their new album Like An Arrow. The 12-song set—produced by Brendan O’Brien, whose previous production clients have included AC/DC, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young—showcases the Atlanta-based quintet’s emotion-charged mix of bluesy rock, gospel soul, and country, and includes aguest appearance by Southern rocker Gregg Allman on “Free On The Wing.”
Botany – Deepak Verbera CD/LP (Western Vinyl)
Deepak Verbera is a soundscape record created through methods usually found in hip-hop: vinyl samples, looped vocal phrases, pulsing bass, and warm synths all shimmer with kosmische-indebted splendor, like Popol Vuh with MPCs and a stack of secondhand records. [Limited white vinyl pressing also available.]
Busman’s Holiday – Popular Cycles CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Much like the lyrical content, the musical landscape of Popular Cycles spans grandly, from the booming of a 21-piece orchestra to the solitary sound of a singing bowl. From Western soundtracks to a drone of twelve-strings, tones of forgiveness sweet enough to taste, funky drummers, the splish-splosh of fingers & palms, and melancholy chanting. From Richard Strauss to PeeWee’s Playhouse, Busman’s Holiday brings a refreshing sound to the stale world of pop music.
D.D Dumbo – Utopia Defeated CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
D.D Dumbo’s fantastical debut album conjures a vivid, wide-eyed musical landscape teeming with nervous energy and exotic evocations of the world at large. Backed by skittering sounds, Utopia Defeated hinges on Perry’s expressive voice, and the dissonance of an artist compelled to question his position in the natural world. The resulting sonic universe is a collision of blues licks, echoes of world music, strident ‘80s pop, the kinetic energy of dance music, and splashes of outsider art akin to Captain Beefheart, one of D.D Dumbo’s touchstones.
Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation CD/LP (Party Smasher Inc./Cooking Vinyl)
“The Dillinger Escape Plan never made things easy, either for themselves or for their fans. Their music is as challenging as anything considered, mainstream or not, and their line-up changes (most notably, their vocalist) and evolving sound have caused much frustration for those fans. It’s fitting, then, that their perfectly titled new record, Dissociation, might well be their last. The record is less a progression from One Of Us Is The Killer than the band further rounding off the sharp corners from earlier efforts as they have with each record since Miss Machine. To that end, Dissociation acts as a sort of ‘greatest hits’ — or, perhaps, greatest ideas. Everything they do well is featured here: mainstream rock riffing, left-field melodic breakdowns, twitchy, nervous swaying, five-minute prog freakouts, seasick lurching, and, of course, their trademark spastic morse code gymnastics” – The Line Of Best Fit. [Limited edition translucent blue color vinyl edition also available.]
Mike Doughty – Heart Watches While The Brain Burns CD (Snackbar)
“The former frontman of alt rock band Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty is on a constant mission to strive for the new. His ninth, and most recent solo album,The Heart Watches While The Brain Burns, was recorded during the time he moved from New York, which had served as his home base since the 1980s, to Memphis Tennessee, which he described as a ‘fascinating, mysterious town.’ ‘I Can’t Believe I Found You In That Town,’ the first track from the album, was inspired by a failed attempt at romance in England’s north. The song is a rollicking good tune, with Mike’s raspy, almost drawling vocal, and the driving guitar and country style drumming propel the song with a great force right through to the end – when all drops and you’re left with Mike’s vocals alone – poignant and forlorn, suggesting the love has ended” – Essentially Pop. [Vinyl edition due December 9.]
C Duncan – The Midnight Sun CD (Family Vineyard)
Glasgow’s prodigious talent C Duncan released his critically acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated debut album Architect earlier this year (last summer in the UK). Now, his follow-up The Midnight Sun sees the bedroom producer return with a more expansive and experimental second offering, blending electronic elements and sweeping synth sounds with his signature layered vocals and dreamy instrumentation.
Steve Earle – Guitar Town 30th Anniversary [Reissue/1986] 2xCD (MCA Nashville)
Guitar Town is the debut album from singer/songwriter Steve Earle. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track.This double-disc expanded edition features the classic album remastered from the original tapes by Robert Vosgien along with a previously unreleased 19-song live show recorded on the Guitar Town tour at the Park West in Chicago in 1986 and expanded liner notes.
From Indian Lakes – Everything Feels Better Now CD/LP/Cassette (Triple Crown)
From Indian Lakes is the project of California native Joey Vannucchi. His new album, Everything Feels Better Now, was recorded using vintage analog equipment, with no editing on vocals and instrumentation. “Delays were made using tape machines,” says Vannucchi, who played all the instruments heard on the album, “and other effects were made using various vintage equipment leftover from sound city studios. We used vintage synth equipment and vintage drums and guitar amps. When writing and recording this album I was really trying to capture a lo-fi aesthetic, while still retaining a sense of thoughtfulness.” Album track “Blank Tapes” is “a shimmering jam with ringing guitar rising over intricate rolling drums, and deep, sparse bass. He situates his voice in a gauzy nest that flirts falsetto as the instrumentation swells underneath him for a continually engaging excursion” – Stereogum.
Nicolas Jaar – Sirens CD/LP (Other People)
“Sirens is a thoughtful study in contrasts, both musical and political. It’s only Nicolas Jaar’s second LP, but it is the mark of an enduring electronic composer” [BNM/8.7] – Pitchfork.
“Sirens [is] an ambitious and eclectic album that packs tons of ideas into its runtime and manages to pull them all off with a great deal of style. There’s a lot to digest here. ‘Killing Time’ crackles with his trademark, lush samples and ambient noises, its tinkling piano interjections reminiscent of Alice Coltrane or Laraaji. Midway through its 11 minutes, it morphs into a doleful ballad, Jaar’s tender vocal merging with a slow beat. ‘The Governor’ marries distorted drums and effects with layers of crackling interference, piano and treated saxophone, while ‘Leaves’ is a delicate ambient piece, its samples (of what sounds like a father and son talking in Spanish) adding a transporting quality.The centerpiece though is the superb, affecting ‘No,’ a tune which deserves to be a huge radio hit but will probably remain the secret of Jaar’s (many) fans. On this track Jaar sings in Spanish; his voice has become a hugely versatile instrument, tender one minute, forceful the next. It accompanies a cumbia beat, a nod to his Chilean roots, with a bittersweet melody best experienced through headphones to get the full spine-tingling effect. It’s probably the best thing he’s done so far.” – XLR8R
Jagwar Ma – Every Now & Then CD/2xLP (Mom + Pop Music)
New album from the Australian psych/dance project “blends Beach Boys harmonies with fiery nods to Chicago house, Madchester, Love’s Forever Changes and half-forgotten ’60s soul classics.” – Stereogum
Kings Of Leon – Walls CD/LP+MP3 (RCA)
Seventh album from multi-platinum selling rock band.
Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood CD/LP+MP3 (4AD)
With their debut album for 4AD, Do Hollywood, The Lemon Twigs have fused tightly constructed pop, modern psych, and British invasion melodies into a ten-song masterpiece.
Jamie Lidell – Building a Beginning CD (Jajulin)
British poly-genre wizard Jamie Lidell’s Building A Beginning is his sixth album and follow-up to 2013’s wild-eyed self-titled effort. Whereas his last album was a full-body immersion into strident electro and pop sounds, Building A Beginning is Lidell purifying himself in the waters of smooth, earthy psychedelic soul think the subtle low end of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, the swirling loveliness of Temptations’ Cloud Nine, and the beatific radiance of Steve Wonder, all imbued with Lidell’s distinctive songwriting touch and impossibly gorgeous vocals. Much of the album addresses the duality of romantic and familial love, with his new family playing a major role in its creation. Not only did his wife, Lindsey Rome, assist and writing many of the lyrics, but their newborn son was a major inspiration. No song makes that more clear than the LP’s latest single, “Julian”. Over bright, hopeful neo-soul, Lidell croons about how welcoming his now-one-year-old son has changed his outlook on life. “Now you’re here and life’s a dream/ You’re the only reality worth understanding,” he sings as he leads into the first chorus of, “I can’t believe/ The way your face/ Is taking over, taking the place/ Of all the dark I always face.” [Vinyl edition due November 11.]
Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – These Systems Are Failing CD (Mute)
As with much of Moby’s output during his nearly three-decade long career, it’s not surprising that a spiritual and political questioning underpins These Systems Are Failing. “That quality of atmospheric sadness I’ve done so much of before isn’t here — there’s nothing quiet or ambient,” he notes. “Sonically, this record isn’t subtle: it’s big & loud, with huge kick drums & massive choral choruses.”[Vinyl edition due November 18.]
Mono – Requiem For Hell CD/2xLP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Requiem For Hell finds Mono returning to longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini. The album is heavier and scarier than most of Mono’s output to this point — hear the dizzying 18-minute title track for example — but it also carries some of their most sublime moments. This dichotomy is how one band’s obsession with conflict has manifested itself into one of underground music’s simultaneously quietest and loudest catalogs.
The Naked And The Famous – Simple Forms CD/LP (Somewhat Damaged)
Simple Forms is the third studio album by Los Angeles-based New Zealand indie electronic band The Naked And Famous. The band took their name from English musician Tricky’s song “Tricky Kid”, which is ambivalent about the notion of celebrity. “Simple Forms doubles down on their recognizable elements, the vocal interplay between Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith, their knack for earworm melodies, and those soaring sing-along choruses, while introducing an on-trend, high glitz, pop-production style. Xayalith describes it as ‘amplifying’ the band’s sound, saying they were inspired by recent albums by pop artists like Taylor Swift. ‘It’s a very poppy album, a very vocal album’ she says. ‘Our poppiest to date. We love pop music and wanted to create a pop record. We hadn’t done that on our previous records.’” – NZ Herald
Oasis – Be Here Now [Reissue/1997] 3xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Big Brother Recordings Ltd.)
Expanded reissue of the third studio album from the iconic English rock band featuring an additional two CDs of rarities & B-sides, including the ‘Mustique Demos.’ [Double-vinyl edition includes a download for all bonus tracks.]
Conor Oberst – Ruminations CD/LP (Nonesuch)
This past winter, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album Ruminations. “I wasn’t expecting to write a record,” says Oberst. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone.’ With the help of engineer Ben Brodin, he recorded all the songs in the span of 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness, and they ultimately became the songs that comprise Ruminations. These tracks do not have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.
Oozing Wound – Whatever Forever CD/2xLP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Third album from the Chicago thrash trio.A horrifying concoction of apathy and malaise wrapped in a delectable sheet of hatred, drowned in a bath of contempt.
The Orb – COW / Chill Out World CD/LP+MP3 (Kompakt)
The Orb’s 16th album features guest appearances from Youth and Roger Eno. Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Alex Paterson describes COW as “Our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth.Whilst Alex calls it “a protest album in reverse”, Thomas Fehlmann further explains, “We didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes. On the contrary. It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the f*ck out, before continuing to act destructively. To chill out is to act consciously, guided from a calm center.”
Powell – Sport CD/LP (XL)
“Following in the [XL’s] lineage of fellow left-field electronic (not just ‘dance’ producers, mind) producers including Prodigy, SL2, and Jonny L, Powell’s sound is one that blends tight production talent with a strong knowledge of how to make proper bangers for a jilted generation. Sport is an eclectic/electric mix of late night, out and about snatches of pub chatter, fizzzzzy synth textures, flocks of angry bees stuck in a rack of Wasp synths and downtown NY, uptown Hackney out on the pi*s swagger.” – Bleep
Purling Hiss – High Bias CD/LP (Drag City)
At times carefree and apparently footloose in the world, other times intensely focused and wrathful, Purling Hiss are the orphaned kids of last century’s rock and roll generations, lost in a society that has forgotten its way but determined to find their feet again. High Bias moves with rageful, dazed humor and soulfulness against the darkening times in which we find ourselves. With no way out, Purling Hiss hit today’s bulls — head-on, employing pounding psych-rock and punk effects, slipping signature Hissian backup oo-oo-oohs and Polizze’s blistering guitar pile-ups in a full-bodied, head-ripping brew.
Red Fang – Only Ghosts CD/LP (Relapse)
A record with basically no messing and very few frills, Only Ghosts begins with a thudding, metronomic drum beat and takes about 12 seconds to kick in with its mighty, thunderous groove. This might be the four piece’s way of saying: “let’s get down to business, shall we?” A little bit leaner, and actually a little meaner than before, the gravel-like delivery and vocal interplay, of ‘Flies’ is perfect for the hook, while the more rock ‘n’ roll infused ‘Cut It Short’ is better still, with its almost sleazy intention driven by the bass of Aaron Beam. And if ‘No Air’ sounds like former touring buddies Mastodon, that’s neither a shock or an insult. Red Fang aren’t going to re-invent themselves as a load of kids in skinny jeans and pretty much everyone who knows anything about the Oregon mob can equally know – give or take – what this is going to sound like. They know what they are good at and work within it, but as the psychedelic tinges to ‘I Am A Ghost’ rather neatly exemplify, they are also up for trying new things. ‘Living In Lye’ on the other hand, just wants to get its head down, horns up and take a hammer to your best china.It concludes a record that shows that after more than a decade as a band Red Fang are rather good at what they do, as well as possessing a tightness and chemistry.” – Maximum Volume
Luke Roberts – Sunlit Cross CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Sunlit Cross is the unwaveringly honest and raw new album from Nashville-based Luke Roberts featuring Kurt Vile, Stephen Tanner (Harvey Milk, Music Blues), John Neff (Drive-By Truckers) and Creston Spiers (Harvey Milk).Sunlit Cross is a lullaby, Roberts says, one that pits darkness and disenchantment and the ugly side of life against levity, love, and childhood.
Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere CD/LP+MP3 (Customs)
“Kanye West and Jay Z. Drake and Future. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. Sure, you may be able to name a more iconic hip-hop duo than The Swet Shop Boys — Riz MC and Heems — but you’d be hard-pressed to name a pair better suited to address social justice and the unique experience of South Asian people in the U.S. and U.K.Heems, a.k.a. Himanshu Suri, is an Indian-American rapper, activist and New York City native. His counterpart is Riz MC, a.k.a. Rizwan Ahmed, an actor/rapper of Pakistani descent from London (you might recognize him from his starring role in HBO’s hit miniseries The Night Of). Heems is Hindu and Riz is Muslim. Though separated by religion, nationality and the Atlantic Ocean, the two find common ground in hip-hop and engage head-on with a post-9/11 world that’s fraught with government surveillance, Islamophobia, xenophobia, police violence and racism.” – NPR
Sybarite – Waver The Absolute CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
Emerging from a decade-long hiatus, East Coast electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist, Sybarite(Christian Hawkins) returns with new albumWaver The Absolute. “The album defies genre and expectation, and the eclecticism serves it well. The marriage of the electronic and the organic has been one that Hawkins has expertly manipulated since his days in the legendary Silver Apples in the late 1990s.” – Resident Music
Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow CD/2xLP+MP3 (Glassnote)
On Two Door Cinema Club’s third album, Gameshow, the band has challenged themselves to indulge a wide and varied range of styles and influences stretching way beyond the traditional Two Door sound to take in Prince, Madonna, McCartney, Chic, Krautrock, neo soul and modernist pop. [Limited translucent blue color vinyl edition also available.]
Suzanne Vega – Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers CD/LP (Perpetual Sounds)
Suzanne Vega celebrates the remarkable life distinguished writer Carson McCullers with this new studio album inspired by the novelist. The songs, which she co-wrote with longtime friend and theatrical collaborator Duncan Sheik, richly capture the essence of McCuller’s insightful words and forward-thinking philosophies on gender and love.
Wax Tailor – By Any Beats Necessary CD/2xLP (Le Plan)
Wax Tailor aims to make you travel with his fifth studio album By Any Beats Necessary. “The album’s title reflects my determination to use all kinds of sounds and textures to get to something musical,” says JC Le Saout. “The word ‘Beat’ also draws a line towards the Beat Generation, Kerouac’s famous novel On The Road, and the quest for a better place. And so, in this time when each of us needs a little escape, I conceptualized this album as the soundtrack to a better elsewhere”. This new take on the western frontier leads us on a fabled road where blues, psychedelic rock, soul, funk and hip-hop collide. Joining him on this ride are guests Ghostface Killah, R.A. The Rugged Man, who crosses mics with up and comers A-F-R-O & Token. The album also features Tricky in a very personal duet with Charlotte Savary, Lee Fields, the godfather of the retro soul scene, Sara Genn, Mattic and Raashan Ahmad and newcomer Idil. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill [Reissue/1986] LP (Def Jam)
This 30th anniversary LP edition of Beastie Boys’ debut album is cut from original production masters and pressed on 180gm heavyweight vinyl. The album is back-to-back classic Beastie Boys anthems including “Hold It Now, Hit It,” “Brass Monkey,” “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party),” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (featuring Slayer’s Kerry King) and “Girls.”
Califone – Roomsound [Reissue/2001] 2xLP (Dead Oceans)
Califone’s debut album covers the same rustic, slightly ramshackle back forty that Tim Rutili has been ploughing through since his previous band Red Red Meat. Only this time the tilled bedrock unveils the most vividly colored, luring crop of songs Rutili has ever harvested. The sleepy, country-blues picking and autumnal backwoods melodies are accented with striking splashes of electronic tone color, obsolete keyboards and off-kilter percussion. Lyrically, Roomsound penetrates the breath of pirates, poison apples at a tango contest and the waiting room between death and canonization where missionaries have quit and 19th-century prostitutes have been rescued for all the wrong reasons.
Fela Kuti – Shakara [Reissue/1970] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – London Scene [Reissue/1972] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – Afrodisiac [Reissue/1973] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – Gentleman [Reissue/1973] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – Upside Down [Reissue/1976] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – Zombie [Reissue/1976] LP (Knitting Factory)
Fela Kuti – I.T.T. (International Thief Thief) [Reissue/1980] LP (Knitting Factory)
180gm vinyl reissues now available. 1,260gms of classic Afrobeat total.
Reel Big Fish – Happy Skalidays LP (Rock Ridge Music)
The first ever holiday/Christmas release from the SoCal ska band. Includes three holiday classics and three holiday originals. Gold vinyl pressing.
Sleaford Mods – T.C.R. 12” (Rough Trade)
Equal parts classic-era punk, casio minimalism, slam poetry, growling protest chant, and poison ivy rash, Sleaford Mods are singular, and always powerful. And with their T.C.R. 12”, particularly its title track, named for the 1970s auto toy “Total Control Racing,” the Mods are surprisingly tuneful.
Various Artists – The Return Of The Living Dead [OST/Reissue/1985] LP (Real Gone Music)
Color vinyl reissue of the soundtrack featuring songs by The Cramps, 45 Grave, The Flesh Eaters, The Damned, Roky Erickson, The Jet Black Berries, T.S.O.L. and SSQ.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
LEONARD COHEN – You Want It Darker CD
JIMMY EAT WORLD – Integrity Blues CD/LP (bonus 7″ with preorder!)
DEAN WEEN GROUP – Deaner Album CD
NICO MUHLY + TEITUR LASSEN – Confessions CD
RADIO DEPT – Running Out Of Love CD/LP
SAINT MOTEL – Saintmotelevision CD
NXWORRIES – Yes Lawd CD/LP
LADY GAGA – Joanne CD
AMERICAN FOOTBALL – S/T 2 LP reissue
HOLY SONS – In The Garden CD?LP
NEKROMANTIX – Symphony Of Wolf Tones + Ghost Notes CD?LP
PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS – Prey CD/LP
PRETENDERS – Alone CD/LP
JOHN K SAMSON (Weakerthans) – Winter Wheat CD/LP
WHITE LIES – Friends CD/LP
CROCODILES – Dreamless CD/LP
COWBOY JUNKIES – Trinity Sessions LP
DEPECHE MODE – 101 LP