Strictly Discs

September 12, 2019


Join us this Saturday from 9:30AM - 5PM for the 42nd annual Monroe Street Festival / Sidewalk Sale. 

It's one of the most exciting days on the Strictly Discs calendar, as we roll out tens of thousands of CDs, LPs, cassettes and 45s, all priced at next to nothing, and ripe for digging. 

We've also got a hoarder's paradise of music-related books and tons of DVDs covering a whole range of niches.

We will be set up on both sides of our corner at Harrison and Monroe.

Bring your boxes and bags and remember we have an express register outside for cash sales!



Swing over to our Instagram or Facebook page and enter to win a test pressing of the new Goo Goo Dolls album Miracle Pill!


A huge week of new releases to fill you in on this week, as we kick back into gear for fall. We start off with a remarkable round of new albums from some of the globe's most talented and unique singers, beginning with Norway's Jenny Hval, who's turned in quite possibly the best record of her career with 'The Practice of Love'. The album finds Hval's boreal vocal wisps paired with driving techy jazz-funk production, and heavily features collaborations with vocalists like Felicia Atkinson, Laura Jean, and Vivian Wang. The color vinyl on this one also includes tarot cards for each song! Iconic English soul singer Emeli Sande returns with 'Real Life', and Cuban vocalist and composer Dayme Arocena has a fantastic new album on Brownswood that revives her afro-latin roots. Hell borne singer/conjuror Chelsea Wolfe has a hot new one called 'Birth of Violence' that returns her to the apocalyptic folk of 2012's 'Unknown Rooms'. 

Chicago guitar-pop heroes Twin Peaks are back with a new record called 'Lookout Low' which we have in the shop on limited orange swirl vinyl. Beloved folk rockers the Lumineers deliver their 3rd album, available while copies last on silver wax.

This weekend is the debut airing of the long-awaited new Ken Burns documentary, 'Country Music', on PBS. The 8-part doc will perform a necessary and deep dive on the roots of this truly American genre, and is said to feature plenty of interviews with Madison treasure Bill Malone! We've got the 2CD and 5CD deluxe versions of the soundtrack, plus a vinyl edition, which partner well with 'The Time For Peace Is Now', a great new compilation of deep and rare US gospel from the Luaka Bop label.  

A pair of ineffable voices have new records this week. Welshman Alasdair Roberts returns with 'The Fiery Margin', a great new disc of haunting traditional folk tunes on guitar and piano, and wise old Devendra Banhart checks in with a lovely new album of mostly Spanish-language tunes that find him expanding his familiar territory of Arthur Russell and Caetano Veloso to far off and cerebral climes.

Unstoppable bands of yore bring us new records this week. We've got 'Days Of the Bagnold Summer' from Belle & Sebastian, 'Beneath the Eyrie' from the Pixies, and 'Miracle Pill' from the Goo Goo Dolls!

Fresh releases from some cool, nice indie songwriters are here from Kendra Amalie, Alex Cameron, and Joseph, which is not a dude but a band of ladies.

A quartet of luscious dance albums hit the floor this week, starting with a great one from UK producer Seb Wildblood, who just played a killer set at Robinia a few weekends back. 'Sketches of Transition' finds him in a mostly mellow space, crafting gauzy mid-tempo house with some vocal guests on the poppier numbers. Montreal producer Priori delivers his first full length record, 'On A Nimbus', which is packed full of frenetic yet weightless IDM, leavened tastefully with breaks. Club queen Octo Octa drops 'Resonant Body', a passionately rendered album of floorfilling tech house and moody interludes. German auteur Wolfram debuts on the DFA label with 'Amadeus', a playful album of driving dance pop that features some classic names like the Egyptian Lover (!) and Haddaway (!!).

From the heavy end of things, we have the latest moves from progressive metal pioneers Kayo Dot, a new album from Korn, 'Corpse Flower,' the new collaborative album from Mike Patton and legendary French producer Jean Claude Vannier, and a compilation of rare early emo tracks from Indian Summer, the shortlived California band that channeled the sound of DC's Rites of Spring into something even more frenetic and emotional.

Beloved singer-songwriters Corb Lund, Jonah Tolchin and Geraint Watkins all deliver great new records this week. 

Stereolab continue their impressive re-cataloguing of their extensive archives with a big trio of 90s records. 'Emperor Tomato Ketchup', 'Cobra & Phases' and 'Dots & Loops' have all been remastered and expanded with copious demo and bonus tracks on both CD and LP.

This week also brings reissues of some of Prince's more relatively-obscure 90s albums, 'Chaos and Disorder', 'The Versace Experiment', and a greatly-expanded version of 'Emancipation'. 

A new Strut comp covers the rich history of the salegy sound of 1970's Madagascar. 'Alefa Madagascar' is full of gems in this seldom-heard fast paced dance pop style. Ebo Taylor's monstrously funky 1978 rarity 'Gotta Take It Cool' has been lovingly restored by Mr. Bongo. The Sahel Sounds label raises the bar yet again with an LP collection of early 90s tunes from Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou, a Tuareg guitarist who played a major role in popularizing the protest music we now hear from acts like Tinariwen and Mdou Moctar. Recorded by famed afro-boogie producer Nel Oliver, these recordings transform a style that was previously limited to quieter acoustic ballads into something totally different, like a West African 'Tango In the Night', sung by a Sahel militant. Wow.

More stunners just arriving include a phenomenal new album from Dego called 'Too Much'. Dego helped canonize his brand of jazzy downtempo with the group 4Hero, and continues to operate at the absolute top of his game here, crafting and endlessly funky record of snappy jazz-house. Vocalist and producer Sequoyah Murray makes their Thrill Jockey debut with a startling statement of a record that careens from Arthur Russell, to Grace Jones, to Yves Tumor. Local jazz heads Mr. Chair are doing big things lately, with a big record release party at the Majestic last week for 'Nebulebula', which we now have in stock on LP! Fans of the rap-leaning jazz acts Badbadnotgood and Lettuce will be all over this one. You probably already are! 

Speaking of jazz, we've got a whole lot of classics back in print on vinyl this week, starting with the latest entries in Blue Note's Tone Poet series, Donald Byrd's 'Chant' and Stanley Turrentine's 'Hustlin'. We've also got affordable reprints of Art Blakey's 'Indestructible', Kenny Dorham's 'Una Mas', Freddie Hubbard's 'Hub Tones', and Bobby Hutcherson's 'Montara'.

We close with a damn fine crop of new techno and dance EPs to close out the summer drought. Vancouver's ZDBT & D.C.'s Dreamcast collab on 'On Love', a dreamy groover of a track that gets special remix treatment from DJ Sports and Project Pablo. Under his alias East of Oceans, BVdub relinquishes a phenomenal EP of ice-drift ambient criss-crossed with heady breaks. Glasgow duo Mr TC & Lo Kindre launch a new label with a killer EP of cavernous, creeped out electro that keeps the Optimo torch ablaze. Lastly, Brazilian producer Repetentes 2008 has one of the year's best EPs with 'Galaxia Fini', a cosmic blend of tribal house with colorful elements of trance.


Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we've crammed the New Arrivals full of classic rock, pop, and jazz this go round. Check out some classic, rare Beatles LPs plus a nice trove of bootlegs and live recordings from the Fab 4. Great ones are in from Led Zeppelin, ELO, Wings, Alice Cooper, BTO, the Dave Clark Five, Beau Brummels, the Kinks, Pink Floyd, the Who, Chuck Berry, Cream, Dylan, the Ventures, Badfinger, and Sleepy Hollow.

Heavy stuff is in from Anthrax, AC/DC, Van Halen, Alien Sex Fiend, and Black Sabbath, plus folk and country from Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley, George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Bob Wills, with some great blues from Bobby Blue Bland, Michael Bloomfield, and Dr John.

Soul is in the house from the Clovers, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Duke Williams, and Solomon Burke, plus hip hop from Nas and 3rd Bass, and some jazz from Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Redman, Zoot Sims, Ron Carter, Chick Corea, and Stanley Turrentine.

We close it out with some killer soundtracks, a nice variety of latin and reggae LPs, and an astounding trove of 80s Latvian LPs that range from choral and classical, to rock, disco, and metal, with some of the most beautiful covers we've ever seen.


We’re busy getting everything prepped for Monroe Street Fest, but we’ve found time to squeeze in a healthy batch of used discs. The unquestioned highlights this week are the eight Leonard Cohen slim paper editions, comprising part of a Columbia box set. Look out for a six-pack of titles from Savoy Brown, along with nearly the entirety of the effortlessly elegant Sade’s discography. We continue to be blessed with more Bowie; this week it’s “Young Americans,” “Aladinn Sane,” and “The Man Who Sold the World.” Acid-damaged weirdness is abundant courtesy of Skip Spence, Spirit, Soft Machine and Soup, and yes, it is coincidence they all start with ‘s.’ We have a trio of Roxy Music albums, a pair of Peter Green affiliated works – one with the Mac, one apart – as well as stray shots from Laura Nyro, George Harrison, Television, Jack White and Bon Iver. There’s lighter quantities of jazz, soul and rap but still great stuff like the expanded version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” “Mama’s Gun” by Erykah Badu and the two “Genius of Modern Music” volumes cut for Blue Note by Thelonious Monk. 




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.

Frankie Cosmos - “Close It Quietly”  Frankie Cosmos is really just a vehicle for Greta Kline.  She is the sole songwriter, arranger guitarist and lead vocalist.  It may be hard to believe, but this is her fourth album in five years.  That is an astronomical release rate for this decade. Most artists now seem to take three or four years between albums. And songs seem to flow out of Ms. Kline like water.  “Close It Quietly” boasts a phenomenal twenty-one songs. And the songs that flow are really very good. Most deal with the painful process of growing emotionally through the trials and tribulations of finding and losing love.  Musically think of nineties heroes like Julianna Hatfield, Belly and Throwing Muses, but just a bit more idiosyncratic and a bit more twenty-first century. The quality of “Close It Quietly is as good as the other three albums.  I think that it is obvious that Frankie Cosmos/Greta Kline is an artist that one should watch and listen to closely. - Ted

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

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