CDs + Vinyl:
The 69 Eyes – Universal Monsters CD (Nuclear Blast)
12th album from the Helsinki, Finland-based death/goth rock band.
Aborted – Retrogore CD/2xLP+CD (Century Media)
Fans should expect nothing less than one of the most relentless and fiercest albums from one of Belgium’s favorite extreme metal bands.
A$AP Ferg – Always Strive And Prosper CD (RCA)
New album from the member of the A$AP Mob (along with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Yams). Always Strive And Prosper is the follow-up to 2013’s Trap Lord, and features collaborations with $cHoolboy Q, Future, Big $ean, Chri$ Brown & Ty Dolla $ign, Rick Ro$$, Chuck D & Mama Ferg, Future, $krillex, and more.
Billy Bao – Lagos Sessions CD/LP+MP3 (Night School/Munster)
A furious mash-up of afrobeat, distorted drone and thrashing noise.
Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile – Continuum CD/2xLP (ECM)
After four ECM recordings with his other band Ronin, Bärtsch presents this new album featuring Mobile augmented on three pieces by a string quintet. Textures from jazz, funk, new music, minimal as well as ritual and sacred music are organically interwoven with Bärtsch and his partners aiming for an energetic total group sound rather than displays of soloistic virtuosity.
Bob Berg – New Birth [Reissue1978] CD (Elemental Music)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1978 album from the jazz saxophonist. The deluxe packaging includes a 16-page booklet with original liner notes and new essay by jazz journalist Bill Milkowski plus restored artwork, photos and session notes.
Alpha Blondy – Positive Energy CD (VP)
In his home country Côte d’Ivoire the retirement age is 60. The grand seigneur of Ivorian reggae is 62 years old now, but shows no desire to retire anytime soon. Positive Energy is Blondy’s 18th studio album.
Blue Man Group – 3 CD (Rhino)
Third studio album from the acclaimed performance artists, comprised of 14 new percussive, instrumental tracks.
Blue October – Home CD/LP (Up/Down)
Blue October is the San Marcos, TX-based band known for their shimmering melodies and heart-string pulling lyrics, and boasts one of the more emotionally charged and magnetic frontmen in music today in Justin Furstenfeld. “Justin Furstenfeld is a happy man these days, as chronicled on Blue October’s new album Home. And the singer, who’s gone through the wringer of well-chronicled drug addiction and personal issues (including a fierce child custody battle) over the years is well aware of how unusual a little bit of bonhomie seems. ‘It’s crazy how life happens that way,’ he tells Billboard. ‘Honestly, some people are like, ‘Hey man, what’s up? What are you taking that makes you so positive?’ Honestly I’m not taking anything. I continually am blown away by how good life can be when you just treat it like it’s special.’ Sonically, meanwhile, Home was inspired by drives Furstenfeld made through the desert from west Texas to California while making radio promotion visits for Sway. He refers to the sound as ‘desert rock’ — although not to be confused with something as heavy as, say, Kyuss. ‘The desert was very inspiring,’ Furstenfeld says. ‘I wanted to make the album more about the beat and the bass and the atmosphere and the hook of the vocal than a rock power chord album. It makes me feel like less was more as long as that central beauty was there, as long as the lyric and the meaning was there and the melody was memorable and timeless.’” – Billboard
Frank Butler – Stepper [Reissue/1977] CD (Elemental Music)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1977 album from the jazz drummer. Butler never became well known but was highly regarded by fellow musicians and performed with jazz notables like Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Art Pepper in the 1950s and 1960s. In the mid-to-late 1950s, he was a member of the Curtis Counce Quintet. Sidelined for many years by an addiction to heroin, he did not record an album under his own name until the 1970s.
BWB [Rick Braun/Kirk Whalum/Norman Brown] – BWB CD (Artistry Music)
Trumpet, sax and guitar. Any way you call it; three men of deep talent, genre-busting chops, and musical influences deeper than the collective American pop and soul songbook.
Candlebox – Disappearing In Airports CD/LP (Pavement Music)
Sixth album from the alt-rock/grunge band. “From start to finish Disappearing In Airports is a solid and complete piece of music. I would definitely call this a rock album, but don’t expect any ear splitting guitar riffs or even slightly rough lyrics; expect perfectly laid out and timed tracks that are going to speak to you and just make you disappear into this album.” – Rock Revolt Magazine
Eric Carmen – Eric Carmen [Reissue/1975] CD (Varese Sarabande)
Eric Carmen’s second self-titled album has been unavailable on CD for more than 20 years. It features the bonus track of the previously unavailable single mix of the top 40 hit, “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips.”
The Comet Is Coming – Channel The Spirits CD/LP+CD (Leaf)
“Sixty years after Sun Ra released his debut album, the influence of the late avant garde jazz musician and ‘cosmic philosopher’ persists. Ra is a clear touchstone for futurists The Comet Is Coming. ‘The truest link we have to Sun Ra is being exploratory with ways of approaching conventional instruments.’ It’s an ethos as much as a style, starting with an ‘orthodox jazz sensibility’ and taking it to the dancefloor. That’s where The Comet Is Coming really tear it up, with tracks such as the pulsating ‘Star Furnace’ and the dirty sax-fueled ‘Neon Baby’ aimed squarely at making feet move.” – The Guardian
Sonny Criss – Saturday Morning [Reissue/1975] CD (Elemental Music)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1975 album by the jazz saxophonist. Deluxe packaging with a 16-page booklet containing original liner notes and new essay by jazz journalist Ted Panken plus restored artwork, photos and session notes.
Dälek – Asphalt For Eden CD (Profound Lore)
The first new album since 2009’s Gutter Tactics marks the return of the cult hip-hop/noise originators after a long hiatus. Vinyl edition due May 6.
Darkness Divided – Darkness Divided CD (Victory)
Debut alburm from the Christian metalcore band.
D.O.A. – Something Better Change [Reissue/1980] CD (Sudden Death)
New remastered version of one of punk’s seminal albums. CD version is housed in new digipak packaging. Vinyl due May 17.
Doomsday Ceremony – Black Heart CD (Greyhaze)
Doomsday Ceremony is a Brazilian band that harnesses the feeling of ‘80s traditional heavy metal with the brutality of black metal. Their second album, Black Heart, should please fans of Immortal and Mercyful Fate.
Eths – Ankaa CD/2xLP (Season Of Mist)
New album from the French modern metallers. Ankaa delivers heightened aggression propelled by crushing riffs and menacing breakdowns amidst the ambitious arrangements that are Eths’ calling card.
Bill Evans – Some Other Time: The Lost Sessions From The Black Forest 2xCD (Resonance)
This double-disc set contains a newly discovered studio album recorded by the legendary Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer in Villingen. These tapes were recorded five days after Evans’ live performance at the 1968 Montreux Jazz Festival, which was released on Verve and won a Grammy. This is the only Evans studio album for trio featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Liner notes include new historical essays, interviews and previously unpublished photos.
Everything In Slow Motion – Laid Low CD/LP (Facedown)
Everything In Slow Motion is an ever evolving hard rock-meets-post hardcore project.
Nicolas Godin – Centrepoint CD/LP+CD (Because Music)
Solo album from the French musician best known as one-half of Air. Godin was inspired by the work of pianist Glenn Gould’s performances of Bach when making the album. Each track uses a different Bach piece as a jumping-off point. Godin says, “We (Air) weren’t surprising ourselves anymore, like other bands after ten years or more. The big challenge for an artist is to have a reason to be, because there are already plenty of records out there. I’d made a statement with Air and I wanted to go back to the classical world, to grow up musically, to renew myself.”
Good Tiger – A Head Full Of Moonlight CD/LP (Metal Blade)
“The music on A Head Full Of Moonlight is familiar enough to get you interested, but when it sinks its claws into you is when you begin to realize just how unique these songs are. The distinct guitar sounds of Joaquin and Derya of [their previous band] The Safety Fire allow the material to be immediately set apart from your run of the mill progressive metal band. At the same time, the unique vocals of Elliot Coleman carry the material into another realm entirely. If you’re not paying the utmost attention to a guitar hook, you’re hooked on a vocal melody. It’s a vicious cycle that this record doesn’t mind putting you through more than a handful of times. Songs like ‘Aspirations,’ ‘Enjoy The Rain’ and ‘All Her Own Teeth’ show the record’s two driving forces at their deadliest. However, in stating that vocals and guitars are the driving force of this album, some would think of that as sending jabs towards Morgan Sinclair’s bass playing or Alex Rüdinger’s drumming prowess. That’s hardly what’s happening though, as they both carry the record along with aplomb. Ultimately, they end up taking a bit of a back seat to the overwhelming (in the best possible way) performances by the guitars and vocals but are still an important part of the core that pulses through the album.” – Heavy Blog Is Heavy
Greys – Outer Heaven CD/LP+MP3 (Carpark)
Outer Heaven is a massive leap forward for Toronto post-punks Greys. Delivering on the promises made on 2015’s Repulsion EP, the band tempers their trademark onslaught of discordance with new textures and subtle dynamics, building a more spacious and melody-driven environment atop their noise rock foundation. “Outer Heaven’s heightened ambitions are best measured in terms of density rather than sprawl: the most bracing songs here pack in more radiant guitar textures, a greater lyrical depth, and sharper hooks without sacrificing Greys’ innate moshability and punk-schooled economy. Ironically, the more self-consciously outré material feels staid by comparison: the sudden grindcore shocks of ‘Strange World’ can’t quite force the song to shake off its dirgey gait, and though the drum machine-ticked ‘My Life As A Cloud’ taps into the spectral beauty of Halcyon Digest-era Deerhunter, its trickling guitar outro closes this highly charged album on an oddly resigned note. But even if Greys are still learning how to stretch out with purpose, Outer Heaven serves as a most welcome reminder of indie rock’s iconoclastic potential, from a band committed to the belief that it could be your life” – Pitchfork. [Limited copies also pressed on white color vinyl.]
Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
Robert Pollard wrote and recorded and played all the instruments on Please Be Honest, and when he finished, it felt to him like a Guided By Voices record. He’s not wrong. The songs are compact and tuneful, the playing expertly slack, the production raw and unpolished: sounds pretty much like every review of Bee Thousand. A better cognate, however, might be Vampire On Titus, Pollard’s 1993 pre-Bee Thousand lo-fi tour de force.
Harassor – Hater Of Man/Harassor CD (Universal Consciousness)
Los Angeles black metal masters Harassor unleash their first two DIY full-lengths on one CD. Hater Of Man was recorded in 2006 and originally released in 2012 on cassette. Harassor was recorded in 2005 and originally released on CDR, with subsequent cassette and vinyl issues.
Higher Authorities – Neptune CD (Domino)
Higher Authorities is the new project from a duo of shadowy, psychedelic adventurers. Their debut album, Neptune – a collection of dub influenced, electronic explorations. They were assisted in this excursion by legendary producer Adrian Sherwood.
The Impressions – The Best Of The Impressions: The Curtom Years CD (Varese Sarabande)
This collection features all of the hits The Impressions recorded for Curtom Records (the label Curtis Mayfield formed in 1968), including such Mayfield-penned classics as “This Is My Country,” “Choice Of Colors,” “Check Out Your Mind,” and “Fool For You.”
Incite – Oppression CD/LP (Minus Head)
Incite is an Arizona based metal outfit led by Richie Cavalera (Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy).
Jethro Tull – Aqualung [Reissue/1971] 2xCD+2xDVD (Rhino/Parlophone)
Aqualung was the first Jethro Tull album remixed by Steven Wilson and was originally reissued as a 40th Anniversary package in 2011. This more accessible release features the remixes as Steven delivered them and a flat transfer of the EP Life Is A Long Song. Three additional tracks – “Just Trying To Be,” “Wind Up” (early version) and “Wond’ring Aloud, Again” (full Morgan version) are now available as 5.1 mixes. Two of the tracks – “Life Is A Long Song” and “Up The Pool” have never previously been available on CD in this form. Also included is an 80-page booklet with articles and photos from the 40th anniversary edition. The 1971 “Life Is A Long Song” promotional film with new remixed stereo soundtrack is also available for the first time on the second DVD.
Meilyr Jones – 2013 CD/LP (PIAS America)
“Using a similar approach to hip-hop, Meilyr Jones [ex-Race Horses] combines musical samples of others’ songs with his own but plays them on live instruments instead. These instruments include guitar, bass and drums but also all manner of strings, piano and brass which lends 2013 a panorama of musical depth that’s held together by Jones wonderfully impassioned voice. 2013 is so wide-eyed and confessional one can’t ascribe any cynicism to it, such is the joy of the songs it comes across as an affirmation of his love of music rather than plagiarism. There are two key reasons to fall in love with 2013. Firstly, it has an irresistible love of music, be that of the pop or classical form but secondly, and most importantly, it’s a record that as a body of work is one of the most exhilarating and emotional released so far this year.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Josh Kelley – New Lane Road CD/LP (Sugar Hill)
First album in five years from singer/songwriter/actor/multi-instrumentalist and Top 40 recording artist Josh Kelley. His most honest work to date, Josh achieves organic warmth guided by the influences of Otis Redding, Al Green, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Joe Cocker.
Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds – La Araña Es La Vida CD/LP (In The Red)
La Araña Es La Vida rocks ‘n’ rolls its way through a planet of glamazons (“Psychic Future”), blisters with the tricks of a “Magic Machine,” then gets to work out a low-rider groove on “Chicano Studies.” Tales of gender-bending disembodied heads, gente from La Puente and even a TCB-era Elvis-inspired rave up on “Karate Monkey” are merely a smattering of the mythic magic on this platter. The world is a wild and wooly place and with the help of La Araña Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds will continue to reflect it. Orale! Living La Vida Araña!
Janel Leppin – Mellow Diamond CD (Wedderburn)
Janel Leppin – Songs For Voice & Mellotron (Wedderburn)
Janel Leppin is a cello virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist; an architect of acoustic and analog sound; a haunting and mythic singer with a sharp political consciousness, celebrated by the likes of Stephen O’Malley, Nels Cline (Wilco), Marissa Nadler, Kyp Malone (TV On The Radio) among others. A lauded young voice with a dedicated following on DC’s jazz and improvised music scene, Leppin shows off another side on Mellow Diamond, her solo debut, venturing even further down the ethereal path she’s blazed with the acclaimed duo Janel & Anthony, and lands her in the realm of experimental dream-pop. On the five tracks of Songs For Voice & Mellotron, Leppin draws from the songcraft of Bjork and Portishead, Ai Wei Wei’s art, Sufi poetry, and the hardcore DC punk and noise-music scenes that reared her.
Lord Finesse – The Remixes: A Midas Era Retrospective 2xCD (Slice Of Spice)
Over the last 10 years Lord Finesse has released several great remixes of his classics on limited edition vinyl. The Remixes: A Midas Era Retrospective brings all of those rare and hard to find tracks together. Includes remixes by DJ Premier, Large Pro, DJ Spinna and DJ Muro, with all the instrumental versions on a separate disc.
Lush – Blind Spot CDEP/10”+MP3 (Edamame)
“As sure as night follows day, there would be a Lush reunion. Back in the past bands didn’t always reform — the Beatles for example — but thing have changed and as we all age at a rate that is truly frightening we like to nestle in the soft bosom of things from the past. Not just content with playing live shows, Lush have actually made new music too….and it’s quite good. The good news I’m pleased to report is that the first track ‘Out Of Control’ is rather superb. A lovely lilting mature track that has a wistful edge, hinting at the sounds of yesteryear but presenting it in new ways. It’s like the shoegaze answer to Duran Duran’s ‘Ordinary World’ — file under: older people looking back with panache.” – Norman Records UK
Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble – Sing Me Home CD (Masterworks Broadway)
Sing Me Home examines the ever-changing idea of home, with original and traditional tunes composed or arranged by members of the Ensemble’s unique collective of global artists. Each piece invites listeners to explore the music of home through the individual experiences of Ensemble members, many of whom are immigrants. The result is a compelling collection of innovative and deeply moving tributes to the rich cultural heritage of the Balkans, China, Galicia, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mali people of Roma, Syria and the United States. Guests include Rhiannon Giddens, Sarah Jarosz, Abagail Washburn, Gregory Porter, Lisa Fischer, Bill Frisell and more.
The Maxies – Nuuk ‘Em All CD (Rock Ridge Music)
This group of masked super villains from Nuuk, Greenland, create a diabolical mix of power pop and punk music.
Mean Jeans – Tight New Dimension CD (Fat Wreck Chords)
Since forming in 2006, Mean Jeans have become one of the better-known bands of the Pacific Northwest punk scene for their chaotic but relentless attack, raucous live shows, and fierce commitment to the art of partying. Tight New Dimension furthers the band’s absurdist party-punk agenda. The music is tight, Ramones-influenced pop-punk with garage-rock attitude. Vinyl version due May 20.
Messenger – Threnodies CD (Inside Out U.S.)
New album from the London-based progressive, psychedelic rockers.
Mirrors Are For Psychic Warfare – Mirrors Are For Psychic Warfare CD/LP (Neurot)
Debut from this new project featuring Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and producer Sanford Parker project. Mirrors Are For Psychic Warfare is the sonic manifestation of insomnia, complete with the tossing, the turning, and the perennial dread that comes with facing another shabby daylight. The five songs lurch and pulsate across a desolate landscape with an almost curious obsessive quality. While it may remind some of the best work on the classic Cold Meat Industry label, there is enough familiar Kelly/Parker-isms scattered throughout to keep the album stimulating. It is a work with more in common with a fever or a fitful wraith than a record.
Phil Pratt – Star Wars Dub [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (Burning Sounds)
Phill Pratt was a producer who helmed releases from Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown to Horace Andy. Star Wars Dub is his classic dub album with backing by The Revolutionaries.
Pvris – White Noise [Deluxe] CD+DVD (Rise)
Deluxe edition reissue of Pvris’ 2014 album, expanded with three bonus tracks and music video DVD. Vinyl version due May 20. Massachusetts trio Pvris were originally a high-decibel metalcore band. Encouraged by producer Blake Harnage of emo-rockers VersaEmerge though, they’ve embraced emotive synth-pop on this debut.
Ragnarok – Psychopathology CD (Agonia)
“Ragnarok, like Urgehal, are one of the most underrated black metal acts on the planet.” – Angry Metal Guy
Saib – Around The World CD (Cold Busted)
Historically Casablanca has been known as a global melting pot; a place where cultures mingle and fuse. This quality is evident in the dazzling music of Casablanca-based beat-maker and guitarist Saib, who has revealed his debut long-player, the appropriately titled Around The World album for Cold Busted. Around The World is indeed a non-stop flight, touching down on all of Saib’s influences and predilections, creating a memorable album along the way.
Scorpions – Return To Forever: Tour Edition CD+2xDVD (Century Media)
This set showcases the band in the live arena with two DVDs with content from two live shows from their tour last year, including Hellfest in France and a show in Brooklyn, New York. The 15-minute video documentary On The Road In America by Dennis Dirksen gets to the heart of the matter that the Scorpions are able to consistently attract new generations of fans. In an extensive track-by-track interview, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs offer insight into the band’s musical universe with anecdotes about the origin and meaning of the songs on Return To Forever.
Skold – The Undoing CD (Metropolis)
Skold is the solo project of Tim Sköld (born Thim Sköld), a Swedish multi-instrumentalist who, in addition to producing solo work, has also collaborated with multiple musical groups including Shotgun Messiah, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson and Motionless In White where he acted as producer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist. Vinyl edition due May 6.
Andy Stott – Too Many Voices CD/2xLP (Modern Love)
Too Many Voices is the fourth album from Andy Stott, a follow-up to 2014’s Faith In Strangers. It was recorded from 2014-2016 and sees a diverse spectrum of influences bleed into nine tracks that are as searching as they are memorable. The album draws inspiration from the fourth-world pop of Japan’s Yellow Magic Orchestra as much as it does Triton-fueled grime made 25 years later. Somewhere between these two points there’s an oddly aligned vision of the future that seeps through the pores of each of the tracks. It’s a vision of the future as it was once imagined; artificial, strange, and immaculate. Too Many Voices once again features vocal contributions from Alison Skidmore.
The Strumbrellas – Hope CD/LP (Glassnote)
“Six-piece folk-pop act The Strumbellas first broke out in their home country of Canada back in 2009 with their self-titled EP. Their debut full length, My Father And The Hunter, released in 2012 earned the group a Juno Award nod for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. They didn’t win, but it didn’t take long before they got another chance — their 2013 follow-up, We Still Move On Dance Floors, was nominated in the same category the next year and took home the statuette. The band share similarities with the pre-plugged in music of labelmates Mumford & Sons: Enormous hooks, taut songcrafting, and arena rock catharsis achieved with bare-bones instrumentation. ‘I’m a huge pop element guy,’ frontman Simon Ward says. ‘I love big drops, I love huge drums and bass. We’re trying to fuse the melodies that we make in our folk band with pop elements. That’s our goal: Make a really big sound, using all of those elements.’” – Entertainment Weekly
Sundy Best – It’s So Good Live 2xCD (E1)
Sundy Best’s first live album, recorded fall of 2015, features 24 songs and over two hours of music (including five new songs plus a cover of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”).
Texas Hippie Coalition – Dark Side Of Black CD (Carved)
Dark Side Of Black embraces Texas Hippie Coalitions’ southern roots while exploring the harder side of the band. The group is not simply about making sure the outlaw rock style they champion stays alive, they want it to continue to evolve infusing it with a heavier groove.
Katie Von Schleicher – Bleaksploitation CD/LP (Ba Da Bing!)
Issued on cassette last year, Katie Von Schleicher’s Bleaksploitation took the tape world by enough of a storm to thunder demand for more formats. Consequence Of Sound described her songs as “like ghosts trying to communicate through a cassette deck”; Paste claims they “sound like a vintage girl group playing in the basement of a haunted house.” Bleaksploitation was recorded in a dark room on a Tascam 4-track cassette machine. The result is hazy, terrifying and playful. This is what happens when well-crafted songs are made in the moment, warped, drunk on themselves. Von Schleicher’s voice sinks like anchors and rises like a Phoenix, wrestling its way through its very own form of basement tapes. ’70s piano rock provides the core, sad lyrics form the shell.
Rufus Wainwright – Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets CD (Deutsche Grammophon)
Rufus Wainwright celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare s death in typically dramatic fashion by releasing a unique collection of nine sonnets in stunning performances by both actors and vocalists: Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and, of course, Rufus himself, as well as actors Sian Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner. Vinyl version due June 10.
Johnny Winter with Dr. John – Live In Sweden 1987 CD/LP (MVD)
Blues legend Johnny Winter is joined by the equally legendary Dr. John on Swedish TV, recorded in 1987. From the opening notes of “’Sound The Bell” to the finale of a positively incendiary “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Winter is in great form. The blues and rock take a side trip to New Orleans when the masterful Dr. John joins the band on piano. [Also available on stand-alone DVD.]
Keke Wyatt – Rated Love CD (Aratek Entertainment)
First album in five years from the R&B/soul singing diva — her fourth full length overall.
Yellowjackets – Cohearence CD (Mack Avenue)
With its pockets of halcyon, buoyance, mystery, tumult and whimsy, Cohearence plays out as a multifaceted documentation of how far the once fusion band has come.
Zmei3 – Rough Romanian Soul CD (Six Degrees)
Zmei3 (pronounced ‘zemay-tray’) is a band whose core are Romanian immigrants that write songs about the harsh realities of post-Communist rule. Their debut album, Rough Romanian Soul, was produced in Transylvania by Grammy winner, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin Jack Elliott, Malawi Mouse Boys, Zomba Prison Project).
DVDs + Blu-ray:
Stretch and Bobbito – Stretch and Bobbito: Music That Changed Lives DVD (Saboteur Media)
During the 1990s, Stretch and Bobbito introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, and Big Pun as well as an unknown Jay-Z, Eminem, and the Fugees. The total record sales for all the artists that premiered on their radio show exceed 300 million. The late night program had a cult following in the art/fashion world and prison population as well. All would loyally tune in for the humor just as much for the exclusive tunes. (98 minutes/documentary.)
Johnny Winter with Dr. John – Live In Sweden 1987 DVD (MVD)
Blues legend Johnny Winter is joined by the equally legendary Dr. John on Swedish TV, recorded in 1987. From the opening notes of “Sound The Bell” to the finale of a positively incendiary “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Winter is in great form. The blues and rock take a side trip to New Orleans when the masterful Dr. John joins the band on piano.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
2Tall – Lost Stories LP (IZWID)
Lost Stories is a collection of 18 beats from the archives of English producer Jim Coles, best known today as Om Unit, and released by Justin “Kutmah” McNulty’s IZWID label. The album is both a portrait of the artist as a young man, and the completion of a circle, ten years in the making, that stretches from London to Los Angeles.
The Above – There Is A Reason 10” (Hidden Volume)
Six gorgeous tunes ranging from Byrds and Kinks-inspired garage rock to baroque pop that brings to mind The Zombies or Left Banke.
Astronautica – Gemini LP+MP3 (Alpha Pup)
Astronautica’s new Gemini LP pieces together 12 new tracks that bridge the gaps between sultry R&B, uptempo club rhythms and future electronica. As one of Los Angeles’ emerging talents in this era, Astronautica’s defining herself as a prominent and in-demand producer that can pull off intricate guitar harmonies and powerful vocal lines over fully composed song structures.
Bullnettle – Bullnettle LP (Dirt Cult)
Bullnettle plays urgent, melodic, raspy, and lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll, which would’ve been labeled as “college rock” when that meant something cool.
California – California LP (Blackball)
California is the band featuring Jason White (vocals/guitar), Dustin Clark (bass/vocals) and Adam Pfahler (drums). You know White as the other guy in Green Day and Pinhead Gunpowder. Clark was in Soophie Nun Squad. Pfahler you might remember as the other other guy from Jawbreaker. This self-titled LP is their debut album and was recorded over several months that included the birth of two children, a throat cancer diagnosis for the singer and accompanying radiation and chemotherapy treatments (long story short-he’s fine). California plays power pop, rock, punk.
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Lick My Decals Off, Baby [Reissue/1970] LP (Rhino)
Captain Beefheart – The Spotlight Kid [Reissue/1972] LP (Rhino)
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Clear Spot [Reissue/1972] LP (Rhino)
Limited edition vinyl reissues of Captain Beefheart’s fourth, sixth, and seventh albums. Lick My Decals Off, Baby was originally released on Frank Zappa’s Straight Records label. The follow-up to Trout Mask Replica (1969), it is regarded by some critics and listeners as superior, and was Van Vliet’s personal favorite. The Spotlight Kid is the only album formally credited solely to Captain Beefheart. Often cited as one of the most accessible of Beefheart’s albums, it is solidly founded in the blues but also uses instruments such as marimba and jingle bells that are not typical of that genre. With Clear Spot, Captain Beefheart was after a more commercial sound, hence his enlisting of producer Ted Templeman and engineer Donn Landee, who also created hits for artists such as the Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon and Van Morrison.
The Cosmic Dead – Rainbow Head LP (Blackest Rainbow)
For the uninitiated The Cosmic Dead is a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, making some of the best raging freak out psych right now. Rainbowhead is a brand new LP, featuring four tracks of spaced out, heavy psych formed from insane chugging bass, trippy synth blasts, krautrock infused metallic guitar riffin’ and furious cascading drum cycles.
Justin Cudmore – Crystal 12” (Honey Soundsystem)
As a kid growing up in the state’s tucked-away capital of Springfield, Justin Cudmore played the drums at home and in school as a jazz percussionist. In his college days Justin dove into electronic music, workshopping new-wave influenced beats in bands and DJing parties. Currently, Justin is a fixture across Brooklyn, popping up on dance floors and behind booths.
Damu The Fudgemunk – Fragments 7” (Redefinition)
Fragments includes odds and ends connected to Damu The Fudgemunk’s long running How It Should Sound Series. Includes three tracks that were previously unavailable on vinyl including a vocal track that was previously only available as the music bed for an old YouTube promo clip from 2010.
Darkest Hour – So Sedated, So Secure [Reissue/2001] LP+MP3 (Victory)
Classic Victory Records titles, long out-of-print or never before issued on the format, on vinyl by popular demand.
Miles Davis – Birth Of The Cool [Reissue/1956] LP (Rumble)
Eleven tracks recorded by Miles Davis’s nonet in 1949 and 1950, Birth Of The Cool may just be the most accurately titled album ever. The tracks just bleed hipness — cool, smooth, and swinging — and practically define the genre of “cool jazz.” Unparalleled recordings required for any fan of mid-century American jazz.
Divers – Achin’ On b/w You Can’t Do That 7” (Dirt Cult)
“Sounds like Bruce Springsteen & Paul Westerberg took over as the house band at a blue-collar bar somewhere in the Rust Belt—then robbed the bar, ran from the cops, and wrong songs while on the lam.”—Willamette Weekly
The Ex-Boyfriends – Disease LP+MP3 (Rad Girlfriend)
Hailing from McAllen, TX, The Ex-Boyfriends are a hodge-podge mix of many different pop punk elements and the songs on this release all have their own character. There are Screeching Weasel-style guitar solos, MXPX-style vocals, snare-heavy punk drums, and gritty bass lines. “The Ex-Boyfriends are a melting pot of pop-punk.”—Razorcake
William Fitzsimmons – The Pittsburgh Collection Volumes 1 & 2: Pittsburgh & Charleroi LP (Nettwerk)
The companion piece to last year’s Pittsburgh, Charleroi is the second half of a story about Fitzsimmons’ two grandmothers. Pittsburgh was about the grandmother Fitzsimmons’ knew. Charleroi is about the one he never did. This vinyl edition brings the two mini albums together as a single piece.
Fraternal Twin – Skin Gets Hot LP (Ghost Ramp)
“Fraternal Twin started off as the solo recording project of Quarterbacks bassist Tom Christie, but his debut album grew to contain a multitude of voices. On ‘Skin Gets Hot,’ the title track of said album, he enlists the help of Porches’ Aaron Maine and Leslie Bear (who records under the name Long Beard) to flesh out what was once a simply-strummed demo on an earlier split into something with a lot of muscle and clarity. There’s a soggy, downbeat inevitability to the track, like something has to happen because of course it’s going to happen.” – Stereogum
Grave – You’ll Never See [Reissue/1992] LP (Century Media)
Vinyl reissue of the second album by one of the longest-running Swedish death metal bands.
Petra Haden – Imaginaryland  LP+MP3 (Bar/None)
Petra Haden – Petra Haden Sings: Who Sell Out  LP+MP3 (Bar/None)
First time on vinyl! Petra Haden made a career performing or recording alongside everyone from Beck to Mike Watt, Susanna Hoffs to Bill Frisell. On her solo debut, Imaginaryland, originally released in 1996, she introduces a new phase of her career by overdubbing wordless a-cappella adventures into pop soundscapes creating original compositions as well as covers of Enya and Miranda Sex Garden. Haden’s unique vision and voice takes you to a land filled with cartwheels, tingly mint tea and razzle-dazzle raspberry twigs. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out is an entirely a-cappella interpretation of The Who classic on which Haden supplies all of the vocals.
The Isley Brothers – This Old Heart Of Mine [Reissue/1966] LP (Motown)
1966’s This Old Heart Of Mine is the fourth album released by The Isley Brothers, and was issued on the Tamla (Motown) label. The album, their first with the seminal Detroit-based music label, yielded the Isleys’ biggest hit in their early period with the title track. Other charted singles including “Take Some Time Out For Love” and “I Guess I’ll Always Love You.” The album’s cover was not controversial at the time, but was criticized years later by activists because it did not depict the three African American brothers, instead using a picture of two white teenage lovers on a beach.
Kill The Noise – Occult Classic LP+MP3 (Owsla, LLC)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. Bass music stalwart Kill The Noise has been a staple in electronic music since 2008. Occult Classic is his first full-length on Skrillex’s Owsla, following a string of singles and EP’s that have made him one of the most recognizable artists and personalities on the scene. It features twelve hard hitting and dynamic tracks that features a wide array of artists including Dillon Francis, Feed Me, Tommy Trash, Madsonik, Bryn Christopher, 2ton and Aaron from Awolnation. HQ-180gm.
Lyonnais – Anatomy Of The Image LP+MP3 (Geographic North)
Atlanta’s Lyonnas return with their second LP. The quartet, featuring members TJ Blake (drums, also of Lotus Plaza) and Lee Tesche (guitars, also of Algiers), Farzad Moghaddam (bass, synths, Geographic North co-founder), and Farbod Kokabi (guitar, vocals, Geographic North co-founder), parallel the frostbitten modes of This Heat and Clan Of Xymox. Pressed on purple vinyl.
Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan LP (OVO Sounds)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Majid Jordan is an emerging Toronto record producing and performing duo comprised of Jordan Ullman and Majid Al Maskati. Their self-titled debut album includes the song “My Love” featuring Drake.
Sean McCaul – Midnight At Purple Palace LP (Underwater Peoples)
Vibraphonist Sean McCaul is a highly accomplished New York City based musician/composer who has performed and recorded with many notable and diverse artists, such as, Philip Glass and Yo Yo Ma, Dean and Britta, Lucy Woodward, and Shilpa Ray. Playing many solo and group performances around the city, Sean has established himself as one of New York’s finest mallet percussionists.
The New Mastersounds – The Nashville Session LP (The Royal Potato Family)
The New Mastersounds from their inception nearly two decades ago in Leeds, UK have always wholeheartedly embraced the “old school” label. Their sound and approach rooted deeply in those classic soul jazz, boogaloo and funk albums on labels like Blue Note and Prestige by artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Lou Donaldson. The Nashville Session takes that devotion one step further by recording in the very same tradition that many of those rare groove gems were made.
Carlos Niño & Friends – Flutes, Echoes, It’s All Happening! LP+MP3 (Leaving)
Influential & prolific Los Angeles artist, DJ, producer, composer, and poet Carlos Niño crafts his Space Collage Hybrid Music master opus. Flutes, Echoes, It’s all happening! is the fourth in a series of highly collaborative records by Carlos Niño & Friends. Featuring: Iasos, Luis Pérez Ixoneztli, Madlib, Miguel Atwood- Ferguson, Kamasi Washington, Dexter Story, and more.
Jimmy Page – She Just Satisfies b/w Keep Moving [Reissue/1965] 7” (Fontana)
Exact 45RPM vinyl single replica of Page’s highly collectable, cracking ‘60s beat debut.
Lee Ritenour – The Vinyl LP Collection 5xLP (Concord)
Celebrating the solo career of Lee Ritenour, The Vinyl LP Collection is a limited-edition, individually numbered box set containing five classic albums by the renowned guitarist; each remastered and pressed on HQ-180gm vinyl, and restored with original artwork and liner notes. An accompanying 40-plus page book contains new liner notes by Ritenour, plus never-before-seen photos and memorabilia, all sourced from his personal scrapbook collection. Includes: Earth Run (1986), Portrait (1987), Festival (1988), Color Rit (1989), and Wes Bound (1993).
Sons Of Frod – Songs About H.E.R. LP (Rarebreed)
“As a fan of the members of Sons Of Frod, I was extremely excited to hear about this collaborative project betweeen VA beatmith/producer DJ Harrison and the enigma that is Sir Froderick. As expected, the 11 track listen is a blend of jazz & hip-hop that will please listeners of either genre. Tracks range from loops to arranged creations and regardless of its composition the headnod factor is always in effect. This is indeed one to add to the collection…” – DJ Rahdu
Soundtrack – Deadpool 2xLP (Milan)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL, Mad Mad: Fury Road, Divergent) delivers a robust, pulsing score to the movie adaptation of Deadpool that is as energetic and relentless as the Marvel comic book character. It ties in seamlessly with the eclectic mix of songs featured prominently in the film, including tracks by DMX, Wham!, and Salt-N-Pepa. Limited red/black starburst color pressing.
Soundtrack – Spectre 2xLP (Decca)
Released last November on CD – now available on vinyl. For the 24th movie in the James Bond oeuvre, Spectre, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes has again enlisted six-time Grammy winner Thomas Newman (Skyfall, American Beauty) to write a breathtaking original score. The soundtrack has the added bonus of an instrumental version of the new Bond theme song, “Writing’s On The Wall.” The Spectre theme song is sung by fellow multiple Grammy-winner Sam Smith, the first time a male has sung the theme song since Thunderball.
Sweet Valley – So Serene LP (Ghost Ramp)
Sweet Valley is a Bermuda-Triangle-like place where cannabis crumbs, spilt beer, record dust and that mysterious sh*t you had to blow out of game cartridges all collect as if pulled by some gigantic junkyard magnet. It is a blood pact between two brothers, Nathan (of Wavves) and Kynan Williams gone awesomely off the rails. So Serene is a single 27-minute track that shifts through ideas relatively quickly. There’s rarely a dull moment as this thing is packed with fascinating samples, video game sounds and synths aplenty.
Robin Trower – Where Are You Going To LP (V-12)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Continuing his productive creative surge, the guitar master rediscovers his rock chops in this new studio package. Ten great new songs, phenomenal guitar playing, and that signature tone that only Robin Trower can cultivate from his Strat.
Ty Dolla $ign – Free T.C. LP+CD (Atlantic)
Released last November on CD – now available on vinyl. The rapper’s debut album features contributions from Kendrick Lamar, Fetty Wap, Future, Rae Sremmurd, YG, Babyface, Wiz Khalifa, E-40, Kanye West, and more.
Various Artists – Brown Acid: The Second Trip LP (Riding Easy)
The celebrated compilation series of long-lost vintage ’60s-’70s proto-stoner-psych singles, Brown Acid reaches a second volume. Assembled by L.A.’s Permanent Records along with Riding Easy), this second volume features rippers from Ash, Sweet Crystal, Raving Maniac, Crossfield, Spiny Normen, Glas Sun, Votrush Band, Buck, Iron Knowledge, and Sonny Hugg.
Various Artists – Frazetta LP (Metal Blade)
Limited picture disc tribute compilation to artist Frank Frazetta (whose work has been used by Nazareth, Molly Hatchet, Wolfmother, and others.)
Vivid Low Sky – II LP+MP3 (Slimstyle)
Vivid Low Sky is back with their long-awaited follow-up, simply entitled II. Culminated from songs David Koslowski has written over the years, the music became his therapy, while battling depression to the point of suicidal thoughts, almost losing his eyesight due to a detached retina, the death of his wife’s (Shirlé) parents and most recently his own father’s death. This is reflected in II with it’s sense of growth as both an individual and a musician. The songs are both expansive and freeing at the same time introspective. The post-punk of “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” evokes the struggle of his father’s battle with a terminal disease, while the Eno-esque “Home” provides a sense of reflection and the comfort of being back in Baltimore.
Vulcano – Bloody Vengeance [Reissue/1986] LP (Greyhaze)
Vulcano is an extreme metal band from Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. Founded in 1981, it is one of the first Brazilian heavy metal bands of note.
Wavves/Cloud Nothings – Wavves/Cloud Nothings [Split] 7” (Ghost Ramp)
The second in a series of limited edition 7” singles featuring Wavves and a guest group.
Wolfpack – A New Dawn Fades [Reissue/1996] LP (Southern Lord)
Wolfpack – Lycathro Punk [Reissue/1998] LP (Southern Lord)
Wolfpack – Allday Hell [Reissue/1999] LP (Southern Lord)
Vinyl reissues of the savage Swedish crust-punk band’s first three (and only) LPs. Wolfpack was one of the main factors in the renaissance of d-beat driven hardcore punk that ruled the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with a legion of bands and labels forming a globally recognized network of crushing momentum, siren-like leads and earnest anger sourced from political dissatisfaction and the need to build from the ground up a DIY system.
Word Alive – Dark Matter LP (Fearless)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from the experimental metalcore outfit.
Yes – Drama [Reissue/1980] LP (Atlantic)
Drama is the tenth studio album from Yes, originally released in 1980 on Atlantic Records. It is their only album to feature Trevor Horn in the band’s line-up as lead vocalist, following the departure of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman in March 1980 after unsuccessful recording sessions in Paris and London for a new album. Horn was joined by Geoffrey Downes, his partner in the new wave band The Buggles. Drama was recorded in a short amount of time as a tour was already booked prior to the change in personnel. It marked a departure in the band’s musical direction with songs more accessible and aggressive that featured the use of modern keyboards and a vocoder. HQ-180gm.