July 16, 2020

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE'S WEEKLY FEATURE ON STRICTLY DISCS:

As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, Chris Eggertsen has been speaking with Angie every other week to chronicle the experience of an independent record store throughout the crisis.  Here is a link to the stories in the series so far:

Billboard Article #1 May 15th

Billboard Article #2 May 22nd

Billboard Article #3 May 29th

Billboard Article #4 June 5th

Billboard Article #5 June 12th

Billboard Article #6 June 19th

Billboard Article #7 June 26th

Billboard Article #8 July 10th



NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:

Due to shipping delays, many of this week's releases will be arriving by noon on Friday.

  
When the world closed down back in March, most of us withdrew to our homes to figure out what the heck to do with ourselves. For many, this process was a difficult, baffling, wheel-spinning span of idle time. Even now, we are still a good ways away from sorting it out. Thankfully, one person named FIONA APPLE knew exactly what to do: immediately release her long-simmering new album, 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters'. With pandemic headlines still wet, the album landed in the digital realm, even it's title an indicator of its "in emergency, break glass" status. Every music reviewer under the sun has already heaped praise and close readings upon this phenomenal record, all of it deserved. Though we are big fans of Ms Apple, we held off on listening to 'Fetch' here at the shop until its arrival on vinyl and CD, which seemed so very far away back in April. 

Well, wow! Talk about worth the wait. 'Fetch' is an immediately singular release in Apple's unique catalog; a summation of her alchemical jazz-rap folk gumbo, brimming with spontaneity, homespun instrumentation, and  nods to Joni, Nina, Linda Sharrock, Tom Waits, and other piano-and-a-microphone forebearers. Equally as anticipated, we now have the *gold vinyl* edition of BOB DYLAN's latest studio album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways', which finds America's bard deep in a twilit contemplation zone. Blue Note mines their catalog for a previously unreleased session from ART BLAKEY and the JAZZ MESSENGERS. 'Just Coolin' dates to a 1959 Rudy Van Gelder date and features sidemen Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley.


 
 
As their wildly successful career waxed and waned with the times, a band of country pop ingenues led by singer Natalie Maines had many listeners wondering which part of their name they would outgrow first. With the release of their new album 'Gaslighter', THE CHICKS chose the former. Trusting that they plan to follow up this important symbolic move with their everyday actions, we welcome this transformational new record from the trio, which is just full of feel-good moments. The latest from all-female altpop group THE ACES, 'Under My Influence', slots right in alongside it, and we have a real-deal new record from the wayward sons themselves KANSAS, who sound just as majestic as always on 'The Absence of Presence'. What JARV IS is, is a new project from Jarvis Cocker, the raconteur frontman of Pulp who did his damnedest to make the 1990s cool. With a revolving cast of UK jazz/classical/electronic studio denizens, 'Beyond the Pale' is certainly something different from the lad, hitting some mystery pop-noir zone somewhere between Hector Zazou and Leonard Cohen. 


  
From the wild frontiers of dance pop come a trio of absolutely dazzling albums. We only know to expect the unexpected from ARCA, who delivers her most listener friendly album yet with 'Kick I', a sparkling, shattered album of electro-pop gems blessed equally with digital detritus, reggaeton riddims, and traditional percussion from her native Venezuela. Korean-American underground producer YAEJI makes mighty inroads to the main vein of the 21st century brainstem with 'What We Drew', a revelatory and shape-shifting album of bedroom-pop crossed with house, trap, and IDM elements that takes just enough from the Grimes playbook and runs far, far away. UK electro soul heroine JESSIE WARE's latest is a back-to-basics banger. With pristine disco-funk production from Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford and Metro Area's Morgan Geist, Ware's pipes ring out over roller-rink grooves. 


  
Throughout the 1990s, the Frankfurt production duo of Jörn Wuttke and Roman Flügel were some busy boys, cranking out albums and EPs under a long list of mysterious pseudonyms. None are so beloved as THE PRIMITIVE PAINTER, a lone 1994 album that sums up everything exciting about early techno. Before the dance scene had splintered into sub-sub-microgenres, restless artists were synthesizing everything around them into a sound that worked for their parties. For Wuttke and Flugel, this meant dreamy, transportive chords, muscular, handpunched rhythm patterns, sprigs of acid squelch, goa yelp, and synthetic flutes. Praises to the storied label R&S, which has brought this chillout classic back to vinyl for a limited time. I'm not sure we'll be waxing as nostalgic for 100 GECS in twenty years, but this duo has plenty of time and ingenuity to prove us all wrong. For the first time, we have their 2019 debut in the house on vinyl, if you're interested in popping the entire zeitgeist in one geltab. Glorious neoclassical comedowns abound on 'Species', the latest album from NYC chamber drone ensemble BING & RUTH. 


 
 
Songwriters at home, united by friendship and the international postal system are celebrated on 'Correspondence', a new album from JENS LEKMAN and ANNIKA NORLIN. What's the best rock band to ever come out of Detroit? I'm not "ready to fight" about it, be it "down on the street" or "back in the USA", but with each successive album they drop I'm convinced it could be PROTOMARTYR. 'Ultimate Success Today' is out today, looking like a real jackass, and available on limited red vinyl. We've also got sweet new rock n rollers in from THE TEXAS GENTLEMEN and THE LAWRENCE ARMS. 


  
Originally scheduled for Record Store Day, we now have an LP of unheard radio performances from SERGE GAINSBOURG, including many of his 60s favorites. Beloved rap partnership FELT from SLUG and MURS sees their third installment 'Felt 3: a Tribute to Rosie Perez' return to vinyl in a new expanded edition on colored vinyl. Finnish-based Afro-pop trio MAAJO have a delightful new album of kalimba/Onyeabor influenced polyrhythmic bubblers called 'Kuru Kuru'. 


  
  
My personal pick for techno release of the year is 'Neon Flux' from Dallas producer CYGNUS, and we've just gotten a second shipment in, along with another great release on the World Building label, the DREAMSCAPE compilation 'Welcome to Our New Age House', which rescues from obscurity some extremely potent, well, new age house music from 1990s New Jersey. WB is the sister label of the iconic underground funk archive People's Potential Unlimited, and we welcome a small stash of some of their finest reissues from the last decade or so: ROBBIE M's Thriller-esque electro-funk, DWIGHT SYKES' aching DIY soul, MARYN COOTE's strange Estonian jazz-pop, and FREEWAY's floorfilling AOR disco bombs.


 
 
For as long as I can remember, we get asked about vinyl releases from ULRICH SCHNAUSS. The German producer has carved out a niche of majestic, ethereal chill. Several of his classic records have been remastered for vinyl, and they're finally here. Check out 'Far Away Trains Passing By', 'A Strangely Isolated Place', 'Goodbye', and 'No Further Ahead Than Tomorrow'. 


USED VINYL ALERT:

Get a load of the Used Vinyl Alert this week! We've put in overtime to bring you serious heat, across all our big genres. Classics abound from David Bowie, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, the Byrds, Roxy Music, Neil Young, Tom Petty, the Doors, and the Rolling Stones.

More choice titles from the world of rock and pop are in from Wings, Carly Simon, Marianne Faithfull, Chicago, the Who, Warren Zevon, the Animals, the Poppy Family, Elyse Weinberg (RIP), the Cyrkle, Chuck Berry, Santana, the Box Tops, and Roy Orbison. Post punk and new wave is here from the Gun Club, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Sonic Youth, U2, the Eurythmics, Executive Slacks, Laid Back, and the Young Gods.

Jazz comes through from Archie Shepp, Pat Metheny, Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Andrew Hill, Art Blakey, Red Garland, and more, plus a wealth of classic soul and funk from Mandre, Isaac Hayes, Archie Bell, Roberta Flack, Earth Wind and Fire, the Shirelles, the Time, Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic, Millie Jackson, Rinder & Lewis, the Supremes, Sade, Donna Summer, and Otis Redding.

Folk classics are in from the Roches, Ry Cooder, Pentangle, the Muldaurs, Joni Mitchell, David Grisman, and John Hartford, plus country from Johnny Cash, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Ramblin Jack Elliott.

Hip hop is in from Del, Odd Future, and the Beastie Boys, plus a cool spread of disco, italo, and electro singles, reggae from Bob Marley, Rita Marley, and Tony Tuff, and a grip of modern classical including some Glenn Gould and Stockhausen essentials. We wrap it with a wild spread of contemporary releasesa from Demdike Stare, Battles, Joyce Manor, Arcade Fire, Chvrches, Fever Ray, Regina Spektor, Silversun Pickups, Har Mar Superstar, and Julia Holter.




USED CD ALERT:

Some phenomenal freshies are in the used CD arrival racks this week! Terry Reid, Toots and the Maytals, Michael Hurley, Marianne Faithfull, Fripp and Eno, Steve Earle, Dead Can Dance, Joao Gilberto, the Zombies and many more are here to spruce up your summer road trip. We've also got a load of fresh jazz, including box sets from Max Roach, Woody Guthrie, Max Roach, and Miles Davis.





RECORD STORE DAY IS NOW RSD DROPS SPREAD OVER 3 DATES:

It's an unusual year, which means unusual news about Record Store Day.

Earlier this spring, Record Store Day announced a rescheduled June 20 date for the annual holiday, but with ongoing health and safety concerns, we now have a new plan.

Instead of a single-day global celebration, the 2020 releases will now be available over a series of monthly RSD Drops events, from August to October, followed by a regularly-scheduled Black Friday in November. This means we'll have four months of release events – the RSD 2020 exclusives spread out over three months, followed by a new round of exclusives for Black Friday – to end this strange year on a high note.

WISHLISTS:

Since so much has changed with Record Store Day, you will need to start a new list for any or all of the three dates. Lists made prior to April are no longer active/valid.

We will try to have ample stock (one of the deepest in the midwest) of all items, but please know that some of these products are extremely limited and will sell out quickly.

THE DEADLINE FOR WISHLISTS FOR THE AUGUST 29TH DATE IS WEDNESDAY JULY 8TH.

WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE A WISHLIST AS THEY WILL HELP US TO EASE CONGESTION/TRAFFIC INSIDE THE STORE ON AUGUST 29TH. 

WISHLISTS CAN BE MADE HERE.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evolve on the fly with this one. Our goal is to keep the RSD spirit intact, connecting musicians, fans and record stores in a time where we need eachother the most!

Here's the official announcement from Record Store Day headquarters:

Since 2008, Record Store Day has grown into the world’s largest single-day music event, shining a light on the culture of the indie record store across the globe. In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be, too. RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly-distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October.

Record Store Day will look very different this year, but supporting indie record stores may be more important than ever. We don't know what sort of rules will be in place, or what sort of gatherings people will be in the mood for this year, so we're focusing on the music and getting the really great titles on the RSD official list this year into the stores and into your hands, in the most financially and socially responsible way.

Stay tuned for many more details in the coming weeks.







STRICTLY DISCS IS HIRING:

VINYL PRICING SPECIALIST:

Required skills:

Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs

Computer proficient

A passion for music, and a broad, deep base of recorded music history

Knowledge of Goldmine standards & experience grading and pricing records

Knowledge of stereo equipment/functionality

Availability to work nights and weekends

Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly



RETAIL/FRONT COUNTER STAFF:

Required skills:

Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs

Computer proficient

A passion for music, and a broad, deep base of recorded music history

Availability to work nights and weekends


To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to angie@strictlydiscs.com




STRICTLY DISCS IS ON SPOTIFY!

Dogs and cats living together! Strictly Discs now has a Spotify channel. Every time one of us at the shop puts on a record, it's because we think someone else within earshot is going to like it, too. One of the things we've missed the most about having our doors temporarily closed is not being able to select the in-store play tunes for our customers to hear. It's the fun part of this job, and we want it back! Spotify users, point yourselves to our profile HERE and click around. We've compiled a number of playlists, with more to come. Be sure to subscribe and check in on the "STRICTLY SELECTOS" playlist, as it will change each week with a fresh rundown of the titles we are featuring in this very email! New songs will appear there every Thursday, and are available to order online or over phone/email.


SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS:

Yes, we are still buying! Call Ron to schedule (608.213.3610).




Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Ben, Matt, Will, Isaac, Ed, Larry, Mark, Jack, Eric & Dave