The 2019 floodgates open this week with an incredible deluge of new releases across the board! Let's start with some house favorites, as we see new albums from three dearly beloved artists who have all performed in our basement! Cherished memories!
On her long-awaited follow up to 2014's 'Are We There', songwriter Sharon Van Etten reappears in our lives like a drifter Lazarus who's just wandered back into town on a whim. 'Remind Me Tomorrow' begins like a re-awakening, and very quickly resumes where we left off in '14, with soaring, complicated songs that bask in a warmer production glow than any of her old records, and cement SVE's spot as the bridge between PJ Harvey and Angel Olsen. This one's here on limited clear blue vinyl. It's been even longer since we heard a new album from local hero Julian Lynch, who you may have seen around town when he plays with Real Estate, or maybe when he cat-sits for you. Nobody crafts an otherworldly and jubilant soundscape like Julian, and his sound on 'Rat's Spit' is fuller and more kaleidoscopic than ever, sounding at times like Thinking Fellers, Grizzly Bear, and early Of Montreal. On 'The Unseen in Between', lowkey guitar god Steve Gunn's sound continues to refract. Once again, Gunn takes straightforward folky ramblers straight out of the JJ Cale songbook and effortlessly turns them transverse, revealing a sensual, watercolor psychedelia.
Rock n' roll soldier M. Ward has been around the sun a few times in his career, and gets a bit reflective on his latest album 'What A Wonderful Industry', a rough-hewn tribute to the various characters he's met in his line of work. Deerhunter's latest, 'Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?' strikes a familiar bleak note for the band, as they amble ably into their 'Satanic Majesties Request' era. After plying his trade solo for a long time, David Bazan reconvenes his beloved indie band Pedro the Lion for a fantastic new album called 'Phoenix', which I assume means the thing that rises from the ashes and not the sprawling Arizona city, but I could be wrong! Fans of PTL's warm, heartfelt drops of folkrock realness know what they are in for on this one, and we've got it here on CD and deluxe etched vinyl.
"James Murphy is playing at my house, and he brought all his rare records on Flying Dutchman," deadpans Toro Y Moi on his latest album 'Outer Peace'. Well into his second decade of marvelous beatmaking, Chaz Bundick clearly knows both his roots and his path forward, and this record brings us plenty of fire, ranging from roller rink boogie to the faintest traces of trap, in the house on indie-only clear vinyl. Two massive crossover hits from Jamaica that tweaked dancehall for the modern club come back to us on vinyl, Vybz Kartel's 'A Kingston Story' and Popcaan's 'Where We Come From'. Few records go as hard as these two.
In a match forged in music nerd hell, lyricist Aesop Rock and producer Tobacco have teamed up as Malibu Ken, a project that uniquely capitalizes on their paired strengths: fascinating wordplay and nauseating yet snappy production. The artwork on this one is off the charts as well, of course. Open Mike Eagle's absolutely perfect 2018 EP of genius-brain rap, 'What Happens When I Try To Relax', is back in print on vinyl, and we have a fantastic new album from Dawn Richard called 'The New Breed', which continues to put an ocean of distance between the emotive, futuristic R&B singer and her 'Making the Band' days. We've also got new CDs from Birdman & Jacquees and Ski Mask the Slump God.
Techno flaneur Wolfgang Voigt has recently, and righteously, revived his totemic project Gas, and now we get a fresh, expanded 3LP version of his 1997 breakout album under that moniker, 'Zauberberg'. The endless lush strings and ectopic beats on this one have never sounded fuller. American ambient pioneer K. Leimer sees his early 80s cassette 'Music For Land and Water' pressed to LP for the first time ever. Unlike other Leimer music of the period, this one has no rhythmic elements, being composed only of four reel-to-reel tapes operating at random. The result is a divine listening experience seated right in between Eno's 'Discreet Music' and Laraaji's 'Essence/Universe'. Copies are limited! CV313, the project of Stephen Hitchell aka "the techno half of Echospace'', releases a delicious new album of cavernous, judicious dub techno called 'The Glass City Sessions'.
After the dissolution of his groundbreaking post-punk group Liquid Liquid, Sal Principato busied himself briefly with a project called Fist of Facts, which stripped the clattering LL sound down its basic elements. 'Fugitive Vesco' compiles all the tracks from that era, which thrum and bleed with the same hypnotic flair as Jah Wobble's epic post-PIL output. Before they were Joy Division they were called Warsaw, with one EP of tunes kicking off a generation of mopes: 'Ideal For Living' is back in print on LP. German post-punkers Diät closed the loop Joy Division opened, so to speak, with their blazing 2015 record 'Positive Energy', which is now back in print on LP. Fans of Protomartyr ought to scope this one. Chandra Oppenheim recorded the first songs on 1980's 'Transportation' EP when she was just 12 years old, fronting a band made up of NYC no wavers Eugenie Diserio from Model Citizens and Fred Maher from Material. Only in New York! Aside from that biographical oddity, this is some killer timeless twitchy synth-pop, somewhere between the Slits and the Social Climbers.
A solid week for new and old music from the rock / unrock underground is here as we have some rather noteworthy arrivals. First off, there's a new album from the reconvened classic lineup of The Flesh Eaters, the 'LA voodoo blues' version of the Traveling Wilburys. The Gun Club's 1984 bootleg 'Destroy the Country' gets its first ever official vinyl release. We have a super-cool collection of unheard early music from Oister, the band of babyfaced Oklahomans Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour before they would go on to form the Dwight Twilley Band and 20/20. New Zealand free-rock destruction unit The Dead C are back with another bonechiller called 'Rare Ravers'. Local color abounds on a new compilation from Dirtnap, 'American Noise Vol. 2', which continues to document the incredible swath of underground rock legends that recorded at Madison's Smart Studios, such as Cherubs, Die Kreuzen, Urge Overkill, and the Fluid! And speaking of proto-grunge, the Seattle label-institution-coffee shop-regional airport Sub Pop has returned to where it all began with two reissues from Green River, the band that featured Mark Arm and Steve Turner and Mudhoney, plus Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam. Loser editions on both of these, loser!
More new releases this week come from the Twilight Sad, Maggie Rogers, a reissue of Snail Mail's debut cassette on LP, new releases from Guster and Buke & Gase, and a new solo album from Neyla Pekarek, formerly the cellist of The Lumineers.
This week's colored vinyl reissues from Rhino's Start Your Ear Off Right include Gram Parsons' 'GP', CSNY's 'So Far' and two from ZZ Top: 'Tejas' and 'El Loco'.
One of the greatest ever almost-never-heard albums is back in print. In a fashion similar to Ted Lucas' solo album (still a few in stock!), German folk singer Sibylle Baier recorded a handful of songs in the early 70s and then never released them, moving to the States to lead an anonymous life as a working mother. Somehow, a burned copy of the tunes made it's way (via J. Mascis) to Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel's label Orange Twin, where these songs were finally released in 2006 to major acclaim. 'The Colour Green' is front-to-back filled with delicate, haunting tracks that stand up alongside greats like Karen Dalton, Judee Sill and Vashti Bunyan. Willie Nelson's classic 1998 album 'Teatro' can now be said to come from his "middle period", which is frankly kind of amazing, and it gets a fresh vinyl printing just past its 20th anniversary. Produced by Daniel Lanois, this singularly atmospheric record finds Willie revisiting some of his earliest material with a stud band including Emmylou Harris, Brad Mehldau and Cyril Neville. Decades on from her founding membership in Fairport Convention (Sandy Denny joined when she left), Judy Dyble is still crafting gorgeous folk tunes in the revival spirit. 'Earth Is Sleeping' has just been released, but sounds like it could have easily come out in 1970.
Three crucial rarities from the worlds of early reggae, free jazz, and psych-prog get lovely vinyl reissues this week: The Kingstonian's 1970 album 'Sufferer', Joe McPhee's titanic 'Nation Time', and the acid drenched genre-hopping 'Cosmic Eye' from the early 70s UK band Dream Sequence, led by jazz guitarist Amancio D'Silva.
Big news from Japan comes first in the form of soundtracks. We've got the almighty 'Streets of Rage 2' soundtrack back on LP, in all its psychedelic techno meets elevator music glory. Very long awaited are two stunning soundtracks from films of Hayao Miyazaki, both composed by the legendary Joe Hisaishi. We've got limited supply of 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind'. Last up, the 3rd volume of the incredible 'Midnight in Tokyo' compilations, delivering more dead rare Nippon disco, boogie, and jazz-funk.
The Freedom to Spend label continues its torrid run with the first of several LP reissues from Rimarimba, an obscure 80s electronic act from rural Felixstowe UK. 'Below the Horizon' is expressionist micro-pop perfection on par with contemporaries like Woo, Cleaners From Venus and Michal Turtle. Mathemagical synth pioneer Laurie Spiegel gets two times her due with a pair of lovely reissues. Her 1980 debut 'The Expanding Universe' has been, well, expanded to 3 LPs from its original; single disc, and we also have the first ever reissue of her second album, 'Unseen Worlds'. We've also got a corker of an artsy ambient record from the Seance Centre label, 'On One of These Bends', which collects unreleased material from British soundtrack artist Philip Sanderson, and could pass as a DIY version of Eno's 'Music For Films' in a heartbeat. Not to be missed!
After being discovered by the wider world at a considerably late moment in his career, Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk is making his best music well into his 70s. His 'continuous mode' playing style will appeal to fans of Philip Glass, but I find Lubo's stuff to be far more sensual and cosmic than old Phil. Check out his latest, 'Fallen Trees' on CD and LP. The Awesome Tapes From Africa label delivers a lovely set of kora music from Sourakata Koite, and we've got a richly rendered new disc of music from Cuban jazz innovator Harold Lopez-Nussa.
USED VINYL ALERT:
Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we've done our best to match the wealth of great new releases with an equally broad spread of vintage wax.
We've got a deep and varied selection of more recent releases, including some limited editions and other collectibles from names like Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Jack White, the Promise Ring, Beach House, Arcade Fire, Mastodon, Black Angels, Kings of Leon, Fear of Men, the Flaming Lips, and scads more.
Rock and pop classics turn up from Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Prince, the Yardbirds, Neil Young, John Prine, Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Bob Seger and T. Rex, while we see some more obscure and rare things from Ultimate Spinach, Elyse, the Monkees, Siren, Tom Rapp, Dennis Wilson, Pollution, Emitt Rhodes, and High Tide. Plenty more crucial albums from names like Black Sabbath, Dio, Levon Helm, the Plimsouls, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Paul Simon, the Who, Bruce Springsteen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kiss, Janis Joplin, the Cars, CSNY, Joni Mitchell, and Blondie!
We go wide and deep with jazz this week, with plenty of household names and about as many obscurities. Check out loads of good ones from Charlie Parker, Albert Ammons, Barre Phillips, Ben Webster, Donald Byrd, Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Terje Rypdal, Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, Don Patterson, Dave Brubeck, Phil Woods, Karl Berger, Marion Brown, Oliver Nelson, Reggie Workman, Gil Evans, Archie Shepp, Steve Kuhn, Thelonious Monk, Eddie Russ, and Jaco Pastorius.
A cool trove of classic and forgotten 90s rap is in the building, some LPs and some EPs, from names like Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Bone Thugs, Digable Planets, Camron, UGK, Gorillaz, Ghostface, Mobb Deep, Dj Kool, the Geto Boys and many many more.
We wrap up with a selection of cool soundtracks, some audiophile LPs of interest, exotica and beyond from Esquivel, Martin Denny, Alfred Apaka, Irakere, Laurindo Almeida, Carlos Montoya, and Weird Al Yankovic, plus some cool electronic and modern composition from Tangerine Dream, Morton Subotnick, Lucy Railton, Michael Hoenig, Philip Glass, Oneohtrix Point Never, Caterina Barbieri, and Steve Reich!
USED CD ALERT:
It’s a rock-solid hearty helping of meat-and-potatoes used CDs this week. Leading off the charge is a pile of Prince productions. Most noteworthy are the 3-cd “Emancipation” set and a 1982 boot recorded live at First Ave. Yikes! We’ll also be putting out five titles from 70’s era Kinks, five Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott efforts, five from Bowie and, shoot, let’s go with five from Uncle Frank Zappa. For good measure, look out for seven albums from Queen, including a bunch we rarely see. There also will be multiples from the likes of Nilsson, McCartney, MJ, Tears for Fears, Warren Zevon and The Band. Finally, there’s single shots from The Smiths, Alex Chilton and chicken-fried wildman Mojo Nixon. All this comes courtesy of a former manager of Milwaukee institution Mainstream Records and, rest assured, there is more on the way.
STRICTLY DISCS MUSIC TRIVIA RETURNS FEBRUARY 12TH:
Join us Tuesday, February 12th for Music Trivia at the High Noon Saloon. Registration starts at 5:30PM wiht first question at 6PM.
Test your music knowledge monthly at High Noon!
Registration starts 5:30 | First question at 6:00 PM FREE | 21+
New prizes to the winning team each month and a cumulative prize for the top team of the year includes a GOLDEN TICKET to EVERY show at High Noon Saloon the next year!
February 12 | March 19 | April 2 | May 14 | June 18 | July 16 | August 13 | September 17 | October 15 | November 12 | December 17
RECORD STORE DAY 2019 IS APRIL 13TH - SAVE THE DATE!
STRICTLY DISCS IS HIRING:
Retail Clerk & Vinyl Pricing Clerk:
Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs
A passion for music, and a broad, deep base of musical knowledge
Knowledge of Goldmine standards & experience grading and pricing records
Knowledge of stereo equipment/functionality
Availability to work nights and weekends
Ability to stand for long periods of time & ability to lift and carry 50 pounds
To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS:
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Michael, Ben, Will, Ed & Isaac