Staff Picks
Lindsay – Son Volt and Hand Habits
Caleb – Son Volt and Madlib
Dario – Snapped Ankles
Zach – Bright Eyes
Kimber – Robert Glasper reissue

Queens Of The Stone AgeIn Times New Roman… CD/2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
In Times New Roman…, the eighth studio album from Queens Of The Stone Age is raw, brutal and rough around the edges but with a refinement that reveals itself further with each successive listen – and QOTSA founder Joshua Homme’s lyrics are as witty and withering as ever. The results are instantly identifiable; QOTSA’s sonic signature, expanded and embellished with new and unprecedented twists in virtually every song, a live in-a-room recording that showcases a band at the height of their creative powers. In Times New Roman… is a party for the obscene and the clean, the outcasts and the weirdos, and anyone and everyone in between. One of the most important bands in recent rock history is back but it’s no exaggeration to call this album a devastating rebirth. [Four different vinyl colors are available: red, green, blue, and silver.]

Son VoltDay Of The Doug CD/LP (Transmit Sound)
In 2020, Son Volt planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their seminal album, Trace, with a tour that played the album from top to bottom. The pandemic had other plans. Flash forward to 2023 and they are on the road with a setlist that features Trace from beginning to end, an homage to Doug Sahm (Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados) and a celebration of 28 years of Son Volt. Son Volt’s latest record, Day Of The Doug, revisits the music of legendary Texas troubadour Doug Sahm. But it’s much more than fond remembrance and colorful tribute. It is a summoning and a celebration of a songwriter and performer whose work forged country, Tex-Mex, rock, rhythm and blues, folk, and psychedelia into an utterly unique American sound.

Mac DeMarcoFive Easy Hot Dogs LP (Mac’s Record Label)
Released early this year on CD – now available on vinyl. Mac DeMarco’s new instrumental collection Five Easy Hot Dogs was created while traveling across North America, with each song named after the city in which it was recorded.  DeMarco set out on his journey to make Five Easy Hot Dogs in January 2022 with the plan to stay and record in motels, hotels, or people’s houses. “The nature of ripping around and recording and traveling in this manner doesn’t lend well to sitting around and planning or thinking about what it was that I was setting out to do,” DeMarco said. “I didn’t ever have a sound in mind, or a theme or anything, I would just start recording. Luckily the collection of recordings from this period all shake hands, they have a present musical identity as a whole. I was in it while I was in it, and this is what came out of it, just the way it was.” Five Easy Hot Dogs follows-up 2019’s Here Comes The Cowboy.

Bonny Doon Let There Be Music CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
In a world of urgency, there’s little regard for the spiritual, emotional, or physical well-being of musicians. The creative process, often hidden from the listeners, remains a mystery, though we may pick up clues in the songs themselves. Throughout the ten tracks in their new album Let There Be Music, you can hear the spaciousness Bonny Doon allowed themselves since their 2018 sleeper cult-classic Longwave. Their latest musical journey is one that has big payoffs for devoted followers and undeniable rewards for anyone just stumbling across the band for the first time. The album serves as less of one conceptual story, and each song as their own individual offerings of putting words to the ordinary experience of being alive. The band is at their most dynamic and the songwriting deftly explores new terrain. Let There Be Music is brimming with small truths – both profound and mundane, comforting, and difficult – and we are invited to revel in them all.

Deer Tick Emotional Contracts CD/LP (ATO)
Emotional Contracts, Deer Tick’s latest full-length album, explores the existential challenges that arise with the passage of time, infusing each song with the band’s trademark untamed spirit, honed over nearly two decades. Prior to collaborating with producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Sleater-Kinney), the Providence-based quartet spent months crafting demos in a persistently flooded warehouse in their hometown, braving a broken heating system and gaping roof holes to shape the album’s 10 passionately eloquent tracks. Emotional Contracts embodies the spirited energy of its creation, offering a poignant yet invigorating portrayal of aging gracefully without losing one’s essence. With guest appearances by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Courtney Marie Andrews, Vanessa Carlton, Kam Franklin, Angela Miller and Sheree Smith, the album adds an even greater vitality to their feverish collection of timeless rock ‘n’ roll. [An indie store exclusive red w/ black color vinyl pressing is available.]

Drive-By TruckersThe Complete Dirty South CD/2xLP (New West)
In 2004 the Drive-By Truckers released what would become the best selling album in their illustrious catalog. The Dirty South is a concept album that examines the state of the South, and unveils the hypocrisy, irony, and tragedy that continues to exist. The album features live show staples like, “Tornadoes”, “Where The Devil Don’t Stay”, and “Puttin’ People On The Moon”, as well as rarities like “Goode’s Field Road” and “Daddy’s Cup”. The Complete Dirty South is a band-led rework of the original album. Principal member, Patterson Hood, took the reins and reimagined this record as it was originally intended. The complete version features resequenced audio, three additional tracks, and four remixes along with updated vocals. [A limited-edition reposado color vinyl pressing is available.]

Gov’t MulePeace…Like A River CD/CD+CDEP/2xLP (Fantasy)
Peace…Like A River is renowned Grammy-nominated band Gov’t Mule’s twelfth studio album and follow-up to their chart-topping, Grammy-nominated blues release, Heavy Load Blues. The 12-song rock collection also features guest appearances from Billy Bob Thornton, Celisse, and Billy F Gibbons. The tracks on Peace…Like A River explore the many sides of Gov’t Mule and bring together all the qualities that have earned the four-piece the beloved stature they enjoy today. Concise songcraft coexists seamlessly with the band’s trademark instrumental journeys. Songs longer than pop convention are somehow still compact: they’re explorative but never meandering; the tunes are at once both wide-ranging and tightly focused. [A limited-edition indie store exclusive orange w/ red pressing and a deluxe double-CD version adds the bonus Time Of The Signs EP.]

Bettye Lavette Lavette! CD (MRI Entertainment)
LaVette! hits all the marks. Together with Jay-Vee Records, Bettye has the freedom to explore new territory. Produced by Steve Jordan, LaVette! features 11 songs written by Georgia-born musician Randall Bramblett, who has been releasing solo albums since 1975. “Randall is the best writer that I have heard in the last 30 years,” says Bettye. “He writes songs that are little soliloquies, they’re like little stories about a moment, or a thing.” Bettye is backed by Jordan on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, Larry Campbell on guitar, Leon Pendarvis on keyboards, and Chris Bruce on guitar. Guest artists include John Mayer, Jon Batiste, Anthony Hamilton, Steve Winwood, Ray Parker Jr., Rev. Charles Hodges, James Carter and Pedrito Martinez, to name a few. Even if you didn’t know the sharp twists and turns of Bettye LaVette’s story, or for that matter, her wide-ranging influences—you can hear the traces of all of it in her voice.

Meshell NdegeocelloThe Omnichord Real Book CD/2xLP (Blue Note)
Acclaimed Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary, expansive, and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her career. Following her 2018 album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.

Bright EyesNoise Floor (Rarities: 1998-2005) [Reissue/2006] CD/2xLP (Dead Oceans)
Bright EyesNoise Floor: A Companion 12” (Dead Oceans)
Bright EyesCassadaga [Reissue/2007] CD/2xLP (Dead Oceans)
Bright EyesCassadaga: A Companion 12” (Dead Oceans)
Bright EyesThe People’s Key [Reissue/2011] CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Bright EyesThe People’s Key: A Companion 12” (Dead Oceans)
One of the things that struck Oberst as he and the band went through 20-plus years of music is that he may in fact have been writing the same song this whole time. Not sonically, of course, but conceptually. This last wave contains, in Noise Floor, early Bright Eyes songs so raw Oberst never even released them back in the day, as well as, in Cassadaga and The People’s Key, the band’s most polished and sophisticated albums. When Bright Eyes toured Cassadaga they performed an epic seven sold-out nights at NYC’s Town Hall. What’s more grown-up rock star than that? And yet…”Thematically those early songs are not that different from the songs I make now,” Oberst says, shaking his head. “There’s something affirming and disheartening about it. It’s like, have I really changed or grown? But maybe it’s just that I knew what I wanted to write about from the beginning.” [Noise Floor (Rarities: 1998-2005) is pressed on champagne color vinyl. Cassadaga is pressed on yellow colored vinyl. The People’s Key is pressed on orange color vinyl. The Companion 12” EPs for each release add bonus “Companion Version” tracks and are each pressed on gold color vinyl.]

J ColeBorn Sinner [Reissue/2013] CD/2xLP (J. Cole/Dreamville)
CD and vinyl reissue of the second studio album by rapper and producer J. Cole, originally released in 2013. Born Sinner features standout tracks including “Power Trip” with Miguel, “Crooked Smile”, “Forbidden Fruit”, and “She Knows”.

Fred Again/Brian EnoSecret Life CD/LP (Text)
Surprise release from Fred Again and Eno. Produced by Brian Eno and Fred Gibson 4th April 2020 – 23rd December 2022, mastered by Kieran Hebden, lacquer cut by Bernie Grundman.

Hand HabitsSugar The Bruise CD/LP (Fat Possum)
In Sugar The Bruise, grief folds in on itself and becomes laughter; language fades away into sonic expanses of the inexpressible; melodies melt into cacophonies; love songs surrender to loss; historic violence is supplanted by the disks of sunlight.

Little SimzNo Thank You CD/2xLP (Forever Living Originals)
No Thank You is the fifth studio album by British rapper Little Simz. It was originally released at the end of 2022. No Thank You is a hip-hop album containing elements of gospel, soul, funk, and electronic music. The songs on No Thank You contain subtle rhythms with orchestral instrumentation, featuring Simz rapping about her music industry experiences, intrapersonal communication, and spiritual revelations. Simz worked with longtime collaborators Inflo (for production) and Cleo Sol (for background vocals) to create this project. [An indie store exclusive clear w/ red & yellow color vinyl pressing and a limited-edition clear vinyl pressing are available.]

Boris & UniformBright New Disease LP+MP3 (Sacred Bones)
Red color vinyl pressing. Boris and Uniform might have seemed like a strange pairing when they teamed up for a US tour back in 2019. Sure, both bands harness the power of big, blown-out riffs, but Boris’s rock heroics, lysergic sprawl, and monolithic sludge summon a different energy than Uniform’s mechanized bombardments and frenzied assaults. However, when Boris invited Uniform to team up on a reimagined version of their classic “Akuma No Uta” as a part of their encore, there was an obvious chemistry between the artists. The idea of a collaborative album came up, and the bands spent the next year swapping song ideas and recordings from their homebase studios until Boris and Uniform had an album that captured the fearless exploration and unbridled power of their live performances.

Robert GlasperIn My Element [Reissue/2007] LP (Blue Note)
Robert Glasper’s 2005 Blue Note debut, Canvas, signaled the arrival of a singular new voice in jazz. His 2007 follow-up, In My Element, solidified his status as a rising star who was taking the music to some place new. Featuring Vicente Archer (bass) and Damion Reid (drums), it expanded the possibilities of where modern jazz might go by delving further into his hip-hop and gospel roots.

Wanda JacksonThe Dynamic Wanda Jackson: Rockabilly Queen 1964-1962 LP (Acrobat)
Wanda Jackson started her career in country music before embracing rock ‘n’ roll. While remaining true to her roots, the transition proved so successful she was affectionately crowned The Queen of Rockabilly. Possessing a voice that demanded to be heard in a world dominated by male rockers, she blazed a trail for all that followed. Pressed on 140gm black vinyl, this 17-track LP comprises some of her best singles from 1954- ‘62.

LogicCollege Park 2xLP (BMG)
Released earlier this year on CD and cassette – now available on vinyl. New album from the Maryland-based rapper. Features guest appearances from RZA, Redman, Joey Bada$$, Norah Jones, Bun B, Lil Keke, Statik Selektah, Seth MacFarlane, and more.

MadlibShades Of Blue [Reissue/2003] LP (Blue Note)
The sound of Blue Note had been embedded in hip-hop through sampling and remixes since its early days, but Madlib raised the bar when the DJ/producer/rapper/musician invaded their vaults for his 2003 masterpiece, Shades Of Blue – a visionary album featuring remixes/reimaginations of classics by Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Ronnie Foster, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter and more.

The Residents – Not Available [Reissue/1978] 2xLP (Cryptic Corporation)
Formed in the early 1970s, The Residents have now been charting a unique path through the musical landscape for 50 years. In celebration of that remarkable and unlikely anniversary, we present a remastered and expanded vinyl reissue of the classic 1978 album Not Available.

Sturgill SimpsonHigh Top Mountain [Reissue/2013] LP (High Top Mountain)
10 Year Anniversary Edition of Sturgill Simpson’s debut album, High Top Mountain. The anniversary edition includes an “Old King Coal” blacked-out album cover with a glossy embossed jacket and is pressed on translucent black vinyl. Sturgill Simpson’s authenticity stands out like an island of hope in a sea of tacky. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of gloss and fakery. High Top Mountain‘s dozen instant classics evoke the sound of timeless country in its many guises and brings back the lyrical forthrightness and depth that permeated the music Simpson absorbed during his Kentucky childhood. Bonafide mountain hillbilly soul, as pure as you are going to find anywhere.

Sunset RubdownSnake’s Got A Leg [Reissue/2005] LP (Pronounced Kroog)
Originally released in 2005, Snake’s Got A Leg is the first full-length by Sunset Rubdown – a solo project of Spencer Krug at that time. The album was curated from a series of bedroom recordings that Krug had made sporadically throughout the early ‘00s, and the variety of mood and style found across this set of low-fi and near-genreless songs sets the stage for the project’s full-band releases to come.

Mike WattHyphenated-Man [Reissue/2011] LP (Org Music)
26 years after The Minutemen’s landmark Double Nickels On The Dime, Watt returns to the familiar punk and jazz influenced sound he and his band made famous. This time, it’s more refined and more mature without lacking any of the energy or urgency of yesteryear. Hyphenated-Man features thirty songs in 47 minutes with Watt on bass, his deep baritone singing melodies and reciting spoken word while the Missingmen (Raul Morales and Tom Watson) wail on drums and guitar. This variant is pressed on yellow and black marble vinyl.

Patti SmithA Wing and a Prayer LP (Mind Control)
Vinyl LP pressing. Live show recorded February 15th, 1976 at the Boarding House, San Francisco. 

Snapped AnklesBlurtations EP 12″ (Leaf)
Blurtations is the follow-up to Snapped Ankles’ 2018 Record Store Day release Violations, which included woodland reworkings of songs by Can, The Fugs, Joey Beltram and Comateens. On this, the woodwose have focussed their magpie eyes on the work of a single artist – Ted Milton’s post-punk Dada-jazz stalwarts Blurt. It offers another tantalising glimpse into the rarefied record collections of these elusive forest people. 

Lydia LovelessDaughter [reissue] LP (Bloodshot)
Pink vinyl reissue. Daughter captures Lydia and her band at their fiery best and her songwriting has never been stronger. The portrait of the artist as a WOMAN. Daughter was recorded over the course of a few weeks in Chicago with Tom Shick at The Loft and finds them in control of their signature heartland, barroom sound, while also stretching to new places. It’s another take no prisoners type record with a few scores settled along the way.

Chris Black Changed My Life CD/LP
EIAFUAWN Bird In The Ground CD/LP
RICHARD HELLBlank Generation CD deluxe reissue
M WARDSupernatural Thing CD/LP
WYE OAKEvery Day Like The Last CD/LP