New Releases — March 10, 2017

Cindy Lee Berryhill – The Adventurist CD (Omnivore)
“Cindy Lee Berryhill is an unparalleled electric folksinger. She traveled a long distance to write the songs on The Adventurist. You can hear it in the beauty, sadness and unhinged moments that have become signature elements of all of her work.” —John Doe (X, The Knitters). With co-production from Grammy-winner Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Peter Case, Rickie Lee Jones), David Schwartz (television composer for Northern Exposure, Arrested Development, Deadwood), and others, The Adventurist showcases orchestral arrangements, chunky rock guitar, and as Berryhill friend and fan Dave Alvin puts it—“raw nerve lyrics.” It is an album full of songs that are a tribute to the love shared with her late husband, but will definitely resonate with everyone who takes this journey.

Pieta Brown – Postcards CD (Lustre)
It was in hotel rooms across the country that Pieta Brown wrote most of the songs on her gorgeous new album, Postcards. Like any touring musician, she was on the road to survive, balancing the rewards of performing music for a living with the challenges of trying to stay connected to loved ones and other artists while in motion. So, when she was finally stationed at home, she decided to send out some postcards. These weren’t just any postcards, though, these were musical postcards, the stripped-down, acoustic shells of new songs she’d written while traveling, and she sent them to folks like Mark Knopfler, Calexico, Mason Jennings, David Lindley, Carrie Rodriguez, Caitlin Canty, and The Pines among others. Her instructions to each were simple: write back. “Collaborating with other musicians and elevating a song beyond its outlines has become one of my favorite things about making music,” says Pieta. “I’m interested in what other people can bring to a song, especially musicians I admire. Music is very magnetic. And I have been so drawn to and inspired by all the collaborators inside these Postcards.”

Bush – Black & White Rainbows CD (Caroline)
New album from the grunge rockers – their seventh overall.

Neko Case – Live From Austin TX [Reissue/2006] CD+DVD/LP (New West)
This debut Austin City Limits performance on August 9, 2003 captures songs from Neko Case’s three seminal solo releases at the time, combining elements of country, gospel and punk for a very unique sound. [Also available for the first time on 180gm vinyl.]

Chickenfoot – Best + Live 2xCD (Chickenfoot, LLC)
The band featuring legendary front man Sammy Hagar, guitar god Joe Satriani and the classic rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) have recorded a new classic song for this release. Disc One features the best of Chickenfoot and Chickenfoot III plus live covers and one new song. Disc Two captures Chickenfoot live in concert.

Darkest Hour – Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora CD/LP (Southern Lord)
A bastard child born of the mid- ‘90s punk/metal/hardcore movement, Washington, DC’s Darkest Hour combine the passion, energy, and soul of punk/hardcore with the style, speed, vengeance and fury of melodic speed/thrash/death metal.

Steve Earle – Live From Austin TX [Reissue/2008] CD+DVD/2xLP (New West)
Earle’s first appearance on Austin City Limits captures the excitement and free spirit of his seminal debut album, Guitar Town, which was nothing less than a collection of personal odysseys. [Available for the first time on 180gm vinyl.]

Evocation – Shadow Archetype CD/LP (Metal Blade)
New album from the Swedish death metallers.

Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night [Reissue/1987] CD/2xCD/3xCD+DVD+LP/LP (Rhino)
Reissue of Fleetwood Mac’s final studio album featuring the quintet of Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks. It contains several hit singles including “Big Love,” “Seven Wonders,” “Everywhere,” and “Little Lies.” [Available in Regular, Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds a disc of rare recordings and non-album tracks. Super Deluxe adds a third CD featuring 12” remixes and more, a DVD containing five music videos, and the 180gm vinyl repress.]

Greg Graffin – Millport CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Millport is the new solo album from the Bad Religion frontman. “Millport delivers a stirring though perhaps unexpected reinterpretation of the classic Laurel Canyon country-rock sound alongside Graffin’s insightful lyricism, all propelled by some esteemed colleagues from the L.A. punk scene, including Social Distortion members Jonny ‘Two Bags’ Wickersham, Brent Harding and David Hidalgo Jr., with Bad Religion co-founder Brett Gurewitz producing. The resulting record is less a reinvention then a creative liberation — a group of Los Angeles musicians at the peak of their game, playing a brand of music they genuinely love. As Graffin explains: ‘This feels as exciting to me as when we made the BAD RELIGION record ‘Suffer’. Like everything had been leading up to the songs and they just happened totally organically in this short intense burst. I’m really just doing what I did back then, which is write songs that mean something to me and deliver them in a way that is completely honest’” – Blabbermouth. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]

Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator CD/LP (ATO)
“‘The first words still had roots, like a James Brown syllable,’ the late New York poet Sekou Sundiata once wrote. He was talking about how language is undergirded with sound, how the beats underneath every sentence intertwine, connecting every tongue from Africa to the South Bronx. In the many albums she’s recorded as Hurray For The Riff Raff, Alynda Segarra has told her own stories through the various idioms of American roots music, mastering folk declarations, country’s laments, and the secret histories embedded in the blues. But Segarra heard something else beneath all the choruses she learned: a rhythmic reality, the history of her own people in shifting time signatures. These word roots are what she uncovers in her rich, courageous new album, The Navigator. For this project, she’s enlisted new collaborators, notably the versatile guitarist Jordan Hyde and several percussionists, including Juan-Carlos Chaurand and Norka Hernández-Nadal. Relating the saga of a particular wandering woman – Segarra’s alter ego, Navita Milagros Negron – and of a people displaced through exile, segregation and gentrification, The Navigator repositions roots music as an anti-nostalgic tool: a truth-telling device. And it does so through the undercurrents of Cuban son, Puerto Rican bomba, and Nuyorican salsa, interwoven with doo-wop, rock and gospel soul” – WHRO. [Limited white color vinyl pressing also available.]

Jay Som – Everybody Works CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Polyvinyl)
On her first proper album as Jay Som, Melina Duterte solidifies her rep as a self-made force of sonic splendor and emotional might. If last year’s aptly named Turn Into compilation showcased a fuzz-loving artist in flux—chronicling her mission to master bedroom recording—then the rising Oakland star’s latest, Everybody Works, is the LP equivalent of mission accomplished.

Valerie June – The Order Of Time CD/LP (Concord)
Unfolding like a novella, June sketches detailed, three-dimensional portraits of real people struggling with dreams, defeat, hope and life, in this 12-track song cycle. Musically, the genre-defying singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has redefined herself again, infusing inspirations like Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen and Fela Kuti into her unique blend of folk, blues, gospel and soul. As in life, a harrowing bite of bitterness can surely be felt in many of these songs and on others; June’s ethereal soundscapes prove the perfect setting for her honeyed, childlike voice as she pleas for simplicity and a better world.

Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir 5xCD/5xLP (Nonesuch)
50 Song Memoir chronicles the 50 years of songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life with one song per year. Merritt began recording on his 50th birthday: February 9, 2015. Unlike his previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction—in Merritt’s words, “a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis).” As he says in the album’s liner note interview with his friend, the author Daniel Handler, “I am the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet. I will probably not write any more true songs after this than I did before, but it’s been interesting working on it.” In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than 100 instruments on the set, ranging from ukulele to piano to drum machine to abacus.

Laura Marling – Semper Femina CD/2xLP (More Alarming Records)
“English singer-songwriter Laura Marling’s latest offering to British folk is Semper Femina (translates from Latin to Always A Woman), her sixth album since 2008 and a quietly bold ode to womanhood. ‘I started out writing Semper Femina as if a man was writing about a woman…And then I thought it’s not a man, it’s me’ was the heavily re-quoted tagline from Marling preceding the album’s release, explaining the near-exclusive female subjects and perspectives in every song. Semper Femina makes both delightful and thought-provoking listening.” – The Sphinx

R Stevie Moore / Jason Falkner – Make It Be CD/LP+MP3 (Bar/None)
The New York Times dubs R Stevie Moore a “lo-fi legend;” he has over 400 releases to his credit since he started making music in 1968. Jason Falkner is a power pop pioneer who started his career in the ‘80s with The Three O’clock and is a founding member of Jellyfish. He has released numerous solo records and has worked with such greats as Beck, Air, Aimee Mann, Travis and Paul McCartney. Moore and Falkner are legends on their own but, as Make It Be loudly announces, their voices, performances, and arrangements have always been a match made in heaven waiting to be realized here on earth.

Murs – Captain California CD (Strange Music)
Brand new album from the South Central Los Angeles native. For two decades now, Murs has been one of the most prolific, yet underrated emcees in the game both as a solo act and as a member of Living Legends.

Porter Ray – Watercolor CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Watercolor is the long-awaited label debut from Seattle’s Porter Ray. Porter is a Seattle based MC who caught the attention of Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler, who signed him to the label in 2014. Watercolor is a snapshot of Porter’s life and the lives of his friends growing up in Seattle. The album captures a specific time period, before things began rapidly changing around their neighborhoods, and it delves into the experiences that shaped Porter, the situations he and his friends survived, and how they overcame the adversity they faced. Porter’s influences – including hip-hop classics like Nas’s Illmatic, Common’s Be, and Mos Def & Talib Kweli’s …Are Black Star – shine through in both the beats and production, and his deeply personal lyrics. Watercolor is led by the singles “Sacred Geometry” (feat. Cashtro, Palaceer Lazarro of Shabazz Palaces), “Lightro [Looking For The Light]” (feat. Stas Thee Boss), “Arithmetic” (feat. Infinite & Stas Thee Boss), and “Bulletproof Windows” (feat. Nate Jack & Thad). The album also includes performances from Jus Moni, Debra Sullivan, and Chimurenga Renaissance.

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Front Porch Sessions CD/LP (Family Owned)
Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Front Porch Sessions maintains a potent level of intensity throughout, from the upbeat optimism of the album-opener “We Deserve A Happy Ending” to the blunt slice-of-life rural reality of “One More Thing” to the rollicking, playful swagger of “Shakey Shirley,” “One Bad Shoe” and “Cornbread And Butterbeans.” Meanwhile, the instrumentals “It’s All Night Long” and “Flying Squirrels” demonstrate the Rev’s nimble, imaginative guitar work.

The Shins – Heartworms CD/LP+MP3 (Columbia)
“Get ready to have your life changed all over again. Heartworms, The Shins’ first full-length release since 2012’s Port Of Morrow, has been done for some time, but was delayed to give the music-industry fat cats at Columbia Records more time to promote the album (and lead singer James Mercer to tinker with it, as he told Portland radio station KBOO last summer). The result of all this tinkering, according to the press release announcing the album, is a ‘return to the handmade,’ lest you were concerned that The Shins were losing their twee edge. Overall, this album sounds like an earnest, personal effort for Mercer, who produced all the album tracks except for penultimate song ‘So Now What.’ The first single from the album, ‘Name For You,’ is a ‘resounding call for female empowerment’ inspired by Mercer’s three daughters.” – A.V. Club

Elliott Smith – Either/Or: Expanded Edition CD/2xLP (Kill Rock Stars)
Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition. This album features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one B-side gem. [The double LP vinyl edition is packaged in a gatefold jacket that includes an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. A limited yellow color vinyl pressing is also available.]

Soundgarden – Ultramega OK [Reissue/1988] CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the ‘80s, the band — singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron — combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the ‘80s airwaves. This remixed and expanded reissue of Ultramega OK is a long-planned “correction” of the legendary band’s Grammy-nominated debut full-length. After worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, Soundgarden acquired the original multi-track tapes to the album and handed them over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard) to create this fresh mix. The band also dug out six early versions of songs recorded in 1987, raw bonus tracks the band now refers to as Ultramega EP.

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives – Way Out West CD/LP (Superlatine)
Stuart’s 18th studio album is a collection of newly written originals, instrumentals and rare covers.

Tennis – Yours Conditionally CD/LP (Mutually Detrimental)
“One of the first and most important rules of being in a band is: Never sleep with your bandmates. Things are good for a while, sure … until they’re not. And once they’re not, the ship can wreck real fast. Tennis is one of those rare examples where the combination of relationship dynamics and creative collaboration actually works, and it’s largely because music for them serves as a source of mutual growth and not as a source of competitive imposition. Nonetheless, Alaina Moore, the better half of the husband and wife duo, told me over the phone a couple of weeks ago, ‘If I hadn’t met Patrick [Riley], I wouldn’t be doing this at all.’ For Tennis, infectious indie pop is an extension and public manifestation of their relationship and not a confused byproduct of artistic passion.” – Rutger Rosenborg/NBC San Diego

Josh Turner – Deep South CD (MCA Nashville)
With his rich, deep voice and distinctive style, Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable artists. Deep South is his sixth album.

The Velvet Underground – The Boston Tea Party January 10th 1969 CD/2xLP (Spyglass)
The Velvet Underground – The Boston Tea Party January 11th 1969 CD/2xLP (Spyglass)
The Boston Tea Party was the leading underground rock club, and something of a home from home for the Velvet Underground. Lou Reed even described it as his favorite place to play in the late ’60s. These superb live sets were taped there on Thursday, July 10th and Friday, July 11th, 1969 and finds the quartet performing numerous tracks from their recently released third album, 1969.

DVDs + Blu-ray:

Eric Clapton – Live In San Diego (With Special Guest JJ Cale) DVD/Blu-ray (Reprise)
Released last year on CD and vinyl – now available on DVD and Blu-ray. On March 15, 2007, Eric Clapton’s world tour stopped at San Diego’s iPayOne Center (originally the San Diego Sports Arena and now the Valley View Casino Center). The band lineup for the tour consisted of Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II on guitars, Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon on keyboards, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and backing vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White. During the set, Clapton’s long-time musical inspiration, JJ Cale, sat in for five songs, including three from their Grammy- winning 2006 album The Road To Escondido.

This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:

Animals As Leaders – The Madness Of Many 2xLP+MP3 (Sumerian)
Released last November on CD – now available on vinyl. New (fourth) album from the instrumental modern progressive pioneers. Limited cream color or transparent blue color vinyl pressings are available.

Daughters – Hell Songs [Reissue/2006] LP (Hydra Head)
While they utterly baffled listeners with 2003’s debut Canada Songs, the spastic, blunt screamo the Rhode Islanders blasted through on that breakneck debut turned out to only be a warning of how subversive, innovative, and unrepentant they could be.

Miles Davis Quintet – Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 3xLP (Sony Legacy)
A three-LP collection chronicling Miles’ musical evolution in the studio from 1966-1968 working with his “second great quintet,” the latest edition in Columbia/Legacy’s acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series provides an unprecedented look into the artist’s creative process, drawing on full session reels including all rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, studio conversation and more. Includes the master takes of performances which would eventually appear on the Miles Smiles (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Water Babies (1976) albums alongside more than two hours’ worth of previously unreleased studio recordings.

Thundercat – Drunk 4×10” (Brainfeeder)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015s The Beyond / Where he Giants Roam. Produced by Flying Lotus, Drunk features vocal performances by Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell.