New Releases - 4/7/17

Andrew Combs – Canyons Of My Mind CD (New West)
Dallas native Andrew Combs, for years regarded as one of the more promising young singers and songwriters in Music City, has inked a deal with New West Records. Combs’ maiden album for the label, Canyons Of My Mind, is an 11-song set that was produced by Skylar Wilson and Jordan Lehning and recorded at Battle Tapes Studio in East Nashville. “Canyons Of My Mind is a collection of songs, all put together, that embodies the idea of a young man growing older. The album consists of the customary songs about lost love and travel, but also hits on more mature issues, such as environmental awareness, spirituality, mental illness, and political exploitation. Taking on a more introspective and controlling role in the writing and recording process, I dug deep inside my own heart and mind to create what I think is a good illustration of a man becoming more comfortable in his own skin” -- Andrew Combs. [Vinyl edition due April 21.]

Cold War Kids – LA Divine CD/LP (Capitol)
On their sixth album LA Divine, Cold War Kids pay tribute to Los Angeles and all its strange glory. The follow-up to 2014's Hold My Home, Cold War Kids’ latest is slightly tongue-in-cheek in its title. “In many ways LA is the least divine city, the most hedonistic and irreverent and disconnected from history,” says Cold War Kids singer/guitarist/pianist Nathan Willett. Still, LA Divine embodies the Long Beach-bred band's endless fascination with their adopted hometown. “LA's so massive, I feel like I'm always finding something new in it,” says bassist Matt Maust. “It's an incredibly weird place, and I'm happy to have made a record that totally honors that weirdness.” With its sonic palette inspired by everything from Frank Ocean's Blonde to Florence & The Machine to Alabama Shakes, LA Divine merges artful, hook-minded production with Cold War Kids' classic post-punk grit. And in his lyrics, Willett offers both raw vulnerability and layered complexity, bringing his heart-on-sleeve sensibilities to songs exploring long-lasting love.

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy CD/2xLP (Sub Pop)
Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi. Pure Comedy, his third album, is a complex, often sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. “Joshua Michael Tillman, a.k.a. sentient-thinking emoji Father John Misty, recently performed two songs on Saturday Night Live that questioned two of the bedrocks of Western civilization: entertainment and religion. ‘Total Entertainment Forever’ and ‘Pure Comedy,’ both from Pure Comedy, are thought-provoking, tongue-in-cheek criticisms of societal opiates. Given the state of American political discourse right now, Tillman's booking on late night's premier stage — which typically hosts musicians much more popular than the Los Angeles-based songwriter — was a clear message from the SNL staff bookers.” – NPR

Future Islands – The Far Field CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (4AD)
With string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn, The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman’s late night TV show. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track “Shadows.” Across The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band’s central themes they’ve been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it. [Limited white color vinyl pressing available.]

Joey Bada$$ - All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ CD/LP+MP3 (Cinematic Music Group)
The sophomore album from the Brooklyn emcee features guest appearances by ScHoolboy Q, J. Cole, Styles P, Meechy Darko Flatbush Zombies and members the Pro Era crew. A mix of indie and street, rapper Joey Bada$$ rose to fame by releasing mixtapes and joining the hip-hop collective Pro Era with fellow MC Capital Steez. Born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Joey began performing under the name JayOhVee, but changed it to Joey Bada$$ before the Pro Era crew signed to the Cinematic Music label in 2012. “With his sophomore album, a new sound and a clearer outlook on the problems of the world around him, Joey Bada$$ is ready for the next level. All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ addresses social conflict with an astuteness that recalls J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, two rappers who also broke through half a decade ago. Songs like the ironically-titled lead single ‘Land Of The Free,’ defiantly hopeful “For My People’ and the call to arms of album-closer ‘AmeriKKKan Idol’ straddle the line between justified anger and practical resistance, laying out a world view that is more balanced than reactionary.” – Billboard

Mike + The Mechanics – Let Me Fly CD/LP (The End)
Mike + The Mechanics (Mike Rutherford, Andrew Roachford, Tim Howar, Gary Wallis, Luke Juby and Anthony Drennan) return with their eighth studio album. “In 1985, we were having the best time in Genesis,” Rutherford says in a press release announcing the album. “But after 28 years, myself [and fellow Genesis members] Phil [Collins] and Tony [Banks] wanted variety, so we ran our band and our solo careers side by side happily for many years. To be honest, it saved Genesis. The fact I’m still doing it with the Mechanics just makes me smile.” Let Me Fly is the second record to feature the current Mike and the Mechanics lineup, which coalesced around singers Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar in 2010. Keyboardist Luke Juby, drummer Gary Wallis and guitarist Anthony Drennan round out the band. Vocalist Paul Young (who sang the hit singles “All I Need Is A Miracle” and “Taken In”) died in 2000; Paul Carrack (“Silent Running,” “The Living Years”) left in 2004, around the time the band took a break. Let Me Fly is their first new studio album in six years, following 2011’s The Road.

The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions CD/LP (Concord)
“Cohesive.” It's a word New Pornographers founder A.C. Newman still sounds a little bit surprised to say as he describes the band's seventh album, Whiteout Conditions. It's a quality that you wouldn't necessarily intuitively associate with a so-called supergroup that, by its very collective nature, seems bound to have a good deal of stylistic variance built into the formula (or lack of it). Can an outfit built on the appeal of multiple frontmen and frontwomen develop a signature sound after all? Maybe, and maybe better late than never. “On other records,” says Newman, “it felt like sometimes it was very clear: oh, this is a fast one with me singing, and then the next would be a slow song with Neko (Case) singing. And I've always liked that in a White Album kind of way - being a band that just does whatever the hell they want from track to track. But when we did Brill Bruisers (the band's previous album, released in 2014), it was the first time where I thought: Let's try to make a cohesive record. Let’s try to give it a sound and see how focused we can make it. And on this record, I think we went a lot farther down that road.” [Limited white color vinyl pressing also available.]

Rihanna – Music Of The Sun [2005] 2xLP (Def Jam)
Rihanna – Rated R [2009] 2xLP (Def Jam)
Rihanna – Loud [2010] 2xLP (Def Jam)
Rihanna – Talk That Talk [2011] LP (Def Jam)
Rihanna – Unapologetic [2012] 2xLP (Def Jam)

Five of Rihanna's studio albums are available on vinyl individually (all were previously collected in her discography-spanning 15xLP vinyl box set released last December).

Syd – Fin LP (Sony)
Fin is the first solo album from The Internet frontwoman and producer Syd. The album features production from Melo X (Lemonade), Hit Boy, Haze, and Rahki, and is full of dark R&B bravado anchored by Syd's smooth-as-silk voice.

Timber Timbre – Sincerely, Future Pollution CD (City Slang)
Timber Timbre's music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. Its fourth record, Sincerely, Future Pollution, is the cinema of a dazzling dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time. Taylor Kirk and co-composers Mathieu Charbonneau and Simon Trottier, together with drummer Olivier Fairfield, offer their most daring artistic work yet. With the palette of archetypal synthesizers at La Frette studio outside Paris, the long-time collaborators took a unique approach to Timber Timbre's characteristic sonic invention. The first single, “Sewer Blues,” is an ironclad groove marked by plodding, heavy rhythm, cavernous delay, and a backdrop of starry synthesizers. Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues, with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling. Covering a spectrum of new age to popular French disco revival, the sound is synthetic, exotic, yet familiar, with Kirk's chilling croon and the mid-apocalyptic setting of his poetry. This is Timber Timbre's document of our generation's degeneration and disarray: Signed and sealed.

Record Store Day 2017!

We are less than three weeks away from the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day (4/22)! It's about time we let you in on all the details for our craziest day of the year. We'll have a bunch other stuff going on in addition to the limited releases including:

- DJ sets from Mayor William Bell, Suaze, RyNea Soul, Jesse Phillips (St. Paul & The Broken Bones), & The Audiovore!
- Limited edition "Live At Seasick Records" vinyl LP featuring Null & GT benefitting Girls Rock Bham
- Limited edition screen printed posters & t-shirts from Yellowhammer Creative!
- Shave ice from Ono Ice!
- Free coffee from Crestwood Coffee!
- Free donuts!
- Turntable giveaway in conjunction with Birmingham Mountain Radio! 
- Ticket giveaways to Sloss Fest, Brian Wilson, & more!

Doors will open at 8AM. Record Store Day releases are first come, first served.

New Releases - 3/31/17

Aimee Mann – Mental Illness CD (SuperEgo)
“The title of Aimee Mann’s latest solo effort, her ninth, registers like a punch to the gut. In a world full of self-consciously clever and willfully obtuse album titles, Mental Illness is the equivalent of washing someone’s mouth out with soap. It’s not something you mull over or analyze in search of some hidden subtext or meaning. Instead, it smacks of cold reality. In an interview with Rolling Stone in January, Mann called Mental Illness the ‘saddest, slowest’ record of her 35-plus-year career. She’s not kidding. Her latest collection finds her singing love-spurned tales of heartache, anger, and remorse, giving the emotionally loaded title some added weight. But that doesn’t mean that Mann isn’t putting us on, at least a little bit. ‘I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true,’ she said. ‘It’s so blunt that it’s funny.’ But while she might be having fun with us, she’s nonetheless created a remarkable character sketch. For 44 minutes, Mann slips into the skin of someone walking an emotional tightrope, and it’s an act she pulls off with grace and conviction. Mental Illness lays its hurt and sadness out so effectively that it’s hard to completely accept it as pure fiction. But even if we’re to take Mann’s word for it that these songs were created with some personal distance, it’s still no less powerful of a record” – Rolling Stone.

Bob Dylan – Triplicate 3xCD/3xLP (Columbia/Sony)
Triplicate is 38th studio set from Bob Dylan, and features 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist's illustrious career. The titles of the individual ten-track discs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin' Home Late. For the set, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood's Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters such as Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). According to Bob Dylan, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I've hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.”

Coco Hames – Coco Hames CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Though it’s the first album released under her name, Coco Hames is no wide-eyed ingénue. As the singer, songwriter, frontwoman, and indomitable force behind beloved garage-pop combo The Ettes, she blazed a memorable trail across the ’00s underground. Following a final bittersweet album and tour in 2011, Hames decided to bring the curtain down on the Ettes’ run, but never lost the urge to write new songs. “The thing I loved, that I was always drawn to—the magic of creating something out of a fleeting idea and a few chords,” says Hames. “That passion never left me. I began to realize I had more that I wanted to write, and a lot more that I needed to say.” Hunkering down at Nashville’s The Bomb Shelter studio, Hames co-produced her eponymous debut with Andrija Tokic, who’d helped sire career-making albums for Alabama Shakes and Hurray For The Riff Raff, among others. Playing guitar, piano, and electric harpsichord, Hames was aided in her effort by a pair of longtime pals in bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Eagles Of Death Metal). Lead guitar was supplied by young Nashville hotshot Adam Meisterhans (The Weight, JP5) while other friends and musical foils contributed, including veteran keyboard/organ wizard Dave Amels of Reigning Sound. Hames also enlisted top Music City vocalists Carey Kotsionis (Bobby Bare, Jr., Clem Snide) and Third Man artist Lillie Mae Rische (Jack White, Jypsi) to form an angelic mini-choir for the sessions.

Death – Human [Reissue/1991] LP (Relapse)
Vinyl reissue of Death’s legendary fourth album. Limited metallic gold color pressing also available.

Goldfrapp – Silver Eye LP (Mute)
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music that evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. A 21st century moon dance.

Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand CD/2xLP (Reprise)
Emperor Of Sand finds Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor Of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?’” “We're reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It's 17 years in the making, but it's also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.” Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon's hometown of Atlanta, with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with Mastodon on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye.

The Mavericks – Brand New Day CD/LP (Mono Mundo Recordings)
More than two decades into a career that’s always avoided the predictable path, the Mavericks – whose Tex-Mex twang, Cuban-influenced country and retro rock made them unlikely stars in the mid- ‘90s and critical darlings during later years – turn another corner with the new album Brand New Day. “We’re gonna love all our troubles away,” Raul Malo sings on the title track, whose throwback, symphonic sweep recalls the wall of sound arrangements of the 1960s. Malo pulls double duty as frontman and Phil Spector-ish producer, stacking the song high with bells, horns, harmonies and plenty of four-on-the-floor stomp. Also pitching in are three longtime Mavericks — drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez and keys man Jerry Dale McFadden — and co-producer Niko Bolas, who helped birth songs like Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and Don Henley’s “The Boys Of Summer.”

Nelly Furtado – The Ride CD/2xLP (Nelstar Music)
The Ride is the Canadian musician Nelly Furtado’s sixth album and first studio set in five years. Speaking to Cosmopolitan about her latest venture, Furtado said: “I came [into the studio] broken. I came there really empty. As cliché as it is, when you're really going through it, it can be so good for songwriting. I hate saying that, because then people feel like they have to go through adversity to write good stuff, which I don't think is true ... but I'm hands down more proud of these lyrics than any I've ever written.” She claimed in a Twitter Q&A that The Ride is similar in style and tone to 2000 hit album Whoa, Nelly. On the album’s second single, “Pipe Dreams,” the singer goes for an airier, lighter sound than the previously released synth-pop dance track “Islands Of Me,” which she debuted two months ago. “Don't sell me no pipe dreams,” she sings on the track. “I want to live in a kaleidoscope.” Speaking with The Fader, which premiered the song, Furtado had this to say about the album and single. “A lot of [The Ride] touches on [the false hope of dreaming], in terms of sanity versus reality,” she said. “The comedown, the hangover after the rush, and how you put the pieces back together, and how you make amends with the realer parts of life.”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Once More With Feeling 2xDVD (Bad Seeds Ltd.)
One More Time Feeling is a feature film about the making of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ acclaimed Skeleton Tree directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford). Visually unique, One More Time With Feeling is a stark, fragile and raw documentary. Shot in 3D, color and black & white, the film probes the deeply personal circumstances surrounding the making of Skeleton Tree (the band’s 16th studio album) and features interviews and live performances by the band in the studio, along with interjected voice-over commentary by Nick Cave. This double-disc release features three exclusive short films from Andrew Dominik. “An undeniably moving contemplation of shattering loss… a tremendously moving collage.” -- The Guardian

Pile – A Hairshirt Of Purpose CD/LP (Exploding In Sound)
Never afraid to switch styles, Pile’s music has morphed over the years, embracing both the ferocious and gentle sides of punk, indie, folk, and noise rock, delivering their own brand of gnarled intensity.

Sneaks – It’s A Myth CD (Merge)
With little more than a bass, drum machine, and deadpan vocals, Sneaks, a.k.a. Eva Moolchan, makes minimalist music that takes up space—something she herself has made a point of doing in the male-heavy Washington, D.C., DIY punk scene that has been her home. It’s A Myth builds on Sneaks’ playfully stark approach to post-punk, which, as her hometown City Paper described it, causes listeners to go “from curious to provoked to hungry.” Like most of Sneaks’ music, album closer “Future” is in constant gyroscopic movement—thumping rhythm cutting around deep bass, spoken-word patterns somersaulting through image fragments, childhood nostalgia, and cryptic wordplay. Moolchan calls Sneaks “a character” that she’s playing, and there’s certainly an element of mystery around the persona and her riddles. But it’s also all her, born out of full solo creative control after stints in a number of D.C. bands. “When I'm writing songs, it's actually pretty selfish, because it's like, this is what I need to hear right now in my life,” she has said.

Announcing The Seasick Record Club!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

We are excited to announce the Seasick Record Club! The Seasick Record Club's monthly meetings are a chance to socialize and share music with other enthusiasts. We'll have listening parties, music documentary screenings, complimentary beverages, and more! The inaugural club meeting will be a chance to meet other members and hear limited Record Store Day releases while sipping a cold drink.

Members will enjoy year-round perks including, but not limited to:

- Exclusive club t-shirt
- Exclusive club sticker
- Exclusive club notebook
- Membership card
- Monthly club meetings
- 20% off in stock vinyl/CDs during monthly meetings
- Exclusive giveaways

Yearly memberships are now available in-store or online for $30 through April 22nd (Record Store Day). After RSD the cost will go up to $40. 

New Releases - 3/24/17

Ben Folds – The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner [Reissue/1999] LP (Analog Spark)
Ben Folds – Songs For Silverman [Reissue/2005] LP (Analog Spark)
The audio for these vinyl reissues has been sourced from the original mix reels and mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Records were plated and pressed at RTI on 180gm vinyl and housed in a Stoughton jacket with a four page booklet.

Craig Finn – We All Want The Same Things CD/LP+MP3 (Partisan)
Shortly after the release of Faith In The Future in September 2015, Craig Finn got together with producer Josh Kaufman to talk about making another record. He had been writing a ton, and wanted to follow up quickly on the last album. He had been thinking about love and partnership in modern times, and had written a lot of songs about couples. Love seems like the biggest mystery in our modern days -- no amount of science or advances in technology can help us fully understand the notion of love and the role it plays in our lives. But Finn also thought about the search for love as an antidote for loneliness, and how so often modern partnership can be an alignment of self-interests. We make teams with each other to combat the world around us. There is a beauty in that for sure, but it also can fray around the edges. We lean against each other to keep ourselves upright, make uneasy truces, and push forward into uneasy times. The songs Finn had written dwelled on this. Finn and Kaufman started working in short sessions starting November 2015 and kept it going over the next year. As on Faith In The Future, percussionist Joe Russo and engineer Dan Goodwin were prominent parts of the sessions. They had developed a vocabulary and a style of working that felt comfortable -- maybe like a band making their second or third record. That said, they also wanted create something different and new, so they invited a lot of other people to collaborate.

Gin Blossoms – New Miserable Experience [1992] LP (A&M)
Gin Blossoms – Congratulations I’m Sorry [Reissue/1996] LP (A&M)

First time on vinyl! In the late 80's Gin Blossoms indelible jangle-pop sound was evolving during radio's diverse mix of hair bands and grunge music. Taking their name from a caption on a W.C. Fields photo, Gin Blossoms hit the big time with their 1992 album New Miserable Experience. The title of their third album, Congratulations I’m Sorry, according to the lead singer Robin Wilson, came from the response band members usually received from people who both wanted to congratulate the band for the success of New Miserable Experience, while then offering apologies for their friend and former band member Doug Hopkins.

The Jesus And Mary Chain – Damage And Joy CD/LP/Cassette (Artificial Plastic)
“Last month, Creation Records founder Alan McGee claimed that The Jesus And Mary Chain, the great ’80s and ’90s noise-pop alchemists, had recorded a new album and that it would be coming out in March. This was f**king awesome news; in all their years as functioning recording artists, The Jesus And Mary Chain never recorded a single bad song. But it was also hearsay. So it’s even more f**king awesome to confirm that, yes, there is a new Jesus And Mary Chain album. This will be the band’s first since 1998’s Munki, and as Pitchfork reports, the brothers Jim and William Reid recorded it with producer Youth, a member of Killing Joke, who also played bass. Their touring drummer Brian Young also joined them, as did bassist Phil King, fresh off of the aborted Lush reunion. In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Reid said he and his brother, guitarist William Reid, had ‘f**k-loads of songs,’ but, ‘We disagree about a lot of things to do with it, like how to record it, where to record it. Now we're starting to come around to agreeing with each other, which is kind of strange territory for me and William.” -- Stereogum

Oddisee – The Iceberg CD (Mello Music Group)
The prolific MC, producer and musician Oddisee's new album, The Iceberg, is a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground. The album is a distillation of stereotypical tropes in hip-hop and beyond, 12 tracks about money, sex, politics, race and religion that appear superficial until his multi-dimensional lyrics unfurl to expose the complexities of individuality and identity: How we see ourselves and how others see us. Deeply soulful, and shot through with jazz, go-go, gospel, thick R&B and hard beats, The Iceberg is a timely, poetic statement. The album was recorded and produced by Oddisee at his own studio in Brooklyn, made with live instrumentation performed by Oddisee and members of his band, Good Company.

Otis Redding – Live At The Whiskey A Go Go: The Complete Recordings 2xLP (Stax)
Otis Redding's legendary performances from 1966. Featuring highlights from the historic three-night stand at The Whiskey A Go Go, newly mixed and mastered from the original 4-track tapes. 180gm.

Pallbearer – Heartless CD/2xLP (Profound Lore)
Pallbearer further expand their sound by harnessing classic traditional metal and the prog aesthetic while remaining true to the essence of their signature sound.

Power – Electric Glitter Boogie CD/LP (In The Red)
Power’s sound is raw but full. The band recorded live with minimal overdubs, and the songs continually disintegrate into white heat guitar noise before slamming back into manic amphetamine lockstep. In eight numbers, they traverse an entire history of hard rock, electric glitter boogie, thug glam, raw power punk.

Soundtrack – The Lion King [Reissue/1994] LP (Walt Disney)

Vic Chesnutt – Is The Actor Happy? [Reissue/1995] 2xLP+MP3 (New West)
Faithfully remastered and complete with six bonus tracks, Vic Chesnutt’s fourth studio album is back in print on vinyl. “For all the literary depth, melodic strength, and honest performances included here, it’s essential to know that Chesnutt’s songs are equal parts silly and serious, heartbreaking and hilarious. That’s the gravity of the situation, and that’s why you should listen” (Pop Matters). “Not just arguably his finest release, but also his most extroverted” (Pitchfork).

Null / GT "Live At Seasick Records" LP To Be Released On RSD

We are very excited to announce our contribution to the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day! We will be releasing a limited edition vinyl LP featuring two of our favorite Birmingham bands, Null and GT, recorded live at Seasick Records as part of Birmingham Mountain Radio’s Spectra Sonic Sound Sessions. The “Live At Seasick Records” release was put together in conjunction with our friends at Communicating Vessels and The Audiovore.

The proceeds from the sale of this release will benefit Girls Rock Birmingham – a unique non-profit program that helps young girls build self-esteem, collaboration, and leadership skills through music education, performance, and promotion. For more information visit GirlsRockBham.org.

Many thanks to Null, GT, Jeffrey Cain, Lee Shook, Roy Burns, Emanual Ellinas, Daniel Farris, and everyone involved in this project.

Pick up a copy on April 22nd at your local record store!

New Releases - 3/17/17

Conor Oberst – Salutations CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Salutations is a companion piece to 2016's lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo—with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica—he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band—upstate New York's The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more)—the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form. The Sunday Times of London called it “the rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation” and “political and very, very personal,” saying Oberst is “one of the best songwriters around.” Salutations includes full-band versions of the ten songs from Ruminations, plus seven additional songs. Guest contributions come courtesy of Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson.

Counting Crows – Recovering The Satellites [Reissue/1993] 2xLP (Geffen)

The Creation – Action Painting 2xCD/2xLP (Numero)
Presented here for the first time are the complete Creation studio recordings. All 42 tracks (CD version, 24 tracks on the vinyl) have been remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band's story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying 80-page hard bound book. We've rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.”

Depeche Mode – Spirit 2xLP (Columbia)
Spirit is the new album from Depeche Mode, and the band's 14th studio release. It marks the band's first collaboration with producer James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco (Foals, Florence & The Machine, Arctic Monkeys). “‘We're living in a time of real change,’ says Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan, a vision of intensity dressed head-to-toe in black. ‘As I get older, the things going on in the world affect me more. I think about my kids and what they're growing up into. My daughter, Rosie, was deeply affected by the election last year. ... She just sobbed, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ That sense of worry informed Gahan and his Depeche Mode bandmates while writing Spirit, as many of the LP’s 12 songs deal directly with the general Weltschmerz circulating the planet lately. The record's first single, the Gore-penned ‘Where's The Revolution?’ is a slow-building number which features fuzzy synths, and serves as a call-to-arms as Gahan sings, ‘The train is coming/Get on board,’ along with the title question. It's a mood that continues in another Spirit song ‘Backwards.’ It opens with Gahan singing, ‘We are the bigots/We have not allowed/We have no respect/We have lost control.’ It goes on to lambaste some people's ‘caveman mentality’ and how others ‘feel nothing inside,’ amid jabbing keyboards and pounding rhythms and complete with Gore's backing vocals. ‘If we want things to change, a revolution, we need to talk about it and about caring about what goes on in the world,’ Gahan says” – Rolling Stone. [CD is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a bonus disc of remixes. Double-vinyl LP edition features an etching on Side D.]

Gary Clark Jr. – Live/ North America 2016 CD/2xLP
(WB) Live North America 2016 was recorded absolutely live, with no overdubs. What you hear is how it went down. The album includes all new and unreleased live recordings from Gary Clark Jr's 2016 tour in support of his internationally acclaimed The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim. It features several songs from that album, including “The Healing,” “Grinder,” “Our Love,” “Cold-Blooded,” and “Shake,” featuring Leon Bridges and his saxophonist Jeff Dazey. The set is characterized by raw soul and funk, classic solo and blues performances, and several lengthy, tour de force guitar jams. It includes two previously unreleased covers, Jimmy Reed's “Honest I Do” and Elmore James' “My Baby's Gone” as well as “You Saved Me” and “When My Train Pulls In” -- fan favorites from Clark's debut Blak And Blu. Much like the great blues, jazz, and soul legends of past, these recordings are lightening in a bottle - historical moments in time for an artist who is ever morphing and one of the truly great improvisers of his generation.

Julien Baker – Funeral Pyre b/w Distant Solar System 7”+MP3 (Matador)
“Memphis, TN-based songwriter Julien Baker is the latest addition to the renowned Matador Records roster. The 21-year-old’s devastating, delicate, plaintive, vulnerable debut album, Sprained Ankle (I could keep going with the adjectives, but really, ‘striking’ might be my favorite, as the music completely captivated us and left us no choice but to add it to our roster), which was released in 2015. A previously unreleased song ‘Funeral Pyre,’ is the title-track and A-side for Baker’s new 7”. Only Baker can make such a darkly macabre subject so heartbreakingly gorgeous, her signature hushed-yet- lofty vocals soaring over a quietly fingerpicked melody, crescendoing into layered, almost-orchestral beauty.

Pinback – Some Offcell Voices CD/LP+MP3 (Temporary Residence)
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn't quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn't yet become their day job; it hadn't yet become a well-oiled five-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century. Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback's live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it's only fitting that we revisit these poignant recordings - and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.

Real Estate – In Mind CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
In Mind is the fourth album from the NJ dream pop group, their first to feature Julian Lynch on guitar, and produced by Cole M.G.N. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the Real Estate’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries them even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. Here they fine-tune the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums—Real Estate, Days, and Atlas—so beloved, and pushes their craft in compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist/vocalist Martin Courtney, In Mind offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record recasts the band in a new light—one that replaces the ennui of teen suburbia with an adult version.

Spoon – Hot Thoughts CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
“In a career that spans more than 20 years, Spoon has perfected a kind of ruthlessly airtight efficiency: Every few years, the Austin band returns with a new batch of perfectly compact three-minute pop-rock songs. As consistent as it is beloved, Spoon never fails to hit its mark — delivered forcefully, and with hooks for days. If the title track on the band’s ninth album Hot Thoughts is any indication, that impeccably chosen palette's got a few new colors. Thanks in part, no doubt, to Dave Fridmann joining the band as a co-producer, ‘Hot Thoughts’ has a rangy, swirly sparkle to it, portending an album that spreads out for a bit of a journey” – NPR. [Limited red color vinyl pressing also available.]

New Releases - 3/10/17

Buzzcocks – Time’s Up! [Reissue/1976] LP+MP3 (Domino)
Time’s Up is Buzzcocks' 1976 album of demos originally released as a bootleg. Featuring the founding line-up of Howard Devoto (vocals & songwriter), Pete Shelley (guitar & songwriter), Steve Diggle (bass guitar) and John Maher (drums), Time’s Up was recorded at Revolution Studios in Stockport, England on the October 18th, 1976. The session preceded the recording of Buzzcocks' groundbreaking debut Spiral Scratch, and features demos of the EP's four tracks -- an EP now recognized as one of, if not the, most important records of the punk explosion.

Damaged Bug – Bunker Funk CD/LP (Castleface)
Urgent falsetto morbidities detail Damaged Bug’s most rhythmically adventurous offering yet: Bunker Funk -- syncopating lush landscapes with moon-shot death rays. “Fans of Terry Riley's Shri Camel (1980) or Julianna Barwick's The Magic Place (2013) will like this one . . . meditative synth drones and soundscapes that sound almost sacred in places.” -- Faris Badwan (The Horrors, Cat's Eyes)

Elliott Smith – Either/Or: Expanded Edition 2xLP (Kill Rock Stars)
Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition. This album features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one B-side gem. [The double LP vinyl edition is packaged in a gatefold jacket that includes an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. A limited yellow color vinyl pressing is also available.]

Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator CD/LP (ATO)
"The first words still had roots, like a James Brown syllable,’ the late New York poet Sekou Sundiata once wrote. He was talking about how language is undergirded with sound, how the beats underneath every sentence intertwine, connecting every tongue from Africa to the South Bronx. In the many albums she's recorded as Hurray For The Riff Raff, Alynda Segarra has told her own stories through the various idioms of American roots music, mastering folk declarations, country's laments, and the secret histories embedded in the blues. But Segarra heard something else beneath all the choruses she learned: a rhythmic reality, the history of her own people in shifting time signatures. These word roots are what she uncovers in her rich, courageous new album, The Navigator. For this project, she's enlisted new collaborators, notably the versatile guitarist Jordan Hyde and several percussionists, including Juan-Carlos Chaurand and Norka Hernández-Nadal. Relating the saga of a particular wandering woman – Segarra's alter ego, Navita Milagros Negron – and of a people displaced through exile, segregation and gentrification, The Navigator repositions roots music as an anti-nostalgic tool: a truth-telling device. And it does so through the undercurrents of Cuban son, Puerto Rican bomba, and Nuyorican salsa, interwoven with doo-wop, rock and gospel soul” – WHRO

Las Rosas – Everyone Gets Exactly What They Want LP (Ernest Jenning)
A combination of wit and humor with sneering, whip-smart garage rock. “Luminous, moon-eyed pop vibes, delivered with authority and muscle.” -- Pitchfork

Laura Marling – Semper Femina CD (More Alarming Records)
“English singer-songwriter Laura Marling’s latest offering to British folk is Semper Femina (translates from Latin to Always A Woman), her sixth album since 2008 and a quietly bold ode to womanhood. ‘I started out writing Semper Femina as if a man was writing about a woman…And then I thought it’s not a man, it’s me’ was the heavily re-quoted tagline from Marling preceding the album’s release, explaining the near-exclusive female subjects and perspectives in every song. Semper Femina makes both delightful and thought-provoking listening. The variance of third and first person in the lyrics makes a refreshing change from the voices of pop, who are by and large rather self-centered sounding, and makes for a less-than-straightforward exercise in lyrical interpretation. Marling leads us away from the naming and shaming culture so often seen in pop; for example the ‘she’ of The Valley who ‘mourns the morning’ could be Marling, the listener, or a fictional character. For an album of relative track-to-track sameness – a commendation rather than a criticism, since a sonically cohesive body of work requires great dexterous sensitivity – it traverses emotional landscapes, inducing tears in one song, smiles the next. These are conscientious songs that contain a whole host of sensibilities, and paint a multitude of emotional colours upon a canvas of homely, English acoustic folk instrumentation.” – The Sphinx

Neko Case – Live From Austin TX [Reissue/2006] LP (New West)
This debut Austin City Limits performance on August 9, 2003 captures songs from Neko Case’s three seminal solo releases at the time, combining elements of country, gospel and punk for a very unique sound. Available for the first time on 180gm vinyl.

The Shins – Heartworms CD/LP+MP3 (Columbia)
“Get ready to have your life changed all over again. Heartworms, The Shins’ first full-length release since 2012’s Port Of Morrow, has been done for some time, but was delayed to give the music-industry fat cats at Columbia Records more time to promote the album (and lead singer James Mercer to tinker with it, as he told Portland radio station KBOO last summer). The result of all this tinkering, according to the press release announcing the album, is a ‘return to the handmade,’ lest you were concerned that The Shins were losing their twee edge. Overall, this album sounds like an earnest, personal effort for Mercer, who produced all the album tracks except for penultimate song ‘So Now What.’ The first single from the album, ‘Name For You,’ is a ‘resounding call for female empowerment’ inspired by Mercer’s three daughters.” – A.V. Club

Soundgarden – Ultramega OK [Reissue/1988] CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the ‘80s, the band -- singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron -- combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the ‘80s airwaves. This remixed and expanded reissue of Ultramega OK is a long-planned “correction” of the legendary band’s Grammy-nominated debut full-length. After worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, Soundgarden acquired the original multi-track tapes to the album and handed them over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard) to create this fresh mix. The band also dug out six early versions of songs recorded in 1987, raw bonus tracks the band now refers to as Ultramega EP.

Steve Earle – Live From Austin TX [Reissue/2008] 2xLP (New West)
Earle’s first appearance on Austin City Limits captures the excitement and free spirit of his seminal debut album, Guitar Town, which was nothing less than a collection of personal odysseys. Available for the first time on 180gm vinyl.

Thundercat – Drunk 4x10” (Brainfeeder)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015s The Beyond / Where he Giants Roam. Produced by Flying Lotus, Drunk features vocal performances by Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell.

Valerie June – The Order Of Time CD/LP (Concord)
Unfolding like a novella, June sketches detailed, three-dimensional portraits of real people struggling with dreams, defeat, hope and life, in this 12-track song cycle. Musically, the genre-defying singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has redefined herself again, infusing inspirations like Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen and Fela Kuti into her unique blend of folk, blues, gospel and soul. As in life, a harrowing bite of bitterness can surely be felt in many of these songs and on others; June's ethereal soundscapes prove the perfect setting for her honeyed, childlike voice as she pleas for simplicity and a better world.