Strictly Discs

May 19, 2022


Drummer, composer and bandleader Makaya McCraven makes his return to Madison next week at the High Noon Saloon, and we couldn't be more thrilled. We've all had our minds expanded a great deal by his incredible run of records the last few years, and we've always got them in stock. Our friends at†International Anthem know this well, so they've hooked us up with a pair of tickets to give away to the show on May 26, as well as a copy of Makaya's out of print 2017 record 'Highly Rare', which documents a heady night at Danny's Tavern in Chicago.

To enter: stop in the shop or order online any of the MM titles we have on hand (pictured above & linked below) and your name will be entered into a drawing for a pair of tickets OR the record.†

If you haven't yet had a chance to check out Makaya's music - an improvisational, energetic, and humane expansion of the definition of jazz - now would be the perfect time! This show is not to be missed.


Decades of hustling in the fickle world of major label R&B finally paid off last year for Philly's JAZMINE SULLIVAN, when her 2021 EP 'Heaux Tales' locked up a Grammy, and best album nods from Soul Train and BET to NPR and Pitchfork. Her raspy, verite contralto vamps freely and honestly on this marvel of a record, which lands in the shop this week on vinyl for the first time. The eternally renewed pop star HARRY STYLES returns this week with another instant classic of exuberant be-yourself indie pop on 'Harry's House', which makes me think he's been listening to 'Close To Me'-era Cure and Wild Nothing. Go get em Harry. PORRIDGE RADIO have rocketed from a Brighton bedsit to the cresting tops of the British pop world, led by gently-unmoored vocalist Dana Margolin. On 'Waterslide Diving Board Ladder to the Sky', the band explores melody and catharsis, in the shop on forest green vinyl.

'Combat Rock', the final studio album by THE CLASH, turns 40 this year with an awesome new edition that expands the band'ss skafunkrastapunk opus to 3LPs, with the addition of live demos from renowned UK squat 'The People's Hall' the band recorded while rehearsing for their tour of East Asia. To his long-term consternation, the 1970s live shows NEIL YOUNG played were bootlegged widely, with varying levels of quality and skill. To this Neil-head, the best of all of them is one 'Citizen Kane Junior Blues' from 1974, capturing an evening in which Young surprised an audience at the Bottom Line in NYC with an unannounced show where he debuted material that would later end up on 'On The Beach'. It's a fairly typical audience recording, full of noise and coughing, and even a young lady offering to check out the shocks on Neil's new van, but the transcendent presence of songs like "Ambulance Blues" and "Pushed It Over the End" leave the crowd in stunned awe. If the recent Bright Eyes gig at the Sylvee is any indicator, songwriter Conor Oberst has a similar kind of command over a crowd; his 2002 excursion into full-band emocore with the band DESAPARECIDOS, the fiery, political 'Read Music / Speak Spanish', gets a 20th anniversary reissue this week on limited blue and clear vinyl.

It's been sixty years since the release of JOHN COLTRANE's landmark album 'My Favorite Things', which begins with its title track that, all these decades later, still stands up as one of the greatest 12 minutes of music that modern civilization has to offer. Lots to enjoy on this new edition, which includes new vinyl remasters for both mono and stereo versions, plus a book of unseen photos, and a new essay from the always illuminating jazz writer Ben Ratliff. We also welcome back proper remastered versions of ART BLAKEY & THE JAZZ MESSENGERS 'With Thelonious Monk' and BILL EVANS 'At The Montreux Jazz Festival'.

Veteran upright bassist AVISHAI COHEN returns with a deeply rendered new trio album called 'Shifting Sands', and we have the much-awaited major label debut of Seattle instrumental jazz unit HIGH PULP. On 'Pursuit Of Ends', the group deliver restlessly innovative sounds of a new generation of players, flitting from the futurist fusion of Alice Coltrane and Eddie Gale, to the phunky, punky R&B of Flying Lotus, on limited color vinyl. Storied UK record head and producer Paul Osborne emerges with PROJECT GEMINI, taking on his love of Italian soundtracks, slippery funk, and acid folk on 'Children of Scorpio'. ESPERANZA SPALDING delivers the viny edition of last year's remarkable album 'Songwrights Apothecary Lab'.

Spacious metal-core pioneers CAVE IN return with their first album in many years on 'Heavy Pendulum', and we've got the first album in five years from melodic punk legends HOT WATER MUSIC in as well. Legendarily snotty French synth-punkers METAL URBAIN see their definitive compilation 'Panik!' get a limited red vinyl pressing, and we've got a new glow in the dark wax edition of VOLBEAT's 'Rock The Rebel/ Metal The Devil'.

The We Are Busy Bodies label continues their incredibly dedicated run of South African jazz reissues with the cool 1975 post-bop rarity 'Funky Africa' by ALMON MEMELA. One of the greatest Afro-rock albums of all time, ROB's bopping, bluesy 'Funky Rob Way' gets a new press, plus we have fresh editions of some long gone classics: TONY ALLEN's modern Afrobeat opus 'Secret Agent', and EMAHOY TSEGE MARIAM GEBRU's mind-soothing piano album 'Spielt Eigen Kompositionen'.

Iconic records of the rock underground reign supreme this week! We've got both of the LPs from the mighty post-rock pioneers SLINT back in stock: 'Tweez' and 'Spiderland'; BIG BLACK's genius blend of midwestern punk and industrial pop, 'Songs About Fucking'; plus a trio of classics from the legendary psychedelic garage dons DEAD MOON: 'Trash and Burn', 'In The Graveyard', and 'Destination X'.

Revelatory folk-pop in the Bon Iver or T-Swift 3.0 vein is in from CHARLIE HICKEY with 'Nervous At Night' on Phoebe Bridgers' Saddest Factory label. Former Madisonian cool guy Ivan Mairesse now calls LA home, and delivers us a beautifully detailed avant-garde pop album as† SAGITTAIRE. Catchy melodies meet A.I. bot-penned lyrics on EVERYTHING EVERYTHING's 'Raw Data Feel'. A few months ahead of a new record from her, we've got a fresh pressing of KELLY LEE OWENS' astoundingly atmospheric synthpop†gem 'Inner Song'.†

Quite more than a couple German fellows began making fascinating minimal electronic music around the turn of the century; armed with a combination of hardware and software no producer had easy access to in earlier eras, they made music called 'glitch' or 'IDM', that found beauty in the mundane detritus of modernity. Like all genres, some of this music doesn't hold up so well to close scrutiny 20 years later. Not so with AROVANE, specifically his second album 'Tides' from 2000, which gets a much needed reissue this week. A melancholy chill runs through this incredibly effective yet low-key album of harpsichord and drum-pattern sketches that has stayed in personal rotation for over two decades. Swedish (maybe?) mystery producer CIVILISTJAVEL! has put out a handful of hard-to-find, critically acclaimed records of lurking, nocturnal dub techno, and we've finally laid hands on one of them. 'Jšrnnštter' is a Swedish word for "Iron Night" or the late Spring crop-killing frost, and this record is appropriately ominous. We've also got a new edition of† the epic ambient techno gem 'Compro' from SKEE MASK Compro, plus a pair of fresh EPs from him. Pioneering outsider pop raconteur KAZUKI TOMOKAWA's†mid-70s debut, 'Finally, His First Album', gets a new reissue this week.

When not composing jingles for Japanese TV or for videogames†like 'Bomberman', producer JUNE CHIKUMA also managed to craft some unbelievably slick Egyptian Lover-adjacent modern funk, compiled by the impeccable trained Chicago label Star Creature on 'The Midas Touch'. Also from the funk land, a pair of records from the unstoppable West Coast producer SPACE GHOST, who teams up with crooner TEDDY BRYANT on a magical 3-song EP 'Heaven Sent', and also delivers a full length album of poolside chillers on 'Private Paradise'.†


It's another great crop of classics in the Used Vinyl Alert this week! We've got some seldom-seen essentials in from fave names like David Bowie, Prince, John Prine, Nico, Bob Seger, a nice run of Lou Reed solo including some cool bootlegs, Jimi Hendrix, Talking Heads, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, the Doors, Queen, Steely Dan, the Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, Badfinger, Buffalo Springfield, Tom Petty, Buddy Holly, Soundgarden, and more.

Soul comes through from the Temptations, Gil Scott Heron, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and Bobby Caldwell. A nice deep run of Frank Sinatra is in. Some cool ska and reggae includes some lovely compilations, plus LPs from Bob Marley, the Skatalites, the Specials, and more. Brazilian pop and jazz abounds, plus we have a nice selection of classical LPs including dozens of Deutsche Grammofon†gems.†

Lots of country this week, including rare ones from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Bob Willis, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Tompall Glaser, and more. Electronic and the like are in from Massive Attack, Sebastian, Aphex Twin, Sega Bodega, and Nine Inch Nails. Contemporary bits come through from Portugal the Man, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Jeff Rosenstock, Courtney Barnett, and Arctic Monkeys.


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

back to top