Strictly Discs

January 20, 2022


Brr! It's hard to feel too positive about anything when it's this cold out, so the first record we're reaching for is called 'Optimism' by Austin songwriter JANA HORN, and it's really doing the trick. With measured, piercing lyricism that touches gracefully on topics of family and faith, Horn makes a type of folk music that would seem fragile if it weren't so resilient. Evocative yet minimal instrumentation here reminds a bit of the transcendent magic of Mount Eerie, while her gentle voice recalls the confided delivery of Julie Doiron. It's a stunning debut from an artist to keep close tabs on. Refreshing, revelatory folk releases continue with a great new record from Carolina song interpreter JAKE XERXES FUSSELL, who's fourth solo album, 'Good and Green Again', is another perfectly timed session of meditations on public domain tunes and folkways from the Piedmont and beyond, put to sweeping, kudzu-like arrangements from producer Jim Elkington who is rapidly becoming the poor man's T-Bone. Boston songwriter AOIFE O'DONOVAN brings a lively pop edge to bluegrass on 'Age of Apathy', in the house on bone colored vinyl which must certainly look more appealing than it sounds.

Eternal band BORIS rushed out their pandemic album last year and it was a bursting, thrashy affair called 'NO'. Turns out, that was just the first installment, as the Japanese trio has added a 'W' to the end of that word, which really makes a difference when you think about it! Keeping with their loose pattern of yo-yoing between styles, this album is a much darker, hushed, and whispered affair, with early sample tracks hinting at an immensely deep album. While they last, we have sea blue vinyl LPs here, alongside CD and cassette versions. Canadian hardcore legends FUCKED UP first proved their mettle with a blistering run of turn o' the century singles on Deranged Records, ultimately collected on the comp 'Epics In Minutes', which gets an LP release for the first time ever this week. Also back in print this week: the lone 1981 LP from the barely-extant Australian industrial band NEGATIVE REACTION who pre-dated both SPK and Severed Heads; a fresh printing of the absolutely gorgeous brutality that is Seattle doom band BELL WITCH's 2012 album 'Longing'.

Pop songwriting chameleon LP returns with 'Churches', and we have a lovely new album of honeyed, literary lyricism from AIMEE MANN called 'Queens Of The Summer Hotel'. Live-room mainstays MY MORNING JACKET revisit their massive live album 'Okonokos' with a 4LP edition with new tracks, new photos, and multi-colored vinyl. LES CLAYPOOL's DUO DE TWANG brings his album 'Four Foot Shack' back into the world in a very fetching 'golden nugget' edition.

Sassy UK indie has a new face with YARD ACT's stateside debut 'The Overload'. If you prefer your insouciance to be of a certain vintage, we've finally laid hands on the massive vinyl edition of OASIS' full performance at 'Knebworth 1996', and a new clear vinyl pressing of THE RAMONES' 'Rocket To Russia'. Ohio garage punks EL CAMINO ACID check in with 'Sunset Motel' on pretty orange wax.

Released just after her untimely passing, 'Live At Blues Alley' by EVA CASSIDY has long been one of the most-requested blues releases around these parts, and the 25th anniversary of this release has occasioned it coming back in print on CD, as well as a first-ever vinyl pressing. A pair of classics are in this week from the Blue Note label: 'Destination Out!' from JACKIE MCLEAN and DON CHERRY's 'Where Is Brooklyn?', along with a nice repress of QUINCY JONES' soundtrack for '$ aka The Heist'.

Techno intrigue this week includes a new record from London producer ELKKA who enlists the dreamy vocalist Julianna Barwick on 'Harmonic Frequencies'; a fresh repress of the laidback house debut 'If U Want it' by PARK HYE JIN; the infectious South African electro rarity 'Jack's Jive' by RIFF, backed with banger remixes from DMX Krew; a fresh white vinyl edition of the PARANOID LONDON debut; a new album of tropical house perfection from DYLAN DYLAN on Shall Not Fade; and a fresh reissue of the legendary 'Solar' from MACEO PLEX.

If you've dug on the extramundane ambient music of Huerco S and affiliated artists like Ulla Straus and Perila that has dotted this newsletter over the years: some good news for you (and if you haven't gotten into this music, which sortof sounds like the sonic equivalent of watching a beautiful painting dry in fading daylight, it won't be held against you). From the Australian continent comes a trio of records long on detail but short on monikers. J delivers 'my seat and weep' (no caps, naturally), and joins producer mdo to form PICNIC, who bring us a pair of LPs called 'picnic' and 'bonus'. These records all drift along according to a mysterious interior logic, sounds occurring as if they have no beginning or end, only gradients in either direction.

Genre-blurring bassist NICK HAKIM returns with 'Small Things', and we have a new album from electro pop stalwarts FUJIYA & MIYAGI on yellow wax. XIU XIU's 'Dear God, I Hate Myself' returns in a deluxe vinyl edition, and a who's who of the dance-pop underground turns up to remix KING GIZZARD on the 'Butterfly 3001' double album.

Rare psychedelia from JOHN BERBERIANand STACK WADDY each get reissues from Sundazed this week, and we close out with a smoking new Soul Jazz comp, STUDIO ONE GROUPS, plus a new SUN RECORDS 70th Anniversary Compilation curated by none other than Chris Isaak.


Speaking of Chris Isaak, he's downstairs too, in the used vinyl alert! And he's brought a lot of friends! An impressive crop of minty, crisp and clean, hype be-stickered 70s originals join him, including an especially impressive run of Beatles LPs, and more gems from Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Santana, Neil Young, Santana, Fever Tree, Lee Hazlewood, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tim Hardin, Van Dyke Parks, Tim Buckley, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, Link Wray, Kiss, Madonna, the Residents, Frank Zappa, and more. A nice stretch of post-punk classics as well, from the Cure, Gang of Four, Black Flag, Husker Du, and Minor Threat.

High quality jazz is in from Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford, Oregon, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, and John Coltrane. Country classics cruise through from Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Dwight Yoakam.

A compelling crop of contemporary curios coagulates from Grouper, Phosphorescent, Mount Eerie, Purity Ring, Thou, Red House Painters, and Low, while we welcome a wondrous welter of electronic LPs from Pantha du Prince, Klaus Schulze, Belong, Fuck Buttons, 808 State, CFCF, Blawan, The Field, Sterac, Blawan, and some rare ones from the Giegling label. We wrap it with an eclectic run through some crucial international LPs including Nonesuch Explorer gems and a nice assortment of Indian and Israeli LPs, plus a nice selection of classical and beautiful early music pieces!


2021 STAFF TOP 10S can be foundHERE



Required skills:

Excellent customer service skills; retail experience with ability to anticipate customer needs

Extreme Computer proficiency

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 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).

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

back to top