CDs + Vinyl:
Amen Dunes – Freedom CD/LP+MP3 (Sacred Bones)
Over the course of 10 years, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed continuously, and Freedom is the project’s boldest leap yet. On the surface, it’s a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colorful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.
Eric Andersen – The Essential Eric Andersen 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
Eric Andersen is one of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge from the fabled Greenwich Village folk scene of the ’60s. But the one thing that was missing from his catalog is a true, career-spanning anthology chronicling every phase of his multi-faceted career. The Essential Eric Andersen, is a double-CD, 33-track set that spans 45 years, 10 different labels, and 19 different albums.
Anna & Elizabeth – Comes To Us CD/LP (Smithsonian Folkways)
Praised by many well-known musicians and widely loved for their moving minimalist arrangements, Anna & Elizabeth pioneer new ways of presenting old songs and stories to modern audiences. Co-producer Benjamin Lazar Davis (Cuddle Magic) and legendary avant-rock drummer Jim White (The Dirty Three, Xylouris White) assist in the duo’s vision of breathing life and new perspective into the crackling and disintegrating recordings and artifacts of the past. Rarely does an album based on traditional folk music resonate so strongly in modern times.
Ayreon – Ayreon 2xCD/2xCD+DVD/3xLP+MP3 (Music Theories)
After creating rock operas in the studio for more than 20 years, prog mastermind Arjen Lucassen, aka Ayreon, finally took his Universe to the stage in September 2017. The best of these shows, Ayreon Universe is a full-on rock extravaganza, featuring songs from all Ayreon albums. Guests include Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Mike Mills (Toehider), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Irene Jansen, Robert Soeterboek (Star One), John Jaycee Cuijpers (Praying Mantis), Edward Reekers (Kayak), Jay van Feggelen, Maggy Luyten (Nightmare) and Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories). [Stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray editions are also available.]
Barbarossa – Leir CD/LP (Memphis Industries)
Picking up where 2015’s Imager left off, Lier is further electronic wizardry from Barbarossa (London-born James Mathé) – one of the UK’s finest song writing talents. This time, his vocal is at the forefront on some of the most accessible pop songs he’s ever written.
Apollo Brown & Ghostface Killah – The Brown Tape CD/LP (Mello Music)
The official reissue of Apollo Brown’s re-imagining of Ghostface Killah’s striking 2013 release Twelve Reasons To Die. The legendary Detroit producer was asked to record an alternate album at the same time as Adrian Younge created Twelve Reasons To Die. Keep in mind, Brown was given access to Ghostface’s original recordings and constructed beats around the rapper’s work. Cinematic and nasty, this is hip-hop at its most raw.