Staff Picks
Kimber – Pylon
Lindsay – Pure X, Heather Trost
Dario – Heather Trost, Mort Garson
Eric – Mort Garson, Public Enemy

David Bowie – Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World CD/LP (Rhino/Parlophone)
Originally titled Metrobolist, the album’s name was changed at the last minute to The Man Who Sold The World — the original stereo master tapes were in fact labeled Metrobolist, with the title ultimately crossed out. The 2020 re-release of the album under its Metrobolist moniker has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with the exception of the track “After All” which Tony considered perfect as is and is featured in its 2015 remaster incarnation.

Mort Garson – Music From Patch Cord Productions CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
A collection of rare and unreleased recordings from the archives of electronic music pioneer Mort Garson, composer of Mother Earth’s Plantasia. The compilation plays like an ultimate Mort Garson playlist, and includes alternate takes of Plantasia tracks, music for never-aired radio advertisements, themes for science fiction films, erotic oddities, and much more from the prolific composer’s ’60s and ’70s synthesizer oeuvre. This deluxe edition includes art by Robert Beatty and new liner notes by Andy Beta (Pitchfork). [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available. Vinyl reissues of Didn’t You Hear?, Black Mass (under the alias Lucifer) and The Unexplained (his only release under the name Ataraxia) are also available this week.]

Mort Garson – Didn’t You Hear? [Reissue/1979] LP (Sacred Bones)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1970 album from the Canadian-born electronic music pioneer. Garson is best known for his albums in the 1960s and 1970s that were among the first to feature Moog synthesizers.

Lucifer – Black Mass LP (Sacred Bones)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1971 album from the Canadian-born electronic music pioneer. Garson is best known for his albums in the 1960s and 1970s that were among the first to feature Moog synthesizers.

Ataraxia – The Unexplained (Sacred Bones)
The pioneering electronic composer Mort Garson (Mother Earth’s Plantasia) takes on supernatural phenomena with lush synth grooves on The Unexplained, his only release under the name Ataraxia. Subtitled Electronic Musical Impressions of the Occult, the album explores tarot, astral projection, seances, and more with Garson’s signature Moog synthesizer serving as the listener’s tour guide to the paranormal. The exploratory, whimsical spirit of its creator is evident throughout the release, but it also takes its subject matter seriously, making it essential for anyone interested in musical conjurations of the occult. This remastered edition marks the first official reissue of the album since its initial 1975 release, and it includes all the original liner notes.

Pure X – Rare Ecstasy 2009-2019 (Fire Talk Records)
Pure X is the last band, has always been the last band. Not that there won’t be future acts, more that Pure X understands that all this pageantry, this civilization is wrapping up. It burned hot and bright like thermite used to bust a safe open, but now is the age of radiating waves, each one buckles the foundation more than the last. Rare Ecstasy 2009-2019 is a collection of recordings and rarities that span the more than a decade career of the Austin underground legends. Referred to by Pitchfork as the “druggy, wall-of-sound escapism that put them on the map”. These 12 tracks embody the Pure X sound, breaking it down and offering up a raw emotive portrait that cycle the Band’s expansive output. A must have addition to the collection of any Pure X fan.

Holy Motors – Horse CD/LP (Wharf Cat)
At 22 years old, Eliann Tulve resembles Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, reincarnated as an Estonian cowgirl. She is enigmatic as ever but stands more firmly alongside co-songwriter Lauri Raus, the solidification of their roles perhaps accounting for the more hopeful turn their song writing has taken of late. Holy Motors’ new album Horse finds the band acknowledging the Americana and rockabilly strands of their musical DNA without sacrificing any of the otherworldly mystique that keeps them from neatly conforming to the shoegaze and dreampop labels often applied to their music.

Heather Trost –Petrichor CD/LP (Third Man)
New Mexico-based artist Heather Trost’s new solo full-length, Petrichor, is fresh, unique, and really good. Sonically, this modern psychedelic pop music is as experimental as it is accessible. Petrichor was recorded between 2018 and 2019 by Trost and her husband Jeremy Barnes at their home studio. These seven lush, beautiful songs defy easy categorization, gleefully mixing elements from multiple genres – but it’s never to impress you or show off. You might not even notice how smart the record is until a fifth listen, a testament to how much work was put into the futuristic and shimmering sound. With Trost’s Petrichor, we have a record that sounds like the soundtrack to what might come next, on the off chance that what comes next really doesn’t suck. “Even though shit had yet to hit the fan when I wrote these songs,” Trost says, “2019 also felt like such a crazy year in terms of what was happening in the world, I felt like I needed to remind myself to have joy and love in my heart. It’s something I meditate on a lot, especially when it seems like the world is ending.”

PUP – This Place Sucks Ass CDEP/12” (Rise)
After recording their acclaimed 2019 album, Morbid Stuff, PUP was left with a handful of songs that didn’t make the final tracklist, largely because they were too frenetic or too unhinged. And for an album that fantasized about the world exploding, that’s saying a lot. Like all of their material, This Place Sucks Ass is a document of the band PUP is – at times thoughtful and introspective and at other times wildly cathartic.

Pylon – Gyrate [Reissue/1980] CD/LP (New West)
Pylon – Chomp [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (New West)
Pylon – Pylon Box 4xLP (New West)
In the late 1970’s Athens, Georgia was buzzing with a raw but sophisticated music scene. Traditional southern rock had been the Georgia musical export for years before but the turn of the decade began producing new sounds from bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M. and alt rock luminaries, Pylon. Before they were a band, Pylon were art-school students at the University of Georgia: four kids invigorated by big ideas about art and creativity and society. Pylon was less a band, however, and more of an art project, which meant they had very specific goals in mind as well as an expiration date. While their time together as a band was short lived (1979-1983), Pylon had a lasting influence on the history of rock and roll. Throughout their brief history, they were able to create influential work that would help foster the post-punk and art-rock scene of the early ‘80s. Artists like R.E.M., Gang of Four, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Interpol, Deerhunter and many more claim inspiration from the band. [Pylon Box (CD edition due next year) is a comprehensive look at the band and features their studio LPs Gyrate and Chomp, both of which have been remastered from their original tapes, the 11-song collection Extra which includes rarities and 5 previously unreleased studio and live recordings, as well as Razz Tape, Pylon’s first-ever recording: a 13-song unreleased session that pre-dates the band’s seminal “Cool” b/w “Dub” debut.]

Sun Ra – A Fireside Chat With Lucifer [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (Modern Harmonic)
Fireside Chat offers a wide stylistic array, as was the artist’s intent, reflecting his eclectic, seemingly irreconcilable approach to compositional extremes.

Sun Ra Arkestra – Swirling CD (Strut)
The planets align once again as the mighty Sun Ra Arkestra, under the direction of the maestro Marshall Allen, release their first studio album in over 20 years. Recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia, the new recording represents the continuation of a heartfelt rebirth of the Arkestra under Allen’s guidance since Sun Ra left the planet in 1993. [Vinyl edition due December 4.]

Wilco – Summerteeth [Reissue/1999] 4xCD/5xLP (Rhino)
Wilco’s third album, Summerteeth, arrived in March 1999 to glowing reviews for its daring arrangements, lush harmonies and revealing lyrics. This Deluxe Edition reissue includes a Bob Ludwig 2020 remastered version of the original album along with an entire disc of unreleased studio outtakes, alternate versions and demos that chart the making of the album from songwriting demos to alternate studio arrangements to finished masters. The two remaining discs feature a previously unissued live show. The concert took place late in the Summerteeth tour, on November 1, 1999 in Colorado at The Boulder Theatre, when the new songs had been road-tested and the band was in top form. Sourced from an uncirculated soundboard recording, it features band members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Ken Coomer and Jay Bennett. Most of the songs on Summerteeth were performed during the show, along with several tracks from the band’s two previous records, Being There (1996) and A.M. (1995), as well as Mermaid Avenue (1999).

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Return To Greendale 2xCD/2xLP/2xCD+2xLP+Blu-ray+DVD (WB)
Return To Greendale is the next installment in Neil Young’s Performance Series (#16) and features a concert (audio & on film) from the historic and unique 2003 tour supporting the release of the Neil Young with Crazy Horse album Greendale. On the 2003 tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse were joined on stage by a large cast of singers and actors to perform the story Neil Young wrote about the small town of Greendale and how a dramatic event affects the people living there. The ten songs from the powerful original album are performed in sequence, with the cast speaking the sung words – adding to the intensity of the performance. The live album Return To Greendale is available in several formats: a double-CD set, double-vinyl LP, and a limited-edition deluxe box set that includes both CD and vinyl formats, a Blu-ray of the full concert, and a DVD of Inside Greendale (the making of the album documentary).

Jónsi ‎– Go [Reissue/2010] LP (Krúnk)
Sigur Rós front man Jón Jónsi Birgisson released his debut album Go in 2010. Jónsi initially though he would be making a low key, acoustic album until, as he says, somewhere along the line, it just sort of exploded. That explosion resulted in sheer aural fireworks. Not a straight ahead pop record, nor rock, folk, ambient or electronic, it encompasses all of these to create an expansive musical palette that’s been brought to life by Jónsi alongside a number of free-spirited collaborators including the Philip Glass protégé Nico Muhly and the percussive genius of Samuli Kosminen.

Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? LP (Def Jam)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy returns to Def Jam – a cultural institution that they helped build – for their first release for the label in over two decades with What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? The loaded 17-track affair boasts a powerful lineup of guests including Nas, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run-DMC, Ice-T, PMD, George Clinton, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, S1Ws Pop Diesel, James Bomb and Mike D and Ad-Rock of Beastie Boys. The album is led by the single “Fight The Power: Remix 2020”, re-conceptualized by Public Enemy with Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, YG, Jahi and Questlove for the 2020 BET Awards in June 2020, and officially released as a single along with the album announcement. It also includes Public Enemy’s recent single, “State Of The Union (STFU)”, produced by DJ Premier. The track holds nothing back as it calls out Donald Trump and his destructive reign.

MisterWives – Superbloom CD (Fueled By Ramen)
An intensely personal reflection on growth in unexpected places, New York City-based group MisterWives’ Superbloom is a 19-track epic (including five tracks also featured on the group’s 2019 EP Mini Bloom), that marks a moment of major transformation for frontwoman Mandy Lee and her bandmates. “This album unfolds my journey of finding a superbloom within the barren desert and the needed juxtaposition of the two in order to grow,” says Lee. Inspired by a trip to California’s Antelope Valley, Lee comments on the title track single, “Standing amongst the vast and vibrant flowers that weren’t supposed to grow in the desert terrain, I was moved by its beauty and accurate representation of where I was at in life. Just like the flowers, I had grown in unexpected places. After experiencing a not-so-graceful and incredibly turbulent fall to rock bottom, I picked myself up and slowly grew through the pain. I felt an awful lot like these resilient little poppies that came out the other side against all odds – and I think that deserves congratulations.” [Vinyl edition due December 4.]

Ólafur Arnalds – Some Kind Of Peace CD/LP (Mercury KX)
Some Kind Of Peace was born out of the mantra: “We can’t control anything that happens to us. All we can do is control how we react to what life gives us.” Touches on what it means to be alive, daring to be vulnerable and the importance of rituals. A personal journey told through Olafur’s introspective music, against the backdrop of a chaotic world. The collaborators are key, like British musician Bonobo on the luminous, pulsing opener, Icelandic artist JFDR and German singer-songwriter Josin.

BORIS – Absolutego LP
BORIS – Amplifier Worship LP
AARON FRAZER – My God Has A Telephone 7″
FELT – Felt 4 U LP
JESU – Terminus CD/LP
AESOP ROCK – Spirit World Field Guide CD/LP
QUAKERS – II The Next Wave LP