Kimber – Courtney Marie Andrews
Lindsay – Erika Wennerstrom
Dario – Courtney Marie Andrews, Dom Flemons
Paula – Sunflower Bean, Dom Flemons
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Although May Your Kindness Remain was predominately written on the road it’s not a road record like its predecessor. That is, it’s not so much inspired by Courtney Marie Andrews’ life on the road so much as it is by the people she’s met along the way. It’s an inward reflection on the connectivity of their stories and her own. The album is full of vivid depictions of complex people and places with all too common struggles. Every instrument and sound have their proper place, across diverse styles: proud piano ballads (“Rough Around The Edges”); easygoing, country-tinted rock (“Kindness Of Strangers”); and biting, sarcastic folk gems (“I’ve Hurt Worse”). Andrews’ own vocals are notably more powerful and soulful – especially on the organ-heavy blues number “Border,” with a ragged weariness that honors the immigrant’s resilience in the face of blatant thoughtlessness and racism; and “Took You Up,” a take on accepting love as a simple offering before any illusion of wealth or success. Her vocal performances reflect her recent listening habits, which include Motown and soul, as well as albums by the eclectic rock band Little Feat. They also point to her confidence and growing range as a live vocalist.
Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade CD/LP+MP3 (Duophonic)
Hormone Lemonade sees Cavern Of Anti-Matter heavily utilizing the sounds of modular synths and home built drum machines, yet still keeping the loose, improvised sound familiar to fans of their first two albums, with minimal guitar melodies and live drum kit helping to build hypnotic layers of texture. The album’s genesis was in the self-constructed rhythm machines of band member Holger Zapf, the Taktron Z3 and Taktron Z2, being recorded to tape during three one-hour sessions. These sessions also included the use of 70s Hohner and Eko drum machines. Tim Gane (Stereolab) edited these initial jams into useable chunks and proceeded to overdub each new rhythmic “chunk” with some basic musical ideas, keeping in tune to the hum of the machines and retaining the “feel” of the inherent pulse. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Dabrye – Three/Three CD/2xLP+MP3 (Ghostly International)
Dabrye makes his long-awaited return with a razor-sharp rap album that brings to completion a prophetic trilogy. Mullinix’s incisive productions provide the backdrop for equally acute rhymes that run the gamut from intergenerational observations and being your best self to back alley deals and having fun in the ride. Guests include indie rap legend DOOM, whose previous collaboration with Dabrye remains a point of reference for many, Wu Tang storyteller Ghostface Killah, L.A word fanatic Jonwayne, and Long Island’s rugged surrealist Roc Marciano. Additional guests include Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Kadence, Quelle Chris, Danny Brown, Shigeto, Clear Soul Forces and more.
Dom Flemons – Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys CD (Smithsonian Folkways)
Known as “The American Songster,” Dom Flemons’ musical repertoire covers nearly 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. A music scholar, historian, record collector, and a multi-instrumentalist, Flemons is an expert player on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, percussion, quills, and rhythm bones. He has performed with Mike Seeger, Joe Thompson, Martin Simpson, Boo Hanks, Taj Mahal, Old Crow Medicine Show, Guy Davis, and others. Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys pays tribute to the music, culture, and the complex history of the golden era of the Wild West.
Guided By Voices – Space Gun CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
In 2018, Guided By Voices will release precisely one new album, Space Gun. Once you hear it, you will know why. With a renowned work ethic and a daily pot of coffee, Robert Pollard continues to outclass younger generations of come-and-go rock bands. After 20+ years, 100+ albums, 2000+ songs, Pollard still can’t really explain (or doesn’t want to explain) his secret: “The songs just come to me.”
Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won [Reissue/2003] 3xCD/4xLP/3xCD+4xLP+DVD (Rhino)
Led Zeppelin continue their reissue campaign with a new edition of their celebrated live album How The West Was Won, originally released in 2003, featuring newly remastered audio, which was done under the supervision of Jimmy Page. How The West Was Won highlights the best performances from Led Zeppelin’s legendary concerts at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena on June 25 and 27, 1972. Melded together and sequenced to replicate a single concert from beginning to end, the collection captures the band at the height of its formidable powers. [Also available: Super deluxe box set featuring three CDs, four 180gm vinyl LPs and a DVD in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo, plus photo gallery. Stand-alone Blu-ray edition also available.]
Lissie – Castles CD/LP (Lionboy)
A powerful combination of heartfelt introspection and contemporary dream-pop, Lissie’s fourth studio album marks the return of a singular voice in the modern American scene. Written predominantly from Lissie’s new home in northeast Iowa, Castles represents a spiritual, as well as musical development: it’s a portrait of an artist who has always been on the move and is finally creating a sense of permanency; a chance to catch her breath and reflect.
The Messthetics – The Messthetics CD/LP (Dischord)
The Messthetics is an instrumental trio featuring Brendan Canty (drums), Joe Lally (bass), and Anthony Pirog (guitar). Brendan Canty and Joe Lally were the rhythm section of the band Fugazi from its inception in 1987 to its period of hiatus in 2002. This is the first band they’ve had together since then. Anthony Pirog is a jazz and experimental guitarist based in Washington, D.C. One half of the duo Janel & Anthony, he has emerged as a primary figure in the city’s out-music community. The trio’s debut includes nine songs recorded at Canty’s practice space throughout 2017, live and mostly without overdubs. It’s a snapshot of a band dedicated to the live ideal, where structure begets improvisation.
Preoccupations – New Material CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Jagjaguwar)
Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is New Material, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. In it lies the difference between witnessing a car crash and crashing your own, between jumping into an ocean and starting to swallow the water.
Mark Pritchard – The Four Worlds CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
Mark Pritchard returns with an eight-track collection further exploring the sonic worlds first encountered on his critically acclaimed 2016 opus Under The Sun. The ambient feel and engrossing cinematic soundscapes are mirrored by the artwork and visuals of beloved visual artist Jonathan Zawada. Having already collaborated on his last record with Thom Yorke, Bibio and Linda Perhacs, as well as touring with James Blake, The Four Worlds features Pritchard working with a collection of underground poets and musicians including Colorado’s psychedelic heroine Space Lady on “S.O.S”, and eighties cult radio artist Gregory Whitehead on “Come Let Us.”
Jeff Rosenstock – POST– CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Polyvinyl)
Jeff Rosenstock was an anxious kid who grew into an anxious adult and has also made a bunch of music along the way, with a bunch of bands, most notably Bomb The Music Industry! who apparently pioneered giving shit away for free on the internet—or at least got some of the credit for it. Now he plays with his bi-coastal band of rad musicians, mixing punk energy with diverse instrumentation and occasional accuracy. [Limited 180gm light blue vinyl pressing also available.]
Sunflower Bean – Twentytwo In Blue CD/LP/Cassette (Mom + Pop)
Sophomore album from the NY-based alt-rock band. While the trio remains a guitar band at its core, new and different textures shine on Twentytwo In Blue. Sunflower Bean’s diverse sound has allowed them to tour alongside DIIV, Best Coast, Pixes and Wolf Alice. “New York is still home to bands as varied as Sunflower Bean, whose music suggests what might have happened if psychedelia had emerged after punk and the Police rather than before.” – The New York Times
The Sword – Used Future CD/LP+MP3 (Razor & Tie)
The Sword’s sixth studio album, Used Future, was recorded in Portland, Oregon with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Modest Mouse) and features twelve new Sword compositions. A giant leap forward for the band dominated by heavy grooves, soaring hooks, and epic instrumental interludes, it’s The Swords’ modern version of a classic ‘70s rock album in the tradition of masterpieces by The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. It also sees the band utilizing synths more than ever before adding a whole new layer of cinematic color to its dynamic sound. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – Eccentric Soul: The Saru Label CD/2xLP (Numero)
The 20th volume of Numero’s flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the “World’s Greatest Bail Bondsman,” swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O’Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County’s greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America’s soul music’s capital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins + 1, Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O’Jays.
Tom Waits – Closing Time [Reissue/1973] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night [Reissue/1974] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Nighthawks At The Diner [Reissue/1975] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Small Change [Reissue/1976] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Foreign Affairs [Reissue/1977] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Blue Valentine [Reissue/1978] CD (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Heartattack And Vine [Reissue/1980] CD (ANTI-)
Digitally remastered editions of singer-songwriter, musician, composer and actor’s classic, quintessential first seven albums.
Erika Wennerstrom – Sweet Unknown CD/2xLP (Partisan)
There’s something somewhat frightening, yet utterly freeing when leaving the confines of a successful band to venture solo – especially a band whose latest record was called “effortlessly brilliant” by critics. But, such is the case with Erika Wennerstrom who is taking a brief vacation from her Cincinnati-based rock band, Heartless Bastards, to deliver her solo debut Sweet Unknown. But fans of Heartless Bastards need not worry. The band has not broken up. “We’d been going for so long and everyone in the band was just ready for a little break. But I had songs in me that needed to come out. I didn’t think it was fair to push them to keep going and I didn’t want to do it without them under the Heartless Bastards name,” explains Wennerstrom, who enlisted the help of HB’s Jesse Ebaugh to play bass on 8 of the 9 tracks on Sweet Unknown. While Wennerstrom has always been honest on all of the Heartless Bastards songs she’s written, the Sweet Unknown material is even more personal and reflective, and for her, quite transformative as well. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Jack White – Boarding House Reach CD/LP (Columbia/Third Man)
Boarding House Reach is the eagerly anticipated new album from Jack White, his third solo LP and first all-new album in nearly four years. Written and conceived while holed up in a spartan apartment with no outside distractions, Jack replicated the identical environment and used the same gear as when he was a 15-year-old (a quarter-inch four-track tape recorder, a simple mixer, and the most basic of instrumentation) to pen sketches of the songs. The album explores a remarkable range of sonic terrain – crunching rock ‘n’ roll, electro and hard funk, proto punk, hip-hop, gospel blues, and even country – all remapped and born anew to fit White’s matchless vision and sense of restless experimentation.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES