New Releases — June 16, 2017

2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music CD (Def Jam)
The follow up to last year’s Hibachi For Lunch EP, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music features a star-studded lineup, consisting of Drake, Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Quavo, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, Jhene Aiko, Trey Songz, Pharrell, Swae Lee and others.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Louie Louie Louie CD/LP (Savoy)
The incomparable kings of swing return with an electrifying celebration of jazz legends Louie Armstrong, Louie Jordan and Louie Prima.

Big Star – The Best Of Big Star CD/2xLP (Stax)
If the short-lived but fondly remembered Big Star could have experienced popular success in direct proportion to its posthumous influence, the rangy Memphis rock quartet would have lived up to its ambitious name, and then some. This new Best Of compilation celebrates the founding fathers of power pop with 16 tracks spanning all three of their LPs (1972’s #1 Record, 1974’s Radio City and Third, released after the group disbanded). Includes rare single versions of some of their most popular songs, plus new liner notes.

David Bowie – Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74) 2xCD (Rhino)
A previously unreleased live recording from Los Angeles on September 5, 1974. This was a pivotal gig in the transition between the Diamond Dogs tour and the Philly Dogs tour. [Limited vinyl edition was released on RSD 2017.]

Sammy Brue – I Am Nice CD/LP+MP3 (New West)
Sammy Brue embodies the kind of wisdom, talent and natural empathy that are often signs of age and maturity, and yet at 15 years old, he can place himself in the shoes of others, real or fictionalized, and write stories about them. The Ogden, UT based songwriter has been writing songs since the age of 10. I Am Nice is a brilliant album with nuanced dimension that provides emotional resonance to Brue’s songs which Rolling Stone described as “a collection of devastatingly beautiful songs that touch on heartbreak, jealousy, God and suicide.” They would further declare Brue “an Americana prodigy.”

Can – The Singles CD/3xLP (Mute)
The Singles collects all the A and B-side versions that the krautrock pioneers released over the course of their career (1969-1986). This unique document is the first time the singles have been presented together, from well-loved tracks like “Halleluwah,” “Vitamin C” and “I Want More” to more obscure and sought-after singles such as “Silent Night” and “Turtles Have Short Legs.” The tracks are all presented in their original single versions, many of which have been unavailable for many years and not presented outside of the original 7″ releases.

Carach Angren – Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Season Of Mist)
The Dutch masters of horror are back with their most flamboyant album yet, pushing their unashamedly theatric style to a new intense height. On Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten Carach Angren have employed all the sonic colors on their palette to dazzling effect. Their trademark whipping guitars weave harsh melodies and sinister soundscapes, which are beautifully contrasted by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations.

Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright! CD (Big Machine)
Cheap Trick’s eighteenth studio album We’re All Alright! follows 2016’s acclaimed Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello. Features the electrifying lead single, “Long Time Coming,” which Billboard raved is, “a crunchy hard rocker driven by a Kinks-flavored riff…a bit of a one-song tribute to Cheap Trick’s influential forebears.”

CKY – Phoenix CD (Metal/E1)
“Raw, authentic, earth shaking rock ‘n’ roll, liberated from useless pretense. There’s heavy, dark, signature CKY grooves, driving, and almost danceable stuff, big melodies, total ear candy, immense diversity… There are even parts that sound like maybe Quincy Jones was given the keys to Rancho De La Luna and just ran amok with the dudes in CKY.” [Vinyl edition due June 30.]

Com Truise – Iteration CD/2xLP+MP3/Cassette (Ghostly Int’l)
Six years after Galactic Melt introduced the cosmic story of Com Truise, Iteration now concludes his sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Seth Haley’s singular music has ever sounded.  [Limited blue and white color vinyl pressing also available.]

Beth Ditto – Fake Sugar CD (Virgin)
Beth Ditto, who rose to fame as the dynamic frontwoman of punk ‘n’ soul band Gossip, releases her debut solo album.

The Drums – Abysmal Thoughts CD/2xLP+MP3 (ANTI-)
With The Drums’ new Abysmal Thoughts, band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he has always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken – but there’s beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak, as well as that special kind of glorious delirium that comes from taking everything life can throw at you and still walking away triumphant. If Abysmal Thoughts doesn’t sound at all abysmal – really, Pierce has rarely been this irresistibly pop – that’s because this is a story about how to figure out what happiness means once the worst has already happened: “If there’s one thing I can rely on it’s the healing power of being an artist,” he says. “I’m falling back in love with music.”

Steve Earle & The Dukes – So You Wanna Be An Outlaw CD/2xLP (WB)
If you ever had any doubt about where Steve Earle’s musical roots are planted, his new collection, So You Wannabe An Outlaw, makes it perfectly plain. “There’s nothing ‘retro’ about this record,” he states. “I’m just acknowledging where I’m coming from. I’m always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do. And I’m always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It’s who I am.” So You Wannabe An Outlaw is an homage to outlaw music. “I was out to unapologetically ‘channel’ Waylon as best as I could.” says Earle. “…Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes was the template for the new album. And I’ve always considered that record to be really important. I consider his Honky Tonk Heroes the Exile On Main Street of country music.”  [Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds four cover tracks.]

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up CD/2xLP (Nonesuch)
Crack-Up is the long-awaited and highly anticipated third album from Northwest indie-folk act Fleet Foxes. The Nonesuch Records release comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s breakout 2008 self-titled debut. All 11 songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold who also co-produced the album with longtime bandmate and close collaborator Skyler Skjelset. The album comes preceded by “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet, and the group’s trademark sparkling harmonies.

Iced Earth – Incorruptible CD/2xLP (Century Media)
After nearly three dedicated decades, guitarist/songwriter Jon Schaffer, drummer Brent Smedley, vocalist Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton, and new guitarist Jake Dreyer have assembled the fiercest Iced Earth record since 1996 milestone The Dark Saga and 1998’s chart-blazer Something Wicked This Way Comes. “When a new Iced Earth album arrives, you can trust it will include three things: bombast, bravado and triplets. Many, many triplets. Incorruptible is the veteran band’s 12th album of 100% pure American power metal and the third to feature the talented Stu Block on vocals. In many ways, it’s exactly the album you’d expect from Mr. Schaffer and company at this stage of their career. It’s full of thick riffs, powerful vocals and tales of bravery, battles and brotherhood.” – Angry Metal Guy [Limited red color vinyl pressing also available.]

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound CD/LP (Southeastern Records)
“The title of Jason Isbell’s sixth album, The Nashville Sound, could be construed as either wildly presumptive or absurdly aspirational. In truth, it’s a little bit of both. The idea of a homespun artist like Isbell eclipsing any number of corporate country megastars as the public face of “the Nashville sound” is far-fetched, but it’s no longer entirely laughable. The bro-country backlash has made Isbell’s cerebral, folky brand of songwriting somewhat en vogue to the point that even the most mainstream country artists have started chasing at least the perception of the rootsy authenticity he exudes. Even if Isbell only plays a miniscule role in defining what comes out of Nashville these days, he’s exercising that influence the best he can on The Nashville Sound. The album is more eclectic and energetic than his other recent efforts, which have seen Isbell’s voice and vitality as a songwriter crystallize just as his sound has become slicker and more uniform. It may not entirely be the full-throated ‘return to rock’ we were promised, but it’s convincing evidence that the Nashville sound can and should encompass more than country—alternative or otherwise—and mean more than just somber acoustic dirges about sobriety and marriage.” – Slant [Limited vinyl pressing including a 11”x11”, 22-page songbook also available.]

Dave Liebman/Joe Lovano – Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane CD (Resonance)
Now approaching the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s passing, Compassion is a fitting tribute to his legacy. Featuring Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Phil Markowitz, and Ron McClure – these recordings cover the various periods of Trane’s life.

Lorde – Melodrama CD (LAVA/Republic)
“Playing to tens of thousands of people at the main stage of Coachella is a disquieting proposition for a self-described introvert. But Lorde is making some of the most exciting music in pop by living in contradictions like this. Her second album, Melodrama, packs an emotional wallop, especially considering how coolly analytical her debut was.  This record is not only a test of her unique position in the pop firmament but also an attempt to capture the feeling of being young in 2017: tense, urgent, uncertain about the future. To be a success, it needs to speak to this moment. As she puts it, ‘Nobody wants an apathetic pop record right now.’” – Time

Jason Loewenstein – Spooky Action CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
13 new songs of unwavering rock from the influential Sebadoh member.

Moby & The Pacific Void Choir – More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse CD/LP (Mute)
As with much of Moby’s output during his nearly three-decade-long career, it’s not surprising that a spiritual & political questioning underpins the nine songs comprising latest full length album. In characteristically iconoclastic fashion, the weighty themes explored throughout More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse find expression as some of the most direct and personal music Moby has ever created. “That quality of atmospheric sadness I’ve done so much of before isn’t here – there’s nothing quiet or ambient,” he notes. “Sonically, this record isn’t subtle: it’s big & loud, with huge kick drums & massive choral choruses.” [Limited orange color vinyl pressing also available.]

Kevin Morby – City Music CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where great cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold.

Nickelback – Feed The Machine CD (BMG)
The band that’s the butt of the music world’s jokes, Nickelback, recently dropped a new single called ‘Feed The Machine’, and ever since then the song has been feeding listeners’ insecurities about their own music tastes. ‘Feed The Machine’ is packing some metal-influenced guitar riffs and Muse-y lyrics, and while the band are still clearly trying to sound more like their beloved Metallica, they’ve captured the attention of people who wouldn’t normally be too keen on Nickelback music.

Portugal. The Man – Woodstock CD (Atlantic)
“It’s been a long time coming since 2013’s Evil Friends from Portugal. The Man, but a new album is on the way. Between 2006 and 2013, the Alaska-born psych-indie pop group released a whopping eight studio records, never leaving more than two years in between. As we approach four years since their last album, fans have begun to wonder what the wait is, — would a new album ever come? On a trip back home, frontman John Gourley was met by the same questioning by his father, who asked him ‘What’s taking so long to finish the album?’ according to a press release. ‘Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?’ It light a fire under PTM’s collective asses, leading them to throw out all previous material of what they were going to call Gloomin’ And Doomin’, enlisting the help of Beastie Boys’ Mike D, Danger Mouse, and John Hill on the production side.” — Indie88 [Vinyl edition due in August.]

Ride – Weather Diaries CD/2xLP (Wichita Recordings)
Ride’s first album in over 20 years was produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, and is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early-‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. Weather Diaries sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album Nowhere and produced its follow up Going Blank Again.

The Rolling Stones – Ladies & Gentlemen CD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls: Live In Texas ‘78 CD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
The Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters – Checkerboard Lounge: Live In Chicago 1981 CD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Previously released on DVD — now available as standalone CDs for the first time. Two live sets recorded in Texas (1972 and 1978, respectively) and another in Chicago in 1981.

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark? CD/LP (WB)
After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood returns with their eagerly anticipated second album, How Did We Get So Dark? The album’s first single “Lights Out” ups the ante on their first outing with a wrecking ball of a groove cemented by Thatcher’s thunderous rhythms, while Kerr wrangles the twisted invention of his bass riffs to a whole new level. Their patented two-man artillery of carefully constructed melodic aggression is prevalent throughout, especially in “I Only Lie When I Love You,” which is a compelling cowbell-assisted reminder of the power of a stop-start riff and a strident chorus.

Royal Trux – Platinum Tips & Ice Cream CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
“The duo’s first album in 17 years is a surprisingly practical gesture, a career-spanning live album that connects the accessible and impenetrable extremes of the Trux discography.” – Pitchfork

Styx – The Mission CD/LP (UMe)
A thrilling return to Styx’s progressive roots, The Mission is a thrilling return to Styx’s progressive roots — their first studio album of new music in 14 years.

Matthew Sweet – Tomorrow Forever CD (S. Matthew Sweet)
Purely in terms of its guitar payload, Tomorrow Forever is a breathtaking Fourth of July fireworks show, with axes trading volleys from the left and right channels in old-school-stereo fashion, as Sweet breaks out a lineup of killer players, each sporting a distinct style, like a modern-day Moby Grape or Buffalo Springfield. [Vinyl edition due June 30.]

Tombs – The Grand Annihilation CD (Metal Blade)
Mike Hill is not a man interested in appeasing his existing audience or modifying the music he makes in the hope of luring in a broader one. Anyone doubting this need only look to the recorded output Tombs have dropped over the past decade, which while ultimately remaining rooted in the blackened, post-metallic sound vomited up on 2007’s self-titled EP, has constantly diversified and evolved. [Vinyl edition due June 30.]

Various Artists – Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht CD/2xLP (Numero Group)
The Numero Group’s dive into the deep end of America’s private press continues. With pop music’s volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early ’70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast – and, later, Yacht Rock – the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall & Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the comb-over strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock’s softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.

This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:

The Black Crowes – Warpaint [Reissue/2008] LP (Silver Arrow/MRI Associated)
Vinyl reissue of The Black Crowes 2008 album.

The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips Onboard The International Space Station: Concert For Peace CD (WB)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Seven live-ish tracks from Oczy Mlody reimagined as a fictional/fantastical live Flaming Lips performance on the International Space Station.

Milt Jackson And John Coltrane – Bags And Trane [Reissue/1959] 2xLP (ORG Music)
It’s a shame more classic hard-boppers weren’t unified for multiple collaborations. Vibraphonist Milt Jackson and saxophone virtuoso John Coltrane recorded just once together, and this 1959 date makes one wish they reunited for several return engagements. Lighthearted, upbeat, and joyously fluid, Bags & Trane plays like a private after-hours session of friends hanging back and toying with the music.

David Lynch/Alan R. Splet – Eraserhead [OST/Reissue/1977] LP+7” (Sacred Bones)
An expanded, silver color vinyl reissue of the soundtrack to David Lynch’s landmark 1977 film. This limited deluxe edition includes: a 16 page booklet, three 11″x11″ prints, digital download, and a limited edition Peter Ivers 7″. A-side of the single is “In Heaven” and the B-side unearths a newly discovered original Ivers recording entitled, “Pete’s Boogie” taken from the original audio tapes and mixed by Lynch.

Nappy Roots – Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz [Reissue/2002] 2xLP (Atlantic)
Double-LP reissue of the debut album from the Kentucky-based rap sextet.

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