June 25, 2020

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE'S WEEKLY FEATURE ON STRICTLY DISCS:

As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, Chris Eggertsen has been speaking with Angie each week to chronicle the experience of an independent record store throughout the crisis.  Here is a link to the stories in the series so far:

Billboard Article #1 May 15th

Billboard Article #2 May 22nd

Billboard Article #3 May 29th

Billboard Article #4 June 5th

Billboard Article #5 June 12th

Billboard Article #6 June 19th




STRICTLY DISCS OPERATIONAL UPDATES - EXPANDED HOURS:

Starting Monday, Jun 22nd the shop hours will expand:

Monday - Thursday 10AM-6PM

Friday 10AM-8PM

Saturday 10AM-6PM

Sunday 11AM-5PM

Thank you for your continued support. 




NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:

 
 
A new record from Texas trio KHRUANGBIN offers a fresh glance of a band in full blossom. The group has championed eclectic influences since their beginnings; wandering guitar leads influenced by Thai countryside funk, pop balladry from Mexican and middle-eastern traditions, taut Purdie-esque breakbeats, and a spartan sense of Texan minimalism. On 'Mordechai', they go even further into open-source global pop, adding nods to doo-wop, Tom Tom Club, and that hardest style to assimilate: surf rock. Indeed, the Ventures made their name on a revamping of the Greek folk tune 'Misirlou', and here stands a band half a century later, dreamily returning the volley. Quietly cemented in their own tradition is the longtime bicoastal folk-rock outfit WOODS, who return from hiatus with their best album yet, 'Strange to Explain', a twilit album of propulsive yet mellow jams to burn one down to. If Fleetwood Mac went underground after 'Penguin', this is what they'd have come up with. Unapologetic pop brilliance is de rigeur from HAIM, who return with 'Women In Music, Pt. III'. Genre fluid hip-hop expressionism from Baltimore rap artist NAEEM is here via the exceedingly well-curated Vernon/Dessner label People. 



 
  
Charismatic trumpeter AVISHAI COHEN convenes a stage band for his latest, 'Big Vicious', which comes at us with chops and aggression seldom-seen from the ECM label. Guitarist KURT ROSENWINKEL has a new trio record that melds streaky, Metheny-style playing with a little more of a proggy bite. Heaven sentry on earth NICOLE MITCHELL has a new duo record with fellow composer LISA E. HARRIS called 'EarthSeed', constructed as a response to the African American scifi writer Octavia Butler, who foretold our societal unraveling with works like 'The Parable of the Sower'. 


  
New folk and pop is in on vinyl and CD from RAY LAMONTAGNE, COIN, and WILL HOGE. 



  
The Numero Group's latest conceptual compilation is called LOUIS WAYNE MOODY HIGH, and it collects ephemeral 60s garage, bubblegum, and proto-punk b-sides in their inimitable fashion, capturing a forlorn genre of suburban yearning softof like the soft counterpart of their Darkscorch Canticles private hard rock comp. The voices continue to guide Mr. ROBERT POLLARD, who lays on us a new 7" EP that comes packaged in a 237 page book of his collage art, called 'Eat 16: the Soundtrack to Planet Cake'. Okey doke, Bob. Folktronic brilliance is here with the sophomore album from Australian artist GORDI. 



  
Lush, introspective gloom rock is here from MIDWIFE, a "heavenly metal" musician from Denver. 'Forever' reminds me a bit of earlier Chelsea Wolfe, or Dorthia from Windhand's solo stuff. West Coast songwriter/rocker KATIE VON SCHLEICHER has a great new record called 'Consummation' that sands some of the prickers off the sound of Sharon Van Etten. Few wield effected guitar tones as expertly as the New York musician NOVELLER, whose new album 'Arrow' envelops you with precision and patience. 



  
Mythical NYC band IKE YARD were the first American act to release on Factory Records with 1982's album 'A Second', an LP that hasn't lost any of its menace over the decades. Few groups took the post-punk brief as seriously as they did on this slab, which makes Suicide's albums (a huge influence no doubt) seem extravagant by comparison. In the same year, at the other end of the world, Australia's SLUGFUCKERS released their lone LP on a label run by Severed Heads's Tom Ellard. 'Transformational Salt' is schizo industrial synth-pop in the realm of the Residents or early Yello, with a uniquely Aussie bent. One of the first bands to shine out of the muck of early LA punk was The Bags, and lead singer ALICE BAG has kept at it at the microbial DIY level since then. Their last Madison show was at the dang Tip Top, even. 'Sister Dynamite' is a killer new album of righteous power in the spirit of classic X and Runaways records. 


 
 
Some rather massive recent pop-country albums get released on vinyl for the first time this week; we've got MIRANDA LAMBERT's 'Platinum' and CARRIE UNDERWOOD's 'Some Hearts'. A 2LP set called 'Easy Rider' collects the best JOHNNY CASH tracks from his 80s/90s years on the Mercury label, and we have a new vinyl edition of ERIC CLAPTON and BB KING's classic collab, 'Riding With the King'. 



 
A pair of rather hefty rap releases hit the vinyl format this week, including POST MALONE's rather ambitious lateral move into millennial pop, 'Hollywood's Bleeding', and the latest from the lyrically-skilled badboy PROF, 'Powderhorn Suites'.



  
An outsized portion of the ROLLING STONES discography gets reissued on vinyl this week in audiophile half-speed remaster treatment. We've got 'Exile on Main St', 'Some Girls', 'Tattoo You'', 'Steel Wheels', and the highly coveted 90s albums 'Voodoo Lounge' and 'Bridges to Babylon'. 



  
In the late 70s, Congolese musicians SEKE MOLENGA and KALO KAWONGOLO arrived in Jamaica, invited by a promoter who quickly vanished. Fortuitously, they huddled up in the studio with none other than Lee Perry, shortly after he had finished engineering 'The Heart of the Congos'. Their sole LP features six tracks of a wonderfully potent amalgam of dub and tribal rhythm, returned to us now via the Antarctica Starts Here label, alongside SCIENTIST's groundbreaking 1980 album 'The Best Dub Album in the World', and the iconic 1968 debut from THE UNIQUES. The vocal trio of Slim Smith, Jimmy Riley, and Lloyd Charmers set up at Treasure Isle studios to record perhaps the definitive rocksteady album; miles deep in soul, threaded with a crack-of-midnight sense of dread and despair.


  
Michigan drone-zone lifers WINDY & CARL return with 'Allegiance and Conviction', which sounds like a Galaxie 500 record playing inside one of Brion Gysin's dream machines. Rising composor ERIK HALL and convened a fresh, yet reverent take on STEVE REICH's 'Music For 18 Musicians', and we have the most inviting record yet from Glasgow's CUCINA POVERA, an adventurous trip through delicate sound extremes not too far off from the recent work of Scott Walker. 



  
Memphis blues-rock regents REIGNING SOUND see their 2005 classic 'Home For Orphans' reissued on LP, and we have a great new album from the Dutch group LEWSBERG. 'In This House' borrows the sunny minimalist rock of VU's 'Loaded' and leavens that with clever observations out of the Parquet Courts playbook. Australian post-punkers THE SHIFTERS dropped one of the last decade's greatest unheard rock albums on cassette only in 2015, which now gets its first vinyl edition. 



  
  
Our first big metal delivery of the Covid era has arrived, bringing some truly blighted masterpieces on LP. 'Reflections of A Floating World', the opus of the mighty Boston band ELDER has a new pressing. We have a pair of diverse albums from OLD MAN GLOOM, the long-running supergroup with members of Isis and Mutoid Man. Brutal grindcore is in from CAUSTIC WOUND and FULL OF HELL, and we have a pair of modern classics from the Canadian death metallers TOMB MOLD. 



  
Unheard acid-drenched blues rock ala Free or The Guess Who is unearthed from the early 70s Indianapolig group ICE. Psych-pop brilliance abounds on THE TURTLES' 1969 album 'Turtle Soup', now back in print, and we have an LP of unheard early 90s music from MUDHONEY, 'Pedazo de Pastel'. 




USED VINYL ALERT:

Heading downstairs for this week's edition of the Used Vinyl Alert, its a heaping helping of classics awaiting you. Beloved records from Neil Young, Prince, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Harry Nilsson, Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music, the Faces, Moby Grape, the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, The Band, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Tom Petty, and more. 

Heaviness is in from Black Sabbath, Kiss, King Crimson, Dokken, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Iron Maiden, and the Scorpions, plus a hall of fame cast of punk and early alternative classics from the New York Dolls, the Ramones, the Heartbreakers, Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, Bad Brains, the Clash, Ministry, Soft Cell, the Smiths, the Knitters, the Dead Boys, the Triffids, Flesh for Lulu, Depeche Mode, the Au Pairs, Band of Susans, Iggy Pop, and the Creatures.

Some primo jazz is in from Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Grant Green, Steve Tibbetts, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Oliver Nelson, and Dave Brubeck. A slew of chill exotica is in, alongside reggae from The Wailers, Bob Marley, and the Specials, and a nice variety of international, classical, and soundtrack jams, from Beat Street to Back to the Future.

Country and folk is in from the Outlaws, Willie Nelson, Flatt and Scruggs, Alan Lomaz, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris, and Ryan Bingham, plus some blues from John Lee Hooker, BB King, and Buddy Guy.




USED CD ALERT:

This week's selection of fresh used CDs is socially distanced and nearly new. A dear regular has cleared some shelf space, dropping us off a very cool crop of CD releases from the last handful of years. If you missed out on jazz titles from Terence Blanchard, Josh Redman, Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Eric Dolphy, or Miles Davis, fret not. Recent albums from Prince, Radiohead, Neko Case, Gary Clark Jr, Fleet Foxes, Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Glasper, Neil Young, Beck and Sleater-Kinney are also in the mix.



TUESDAY'S SALES TO BENEFIT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB:

Each Tuesday in June, Strictly Discs will be donating 15% of all sales to local charities and initiatives that support our local communities of color. We stand with these groups to condemn the systemic racism that must be rooted out of our society, and to support the most vulnerable members of these communities.

This Tuesday, June 30, we will be making our donation to The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, an organization that strives to be the leader in youth development programs by developing partnerships to produce positive outcomes for young people, families, and communities. For more information on what they are doing, check out The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.
 
Our donation tally includes all online sales on Tuesday, as well as in-store purchases.


RECORD STORE DAY IS NOW RSD DROPS SPREAD OVER 3 DATES:

It's an unusual year, which means unusual news about Record Store Day.

Earlier this spring, Record Store Day announced a rescheduled June 20 date for the annual holiday, but with ongoing health and safety concerns, we now have a new plan.

Instead of a single-day global celebration, the 2020 releases will now be available over a series of monthly RSD Drops events, from August to October, followed by a regularly-scheduled Black Friday in November. This means we'll have four months of release events – the RSD 2020 exclusives spread out over three months, followed by a new round of exclusives for Black Friday – to end this strange year on a high note.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evolve on the fly with this one. Our goal is to keep the RSD spirit intact, connecting musicians, fans and record stores in a time where we need eachother the most!

Here's the official announcement from Record Store Day headquarters:

Since 2008, Record Store Day has grown into the world’s largest single-day music event, shining a light on the culture of the indie record store across the globe. In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be, too. RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly-distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October.

Record Store Day will look very different this year, but supporting indie record stores may be more important than ever. We don't know what sort of rules will be in place, or what sort of gatherings people will be in the mood for this year, so we're focusing on the music and getting the really great titles on the RSD official list this year into the stores and into your hands, in the most financially and socially responsible way.

WISHLISTS:

Since so much has changed with Record Store Day, you will need to start a new list for any or all of the three dates. Lists made prior to April are no longer active/valid.

We will try to have ample stock (one of the deepest in the midwest) of all items, but please know that some of these products are extremely limited and will sell out quickly.

WISHLISTS CAN BE MADE HERE.

Stay tuned for many more details in the coming weeks.




STRICTLY DISCS T-SHIRT TO BENEFIT SHOP:

After Record Store Day was postponed, the custom clothing company Bonfire out of Richmond, VA contacted us wanting to design a limited edition Strictly Discs shirt highlighting our current message of safety & hope during these unprecedented times.

Bonfire’s mission is To Strengthen & Inspire Communities. Well, we are humbled by our community that believes, like we do, that music is essential. 

The related t-shirts/hoodies for adults/children will be delivered directly to your door. 

   

For our campaign Bonfire is donating proceeds back to us as they too are fans of Strictly Discs. Now that’s rad.

Purchases help ensure Strictly Discs survives this crisis and continues to be your music resource. We are humbled by our community who believes, like we do, that music is essential. 

Our staff thanks you all for your ongoing support. Stay safe & have #hope. 







STRICTLY DISCS IS HIRING:

VINYL PRICING SPECIALIST:

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



RETAIL/FRONT COUNTER STAFF:

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

Availability to work nights and weekends


To apply, submit letter of interest & resume to angie@strictlydiscs.com




STRICTLY DISCS IS ON SPOTIFY!

Dogs and cats living together! Strictly Discs now has a Spotify channel. Every time one of us at the shop puts on a record, it's because we think someone else within earshot is going to like it, too. One of the things we've missed the most about having our doors temporarily closed is not being able to select the in-store play tunes for our customers to hear. It's the fun part of this job, and we want it back! Spotify users, point yourselves to our profile HERE and click around. We've compiled a number of playlists, with more to come. Be sure to subscribe and check in on the "STRICTLY SELECTOS" playlist, as it will change each week with a fresh rundown of the titles we are featuring in this very email! New songs will appear there every Thursday, and are available to order online or over phone/email.


SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS:

Yes, we are still buying! Call Ron to schedule (608.213.3610).




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