New Releases — April 21, 2017

This is the list of “regular” new releases coming out on Friday, April 21.  In addition, there will be several hundred mostly-vinyl new releases coming out April 22 for Record Store Day.  Visit for a complete list.

Big Star – Thank You Friends: Big Star’s Third Live …And More 2xCD/2xCD+DVD/2xBlu-ray (Concord)
Experience Big Star’s Third album through the prism of a collective of immensely talented musicians. While the band may not be Big Star per se, the fabled group’s sole surviving original member, Jody Stephens, heads an amazing cast, whose membership includes latter-day Big Star alumni Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey of the dB’s, and others. Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone of Wilco, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Robyn Hitchcock, Dan Wilson of Semisonic, Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Jessica Pratt, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, and Skylar Gudasz are among the guests who were joined by a full chamber orchestra helmed by the Kronos Quartet, performing scores created directly from the original multi-track tapes from Ardent Studios for this event. Carl Marsh, who wrote the original orchestrations, conducted.

The Black Angels – Death Song CD/LP+MP3 (Partisan)
Death Song is the Austin psych-rock band’s first full-length release in four years. Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music here serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. “Currency,” a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion. Recorded between Seattle and Austin, Death Song features production from Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins). The 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound — menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream.

BoDeans – Thirteen CD (Free & Alive)
“Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas met in 1980 and the BoDeans were born in 1983. Their debut album, Love & Hope & Sex & Lies brought them commercial success and established them as a cutting-edge band. Llanas left in 2011 but Neumann continues to front on their 13th album, appropriately titled Thirteen. The BoDeans have always fused roots rock and alternative rock into their music. Thirteen tends to be more in the roots category as Neumann has created a series of thoughtful and melodic songs. He and the band recently became involved with the Netflix series The Ranch, and the style of the album keys off the laid-back nature of the series.” – Cashbox Music

Boss Hog – Brood X CD/LP (In The Red)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. Boss Hog returns from the wild with their most subversive record — this is the seductive soundtrack for the second coming of militant rock ‘n’ roll, and the groove has never been stronger. Brood X — emerging from the dirty streets of New York City after seventeen years of gestation — is a futuristic brew of 21st century blues, toxic punk rock beat music, and hyper-focused, outer-space psycho assaults. Thermonuclear chanteuse Cristina Martinez blisters the hypocrites, the haters, the heartless, and the clueless hangers-on with a full-tilt microphone attack. A sex-bomb salvo for troubled times, Martinez gives voice to America’s pain while pulling no punches.

Cait Brennan – Third CD (Omnivore)
“Third is unabashedly a rock album. All 13 tracks are solid, true roots, none of this damn frumpery, rock and roll. The sort that Tom Cruise dances to in his underwear, but better.
Which is refreshing. Where Namoli Brennet is more folky and has a more subtle craft; or where Laura Jane and Against Me are harsh edged and shade towards the punk end; Cait is straight down the middle rock of the sort that we rarely hear except in oldies moments.

Regina Carter – Ella: Accentuate The Positive CD (Sony Masterworks)
Regina Carter draws from a diverse well of influences that include classical, jazz, Motown swing, funk, and world music among others. Over a span of more than two decades, she has established herself as an enduring and creative force in jazz, thanks to a string of highly acclaimed solo and collaborative recordings. On her new album, Ella: Accentuate The Positive, the virtuoso violinist reveals the many aspects of Fitzgerald that have influenced her own remarkable path in music.

Charly Bliss – Guppy CD/LP (Barsuk)
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss — an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover — can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom — a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui. The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of their strengths – a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyper-enthusiasm of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with sing/shout-worthy lyrics and ear worm melodies is a testament to the band’s commitment to the art form of pop songwriting.

Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood On the Rocks Live & (Mostly) Unplugged CD (Capitol Nashville)
Seven songs — six from Mr. Misunderstood — recorded at the Red Rocks Amphitheater is Morrison, CO.

Coin – How Will You Know If You Never Try CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Sophomore album from the Nashville based indie rock quartet.

Sheryl Crow – Be Myself CD (WB)
Sheryl Crow showed she had soul on her 2010 R&B album 100 Miles From Memphis. Next, she dove into mainstream country territory with 2013’s Feels Like Home. So what’s the Nashville resident’s next move? She wants to Be Myself. For Myself, Crow re-teamed with songwriting partner Jeff Trott, who worked with her on many early hits including ‘If It Makes You Happy’ and ‘A Change Would Do You Good’ from 1996’s Sheryl Crow. The new album’s slinky rock grooves and sharp pop hooks will likely remind you of that era of her career. In a release, Crow says she ‘made it a point to sit down and really listen to my old records’ for the first time in her life. ‘But it wasn’t about repeating myself,’ she adds. ‘It was about revisiting where I came from and seeing where that would take me now.’” – The Tennessean

Ray Davies – Americana CD/2xLP+MP3 (Legacy/Sony)
Ray Davies returns with his first solo album since 2008’s Working Man’s Cafe. Americana is based around Davies’ recent memoir, Americana: The Kinks, The Riff, The Road: The Story, and includes spoken-word portions from the book. Fittingly, the singer recruited an American band, the Jayhawks, to support him on the album, which was recorded in London at Konk. Guy Massey and John Jackson helped Davies with production. The album’s first single, ‘Poetry,’ is a crunchy power-pop tune, full of jangly guitar leads and pretty backing vocals, concerned with the material obsessions of the modern world. ‘I kneel down and say grace for the comforts the world bestows on me/ And the great corporations providing our every need,’ Davies sings. But at least one of his needs remains unsatisfied. ‘Where is the poetry?’ he wonders.” – Rolling Stone

Ella Fitzgerald – 100 Songs For A Centennial 4xCD (Verve)
Ella Fitzgerald, whose 100th birthday we celebrate this year, was unsurpassed as an expressive vocalist who dominated the musical scene, whether singing little ditties or the works of seasoned composers like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter or the Gershwins. This four-CD set collects 100 songs culled from the many recordings she made for Decca & Verve, often with some of the best musical units of the time.

Joe Goddard – Electric Lines CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Electric Lines, new album from producer Joe Goddard, is all about connections. It’s an apt title for a record which brilliantly unites the broad-ranging strands of a unique career. Whether it be as a member of Hot Chip, one half of The 2 Bears, songwriter, producer, DJ, remixer or co-founder of the Greco-Roman label, Goddard’s influence has been keenly felt in clubs and headphones all over the world for over a decade. Electric Lines is the culmination of all this and more, and confirms Joe Goddard’s place in the front rank of British producers.

Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock CD/LP (Yep Roc)
Robyn Hitchcock is the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed The Man Upstairs. The new record was recorded in Nashville, Robyn’s new home base in the US, and was produced by Robyn and Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). This is the first-time Robyn has made a full band album in the studio since 2008 and the record features a lot of key players, including Gillian Welch, Emma Swift, Pat Sansone (Wilco, The Autumn Defense), and Grant-Lee Phillips. The psych-rock influence is a callback to his days with The Soft Boys and his early solo albums.

Incubus – 8 CD (Island)
Incubus’s first album in six years, 8 was co-produced by Dave Sardy (Slayer, Helmet, Trouble) and Sonny Moore, better known as Skrillex. [Vinyl edition due May 26.]

Barry Manilow – This Is My Town: Songs Of New York CD (Verve)
Manilow’s latest studio album is a musical montage filled with different styles of music: pop, easy jazz, Broadway, early rock ‘n’ roll, and a little R&B and funk.

Maxïmo Park – Risk To Exist CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Maxïmo Park’s sixth album is a collection of irresistible pop songs about anger, hope, resistance and, above all, empathy – a knockout fusion of music and message from a band on extraordinary form.

Imelda May – Life. Love. Flesh. Blood. CD/LP (Verve)
Imelda May has found a new groove, exploring blues, soul, gospel, folk, rock, acoustic, cinematic drama and explosive balladry. She is setting a new course with a collection of the boldest, most personal and intimately autobiographical songs she has ever written. May has long been admired by her peers in the music community, including Bono, who says of May, “I love the girl she used to be but I think I love even more the woman she s become. Still mischievous and playful, still a siren, but there’s an ache in her voice now that has me with a glass at my ear to the wall of her world where trouble has entered the room. There’s an erotic power here that’s not just feminine power. She makes truth telling an invitation to intimacy.”

Night Demon – Darkness Remains CD/LP (Century Media)
Night Demon’s second album finds them delivering all the expected NWOBHM-inspired thrills and chills. [Limited silver color vinyl pressing also available.]

Brad Paisley – Love And War CD (Arista)
The eleventh studio album from the country music superstar. Includes collaborations with Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Timbaland and Bill Anderson.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band – So It Is CD/LP+MP3 (Legacy/Sony)
So It Is finds the classic PHJB sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band’s 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba. “In Cuba, all of a sudden we were face to face with our musical counterparts,” says bandleader/composer/bassist Ben Jaffe. “There’s been a connection between Cuba and New Orleans since day one – we’re family. A gigantic light bulb went off and we realized that New Orleans music is not just a thing by itself; it’s part of something much bigger. It was almost like having a religious epiphany.” Producer David Sitek, a founder of art rock innovators TV On The Radio, offered both a keen modern perspective and a profound respect for the band’s storied history. Upon arriving in New Orleans to meet with the band, Sitek recalls he and Jaffe accidentally stumbling into one of the city’s famed second-line parades. “I was struck by the visceral energy of the live music all around, this spontaneous joy, everything so immediate,” he says. “I knew I had to make sure that feeling came out of the studio. It needed to be alive. It needed to sound dangerous.”

Angaleena Presley – Wrangled CD/LP (Mining Light)
Angaleena Presley follows her 2015 debut, American Middle Class, with this no-holds-barred 12-track collection. Guests co-writers and performers include Guy Clark, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Wanda Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe (Pistol Annie).

The Raveonettes – 2016 Atomized CD/LP (Beat Dies)
LA-based Danish indie rock duo The Raveonettes completed their Rave-Sound-Of-The-Month series with the December 2016 release of the final track “Pendejo.” What was dubbed an ‘anti-album’, the Rave-Sound-Of-The-Month playlist began at the start of 2016 where the band would upload a freshly recorded track on the last Friday of every month throughout the year without any limitations of restraints. The pieces of this musical puzzle finally come together on vinyl in the form of 2016 Atomized which collects all twelve of their monthly 2016 singles. “There is no track on 2016 Atomized that better encapsulates the unorthodox nature of The Raveonettes’ songwriting than the addictive ‘A Good Fight,’ which splits the chorus between two completely opposite sonic palettes. The song’s anticipatory guitar riff seems like it’s going to explode into a post-punk chorus, but instead drops off into a chasm of atmospheric heartbreak, complete with poignant piano and wistful synths. It’s haunting” – Vague Visages. [Vinyl is available in Regular and Deluxe gatefold 180gm editions.]

Texas – Jump On Board CD/LP (The End)
Over 30 years since they formed, and 20 since their White On Blonde ‘Say What You Want’ heyday, Texas are back to prove they still matter on this self-produced set. First single ‘Let’s Work It Out’ nods to the band’s Caledonian pop-soul roots – think Chic via Orange Juice, or Altered Images, who were doing this sort of glossy, Glaswegian funk-lite thing back on 1983’s Bite, before Johnny McElhone left that band to form Texas with Sharleen Spiteri. Elsewhere, Spiteri gets to live out her female icon fantasies, echoing Debbie Harry’s sublime blankness on ‘Tell That Girl’ and ‘Great Romances,’ Lana Del Rey’s noir fatale on ‘Sending A Message,’ Chrissie Hynde’s gum-chewing insouciance on ‘Won’t Let You Down’ and Stevie Nicks’ witchy woman on the danced-up ‘Round The World.’” – Team Rock

Valve Studio Orchestra – Fight Songs: The Music Of Team Fortress 2 CD/2xLP+MP3 (Ipecac)
Team Fortress 2 is a team-based first person shooter multiplayer video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. It is the sequel to the 1996 mod Team Fortress for Quake and its 1999 remake. It was released as part of the videogame compilation The Orange Box in 2007. Fight Songs: The Music Of Team Fortress 2 is the game’s soundtrack, composed by Valve sound director Mike Morasky and performed by the Valve Studio Orchestra. [Limited color vinyl pressing featuring card game code download and an exclusive poster also available.]

Matthew Logan Vasquez – Does What He Wants CD/LP (Dine Alone)
Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit, Middle Brother) is feeling optimistic. That’s not necessarily apparent the first time you spin his new full-length solo album. Each track on Does What He Wants feels urgent and intense. Impatient landlords, financial woes and other frustrations fan the agitation embedded in the opening track, “Same.” Isolation darkens the brooding images of “From Behind The Glass.” Death takes a bow on “The Fighter.”

Charlie Worsham – Beginning Of Things CD/LP (Warner Music Nashville)
American Songwriter calls Worsham, “the sort of triple threat artist that seems in short supply on Music Row these days. He writes well, sings well, and is a skilled and tasteful guitarist to boot,” while Rolling Stone asserts, “A fleet-fingered guitarist and empathetic vocalist, his talent is reminiscent of a young Keith Urban in all the best ways.”

Frank Zappa – Roxy By Proxy [Reissue/2014] CD (Zappa Records)
Roxy By Proxy contains material recorded live at the infamous run of shows at The Roxy Theater in Hollywood CA, December 1973. It’s the first compilation made from digital mixes created in 1987 by Frank with Bob Stone at FZ’s home studio, The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. The sequencing plays like a full show while the package features extensive liner notes from the one and only Ruth Underwood, then the percussionist in the band.

This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:

David Bowie – No Plan 12”+MP3 (Sony)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The No Plan EP features single “Lazarus” from Blackstar backed with three final, non-album tracks recorded during the Blackstar sessions. Limited color and laser etched vinyl pressings available.

Jessi Colter – The Psalms LP (Sony Legacy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The striking new album by Jessi Colter features 12 original, spontaneous recordings, with lyrics drawn from the most timeless and sacred poems, the Psalms. Recorded with world-renowned producer/guitarist/author, Lenny Kaye with whom Jessi became dear friends while he worked on her late husband Waylon Jennings autobiography, The Psalms encapsulates the universal yet simple joyous mysteries of this spiritual text resulting in an altogether unique and transfixing album.

The Gun Club – In My Room LP (Bang)
In My Room features the unreleased recordings of what would have been the very last album of The Gun Club. Recorded during the very last period of the band, between 1991 and 1993.

John Lee Hooker – I’m John Lee Hooker [Reissue/1959] LP+MP3 (Cornbread)
Collecting material recorded between 1955 and 1959 in the de facto capitol of the blues, Chicago, this is John Lee Hooker at his finest. 180gm.

Yo Yo Ma/Chris Thile/Edgar Meyer – Bach Trios LP (Nonesuch)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. An album of Bach works recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer.

Ennio Morricone – Barbablu’ [Reissue/1972] LP (Rustblade)
Vinyl reissue of the original soundtrack to the 1972 cult classic starring Richard Burton. Morricone’s soundtrack perfectly captures the dramatic and erratic moods of this erotic psycho-thriller with eerie organs, haunting strings, quirky instrumentation, and sultry ‘60s vibe.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers ‎– She’s The One: Songs And Music From The Motion Picture [Reissue/1996] LP (WB)
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Echo [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (WB)
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – The Last DJ [Reissue/2002] 2xLP (WB)
Tom Petty – Highway Companion [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (WB)
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Mojo [Reissue/2010] 2xLP (WB)
Back in print on vinyl.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross/Gustavo Santaolalla/Mogwai – Before The Flood [OST] 3xLP (Lakeshore)
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Mogwai, and Argentine film composer Gustavo Santaolalla teamed up to compose the score for Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change film. The soundtrack includes the previously shared Reznor and Ross collaboration “A Minute To Breathe.”