Strictly Discs

June 2, 2022


Whether its†whistling, fiddling, or making pithy observations on modern life, we've come to expect regular greatness from folk songwriter ANDREW BIRD. He's back on the scene this week with a spectacular new album called 'Inside Problems' full of clear reflections on pandemic isolation, in the shop on apple red vinyl. The mighty-voiced ANGEL OLSEN goes Tammy-mode on a new record called 'Big Time'. Wynette, that is; this lovely record sports pedal steel, organ glissandos, and Angel's heartworn lyrics in a considerably more honky-tonk style. The DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS prove their eternal road-readiness on their 14th studio album, 'Welcome 2 Club XIII'. Upstart Chicago trio HORSEGIRL hop from a couple well-received singles straight to Matador for their debut album, 'Versions of Modern Performance', a phenomenal record of noisy indie rock in the grand tradition of Dinosaur Jr, Hum, or the Breeders.†

Who wants some good news from Texas? Austin guitarist and producer ADRIAN QUESADA has put quite a stamp on the modern soul sound as producer and founding member of the Black Pumas; now he treats us to an absolutely enchanting solo album that pays tribute to the 70s latin soul that influenced him on 'Boleros Psicodelicos', with guests like Gaby Moreno, Gabriel Garzon Montano, and more, on cherry red vinyl. Tyler bluesman SUGARAY RAYFORD has been racking up Grammy noms, and comes through with a new one called 'In Too Deep' on blue vinyl. The Dallas group BASTARDS OF SOUL were poised to break it big before the tragic passing of their frontman Chadwick Murray; their final studio album 'Corners' is here. Zimbabwean musician DUMISANI MARAIRE moved to the US to teach in the 70s, becoming the first person to introduce the mbira or thumb piano music of the Shona people to the western world (that's him playing and writing the liner notes on the iconic Nonesuch album 'The African Mbira'). Near the end of his life, he released a family album called 'Tichazomuona', featuring his wife on mbira and his 13 year old daughter Chiwoniso on vocals, and it is a total delight, back in print this week.

Combining colorful melodies, atonality, and blues power, trumpeter FREDDIE HUBBARD helped start kick off the progressive jazz trend early with 'Breaking Point' in 1964. This classic LP gets a Tone Poet audiophile edition this week, alongside the GERALD WILSON big band album 'Moment of Truth', which features luminaries like Joe Pass on guitar and Harold Land on sax. The late-career gem from BILL EVANS, 1980's 'You Must Believe In Spring' gets a gorgeously done re-release on double 45 rpm vinyl featuring an all-analog remaster. The lone album from EAST COAST released in 1973 ought not be so obscure. Released on Bernard Purdie's short-lived label Encounter Records, the group is led by Larry Blackmon before he went on to form Cameo, and features one of the earliest appearances of singer Gwen Guthrie. Rich, gospel-influenced post-bop abounds on the 1968 session led by legendary percussionist MAX ROACH, 'Members, Don't Git Weary'.

One of AMY WINEHOUSE's most earth-shaking performances finally gets a vinyl release this week with 'Live at Glastonbury 2007' in on double LP. If you're a fan of 70s femme-folk legends like Vashti Bunyan, Karen Dalton, or Sibylle Baier, you may or may not have heard of TIA BLAKE, a Georgia singer who moved to Paris in the early 70s and cut just one record, the very rare 'Folksongs & Ballads'. This stunning album gets its first ever repress this week, full of hauntingly beautiful takes on a variety of public domain tunes. Brazilian singer MARIA DE FATIMA†collaborated with nearly everyone in the fertile 70s MPB scene, and released just one LP of her own, the timelessly dreamy samba-meets-soul gem called 'Bahia Com H'. An early classic from the catalog of provocative Greek vocalist and theorist DIAMANDA GALAS gets repressed this week: her self-titled 1984 album has its originally intended cover art restored and a fresh remaster.

It's been ten years since DEATH GRIPS' 'The Money Store' came out? What have I done with my life? Celebrate this noisy, uncompromising modern classic with a fresh black and white vinyl pressing. Inventive and busy percussionist Valentina Magaletti joins up with Sarah Register from Talk Normal and Matthew Simms of Wire in a sortof†UK avant-rock supergroup called BETTER CORNERS on their first album 'Modern Dance Gold: Vol 1'. This newsletter is often full of unusual coincidences from the record world, and here's a doozy: we have not one but two albums of re-imagined or re-interpreted soundtracks for Andrei Tarkovsky films. Was this planned? I don't think so. Prolific Japanese noise godfather MERZBOW teams up with a rather unlikely partner in Aussie ambient composer LAWRENCE ENGLISH for 'Eternal Stalker', while†KEVIN RICHARD MARTIN (of The Bug and King Midas Sound fame) takes on 'Return To Solaris'. Will next week bring a Laurie Anderson take on 'Nostalghia'? You'll just have to stay subscribed to find out.

Magnetic hard rockers CROBOT return with a new record called 'Feel This' on red vinyl, and we've got a cool picture disc edition of the long-demanded modern thrash masterpiece 'Nightmare Logic' from the tragically concluded band POWER TRIP. Florida swamp-rockers THE KILLS see their explosive second album 'No Wow' get a fresh vinyl remaster on a gold wax edition, and we've got cotton candy colored vinyl of the debut album from WEIRD NIGHTMARE, the new solo project from Metz guitarist Alex Edkins.

Swedish lofi pop genius JENS LEKMAN has always been too cool to do things the typical way, and so it goes with the latest pair of releases from him, 'The Cherry Trees Are Still In Blossom' and 'The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom', which revisit his beloved and very much out of print early albums 'Oh You're So Silent Jens' and 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' and, rather than reissuing them, seek to supplant them entirely with new versions. Not every artist could pull this off! Not every artist could re-release his own bootlegs either, but that's what NEIL YOUNG's up to lately. We get a pair of heavies from him this week, 'Royce Hall' and 'Dorothy Chandler Pavilion'.†

The Last Resort label continues to document a fertile ambient jazz scene from Ohio with its sixth release. KEITH FREUND has appeared on a couple other titles on the label, and now steps out solo with 'Hunter on the Wing', a gorgeous slab of aerated, textured sound, like a lost John Surman ECM record. Saxophonist SAM GENDEL has a strange knack for getting heady ambience and subtle funk out of his instrument, and I'm not sure a better example of this exists than his 2021 album 'Fresh Bread', which we've finally got in stock. Chicago musician FOREST MANAGEMENT makes expressive, urban drone on 'Palm Life', and we've got a fresh edition of the 2015 masterpiece 'Talk From Home' by SUZANNE KRAFT, a billowing minimalist symphony that rapidly expanded his fanbase.†

Deeply immersive, Ethio-influenced jazz is in from Los Angeles group PHI-PSONICS†on 'The Cradle'. Renowned poet FRED MOTEN pairs up with far-out bassist BRANDON LOPEZ and trans-generational Detroit drummer GERALD CLEAVER on a fantastic new album, plus we have the latest from Boston jazz vets LETTUCE; 'Unify' is in on gold vinyl.

The featherlight vocals of R&B singer DEBORAH JORDAN and the sensual jazz-house production of K15 aka Kieron Ifill have been destined to find a union for some time now, and we finally get it with their collabo called 'Human', easily one of the sweetest downtempo albums to grace these shelves in years. Modern funk master craftsman E. LIVE returns with an epic, bouyant†groover called 'Cloud Vibes'. Portugal's LAKE HAZE makes expressive, melancholy electro sound effortlessly cool on 'Sun Rising On Concrete Landscapes', while West Coast producer BROGAN BENTLEY makes dreamy, swelling breakbeat perfection on 'Diapason Rex'.

Last up, the comps! One of our favorite sets of the last several years, the impressively-compiled, guaranteed effective 'For The Love Of You' returns, both volumes, bearing dozens of deep lovers rock reggae covers of classic soul and boogie tunes. A well-searched collection of contemporary Brazilian music called 'Brasil Novo' introduces many fresh names, while the first-ever vinyl edition of the second DFA compilation reminds us of the power of early LCD, Black Dice, The Rapture, and the Juan Maclean. Beloved French-Canadian musician GeneviŤve Castrťe recorded albums as Woelv and ‘ Paon, while also collaborating often with her partner Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie, before her tragic passing in 2016. A very moving tribute album for her sees friends like Phil, Thou, Nadja, Lori Goldston and Karl Blau reinterpreting her deeply personal environmental folk tunes.†


Oodles of classics await you in this week's Used Vinyl Arrivals! Classic pop and rock of nearly every stripe is here in abundance, including many from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Band, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Rush, Frank Zappa, the Byrds, Caravan, Blue Cheer, Procol Harum, Gypsy, King Crimson, ELP, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jethro Tull, Gene Vincent, and more.

New wave and early alternative is in from Tears For Fears, Squeeze, Psychedelic Furs, Culture Club, Talking Heads, Blondie, Pet Shop Boys, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, REM, and 999.

Deep stashes of country are here from all over the map and the timeline: Bobby Gentry, Wanda Jackson, Randy Travis, the Oak Ridge Boys, Gram Parsons, Charlie Daniels, Chet Atkins, Flatt & Scruggs, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and a bunch of Highwaymen as well. Blues is in from Lightnin†Hopkins, soul from Willie Hutch, Jimmy Castor, the Temptations, Brick, Cameo, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, and more. Classic vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Julie London, and Harry Belafonte are here.

A deep selection of affordable and educational 20th cent. classical is in from names like Erik Satie, Edgard Varese, Stravinsky, Charles Ives, Schoenberg, and others. Lots of reggae, Indian classical, Irish folk as well, plus an always interesting crop of novelty, sound effects, instructional and otherwise miscellaneous head-scratcher LPs!


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 & Adam

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