Strictly Discs

June 20, 2024

New This Week At The Shop

After the Beatles and the Stones, David Bowie and Prince, there aren't a lot of artists out there that really unify the majority of record listeners. That's fine by us (it's why we dedicate so much square footage here to every genre we can get our hands on), but sometimes it's nice to have something everyone can agree on. To that end, I have never heard someone say they don't like SADE, the decades-running soulful jazz-pop group fronted by the immaculate vocalist Sade Adu so demonstratively that when most folks say "I love Sade", they mean her, even though it's technically the name of the whole band. Emerging out of the early-80s disco-funk aftermath in London, the quartet fused delicate Latin percussion, smooth hornplay, and a sensual groove in a sound that managed to hearken back to the torchy swing of mid-century jazz and the cool tempos of bossa nova, while also maintaining an irresistible rhythmic bounce that endeared it to generations of hip-hop and adult contemporary fans, to say nothing of DJs of every stripe, from wedding to ghettotech. To this day, the group's decisively light touch on perfect sophisti-pop has never been matched. Though the group's early run of records - 'Diamond Life', 'Promise', and 'Stronger Than Pride' - all topped the charts and sold millions of copies, its gotten harder and harder to find a nice clean OG for reasonable prices, so we are quite pleased to have a dozen or so new copies of each of these classics in the house this week. If you don't like Sade, there's still time to change that. # This week brings some more big names in the world of female vocalists: LAKE STREET DIVE bring us another flawless slab of catchy jazz-pop on 'Good Together' on indie-exclusive light blue wax; Swiftian songwriter GRACIE ABRAMS delivers her second album, the tender and reflective 'The Secret Of Us' on yellow vinyl; golden voiced neo-soul songwriter KEHLANI returns with their first new music in over two years, and the bright and bouncy 'Crash', in on blue jay colored wax.
A collection of early demos and alternate takes fleshes out the remarkable path taken by DAVID BOWIE as he crafted the Ziggy Stardust persona. A single LP edition of 'Rock N Roll Star' picks the best selections from this vast trove, while a heavy 5 CD set gives you the full stash. The GRATEFUL DEAD celebrate fifty years of their album 'From The Mars Hotel' with a newly remastered LP, and a limited zoetrope picture disc version. Josh Homme's moderately successful post-Kyuss band QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE reissues their self-titled 1998 debut ahead of their tour that brings 'em to Breese Stevens later this year (sign up to win free tix at the front counter!). SPIRITUALIZED's 2008 gospel-psych ode to staying alive against all odds, 'Songs In A&E' is back in a new remastered edition, with new cover art. Anything would be an improvement over the blandness of the original but I gotta say this new cover is not for the squeamish. DC punk band SHUDDER TO THINK evolved quickly from bristly hardcore to major label art-rock; a new collection called '1987' captures their very earliest moments, mostly unheard. TELEVISION didn't seem to evolve at all; they just emerged sui generis as one of the greatest guitar bands to ever exist, right out of the gate. A new-ish unofficial collection called 'Demos 1974-1975' proves that well.
Actor and director Samantha Morton teams up with producer Richard Russell (Everything Is Recorded) for the project SAM MORTON with an album called 'Daffodils & Dirt', where she mines the memories of her frankly terrible childhood across a poignant soundscape of post-club folktronica. English duo ARIANNE CHURCHMAN & BENEDICT DREW collect several pieces of Covid-era psychedelic folk sprawl on the strikingly deep compilation album 'May'. Emotional pop-punkers THE STORY SO FAR continue to play through the pain on 'I Want To Disappear'. Multi-dimensional folksinger Josephine Foster revives her old jangle-rock band THE CHILDREN'S HOUR for an immensely enjoyable record called 'Going Home', which sounds like The Clean fronted by, well, Josephine Foster. After Strawberry Switchblade, ethereal folk-rock vocalist Rose McDowall formed an incredibly underrated band called SORROW; their 1999 CD-only gem 'Sleep Now Forever' was released on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day in the UK, and now us yanks get a crack at it. I love LINDA THOMPSON and I love a good pun, so check out 'Proxy Music', Linda's latest, in which she hands off unreleased songs of hers to family and friends like Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Eliza Carthy.
Melodic sludge-gaze pessimists HAVE A NICE LIFE collect a barrage of non-album cuts and B-sides on 'Voids'. Lots of eccentrically-mixed gems on here, including the incredibly-titled "Waiting for Black Metal Records to Come in the Mail". SUMAC prove once again they are one of the heaviest post-doom metal bands on this spinnin rock with 'The Healer', in on coke bottle clear wax. If you missed out on the reissue of TEAM SLEEP's self-titled debut on Record Store Day, you've got another chance at this heavily-goateed Deftones side project. Cathartic Irish folk band LANKUM deliver an uncanny combo of Clannad and Black Sabbath with a new live album, 'Live In Dublin'. The quarterly proof-of-life album from GUIDED BY VOICES is here, titled 'Strut Of Kings'. Glam-grungers REDD KROSS have stayed ferociously relevant long past their expected shelf date: a new self-titled record from them keeps the streak alive.
Ambient cornerstone Kranky brings a trio of early essentials back in print on vinyl this week. ROY MONTGOMERY's therapeutic meditation on loss, 'Temple IV', bathes the listener in waves of 4-tracked guitar. WINDY & CARL's landmark 2001 album 'Consciousness' applies the theoretical approaches of minimalism to the shoegaze style; personally, this was the first ambient album I ever owned, and I'm still listening to it regularly over two decades later, even though I have roughly a thousand other options. As LOSCIL, Canadian musician Scott Morgan has created well over a dozen essential albums of woozy, dubbed-out rhythm-drone that mimics the internal structures of clouds; it all began with 'Triple Point', his 2001 CD that has never been available on vinyl until now. For more elegant drift, dial up a first-time LP release of prolific producer CELER's 2012 album 'Perfectly Beneath Us'. Superior Viaduct pulls off another coup, delivering the first-ever US version of LA MONTE YOUNG & MARIAN ZAZEELA's second album 'Dream House 78'17"', with two sides of consciousness-raising counterpoint between sine wave, trumpet, and the human voice. Since he's semi-retired his The Bug alias, we've come to expect the unexpected from KEVIN RICHARD MARTIN, but on 'Black' he really throws us for a loop, re-imagining the music of Amy Winehouse as a greyscale, static-laden dirge-blur.
Some absolutely fire techno in the shop this week, as we finally lay hands (respectfully) on records from the up and coming British electro producer SYSTEM OLYMPIA, and her latest banger 'Sanctified'. Veteran bloop-funksters DMX KREW do not disappoint on their latest collection of brainy party jams, 'Unlikely Seeming'. The vaunted Tresor label celebrates the ongoing communion of Berlin and Detroit on a mini-comp called '030313', featuring Juan Atkins and DJ Stingray alongside up and comers like JakoJako and Erik Jabari. Veteran producer PEVERELIST continues to make some of the cleverest, functional techno out there with 'Pulse Phase', a new EP for Livity Sound. Lebanese-American upstart SOLPARA lands on Nico Jaar's Other People label with a marvelously textured album of moody beat-structure called 'Melancholy Sabotage'. Lastly, dont let the name (PIZZA HOTLINE) or the Playstation controller on the cover of 'Level Select' throw you off; these rather corny signifiers are only there to distract you from some of the sweetest vapor-inflected DnB to come this way in a long time.
Brazilian saxophonist and composer VINICIUS MENDES follows in the steps of his regional heroes Milton Nascimento and Hermeto Pascoal on an electrifying new collection called 'Macunaismo Tardio Vol.1 & 2'. Ethiopian pianist and saxophonist JORGA MESFIN has studied for years as the iconic Mulatu Astatke's protege, and now delivers an absolutely stunning debut album called 'The Kindest One'. Pianist JASON MORAN's landmark album 'Ten', in which he mixed in interpretations of Monk and Nancarrow in with his swinging originals, gets the Blue Note Classic treatment this week. The Be With label restores a rarity from the catalog of trumpeter AL HIRT; 'Soul In The Horn' is a crate-diggers delight, memorably flipped by De La Soul on "Ego Trippin (Part Two)". Back in stock for the first time in forever: DAVE PIKE's 'The Doors Of Perception' and ROY AYERS 'Stoned Soul Picnic'. Pick up either of these and you don't need any other records!
A slew of fantastic comps this week include 'Rock Rendez Vous: M​​sica Moderna Portuguesa 1985​-​1986' which, despite it's title, features some banging synthpop ala a Lisbonian Depeche Mode. A second volume of 'Cumbia Cumbia Cumbia!!!' delivers a bunch of...you know what. German obscurity hound BASSO lends his expertise to the International Feel label with a collection of irresistible electro-jazz-wave obscurities called 'Sitting In Trees'. DJ NOTOYA helpfully compiles 'Funk Tide: Tokyo Jazz-Funk From Electric Bird 1978-87', bringing you heat you probably didn't even knew existed. Some hip-hop rarities are back in print as well, from KOOL KEITH and JADAKISS.

Used Vinyl LP Alert

Here is your weekly update for June 13. We'll pickup where the Thursday night sneak peek video on our @StrictlyDiscs Instagram and Facebook left off. No frills. Just the artists. The rest is for your 500+ fresh-used digging pleasure downstairs. Some of the headliners this week:

Rock/Pop: John Lennon, Beatles, Rolling Stones. The Budos Band, T.Rex, John Cale, Replacements, Bob Dylan, Giant, Queen, Paul and Linda McCartney, Steve Miller Band, INXS, Prince, Robert Palmer

Jazz: Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Earl Klugh, Hugo Winterhalter, Sammy Price

Folk/Country: Pete Seeger, Odetta Holmes, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Waylon Jennings, Emmy Lou Harris, Willie Nelson, Alabama

Contemporary: Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, Dua Lipa, Childish Gambino, Olivia Rodrigo, Oasis, The White Stripes

Soul/Funk/Blues: Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Booker T & The MGs, Willie Dixon, Billy Preston

Soundtracks: The Good, Bad & The Ugly, Zapped!, Top Gun

And an OG Arnold Schwarzenegger Cassette packaged in an LP sleeve that must be seen to be believed.

Happy Digging!

Shop our Warehouse HiFi on Reverb

We've been putting in work at our Cambridge warehouse, including inventorying and photographing our HiFi for sale to list on Reverb. We've only got so much space downstairs to sell our gear so we'll be listing the rest at https://reverb.com/shop/strictly-discs. You'll note a focus on turntables, receivers and amps from brands like Marantz, Thorens and Kenwood. Give it a gander as we'll continue to post a little over 100 listings through the end of this week.

And reminder that our HiFi tech Eric Hartz will be downstairs in the shop on Tuesdays from 11 - 3 in June evaluating HiFi buys. If you've got gear you think could use a new home, give us a shout.

SELL US YOUR LPS!

Yes, we are still buying! Call us at the shop to schedule: 608-259-1991
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Evan, Ed, Eric, Matt B., Steve, Mark, Marty, Brad, Adam, Andrew, Rick, Dru & Ashley.
        
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