Strictly Discs

September 30, 2021


Newsletter time! This week brings quite a torrent of new releases of all kinds, big and small, and we've just about caught them all. Pride of Reading, Pennsylvania TAYLOR SWIFT rolls out the vinyl edition of her newly-remade album 'Fearless (Taylor's Version), revisiting her 2008 album with crisper, more personal arrangements, evolving her voice while leaving her youthful lyrical content unchanged. The tradition of fed-up artists packing up their tunes and heading for greener label pastures is about as old as country music itself, and Miz Swift sets the record straight here, on vinyl as golden as the morning dew burning off of a marigold. You can be certain nobody tells TONY BENNETT or LADY GAGA what to do, so them teaming up once more for a set of Cole Porter standards on 'Love For Sale' strikes one as utterly legit, with Gaga's voice in its proper unfiltered jazz setting, and Bennett ably delivering what looks to be his career finale. There's nowhere to go but up and on for BRANDI CARLILE, the much-beloved singer-songwriter and real one who unveils a much anticipated new record, 'In These Silent Days', that packs a lot of honest catharsis into an elegant package. We've got limited gold vinyl on this one while it lasts!

Still got room on your NEIL YOUNG shelf? 'Course ya do. In late 1970, young Neil made his way to Carnegie Hall for the first time, playing a pair of solo shows that burnished his growing legacy likely more than any other, as he gently slayed a hushed crowd with tunes from 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' and the Buffalo Springfield songbook. (To make sure they stayed hush, he admonished one shouted request with "I'm not Grand Funk Railroad.") Neil was rather infamously not a fan of bootleggers back in those days, and we've heard little from these sets beyond grainy audience recordings. A new series from the NY Archive pays a belated sort of tribute to the underground releases that turned out to have quite the influence on classic rock's lasting potency, with some killer OG handcut artwork, and hauntingly direct performances. Just as beloved to us at the shop is JOHN PRINE, who cut 'Fair & Square' in 2005 with his typically dialed-in personnel, and some of his most effortlessly contemplative songs. The expanded 2LP edition of this gem hasn't been in print for too dang long, and we're thrilled to have a new affordable set. If you're still ready to reel in the years, a couple more classic names have new releases in the shop in just a limited quantity: an unreleased live album from STEELY DAN, and the Blacklist box set from METALLICA.

An absolutely glittering assortment of cuts from the soft fringes of the London/Bristol electronic, pop and jazz scenes in this week. First up, the sophomore album from TIRZAH, who won over nearly everyone who heard her utterly entrancing debut, and keeps that imperceptible momentum thriving on 'Colourgrade', which weds her coolly deadpan vocals across refractory production miniatures provided once again by Mica Levi. London harpist NALA SINEPHRO's stunning debut 'Space 1.8' arrives in your ears with such a gentle ease, you wonder if you've been hearing it at a subliminal volume all your life. Dusted with horns and piano, this very promising record legitimately rivals the mighty FloPo/Pharaoh LP for the top ambient jazz slab of 2021. Not sure if anyone really knows what type of music the TARA CLERKIN TRIO is making, but it definitely rules; Coil and Stereolab collaborating under assumed names? Couldn't ever lay hands on their debut LP from last year, but a new 4 song EP keeps their dreamy goop a-flowing.

Few album releases have done so much to single-handedly reverse the tide of a cultural embargo as the BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB's self-titled 1997 album, which turned the entire world on to the sound of pre-revolutionary Cuban jazz, and ushered an obscure yet fertile scene straight into the innermost layer of the 1990s zeitgeist. Much has changed in the 25 years since it's release but there's still no dimming the power of this collection, which returns in majestic 2LP form, fully remastered and including 5 bonus tracks from the '96 sessions that made household names of many forgotten luminaries. You don't really need to know that vocalist Aurita Castillo from AURITA Y SU CONJUNTO's early 60s album 'Chambacu' was just six years old when it was recorded, but it's certainly a marvelous fact. Colombian cumbia has seldom sounded so angelic. Mexican pop star THALIA has been recording since she was only nine years of age, and still sounds freshly vital on her 16th album 'Desamorfosis'.

When they close the book on rock n roll, one record that's a lock for the all time top ten is the 1976 album from Zambian guitarist and vocalist CHRISSY ZEBBY TEMBO, 'My Ancestors'. Virtually unheard by anyone outside of equatorial West Africa until bootleg copies began to circulate about a dozen years ago, the legend of this record has grown, deservedly turning on new generations to the sound of Zamrock. Plenty of other compilations and reissues have explored the depths of this irresistibly fuzzy psych scene, but this remains *the one*. It's like the Velvet Underground's 'Loaded', but better. Just get one! Also in from the Mississippi records umbrella is a scorching compilation of Mauritanian guitar pop called WALLAHI LE ZEIN!, and a stunning selection of Tanzanian proto-highlife from KIKO KIDS JAZZ that must be heard to be believed.

Sometimes listening to an album several years (or decades) after its release means you don't feel it quite as viscerally. "You had to be there," you are told, with a shrug. Having listened to THE MICROPHONES' 'The Glow Pt. 2' frequently since it was released back in 2001 (on September 11th, no less), I can say with confidence that you didn't need to be there. Make your way one minute into its opening track, the entropic riff of "I Want Wind To Blow", and you *are* there. I recommend googling recent writeups on this pivotal 21st century album in Pitchfork and Stereogum for some very lucid reflections on an album that felt big when it first came out, and somehow still looms impossibly large, full of DIY folk wizardry and swatches of lyrical sense memory, back in stock on LP for the first time in a long time. Criminally underrated Rhode Island duo THE IDITAROD put out their canonic CD 'the Ghost, the Elf, the Cat and the Angel' back in 2002, before folks had start appending the words "freak" and "folk". This is a real gem of an album, creaking and soaring in a peculiarly pre-dawn, autumnal way, released on LP at last some two decades later. Keeping with the "fall music" vibe, the Numerologists deliver a new pressing of the shock-white mini-album '1975' from DUSTER, which contains some of the slow-core braintrust's most unusual and memorable songs, and Beggars Banquet rolls out a new marble yellow pressing of one of the UK indie world's best 90s records, THE CHARLATANS' 1995 self titled affair.

A nice deluxe reissue of big band saxophonist FRANK FOSTER's 1972 opus 'The Loud Minority' is in, plus a new vinyl cut of the Black Jazz Records gem 'Keeper of My Soul' from keyboardist WALTER BISHOP JR. London afrobeat/jazz big band KOKOROKO whets our appetite with a mighty 2 tracker EP.

Ramblin' road dawg and hilarious Twitter personality RYLEY WALKER put out a new solo record on his own label earlier this year which finally caught a boxcar our way just a week ahead of his show down at the union terrace. 'Course In Fable' is yet another sideways move for the restless folky, as his quartet here steers somewhere in between Genesis and Dave Matthews Band or, if those references are too obscure for you, the O'Rourke/Tweedy records as Loose Fur. Amarillo Faheyite HAYDEN PEDIGO drops an elegant new album of guitarwork on 'Letting Go', while FABIANO NASCIMENTO channels the Windham Hill-era of his forbearer Bola Sete on the gorgeous new one 'YKYTU'. We always suspected that COLLEEN GREEN was cool but she makes it plain on her new record for Hardly Art, plus we welcome new records from STRAND OF OAKS and HANIA RANI.

Who better to sum up some Texas vastness than EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY? The seismic post-rockers were tapped to score the soundtrack to the new PBS Nature documentary 'Big Bend'. Drake acolyte ROY WOODS delivers a new EP. We're still reveling in the wonderful new record from KIEFER that came through last week, and now we have a fresh press of his debut LP, 'Kickinitalone'. Cosmic, playful electropop aplenty on a new record from the still-active Broadcast-related duo PLONE.

A plethora of cool, rare avant-garde things from Japan (and Taiwan) this week include a repress of the endlessly fascinating free-form drone LP 'Tenno' by NOISE, the early 80s duo of Tori & Reiko Kudo before they formed Maher Shalal Hash Baz. A pair of LPs are in from the krauty trancerockers MINAMI DEUTSCH, and we have a pair of absolute beasts of gloomy, doomy instrumentals from the Corrupted-channeling Taiwanese group SCATTERED PURGATORY.

Techno time! Korean deep house enchantress PARK HYE JIN returns on the unstoppable 'Before I Die', in the shop on indie pink vinyl. Fresh off his thunderous appearance in town at Willy Street Beats, the Berlin selector FRED P has a new rare white label in the house. Brazilian Balearic beat done really, really right is here from XIQUE-XIQUE. Last up: been trying to source copies of anything released by the Brighton-based electro label Central Processing Unit for many years, and at last we've secured copies of their three latest releases, all packaged in their iconic hexadecimal sleeves, from NULLPTR, SILICON SCALLY, and the mighty, mighty CYGNUS.


Take a deep breath, because this week's Used Vinyl Alert drops more than a few names. We'll get into specifics here in a second, but just know that if JAZZ is your game, you'll want to be here on Friday.

Not a jazz cat? Fret not. Some seriously huge rock, psych, prog & new wave titles here this week. We've got King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Velvet Underground (plus Lou Reed & several John Cale LPs), Nico, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Band, Fleetwood Mac, Byrds, Amon Duul II, Kate Bush, Talking Heads, Slade, Tom Petty, James Gang, Led Zeppelin, Bo Hansson, Beatles and a huge run of Zappa & the Mothers.

Soul here from War, Sam & Dave, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, Sade & Shuggie Otis. Deep blues cuts from Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Lightnin Hopkins, Dr John & Taj Mahal.

There's a really nice run of folk & country LPs, including John Prine, Guy Clark, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner, Lyle Lovett, Stan Rogers, Norman Blake, Weavers, Odetta and more.

A handful of heavy 80s & 90s hip hop titles grace the bins this week, from Too $hort, LL Cool J,Kool Moe Dee, and Big Daddy Kane.

Oh yes, those jazz records we mentioned. Come get 'em while they're hot...because they arequitehot. There's Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp,Dexter Gordon, Mary Lou Williams, Milt Jakcson, Gabor Szabo, Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Gale, Curtis Fuller, George Benson, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Sam Rivers, Cannonball Adderley, Cal Tjader, Art Blakey, Anthony name a few. Lots in clean & highly collectable condition.



Required skills:

Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs

Computer proficient

A passion for music, anda 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

To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to


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


Strictly Discs will be the place to be this Post-Thanksgiving-Shopping-Melee-Day, also known as Black Friday.

And that's because certain indie stores across the country will be the place to get special releases created just for you, for giving and getting this holiday season, and they're scheduled for release on Black Friday, November 26, 2021.

Now, this is not Record Store Day, Jr., but it is brought to you by the powers-that-be at Record Store Day. This is a group of special releases you can only find at certain independent record stores nationwide. The magic of these pieces (many uber-limited) is that every one of them is something someone will really LOVE to get, and you'll really ENJOY giving. And you may have the added nice feeling of supporting a local, independently owned (Strictly Discs, Independently Owned since 1988) business during the holidays.


The DEADLINE for making or modifying Black Friday Wishlists wasWednesday, September 22 at 10AM.

Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ed, Jack, Eric, Steve, Nick, Matt B. & Mark

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