Strictly Discs

October 17, 2019

We jump into a deep selection of new releases with one that turned up late last week. CHARLI XCX finally delivers the electro-pop hammer blow promised by her emergence on the now-ubiquitous 2013 single 'I Don't Care' by Icona Pop, with a new album of glammy, crystal-jagged futurist pop-trap. FLOATING POINTS has stayed busy with compilations, site-specific sound pieces, a reissue label, and a neuroscience PhD (jeez dude), but it's been many years since he delivered a proper studio album. 'Crush' remedies that straight away, with perfectly crafted ravey pointillism that expertly combines the drama of a chamber ensemble with FloPo's original milieu of cosmic-charged house. M83 bring us the second volume of their 'Digital Shades' collections, following the first set in 2007. This ambient-only disc showcases the French duo's flair for cinematic maximalism, a step off from the pop wonder of 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming', but only slightly. Few do it better than these cats.

A beastly, genre-hybrid dark rap opus is here from CLIPPING out of LA. 'There Existed An Addiction to Blood' is an appropriately not-for-the-weak concussion blast of (un)conscious rap and noise, for those who like their Death Grips with the whimsy subtracted. Progressive jazz-metal boy band Battles return with a rich helping of their cerebral math on 'Juice B Crypts', and we have a reissue of THE COMET IS COMING's propulsive debut EP 'Prophecy'. Last year, an obscure Italian duo called NU GUINEA put the groove aficionados of the world on notice with an incredible record of retro-futurist disco funk called 'Nuova Napoli', so in-demand that it's already been bootlegged twice. We now have copies of the repress, if you're in need of a lift.

Bad Moon Rising-era SY meets DC punk on the latest from WEEPING ICON, and we have a great new album of snappy garage pop from CORRIDOR via Sub Pop. Guitar rockers FOALS and GARCIA PEOPLES have new LPs in the house.

New heavy stuff is here including a new MUNICIPAL WASTE record called 'The Last Rager', a collection of odds and ends from guitar heroes SCREAMING FEMALES called 'Singles Too', a new killer from WHITE REAPER, and the riotous new record from Montreal death metal legends NECRONOMICON. 

A pair of early JASON ISBELL albums are back in print on LP, 'Here We Rest' and his self-titled debut with the 400 UNIT. Country superwomangroup THE HIGHWOMEN see their debut album out on vinyl at last. We have a first-ever vinyl printing of MARTY STUART's 1999 album 'The Pilgrim', and gravel-voiced legend MARK LANEGAN returns with the latest from his dark rock eponymous band on 'Somebody's Knocking'. 

A fresh batch of 3 inch records are in, if you were one of the lucky few to snag the RSD3 miniature turntable on Record Store Day last year. These selections cover four heroes of the Sun Records catalog: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. And if you still want to pick up a turntable, we have a couple of those for sale as well! Limited supply on all of these, for sure. 

Quite a bit of extra-curricular activities from some of our favorite contemporary folkies this week, as we welcome a new album from VIDA BLUE, the jazz-rock offshoot of Page McConnell of Phish, Russell Batiste from the Funky Meters, and Oteil Burbridge from Dead and Company. JIM JAMES steps out into the world of contemporary classical pop with 'The Order of Nature', a live recording with a full orchestra that finds the Morning Jacket Man revisiting his solo catalog and debuting a handful of new songs. JEFF TWEEDY weds his 'Warm' and 'Warmer' albums on a delicately-designed limited deluxe vinyl set, and we have SUFJAN STEVENS' ambitious re-arranging of 'The Decalogue' in the house on deluxe vinyl.

An eclectic assortment of new jazz is in the building this week, starting with a reggae-influenced disc from pianist MONTY ALEXANDER called 'Wareika Hill', a stunning new disc from JAN GARBAREK with the Hilliard Ensemble, the fourth entry in MATANA ROBERTS' historically-charged 'Coin Coin' series, new discs from ROBERTO FONSECA and ERROLL GARNER, and a lovely album of organic, meditative dub-jazz from the Danish duo BREMER & MCCOY.

It's hard to come by too many great live recordings of BRIDGET ST. JOHN or MARVIN GAYE, but we have a pair in the house this week. 'Live at Betsey Trotwood' captures the elusive St. John in a rare live setting in 2017, playing well-loved songs from her catalog and unheard material. One night at the Kennedy Center in 1973, Marvin Gaye performed all of 'What's Goin On' in its entirety. This full set has never been heard in toto, remedied now with an intimate recording that finds him at the absolute peak of his world-rending form. The CAIRO RECORDS label delivers the fourth volume in their American soul music compilations, 'Freedom For the Stallion', another deep dive through 45 land collecting household names and total obscurities side by side, in soul-hurting ballad form. Amazing artwork and liners too, on this release from the Mississippi Records affiliate.

We head back to the double-barrel decade with a selection of vinyl reissues of big 2000s. ATMOSPHERE's 'Headshots' is back on deluxe LP, and we have new vinyl editions of the electro-pop genius 'Point' by CORNELIUS, ANDREW WK's career-defining 'I Get Wet', and the debut self titled album from THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS.

It's almost time to put on your masks, kiddies! Halloween, the freakiest festival of all and the occasion for the iconic soundtrack by JOHN CARPENTER, is back, and we have an amazing expanded edition of the original soundtrack on CD and deluxe vinyl. The cover art on this one, especially the LP, is a true delightful fright. We've also got a selection of other Carpenter film music back in stock on vinyl, as well as the soundtrack to the upcoming Willem Dafoe film 'The Lighthouse' by MARK KORVEN, to round out the spookiness.

Cosmic house producer JOSE MANUEL pays tribute to the ambient obscurities that fill his DJ sets with an incredible 2LP set called 'Magic Carpet' that collects rare beat-oriented synth-fusion shufflers that would take you a lifetime to track down on wax. CHRIS AND COSEY have a vast and varied catalogue, but for my dough (what little of it I hang onto), their finest hour is 1984's 'Songs of Love and Lust', an album of romantic industrial synth pop in which every iota of sound is perfectly placed to make you dance and/or cry your ass off. Before he joined forces with Yellow Magic Orchestra, YUKIHIRO TAKAHASHI released 'Saravah!', a delectable album of classy disco-pop that displayed the remarkable range that YMO would continue to perfect in their aim to become perhaps the world's best band, ever. 

A diverse range of dance music united only by its continent of origin is here including the synthed-up funk of South Africa's SIDIKU BUARI, some peak-era uptempo highlife from STEPHEN OSITA OSADEBE that you could play for the rest of the year and never get tired of, and an absolutely miraculous new compilation from the NYEGE NYEGE label called 'Electro Acholi Kaboom', collecting turn of the 00s courtship music from a group of Ugandan producers who used laptops to replace expensive wedding bands during the years where ordinary life there was threatened by civil war. As always, the Nyege Nyege label delivers true 'world music' that most of us in the states have never, ever heard before.

Experimental jams abound starting with a new remix album from THE BODY featuring a range of heavy hitters like Lingua Ignota, Pita, and Container. Kenyan producer SLIKBACK collects two EPs of machine music, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO has a new record of recordings of his homemade Bromiophones made on a lake in Sweden, and we have a rare live recording from the landmark unit MUSIC IMPROVISATION COMPANY, aka Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Hugh Davies and Jamie Muir, from 1969. 

Guitarist Chuck Johnson joins up with vocalist Marielle Jakobsons as SAARISELKA, bringing us an exquisite album of melancholy ambient folk that's perfect for the gray days (maybe throw in one of those Seasonal Affective lightbulbs while you're at it). British vibe masters GREG FOAT and JAMES THORPE have a second LP volume of library music called 'Photosynthesis', on which they craft elegant, gently funky, and subtly strange instrumentals. Two generations of do it yourself voyagers meet at an incredibly timed summit as the nu-new age duo SEAHAWKS meets up with the legendary WOO for an incredible album that compounds the Ives' brothers' penchant for internal escape called 'Celestial Railroads'. All aboard yall. 

If you're stopping through for the new Floating Points, we have a slew of other innovative new dance records in stock to go with it. Toronto producer JACQUES GREENE hits a new peak with 'Dawn Chorus', a detailed album of moody, big room house with a couple of lively vocal guests. Sojourning sound artist CLARK inaugurates his own label with a lovely new album of neo-classical pianoscapes called 'Kiri Variations', which strikes a balance between dark and light in his own particular way. Elusive German mixer RROXYMORE delivers her 'post-techno' statement album with 'Face to Phase', a record that lacks any standard rhythmic structure and remains brilliantly inviting. Two unsung heroes of the dub techno game, Brendon Moeller and Monty Luke, unite as ZODIAC for the uncompromising 'Serengeti By Night', a modern masterpiece of the genre that easily stands up next to names like Deepchord and Basic Channel. 

LO KINDRE's 'Chlorophytum', one of the year's best electronic releases, is back in the building. Across six breathless tracks, the Glasgow producer whips IDM-flecked beats through a cavernous rhythm rig, creating mossy dub that sounds like its been living in a cave undisturbed for centuries. Speaking of IDM, one of the low key masters of the melodic side of that genre has returned. ISAN's latest, 'Lamenting Machine' is yet another subtle classic from the UK pair that will remain in rotation for the long haul. Trend-setting French label TIGERSUSHI collects their entire active stable for a deep various artists set called 'Musique Ambiante Francaise Vol. 2' thats full of nuggets on the mellower end of things, and we have a trim EP of proper UK rhythm gear from TWO SHELL on the Livity Sound label, bang-on as always. 


Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we check all the columns in the new arrivals, and add some fresh arrivals to the sale bin and the bargain LP bin!

Classics abound on the rock and pop fronts this week, including a whole host of must-own albums in tip-top condition. Original cover mount and pricetag stickers will have you time warpin, on big ones from Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Cash, Elmore James, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, David Bowie, Prince, The Who, the Band, and a very deep run of pert near every last Queen album, many still sealed. 

Even more timelessness is here from Cheap Trick, Steely Dan, Hot Tuna, Townes Van Zandt, Greg Brown, Harry Nilsson, Faces, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Blue Oyster Cult, the Beach Boys, the Blasters, Eric Clapton, and Deep Purple. Hard rock from Queensryche, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Dio and White Lion joins new wave from Joan Jett, the Police, Blondie, U2, Talking Heads, Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears, Gang of Four, Peter Gabriel, and Devo!

A colorful, eclectic and rare dive through 80s Madonna albums and singles pairs up well with a large cache of classic electro, disco, rap and early house, from names like Alton McClain, Diana Ross, Mtume, Earth Wind and Fire, Delegation, Hanson & Davis, West Street Mob, MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Don Ray, and a whole lot more.

We close it out with a diverse trip through more contemporary releases, with big ones here from Lady Gaga, the Weeknd, Justice, Wilco, the Eels, Lambchop, Run the Jewels, Boom Bap, Washed Out, Ed Sheeran, Toro Y Moi, and several others.

Quality over quantity is how the canard goes, I believe, and that’s why I need but one Arby-Q to satiate those late night hunger pangs Arby’s please sponsor this recurring column and pay me in sandwiches or vouchers for sandwiches I’m so hungry. Across the board, we have a bounty of 2-cd sets. Of note are BB King’s “Live from Ole Miss” a great 1980 concert we never see, the career-spanning anthology “Liberation” from Black Uhuru, “Clinch Mountain Country” from Ralph Stanley and Miles Davis “Live at Carnegie Hall.” We have more Miles from the late period first quintet and the brief time when Bill Evans and Cannonball fleshed it out to a sextet. There’s reliably solid material from Sonny Rollins, Mingus, Mahavishnu and the first volume of Art Blakey’s “Live at Birdland” as good an introduction to the jazz neophyte as you can get. Rock is highlighted by The Who [“Sell Out,” “Leeds” and “Who’s Next”], Levon Helm, Fleetwood Mac’s “Shrine 69” (nice), and a tasty single-disc comp of solo Alex Chilton work. Finally, there’s a grab bag of odds and sods from Amadou & Miriam, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Karl Denson and Albert King. 


Strictly Discs will be the place to be this Post-Thanksgiving-Shopping-Melee-Day, also known as Black Friday.

And that's because certain indie stores across the country will be the place to get special releases created just for you, for giving and getting this holiday season, and they're scheduled for release on Black Friday, November 29, 2019.  

Now, this is not Record Store Day, Jr., but it is brought to you by the powers-that-be at Record Store Day. This is a group of special releases you can only find at certain independent record stores nationwide. The magic of these pieces (many uber-limited) is that every one of them is something someone will really LOVE to get, and you'll really ENJOY giving.  And you may have the added nice feeling of supporting a local, independently owned (Strictly Discs, Independently Owned since 1988) business during the holidays.

Our list of Black Friday exclusives can be found HERE. You've got to register for our list or you can also jump over to the RSD site which shows the list (just without our pricing). And while we will try to have ample stock (one of the deepest in the midwest) of all items, please know that some of these products are extremely limited and will sell out quickly.

If you created a wishlist  (deadline was October 16th), it will be updated within our system prior to November 29, 2019. We expect that you will be in the store on November 29th to pick up any requested items. And remember, a wish is NOT an order. Thank you!



Required skills:

Excellent customer service skills; ability to anticipate customer needs

Computer proficient

A passion for music, and a broad, deep base of recorded music history

Knowledge of Goldmine standards & experience grading and pricing records

Knowledge of stereo equipment/functionality

Availability to work nights and weekends

Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly

To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to



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.

Allah Las - “Lahs”  “Lahs” is a summation of the three albums that preceded it.  It possesses, to a degree, the autumnal coloring of 2016’s “Calico Review” but also has the sixties psychedelic edge of their first two albums.  It is looking towards the past, but it tries to synthesize that with the introspective edge of their 2016 album to create something new. That they succeed is a testament to their musical skills.  What they have created is something unique and quite engaging. Meld that with an album of great songs and you have a very strong album that should move them into a more prominent orbit of recognition in the musical world. - Ted

Elbow - ‘Giants of All Sizes”  This album is a departure from the seven that came before it.  But that does not mean that it is a bad album. In fact, it is simply one of their most fascinating releases.  Written and recorded during a period of turmoil in the band and the band members' private lives, the music underlies that turmoil.  Elbow takes those lemons of life and then makes their most emotional songs of their career. But Elbow has not lost the ability to write and create anthems, the songs are as good as those in the past, albeit with a more personal tinge.  Elbow released their first album eighteen years ago. Bands of that vintage should be coasting and releasing albums that are not their best. That Elbow decided to experiment and that they succeeded in that experimentation would point to a band that will not go quietly into the good night. - Ted

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

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