Strictly Discs

August 1, 2019


We start off a muscular week of new music with two fresh records from Tylers who have grown their respective genres to suit their rambling muses. Ty Segall delivers 'First Taste', a detail-packed album of blistering pop that's an indirect return to the huddled psychedelia of his early peak on 2012's 'Twins'. Tyler Childers' 'Country Squire' finds the Kentucky songwriter retreating to his cosmic trailer park just a couple miles down from Sturgill Simpson's property. Tyler the Creator is the third piece of this triad, and we don't have copies of his latest record in yet, but we've just learned that one's coming in September, so hold tight.

Chilean conjurors Föllakzoid delve deeper into their seismic spacerock heave on 'IV', and Australian indie gentlemen Possible Humans carry the Clean's torch into its fourth decade burning with the very rewarding 'Everybody Split'. NYC hypno-blues duo 75 Dollar Bill have graced us with a brief, cant-miss discography that's always hinted at even vaster things, things which now arrive on their deluxe double album 'I Was Real'. Underground lifers Che Chen (True Primes) and Rick Brown (Run On) make room in the studio for a host of their fellow downtown denizens, in a long sesh of monklike rhythmic incantations that straddle the divide between urban wasteland and desert mirage, engineered with casual verite by Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone. Across its ruminating suites, 'I Was Real' weaves patterns of interlocking guitar/drums/horns, in tribute to unheralded practitioners of the form like Tetuzi Akiyama and Boubacar Traore. 

Famed names bring us rare tunes this week, starting with a first-ever vinyl pressing of Creedence Clearwater Revival's full set from Woodstock, which was strangely left off of the original soundtrack entirely. After months of waiting, to the point that we wondered if we'd imagined the whole thing, we have the vinyl version of the appropriately mirage-like 'Dead Man' soundtrack from Neil Young. The Jerry Garcia Band's 'Electric On the Eel' 4LP set is already fetching high prices for its Record Store Day edition, and we have some additional vinyl copies now. New Order's recent live performance with a 12-piece 'synthesizer orchestra' is now available in a deluxe vinyl set, and we have a 10th anniversary repress of the rare split single from Jay Reatard and Sonic Youth. 

A pair of smartly-designed 2 CD sets compile the entire singles output of the beloved UK indie institutionTelevision Personalities, ranging from their earliest late-70s bashabouts to their hazy 90s material. These go well with the latest 4 disc deep dive from the Cherry Red label: 'Optimism/Reject' takes on the staggering task that is documenting the many strains of UK DIY, from the more known knowns like Swell Maps and X-Ray Spex, to unheralded flashes like Spizzoil and the Deep Freeze Mice.

Is something burning? No, that's just our brand new **metal section** roasting the bins right there between the end of Rock and the beginning of Country. "Where's your metal?" might be the most Frequently Asked Question upstairs (well, after "Do you guys sell frisbees?" of course), so we've finally delivered the goods. We inaugurate this section with some new catalog additions, with more to come, and new records from Volbeat and Russian Circles. 

A hearty helping of modern jazz jams enter our world this week, starting with the Medeski-meets-Glasper horn groove by Lettuce, called 'Elevate', and a striking debut album from a new grouping of female British jazz players called Nerija, which really hits all the right spots. Jon Batiste follows up a strong pair of studio albums with a live record called 'Anatomy of Angels', and Blue Note vibraphonist Joel Ross delivers the vinyl version of his percolating new album 'KingMaker'. 'Sunny Side Up', the overstuffed new Gilles Peterson overview of the contemporary Melbourne jazzdance scene, is now in the house on beautiful vinyl, as well. 

'Black Christ of the Andes', the landmark gospel-jazz album from pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams returns on an affordable vinyl repress, as well as 'Wide Prairie', the one-off 90s solo album from Linda McCartney. Australian singer Emily Fairlight channels early Cat Power styles on 'Mother of Gloom', and we have a nice vinyl edition of 'Sea Glass' by the longtime unsigned LA songwriting talent Susan James. Produced by Stereolab's Sean O'Hagan, the album dips into Laetitia Sadier territory at times, while recalling earlier psychedelic folk forbears like Judy's Henske and Sill. The self-titled debut album and iconic modern bossa album from Joyce is back in print, and we have a very cool archival gem from the Australian jazzfunker and vocalist Justine. 

New free jazz CDs are here from Charles Gayle and the four-way improv summit of Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Evan Parker and Lol Coxhill (!). Plus we have two all-timers from the spiritual jazz legend Lonnie Liston Smith back in print on LP: 'Astral Traveling' and 'Cosmic Funk'. If you don't own these yet you better fix that. 

A pair of releases highlight the ineffably evolving, female led frontiers of the experimental Japanese underground. 'Seito: In The Beginning, Woman Was the Sun' is a sortof feminine analog to last year's 'Tokyo Flashback' comp, spotlighting 7 artists operating in the haunting fringes of doomy, psychedelic folk and electronics. 'Ein Traum Fur Dich' is a collaborative sound collage from Tori Kudo (of Maher Shalal Hash Baz) and mixtape compiler Kayo Makino, which splices Kudo's Satie-like piano and guitar with otherwordly samples, field recordings, and snippets of song. 

'Across a Crowded Room Live' captures guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson at peak power in 1985, while we welcome an incredible archival set from the Third Man gang. 'Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969' rescues audience recordings from this historic summit of (then) living legends like Roosevelt Sykes, Junior Wells, Clifton Chenier and Magic Sam, rendered in verite sound that puts you in the front row, passing a doobie or a casserole or whatever the nice Ann Arborites were passing back then. Lovely packaging and photos on this set, which comes in a 2 disc CD version, and two separate vinyl volumes. 

Ambient beauties abound this week, beginning with a stunning new album from the UK producer Leif, who weds glowing tapestries of drone to some deep thinking percussion elements on 'Loom Dream'. Young Marco has been such a fixture on the chill-out dance scene for so long, its hard to believe 'Bahasa', his latest, is only his second full length album. To record it, the Dutchman headed to Bali to record with Jonny Nash and a gamelan ensemble, and I'm pleased to report that his efforts avoid the Orientalist pitfalls such a project might entail. The album floats aloft with a majestic patience, with refractory gongs and synths playing off of eachother with organic grace. Composer Christian Fennesz latest album, 'Agora', is now here on LP, and we have a new soundtrack LP from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of Survive/'Stranger Things' fame, called 'Spheres'.

Plenty more new releases roll in this week, including Ani Difranco's new career overview and autobiographical companion 'No Walls', a fresh LP pressing of David Holmes' 'Holy Pictures', a new LP from Wu-affiliates Sunz of Man, plus vinyl from Slaughter Beach Dog, Sublime With Rome, and a new pressing of the indie-pop gem 'Songs of Her's'.

Archive electronics are afoot in big ways, starting with a collection of unheard proto-techno from Japanese electronic pioneer Takayuki Shiraishi, a reprint of the only existing work of the influential ballet composer Ernest Berk, and a new LP version of the stunning 1986 soundtrack from 'The Nuclear Observatory Of Mr. Nanof' by the Italian composer Piero Milesi, which pairs Reichian string layers with some gorgeous DX7 synthwork. My pick for 'reissue of the week', however, easily goes to 'Sublunar Oracles', the 1992 album from the Belgian downtempo godheads Trans-4M. Classic Orb atmosphere and proto-Squarepusher brainbusting rhythms are the immediate draw here, but you'll keep coming back for this album's truly infinite sense of layered, elastic details. 

We close with some top-class dance EPs including a bubbling classic from DJ Python, tech and tribal from Hypnobeat and River Yarra, and a new streetwalking electro-noir effort from LIES honcho Ron Morelli. 


Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we lay some fresh arrivals on you that run from old classics from the early days of vinyl, to releases that just came out in the last few months. Plenty in between too, so read on.

We kick off with a deep vein of soul, including affordable heat from many names like Edwin Starr, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Sam Cooke, the Chi-Lites, Linda Clifford, Madeline Bell, Sylvester, Esther Phillips, M.I.A., Isaac Hayes, Jerry Butler, the SOS Band, Sade, Gil Scott Heron, the Staples Singers, and a couple (!) stunning, still sealed copies of a Lyn Christopher rarity!

We go ham with the classics this week, with many catalog titles from Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Byrds, John Prine, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Chuck Berry, Madonna, Alice Cooper, Moody Blues, the Doors, Genesis, Tim Buckley, CCR, Traveling Wilburys, the Pretty Things, and Queen.

Alt, avant and indie legends abound, with must-owns here from Patti Smith, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Brian Eno, the Wipers, the Walkabouts, the B-52s, DAF, Roxy Music, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the MC5, and Sparks. We've got deep blues rock from the Frost, Chicken Shack, Circus and more, plus some early jazz from King Curtis, Jimmy Smith, and Wardell Gray, and essential blues from Little Walter and Dr. John.

Country and folk comes through from Doc Watson, Guy Clark, Eliza Gilkyson, Ramblin Jack Elliott, Leo Kottke, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, and Willie Nelson plus some gems from the Folkways label. Reggae is in from Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru and more. Plenty of vintage children's records, novelty LPs, picture discs, Elvis jawns, spoken word/poetry LPs, and classical as well.

Last up, a big crop of newer titles from Bat for Lashes, Beach House, Cage the Elephant, Portugual the Man, Jack Johnson, Of Monsters and Men, Naked and Famous, Mumford and Sons, Postal Service, Turnover, Passion Pit, Bloc Party, Bright Eyes, Edward Sharpe, Head and the Heart, Sigur Ros, Fruit Bats, Modern Baseball, Youth Lagoon, Marnie Stern, !!!, and Peaches!


No Deck equals mo sess, but that doesn’t mean this week’s incoming is a cavalcade of sadness. Leading the pack is the entirety of the initial lineup of Big Star’s complete studio run spread out over the “#1 Record/Radio City” two-fer and “Third.” We see plenty of Stones roll through, but it’s all high points this week: “Sticky Fingers,” “Exile,” “Ya-Ya’s” and “Some Girls.” There’s also a ton of Faces in this week, including the rarities-packed “Five Guys” 4-cd set. Once upon a time, Rod Stewart was not a cornball, kids. Chris and Rich Robinson owe their careers to them TRUESTORY. In synthy goodness, there’s two cheaply-priced multi-disc sets from Tangerine Dream covering the years 1974-1982. Take a journey through your mind and bypass the pill lady. Lastly, check out loose joints from Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorious, Aretha, Otis and Todd Rundgren.


It's warehouse pop-up season again! Last summer's road construction led us to broaden our horizons with a series of sales over at our eastside warehouse location. With a huge spread of bargain LPs, CDs, 45s, books, DVDs, and posters outside joined by a primo selection of collectible vinyl inside, we brought out a really great crowd, and many of you have asked when we would do it again! 
Save the date for August 29th!




This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.

Pere Ubu - “The Long Goodbye” It is not written in that many music history books, but Pere Ubu helped kick-start punk rock and electronica in the mid-seventies. Now in their forty-fourth year as a band, this album is a return to Ubu’s mid-seventies sound.  This album was recorded following David Thomas’, the singer and co-writer of most Ubu material throughout the decades, health scare. Mr. Thomas is now the only remaining member of the original band. Mr. Thomas was quite sick for a while and this album was fleshed out soon after his health improved.  “The Long Goodbye” is nominally a concept album, but the concept is rather murky. But what isn’t murky is the music. This is the first album to prominently feature such a large amount of synthesizer since their seventies glory days. And the electronics really leads the music into new and novel directions. Quite simply, “The Long Goodbye” is a return to their avant garde sound from all those years ago.  And that avant sound is what first attracted discerning music fans in the first place. Ultimately, however, “The Long Goodbye” rewards those who take the time to listen. Plus early versions of the album come with a second disc showcasing an entire concert recorded in Paris in December 2018. That live show features many songs from the album, along with a few Ubu favorites. - Ted

Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ben, Will, Ed, Isaac, Larry, Andy, Mark, Jack, Sam, Eric & Mike

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