NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:
If it seems like the modern day rock gods have been sleeping lately, it's not just you. This week, they wake up with a couple roars from bands new and old. Call it celebration day, as Greta Van Fleet deliver their much, much, very, seriously anticipated full-length debut to follow up last year's run of EPs (seriously, I don't know how many more times I could tell you all they'd put out an LP). I don't want to ramble on, but I'm not dazed and confused about why everyone has a whole lotta love for this band. Be sure you don't get trampled under foot on your way to bring this one on home on CD or LP. Elsewhere, arena-metal elders Disturbed return with a fresh new album, and we have the debut from Oklahoma fuzz-rock inheritors Broncho, bringing a fresh take on American power pop.
Three great records from singular icons of chameleonic song-art are out to burn up the charts this week, starting with an always-welcome new album from Neneh Cherry. This one's called 'Broken Politics' (hm, hard to read the intent here), and it's produced by Four Tet, in their first pairing together. Fans of Cherry's agitated dub-jazz will welcome the producer Hebden's addition of polychromatic electronics to the mix. For 'Warzone', avant-garde pop goddess Yoko Ono revisits odds and ends from her catalog with a new context in a world that has only changed for the worse since she first started upsetting it in the 1960s. Brigitte Fontaine's fantastic 4th album with partner Areski Belkacem has been impossible to find on vinyl since the late 70s. 'Vous Et Nous' is an incredible broad set of the duo's characteristic dark folk/chanson blend, rendered a bit stranger (and slowly digestible) by some very funky synthesizer experimentation.
Existential rap and R&B comes in this week with the first major label vinyl release from Cali rapper Kyle, called 'Light Of Mine', a new Rhymesayers-released album from hot phenom and perpetual Atmosphere tourmate Dem Atlas, and a very moody new album from How To Dress Well, who was one of the first ones to do this sort of thing.
Cloud Nothings deliver a fresh album of blistering, early-Archers of Loaf-channeling fast pop with 'Last Building Burning', in the house on clear vinyl. Finnish enigma Jaakko Eino Kalevi is back with 'Out Of Touch', another infinitely listenable album of bizarre yet buttoned up jazzdance pop. Chicago post-postrock stoner jam heroes Cave return with 'Allways', their first album in five years, which is a more full-band experience of their other project, Bitchin Bajas.
The Numero Group is at it again after what's already been a crowning year for them and their always-peculiar, always-rewarding archive projects. 'Switched-On Eugene' documents the cassette-only output of the Eugene Electronic Music Collective, a tight-knit group of uncool Oregon outsiders who dedicated the better part of the 1980s to experimenting with synthesizers, skronk, ambient music, and pop. As always, you might say "Why do I need to hear this?" and, as always, one or two songs in, you have your answer. Not convinced? One of the cuts here is titled "Floating Landscape (Including Chase Scene)". Book it, another instant classic from them Numbero boys. Also on the archival ambient level, we see a lovely compilation LP of the works of French expressionist synthesist Sebastian Gandera, put together by Julien Dechery, one half of the duo who brought us the indelible Sky Girl compilation. If you fell for that collection's sense of woeful curiosity, the tracks here, selected from a variety of rare cassettes, will provide more of what you're looking for. Also in the house, an EP of dropdead lovely, insanely rare US new age from Clifford White.
On the new jazz front, we've got a new release from James Francies on Blue Note. The 23 year old Houston pianist was mentored by Questlove, and has already played on the Tonight Show and a couple Chance the Rapper albums before making his major label debut. Not bad. We've also got a new disc from Jose James, and the latest volume of Herb Alpert reimagining his Tijuana Brass.
Malian bassist Sekou Bah has played in the bands of Salif Keita and Fatoumata Diawara, and now brings his first CD as a bandleader, a smooth and suave piece of modern Mali pop called 'Soukabbe Mali'. We've also got a crucial 1979 dub album from Mikey Dread, and a CD version of the fantastic and soulful lovers rock reggae album 'One Life To Live' by Phyllis Dillon.
Lots of news on the Grateful Dead beat. The latest Road Trips set is here, a 3 disc collection of tunes from the 'Big Rock Pow Wow' in 1969. We've also got fresh vinyl represses of 'Steal Your Face' and 'Mars Hotel', both of which have been unavailable on LP for a long, strange time.
Two more Haruomi Hosono vinyl reissues have been unleashed from the East. 'Cochin Moon' is the magic man's 1978 record that took on electro, jazz, and exotica in a strange, once in a lifetime brew that has become one of the most sought records in the Hosono discography. Same goes for 'Hosono House', the 1973 LP where HH mastered soft-rock's easy lean into funk territory about a year or two ahead of schedule elsewhere. Two huge jewels in the Haruomi crown here. Also be sure to check out the reissue of the 1983 album 'Lingua Franca' from EP-4, the obscurely named Japanese funk/electro group who navigated a similar axis to early Material or Talking Heads but.....a lot weirder.