Seasick Top 50 for 2017

We sold a bunch of records in 2017! Below is a list of the best sellers for the year. 6 out of the top 10 are Alabama artists. 15 Alabama artists made the top 50 in all.

1 - Null / GT "Live At Seasick Records"
2 - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit "The Nashville Sound"
3 - Run The Jewels "RTJ3"
4 - Alabama Shakes "Sound & Color"
5 - Lady Legs "Stay Late"
6 - Ryan Adams "Prisoner"
7 - St. Paul & The Broken Bones "Sea Of Noise"
8 - Father John Misty "Pure Comedy"
9 - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit "Live From Welcome To 1979"
10 - The National "Sleep Well Beast"
11 - The Mountain Goats "Goths"
12 - Chris Stapleton "From A Room Vol. 1"
13 - The War On Drugs "A Deeper Understanding"
14 - Nerves Baddington "Dopamine Decoder Ring"
15 - Heath Green & The Makeshifters "Heath Green & The Makeshifters"
16 - Radiohead "OKNOTOK"
17 - Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires "Youth Detention"
18 - Sturgill Simpson "A Sailor's Guide To Earth"
19 - Durand Jones & The Indications "Durand Jones & The Indications"
20 - St. Paul & The Broken Bones "Half The City"
21 - Kendrick Lamar "DAMN"
22 - Sturgill Simpson "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music"
23 - Alabama Shakes "Boys & Girls"
24 - Various Artists "Soul Slabs Vol. 1"
25 - Replacements, The "For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986"
26 - Mac Demarco "This Old Dog"
27 - Lillie Mae "Forever And Then Some"
28 - Judah & The Lion "Folk Hop N' Roll"
29 - Hiss Golden Messenger "Hallelujah Anyhow"
30 - Beck "Colors"
31 - Spoon "Hot Thoughts"
32 - Rogue + Jaye "Pent Up"
33 - Margo Price "All American Made"
34 - Jason Isbell "Southeastern"
35 - Waxahatchee "Out In The Storm"
36 - Ty Segall "Ty Segall"
37 - LCD Soundsystem "American Dream"
38 - Fleet Foxes "Crack Up"
39 - Slowdive "Slowdive"
40 - Queens Of The Stone Age "Villians"
41 - Neil Young "Harvest Moon"
42 - Arcade Fire "Everything Now"
43 - Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile "Lotta Sea Lice"
44 - Chicano Batman "Freedom Is Free"
45 - Vulture Whale "Vulture Whale (Orange)"
46 - Allison Crutchfield "Tourist In This Town"
47 - Dan Auerbach "Waiting On A Song"
48 - Steelism "Ism"
49 - Manchester Orchestra "A Black Mile To The Surface"
50 - Power Trip "Nightmare Logic"

SUPERCHUNK!

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As a “Thank You” for all of the love and support we’ve received over the last four years, Seasick Records is throwing a party… And we’ve invited SUPERCHUNK!!!

That’s right: Indie / punk heroes Superchunk will be playing the Seasick Block Party! It’s gonna be outside, it’s gonna be all-ages, and it’s gonna be FREE!

It’s all going down on October 28th — a rare Saturday without an Alabama or an Auburn football game! 

Joining Superchunk will be two of our favorite local bands: HOLY YOUTH and LADY LEGS!

As always, our birthday party will also serve as our annual canned food drive. For every two canned food items, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a variety of great prizes, including FREE RECORDS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!

In addition to the music there will be food, beer, and much much more! 

Wanna be part of the action? Sponsorship opportunities are still available. E-mail seasickrecords@gmail.com and / or seascikpromo@gmail.com for more details.

New Releases - 7/14/17

Alan Vega – It 2xLP (Fader)
The final album written and recorded by Alan Vega, frontman of seminal electronic duo Suicide, before his passing in July 2016. Double-LP gatefold with never-before-seen drawings, writings, and photos.

As Cities Burn - Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest [Reissue/2005] LP (Solid State)
Limited colored vinyl reissue of the post-hardcore band’s debut album.

Bloodclot – Up In Arms CD/LP (Metal Blade)
At its purest, there is little that can match the visceral thrill and empowering spirit of hardcore. As frontman of New York City hardcore kings Cro-Mags, this is something John Joseph knows very well, and with Up In Arms, he and his Bloodclot compatriots deliver a furious collection that hits hard on every level. “In this band we’re doing what each of us have always done: give it our all,” he states plainly. Every track lives up to the rallying cry of the album’s title – the bursts of high energy hardcore act as the perfect accompaniment to Joseph setting his sights on injustice and the seemingly endless flaws of the contemporary world. From the moment the opening title track explodes to life, it’s clear that everyone involved is having a blast and playing from the heart, and that this is no frills / no bullsh*t music at its most passionate – every song evoking mental images of utter chaos in a heaving mosh pit.

Bonzie – Zone On Nine CD/LP (Beevine)
The second album from Chicago-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bonzie, Zone On Nine pulls off the sublime feat of feeling both intensely intimate and otherworldly in scope. “All of my songs basically start as a conversation I’m having with myself alone in my room,” says 21-year-old Nina Ferraro, who’s created under the moniker of Bonzie since age 17. “It’s how I process and interpret things that have happened to me or in life in general; it’s my way of trying to understand the world.” Throughout Zone On Nine, Ferraro eschews the confessional singer-songwriter approach and claims her role as a fiercely honest observer and commentator who delivers her lyrics with powerful abandon. Kaleidoscopic in texture and spiked with startling intensity, the album opens with the jagged guitar riffs and measured fury of “Crescent.” That intensity sustains for the dusky urgency of songs like “Combback,” and for the synth-laced title track’s anthemic determination. “I think we’re here to experience things and express our experience, and to notice and enjoy how we each have our own different perspective,” says Ferraro. “I feel obligated to participate in life that way, on a very visceral level. To me there’s a rhythm that already exists in the world, and I want to be a part of that.”

Boris - Dear CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sargent House)
In the 25th year of their existence Boris deliver an album they describe as “heavenly-far beyond heavy.” Though Boris has traversed a broad swath of sonic territories, they have always been consistent in their embracing of excess, pushing their myriad of approaches and stylistic forays to points of intoxicating absurdity.

Daley – The Spectrum CD (BMG/The End)
Daley is a singer, songwriter and recording artist hailing from Manchester, UK. A British boy who grew up on the sounds of Prince, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, D’Angelo, Radiohead and Oasis - Daley first became prominent after co-writing and featuring on the Gorillaz hit “Doncamatic” under the wing of the band's creator Damon Albarn in London. He has since become one of the UK's most respected musical exports, recording and touring on both sides of the Atlantic and working with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Miguel, Jessie J, Emeli Sande, Maxwell, Jill Scott and Marsha Ambrosius. “Daley, intentionally or unintentionally, has curated an intriguing imagery around him. He goes solely by his surname as his stage moniker. He has an iconic aesthetic — round glasses, perfectly coiffed ginger hair — and an even more iconic voice: His inimitable falsetto has ultimately separated him as a matchless talent, and one that should not be ignored; in short, he has firmly planted himself within the music industry as an artist worthy of note.” – Atwood Magazine

Hiss Golden Messenger/Michael Chapman – Parallelogram a La Carte: Hiss Golden Messenger and Michael Chapman LP (Three Lobed)
Matching up kindred spirits and mutual influences, this volume of Three Lobed Recording's Parallelogram series collects 2015 recordings from Hiss Golden Messenger and Michael Chapman. Both M.C. Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) and Michael Chapman have consistently won praise for possessing a certain songwriting prowess and earnest delivery.

Integrity – Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume CD/LP (Relapse)
Known for being one of the most incendiary and influential bands in hardcore and modern metal history, apocalyptic heavy music icons Integrity return with their highly anticipated twelfth studio album Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume. A conceptual foretelling of the final days of Armageddon, Howling... is a manifestation of Pentecostal nightmares and religious depravities, wrought with fire and brimstone sermons and occult prophecies bathed in waves of destruction. Now with almost 30 years of creating dark and terrifying anthems under their belt, Integrity have honored their past musical legacy while fearlessly moving forward into unchartered territory on what is undoubtedly their most elaborate and ambitious effort to date.

Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet CD/LP+MP3 (Dead Oceans)
Japanese Breakfast's Soft Sounds From Another Planet is less of a concept album about space exploration so much as it is a mood board come to life. Over the course of 12 tracks, Michelle Zauner explores a sonic landscape of her own design, one that's big enough to contain her influences. There are songs on this album that recall the pathos of Roy Orbison's ballads, while others could soundtrack a cinematic drive down one of Blade Runner's endless skyways. Zauner's voice is capacious; one moment she's serenading the past, the next she's robotically narrating a love story over sleek monochrome, her lyrics more pointed and personal than ever before. While Psychopomp was a genre-spanning introduction to Japanese Breakfast, this visionary sophomore album launches the project to new heights. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Kendrick Lamar – Damn 2xLP (Aftermath)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl.

Kyle Dixon/Michael Stein – Stranger Things: Deluxe Edition 1 2xLP (Lakeshore)
Kyle Dixon/Michael Stein – Stranger Things: Deluxe Edition 2 2xLP (Lakeshore)

Double 180gm multi-colored vinyl LP pressings with new covers including posters and 4” x 6” character cards.

Lo Tom – Lo Tom CD/LP (Barsuk)
Lo Tom is made up of David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), Trey Many (Velour 100, Starflyer 59), TW Walsh (Pedro The Lion, The Soft Drugs), and Jason Martin (Starflyer 59). Recorded over two different sessions when they could find the time to spare, the four friends gathered with half-formed riffs and beats to see what would come out of it. The album’s thematic direction is loose and conceptual. The melodies recall Pedro The Lion and TW Walsh, the guitars sparkle with hints of Starflyer 59, and the songs hurtle through the major keystones of guitar rock tight conversation between percussion and guitar, heavy fuzz, and some genuinely joyful breakdowns that give way to catharsis.

Offa Rex – The Queen Of Hearts CD/LP (Nonesuch)
The Queen Of Hearts is the debut album from Offa Rex, an adventurous new project featuring English singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case) and Colin Meloy at Martine's studio in Portland, OR, and mostly arranged by Chaney, the album’s 13-tracks draw largely on traditional English-Irish-Scottish repertoire to create a transatlantic musical conversation that flirts with psychedelia and folk rock while maintaining its own inimitable identity. From the heady harpsichord swirl that engulfs album opener “The Queen Of Hearts” to the warm, delicate drone of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” or the cold, grey riff that heralds “Sheepcrook And Black Dog,” it's evident that Offa Rex is different indeed, upending its folk roots and imbuing these songs with exploratory verve.

Shabazz Palaces – Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Born On A Gangster Star came into the world in a big damn hurry, like nightfall on an island. You can see it happening, but then again, it's so gradual that the next thing you know – it's dark. Imbued with the energy and ideas from all the creative embers floating in the atmosphere like fireflies, Shabazz Palaces recorded this entire album over the course of two weeks with Blood in Seattle. New gear and new equipment disintegrated comfort zones into dust and a new path appeared in the rubble. Herein the Palaceer continues the tale of Quazar, a sentient being from somewhere else, an observer sent here to Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary. Born On A Gangster Star flirts with a pop sensibility, but through the prism of Shabazz Palaces's fire and fury. For the Palaceer, that sense is all about how the groove is moving, and the supernatural telepathy that occurs amongst his cohort. Appearing here, in body or in spirit, are Julian Casablancas, Thundercat, Darrius Willrich, Gamble and Huff, Loud Eyes Lou, Thaddillac, Ahmir, Jon Kirby, Sunny Levine, and Blood.

Shabazz Palaces – Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines is Shabazz Palaces’ extra-spatial twin to Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star. The album, featuring highlights “30 Clip Extension,” “Julian's Dream (ode to a bad)” and “Effeminence” includes guest appearances from Fly Guy Dai of Chimurenga Renaissance, Amir Yaghamai, John Carroll Kirby, Thaddillac, Morgan Henderson, The Shogun Shot, Laz, and Purple Tape Nate. Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines is a second, fully-realized album of new material that expands the Quazarz universe, and tells the tales of Quazarz, that sent sentient from some elsewhere. A wave warrior wielding his sonic sword. Posted to the turnt-up states of Amurderca here on the Gangster Star to chronicle, explore and enjoy as a musical emissary. He discovers a world where humankind's relationship with their tech-devices has become weirdly sensual, seducing a sedentary seamlessness with humans, while capturing and incarcerating the results of their imagination. Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines finds our protagonist with his dazzling cohorts rising a collective Nah to the device and the guilds that proliferate them.

Six Organs Of Admittance and William Tyler - Parallelogram: a La Carte LP (Three Lobed)
Mutual influence is always fun to see in action, especially when it is between modern long-form guitar composition greats Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and William Tyler. This volume of Three Lobed Recording's Parallelogram series allows both artists room to stretch out and breathe.

Steve Gunn/Kurt Vile - Parallelogram – LP (Three Lobed)
Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn collaborated on record in 2015 for their contributions to Three Lobed Recording's Parallelogram series. That previously ornate and limited title is now released in a non-limited format standing along and outside of that prior collection. The two artists, originally connected by mutual friends and geographic proximity, have long pushed the other's continued artistic development. Despite sharing many live stages over the years, this collaborative album represents the first time that the two have worked together in the studio.

Sun Seeker – Biddeford CDEP/12” (Third Man)
Sun Seeker has carved out a universe all their own in Nashville, TN. Biddeford, their first EP and second release on Third Man Records, is near combustion level with beautiful atmospherics, willful lyricism and a supernatural ear for atypical pop hooks which should ring immediately familiar to fans of their debut 7’’ “Georgia Dust”. Six charming vignettes explore friendship, romance, and the daydreams populating the space between them. EP highlight and single, “Won’t Keep Me Up At Night”, gives us the best of singer and principal songwriter Alex Benick – his ability to breathe life and a depth of scenery into a song, especially with the clever rhythms of drummer Ben Parks and guitarist Asher Horton’s near-perfect pop instinct. Sun Seeker has climbed into broad daylight, into blessed dynamics, and every song blossoms as a result of it.

Thurston Moore and John Moloney/Bishop, Orcutt, Corsano - Parallelogram: a La Cart LP (Three Lobed)
Thurston Moore, Alan Bishop, Bill Orcutt, John Moloney, and Chris Corsano are five of the most uncompromising and visionary voices to emerge out of the last quarter century of American underground rock. Three Lobed Recordings was honored to capture all of these artists within the confines of a single album for this raucous and boundary-free volume of their Parallelogram series.

Various Artists – Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7 CD (Fearless)
Punk Goes Pop Vol. 7 features 13 brand new unreleased recordings of your favorite Top 40/Pop hits covered by an assortment of pop/punk acts. The latest in the series features artists such as Andy Black (lead singer of Black Veil Brides), State Champs, Dance Gavin Dance and Amity Affliction covering Billboard Top Ten hits from the likes of Justin Bieber, Twenty One Pilots, The Chainsmokers, Bruno Mars and more.

Waxahatchee – Out In The Storm CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Out In The Storm is the blazing result of a woman reawakened. Her most autobiographical and honest album to date, it is a self-reflective anchor in the story of both Katie Crutchfield's songwriting and her life. The album tells the story of taking control of a volatile situation, embracing flaws, and exploring a new sonic freedom. Crutchfield's voice oscillates between effortless grace and commanding righteousness, taking the listener with her on an explicitly personal journey. Songs like “Hear You” and “No Question” are lyrically unapologetic and musically resolute, while the softer acoustic songs like “A Little More” and “Fade” let fear and melancholy seep through. But it is on the atmospheric "Sparks Fly" where we feel an essential redemption. The track acts as an inner dialogue and marks the first time since the inception of Waxahatchee that any semblance of self-love has shone through. This moment is a perspective we've yet to see from Crutchfield: it is a rediscovery of herself, and the realization of a full life she is completely worthy of. [Regular and Limited Deluxe vinyl pressings also available. Deluxe includes a poster.]

New Releases - 7/7/17

Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Vinyl reissue of the second studio album by Albert King. Born Under A Bad Sign became “one of the most popular and influential blues albums of the late '60s.”

Black Lips – Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? 2xLP (Vice)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Atlanta, GA flower punk pioneers Black Lips return with their first album in three years. Produced by Sean Lennon at his studio compound in upstate New York throughout 2016, Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? is the group's most musically evolved to date, while still staying true to their original blistering take on fuzzy, dirty rock ‘n' roll. The album features contributions by Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and guest vocals by Yoko Ono.

Booker T. & The MG’s – Hip Hug-Her [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Vinyl reissue of the fifth studio album by the Southern soul band, originally released on Stax Records in June 1967. The title track was the band's most successful single since their debut, “Green Onions.”

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder CD/2xLP (Arts & Crafts)
On Hug Of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene – well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines – refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn’t just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year – a song that might become as beloved as “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People. The album’s title, Kevin Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and how they sound playing together again: “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder.” In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: “Stay Happy” lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. “Gonna Get Better” makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That’s not to say it’s an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focused, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world.

Carla Thomas – Carla [Reissue/1966] LP (Atlantic)
Carla Thomas was to Memphis' Stax Records what Aretha was to Atlantic: the label's reigning matriarch, able to wrap her glorious voice around “B-A-B-Y” and “Let Me Be Good To You,” chart-toppers from the precocious songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, as well as R&B standards like Willie Dixon's “Little Red Rooster.” Backed by the Stax house combo, fronted by Booker T. and Steve Cropper, Carla also shows off her storied versatility with knockout renderings of “I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “I Fall To Pieces.”

Flatfoot 56 – Odd Boat CD/LP (Sailor’s Grave)
Playing a positive-natured brand of hardcore-tinged Celtic punk, Flatfoot 56 has been unleashing itself upon America and the rest of the world for over 16 years. “The tallest man in punk rock music, Tobin Bawinkel and his band of merry Celtic brethren have done it again. Towering at 6’10“, the gentle giant of punk rock comes out swinging with the first track, ‘Ty Cobb.’ His signature gravelly, husky voice continues to stand tall amidst his Celtic punk rock counterparts. The song starts with a clip of a baseball game announcer that mixes smoothly with the guitar and then, alas, the bagpipes jump in. The second track keeps up the tone and doesn’t disappoint. A lead guitar part is thrown in and is a bit of a departure from their prior albums, but it seems to blend perfectly. Indeed, Odd Boat is yet another jewel in the Flatfoot catalog. I can’t really find anything wrong with this album. It has solid production, amazing bagpipe and mandolin parts that are all mixed perfectly with the rest of the band.” – Indie Vision Music

Haim – Something To Tell You CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Something To Tell You is the sophomore album from Haim. When the time came to record the album’s eleven tracks, Haim decided to “go in and record as a band, keeping it a little more organic. That was kind of a mission statement for the album” offered Danielle Haim. The group first announced the release of Something To Tell You with an in-studio video version of album track “Right Now,” which was shot and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights). Haim then released the single “Want You Back,” which Rolling Stone described as having “a Hot 100 ready sheen.” Pitchfork gave “Want You Back” its coveted Best New Track saying “Haim are pulling the rug out from under our feet in the run-up to releasing their second album.” Entertainment Weekly declared “Want You Back” sees HAIM returning to their sonic roots as a funky, pop-inspired trio, complete with groovy strings, sprightly percussion, a soulful chorus, and a spritz of electronic sheen.”

Jay-Z – 4:44 CD (Roc Nation)
Jay-Z’s first album since Magna Carta ... Holy Grail in 2013 — 4:44 features 10 intensely personal and provocative tracks that include a few references to the marriage-baring “Lemonade” album by his wife, Beyoncé, and the recent birth of their twins.

Melvins – A Walk With Love And Death 2xCD/2xLP (Ipecac)
Melvin’s first double-album find the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Steve McDonald showcasing two distinct sides to the band’s music: Death, a proper Melvins’ release, and Love, the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled A Walk With Love And Death. “This was a huge undertaking,” explained band ringleader Buzz Osborne. “All three things: the album, the soundtrack, and the film are benchmarks for us.” Drummer Dale Crover added, “A Walk With Love And Death is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart. You'll sleep with the lights on after listening.” The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (The Pixies), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes/Crystal Fairy) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), were self-produced with engineer Toshi Kosai. [Limited pink vinyl pressing also available.]

Otis Redding – The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads [Reissue/1965] LP (Atlantic)
Otis Redding – The Soul Album [Reissue/1966] LP (Atlantic)

The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads is the third studio album by American soul singer-song writer Otis Redding, released in 1965. The album was one of the first issued by Volt Records, a sub-label of Stax Records, and Redding's first on the new label. The Soul Album followed a year later.

Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley CD (PIAS America)
Every Valley is Public Service Broadcasting's third album. The album's theme is focused on the industrialization decline of south Wales: It's centered around coal mining but it’s a story which has been told around the western world and is particularly relevant given the current political climate. Known for their use of narrators from historical footage played over music, Every Valley, finds Public Service Broadcasting expanding with special guests vocals from James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura. “At first, Public Service Broadcasting's music scans as a lighthearted gimmick: A stripped-down band — led by a guy billed as ‘J. Willgoose, Esq.’ — performs dramatic instrumentals over voiceovers from old newsreels, documentaries, propaganda and public-service materials. But as the U.K. group releases its third album, it's striking how sturdy and versatile that sound has become.” – NPR

Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 3xLP (XL)
OKNOTOK features the original OK Computer twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK Computer-era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK. [Vinyl edition includes a C90 cassette mix tape taken from OK Computer session archives and demo tapes and a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time. Limited colored vinyl pressing due July 21.]

River Black – River Black CD (Season Of Mist)
“River Black is an emotional reaction; an answer to the call of today’s heavy music. It is a creative process that journeys to the heart and soul; purging all the good, the bad and the ugly along the way. River Black was formed by guitarist John Adubato and drummer Dave Witte after the dissolution of Burnt By The Sun. The duo felt the need to keep the spirit and energy behind that going, pushing it a darker and heavier direction than anything in their collective past, and enlisted long-time friend and bassist Brett Bamberger. After working through a few different line-ups, the trio brought vocalist Mike Olender into the fold. Witte explains, ‘I’ve always had a strong connection with John and his riffs. Somehow, he’s able to pull things out of me drumming-wise that no one else can. I found a rhythm partner and brother in Brett over the years, so those two together are the ultimate wing men for me so-to-speak. Adding Mike back into the fold was the puzzle piece that had been missing the whole time we’ve been working on this project.’” – New Noise Magazine

Sam & Dave – Double Dynamite [Reissue/1967] LP (Atlantic)
Perhaps no act epitomized soul music as the secularization of gospel more than Sam & Dave. Double Dynamite was the second Sam & Dave album to enjoy significant crossover appeal.

Toro y Moi – Boo Boo CD (Carpark)
“After 7 years of touring and recording, I found myself becoming self-conscious about my position in life as a ‘famous’ person, or at least my version of whatever that is. My dreams had become my reality, yet I was somehow unable to accept this new environment. I couldn’t help but fall into what might be described as an identity crisis. A feedback loop of fearful thoughts left me feeling confused. I felt as though I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted and needed in and out of life, and at times I felt unable to even tell what was real. During this time of personal turmoil, I turned to music as a form of therapy, and it helped me cope with the pain that I was feeling. I’d listen to the same ambient song over and over again, trying to insulate myself from reality. I fell in love with space again. By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artists that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognized that the common thread between these artists was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a pop record with these ideas in mind. That idea for a record is what eventually became Boo Boo.”

Whitehorse – Panther In The Dollhouse CD (Six Shooter)
On their new album, Whitehorse takes a place of wholesome, conventional life and sets loose a wild animal to stalk, shred and smash its way through ideals of adult life and social conditioning. Whitehorse turns a microscope on domestic life to reveal a writhing, tangled biota of dreams and desire, despair and degradation. With Panther In The Dollhouse, the duo’s songwriting makes a clean break from autobiography to fully embrace cinematic fiction in sleek, stylized collages of neo-noir drama and high-gloss showmanship. From the grindhouse ballad of “Die Alone” to the peroxide burn of “Trophy Wife,” the new songs are full of flawed characters, foiled plans and anti-fairytales. To make this record, Whitehorse expanded their studio team with the addition of Likeminds, a pair of hip-hop/R&B producers and musicians. The beat-makers joined the returning crew of Gus Van Go and Werner F, who produced the band’s previous album, Leave No Bridge Unburned. The results bring vintage drum machines, samplers and analog synths into duo’s space twang sound.

New Releases - 6/30/17

Beach House – B-sides And Rarities CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
B-sides And Rarities contains every song Beach House – aka Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand – has made that does not exist on one of their albums. The band explains: “When we announced that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, ‘B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.’ This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our six LPs, it wasn’t the ‘best’ or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making.”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 [2006] 4xLP (Sony Legacy)
First-time vinyl edition of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s fourth live album.

Carcass – Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious [Reissue/1991] LP (Earache)
Liverpool's legendary death metal pioneers Carcass are often credited with shaping the entire death metal genre pushing boundaries with their shocking imagery whilst evolving and innovating with each new album. Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious is Carcass' classic third slab and first featuring guitarist Michael Amott.

Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales [Reissue/1984] CD/2xLP (Noise)
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion [Reissue/1985] CD/2xLP (Noise)
Celtic Frost – Into The Pandemonium [Reissue/1987] CD/2xLP (Noise)
Celtic Frost – Vanity/Nemesis [Reissue/1984] CD/2xLP (Noise)

Celtic Frost reissue its four seminal Noise Records albums on deluxe hardback CD and 180gm double album sets, complete with posters and 10” spine bound book. All tracks have been fully remastered and these releases contain previously unreleased and rare tracks.

Coheed And Cambria - Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness [2005] 2xLP+MP3 (Columbia)
First-time vinyl edition. Originally released in 2005, the breakthrough third studio album by progressive rockers Coheed And Cambria continued the band's ambitious four-album "Armory Wars" sci-fi storyline and featured the mainstream rock hit "Welcome Home."

The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? [Reissue/1993] LP (Analog Sparks)
Limited 180gm vinyl pressing in a Stoughton old style tip on jacket. First widely available pressing after being out of print on vinyl for over 24 years.

The Cure – Greatest Hits [2001] 2xLP (Elektra)
The Cure – Acoustic Hits 2xLP (Elektra)

Featuring their best-known tracks including; “Love Song”, “Friday I’m In Love”, “Never Enough”, “Mint Car” and many more.

Dave Matthews Band – Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95 4xLP (RCA)
First time vinyl edition.

LANY – LANY CD/2xLP (Interscope)
Los Angeles-based trio LANY (which stands for Los Angeles New York) makes music that aims an arrow straight at your heart; beautiful songs with swashes of synth, spare percussion, echoes of prime 1980s FM pop, of early-1990s R&B, of new-wave electronica, combining melody and lyrics to put down roots in your head and capture your heart.

Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires – Youth Detention CD/LP (Don Giovanni)
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Battletapes with engineer Jeremy Ferguson and producer Tim Kerr, Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires' Youth Detention captures the band in raw form. Each song was cut live to tape, with the four performing in the same room without headphones or baffling. The result is thoroughly human, Lynn Bridges' mix retaining the band's live energy and looseness at the expense of a few out of tune strings. The Glory Fires music draws deeply from punk, but also soul, power pop, country, and gospel. [Limited edition color vinyl pressing also available.]

of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? [Reissue/2009] LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is of Montreal's landmark 2007 album. The album defined of Montreal's career and continues to be hailed as a classic. Pitchfork called the album "Ceaselessly fascinating and inexhaustibly replayable," honoring it with "Best New Music" and placing it in the Top 5 albums of 2007. It went on to become Polyvinyl's all-time best selling album to date. For the 10-year anniversary of the release, Polyvinyl is proud to be issuing this updated vinyl version.

Ryan Adams – Prisoner: End Of The World Edition 12x7” (Blue Note)
12 7” records — one for each of the 12 songs on Prisoner — pressed in different color vinyl and accompanied by unique artwork. In addition to the album’s original material, there are 17 previously unreleased B-sides included. Also included are action figures in the shape of Adams and his bandmates, arcade games, cats and tigers, and even a miniature stage setup complete with working lights and sounds.

Shakey Graves And The Horse He Rode In On - Nobody's Fool & The Donor Blues EP 2x12”+MP3 (Dualtone)
A double EP of B-sides and rarities from the Austin artist. 180gm clear vinyl pressing. Alejandro Rose-Garcia is professionally known as Shakey Graves. NPR Music named him one of 10 artists music fans “should’ve known in 2012,” describing him as “astonishing…unclassifiably original. And frighteningly good.” Paste included him in a “Best of What’s Next” feature, praising his “gnarly composite of blues and folk,” while The New York Times observed that Shakey Graves “makes the one-man band approach look effortless.”

Vic Chesnutt – Silver Lake [Reissue/2003] 2xLP+MP3 (New West)
At the time Silver Lake was recorded, you could count on two things with Vic Chesnutt: he would approach any topic, from the delicate to the mundane and he would take an unexpected angle. With an incisive eye and razor wit, he would always cut straight to the heart of the matter.

New Releases - 6/16/17

Beth Ditto – Fake Sugar CD (Virgin)
Beth Ditto, who rose to fame as the dynamic frontwoman of punk ‘n’ soul band Gossip, releases her debut solo album. In an interview with BBC 1 Radio, Ditto said she spent two years writing nearly 80 songs for her solo album, including some tracks written with producer Jacknife Lee. However, her main collaborator on Fake Sugar was songwriter and producer Jennifer Decilveo. “She was the rollerblades to my roller skates. We'd argue all day long and I loved it,” Ditto said of the collaboration. In addition to album opener “Fire,” the 12-song LP also features “Go Baby Go” that serves as a tribute to late Suicide singer Alan Vega. The singer's 2014 marriage to her longtime girlfriend also informed Fake Sugar's lyrics. “This is adulthood, baby,” Ditto added. “You fought for marriage equality, now you gotta live in it.”

Big Star – The Best Of Big Star CD/2xLP (Stax)
If the short-lived but fondly remembered Big Star could have experienced popular success in direct proportion to its posthumous influence, the rangy Memphis rock quartet would have lived up to its ambitious name, and then some. With the possible exception of the Velvet Underground, no other underground pop band has left such a lasting and indelible legacy. Taking the gritty soul of Memphis rhythm and blues and fusing it with the artful melodies and vocal harmonies of British power pop, and injecting it all with a flailing, pre-punk, garage-band energy, Big Star created a unique sound with a potentially universal appeal. This new Best Of compilation celebrates the founding fathers of power pop with 16 tracks spanning all three of their LPs (1972's #1 Record, 1974's Radio City and Third, released after the group disbanded). Includes rare single versions of some of their most popular songs, plus new liner notes.

Brandy – Brandy [Reissue/1994] 2xLP (Atlantic)
Double-LP reissue of the self-titled debut album by R&B singer Brandy. The album contains a range of contemporary genres, and the songs are a mix of soft hip hop soul, pop and contemporary mid-1990s R&B.

Broadside - Paradise CD (Victory)
As soon as the majestic opening licks of the album's lead off track burst onto the speakers, it's obvious that Broadside are setting bigger and better goals the second time around. An album of boundless energy, Paradise is a culmination of two years' worth of experiences, sacrifices, and tireless effort, and the end result is a go-for-broke tour de force in pop tinged punk rock. With the line “The sun peeking from the tall palm trees,” the title track “Paradise” sets the personality for a summer sunshine-stained statement. “The whole concept of Paradise is that you should chase that little view of happiness you create in your mind,” explains frontman Ollie Baxxter. “We often put our dreams and desires to the side believing they're unrealistic, but this record is about building a bridge to reach your goals, your dream, your...Paradise.”

Can – The Singles CD/3xLP (Mute)
The Singles collects all the A and B-side versions that the krautrock pioneers released over the course of their career (1969-1986). This unique document is the first time the singles have been presented together, from well-loved tracks like “Halleluwah,” “Vitamin C” and “I Want More” to more obscure and sought-after singles such as “Silent Night” and “Turtles Have Short Legs.” The tracks are all presented in their original single versions, many of which have been unavailable for many years and not presented outside of the original 7" releases.

Carach Angren – Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten CD (Season Of Mist)
The Dutch masters of horror are back with their most flamboyant album yet, pushing their unashamedly theatric style to a new intense height. On Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten Carach Angren have employed all the sonic colors on their palette to dazzling effect. Their trademark whipping guitars weave harsh melodies and sinister soundscapes, which are beautifully contrasted by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations. That Till Lindemann (Rammstein) and Peter Tägtgren (Pain) have called upon the composition talent of Clemens “Ardek” Wijers is a telling sign of his outstanding mastery of the craft. Another signatory counterpoint is provided by Seregor's fierce rasping and shrieking vocals. Adding to the impact, Namtar has become a relentless driving force with his hart hitting yet intricate drumming

Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright! CD (Big Machine)
Cheap Trick's eighteenth studio album We're All Alright! follows 2016's acclaimed Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello. Features the electrifying lead single, “Long Time Coming,” which Billboard raved is, “a crunchy hard rocker driven by a Kinks-flavored riff...a bit of a one-song tribute to Cheap Trick's influential forebears.” Cheap Trick is an indisputable American institution, beloved around the globe since 1974 for their instantly identifiable, hugely influential, brand of pop rock ‘n' roll. The band – Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), Tom Petersson (bass guitar), and Daxx Nielsen (drums) – are true pioneers with an unparalleled streak of certifiably classic tunes, from “He's A Whore,” “California Man” and “Dream Police” to “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me” and the worldwide No. 1 hit single, “The Flame.” 2016 saw Cheap Trick's long awaited induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We’re All Alright! is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds three bonus tracks, among them a kaleidoscopic cover of The Move's “Blackberry Way.”

Com Truise - Iteration CD/2xLP+MP3 (Ghostly Int'l)
Six years after Galactic Melt introduced the cosmic story of Com Truise, Iteration now concludes his sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Seth Haley's singular music has ever sounded. At the album's heart is an elaborate narrative, one full of longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph. Iteration illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his alien love escape its clutches to live in peace. Some of Haley's smartest, catchiest work is here, from the weightless pop of “Isostasy” to “Ternary's” lush synth-funk. “Vacuume” somehow balances massive bass drops and smashing drums with angelic gasps, and “Usurper” gracefully pairs subtle poignancy and uplifting dance beats. The closing title track “Iteration” ends it all in a gush of majestic revelry. [Limited blue and white color vinyl pressing also available.]

David Lynch/Alan R. Splet – Eraserhead [OST/Reissue/1977] LP+7” (Sacred Bones)
An expanded, silver color vinyl reissue of the soundtrack to David Lynch’s landmark 1977 film. This limited deluxe edition includes: a 16 page booklet, three 11"x11" prints, digital download, and a limited edition Peter Ivers 7". A-side of the single is "In Heaven" and the B-side unearths a newly discovered original Ivers recording entitled, “Pete’s Boogie” taken from the original audio tapes and mixed by Lynch.

Dead Heavens – Whatever Witch You Are CD/LP (Dine Alone)
The early sparks of the Dead Heavens' sound began on a solo from frontman/guitarist Walter Schreifels (Vanishing Life, Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicks) with Drew Thomas (Youth of Today, Bold, Into Another) and Nathan Aguilar (Cults) as the backing band. They were obsessing over Cream's first album Fresh Cream and MBV, My Bloody Valentine's both miasmic yet blissful follow up to Loveless. Aguilar also introduced them to the psych beauty of White Fence on that tour, which resonated with Schreifels, who was in the mood for heavier music, guitar solos, and a big rock feeling after a recent Quicksand tour. Upon returning to NYC, Aguilar reacquainted Thomas and Schreifels with musician, painter, engineer and dude who came up with the title Use Your Illusion, Paul Kostabi, who had previously played in White Zombie and Psychotica. Eventually Kostabi joined Dead Heavens, which had morphed mid-recording from a project into an actual band, changing the sound dramatically. Heavier and dual guitar leads, more sonic possibilities. Whether they're connecting the sounds of the psychedelic ‘70s or channeling the now, Dead Heavens have sound tracked their explorations their full-length debut, Whatever Witch You Are.

The Drums – Abysmal Thoughts CD/2xLP+MP3 (ANTI-)
With The Drums' new Abysmal Thoughts, band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he has always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken – but there's beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak, as well as that special kind of glorious delirium that comes from taking everything life can throw at you and still walking away triumphant. If Abysmal Thoughts doesn't sound at all abysmal – really, Pierce has rarely been this irresistibly pop – that's because this is a story about how to figure out what happiness means once the worst has already happened: “If there's one thing I can rely on it's the healing power of being an artist,” he says. “I'm falling back in love with music.”

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up CD/2xLP (Nonesuch)
Crack-Up is the long-awaited and highly anticipated third album from Northwest indie-folk act Fleet Foxes. The Nonesuch Records release comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band's breakout 2008 self-titled debut. All 11 songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold who also co-produced the album with longtime bandmate and close collaborator Skyler Skjelset. The album comes preceded by “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet, and the group's trademark sparkling harmonies. “When Fleet Foxes released the nine-minute album centerpiece ‘Third Of May / Ōdaigahara,’ they were sending a message, letting us know that this would be an album of multi-part suites and proggy digressions and quiet ruptures. On that score, they have been true to their word. Crack-Up is an album full of pretty, soothing music that nonetheless delights in taking odd turns, in branching off in unexpected directions.” – Stereogum

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound CD/LP (Southeastern Records)
“The title of Jason Isbell’s sixth album, The Nashville Sound, could be construed as either wildly presumptive or absurdly aspirational. In truth, it’s a little bit of both. The idea of a homespun artist like Isbell eclipsing any number of corporate country megastars as the public face of “the Nashville sound” is far-fetched, but it’s no longer entirely laughable. The bro-country backlash has made Isbell’s cerebral, folky brand of songwriting somewhat en vogue to the point that even the most mainstream country artists have started chasing at least the perception of the rootsy authenticity he exudes. Even if Isbell only plays a miniscule role in defining what comes out of Nashville these days, he’s exercising that influence the best he can on The Nashville Sound. The album is more eclectic and energetic than his other recent efforts, which have seen Isbell’s voice and vitality as a songwriter crystallize just as his sound has become slicker and more uniform. It may not entirely be the full-throated ‘return to rock’ we were promised, but it’s convincing evidence that the Nashville sound can and should encompass more than country—alternative or otherwise—and mean more than just somber acoustic dirges about sobriety and marriage.” – Slant [Limited vinyl pressing including a 11”x11”, 22-page songbook also available.]

Kevin Morby - City Music CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where great cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it's a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator's brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. City Music sees Morby joined once again by cohorts Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums). Here the vocals were recorded at night, in darkness, overlooking a Pacific Ocean illuminated only by the stars, the wash and whisper of the ebbing tidal a distant soundtrack. The record was completed with Richard Swift in Oregon (producer of Foxygen, sometime member of The Black Keys). Here the album gives voice to all those cities speaking the same universal language of chaos and commerce and culture.

Moby & The Pacific Void Choir – More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse CD/LP (Mute)
As with much of Moby’s output during his nearly three-decade-long career, it’s not surprising that a spiritual & political questioning underpins the nine songs comprising latest full length album. In characteristically iconoclastic fashion, the weighty themes explored throughout More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse find expression as some of the most direct and personal music Moby has ever created. “That quality of atmospheric sadness I’ve done so much of before isn’t here – there’s nothing quiet or ambient,” he notes. “Sonically, this record isn’t subtle: it’s big & loud, with huge kick drums & massive choral choruses.” [Limited orange color vinyl pressing also available.]

Portugal. The Man – Woodstock CD (Atlantic)
“It’s been a long time coming since 2013’s Evil Friends from Portugal. The Man, but a new album is on the way. Between 2006 and 2013, the Alaska-born psych-indie pop group released a whopping eight studio records, never leaving more than two years in between. As we approach four years since their last album, fans have begun to wonder what the wait is, — would a new album ever come? On a trip back home, frontman John Gourley was met by the same questioning by his father, who asked him ‘What’s taking so long to finish the album?’ according to a press release. ‘Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?’ It light a fire under PTM’s collective asses, leading them to throw out all previous material of what they were going to call Gloomin’ And Doomin’, enlisting the help of Beastie Boys’ Mike D, Danger Mouse, and John Hill on the production side. With a bit of inspiration from finding an old Woodstock ’69 ticket of his Gourley’s father, PTM went back to the drawing room table to produce an album that can inspire some good in this ‘avalanche of flaming biohazard material sliding down a mountain of used needles into a canyon full of rat feces’ that sums up 2017 so far.” -- Indie88 [Vinyl edition due in August.]

Ride - Weather Diaries CD/2xLP (Wichita Recordings)
Ride's first album in over 20 years was produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, and is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early-‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that's ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. Weather Diaries sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band's early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album Nowhere and produced its follow up Going Blank Again.

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark? CD/LP (WB)
After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood returns with their eagerly anticipated second album, How Did We Get So Dark? The album’s first single “Lights Out” ups the ante on their first outing with a wrecking ball of a groove cemented by Thatcher's thunderous rhythms, while Kerr wrangles the twisted invention of his bass riffs to a whole new level. Their patented two-man artillery of carefully constructed melodic aggression is prevalent throughout, especially in “I Only Lie When I Love You,” which is a compelling cowbell-assisted reminder of the power of a stop-start riff and a strident chorus. There are times when Royal Blood are more visceral than ever – notably the gargantuan introduction to “Hook, Line And Sinker” and also the intense denouement that brings “Look Like You Know” to a close.

Sammy Brue – I Am Nice CD (New West)
Sammy Brue embodies the kind of wisdom, talent and natural empathy that are often signs of age and maturity, and yet at 15 years old, he can place himself in the shoes of others, real or fictionalized, and write stories about them. The Ogden, UT based songwriter has been writing songs since the age of 10. I Am Nice is a brilliant album with nuanced dimension that provides emotional resonance to Brue's songs which Rolling Stone described as “a collection of devastatingly beautiful songs that touch on heartbreak, jealousy, God and suicide.” They would further declare Brue “an Americana prodigy.” Though Sammy may appear quiet and unassuming, his songs speak volumes. From busking at Sundance at age 10, to opening for Justin Townes Earle, John Paul White, Lucinda Williams and John Moreland to mention a few, as well as performing at Summer Set and the Newport Folk Festival, you will be hearing a lot about Sammy Brue.

Steve Earle & The Dukes – So You Wanna Be An Outlaw CD/2xLP (WB)
If you ever had any doubt about where Steve Earle's musical roots are planted, his new collection, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, makes it perfectly plain. “There's nothing ‘retro' about this record,” he states. “I’m just acknowledging where I'm coming from. I'm always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do. And I'm always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It's who I am.” So You Wannabe An Outlaw is an homage to outlaw music. “I was out to unapologetically ‘channel' Waylon as best as I could.” says Earle. “...Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes was the template for the new album. And I've always considered that record to be really important. I consider his Honky Tonk Heroes the Exile On Main Street of country music.” The new songs include the gentle, acoustic folk ballads “News From Colorado” and “The Girl On The Mountain.” “Fixin' To Die,” on the other hand, is a dark shout from the hell of Death Row. “The Firebreak Line” returns Earle to his pile-driving, country-rock roots. “You Broke My Heart” is a sweet, simple salute to the 1950s sounds of Webb Pierce or Carl Smith. “Walkin' In L.A.” is a twanging country shuffle. The guitar-heavy “Sunset Highway” is an instant-classic escape song. And the deeply touching “Goodbye Michelangelo” is Earle's farewell to his mentor, Guy Clark, who passed away last year.

Sun Kil Moon - Common As Light & Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood 2xLP (Caldo Verde)
Mark Kozelek’s new double-album was recorded with former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley in San Francisco, CA and Hoboken, NJ and for the most part captures events from January to August of 2016 and how the mercurial singer/songwriter processed it all while traveling. A disenfranchised Kozelek laments the Nice, France terror attack and Orlando nightclub shooting on “Bastille Day” and “Bergen To Trondheim” respectively and condemns Trump's election and tech culture on “Lone Star.”

Various Artists - Boombox 2: Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro And Disco Rap 1979-83 2xCD/3xLP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
A new selection of early rap music from the period 1979-83, with barely a household name in sight. Featured here are some the earliest hip-hop records that came out of New York City following the enormous commercial success of the first ever rap record, Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, in September 1979.

Various Artists – Chicago Slickers 1948-1953 [Reissue/1976] LP (Nighthawk)
Various Artists – Chicago Slickers Volume 2 1948-1955 [Reissue/1980] LP (Nighthawk)
Various Artists – Windy City Blues: The Transition 1935-1953 [Reissue/1976] LP (Nighthawk)

Vinyl reissues of ultra-rare recordings from Chicago's mid/late-‘30s to early-‘50s blues heyday. The explosive post-war outburst of musical creativity was matched by the rise of dozens of small independent labels, but after imprints like Parkway, Tempotone and Random went bankrupt, many blues classics were relegated to obscurity.

Various Artists – Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht CD/2xLP (Numero Group)
The Numero Group's dive into the deep end of America's private press continues. With pop music's volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early '70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast - and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall & Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the comb-over strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock's softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.

New Releases - 6/9/17

Ani DiFranco – Binary CD (Righteous Babe)
“Ani DiFranco records arrive like MoMA retrospectives. Ani on Heartbreak. Ani on Worker's Rights. Ani on Parenthood. Ani in Love. Each release is entirely immersive and seemingly exhaustive, not only because of the propulsive, intensely kinetic sound signature on the prolific singer-songwriter's past work, but because her attention to the subject at hand has been laser-focused. For her 20th studio album, Binary, the MoMA retrospective might be called Ani Exhales. DiFranco's voice has lowered and softened, her guitarwork has slowed down, she puts fewer lyrics in her songs, and her songwriter's skin has gotten thicker. Gone is the 18-year-old girl on the street in Manhattan, raging against ‘Our father/ who art in a penthouse.’ Now she's a woman at sea level, New Orleans in her blood, with a long view in every direction and a hard-won instinct for self-preservation. Where she used to favor immersion, DiFranco here favors integration. Binary isn't about one thing, or two things, or even three things. It's about everything.” – NP

Big Thief – Capacity CD (Saddle Creek)
The trails that Brooklyn's Big Thief - Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums) - take us down on Capacity are overgrown with the wilderness of pumping souls. Lenker's songs introduce us to a gallery of multifaceted women and deal with the complicated matters of identity – at once dangerous and curious, though never unbelievable. Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open. Tricked into love, done in and then witnessing the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it to all happen again, but this time to a sturdier soul, one who is going to take the punches better than ever before and deal some jabs and roundhouses of their own. The album is thick with raw, un-doctored beauty: most of the songs on Capacity were played for the first time in the studio and were recorded the same day. “There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album,” Lenker explains. “The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a reaction from inside the pain, whereas I feel Capacity examines the pain from the outside.

Chuck Berry – Chuck CD (Dualtone)
Chuck is the final album and first new recordings in nearly four decades by founding rock & roll legend Chuck Berry, who passed away on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90. Comprised of ten new recordings, eight of which were written by Berry, Chuck is his first new album since 1979's Rock It. Some of the songs on Chuck were originally conceived as far back as the 1980s, with Berry developing them in his home studio in St. Louis over many years during down time between tours. He worked on the album through 2014. When health concerns forced him to stop touring and recording in 2015, Berry continued to oversee production and planning for Chuck, enlisting his family and close friend Joe Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill, to fulfill his wishes that the album be completed and released. And from album highlight “Lady B. Goode,” a spiritual sequel to the iconic “Johnny B. Goode” featuring ripping solos from three generations of Berry guitarists, to the poignant country balladry of “Darlin',” a duet with his daughter Ingrid, Chuck truly is a family affair. Along with his children Charles Berry Jr. and Ingrid Berry, the album features guest performances from Gary Clark Jr., Tom Morello, and Nathaniel Rateliff.

Game Theory – 2 Steps From The Middle Ages [Reissue/1988] CD (Omnivore)
Game Theory’s final studio album – remastered and expanded. Following up 1987’s Lolita Nation would be no easy task for the power pop band. But, Scott Miller and company were certainly up for the task. Re-teaming with producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Marshall Crenshaw, Velvet Crush), 2 Steps From The Middle Ages was released in 1988, and showed the band had no shortage of energy, experimentation, and excellent material. This reissue contains the original 13 songs supplemented with 11 bonus tracks – demos, live performances and covers – all previously unissued. This is another opportunity to discover this brilliant, adventurous band who, if there was any justice in the world, should have been as big as R.E.M

Gov’t Mule – Revolution Come… Revolution Go CD/2xCD/2xLP+MP3 (Fantasy/Concord)
Preeminent rock band Gov't Mule return with their tenth studio effort. Steeped in the roots and mystique of rock, blues, soul, jazz and country, Revolution Come… Revolution Go enriches Gov't Mule's distinguished legacy with cleverly-crafted songs, intelligent and timely lyrical commentary, and downright incendiary playing. While there are some political observations on the album, there are also introspective ruminations on life and love, like the countrified road song “Traveling Tune,” the soaring “The Man I Want To Be” and the slow-burning, reflective “Easy Times.” Throughout the record Warren Haynes' dynamic vocals swing between rock ‘n' roll grit and soulful crooning. Legendary Don Was co-produced on the powerful and moving “Dreams & Songs” and the thought-provoking “Pressure Under Fire.” Jimmie Vaughan makes a sizzling cameo on the super-charged “Burning Point.” “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground” is the reworking of the traditional blues instrumental originally recorded by Blind Willie Johnson to which Haynes added lyrics and the band turned into an epic gospel rock closer.

London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing LP+MP3 (Columbia)
Second full-length album from the British trio.

Lupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool [Reissue/2007] 2xLP (Atlantic)
Double vinyl LP pressing of the sophomore album from the rapper.

The Magpie Salute – The Magpie Salute CD/2xLP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
The Magpie Salute is a new band bringing together former Black Crowes members Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien. Their eponymous debut album was recorded live in front of a small audience at Applehead Recording in Woodstock, New York apart from opening track “Omission” which is a full studio recording. The Magpie Salute has added significance as it marks the last recorded work by the late Eddie Harsch, former Black Crowes keyboard player who passed away in November 2016. The album is a mix of Black Crowes songs, new tracks and cover versions, which reflect the band's wide-ranging roots. With half of the songs coming in at over seven minutes long, there is a musical freedom to the album enabling all the musicians to shine.

Phoenix – Ti Amo CD/LP (Glassnote)
Ti Amo is Grammy-winning band Phoenix's first album since 2013's critically lauded Bankrupt!. Produced by the band and recorded at La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris) with the help of longtime collaborator Pierrick Devin, the band describes Ti Amo as “an album about simple pure emotions: love, desire, lust and innocence, it's also a record about our European, Latin roots, a fantasized version of Italy: a lost paradise made of eternal Roman summers (hyper-light, hyper-clarity, pistachio gelato), juke-boxes on the beach, Monica Vitti and Marcello Mastroiani, fearless desire and Antique marble statues.” The New York Times calls Ti Amo “the band's most unabashedly romantic record yet” and it's ushered in by lead single “J-Boy,” a brilliant, shimmering explosion.

Rancid – Trouble Maker CD/LP+MP3/LP+7”+MP3 (Epitaph)
East Bay pop punk veterans Rancid are going on nearly 25 years together, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. New album Trouble Maker spans 19 tracks produced by Bad Religion frontman Brett Guerwitz, who is also the founder of Epitaph. Born in the midst of the post-Reagan economic downturn in the San Francisco Bay Area, the East Bay region specifically, Rancid came to light as Armstrong and Freeman were moving forward after the first band they founded, Operation Ivy, reached a friendly demise. As Rancid, the band took up the torch of social commentary and the examination of the local scene and instantly inflamed the newly revived punk community, setting the stage for what was to come. After having seen the American dream dwindle and fade within their country, community and homes, Rancid put their description of its aftermath into their songs.

Secret Sisters – You Don’t Own Me Anymore CD/LP+MP3 (New West)
There are two ways of handling a dangerous, raging river: you can surrender and let it carry you away, or you can swim against the flow. For The Secret Sisters, there was a point after the release of their last record when they could have chosen to do neither – instead, sinking to the bottom as the weight of the world washed away their dreams. They went from touring with Bob Dylan to losing their label, purging their team, filing bankruptcy and almost permanently trading harmonies for housecleaning. But there's a mythical pull to music that kept sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers moving forward, and they came out with a biting and beautiful third LP, produced by Brandi Carlile, You Don't Own Me Anymore. The album is a document of hardship and redemption, of pushing forward when it would be so much easier to drown in grief. And it's a story about how passion and pure artistry can be the strongest sort of salvation – how art is left, like perfect grains of sand, when everything else has washed away. The resulting songs of You Don't Own Me Anymore are about life when everything you think defines you is stripped away.

Slow Dancer – In A Mood CD/LP (ATO)
Simon Okely is lost in time. Or at least, his songs sound that way: warm, near-whispered indie-rock love letters to the ‘60s and ‘70s rhythm and blues records his parents would play on family car rides down Australia's winding west coast, heavy on nostalgia and even heavier on imagination. With his new album, In A Mood, Okely is aiming even higher on his new material, featuring a “more expansive, more ambitious” sound that's “less about the stories we tell ourselves when in love and more about the moods that can come creeping over a relationship” at any time. “It's a little more tasteful, involving new instruments, like drum machines and strings,” says the 31-year-old, whose lush tales of new romance, awkward courting and 'scraggly, mangy love that's fading and waning' have been striking a chord with fans of Mac DeMarco, Tobias Jesso Jr, Connan Mockasin and more.

Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind 20th Anniversary [Reissue/1997] 3xLP (Elektra)
Special digitally remastered and expanded 20th Anniversary Edition of Third Eye Blind's eponymous debut album, which features the hits “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” “How’s It Going To Be.”

Various Artists – Music From The American Epic Sessions 2xCD (Columbia/Sony)
Airing June 6, 2017 on PBS in the United States, The American Epic Sessions, directed by Bernard MacMahon, is a feature-length film showcasing an all-star roster of contemporary artists, led by Jack White and T Bone Burnett, replicating a 1920s recording session and paying tribute to the great artists of the past. For the film, The American Epic team reassembled the very first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s, which consists of a single microphone, a towering six-foot amplifier rack, and a live record-cutting lathe powered by a weight-driven pulley system of clockwork gears. All the musical performances for the film were recorded live, and the soundtrack features many additional live performances, including those by: Alabama Shakes, The Americans, Ana Gabriel, Ashley Monroe, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Bettye LaVette, Bobby Ingano, Elton John, Frank Fairfield, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton, Los Lobos, Stephen Stills, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Nas, Pokey LaFarge, Christine Pizzuti, Raphael Saadiq, Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Taj Mahal, Jack White, and Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.