September 19, 2019
NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:
Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we pay special heed to this week's television event: Ken Burns' long-awaited "Country Music" documentary is airing on PBS, and we've tried to offer you a little companion listening. Check out some choice selections from the Carter Family, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings, and many more. We'll be rolling more of this special country collection out in the week's to come, so stay tuned.
This is not a something for everybody type of week. If you're not into jazz or box sets, head straight for the wall racks. If you are...brother. Let's start with the jazz. The first thing noticeable is a full column of Blue Note bangers and it's not the same diet of "Blue Train," "Song for My Father" and the like. Think more along the line of Jackie McLean's late 60s dates, less-circulated Horace Silver albums and well-regarded players that weren't known by one name like Lee and Wayne, guys like Horace Parlan, Kenny Drew, and Kenny Dorham. We have two disc sets of Grant Green with Sonny Clark and the hip Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams outfit. Jazz catalog selections are paltry nowadays, so this is a great opportunity to scoop up albums that we struggle to find as new items. Outside of the blue and white, there's a bunch of Keith Jarrett, including the Complete 1994 Live at Blue Note 5-cd set. There's also a six-pack of Bill Evans, ranging from his run at Riverside to a pair of records cut for Verve and capping with live work captured shortly before his death. In addition, there's solo shots from players we simply don't see pass through our hands often, figures like Charles MacPherson, Monk associate Charlie Rouse, Stanley Cowell and Clifford Jordan. As for the box sets, there are way-cool Japanese HMV Beatles individual album editions, the 5-cd Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac anthology, the second volume of Nuggets and a pair of Hendrix boxes. One is the eponymous Experience purple velvet set and the second is "West Seattle Boy," capturing a trove of cuts done in Jimi's chitlin-circuit days as well as rarely-compiled cuts from his solo days, including the burning sessions including jazz godhead Larry Young. All these are right above the new inventory LPs, so ask if you don't see'em off-hand.
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OTHERS TALK BACK:
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.
Stereolab - “Emperor Tomato Ketchup (Expanded Edition)” This album is without a doubt the best album of their career. Even though Stereolab continued releasing albums until 2010, this 1996 album was their high-water mark. “Emperor Tomato Ketchup’ was the summation of their early period. You know, the Space Age Bachelor Pad Music meets Kraftwerk/ Krautrock period that brought Stereolab to the music world's attention. The expanded edition contains a remastered version of the original album along with another disc of mixes, alternative versions and demos. The demos are very skeletal and sparse and certainly demonstrate the skill and care that the band used to layer music for the album proper. Also released are expanded versions of 1997’s “Dots and Loops” and 1999’s “Cobra and Phases Group Play the Voltage in the MIlky Night.” Stereolab moved into a more experimental mode for those two releases. “Emperor Tomato Ketchup” topped many best of the year lists in 1996. Listening now, the album still sounds as fantastic and powerful as it did twenty-three years ago. - Ted
Pixies - “Beneath the Eyrie” This is their third studio album since their reformation in 2003. And “Beneath the Eyrie” is just as good as their last album in 2016 - “Head Carrier.” Their first album after coming back was 2014’s “Indie Cindy” and I think most fans were somewhat disappointed with that release. The band somehow got their mojo back for “Head Carrier” and continue it with “Beneath the Eyrie.” The Pixies now sound like the band that made musical history back in the eighties and nineties. And that is a very good thing. - Ted
Belle and Sebastian - “Days of the Bagnold Summer” “Days of the Bagnold Summer” is Belle and Sebastian soundtrack for this new movie. And that film is an adaptation of a graphic novel of the same title. The film is set in the UK and deals with a strained relationship between a mother and her 15 year old metal loving son. The soundtrack contains eleven new Belle and Sebastian songs, along with a few instrumentals and two beloved songs from the band’s classic nineties period. The new music is what the Belle and Sebastian does best - autumnal songs about devastating loss and also about needing someone so bad that it is disturbingly palpable. I have not seen the film, but after listening to the soundtrack I feel I know the film. And what a compliment that is. - Ted
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ben, Will, Ed, Isaac, Larry, Andy, Mark, Jack, Eric & Mike