Strictly Discs

November 3, 2022

The innate songwriting talents of STEVE LACY have been coming out of his fingers for most of his young life. From games of Guitar Hero and mixing tracks on his phone in high school, to writing hits for Solange and Kendrick, and locking up a Grammy nomination with his band The Internet along the way, he's certainly had quite a ride so far. His latest album, 'Gemini Rights', is now here on vinyl, and it's an infectious record of playful pop, leavened like the layers of a biscuit with smoothly roped-in influences from Erykah Badu, Mac Demarco, and the Asylum Records blue-eyed funk of Ned Doheny and Jackson Browne. It's two consecutive weeks of long-awaited records from rapper VINCE STAPLES, as the Compton hero brings us the LP edition of 'Ramona Park Broke My Heart'. His most powerful work to date weds his candid, crisp flow to harmonious lowkey funk instrumentals. Versatile DC artist DREAMCASTMOEdoes it all: beats, rhymes, and lifestyle. He's come up honestly, with a slew of unmissable if hard to find records of low-slung chillwave boogie monsters for labels like PPU and Future Times (shoutouts to the Andrew's), and now stands poised to catch even more ears with a debut on the venerated dance label Ghostly International. 'Sound Is Like Water' shows off many of the man's seemingly endless sides. LA electro-jazz songwriting mutant LOUIS COLE touches down again with 'Quality Over Opinion', which sounds like an over-caffeinated, self-medicated Thundercat playing games with your heart.
The year 1992 brought a lot of great albums that likely leap into your mind the second you see those digits in a row: 'The Chronic', the first Rage CD, Gang Starr, 'Slanted & Enchanted', perhaps a little Stone Temple Pilots or 'Check Your Head'? If you were my dad (and by extension, me, who had no other mode of transportation other than being a passenger in his car) it was also the year that IRIS DEMENT's legendary folk-country debut 'Infamous Angel' went into your player and never came out again. It's taken years of distance from this early Iris saturation to go back and behold what an incredible record 'Infamous Angel' is; its introspective lyrics find spine-tingling meaning in small-town life that seems to be vanishing these days, and Dement's fragile, arcing voice refracts her gospel training through a secular humility. It's getting a legit vinyl release this week for the first time ever, and I'm happy for the opportunity to make amends for calling her Iris Demented so many decades ago. Plenty of folky gems join in this week: the enchanting Nashville-via-Stockholm sisters FIRST AID KIT return with 'Palomino' on white vinyl, SETH AVETT pays tribute to songwriting legend GREG BROWN on a new album of covers, and LA ingenues SYLVIE bring us a long-awaited debut LP.
The London annex of the International Anthem label notches another victory with the incredible new album from drummer TOM SKINNER, who leads a group for the first time under his own name, after scores of great efforts with Sons of Kemet, Thom Yorke's The Smile, Melt Yourself Down, and Floating Points. 'Voices Of Bishara' is a quicksilver slab of elevated jazz, with invigorating solos from Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia. Pianist SURYA BOTOSAFINA grew up with the teachings and leadership of Alice Coltrane as a member of her ashram in southern California and now flexes them deeply on a debut LP called 'Everyone's Children'. The Blue Note Tone Poet express keeps on chugging along, with scheduled stops this week for BOBBY HUTCHERSON's 'Stick-Up!' and HAROLD VICK's 'Steppin Out'.
Having already received one album from SPOON this year, their pert-near best yet 'Lucifer On the Sofa', we weren't expecting to hear from them again in 2022. Wrong again! For 'Lucifer On the Moon', Britt, Jim and the boys turned the tapes over to bassbin legend ADRIAN SHERWOOD, who radically reshapes these angular bluesy numbers into something resembling interplanetary dub-pop, as only the On-U man can do. I happen to be of the opinion that any and every song could easily do with a dub version, but even if you aren't you will still dig this one. The hazy emo-poppers in TURNOVER continue to refine their sound into something really quite angelic on 'Myself In the Way', in the house on cream color wax, and we've got a pair of great new records from East Coast artrockersHORSE LORDS and BODEGA.
Sincere crooner LEE FIELDS delivers the goods once again on 'Sentimental Fool'; gothic folkie NINA NASTASIA recounts the ending of a long-term relationship (content warning: very sad) on 'Riderless Horse'; QUEEN's second album gets a nice half-speed remaster, and we've got a collection of B-sides and rarities from the Queen of Canada, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE.
The Tacoma, Washington quartet BOTCH basically wrote the manual for chaotic-yet-calculated, metallic hardcore with their first two albums for Hydra Head in the late 90s. The second of those, the equally cosmic and pissed off 'We Are The Romans', especially holds up as a primary example of a genre jumping off into a deep well of strength that plenty of emotional hardcore bands like Norma Jean and Devil Wears Prada still draw from today, and it gets a nice new vinyl edition on blue wax. THE MENZINGERS endlessly energetic pop punk classic 'On The Impossible Past' gets a new pressing on tangerine color wax; 'I'm A Mess!', the Soul Jazz comp of Devo-esque art-punk from 77-78 UK is back in print this week, alongside a new edition of BAD BRAINS' 'Rise'.
We're triply blessed with fresh vinyl from desert blues heroes TINARIWEN this week, with nice reprints of their 2000s classics 'Aman Iman' and 'Imidiwan', plus a new release 'Kel Tinariwen', which unearths unheard early 90s recordings by the then-nascent group which prominently feature, wait for it, synths and drum machine alongside their usual guitars. Oh yeah! From mid-80s Yugoslavia, we get a lovely dose of hypnotic Romani folk music via theANSAMBL MILETA PETROVICA, serving up delirious guitar, keys, and hand percussion on 'Veseli Romi'. The Mississippi label rescues some truly haunting Greek folksongfocusing on the dark side of life on 'Death Is Bitter', a collection of 1930s tracks byMARKOS VAMVAKARIS rescued from 78 rpm oblivion.
Your funkiest fantasiesfulfilled this week! Both volumes of PRINCE's massive hits collection are reissued on vinyl; the major dudes of STEELY DAN's fan favorite 'Can't Buy A Thrill' is back in print, and we've got JAMIROQUAI's century-opening session 'A Funk Odyssey' back on wax where it belongs.
STRANGER THINGS is a TV show that, per its name, does quite a bit of unusual things, like effectively casting grown adults believably as children, giving us the 47th reason to love Winona Ryder, and making KATE BUSH chart again for a nearly 4 decade old song. That last thing is the reason we have the fourth volume of the show's soundtrack in stock this week, featuring bangers like 'Running Up That Hill', and memorable gems from the Talking Heads, The Cramps, Ricky Nelson, Kiss, and more. Speaking of actors, CALEB LANDRY JONES is one of those, and still finds time to make some incredible outsider pop inspired by R. Stevie Moore and Sparks, as found on 'Gadzooks Vol. 2', in stock on red wax. British duo MOUNT KIMBIE have really expanded their sound in the wake of their early classics which put a "post-" prefix on everything from grime to dubstep to techno, and we get some more great tracks from beloved leftfield dance impresario RROXYMORE.
Last up, a new record from glamorous folkies THE LONE BELLOW, a 20th anniversary reissue of the M. WARD classic 'End of Amnesia', and a pair of reissues from the Arizona roots-rock institution GIANT SAND led by HOWE GELB.

Used Vinyl Alert

Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we continue to stock the bins with essential titles across a wide variety of genres. Rock from all eras is in this week with deep runs from names like Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Steely Dan, Rush, David Bowie, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Tom Waits, Guns 'N Roses, Husker Du & many more. Some seldom seen titles are in as well from Jake Holmes, Brian Eno, Wire, Hawkwind, & Aphrodite's Child.

A nice spread of Soul is here this week from Marvin Gaye, Sam & Dave, Minnie Riperton, Sylvester, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, & many others. Jazz classics are here from John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Pharaoh Sanders, Ron Carter, Louis Armstrong, & Gabor Szabo, among others.

Vocals are well represented this week as well - plenty of must-haves from Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, & Nat King Cole. Folk & blues are in from Shirley Collins, Stan Rogers, Muddy Waters, & Little Willie John. Country favorites are here from Tony Joe White, Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, & Emmylou Harris.

Rounding things out this week with an incredible Rail Band LP on Mali Music, some interesting experimental/electronic LPs, vintage local radio compilations, a hefty supply of soundtracks, some clean classical, and more Christmas records to get you ready for the upcoming season!

Black Friday Record Store Day is November 25th

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 25, 2022.

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.
Here is Strictly Discs' plan for the day:

1. We OPEN at 9AM for RSD shopping
2. Line to form westbound on Monroe Street
3. While in line, you will be handed a menu of all RSD/BF titles
4. We will pull your requests & you will check out outside
5. The shop will open for normal browsing at approximately 10 (when the RSD line is gone)
6. RSD titles will be located upstairs

Thank you for helping us to keep this event safe & fun.

WISHLISTS:
WISHLISTS can be made using the link below:
https://recordstoreday.strictlydiscs.com/

The deadline to create or modify a RSD BLACK FRIDAY WISH LIST is Wednesday, September 28th at NOON.

SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS

Yes, we are still buying! Call Ron to schedule (608.213.3610).
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ed, Eric, Jack, Steve, Mark, Brad, Roger, & Adam
        
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