Strictly Discs

May 5, 2022


On their latest album 'We', ARCADE FIRE reclaim the intimate grandiosity that made their earliest albums such indelible fixtures, while continuing to push the boundaries of what a major label rock group can pull off in the studio. This immense new record is ambitious in terms of content and dynamics, sure to provide a balm to their fans and fodder for their critics, in the house on limited white vinyl. Beloved songwriter SHARON VAN ETTEN approaches her sixth studio album with a renewed sense of clarity. Most new parents can't find time to make the bed, let alone an album, and now SVE's†done two of them with the release of 'We've Been Going About This All Wrong', another masterwork in her catalog of records that put energy and grace into relatable expressions of fully-inhabited resonance. It has been six very (verrrry) long years since we last got an album from California cerebral pop group WARPAINT, who took time off but remained the best of friends, as evidenced on their comeback album 'Radiate Like This', in the shop on marble smoke vinyl. The ladies' incantatory style remains as subtle and driving as ever, if a bit more subdued this time around, flirting with triphop. Pioneering twee partisans BELLE & SEBASTIAN remind us how they do it on 'A Bit Of Previous', a stellar album that reflects their soulful indie pop beginnings.†

Art road trucker TERRY ALLEN and his band of merry men THE PANHANDLE MYSTERY BAND (alt-country godhead Lloyd Maines, Joe Ely, fiddler Richard Bowden, etc) really carved up the Lubbock scene for a few years before Allen retooled his approach to a more conceptual sound. In addition to the famed albums 'Juarez' and 'Lubbock', the unit released two more early 80s records that remain fairly obscure, even though they plainly blow the doors off of anything else coming out of the country underground at that time. The Paradise of Bachelors label has proven to be a dedicated caretaker of Terry's vast universe of music, and they bring the same treatment to the first ever vinyl reissues of 'Smokin The Dummy' and 'Bloodlines', each remastered from the original tapes and done up in style with lyrics, ephemera, and notes from Allen. Dearly departed troubadour JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE has his two albums for Vagrant reissued together as 'Single Mothers & Absent Fathers' on limited color vinyl. GILLIAN WELCH delves into an impressively deep archive of home demos and reel-to-reel recordings for a three volume boxset 'The Lost Songs: Vol. 1-2-3', consisting of originals and traditionals performed alongside partner David Rawlings. The 48-song collection†was recorded between the making of 'Time (The Revelator)' and 'Soul Journey', a truly awe-inspiring behind the scenes look at one of music's most uncompromising duos. Bet your bippy these LPs are real nice pressings, too!

Level up your mod garage mastery with a pair of Abbey Road half-speed remasters from THE WHO: 'A Quick One' and 'My Generation'. Two very deep rides from MOON DUO are back in print; 'Occult Architecture V1' is in on blue wax, while Volume 2 is silver. Dedicated music retailers that we are, we've been keeping close tabs on vinyl reprints from DAFT PUNK, so it brings lessened joy to say we only have a few copies of 'Alive 1997', 'Homework', and 'Discovery' in the building. Be quick!

Chamber pop auteur KISHI BASHI celebrates 10 years of '151a' with an expanded†edition on clear wax. Spectral popstress AURORA returns with 'The Gods We Can Touch'. Genius home recordings continue to pour forth from folkie BILL FAY on 'Still Some Light Vol. 2'. Staff fave singer-songwriter JOHN CRAIGIE delivers 'Mermaid Salt', plus we've got a fresh live album from MT. JOY, and a vinyl edition of 'Breaking Point', the latest record from the duo of country sirens JACKSON†+ SELLERS.

Turkish artist ANADOL captivated curious ears the world over with her 2018 album 'Uzun Havalar', an unsettlingly groovy seance of lounge jazz, woozy synth, and grand guignol. An equally bold follow-up arrives in 'Felicita', an even harder to describe album of truly adventurous, self-possessed sonic theatre. Few were more adventurous than Claudia and Stephanie from SAADA BONAIRE. We've been bumping their timelessly glamorous dub-funk a lot around here lately with a new pressing of their retrospective, and now we get a new record containing completely unheard material from them called '1992'. Few Japanese new age records are as freewheeling and playful as the AKIRA ITO rarity 'Marine Flowers', and we have an incredible collection of sound-art from the Hungarian performance artist and poet KATALIN LADIK called 'Water Angels'.

Plenty of the hard stuff this week, as we've finally secured copies of the color vinyl edition of the debut from ENVY OF NONE, starring Alex Lifeson from Rush. Big new ones are in from Trivium frontman IBARAKI and HALESTORM, plus we've got crucial reissues from DEF LEPPARD, MILLENCOLIN, and THE OFFSPRING.†

Sultry, Aaliyahan R&B abounds on a lovely new disc from Chicago's TINK called 'Heat of the Moment'. We're really digging the debut record from New York City's SPENCER, a summery album of mid-fi boom bap and neo-soul called 'Are U Down?'. Some seriously long-awaited reprints of big, big hip-hop records land this week. We've got a new press of RUN THE JEWELS second album, ANDERSON PAAK's 'Malibu' is back, plus 'Igor' from TYLER THE CREATOR, KENDRICK LAMAR's 'Untitled Unmastered', and KANYE WEST's 'Late Registration'.†

Live recordings that capture RAY CHARLES in pianist and bandleader form are hard to come by, making 'Live in Stockholm 1972' quite a treasure. The roots reggae classic 'Two Sevens Clash' by CULTURE is back in print on clear vinyl with blue/yellow smoke, plus we've got cool soundtracks in like JOHN CARPENTER's 'They Live', and ENNIO MORRICONE's haunting 'Veruschka'.

Afro-Cuban twins Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz return IBEYI with 'Spell 31', a percolating album of creole dance pop featuring guests like Jorja Smith and Owen Pallett. London vocalist JUANITA EUKA has roots in the potent Congolese rumba scene, and brings a melting pot of jazz and boogie to an electric new record called 'Mabanzo'. New Zealand's modern fusion whiz MYELE MANZANZA hits up London as well on 'Crisis & Opportunity', drumming his way through 5 hefty cuts of urbane electronic jazz. Melbourne bassist Horatio Luna is a founding member of the 30/70 Collective that has brought us heaps of great forward-thinking jazz records lately, and now he convenes a group called PSYCHEDELIC FREAKS for 'Passing Through The Doorways Of Your Mind', an incredible record of maximalist cosmic fusion that recalls Gary Bartz, Larry Young, and Agharta-period Miles.

Through their brief and haphazard existence, the British band RUDIMENTARY PENI managed to eke out one of the greatest punk albums of all time. 'Death Church' is a combination of pure derangement, uncompromising simplicity, and enough authentic anti-social snarl to make the Sex Pistols look like costumed poseurs. Though lumped in together, by sound and era, with fellow deathrockers Christian Death, or fellow anarcho-punks Crass, RP bashed away at their own style, to lasting acclaim across the decades. 'Death Church' is restored in all its glory this week, remastered from original tapes, with its original foldout sleeve dazzlingly intact. UK stoner rockers JOSIAH see their self titled debut return; plus we've got the latest super session from WET TUNA (Matt Valentine and PG Six from Tower Recordings) called 'Eau'd To A Fake Bookie Vol 1 & 2' and a lush album of gentle post-rock guitar from former Madison resident DANIEL WYCHE called 'Earthwork'.

Not too many specifics we can get into regarding the risque, genre-defining Jersey House record 'Heartbeats' by UNIIQU3, which hits hard and leaves a mark. A great new record from Manchester's WERKHA called 'All Werk Is Play' throws a lot of dance styles into the mix and yields quite a few hits. KYLIE MINOGUE returns with 'Infinite Disco', and we welcome a repress of 'Chromophobia', GUI BORATTO's phenomenal 2007 album for Kompakt that defined the sound of '00s bigroom tech-house that ought to be due for a revival (checks watch) any time now. Somewhere between his work with heavy synth duo Zombi and his ambient scores under his own name, Steve Moore put together an album of italo-disco worship under the alias LOVELOCK. 'Burning Feeling' only ever got a limited release on CD back in the 00s (hell, I remember listening to these tracks on his Myspace page), and the Be With label now makes dreams come true with a lovely vinyl edition. Moore is somehow excellent at everything he does, and these tracks would slot in alongside Daft Punk and Justice without raising any brows. The always excellent Very Polish Cut-Outs label returns with an EP sporting 4 edits and reworks of obscure, yet potent jazz-dance tunes by ANDRZEJ KORZYNSKI, called 'Niezle Numery'.

For all we know, Dan Lopatin aka ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER, despite his relatively mainstream and critical success, is still a nerd in a dingy attic full of†makeshift synth gear. He definitely was a dozen years back when he cranked out 'Returnal', the hypnogogic power-ambient statement of abstraction that still holds up as one of the defining records of the era. It returns on clear vinyl this week, alongside an epic new record from MERZBOW called 'Hybrid Noisebloom', haunting musique-concrete influenced by Mayan wind instruments from DEBIT on 'The Long Count', and tidy minimalist sound-sculptures from MARJA AHTI on 'Still Lives'. Coming to vinyl for the first time via the ever illustrative Astral Industries label, the influential mid-90s CD by LUCID DREAMS, combining budding elements of illbient with instructional spoken word; pairs well with the singular classic from French experimental composer 'Musiques Vertes' by JEAN-YVES BOSSEUR, which†features a group of untrained young musicians playing a vast array of instruments made out of plants and other organic material.†

Few producers make tunes as mental yet accessible as MADTEO, about whom little is known outside of his critically-acclaimed records and his stunning headshots (those cheekbones?). Production backlogs mean not one but two incredible records arrive from him at once after years of silence: 'Head Gone Wrong By Noise' and 'Str8 Crooked' deliver his trademark off-kilter yet infectious ragga-techno in two doses. We've also got an almost illegally great album of ambient breakcore from SHELLEY PARKER called 'Wisteria', leftfield techno from Tokyo producer TENTENKO, a deep trip of spacey electro-wave from Italian producer TAGLIABUE on 'Un' Altra Forma di Vibrazioni', and a reissue of the iconic IDM producer DETTINGER's classic early EP 'Blond'.

Compilations! We have a lot this week, beginning with the first sighting of the SHANGAAN ELECTRO comp since its initial release over a decade ago. All these years later, this set (subtitled 'New Wave Dance Music From South Africa') still hasn't really found a parallel, and remains startlingly fresh. 'Disque La Raye' collects rare boogaloo tunes from the 60s Caribbean, and a new Mr. Bongo collection curated by DJ LUKE UNA offers a deep trip through the collector trenches of the global groove. New Italian label Hyperjazz kicks off a promising series of jazz showcase comps with 'Hyperituals Vol. 1 - Soul Note', a double disc dive through the spiritual and space-age jazz of the Soul Note label, with obscure cuts turning up from Hamiet Bluiett, George Russell, Andrew Cyrille, and many more.†

The Honest Jon's crew really does us a solid this week, delivering the second volume of its incredible overview of the CAIFE label that singlehandedly documented a full spectrum of traditional folk and modern pop sounds in Quito, Ecuador, throughout the 60s. 'A Heart In Splinters' covers a stunning amount of ground, and features lengthy liner notes if you don't happen to be an expert in Andean folk. Several songs on these comps have come from the phenomenal singing duo BENITEZ & VALENCIA, and Honest Jon's has risen to the task of a full 2LP compilation of the best tunes from their wide discography, 'Impossible Love Songs From Sixties Quito'. We also welcome a killer new edition of the blazing Peruvian psych album by TRAFFIC SOUND, and a reprinted gem from the Colombian afro-cuban dance band WGANDA KENYA.†

In terms of style, approach, and influence HERMETO PASCOAL ought to be considered the Brazilian Sun Ra, and an unearthed 1981 live recording called 'Planetario Da Gavea', featuring Pascoal on piano, horn and flute alongside big players like†ItiberÍ Zwarg and†Zť Eduardo Nazario, definitely confirms it. From the here and now, a delightful new folk-pop album from JENNIFER SOUZA called 'Pacifica Pedra Branca' reminds one of Bebel Gilberto a great deal. We've also got a reissue of the boogie funk meets samba magic of JORGE BEN's early 80s album 'Bem-Vinda Amizade', and a stunner of a reissue of the lone album by Uruguay's female vocal trio TRAVESIA, who channel the Roches to the global south on 'Ni Un Minuto Mas de Dolor'.


Music for everyone in the Used Vinyl Alert this week! Plenty of our favorite names are in the mix, including the Beatles, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Santana, Tom Petty, Hall & Oates, the Beach Boys, the Grateful Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd, David Crosby, Allman Brothers, T. Rex, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Van Halen, Frank Zappa, Blue Oyster Cult, and John Prine.

Cult faves turn up like the Feelies, Sigmund Snopek, Talking Heads, REM, INXS, Patti Smith, the Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello, U2, and Roxy Music. Folk gems across the board include Doc Watson, Incredible String Band, Richard and Mimi Farina, Tim Buckley, and others, with blues in from Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, and Bobby Bland.

Jazz comes through from Michel Legrand, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yusef Lateef, Roberta Flack, Larry Coryell, Mal Waldron, Bobbi Humphrey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and more, plus a slew of obscure female vocalists, from France to the Deep South. On top of that, we've got plenty of classical, some deep and offbeat soundtracks, 90s hip-hop deep cuts, Taylor Swift, pachanga, reggae, Mort Garson, trance, Marvin Gaye, Donna Summer and so much more!



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, Eric, Jack, Steve, Shep, Mark, Brad & Roger

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