We begin the weeks arrivals with this batch of restocks & new releases on CD & LP. I'll be adding more in the next 24 hours.
Montrose- Paper Money CD
Back in stock. An early 70's hard rock classic.
Thin Lizzy- Bad Reputation CD
Back in stock. This CD version has 6 bonus tracks.
Shaver- Unshaven: Live At Smith's Olde Bar CD
Billy Joe Shaver and his band led by son Eddie on guitar, rip through an awesome set of hard, gnarly country & rock.
Big Mama Thornton- Ball & Chain CD
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton was much more than the originator of "Hound Dog" - she was one of the greatest Blues singers. She could be fun and sassy, and could also be plaintive and emotional. After Bessie Smith and before Koko Taylor, there was Big Mama Thornton.
BALL `N' CHAIN consists of 16 songs recorded 1965-1968 (tracks 1-8 in 1965; 9-14 in 1966; 15 & 16 in 1968). Disc packaged in black jewel case; total running time: 61:50. Booklet includes an essay by Chris Strachwitz, several black & white photos, and track information (songwriter credits, musician personnel, recording dates).
These are re-recordings of songs Thornton had previously recorded, including "Ball N' Chain", a song that was notably recorded by Janis Joplin. Tracks 1-8 feature Buddy Guy on Guitar. Tracks 9-14 recorded with Muddy Waters Blues Band (and also issued on Arhoolie's 2004 release "Big Mama Thornton with the Muddy Waters Blues Band - 1966"). Noteworthy are Thornton's complaints on "Unlucky Girl" about being followed by the FBI everywhere she goes.
Sonny Boy Williamson- King Biscuit Time CD
For hearing the man born as Alec (Rice) Miller as he had rounded into near-complete game shape, in the years immediately preceding the seminal sides he would cut for Chess beginning in the mid-to-late 1950s, there is no better package than this of Sonny Boy Williamson's incandescent, embryonic recordings for the ancient Trumpet label. Many of these songs would get the Sonny Boy makeover when he re-cut them during his Chess years, and it's intriguing to compare between the Trumpet originals and the Chess refineries of such signature songs as "Eyesight To The Blind," "Cross My Heart," "Nine Below Zero," "Mr. Down Child," and "Mighty Long Time." Then again, the tandem treat is to hear a good enough dollop of some of Sonny Boy's more personal material, particularly the slightly haunting "West Memphis Blues," which he wrote about the fire that actually burned down the house he had bought with his wife.
Then, there are the bonuses: one of the last broadcasts of the legendary "King Biscuit Time" on which Sonny Boy would appear before his death; and perhaps the earliest known version Elmore James would cut of his signature "Dust My Broom," this one with Sonny Boy (who was long reputed to have tricked him into cutting it for Trumpet) sliding in with some fills showing he was a deft an accompanist/partner as he was a harmonica virtuoso. Accompanying the cantankerously poetic Sonny Boy, mostly, are such legends of Memphis/Helena blues as guitarist Joe Willie Wilkins (Robert Jr. Lockwood he ain't, but for laying a sensible support and spitting out the occasional fill and run he acquits his own self very nicely), bassist Cliff Bivens, drummer Frock, and pianist Dave Campbell, and they deliver yeoman's work.
Bee Houston & His High Steppers- The Hustler CD
Released in 1971, nearly doubled from its 10 song original. Funky blues written with an eye towards radio play at the time acknowledges Sly and James Brown, while also touching back to Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. A mix of vocals and instrumentals, with funk, soul and heat a true hidden gem for blues and soul fans.
Big Mama Thornton- With The Muddy Waters Blues Band 1966 CD
The powerful Muddy Waters Blues Band of 1966 and the energy of Big Mama Thornton's vocals are a dynamite combination. Listen to a lot of Muddy and you might take the band for granted. Listen to this lineup of musicians with someone else and you realize this was portable, hot blues. Impeccable timing and understanding of smoldering nuance. Muddy was the master of timing and subtlety. Thornton was a powerful, important blues singer, and this was a great combination. Continual pleasure. Great blues. A thousand cuts above good.
Rosie Flores- Working Girl's Guitar CD+LP
When Rosie Flores recently sold a vintage guitar to a fellow Austin TX musician, he dubbed the beat up beauty a real "working girl’s guitar." The next day he called with what would be the title track to her latest album, but, as he told Rosie, "I didn’t write it, the guitar did." It’s a poetically apt story to sum up the transcendental spirit and music of a road survivor like Rosie Flores. Rosie Flores, the Rockabilly Filly, the versatile virtuoso on the working girl’s guitar, strips it down to the lean meat of her playing, singing, and songwriting on her 11th album. For the first time, Rosie handles all production duties and covers all the guitar bases and, consequently, Working Girl’s Guitar crackles with a loose, straightforward energy fit to be played everywhere from palaces to bars. Beginning in the late ‘70s with her rockabilly punk band the Screamin’ Sirens, Rosie Flores has crafted a pioneering career in the roots underground. She was an integral part of the Los Angeles New Traditionalist scene that gave rise to Dwight Yoakam, the Blasters and Los Lobos; recorded with Ray Campi, rockabilly and riot grrrl icons Janis Martin, and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson. Her last album, Girl of the Century (released on Bloodshot in 2009) was a collaboration with Jon Langford (Waco Brothers, Mekons).
Toy- S/T CD
90’s inspired, lo-fi indie/shoegaze, effortlessly cruising along, leaving behind a trail of psychedelic haze in its wake. Reminiscent of Sonic Youth/Echo & The Bunnymen right down to its 90’s sounding production. Counting down to what is surely going to be one of the year’s finest albums." (SOUND ADVICE). "Its rich melody and delicacy is so invigorating TOY’s debut album is fast becoming one of our most anticipated releases of the year." (ABACUSPOST).
Frijid Pink- S/T CD
Early 70's Detroit hard rock band. Tremendous energy & raw music from a band that passed most people by. The best version of House Of The Rising Sun that you'll ever hear. Bonus tracks included.
DJ Shadow- Endtroducing LPx2
Back in stock on double LP.
Roots- How I Got Over LP
Back in stock on vinyl.
Rolling Stones- Exile On Main Street LPx2
Back in stock on vinyl.
Rolling Stones- Let It Bleed LP
Back in stock on vinyl.
Rolling Stones- England's Newest Hit Makers LP
Back in stock on vinyl.
Nine Inch Nails- Pretty Hate Machine LPx2
Restock of the deluxe double vinyl version on their first album.
Pharcyde- Bizarre Ride II LPx2
This is the vocal version on coloured vinyl.
Pharcyde- Bizarre Ride II (instrumental) LPx2
This is the Instrumental version.
The Decemberists- Her Majesty, The Decemberists LP
Their 2nd album from 2003.
Tweak Bird- Undercover Crops LP
If Marvel ever made What If? for rock bands, Tweak Bird could be the result of an issue hypothesizing a universe where Dean and Gene Ween joined the Melvins instead of Big Business. While this pairing might seem a far-fetched one, brothers Caleb and Ashton Bird have made it very real, mixing sludgy stoner rock with a youthful irreverence on their EP, Undercover Crops. Recorded over a weekend, the 15-minute effort feels less like an EP and more like a short album, offering a consistency from song to song that feels more fully realized than a lot of full-lengths. While it might feel like the EP is unsatisfying short, it's hard to think of anything else to add to it. Sure, you could always drop in more songs or make the existing tracks longer, but the bite-sized experiences captured on Undercover Crops feel perfectly balanced and tuned, with no filler tracks or extended jams mucking up the brief but pure experience offered by the EP. It's tempting to want more of the bands fuzzed-out, with stoner riffs and weird vocals, but it might just be too much of a good thing. (AMG)
Motorhead- The World Is Ours Vol.2 LPx2
The latest installment of their concert series. Recorded live in Wacken Germany 2011.
Ten Years After- A Space In Time LP+DVDA audio disc
Nice lavish reissue of TYA's biggest selling album from 1971. Bonus DVDA contains 4.1 Quad mix and other features.
Can- The Lost Tapes CDx3
30 unreleased tracks with 24 page booklet.
Jason Collett- Reckon LP
His brand new album, which in fact is a career spanning collection of 11 songs with 2 previously unreleased tracks.
Coldplay- Parachutes LP
The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow LP
Back in stock.
Maserati- Maserati VII LPx2
Maserati have always been a band that mostly left the "post" out of "post-rock." Their sense of dynamics and compositional flow is right in line with Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and any number of other tension-and-release junkies, but the music never broods. Instead, it powers sleekly along on economical drumming, taut, delay-heavy riffs, and chugging bass, a little like Trans Am with more focus. The economical drumming is especially key, and Mike Albanese handles the kit well after taking over for the late Jerry Fuchs, who played with the band from 2005 to his death in 2009. At the very least, he was well-briefed on what makes this band's music so effective-- their rhythmic template seems to be a head-on crash between the tightly disciplined, unerring work of Kraftwerk's sequencers and drum machines and the looser, more human, but no less disciplined motorik beat of Neu!.
Divine Fits- A Thing Called Divine Fits LP
Collaboration between Spoon's Britt Daniel & Handsome Fur's Dan Boeckner. From March to May of this year, the two decamped in a Los Angeles recording studio with New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown, keyboardist Alex Fischel, and producer Nick Launay to knock out A Thing Called Divine Fits.
Gary Clark Jr- Blak & Blu CD
Debut album from new blues/rock/psyche wunder boy.
Enslaved- Riitiir LPx2 (coloured vinyl)
Latest album from Norwegian black metal band on double coloured vinyl.
Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest LPx2
Restock on double LP.
T-Rex- Electric Warrior LP
Latest reissue on 180 gram vinyl.
Metric- Synthetica LP
Back in stock on vinyl.
Mono- For My Parents LPx2
Japan's Mono have been exploring the margins of post-rock since 2006 when they collaborated with World's End Girlfriend on 2006's Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain, using electronics, strings, chorus, a pianist, and a saxophonist. 2009's Hymn to the Immortal Wind featured large string and wind sections, followed by the live festival performance Holy Ground: NYC Live in collaboration with the Wordless Music Orchestra under the conduction of Jefrey Milarski. Those albums showcased Mono's sound in transition from its thundering post-rock origins. For My Parents, again with Milarsky's WMO renamed the Holy Ground Orchestra, nearly completes that move. Each of Mono's previous experiments with classical instrumentation and arrangements has gone a little deeper and wider. But these five lengthy tracks move them further toward the edge. Here they've created a music that seamlessly melds the repetitive, hypnotic, density, and propulsion we've come to expect from post-rock as a genre, yet turns them upside down, focusing increasingly on detail, space, ambience, melody, expansive harmonics, and intervallic architectures.
OFF!- S/T CD
Restock of their debut full length album. Members of Circle Jerks, Redd Kross etc.
Dinosaur Jr- I Bet On Sky LP
The latest album from Dino Jr is now back in stock. Includes digital download.
Beatles- Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You 7" limited reproduction
Limited reissue of their very first single packaged just as it was in 1962 on the Parlaphone label.
Beardfish-Sleeping In Traffic Pt.1 CD
Sleeping in Traffic, Pt. 1 is Beardfish's third album, but the Swedish outfit's first for a major progressive rock record label, namely InsideOut. Even though the album went by rather unnoticed, prog rock fans should take note of it. Beardfish do not break new ground, but their take on the genre has a lot of balls and feeling. Blending an occasional Gentle Giant influence with a strong Genesis background and a deep-running blues basis, the group is particularly successful in the melody department, without devolving into ersatz melodic hard rock. In other words, these Swedes strike a very fine balance between prog complexity and sincere feeling. In that regard, their strongest achievement is "Harmony," a moving progressive blues number showcasing the vocal prowess of the group's singer...and some mean organ playing. Also worth a special note are the all-out prog rocker "Sunrise" and the Gentle Giant/Ritual-inspired "Year of the Knife."
Cryptopsy- And Then You'll Beg CD
Back in stock.
Cryptopsy- The Unspoken King CD
Back in stock.
Kamelot- Silverthorn LPx2
Latest album from American progressive metal band on double coloured vinyl.
Pentagram- Review Your Choices CD
Restock. One of the most enduring and influential underground bands in heavy metal history, Pentagram's career was almost 15 years old by the time they finally managed to record their first album. Though invariably led by mysterious frontman Bobby Liebling, the band's volatile membership made it difficult to maintain any kind of momentum and kept them confined to metal's outer fringes. But interest in Pentagram's convoluted history continues to grow and their crucial contributions to the development of heavy metal seem at last to be receiving some of their late, lamented due.
Pentagram- Sub-Basement CD
Named because he lived in the sub level of his parents house, Bobby Liebling's Pentagram released this in 2001.
With the exhuming of Pentagram's '70s musical corpse now on its way to becoming an international pass-time, it's only fitting that the seminal underground band attempt to capitalize on the unexpected surge of interest by releasing the occasional new studio album, as well. Of course the term 'band' is used loosely here, for, like its predecessor, 1999's Review Your Choices, Sub-Basement finds Pentagram paired down to a duo comprising vocalist and founding father Bobby Liebling and longtime cohort Joe Hasselvander, on all other instruments. It also, once again, resorts to combining newly composed material like "Tidal Wave," the pummeling "Drive Me to the Grave," and the title track, with reworked versions of old Pentagram classics, including "Buzzsaw," "Out of Luck" and "Target." Problem is, neither these premiere offerings nor the newly recut historical retreads manage to compete with the group's doom metal glories of old; ultimately sounding even less satisfying than other recent, like-styled outings. And perhaps most troubling of all is the weakened state of Liebling's voice, which, if his gaunt and tired visage on the CD booklet (he's looking more like an old, decadent vampire than ever) is any indication, may be finally suffering the wear and tear of decades of reported drug abuse.
Pentagram- Last Rites CD
2011 saw the release of Last Rites, their first album of new material in 7 years.
Polyphonic Spree- Holidaydream LP
Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays Vol. One includes 10 standards, two original instrumental compositions, and a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's classic, 'Happy X-Mas (War is Over)'. Holidaydream is not your typical, by-the-numbers holiday collection. It's almost one those records you could listen to year round. The music within is magical, otherworldly, and at times somber. The songs captivate as they float by. A few of the songs have alternate melodies and truncated lyrics but maintain the timelessness and sentimentality of the song. A holiday tradition in the making, Holidaydream will appeal to fans of all ages.
Langhorne Slim- The Way We Move LP+CD
White vinyl that comes with free CD included. Latest album from low flying hipster Langhorne Slim. The Way We Move, his fourth album, is his first in three years. After leaving Kemado, the band decided to crowd-fund this outing through PledgeMusic. While not a stylistic departure from the blend of rootsy garage Americana that has become their trademark, The Way We Move's 14 songs lyrically follow the end of a relationship -- from disbelief to anger to acceptance -- and moving on; performing like a bar band on Saturday night. Recorded live in the Catskills, banjos, guitars, clattering drums, and Slim's ragged vocals are defiant and even celebratory in their never-say-die attitude.
Anathema- Weather Systems LPx2
The most recent from this great progressive metal band. Double LP in gatefold sleeve.
Fleetwood Mac- Pious Bird Of Good Omen LP
Dutch audiophile pressing. With songs taken from Fleetwood Mac and Mr. Wonderful, Pious Bird of Good Omen serves as a worthy 12-track compilation of the band's early Peter Green days. Climbing to number 18 in the U.K., the album managed to catapult Fleetwood Mac's version of Little Willie John's "Need Your Love So Bad" into the English charts for the third time, resting at number 42. The album itself was released by Blue Horizon after the group's contract with them had expired, making it one of the best routes in which to explore their mingling of Chicago and British blues. "Albatross," "Black Magic Woman," and "I Believe My Time Ain't Long" are timeless Fleetwood Mac standards, representing some of the band's best pre-Rumours work. Anyone who isn't familiar with Fleetwood Mac's origins should use Pious Bird of Good Omen as a starting point in investigating the first wave of the band, which will almost certainly lead to further interests into albums such as English Rose, Then Play On, and Kiln House, and then into later albums like Bare Trees and Penguin, which reveal subtle yet effective changes in the band's blues sound. But even aside from its purpose as a collection, Pious Bird of Good Omen makes for a terrific laid-back stroll through some of the best British blues music ever made.
Social Distortion- Somewhere Between Heaven & Hell LP
Dutch audiophile pressing on 180 gram vinyl.
Comeback Kid- Turn It Around LP
Back in stock on vinyl.
Jimmy Cliff- Rebirth LP
Brand new album from this legendary reggae performer. Backed for the past few years by Tim Armstrong's (Rancid) band.