Strictly Discs

January 19, 2023

New This Week At The Shop

Happy (almost) Friday! Lots of warm ones to heat the beat this week, including the long and I do mean long-awaited vinyl edition of the latest and greatest album from Windy City songbirds WILCO. 'Cruel Country' is the most resplendently countrified album from this subtly shapeshifting gang in awhile, with leader Tweedy hitting some tender notes of Townes, and the band heaving their familiar minimal/maximal accompaniment. Vinyl copies on this one come on limited red and white wax. Country popster CAITLIN ROSE saddles up with Nashville sidemen William Tyler and Jack Lawrence for 'Cazimi', a great new record from her, and her first in a decade. I'm not even gonna add up how many decades JOHN CALE has in the so-called music game; it might as well be a century based on the strength of 'Mercy', a deliriously modern reflection on his iconic avant-pop solo albums ('Paris 1919' and 'Fear' especially), with a guestlist that boggles the mind: Laurel Halo, Weyes Blood, Actress, Dev Hynes, Sylvan Esso and several more modern masters tick a major bucket list item with appearances here.
Los Angeles art-poppersPEEL DREAM MAGAZINE have made our radar recently, with their elegant, (yes) dreamy take on showroom pop ala XTC, the Sea and Cake, or Bullion. Their 2018 debut, 'Modern Meta Physic', is back in print on color wax. Appreciated in their era as the intensely rustic follow-up group of legendary Louisville rockers Rodan, the 1997 album 'II' from THE SONORA PINE has become something of an under-recognized obscurity. Esteemed head Ryley Walker steps to the rescue with a remastered reissue on his actual hobby label, that showcases an album of propulsive, melodic folk-rock that was seriously ahead of its time. It's been ten years since the Albini-produced snarl of CLOUD NOTHINGS' 'Attack On Memory' first slammed our noggins; it gets the anniversary treatment on color wax, along with the phenomenally tension-laden 'Give You The Ghost' from Twin Cities entrancers POLICA.
Some truly special jazz reissues come through this week, starting with a super-rare late 70s South African gem 'Deeper In Black' fronted by pianist LIONEL PILLAY from the Mankunku Quartet. 'Birth/Speed/Merging', the brilliantly alchemical 1976 album from freeform spiritual jazz icons THE PYRAMIDS gets a much-needed reissue this week, plus we've got beautiful restorations of some hard bop classics from ART BLAKEY and DUKE ELLINGTON.
Oscillator at hand, composer KALI MALONE delivers the most immersive piece of her fascinating young career on the massive 3 disc set 'DoesSpring Hide Its Joy', which finds her joined by SunnO)))'s Stephen O'Malley on guitar and Lucy Railton on cello. UK post-rave producer RIAN TREANOR joins Acholi fiddler OCENJAMES for an illuminatingly new sound on 'Saccades'. Ambient/glitch legend Richard Chartier has made some of his best work under the PINKCOURTESYPHONE moniker, which he returns to on 'Shouting At Nuance'. A lovely new LP called 'Nakshatra' brings together two NYC violinists, TRINA BASU and ARUN RAMAMURTHY, in several inventive duets.
It's a fourth season on top for the soundtrack to STRANGER THINGS, the popular TV show that stars Winona Ryder and several other talented actors, and has continued to shine it's neon light upon artists like Kate Bush and Metallica for a new generation. Used to be, you had to have a cool aunt to tell you about Kate Bush, now you can hear her on a TV show! Two volumes here while they last, on blue and red vinyl. We've also got a new EP from BOY HARSHER featuring their track from the latest Halloween movie, plus a very necessary new edition of the 'Minecraft Volume Beta' soundtrack from producer C418.
The 1965 album from THE RONETTES was subtitled 'Featuring Veronica', now more widely celebrated as RONNIE SPECTOR. This doo-wop classic gets a fresh cut on red wax with its beautiful UK-only cover art, alongside a fresh edition of the funky soul gem 'Show and Tell' by AL WILSON. The venerable reggae label Trojan pays tribute to two of its most enduring artists with wonderfully illustrated collections of tunes from THE MAYTALS and THE SKATALITES.
The Guruguru Brain label delivers a pair of incredible new releases, confirming our certainty that everything the Dutch/Japanese imprint touches is gold. Producer HITOMI MORIWAKI makes intriguing hip-hop informed sound-collage on 'Subtropic Cosmos', while Tokyo krautrockers MINAMI DEUTSCH turn in an absolute smoker of hypnotic minimal rock on 'Fortune Goodies'. Saying that lofi musician EKIN FIL is the "Turkish Grouper" sounds too dismissive but its really true, in the sense that all of her albums have a wonderful, if inscrutable essence that takes a few listens to locate; 'Dora Agora' is her latest and best yet. We spoke on RYLEY WALKER earlier up-newsletter, well he's back again with a cracking new EP called 'So Certain' which is definitely the first music to pay tribute to both the Red Crayola and Dave Matthews Band in equal measure. Another banger from the road dog.
A bevy of classics that havent been available on vinyl in years or decades are in this week. TEARS FOR FEARS bedroom-to-stadium pop epic 'Songs from the Big Chair', FILTER's nice shot 'Short Bus', the JULIANA HATFIELD THREE's reality biting 'Become What You Are', and THURSDAY's circle pit serenade 'Full Collapse'.
Treasured Chicago DIY folkie Owen Ashworth has delivered countless classics with Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and solo as ADVANCE BASE. His first two LPs under that moniker are classics of the genre, comparable to Townes Van Zandt, David Bazan or the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, and both get new editions on vinyl this week. We've also got new printings of the late 90s folksy emo classics from THE VAN PELT, the briefly burning band helmed by singer and guitarist Chris Leo, brother of Ted.
We've already had our wigs split by the incredibly tender guitarwork of CHARLIE MEGIRA via the Numero Group's reissues, and now we get another side of the Israeli rocker, as he absolutely channels Joy Division at their peak on the 2006 album 'Charlie Megira und the Hefker Girl'. We've got new pressings of the B-52's 'Whammy' and 'Muchas Gracias', the best-of collection from KYUSS. Lastly, we honor the memory of DAVID CROSBY, as word has just come down of his passing. The HOT TUNA classic 'Burgers' is back in print this week, with a classic track that features Crosby, one of the greatest vocalists, guitarists, and overall incredible dudes to emerge from the American hippie scene.

Used Vinyl LP Alert

We start off this week's Used Vinyl Alert with the late, great David Crosby, and a plethora of must-have LPs of his - both solo & Byrds/CSNY-related. We continue with many more classic rock favorites, with records from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Captain Beefheart, & Buckingham Nicks. Alongside these, we head further into the later 70s & 80s with classics from the New York Dolls, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Steely Dan, Kate Bush, Cowboy Junkies, AC/DC, Metallica, & many others.

Moving onto Jazz, a number of clean titles spanning a number of different eras. You'll find names like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Airto, Joao Gilberto, Antonio-Carlos Jobim, Ornette Coleman, Joe Zawinul, Max Roach, Keith Jarrett, Cal Tjader, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Donald Byrd, & many more!

A deep selection of contemporary LPs in barely used condition grace the bins this week, from artists like Panda Bear, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tame Impala, Boards Of Canada, Of Montreal, Duster, Ghost, & others.

Essential country LPs are in this week from Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, & Patsy Cline. Blues & folk is well represented as well, from names like Muddy Waters, Albert King, Howlin Wolf, Albert Collins, Doc Watson, Leonard Cohen, & Nick Drake.

Staff Top Tens for 2022

We're back with another installment of our yearly best-of lists! Click here to view all of our top tens.

Save The Date - Record Store Day 2023 is Saturday, April 22nd


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
back to top