CDs + Vinyl:
Allman Brothers Band – Filmore East, February 1970 CD (Allman Brothers Recording Company)
On Valentine’s weekend 1970, the Allman’s shared the stage with the Grateful Dead and Love at The Fillmore East along with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac who’d showed up as they’d been sharing the bill with the Dead the previous week.
As It Is – The Great Depression CD/LP (Fearless)
As It Is take the listener on a journey which delves into every aspect of arguably the most prevalent social ill of our time across their third studio album, The Great Depression. From public perception, to internal war, the quartet unflinchingly confront the most difficult questions around depression, the value of life over death, and whether the rhetoric around ‘reaching out to talk’ is ostensibly hollow, if no one is prepared to hear those words. But if the four-piece have delved into brave new territory conceptually on The Great Depression then the sonic leap forward that runs in tandem with it signals this record as not just a landmark release for the band, but for the scene as a whole. The album, produced by legendary producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die), is comfortably As It Is’ most layered, technically accomplished and certainly most aggressive record to date. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
David Axelrod – Songs Of Experience [Reissue/1969] CD/LP (Now-Again)
Songs Of Experience (1969) is visionary composer/arranger/producer David Axelrod’s second album; it was recorded after the death of his beloved son Scott. Experience is an ominous affair, an album concerned with mortality and spirituality – the solitary, pastoral musings of William Blake set to the urban bombast of a full Los Angeles orchestra, with Wrecking Crew vets grounding the proceedings with dark funk.
Count Basie – At Carnegie Hall CD (Rockbeat)
Count Basie, undeniably one of Jazz music’s greatest legends, delivers a spectacular show live from Carnegie Hall, recorded on March 20, 1981 in one of his last televised performances.
The Beths – Future Me Hates Me CD/LP+MP3 (Carpark)
The Beths occupy a warm, energetic sonic space between joyful hooks, sun-soaked harmonies, and acerbic lyrics. Their debut album, Future Me Hates Me, delivers an astonishment of roadtrip-ready pleasures, each song hitting your ears with an exhilarating endorphin rush like the first time you heard Pavement’s Slanted And Enchanted or The Breeders’ “Cannonball”. Front and center on these 10 infectious tracks is lead singer and primary songwriter Elizabeth Stokes. Stokes has previously worked in other genres within Auckland’s rich and varied music scene, recently playing in a folk outfit, but it was in exploring the angst-ridden sounds of her youth that she found her place. From the irresistible title track to future singles “Happy Unhappy” and “You Wouldn’t Like Me”, Stokes commands a vocal range that spans from the brash confidence of Joan Jett to the disarming vulnerability of Jenny Lewis. Further honeying Future Me Hates Me’s dark lyrics that explore complex topics like being newly alone and the self-defeating anticipation of impending regret, ecstatic vocal harmonies bubble up like in the greatest pop and R&B of the ‘60s, while inverting the trope of the “sad dude singer accompanied by a homogenous girl-sound.”