Strictly Discs

August 31, 2023

New This Week At The Shop

Summer drifts to a close with a new record from autumnal harbingers SLOWDIVE, who continue their blazing second act with 'everything is alive'. The English dream-rock veterans transcended shoegaze with their comeback album six years back and this trend continues, with the quartet summoning an immense power from their artfully-restrained palette of billowing reverb guitar, motorik pulse, and half-sighed vocals. Crystal clear vinyl on this instant classic. Not to be outdone, the celestial brethren in SIGUR ROS bring out their first proper studio album in a decade; reuniting their core lineup for 'Atta', and proving there's nobody better at making you feel like you are no longer on earth and/or in the 21st century. Philly noise-pop roustabouts SPEEDY ORTIZ return with a melodic punch on 'Rabbit Rabbit', and we've got a gorgeous new record from Londoner PUMA BLUE, who crafts a hazy, noirish scene ala Nicolas Jaar on 'Holy Waters'.
When SONIC YOUTH took the stage by the Williamsburg waterfront in mid-August 2011, nobody could have suspected it would be the NYC noise-rock institution's final performance in the city. With Pavement's Mark Ibold joining the band on auxiliary bass, the band delved deep into their back catalog, pulling out several seldom-played classics from SST-era albums 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Evol' and 'Sister' that they likely had to relearn/retune from scratch. It paid off: 'Live In Brooklyn 2011' is one of the best live albums we've heard in a long, long time. The low end is crushing, Thurston stage banter is in top form, and the set list....dang. They open with "Brave Men Run" into "Death Valley 69" and things proceed accordingly from there. Anyhoo, could do about 4500 more words on this record but we must move on! Los Angeles noisy indie group SPRAIN take the SY sound deep into new territory with the hulking, manic, no wave epic 'The Lamb As Effigy'. Numero keeps the 90s flame burning with a cool pair. A live album from CODEINE called 'What About The Lonely?' captures the slowcore heroes bathed in all their 1993 glory, playing at the Lounge Ax in Chicago (opening for Mazzy Star, wtf!), while a new set called 'This Can't Exist' collects three rare EPs from underground emo legends NATIVE NOD, the beloved New Jersey band that featured Ted Leo's brothers Chris and Danny Leo, both equally gifted in the lyrical department.
Marvelous rapper EARL SWEATSHIRT has kept thriving through unwanted fame, pandemics, and whatever else you want to throw at him, witnessed by his latest-ish record 'Sick!', an all killer no filler classic, which is now here on limited light blue wax. The indomitable KOOL KEITH can't be contained for too long, 'Black Elvis 2' is here, Ice T feature and all, on orange vinyl. With spellbindingly crisp production and direct lyricism, RODDY RICCHclocked 5 singles in the Top Ten and nabbed 3 Grammy nods with his debut album, 'Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial' is back in print this week, alongside an expanded ten year anniversary edition of AESOP ROCK's 'Skelethon', on triple marble vinyl.
We've been enjoying deeper dives into the discography of recently departed tenor sax giant WAYNE SHORTER lately, and one of the most alluring is his late-60s flirtation with the avant-garde, 'Schizophrenia', which gets the Blue Note Tone Poet stamp of quality this week alongside an absolutely timeless piece of organ and vibes-led coolout jazz from BIG JOHN PATTON, 'Let 'Em Roll', which features Grant Green doing some very choice bits of guitar. ORNETTE COLEMAN's sophomore album, 1959's 'Tomorrow Is The Question!' captured a rapidly-emerging artist in full flight, joined by like-minded anti-traditionalists Don Cherry and Shelly Manne but oddly (for the time) no pianist, gets an audiophile printing this week. Philly producer, keyboardist, and legit wizard DEXTER WANSEL changed the game for all of R&B and disco to follow with his 1976 masterpiece 'Life on Mars', which rang in an auspicious bicentennial with funk captured in the cosmos.
A folk-rock supergroup trio of affable, photogenic oddballs that just hangs out and screws around and makes everyone's favorite record to come out that year? Seems like CROSBY STILLS + NASH could be considered the Boygenius of their time. Their classic debut is back in print this week on clear vinyl, alongside the sweeping WILLIE NELSON song cycle 'Phases & Stages'. STURGILL SIMPSON expanded the scope of his nu-alt country genius with 'A Sailor's Guide to Earth' five years back, now reissued on clear vinyl, alongside a new edition of the BILLY STRINGS Rounder label debut 'Home', back in print on vinyl for the first time in several years!
Psychedelic gentledude P.G. SIX has been making all variants of trippy and deep folk-noise goodness on the East Coast for decades in great bands like Tower Recordings and Wet Tuna, but whenever he graces the Drag City label with some of his sweetly-sung stuff under his five letter name, as he does this week with 'Murmurs & Whispers', it is always some Jansch-ian, idyllic imperfection that you want to live in forever. Another banger. Its 'Another Side Of This Life' for GRAM PARSONS; this lovely collection of early demos by the country-rock pioneer from when he was just a teen is back in print this week, on sky blue vinyl. We sure do love JOHN PRINE around here, that's no secret, and most days if we had to pick an overall staff fave it would be 'John Prine', self titled, the debut, or "The Hay One" as it often goes. This indelible collection of songwriting savvy is back in print this week in a relievingly affordable edition, alongside it's spiritual successor, 'Sky Blue Sky' by WILCO. This 2007 master stroke of cerebral folk rock was the band's highest charting album and a lasting fan favorite; now its back on, what else? sky blue vinyl.
Most of us here probably categorically avoid the types of activities that inspire artists like JEFF ROSENSTOCK to make records like 'Hellmode' and that's totally fine. We're here to sell the records, he's here to go Hell Mode, everything stays in balance (we hope). We have the neon pink vinyl edition of this clattering pop shred-sesh, and you can find it adjacent to the new Polyvinyl-provided Jeff Rosenstock bin card, which we are using even though it is considerably larger and taller than our typical regulation bin cards. The situation will be monitored closely. PASSION PIT's synthpop overdose 'Gossamer' keeps selling out every time they reissue it, so here is a new version on gold vinyl. The cloud-trap gods have smiled upon us American mortals, as we finally have domestic copies of two certified heaters from YUNG LEAN: 'Frost God' and 'Warlord', which first put the Swedish rapper on radars back in the late Twenty Ought Teens. Remember those times?
Well good, because here's a bunch of BLADEE records! A whole run of eye-blasting, ear-tunneling, autotuned esoterica here, which has proved to have a lasting influence on the post-pop mayhem that is the modern music landscape. While they last, here's 'Gluee', 'Working On Dying', 'Red Light', 'Exeter' and '333'.
Down here at the end of the list it is BORIS, with a reissue of their riff-stacked classic 'Heavy Rocks' on limited orange wax. Snarling Swedish sassmen the VIAGRA BOYS re-edition their 2018 debut 'Street Worms' with extra tracks, we welcome a new edition of DAN DEACON's glorious 'Spiderman of the Rings' on pink, and noise rockers BE YOUR OWN PET return with 'Mommy' on green vinyl.

Used Vinyl LP Alert

Heading downstairs for this this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we start things off with a deep run of clean, high quality blues LPs! You'll find names like Mississippi John Hurt, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lightnin Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Leadbelly, Memphis Slim, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bo Diddley, Son House, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Roosevelt Sykes & many more.

If 80s metal is your thing, you'll definitely want to swing by and have a look at what we have to offer this week. Lots of smaller label records that we rarely see, from groups like Axemaster, Ded Engine, Deadly Blessing, Destroyer, Chateaux, Black Alice, Black Sheep, Dark Ace, Fact, Crisis, Faithful Breath, & lots more.

Rock classics are well stocked from Steely Dan, The Beatles, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Janis Joplin, Gentle Giant, Jimi Hendrix, Flamin Groovies, Magazine, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Echo & The Bunnymen, Prince, & others (some rarely seen UK pressings among this bunch). Jazz & soul are also in this week, with some all time classics from Aretha Franklin, Rick James, Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, Sly & The Family Stone, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Max Roach, & more.

Hip hop continues to bless the new arrival bins, with classics from Dr. Dre, A$AP Rocky, Common, J Cole, Frank Ocean, Blakroc, Timbaland & Magoo, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Run The Jewels, Kanye West & many others.

Closing things out for this week, we have a number of country staples from Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, & Loretta Lynn, folk from Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch, & Pentangle, and a wide variety of children's records, soundtracks, & international LPs!

Strictly Discs Is Hiring

VINYL PRICING SPECIALIST:
Required skills:
Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs
Computer proficient
A passion for music, and a broad, deep base of recorded music history
Knowledge of Goldmine standards & experience grading and pricing records
Knowledge of stereo equipment/functionality
Availability to work nights and weekends
Ability to lift and carry 60 pounds repeatedly

To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to angie@strictlydiscs.com

Monroe Street Festival / Sidewalk Sale

Join us Saturday September 9th for bargain LPs & CDs from 9:30AM-5PM.

SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS

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