New Releases for September 6, 2019
The Highwomen – The Highwomen CD (New Elektra)
The Highwomen is a new, highly anticipated, collaborative movement formed by Brandi Carlie, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires. “Anyone can be a Highwoman,” Belinda Carlile notes. “It’s about banding together, abandoning as much ego as humanly possible, holding one another up and amplifying other women every chance we get. Shoulder to shoulder. One push, one love.” Continually demonstrating the importance of inclusion and collaboration, The Highwomen are joined by several guest musicians, vocalists and songwriters across their eponymous album. The project features Sheryl Crow (background vocals, bass), Yola (vocals, background vocals), Dave Cobb (acoustic/electric guitar), Jason Isbell (acoustic/electric guitar), Phil Hanseroth (bass, background vocals), Tim Hanseroth (guitar, background vocals), Chris Powell (drums) and Peter Levin (piano and keyboards).
Barns Courtney – 404 CD/LP (Capitol)
The big picture, Barns Courtney notes, is “a weird alternative Narnia or Neverland, where all the tropes of your childhood have melted. From Pokémon to Nintendo 64, the core of my being is there: an unorthodox maelstrom of memories condensed down into this bizarre undulating world.” It makes sense that the album sounds like it does. “To start with I wanted to make a punk record or a Rolling Stones album, but what came out was the synth heavy sound of 404,” he says. “To do anything else wouldn’t have worked. It’s a strange amalgamation of influences based on everywhere I’ve been and some places I haven’t.”
Bat For Lashes – Lost Girls CD/LP (Bat For Lashes)
Lost Girls is another brilliant full-length in Natasha Khan’s incredible, acclaimed discography, mixing sounds she’s always loved – heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats, cascading choruses – with some of her finest songwriting to date. It’s an album full of romance, a homage to Los Angeles where the album was recorded, to being a kid in the ‘80s, to films that touched and changed her life.
Paul Cauthen – Room 41 CD/LP (Lightning Rod)
Written during a stint spent living out of a suitcase in the artist-haven that is the Belmont, Room 41 chronicles Paul Cauthen’s white-knuckle journey to the brink and back, a harrowing experience that landed him in and out of the hospital as he careened between ecstasy and misery more times than he could count. Cauthen has long been a pusher of boundaries (musical and otherwise), and Room 41 is no exception, with electrifying performances that blend old-school country and gritty soul with ‘70s funk and stirring gospel.
Frankie Cosmos – Close It Quietly CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Close It Quietly takes the trademark Frankie Cosmos micro-universe and upends it, spilling outwards into a swirl of references that’s a marked departure from earlier releases, imagining and reimagining motifs and sounds throughout the album. The band’s fourth studio release is a manifestation of their collaborative spirit: Greta Kline and longtime bandmates Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums), and Alex Bailey (bass) luxuriated in studio time with Gabe Wax, who engineered and co-produced the record with the band.
Lower Dens – The Competition CD/LP (Domino)
The Competition, the fourth album from Lower Dens, is a pop album with a concept both emotionally and politically urgent. The title is lead singer/songwriter Jana Hunter’s term for a socio-psychological phenomenon that, in different ways, binds us all. Modern capitalism by nature generates a psychosis that accelerates our insecurities and anxieties to the point of total overload, corroding our intimacies, our communities, and our senses of self. The album draws on influences ranging across decades of Western pop music and chronicles messy, vulnerable humanity at a time of upheaval and chaos – through immersive, four-minute songs meant to give pleasure as much as provoke self-examination.
The Magpie Salute – In Here CDEP/10” (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
The Magpie Salute featuring The Black Crowes alums Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien as well as John Hogg, Matt Slocum and Joe Magistro release a three-track EP, In Here, which is the title track to their upcoming album High Water II (due October 18.) Rich Robinson produced the EP and wrote the title track. The collection also includes “Lost Boy”, a song Rich co-wrote with Marc Ford and “Passenger,” which Robinson co-wrote with John Hogg. “Lost Boy” features contributions from Alison Krauss, who added vocals and fiddle to the track.
Iggy Pop – Free CD/LP (Concord/Loma Vista)
While it follows the highest charting album of his career (2016’s Post Pop Depression), Free has virtually nothing in common sonically with its predecessor – or with any other Iggy Pop album. On the process that led him and principal players Leron Thomas and Noveller to create this uniquely somber and contemplative entry in the Iggy Pop canon, Iggy says: “This is an album in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice. By the end of the tours following Post Pop Depression, I felt sure that I had rid myself of the problem of chronic insecurity that had dogged my life and career for too long. But I also felt drained. And I felt like I wanted to put on shades, turn my back, and walk away. I wanted to be free. I know that’s an illusion, and that freedom is only something you feel, but I have lived my life thus far in the belief that that feeling is all that is worth pursuing; all that you need – not happiness or love necessarily, but the feeling of being free. So this album just kind of happened to me, and I let it happen.”
Queen/ Béjart – Ballet For Life DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Ballet for Life was a unique collaboration between three cultural brands: Queen, Versace and the visionary choreographer Maurice Béjart, celebrating the life and talents of legendary performers, Freddie Mercury and dancer Jorge Donn, both of whom died of AIDS. Queen + Béjart: Ballet For Life features two programs: the documentary by Lynne Wake and Simon Lupton, and a full 1997 performance of the ballet by the Béjart Ballet Lausanne. The documentary, edited by Emmy Award winner Christopher Bird, tells the story of the creation and success of the ballet featuring the great and the good of both rock and dance, including Brian May, Roger Taylor, Gil Roman, Wayne Sleep and Arlene Phillips. The performance includes incredible archive footage of Freddie Mercury, Maurice Béjart, Queen and Gianni Versace, as well as featuring Versace’s stunning costume designs. The production continues to tour widely but is captured here performing at Théâtre Métropole, Lausanne in June 1997.
Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost CD/LP+MP3 (Sumerian)
It starts at ground zero. By wiping the slate clean and turning the page to the next chapter, Sleeping With Sirens re-center, recalibrate, and realign on their fifth full-length, How It Feels To Be Lost. The gold-certified quintet amplify the impact of their unpredictable fretwork, velvet vocal acrobatics, and hypnotically heavy alternative transmissions without compromise. In essence, the band strips itself to the core and uncovers what it sought all along.
Various Artists – Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Beyond the Notes is a revelatory journey behind the scenes of one of the most important labels in the history of jazz – and by extension, that of American Music – Blue Note has been home to groundbreaking legends as well as present-day luminaries. Founded in New York in 1939 by German Jewish refugees, the history of the label goes beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom, the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative and revolutionary force. The Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber gained her filmmaking experience as a member of an award-winning Berlin film collective, for which she co-directed several films before directing her debut feature documentary, the critically acclaimed Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2012. Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes is Sophie’s second documentary.
Melanie Martinez – K-12 CD/LP (Atlantic)
K-12 marks singer Melanie Martinez’s long anticipated follow-up to her RIAA platinum certified, 2015 debut album, Cry Baby. Produced by Michael Keenan with the exception of one song produced by Kinetics & One Love, the album serves as a soundtrack companion to an eerily enchanting new musical film, written, directed, and starring Martinez.
Tinariwen – Amadjar CD/2xLP (ANTI-)
“Amadjar” means “the unknown visitor” in the language of Tamashek, the one who seeks hospitality and who’s condemned to an inner exile, within a territory or within himself. The story of Amadjar, the ninth Tinariwen album, was recorded in a natural setting. Bassist Eyadou plays a lot of acoustic guitar; percussionist Said tries his hand at new instruments; Abdallah exhumes songs that he’s never played on stage with Tinariwen. And that violin that appears on several songs and reminds you of the traditional imzad – it’s played by Warren Ellis, the violinist in Nick Cave’s band and one of several western guests on the album. We also hear the mandolin and charango of Micah Nelson (son of the country music giant Willie Nelson, and Neil Young’s guitarist), and the guitars of Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O)))), Cass McCombs and Rodolphe Burger.
The Allman Brothers Band – Fillmore West ’71 4xCD (Allman Brothers Band)
Four CD three-night live compilation of Allman Brothers Band concert performance at the Fillmore West in January 1971 plus a bonus track performance of Mountain Jam from the New Orleans Warehouse March 13, 1970.
Miles Davis – Rubberband CD/2xLP (WB)
Miles Davis shocked the music world in 1985 when he left Columbia Records after 30 years to join Warner Bros. Records. In October of that year, he began recording the album Rubberband in Los Angeles at Ameraycan Studios with producers Randy Hall and Zane Giles. The musical direction Davis was taking during the sessions marked a radical departure, with the inclusion of funk and soul grooves; with plans to feature guest vocalists Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. Eventually, the album was shelved and Davis went on to record Tutu, leaving the Rubberband songs unheard and untouched for over 30 years. It was finished by the original producers Hall and Giles; with Davis’ nephew, Vince Wilburn, Jr., who played drums on the original sessions for the album in 1985-86.
Death Cab For Cutie – The Blue EP CDEP/12”+MP3 (Atlantic)
New EP release from the eight-times Grammy Award-nominated alt rock band. Along with all new tracks “Kids In ’99” and “Blue Bloods” – produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Kurt Vile) – the EP also includes “To The Ground” and “Before The Bombs”, produced by Rich Costey during the recording sessions for the band’s critically acclaimed ninth studio album, Thank You For Today and held for this planned subsequent EP. The fifth track on the project, “Man In Blue”, was self-produced by the band itself.
Adam Green – Engine Of Paradise CD/LP (30th Century Records)
Adam Green is an artistic polymath – a songwriter, filmmaker, visual artist, and poet. As part of New York’s downtown anti-folk scene at the end of the nineties, Green made up one half of The Moldy Peaches, who later enjoyed mainstream success via the 2007 Grammy-winning Juno soundtrack. As a solo artist, Green has recorded 10 albums, many of which have become cult hits.
Chrissie Hynde & The Valve Bone Woe Ensemble – Valve Bone Woe CD/LP/7×7” (BMG)
The amazing Chrissie Hynde displays yet another volte face in her incredible career with the release of her new album, Valve Bone Woe. The record features 14 tracks written by a stunning array of classic songwriters and innovators, including Brian Wilson, Frank Sinatra, Hoagy Carmichael, Charlie Mingus, John Coltrane, Nick Drake, Ray Davies and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Bob Dylan – Infidels [Reissue/1983] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bob Dylan – Real Live [Reissue/1984] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bob Dylan – Down In The Groove [Reissue/1988] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Bob Dylan – Under The Blood Red Sky [Reissue/1990] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissues of Bob Dylan’s 22nd, 25th, and 27th studio albums along with his 1984 live album.
The Frogs – It’s Only Right And Natural… [Reissue/1989] LP (The End Of All Music)
In 1980, two brothers from Milwaukee named Jimmy and Dennis Flemion (d. 2012) formed a band called The Frogs. Eight years, a few thousand dollars, and a self-titled debut album later, they took a call from Gerard Cosloy of Homestead Records. Cosloy wanted to sign The Frogs, but he wasn’t interested in their album. Instead, the then frontman of Big Black, Steve Albini, had passed him a tape of The Frogs’ brilliantly funny, mostly improvised and home-recorded songs about things like child abduction and homosexuality, and Cosloy wanted to put those out instead. 1989’s gay supremacy record It’s Only Right And Natural… won The Frogs the patronage of some of the biggest stars (Kurt Cobain, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, Eddie Vedder) in what people, at the time, had no qualms calling alternative rock (Vice). (due in stock next week)
LCD Soundsystem – Yeah [Reissue/2003] 12” (DFA)
Vinyl reissue of the second 12” from LCD Soundsystem, packaged in the original artwork from the 2003 UK edition.