Ahoy, record and disc aficionados! As we rocket our way into the holiday times, several rather big names in the music world have new releases to sneak in before the calendar turns. First we get a new album from pop chameleon BECK, right on time according to his recent schedule. 'Hyperspace' finds Mr. Hansen in a glimmering pop mode, with nuanced influences of vaporwave and the much-in-vogue Japanese City Pop sound. For now, we have black vinyl of this one, with limited color vinyl coming early next week. Purchase either version and receive a free lithograph of the album art! Many lifelong fans of LEONARD COHEN may have blanched a bit at the news that a collection of his unfinished songs would be released, just a few short years after his death. "Unfinished" can mean a lot of things, but we're glad to report that nothing seems to be missing from 'Thanks For the Dance', an appropriately stately posthumous album produced by Cohen's son, Adam. Continuing on from the sessions that made 'You Want It Darker', this album puts Leonard's poetry to sparing, yet effective accompaniment, provided by folks like Feist, Jennifer Warnes, and Beck. Hey, weren't we just talking about him? Anyway, an album like this takes a little preparation, but once it's on, you can feel yourself truly transported into the realm Cohen now occupies, and from where he is still singing to you. COLDPLAY are very much still alive, as evidenced by the arrival of their latest, the dreamy 'Everyday Life', which we have in the house on limited edition color vinyl while they last!
With staying power that has kept him busy as an artist for decades now, it's possible to understate the influence of DJ SHADOW just a little bit. If he didn't invent the concept of uniting samples, turntablism and rap, he certainly popularized it widely in the 90s and beyond, and he calls on his extensive retinue of homies for a jam-packed new record called 'Our Pathetic Age'. One disc of this double album is Shadow instrumentals, while the other one sports features from De La Soul, Nas, Ghostface, Run the Jewels, Sam Herring of Future Islands, and lots more big names. After waiting most of the year for it, at last we have the latest album from indie rap badboy weirdo DANNY BROWN. The boundary pushing MC has none other than Q-TIP behind the boards of this one, and it's a vivid, strange brew. If you care about this one, you've already heard it, so really I'm just telling you that it's now here to pick up!
A certain person I know (lets call him... Blevan) really digs the songwriting of TOM WAITS but is not so much a fan of his voice [hmm...Blevin and Blangie don't agree]. What is he to do? Well, checking out the new compilation 'Come On Up To the House: Women Sing Waits' couldn't hurt. Lots of legendary names are here, like AIMEE MANN, PATTY GRIFFIN, and ROSANNE CASH. A collection of early 90s live material from the GRATEFUL DEAD, thought to be the songs on the upcoming album the group was working on before the death of Jerry Garcia, is now available as 'Ready or Not', on CD and limited edition LP. The final sessions of HARRY NILSSON are made available for the first time on 'Losst & Found', and we have a massive new box set of singles from THE BEATLES, including 22 singles and the unreleased 45 'Free As A Bird'/'Real Love'.
The complete Fillmore East concerts of JIMI HENDRIX, recorded as 1969 turned into 1970 in NYC, are collected on the new five CD set 'Songs For Groovy Children'. 'Room to Live', THE FALL's fifth studio album and kindof a weirdo twin brother of 'Hex Enduction Hour' (also released in 1982) gets a nice marble vinyl reissue with expanded live material from the era. CIRCLES AROUND THE SUN, the elliptical jamrock band fronted by dearly departed Neal Casal release a new LP with drummer JOE RUSSO of Furthur.
'Merriweather Post Pavilion' was the record where things really changed for ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, bringing them from the dingy basement bars 20 feet below the surface of Manhattan to huge venues like the Prospect Park Bandshell. That record turns ten years old this year, and rather than trot it out again, the AnCo boys have pieced together a live document of the performances around that time, sequenced to flow like a proper live show. The package on this one is phenomenal; three LPs packaged in an old-style 78 portfolio binding, with art collaged from various tour posters. This special project is outpaced only by the extremely deluxe box set from the band BEAT HAPPENING, which collects all of the band's output on 7 LPs, all fully remastered, with artwork recreated from the original paste-ups, and a 40 page booklet written by K Records heroine Lois Maffeo. It's hard to imagine the existence of American indie rock without the presence of the Beats. Just as crucial across the pond were THE RAINCOATS, who see their self-titled debut LP get a limited reissue including art prints from Gina Birch and Ana Da Silva! Erstwhile Chili Pepper JOHN FRUSCIANTE sees his 2004 album 'Curtains' return to the LP format.
'Vexations' is the most inscrutable piece in the canon of composer ERIK SATIE. Never performed, or even spoken of, while Satie was alive, and understood to be played a required 840 times, the piece was first staged by John Cage in 1963. It took 18 hours. We now have a new vinyl edition, performed by pianist Alan Marks. Any time Nine Inch Nails sideman ALESSANDRO CORTINI delivers a solo album, it's cause to take note. His latest, 'Volume Massimo', is a moody delight landing in the realms of Nils Frahm or Jon Hopkins, and the same goes for the new record from 13 MILLION YEAR OLD GHOST, a soundtrack-oriented solo outing from Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The cinnamon brooms are out at Trader Joes, which means the holidays are coming, which means holiday records (and CDs) are out in full force at Strictly Discs! In addition to our extensive selection of used holiday vinyl in the basement, we have a selection of some of our favorite newer LPs. Check out some warm ones from Ingrid Michaelson, Joel Paterson, Aretha Franklin, Vince Guaraldi, plus comps like 'A Very Special Christmas', and a new one from Merge Records!
We can argue forever which BEASTIE BOYS albums are the best, but the general consensus has 'Paul's Boutique' and 'Ill Communication' taking the top two spots. Maybe you don't own either of these on LP! If that's the case, we've got you covered now. While you're at it, check out a warehouse find copy of the underrated 2000 album from LUCY PEARL, featuring production from Tribe's Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
BENOIT PIOULARD returns with his unique brand of dreamy folk and impressionist ambient, and we have a killer new mini-album of strange AOR funk from Finland's weirdest, JAAKKO EINO KALEVI. Joe Goddard from Hot Chip teams up with dance legends Justin Strauss and Marcus Marr on a project called EXTRA CREDIT. Their lushly screenprinted debut EP goes straight for euphoric, life-affirming synthpop peaks. The frighteningly talented sister duo of Katie and Allison Crutchfield don't team up on records often, which makes this seven-inch from their brief pop duo BAD BANANA quite a find!
It's been a surprising number of years since we first heard from the Cleveland producer GALCHER LUSTWERK via his '100% Galcher' mix, hands down the best mix to come out in 2013 (or any year, really). The relatively simple formula of his tunes belied their infectiousness: hip house's headnodding beat, deft, not-too-complex raps that ride the rhythm, and just the right amount of staticky grain. Six years later, the producer delivers his first proper album and while the formula hasn't changed too much, Lustwerk now comes with an experienced swagger that makes 'Information' his best work yet, as he branches out into jazzier, cosmic eddies alongside positively deadly cuts like "I See A Dime". Just as reliable is the San Fran producer DAVE AJU, who blesses the Mule Musiq label with a lush set of contemplative house, and the UK producer Marc Mac, who turns up this week under the alias NU ERA. 'Evolve' finds the jazz-house veteran (he was in 4 Hero!) still sitting at the frontier of cerebral, techno-tinged groove.
Chicago bassist JUNIUS PAUL turns in his first album as a bandleader for the International Anthem, and its loaded with earthy swing. The Awesome Tapes From Africa label bestows one of their more outstanding pop delights, reviving the 1985 cassette from Ivory Coast's ANTOINETTE KONAN. This one of a kind album combines Konan's traditional percussion and sprightly vocals with a backdrop of synth. By the 1990s, the French band VOX POPULI had left most of the synthy industrial trappings of their earlier material behind, and 'Alternatif Realisme' collects songs, many unreleased, that travel a much more ethereal path. Wow.
DEERHOOF celebrate 25 years of bandhood (for real! do the math) with 3 LP reissues of early, early material that's never been on vinyl before. We have 'Half-Bird', 'The Man the King & the Girl', and 'Holdypaws'.
The KOMPAKT label follows the release of their latest Pop Ambient comp with a first-ever vinyl reissue of 'Pop Ambient 2001', arguably the best in the whole series. We've also got a fresh pressing of THE FIELD's breakout 2004 album 'From Here We Go Sublime'. If you prefer your techno more British, and much more austere, there's a new pressing of JAMES RUSKIN genre-advancing classic 'Point 2'.
Japanese performance art lifers GEROGERIGEGEGE (google it, or alternatively, definitely don't google it) have a rare release on the Trilogy Tapes label that sounds like a parallel universe bad trip exotica record. Swedish heavies MONOLORD drop a real crusher on the Relapse label, and we have the latest from Denver's legends of modern atmospheric metal, BLOOD INCANTATION. 'Hidden History of the Human Race' has already put folks on notice, making several 'top metal albums of the year' lists with its heavy combo of space-rock and grindy riffs.
Devious UK producer JOY O turns toward dreamlike R&B bred with musique concrete on 'Slipping', while compatriate OSSIA turns in an absolute belter of wafer-thin industrial dub on 'Marzahn Versions;. Downtempo don RAINER TRUBY's excellent compilation of low-key, cocktail friendly house music, 'Slouse' is back in print, and we have a new breaks comp, 'Funk & Soul Drum Breaks' thats dialed enough in to function as a home listen!