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    X-Ray's New Stock List!   
    Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 11:18 am CST
    Contributed by: Dave

    Once again, I present the new stock list for the week. More to follow. Please check back.

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd- "Two Days Out: Blues From The Backroads" LPx2 (Reprise)
    10 Days Out may well be Kenny Wayne Shepherd's most important and intriguing album, even though the guitarist is hardly the featured artist on any of these tracks, working instead more as a sideman and facilitator for the impressive cast of venerable blues players who get a chance to shine here. Make no mistake about it, this recording belongs to such senior citizens as Henry Townsend, Etta Baker, Pinetop Perkins, and Henry Gray, and Shepherd's presence (and the presence of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton) simply helps to focus the attention on these veteran blues players. Shepherd embarked on a ten-day journey into the American South in 2004 with a documentary film crew, a portable recording studio, and Double Trouble as a house band in an effort to catch the blues in its natural habitat of living rooms, kitchens, porches, back yards, and local watering holes, and the performances that resulted are priceless.

    Stevie Ray Vaughan- "Texas Flood" LPx2 (Pure Pleasure)
    Deluxe audiophile release on double 180 gram LP's.

    Stevie Ray Vaughan- "Couldn't Stand The Weather" LPx2 (Pure Pleasure)
    Deluxe audiophile release on double 180 gram LP's.

    The Smiths- "S/T" LP (Rhino)
    New 180 gram HQ vinyl reissues.

    The Smiths- "The Queen Is Dead" LP (Rhino)
    New 180 gram HQ vinyl reissues.

    The Smiths- "Meat Is Murder" LP (Rhino)
    New 180 gram HQ vinyl reissues.

    The Smiths- "Strangeways, Here We Come" LP (Rhino)
    New 180 gram HQ vinyl reissues.

    Tom Petty- "Highway Companion" LPx2 (American)
    Double audiophile release.

    John Lee Hooker- "The Healer" LP (Classic)
    Beautiful heavy duty reissue of this Grammy winning album.

    The Who- "Direct Hits" LP (Classic)
    Direct Hits was the first official compilation of the Who's music. And it would be notable on that basis alone, even though it was planned exclusively as a European release. But it did a lot more than that, reaching far beyond its intended audience and raising some listener's consciousness along the way. Track Records, which had the band's contract in England and which was always strapped for cash, conceived Direct Hits as a cash-in effort behind the Who's then recent spate of singles, which included "I Can See for Miles," "Pictures of Lily," and their cover of the Stones' "The Last Time" (done as a gesture of support following the drug arrests of Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and Brian Jones) -- and as Track didn't have access to the group's earliest singles, the record was filled out with B-sides, a few non-hit 45 sides, and a notable album track or two. The resulting LP packed as much pop/rock punch as any piece of 12" vinyl to see the light of day in England in 1968, as well as being weird and quirky in the best possible way, what with odd but catchy tracks like "Bucket T" and "In the City" bumping up against the familiar "I Can See for Miles" and "Substitute." It was the best snapshot of he Who's history yet put before the public, and it was good enough to get brought over to America by some enterprising importers, as one of the first U.K. albums to find somewhat wide distribution in the United States, especially at record stores serving college campuses.

    Tom Waits- "Swordfishtrombones" LP (Simply Vinyl)
    Probably the last time I'll get this on the UK "Simply Vinyl" label as it's now being pressed in the USA through Island. The domestic version (USA) is cheaper, but the Simply Vinyl label has a great reputation for superior sounding pressings.

    V/A- "Woodstock: 40th Anniversary Edition" LPx5 (Warner)
    Deluxe 5xLP box set with songs not found on the original 3xLP set from 1969.

    John Mayall- "Thru The Years" CD (Decca)
    A grab bag of rare tracks from the '60s, some of which stand among Mayall's finest. His debut 1964 single "Crawling up a Hill" is one of his best originals; this comp also includes a couple of 1964-65 flipsides that were never otherwise issued in the U.S. The eight songs featuring Peter Green include some top-notch material that outpaces much of the only album recorded by the Green lineup (A Hard Road), particularly the Green originals "Missing You" and "Out of Reach," a great B-side with devastating, icy guitar lines and downbeat lyrics that ranks as one of the great lost blues-rock cuts of the '60s. The set is filled out with a few songs from the Mick Taylor era, the highlight being the vicious instrumental "Knockers Step Forward." Look for the CD reissue and not the early-'70s double U.S. album of the same name, which includes a lot of superfluous material and omits the three 1964-65 songs from British 45s.

    Lucinda Williams- "Little Honey" LPx2 (New West)
    Back in stock on double vinyl.

    Portishead- "Dummy" LP (Go Disc)
    Their very first album, now back in stock. Cheaper now too!

    Portishead- "Third" LPx2 (Island)
    THIRD is the first studio album from Portishead in 10 Years! Portishead was formed in 1991 and is: Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley and Dave McDonald.

    Deerhunter- "Microcastle" LPx2 (Kranky)
    Offbeat indie rockers back in stock on double LP.

    Brian Jonestown Massacre- "Bravery Repetition & Noise" CD (Committee)
    Restock on one of my favorites from BJTM.

    Blonde Redhead- "Fake Can Be Just As Good" LP 1997 (Touch & Go)
    It seems like New York trio Blonde Redhead have been dogged with Sonic Youth comparisons since the day they formed years ago, taking their name from an old song by No New York faves DNA. Such yakking only grew louder when the group, then a quartet, signed with Steve Shelley's Smells Like label in 1994 for a pair of LPs, and then let the Sonic Youth drummer produce them. Three years down the road, it's a resemblance still firmly in place on Fake Can Be Just as Good, despite the group employing producer John Goodmanson and switching labels to Chicago's venerable, powerful Touch & Go. But if this stubborn outfit of two handsome Italian-Americans and a pretty Japanese-American doesn't care about being branded copycats, and it seems they don't, then neither should anyone else. Improving with each release, the solid, crashing duo of guitarists (and alternating singers) Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace may borrow an ethic, an anti-pop stance, and atonal tension that's super-familiar, but the clean sound, direct attack, and straightforward, tense delivery are all their own.

    Blonde Redhead- "Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons" LP 2000 (Touch & Go)
    For a record produced by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi, Rites of Spring), Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons is a surprisingly quiet affair. Rarely do the cuts on Blonde Redhead's 2000 release get much louder than an electric guitar. With their fifth record, Blonde Redhead finally emerges from the shadows of Sonic Youth's post-punk legacy by avoiding the expected detunings, distortions, and shrillness of the genre. The three-piece manages to create a record that is subtle, tuneful, and sublime.

    Neil Young- "Zuma" LP (Reprise)
    Back in stock.

    Beastie Boys- "Ill Communication" LPx2 (Capitol)
    Restock on LP.

    Beastie Boys- "Hello Nasty" LPx2 (Capitol)
    Restock on LP. Brand new deluxe reissue.

    Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions- "Through The Devil Softly" CD (Nettwerk)
    Hope Sandoval basically disappeared from the scene following the release of 2001's Bavarian Fruit Bread. That album's tender and spooky folk seemed like a nice beginning for her post-Mazzy Star career, and her musical partnership with ex-My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O'Ciosoig promised more goodness to come. It wasn't to be, however, and it wasn't until 2009's Through the Devil Softly that the duo reappeared. The album showed that not much had changed musically for them. The hazy, slow-motion feel of the music here is of a piece with Sandoval's body of work; the restraint and careful placement of instruments is equally as effective; and the songs are haunting, perhaps even more so. Most of all, there's Sandoval's voice, which is exactly as beguiling and bewitching as ever. She makes everything sound like it was recorded at 2:00 a.m. in the middle of the kind of dream you never want to wake up from. (AMG)

    Immortal- "All Shall Fall" CD (Nuclear Blast)
    Immortal has been one of the most important black metal bands in the world, since the release of their first demo “The Northern Upins Death” in 1990. The band was founded by Abbath Doom Occulta and Demonaz Doom Occulta. Immortal is ready to release the new album, “All Shall Fall” in the autumn of 2009, through Nuclear Blast Records worldwide.

    Patrick Watson- "Wooden Arms" LP (Secret City)
    Finally here on LP! Don't know what the holdup was, as this came out in May.

    New Order- "Power, Corruption & Lies" CDx2 (Rhino)
    Bonus Disc with B-sides, Remixes and Rarities.

    Muddy Waters- "Steppin' Stone" CDx3+DVD (Properbox)
    The U.K.'s Proper imprint usually gets it right when it comes to reissues. That said, the trio of Chicago blues collections they released in 2009: Rollin' Stone, Headhunters, and I'm Ready all revolve around Waters in some way. Headhunters includes 20 tracks by Waters' associates and those he influenced, Rollin' Stone features Waters covering and rewriting tunes by both his influences and contemporaries; each version is included in sequence, and I'm Ready (not to be confused with the set of the same title issued by Blue Sky/Sony Legacy) is all Waters, from his beginnings in Chicago in the '40s through his heyday in the '60s. This box set simply collects all three volumes in a handsome package and includes a 78-page book and a bonus DVD entitled Talkin' Muddy Waters, a documentary featuring numerous artists and critics being interviewed about Muddy.

    Wilco- "Wilco The Album" CD (Nonesuch)
    Their most recent album. Back in stock.

    Electric Wizard- "Dopethrone" CD (Candlelight)
    Probably their most popular album. Back in stock.

    Judas Priest- "Rocka Rolla" LP 180 gram (Koch)
    Now reissued as part of an ongoing series. Other titles here as well.

    Neko Case- "Middle Cyclone" LP 180 gram (Anti)
    Back in stock on LP.

    Godflesh- "Pure/Cold World/Slave State" CDx3 (Earache)
    Three long out-of-print releases from the GODFLESH catalogue, remastered and housed together in one value priced set! The package features their classic 1992 album 'Pure', together with the rare 1991 EP 'Cold World', the 1991 remix/reinterpretation album 'Slavestate', and 4 bonus tracks. The hugely influential Godflesh was the brainchild of Justin Broadrick, a founding member of Napalm Death who has since continued with Jesu and Techno Animal, as well as a recent collaboration with Jarboe. As well, Broadrick has done remix work for a number of notable artists, including Pantera, Isis, and Earth.

    Pete Rock- "Petestrumentals" LPx2 (BBE)
    Old school hip hop done sans vocals.

    T-Rex- "Tanx" LP 180 gram (get Back)
    Restock on LP.

    Waylon Jennings- "The Ramblin' Man" CD (Buddha)
    If you look at the cover of The Ramblin' Man, you would think that Waylon Jennings had been a ramblin' man, riding the top of the charts, for years, maybe decades. He looks worn out, whether it's on the close-up on the cover, or the back-cover shot of him drunkenly playing solitaire. In truth, it would be another album before he hit the top of the country charts and before outlaw country became hip. Still, this is the record where it all came home. If he had created a sketch of outlaw on Honky Tonk Heroes, he perfected the marketable version of it here, making it a little slicker, a little more commercial, and a whole lot more unstoppable. If the songs aren't the equal of Honky Tonk Heroes or even This Time, The Ramblin' Man has a wilder sound and a greater diversity of songs that make it seem more unruly than its immediate predecessor and more blatantly outlaw. This contains, after all, his first flat-out rock cover, with a good take on the Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider," plus songs that play into the image of what an outlaw country singer is. There are moments of reflection, yet even those feed into the outlaw picture. Too bad many of the album tracks wind up being agreeable filler instead of knockouts. There aren't any bad cuts, and the entire thing holds together quite well, but it doesn't add up to a moment of transcendence the way Honky Tonk Heroes or its successor would. Still, with "I'm a Ramblin' Man," "Rainy Day Woman," and the heartbreaking "Amanda" on its side, plus highlights like "Oklahoma Sunshine," this is a first-rate Waylon record. [The 1999 Buddha reissue contains three bonus tracks.]

    Kraftwerk- "Autobahn" CD (EMI)
    With its iconic Emil Schult sleeve, Kraftwerk release their international breakthrough album. The symphonic title track, an epic ode to the joys of motorway travel, wraps a mesmerising motorik rhythm around a sampled collage of car horns, engine noise, whirring tyres and radio crackle. In edited form, it becomes a revolutionary hit single around the world. Elsewhere, in wordless industrial folk music, the band reveal both their light and dark sides – ‘Mitternacht’ is all creeping midnight shadows, while ‘Morgenspaziergang’ is fresh with morning dew and birdsong. Two versions of ‘Kometenmelodie’, one a starkly gothic prowl, the other a sunny electro boogie, provide further instrumental sound paintings. Pure and strong and bold, Kraftwerk compose cinema for the ears. The pop world falls in love with them.

    Built To Spill- "There Is No Enemy" CD (Warner)
    Smokin' new album from the always excellent Built To Spill. Vinyl coming soon.

    Monsters Of Folk- "S/T" LPx2 (Shangri-La)
    Monsters of Folk is an American band, consisting of Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes and M. Ward. The band was formed in 2004 when the members were on tour with their respective bands and solo projects. After playing together both on-stage and backstage, they started working together on various material. Due to the members' main projects, Monsters of Folk did not wrap up their first album until 2009, and it was released on September 29 on Rough Trade.

    Sick Of It All- "Live In A Dive" LPx2 (Fat Wreck)
    Live in a Dive sees the New York City hardcore stalwarts at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill in November 2001 doing what they'd done for the preceding dozen-plus years: leveling the joint with their powerful hardcore. The nearly two dozen tracks run through every era of the band's history, with five tracks from the Blood, Sweat & No Tears debut, four tracks from the band's then recent Yours Truly, and multiple cuts from everything else in between, making this as comprehensive as any best-of compilation would hope to be, but with the energy of the band's concert experience bleeding through the speakers. A must for a fan, a good starting point for a novice, and not nearly as disposable as most concert recordings are.

    Black Dahlia Murder- "Deflorate" LP (Metal Blade)
    Combining death metal with anything resembling melody kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it? Guess no one ever bothered to tell the Black Dahlia Murder this heavy metal golden rule, as evidenced by their fourth studio release overall, 2009's Deflorate. But don't be misled: it's not like they're going to be confused anytime soon as power pop champions when it comes to melodic content -- it's a tiny pinch of melody stirred into gallons of brutal extreme metal. The album signals the first appearance by new guitarist Ryan Knight, replacing John Kempainen, who played on all of the group's previous studio efforts. However, the slight lineup hiccup has not affected the ferocity of the Black Dahlia Murder's mighty metal attack, especially on such eardrum blasters as "Necropolis" and "Denounced, Disgraced." As with past Black Dahlia Murder releases, Trevor Strnad is one of the genre's most impressive vocalists, as he effortlessly alternates between screechy screams and guttural growls, without ever missing a beat. Some bands soften their approaches with experimentation as their discographies grow. Deflorate proves that the Black Dahlia Murder will not be listed in this category anytime soon.

    The XX- "The XX" LP (XL)
    Debuts as fully formed and confident as the xx's self-titled first album are rare, but then, there is very little that is typical about this band or their music. Their influences are wide-ranging -- traces of post-punk, dream pop, dubstep, indie pop, and R&B pop up at any given moment -- but are focused into songs that are as simple as they are unique and mysterious. These tracks are so sleek, they're practically sculptural, and they boast impeccably groomed arrangements.

    Tosca- "No Hassle" CDx2+LP (Red Ink)
    ‘No Hassle’ is the new album by Viennese soundscape masters Tosca. Forefathers of the nu-Balearic/cosmic scene of artists such as Studio, Quiet Village, A Mountain Of One and Windsurf; Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber have produced their most magical and mesmerizing album yet. A luxurious tapestry of analogue and digital sounds, submerged samples and live instruments; ‘No Hassle’ evolves and expands into an hour-long ambient symphony. The title reflects not only the duo’s laid back approach to making music but their whole philosophy of life. Multi-instrumentalists Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber have been friends since their Vienna schooldays, when they founded their first experimental band, Dehli 9. Richard later became half of the globally acclaimed DJ-producer duo Kruder and Dorfmeister, while Rupert worked in piano composition, sound-art installation and acoustic networks. The duo rediscovered their musical chemistry again with their Tosca debut, the 1994 12″ ‘Chocolate Elvis’; a string of highly praised albums and remix collections followed.

    Chromeo- "I Can't Tell You Why" 7" (K7)
    Montreal's CHROMEO's fantastic talkbox-electro cover of the Eagles classic "I Can´t Tell You Why" presented in a limited edition, specially packaged 7" single. The b-side is a dub version and is exclusive to this release.

    Pere Ubu- "Long Live Pere Ubu!" CD (Smog Veil)
    It takes a certain kind of contrarian – one only recently quoted as having little interest in any art form other than rock, and in almost the same breath, brushing off his band’s namesake (after the grotesque dictator from Alfred Jarry’s 1896 satirical farce “Ubu Roi”) as “the stuff you do in high school” - to then turn around and produce a highly conceptual rock opera of exactly that play. Inconsistencies aside, David Thomas, with support from Sarah Jane Morris and the rest of his Ubu entourage, inhabits the role of King Ubu brilliantly. Some may even venture that the Cleveland art-rocker has unwittingly method-acted this role for the majority of his 35-year career. Not only do his burbling vocal affectations suit the toady tyrant Ubu down to a ‘T’, but on learning that the majority of Thomas’s rehearsal input involved him ordering the band to mimic the clicking of 20 decaying Apple Macs recorded down the phone line from his Brighton residence, it’s surprising he didn’t have his own mutiny to deal with.

    Levon Helm- "Electric Dirt" CD (Vanguard)
    Electric Dirt (Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard Records) is the second album in the last two years from American musical treasure Levon Helm. Its predecessor, the GRAMMY-winning Dirt Farmer, his first solo LP in a quarter century, followed Levon's near miraculous recovery from throat cancer, and as such represented a new lease on life for the legendary artist, who rose to prominence as the drummer and vocalist for Levon and the Hawks, which later became The Band. Electric Dirt again finds Levon steeped in tradition in his connection to the land and those who live by it, but this record goes deeper and wider, incorporating gospel, blues and soul elements in a bracing collection of originals and carefully chosen outside songs. As with Dirt Farmer, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell took the reigns as producer and the album was recorded at "The Barn"- Levon Helm Studios. "Our objective here was to take the honesty, innocence and purity of the Dirt Farmer record which represents a true element of what Levon is all about, but also expand on that and explore deeper the goldmine of Levon's musical artistry" states Campbell.

    Junior Brown- "Long Walk Home" CD (Curb)
    A singer and demon guitarist whose raucous blend of country and rock & roll helped make him a successful crossover act, Junior Brown was born in 1952 and raised in the backwoods of Kirksville, IN. He first learned to play the piano from his father, and was exposed to country through radio and TV, becoming a fan of Ernest Tubb's music and television program. He became a professional musician at the tail end of the '60s, while still in his teens. After honing his guitar skills in relative anonymity throughout the '70s, Brown became an instructor at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music, an affiliate of Rogers State College in Oklahoma. There, while teaching under the auspices of steel guitar legend Leon McAuliffe, a onetime member of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Brown met "the lovely Miss Tanya Rae," a student whom he would later marry in 1988 and who eventually joined his band as a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. At the same time, a dream prompted him to set about creating an instrument fusing a six-string guitar with its steel counterpart. Contacting guitar maker Michael Stevens in 1985, he developed the "guit-steel," a double-necked guitar combining the standard instrument with the steel. (A decade later, the two men reunited to update the "guit-steel," and Brown's cherry axe, "Big Red," was born.) After moving to Austin, TX, Brown and his group became the house band at the city's Continental Club, where strong word-of-mouth eventually earned them a record deal. He made his long-awaited album debut in 1993 with 12 Shades of Brown, which featured a tribute to his biggest influence, "My Baby Don't Dance to Nothing but Ernest Tubb." It also showcased his often-stunning instrumental work, and blended Western swing, honky tonk, and electrified Bakersfield country. Guit With It followed later in the year, and like its predecessor, was met with considerable critical acclaim. After a five-song stopgap EP, 1995's Junior High, Brown returned in 1996 with Semi-Crazy, which continued in the vein established on his previous recordings. The Long Walk Back followed two years later, and displayed a bit more rockabilly flavor. Brown issued his fifth album, Mixed Bag, in 2001.

    Junior Brown- "Junior High" CD (Curb)
    See above review.

    Junior Brown- "Semi Crazy" CD (Curb)
    See above review.

    Junior Brown- "Mixed Bag" CD (Curb)
    See above review.

    Nebula- "Apollo" CD (Universal)
    Back in stock.

    Humble Pie- "Smokin'" CD (A&M)
    After a couple of years of relentless touring, Humble Pie capitalized on their loyal U.S. following to capture the market with this, their third album. Although lead guitarist Peter Frampton was replaced by Clem Clemson -- an excellent player -- the band remained essentially the same. Led by singer/guitarist Steve Marriott's soulful wail, the group enjoyed a huge hit from this record, "30 Days in the Hole" -- the track which defined the Pie's not-so-subtle appeal. The rest of the record is equally funky and intriguing. Stephen Stills guests on "Road Runner 'G' Jam," playing some nasty Hammond organ fills. In the end, though, the group defined themselves as the undisputed leaders of the soulful hard rock movement in the early 1970s, as a band.

    Razor- "Evil Invaders" CD (Attic)
    Back in stock. Look for later period Razor titles to be coming on vinyl soon.

    Razor- "Malicious Intent" CD (Attic)
    Back in stock. Look for later period Razor titles to be coming on vinyl soon.

    Hidden Cameras- "Origin: Orphan" CD+LP (Arts & Crafts)
    Brand new album. Now here on both formats.

    Beastie Boys- "Check Your Head" LPx2 (Capitol)
    Restock on LP.

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