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Boo Boo Records Limited Edition Art Prints by Steve Thomas
To commemorate our storied 40+ year run in San Luis Obispo, we’ve partnered with Just Looking Gallery and artist Steve Thomas to bring you a series of limited edition, individually-numbered giclée art prints.
Beatles – Rubber Soul Mason Jennings – Blood Of Man Beatles – Revovler Beatles – Abbey Road Mark Knopfler – Get Lucky Beatles – White Album Pearl Jam – Backspacer Thrice – Beggars Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night Beatles – Help Beatles – Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles – Let It Be Brand New – Daisy Fruit Bats – Ruminant Band Yim Yames – Tribute To Arctic Monkeys – Humbug Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown Radiohead – In Rainbows Rodrigo Y Gabriela – 11:11 Zee Avi – Zee Avi
If you’ve ever been a fan of soul music, take note.
I, myself, spent 10 years at KCBX, every Saturdays evening, blasting rhythm & blues and funk into the atmosphere as the Night Train, and I can whole claim you’ll want to hear Mayer Hawthorne’s album, Strange Arrangement. Scroll down to get a taste and a review of his recent album. But more importantly, he’ll be playing at Downtown Brew this Sunday, September 13th. Not only that, but we scored a soul DJ set from him earlier in the day at 3pm. This may seem like a lot of fuss over someone who’s debut record just arrived this week, but he’s already won the hearts of NPR, and I think he’ll spark your enthusiasm too.
The story goes that Ann Arbor native Andrew Cohen, a DJ/producer and member of Athletic Mic League and Now On, began recording neo-soul tunes as a little side project for friends and family, layering in all the instruments himself, then singing all the vocal parts, and then mixing the tracks with a spare and lightly funky breakbeat sensibility. The result of all this was a simply stunning re-imagining of the classic soul and Motown sounds of the late ’60s and early ’70s, so well executed that Peanut Butter Wolf, head of the L.A. hip-hop label Stones Throw, initially thought he was listening to remixes of obscure old soul singles when he first heard Cohen’s demos. Wolf signed Cohen, who was now billing himself as Mayer Hawthorne (combining his middle name and the name of his hometown street), to a recording contract on the strength of songs like “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out,” which sounds like a long-lost Al Green track lightly reassembled for the 21st century.
His debut, A Strange Arrangement, is a wonderful, joyous delight from start to finish, managing to be both a nostalgic-sounding soul facsimile and a fresh urban retro dance listen all in one package.
Judge Josephine as the cathartic diversion for Magnolia Electric Co. key songwriter Jason Molina. With an apartment fire taking the life of his bassist Evan Farrell, Molina expresses his lose by recasting his emotional blues through his song narratives. Pining for a lost love filters through the country ballad “Shenandoah”, a slide guitar echoes a slippery, trailing tear. Weariness fills the opener “O! Grace”: “Its a long way between horizons/ And it gets farther everyday.” Equipped with additional instrumental ensemble (piano, dobro, lapsteel, saxophone) and the wonderful ear of Steve Albini to capture it all to tape, there is something captivating in his melancholy release. And the ghost of Josephine never sits still. Wanders out of her own self-titled song, she materializes eerily on “Hope Dies Last” with its allusion to fire and longingly on the album send-off “An Arrow In The Gate.” Though familiar territory, Molina continues to captures the ubiquitious themes of tragedy and loneliness.
For his sophomore album, Jack Peñate gleans an eager exhuberance from adventurous song-crafting, relinquishing the sweet UK pop of his debut for a heavy dabbling in Afro-pop melodies and rhythms. Its difficult to pin down what makes the album as appealing as it is. Maybe its the unabashedly good-nature sentiment that runs through it (as un-cool as cheerfulness can be). But the guiding hands of producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party) has positioned Jack Peñate as a late summer delight, as each song arrives full-formed and contagiously familiar. “Everything Is New” revives the overblown instrumentations of Congotronics and along with “Tonight’s Today”, both mine the bubbly vibrance last heard on Vampire Weekend’s debut, with a healthy dose of handclaps to keep the beat alive. The tropics infuses “So Near”, as clipped high-life guitars pair with a piano to mimic the tinny ding of a steel drum. And Jack Peñate’s cockney accent consistently slips into Robert Smith adulation, which only adds to the fun. Worth a listen.
Joe Henry has built his reputation on being an old soul. Preferring the company and sound of the antiquated, he’s produced glorious comeback albums for soul legends Solomon Burke and Bettye Lavette, and just this year, pulled lifetime performances from New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint and folk hero Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Thus its no surprise that Blood From Stars, Henry’s eleventh solo outing, dips heavily into musical arrangements of the early 20th century. From the sauntering blues march of “Death To The Storm” or the New Orleans piano and cornet jazz of “Bellweather”, Henry’s songs are tinted with weary lament. His voice shifts between the finessed, literate pronounciation of Randy Newman to a less guttural Tom Waits, but its all carried with the expressive playing of drummer Jay Bellerose and guitarist Marc Ribot. It a solid effort throughout, and a clear nod to jazz and blues as a resilient and malleable art.