New Releases for January 25, 2019
Big Star – Live On WLIR CD/2xLP (Omnivore)
Big Star recorded their second album, Radio City, as a trio, after the departure of founding member Chris Bell. When it came time to tour, original bassist Andy Hummel decided to return to school to pursue his engineering education. With this departure, Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens recruited fellow Memphis native John Lightman to take over on bass duties, and the band readied their live set. That set is on display as Big Star recorded a radio session at Ultrasonic Studios in New York for broadcast on the city’s preeminent WLIR. Nearly two decades later, those recordings were issued as Live In 1992. The 15-track set features material from the band’s two releases, as well as a cover of “Motel Blues” by Loudon Wainwright III (which originally appeared on his classic 1971 sophomore release, Album II). With new, updated liner notes from Memphis writer/filmmaker, Robert Gordon (who won a Grammy® for his essay in 2010’s Big Star boxed set Keep An Eye On The Sky) and an interview with John Lightman by Chris Bell biographer Rich Tupica (There Was A Light: The Cosmic History Of Big Star Founder Chris Bell), Live On WLIR has been remastered and restored on CD and vinyl.
Bring Me The Horizon – amo CD/2xLP (Columbia)
Sheffield based, multi-platinum selling band Bring Me The Horizon return with their sixth studio album, amo. The band spent the summer of 2018 writing and recording in Los Angeles, with Oli Sykes and Jordan FIsh handling production. What has transpired is one of their most exhilarating, genre crossing albums to date. Sykes explains that, “amo is a love album that explores every aspect of that most powerful emotion. It deals with the good the bad and the ugly, and as a result we’ve created an album that’s more experimental, more varied, weird, and wonderful than anything we’ve done before.” Whilst amo definitely has its share of surprises, it very much sticks to the band’s successful fan-pleasing formula of massive stadium bouncing rocks songs with huge singalong choruses.
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Stay Human: Vol. II CD/LP (Boo Boo Wax)
Michael Franti is a globally recognized musician, humanitarian, and award-winning filmmaker revered for his high-energy live shows, inspiring music, devotion to health and wellness, and worldwide philanthropic efforts. Stay Human Vol. II is Michael Franti & Spearhead’s seventh studio album and was influenced by work on his new self-directed documentary of the same name. “I’ve traveled the globe making music and throughout the years I’ve always hoped that it could inspire small steps towards making the world a better place,” explains Franti. “Struggling with the challenges of the world I began filming my new documentary Stay Human telling the stories of heroic everyday people who helped me to discover more deeply what it means to be and “Stay Human.” [Stay Human: Vol. II] became the soundtrack of this epic journey. The songs on the new record address some of the biggest problems we face today and battles of the heart, all set to a beat that will get you on the dance floor.”
Green River – Dry As A Bone [Reissue/1984] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
The story of Seattle’s rise to global rock supremacy in the late ’80s and early ’90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12″s and a 7″ single during its brief existence. Green River’s influence on Seattle’s music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members’ dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind. Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres – blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. The mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, and the band’s lone full-length Rehab Doll, which came out in 1988, were released as a single CD with a few bonus cuts, including their sneering cover of David Bowie’s “Queen Bitch” and their marauding version of Dead Boys’ “Ain’t Nothin’ To Do”, in 1990 – but they’ve been unavailable for years. Now, these slices of Seattle music history are not only back in print, they’re accompanied by items from the vaults that had been forgotten about for decades.
Heart – Live In Atlantic City CD+Blu-ray/2xLP (earMUSIC)
Live In Atlantic City pays tribute to and celebrates Heart’s legacy with the help of an incredible range of artists and friends. The guest list of performers includes country music star Carrie Underwood, Jane’s Addiction founding member and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro, country singer-songwriter Gretchen Wilson and Canadian-American singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright. An exceptional highlight of the show finds renowned grunge rockers Alice In Chains performing with Duff McKagan. Each guest had the chance to perform up to three songs together with the band. A joined performance featuring all of the guest artists on “Barracuda” rounds up the show. [Stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray Audio edition also available.]
Keuning – Prismism CD/LP (Pretty Faithful)
Debut solo album from Killers founding member/lead guitarist Dave Keuning. Combining both acoustic and electric guitars, as well as a longtime fascination with keyboards and electronic music – which he couldn’t explore as much as he would’ve liked in The Killers – Keuning has created a psychic diary that allows us to connect the dots and learn what brought him to a career crossroads. With idols ranging from Angus Young and Keith Richards to Michael Jackson, Prismism reflects that eclectic musical palette. Synth-infused tracks like the title song and the techno -squiggles of “Pretty Faithful” share space with acoustic guitars and big beats (“The Queen’s Finest”, “Gimme Your Heart”, “Mr. Brightside”-style electric rock guitar riffs (“Broken Clocks”), a stylistic nod to New Order (“If You Say So”) and even an EDM/pop hybrid (The Edge-style melody of “Stuck Here On Earth”). [Limited indie-exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Mike Krol – Power Chords CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Power Chords picks up where 2015’s Turkey left off. It traces Krol’s journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in its title. He’s wielding the same influences – Misfits, The Strokes, early Weezer, Ramones – but turning up the gravity and the gain. Indeed, Krol has gone somewhere new; yes, he bludgeoned himself with over-analysis and self-loathing, but along the way he stumbled upon a trove of intricate guitar lines and artfully mutating melodies. Music ruined Krol’s life. And then saved it. In chronicling that process, Krol has made his best record – painful, voyeuristic, and angry, but ultimately transcendent and timeless. It is the sound of Krol giving in to a force greater than himself, as though the chords are playing him rather than the other way around. [Limited indie-exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Addi McDaniel – After The News CD (Sylvan Songs)
On her captivating solo debut, After The News, Addi McDaniel points her search inwards, channeling the pain of loss and regret into a transformative work of beauty and strength. Hailed as “a dynamo with a brass-plated voice” by the L.A. Times, McDaniel is both an extraordinary singer and a gifted interpreter of song, and After The News finds her breathing vivid life into a raft of original songs from collaborator Tom Siering, whose material she deftly pairs with covers of tracks by Andrew Bird and Bruce Cockburn. Backed by an all-star cast of musicians including drummer/producer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Norah Jones), McDaniel blurs the lines between roots, blues, soul, and jazz on the album, inhabiting each track with the range and empathy of an actor taking on a role. Smoky and sincere, gentle in its insistence, her voice conveys a daring intimacy that feels tailor-made for Siering’s candidly honest reflections on sorrow and regret, hope and forgiveness, pain and transcendence.
Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown CD/LP (Hellcat)
UK artist Rat Boy has teamed up with Tim Armstrong to produce his new album, Internationally Unknown. Rat Boy first found Armstrong’s punk/hip-hop band The Transplants in his father’s record collection, and subsequently delved into his back catalogue with Rancid and Operation Ivy. Rat Boy had repeatedly mentioned his admiration of Armstrong in interviews, which led to the L.A. punk veteran discovering the young Essex upstart. Rat Boy and Armstrong immediately connected through a shared love for mixing the visceral energy of punk with hip-hop beats. The result is twelve tracks which amplify Rat Boy’s rabble-rousing riot act to a new level. He’s drawing on diverse influences which echo, at various points, The Clash, Beastie Boys, The Prodigy, Rebel MC, Green Day and Run DMC.
Rival Sons – Feral Roots CD/2xLP (Low Country Sound/Atlantic)
Produced by longtime collaborator Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) at Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A and the equally legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL, Feral Roots features cover artwork painted by renowned contemporary artist Martin Wittfooth. Rolling Stone hailed lead single “Do Your Worst” as “a relentless rocker with a gritty verse spearheaded by a sinister lead guitar riff and thumping drums. The track takes a deft turn when it hits the chorus, forgoing out-and-out guitar bombast for rousing gang vocals with singer Jay Buchanan leading the charge.” Having officially formed in 2009, Rival Sons are closing in on 10 years as a band, with their bluesy brand of hard rock powered in large part by singer Jay Buchanan’s powerful pipes and guitarist Scott Holiday’s hefty riffs. Rival Sons caught international attention as the sole support act on Black Sabbath’s lengthy farewell tour. [Double-LP-set features and etched D-side.]
Say Anything – Oliver Appropriate CD/LP (Dine Alone)
Long-running emo/pop punk staples Say Anything release their new Will Yip-produced album, Oliver Appropriate. Band leader Max Bemis views the LP as a proper sequel to one of the group’s most successful offerings, …Is A Real Boy. “This record is the story of what would happen to the ‘Real Boy’ many people thought I was,” Bemis says. “His band did well but then fell off hard. He’d be my age, of course, but he’d still be living in Brooklyn, struggling with financial woes, single and strung out.”
Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Just as she takes up space in the male-dominated Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area punk scene, Sneaks – AKA Eva Moolchan – takes up space among the patriarchy. Highway Hypnosis, plays on hip-hop, post-punk, and invented words to fill a gap between the feminist underground and genre-specific singles charts. Through it, Moolchan joins the resistance forged by queer black feminists who create, explore, empower, conquer, and play bass. “Like Neneh Cherry, M.I.A., Micachu and other singular stars before them, Sneaks has both the punk spirit and pop sense to carve out her own path in music. Highway Hypnosis is simply the sound of her revving the engine.” – NPR [Limited indie-exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Swervedriver – Future Ruins CD/LP (Dangerbird)
UK shoegaze legends Swervedriver return with the follow up to 2015’s I Wasn’t Born To Lose You. Future Ruins exhibits Swervedriver’s fabled widescreen escapism, but with a tension that echoes the sleeve image of Coney Island in skeletal monochrome, like a post mortem photograph of a failed utopia. “There’s a lot of foreboding with regard to the future on this album,” says the band’s Adam Franklin. “Space is in there a lot too. In the first song [“Mary Winter”], the character is a spaceman who’s trying to remember what life is really like. Also, it could be about somewhere in the world where winter isn’t like the winter here. A sunny place, but it’s December or January and you’re trying to remember winter. Something’s going on.” Fellow single “Drone Lover” sails and soars while a conscious chorus comments on the depersonalized nature of 21st century techno-warfare. [Limited indie-exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Walter Trout – Survivor Blues CD/2xLP (Mascot Label Group)
No ordinary artist. No ordinary covers album. From the day he conceived the project to the moment he counted off the first song in the studio, Walter Trout had a bolder plan for Survivor Blues. “I’m riding in my car sometimes,” says the blues titan. “I’ve got a blues station on – and here’s another band doing ‘Got My Mojo Workin’’. And there’s a little voice in me that says, ‘Does the world need another version of that song?’ So I came up with an idea. I didn’t want to do ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Messin’ With The Kid’. I didn’t want to do the blues greatest hits. I wanted to do old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how Survivor Blues started.” Includes guest appearances by Sugaray Rayford and Robby Krieger. [Limited orange colored vinyl pressing also available.]
William Tyler – Goes West CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Goes West is the new solo album from the former Silver Jews and Lambchop member backed by a band consisting of singer/songwriter Meg Duffy, guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist and producer Brad Cook, keyboardist James Wallace, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, and engineer Tucker Martine. From M.C. Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger): “William’s new record is the best music that he’s ever made. I’m sure of this because I know and love all of his music intimately, and this album moves me the most, and the most consistently. The first time I heard it was in the late spring in the Texas Hill Country, rolling between limestone and scrub. I was on a cleanse then – no alcohol, no drugs, no evil thoughts – and was astonished at the emotional clarity that the album held. It offered up a model for what I wanted my head to feel like. Goes West marks a sort of narrowing of focus for William’s music; it sounds as though he found a way to point himself directly towards the rich and bittersweet emotional center of his music without being distracted by side trips. Perhaps this is down to the fact that William only plays acoustic guitar on the album, a clear and conscious decision considering that he is one of Nashville’s great electric guitarists.” [ Limited indie-exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Lula Wiles – What Will We Do CD/LP (Smithsonian Folkways)
On What Will We Do, Lula Wiles channel infectious energy and bold insight into music that strikes with purpose. The band fosters contradiction, embracing the spirit of traditional American music, yet unflinchingly calling into question the virtues of the culture that produces it – country songs that shine a light on a country’s crimes; love songs about being alone; murder ballads that challenge the standards of morality. Lula Wiles exist in the tense space where tradition and revolution meet, from which their harmonies rise into the air to create new American music.
Backstreet Boys – DNA CD (RCA)
After the very successful return of Backstreet Boys with the 2018 single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, they release their ninth album. DNA features the new single “Chances”, written by Ryan Tedder and Shawn Mendes amongst others. [Vinyl edition due February 1.]
Buzzcocks – Another Music In A Different Kitchen [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (Domino)
Buzzcocks – Love Bites [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (Domino)
Domino re-issues the Buzzcocks’ seminal first two albums. Both records have been lovingly restored and remastered from the original ¼” tapes for the first time and come packaged in the original Malcolm Garrett designed sleeves with lavish 8-page booklets containing unseen images and extensive liner notes by famed writer, broadcaster, music journalist and cultural commentator Jon Savage. By the end of 1978 not only had Buzzcocks established themselves as one of the leading-lights of punk but proved themselves as deft songwriters capable of producing three-minute-mini-masterpieces that would endure long after the initial spark of punk had faded.
The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy CD/LP (Dine Alone)
The release of their tenth studio album, Why You So Crazy, sees The Dandy Warhols return in singularly freewheeling fashion, careening through classically off-kilter psych-pop (“Be Alright”), high country-fried Americana (“Motor City Steel”), and gothic piano-propelled rumbas (“Forever”). Packing in references as far flung as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Don MacLean’s Chevy, and the church of Bowie’s “Modern Love”, these 12 songs reflect the band’s surrealist visions of an alternate reality.
Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions 3xCD (Resonance)
The first official release of previously-unissued Eric Dolphy studio recordings in over 30 years, Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions contains the masterpiece albums Conversations and Iron Man recorded in NYC in July, 1963, and features jazz greats such as saxophonist Sonny Simmons, trumpeter Woody Shaw, bassist Richard Davis and NEA Jazz Master vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson.
Fidlar – Almost Free CD/LP+MP3 (Mom + Pop Music)
Almost Free, the new release from Fidlar touches on many of the tragedies and irritations of modern life: existential dread, gentrification, the inescapable sway of the super-rich and the self-involved, post-breakup telecommunication, performative wokeness, the loneliness of sobriety or the lack thereof. But through sheer force of imagination and unchecked joie de vivre, the L.A.-based band manages to turn feeling wrong into something glorious and essential.
Grateful Dead – Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 4: Penn State/Cornell ’80 3xCD (Real Gone Music)
An indispensable sample of the band during the early phase of Brent Mydland’s tenure as the band’s keyboardist, right after the release of the Go To Heaven album. Beautifully recorded by Dan Healy and mastered by Jeffrey Norman, the three-CD set mixes the first sets of the May 6th, 1980 show at Penn State’s Recreation Hall and the May 7th show at Cornell’s Barton Hall (or “playing in the barn,” as gleefully sang by Bob Weir in tribute to the venue; also the site of their famed 1977 show) on Disc One, and presents the complete May 6 second set on Disc Two and the complete May 7 second set (save for a few moments of “Rhythm Devils” and “Space”) on Disc Three.
Green River – Rehab Doll [Reissue/1988] CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
The story of Seattle’s rise to global rock supremacy in the late ’80s and early ’90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12″s and a 7″ single during its brief existence. Green River’s influence on Seattle’s music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members’ dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind. Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres – blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. Following their mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, the band’s lone full-length, Rehab Doll, was released in 1988.
Steve Hacket – At The Edge Of Light CD+DVD (Inside Out U.S.)
25th studio album by former Genesis guitarist and songwriter. The successor to 2017’s
Night Siren features 10 new tracks uniting a vast amount of styles ranging from guitar driven rock to epic orchestration, from world music to the reflective and atmospheric, all brought together in Hackett’s unique style. [Vinyl edition due February 1.]
Mono – Nowhere Now Here CD/LP (Temporary Residence)
Across 10 albums in 20 years, Mono have convincingly reflected the quietest and most chaotic parts of life through their music. Their ever-expanding instrumental palette – which began in earnest in 1999 with the traditional guitar- bass-drums rock band setup – has evolved to include as many as 30 orchestral instruments. Now, on Nowhere Now Here, the band add electronics to their repertoire. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Exclusively on Vinyl This Week:
Anderson .Paak – Oxnard 2xLP (Aftermath)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The third album from California singer Anderson .Paak serves is his first release on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label. The album’s title is a homage to Anderson’s hometown. It is also a continuation of the theme which .Paak has been using for some years, which is naming his projects after coastal towns of California. These include his 2014 mixtape, Venice and his debut album, Malibu. Earlier this year, he shared with Rolling Stone that “… this is the album [he] dreamed of making in high school, when [he] was listening to [Jay-Z]’s The Blueprint, The Game’s The Documentary, and [Kanye West’s] The College Dropout.” Guests include Kadhja Bonet, Norelle, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre & Cocoa Sarai, Pusha T, Snoop Dogg & The Last Artful Dodgr, J. Cole, Q-Tip, and BJ The Chicago Kid.
Eric Church – Sinners Like Me [Reissue/2006] LP (Capitol Nashville)
Limited red colored vinyl LP pressing of the country star’s debut album.
The Crystal Method – The Trip Home 2xLP (Tiny E.)
Now available on limited edition colored vinyl. The Trip Home is the latest album from The Crystal Method. “Somewhere along the 12-track journey, you may come to realize your brain has been sucked through your earholes and you’ve got a little more pep in your step, strangers are smiling your way, and you can finally sense the slight crisp of fall in the breeze.” – Your EDM
Eagles Of Death Metal – Death By Sexy [Reissue/2006] LP (Downtown)
Eagles Of Death Metal – Heart On [Reissue/2008] LP (Downtown)
Limited 180gm vinyl reissues of EODM’s second and third albums, both produced by Josh Homme.
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V 2xLP (Young Money)
Released last September on CD – now available on vinyl. Tha Carter V features rapping from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott and Snoop Dogg, singing from Nicki Minaj, Ashanti and Nivea, and vocals from the late XXXTentacion.
Soulfly – Ritual LP (Nuclear Blast America)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. The iconic gold-certified quartet—Max Cavalera [vocals, guitar], Marc Rizzo
Sun Kil Moon – This Is My Dinner LP (Caldo Verde)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. This Is My Dinner was written during Sun Kil Moon’s November 2017 European tour and is the second of two albums he released under the moniker in 2018.
Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs LP+MP3 (Sony)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Earl Sweatshirt returns after a three-year hiatus with his brisk third studio album, Some Rap Songs which offers up 15-songs in just 24-minutes. The follow-up to 2015’s I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside was inspired by the death of his father, former South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile, who is featured on the record. Other guests include Darryl Anthony, Adé Hakim, Denmark, Black Noise, Sage Elsesser and Shamel of SOTC.
Various Artists – Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound LP (BMG)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. Muscle Shoals, Alabama – since the 1960s, the city has been known for music, developing the “Muscle Shoals Sound”, as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music. This tribute to those songs and that history reigns supreme with some of the most popular and influential artists participating in music history today. From Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack and Jamey Johnson, to Demi Lovato, Steven Tyler, Keb’ Mo, Grace Potter and Aloe Blacc, a cavalcade of stars lend their own personal embellishment to these classic songs.