check out our favorite releases from 2016!

kimber – jim james
lindsay – top fives
dario – jim james
jeff – jim james
dominic – the kinks

John CaleFragments Of A Rainy Season [Reissue/1992] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Fragments Of A Rainy Season is the first live John Cale album to feature him performing solo and “unplugged” – before that term became a mid-’90s buzzword. In contrast to the jaundiced punk truculence of Sabotage/Live (1979) or Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (1986), Fragments gives us Cale at his most melodic and moving, a mellowed and certainly a soberer man in a Yamamoto jacket and a lopsided haircut running through a selection of his prettiest songs.

Face To FaceDon’t Turn Away [Reissue/1992] CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
Face To FaceBig Choice [Reissue/1995] CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
Face To FaceFace To Face [Reissue/1996] CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
The California punk rockers recently reunited for this year’s Unity. In celebration of their 25 years as a band, they have just reissued their first three albums on CD and vinyl.

Guster Lost And Gone Forever [1999] LP (Nettwerk)
Guster’s third studio album is now available on vinyl for the first time. Included in Paste magazine’s 90 Best Albums of the 1990s, Lost And Gone Foreveris Guster’s bestselling album to date and was recently performed live in its entirety to sold out crowds in Los Angeles and San Francisco last year.

The Hold SteadyBoys And Girls In America [Reissue/2006] 2xLP+MP3 (Vagrant)
Boys And Girls In America is the third full length offering from the NYC via Minneapolis acclaimed bar band and celebrated storytellers, The Hold Steady. Recorded in the summer of 2006 with John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Alice Cooper, Dinosaur Jr., Bob Dylan), the album is ripe with anthemic choruses, genre-defining and mind-blowing guitar solos, lyrical wit, and a masterful mix of keyboards, drums, and bass. From evocative and heartfelt ballads to bombastic barroom rock anthems, Boys And Girls In America successfully captured the essence and dynamic off-the-cuff musical mastery that has become The Hold Steady signature.

Jim JamesEternally Even LP (Capitol/ATO)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “As frontman of My Morning Jacket and collaborator in various Americana side projects, Jim James has made music synonymous with escape: rollicking and dreamy soundscapes, loose themes of nature and spirituality, a voice that nearly curdles with sheer abandon. Eternally Even, his second solo outing, plants him dead-center in the rubble of modern sociopolitical rot—the result is an album steeped in textures of drone and tones of dismay, with a sort of ramshackle grit tuned to frequencies of urgency and naïveté. Eternally Even is musically meticulous — sometimes corroded and minimal, sometimes fascinatingly warped, the music is a vivid interpretation of a broken system, or of a system breaking. The album opens and closes with songs—‘Hide in Plain Sight’ and ‘Eternally Even,’ respectively—that combine skittering percussion and grinding organ loops, while the two parts of ‘We Ain’t Getting Any Younger’ revive the flow of ‘Hide In Plain Sight’ at double time, adding additional paranoia. ‘Same Old Lie’ rides a similarly dark carnival-esque groove until the outro, when a distorted organ and banging conga drums conjure up an unsettling, eerily militant atmosphere. The grainy automation of these tracks grows identifiable by the end of the album, which is eerie given how eccentric it initially feels. Other songs on Eternally Even slide nicely into James’s comfort zone of psychedelic armchair R&B, yet he works deliberately as a producer to disturb their familiarity.” – Slant

The Kinks The Mono Collection 10xLP (Sanctuary)
Ten discs from 1964–1969 all on 180 gm heavyweight vinyl. The Mono Collection packages The Kinks’ first eight albums in glorious mono, including Live At Kelvin Hall. The set also includes the bonus double-LP compilation, The Kinks (aka The Black Album) plus a hardcover 48-page book including rare photos and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.

Lady GagaJoanne 2xLP (Interscope)
The fifth studio album from the best-selling singer/songwriter is now available on vinyl. Gaga collaborated with several producers on the record, including Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, BloodPop and RedOne, and co-produced the majority of the material. The music of Joanne features “stripped-down” soft rock and dance-pop styles in order to emphasis the singer’s vocal abilities, unlike on Artpop. Lyrically, the album delves on the theme of family and life’s emotions, with the death of her father’s sister, Joanne Stefani Germanotta, having a deep influence on the record.

M83 Go! 12” (Mute)
Limited edition blue color vinyl pressing. “Go” seems at first like a characteristically “epic” M83 song. Taken from 2016’s Junk, it opens with breathy vocals from French singer Mai Lan and lyrics that suggests romantic situations that teenagers always seem to find themselves in.

TRIBE CALLED QUEST – We Got It From Here: Thank You 4 Your Service LP
MASSIVE ATTACK! – Blue Lines LP reissue
MASSIVE ATTACK – No Protection LP reissue
MASSIVE ATTACK – Protection LP reissue