New Releases for September 14, 2018
New Releases In Our Listening Stations This Week:
Aphex Twin – Collapse CDEP/12”+MP3 (Warp)
Mythical electronic producer Richard D James aka Aphex Twin returns with the new 4-track EP Collapse which follows-up his 2016 Cheetah EP and 2014 full-length Syro. The cryptic release is introduced by the pummeling lead cut, “T69 Collapse” whose mind-bending video premiere was pulled from Adult Swim at the last minute for failing the Harding epilepsy test.
Asleep At The Wheel – New Routes CD/LP (Bismeaux)
New Routes serves as Asleep At The Wheel’s first new material in over a decade, a new chapter in the group’s forty-eight-year history with a fresh group of musicians and nimble musical palette. The eleven-track collection of both new and familiar country, jazz, jump blues, rockabilly, Western swing and folk, offers a blend of originals, vibrant covers, superior musicianship, and a guest vocal appearance by Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers. New Routes travels down myriad musical byways from the sly “viper” jazz groove of opener, “Jack, I’m Mellow” to the languid original ballad, “Call It A Day Tonight”; the Cajun romp of “Pass The Bottle Around” to the Americana-tinged acoustic cover of Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues”; and the pedal-to-the-metal covers of Paolo Nutini’s “Pencil Full Of Lead” and Moon Mullican’s “Seven Nights To Rock”.
Tony Bennett & Diana Krall – Love Is Here To Stay CD/LP (Verve)
Tony Bennett and Diana Krall celebrate their shared love of the music of George and Ira Gershwin on their new collaborative album, Love Is Here To Stay. Bennett, who just turned 92, has been friends with Krall for over 20 years. The two toured together in 2000 and recorded duets for two of Bennett’s albums (Duets and Playin’ With My Friends), but this marks their first full album project together. Love Is Here To Stay also marks the 120th Anniversary of George Gershwin’s birthday which takes place on September 26, 2018. The album was recorded with the Grammy award winning Bill Charlap Trio and the stunning result is a subtle, sophisticated and beautifully rendered love letter to The Gershwins’ music and their status as one of the premiere songwriters of the American popular standard. It is a masterclass in vocal delivery and phrasing and the command that Bennett and Krall display of the material in both their duets and solo tracks makes it appear effortless, belying the honed skill of the vocalists.
Black Belt Eagle Scout – Mother Of My Children CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Katherine Paul is Black Belt Eagle Scout, and Mother Of My Children is her debut album. Recorded in the middle of winter near her hometown in Northwest Washington, Paul’s connection to the landscape’s eerie beauty are palpable throughout as the album traces the full spectrum of confronting buried feelings and the loss of what life was supposed to look like. Heavy and heartbroken from the loss of her mentor and the breakdown of a relationship, Paul found respite in the creation of these songs that “are about grief and love for people, but also about being a native person in what is the United States today.” On Mother Of My Children, the songs weave together to capture both the enduring and fleeting experiences of loss, frustration, and dreaming. The structures are traditional, but the lyrics don’t adhere to any format other than what feels right in the moment. It begins with lead single “Soft Stud”’ which Paul describes as her “queer anthem” and is followed by “Indians Never Die”, a call out to colonizers and those who don’t respect the Earth.
Blitzen Trapper – Furr [Reissue/2008] CD/2xLP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Portland, OR-based experimental country/folk rock band Blitzen Trapper offers up a deluxe edition of their breakthrough 2008 album Furr. For this expanded release, the band has compiled over two LPs worth of material: the original album and 12 rare and previously unreleased tunes. The added songs are from the same recordings that become Furr, with the exception of the “Live At KCRW” tracks, which were recorded during the Furr tour. The songs “War Is Placebo”, “Booksmart Baby”, and “Maybe Baby” appeared as limited-edition singles in 2009 and 2011. Around three albums’ worth of material was recorded during the sessions for Furr, and it’s a selection of those that comprise the remaining bonus material for this anniversary edition of the record.
Cedric Burnside – Benton County Relic CD/LP (Single Lock)
Cedric Burnside (grandson of R.L. Burnside) was literally born to the blues, more specifically, the “rhythmically unorthodox” hill country variant which emerged from Mississippi where he grew up surrounded (and influenced) by Junior Kimbrough, Jessie May Hemphill and Otha Turner, as well as delta musicians T-Model Ford and Paul “Wine” Jones. Grammy-nominated in 2015 for Best Blues Album for the Cedric Burnside Project’s Descendants Of Hill Country, as well as the recipient of the Blues Music Awards honor as Drummer of the Year for four consecutive years, Cedric’s latest album offers a showcase for his electric and acoustic guitar, recording 26 tracks in just two days with drummer/slide guitarist Brian Jay in the latter’s Brooklyn home studio in a rush of creativity.
Dilly Dally – Heaven CD/LP+MP3 (Partisan)
Heaven highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free”, which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. Heaven carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio – The Crossing CD/2xLP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Alejandro Escovedo’s scorching and cinematic The Crossing follows the story of two young immigrants, one from Mexico and one from Italy, as they come to the US to pursue the American dream and search out their punk rock idols. He co-wrote and performed it with Italian band Don Antonio from Mogdilana led by guitarist and composer Antonio Gramentieri who has a rich musical history of his own in Italy with his cult band Sacri Cuori. The Crossing also features a host of guest musicians, including The Stooges’ James Williamson on “Teenage Luggage” and Wayne Kramer from the MC5 on “Sonica USA” (both bands are also name checked in the album’s lyrics). “Waiting For Me” features Peter Perrett and John Perry from The Only Ones, recording together for the first time since 1980. Joe Ely appears on his own track, “Silver City”. “Rio Navidad”, a spoken word song about a Texas ranger, was written by novelist and Richmond Fontaine/The Delines’ bandleader Willy Vlautin and read by his bandmate Freddy Trujillo.
Fit For A King – Dark Skies CD (Solid State)
Christian metalcore band Fit For A King use the tools of heavy music and melodic hooks to honestly explore the dark side of the human experience, ultimately wrenching timeless hope from the jaws of anxiety, depression, and seemingly certain despair. Like trailblazing metalcore giants Underoath and As I Lay Dying before them, they skillfully mine the varying extremes of heavy music. “Dark Skies is far from happy. It’s about personal struggles,” explains lyricist and singer Ryan Kirby. “It touches on many subjects relevant to all of our daily lives.” Fit For A King’s music and message is a battle cry against the darkness. They stand in defiance of the mounting pressure of modern life, not through dismissiveness or easy answers, but with earnest struggle. [Vinyl edition due October 26.]
The Goon Sax – We’re Not Talking CD/LP+MP3 (Wichita Recordings)
Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. We’re Not Talking is a record made by restless young artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes it even more of a marvel. Strings, horns, even castanets sneak their way onto the album – this isn’t glossy throwaway pop. Sounds stick out at surprising angles (on the frenetic “She Knows”), cowbells become lead instruments (in stunning album opener “Make Time For Love”), brief home-recorded fragments appear unexpectedly, and “Losing Myself” is like the Young Marble Giants go hip-hop.
Knife Knights – 1 Time Mirage CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Knife Knights was born of the love of mystery. From the start of Shabazz Palaces – the groundbreaking project launched in 2009 by former-Digable Planets leader Ishmael Butler – confidentiality seemed essential: Butler wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength, not his outsized reputation, so he adopted a nom de plume for himself. As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe. Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together. 1 Time Mirage is an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam.
Low – Double Negative CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
This year Low turns 25. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker – the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center – have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low release their most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching 11-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.
Sandro Perri – In Another Life CD/LP+MP3 (Constellation)
Sandro Perri returns with his first new solo effort since 2011’s acclaimed Impossible Spaces. It’s what Perri describes as “an experiment in ‘infinite’ songwriting.” The title cut is a 24-minute pop mantra for sequenced synth, piano, guitar and voice, progressing sideways rather than forward. A relaxed three-chord vamp runs the length of Side One, peppered with Sandro’s languid, lilting vocal and adorned with continually developing musical details – massaging the listener with the joys of repetition while defying stasis and monotony. Like the longer-form work of fellow-travelers Bill Callahan, Destroyer or Arthur Russell, Perri extends the notion of the meditative minimalist pop song to its literal maximum, flouting ‘commercial’ concerns in our streamingly short-attention-span era – and perhaps implicitly calling for a politics of slow consumption?
Pyrexia – Unholy Requiem CD/LP (Unique Leader)
Long standing New York death metal legends Pyrexia return with their new album, Unholy Requiem. The LP, which was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Subsonic Audio by guitarist Chris Basile, shows the band revisiting their filthy, pulverizing, classic sound. Basile said of the album, “This album is definitely the band returning to its roots. It’s dirty. It’s raw. It’s punishing. It’s us. It’s a hungry album and we fed it a strict diet of pain, sweat, and blast beats.” However, these nine slabs of blistering, pulverizing menace also find the band pushing themselves forward, determined to continue raising the bar for extreme music. Unholy Requiem, with all of its pummeling groove and signature riff laden violence is nothing less than pure sonic vitriol.
Jorge Santana – Love The Way: The Solo ‘70s Recordings CD (Omnivore)
Latin rock pioneer Jorge Santana’s musical journey began right after high school when he joined the popular San Francisco nine-piece, horn-driven band, the Malibus. The Malibus added the 17-year-old guitarist and morphed into Malo by 1971. Their self-titled debut album was issued in 1972, yielding the Top Twenty hit, “Sauvecito”. In 1978, the first Jorge Santana solo album emerged as a self-titled affair with most of the songs co-written with Malo-alum, Richard Bean who also handled lead vocal duties. The song “Love The Way” was the breakout single, and the album made it onto the Black Album charts. The following year the Allen Toussaint-produced, It’s All About Love was released and featured songs mostly from the pen of either Toussaint or Santana. Now for the first time, the two Jorge Santana albums are combined on a single disc, remastered, with liners notes by Bill Kopp featuring new interviews with both Jorge Santana and Richard Bean about these post-Malo solo efforts.
Shim – Shim CD (BFD)
Debut solo album from former Sick Puppies singer Shimon “Shim” Moore. “When you have a bankable band and mass popularity via hit songs like the band Sick Puppies has had in their career, it’s hard to step aside and start over. That is exactly what Shimon “SHIM” Moore did when he left that band in 2014. But his story was just beginning, as he has plotted a return. Now he is back in the spotlight as a bandleader and a true solo artist in every sense. He released the incredible, rocking new song ‘Hallelujah’ this past spring, with its hilarious accompanying music video. The new song definitely reminded people that Shim is an artist to watch with a lot more to say, armed with a D.I.Y. spirit harkening back to his early days in bands.” – Ghost Cult
Slothrust – The Pact CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles, The Pact is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. Bush brought a rugged-lush sensibility to the proceedings, assuredly guiding the band into new territory.
Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers CD/2xLP+MP3 (New West)
Richard Thompson’s new album is his first self-produced record in over a decade. It’s a minimal and spacious recording which, according to Thompson, is a projection of current events in his life. “This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesn’t mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible.” 13 Rivers spans thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, “I don’t know how the creative process works – I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.” [Limited black and cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty CD/LP (Capitol Nashville)
Seven-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood follows-up 2015’s Storyteller, her fifth consecutive platinum album, with her Capitol Records Nashville debut Cry Pretty. The collection is introduced by the moving title track which the singer says, “refers to when emotions take over and you just can’t hold them back. It really speaks to a lot of things that have happened in the past year and I hope when you hear it, you can relate those feelings to those times in your life. It’s emotional. It’s real. And it rocks!” In addition to co-writing the single with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose (aka The Love Junkies), Carrie co-produced Cry Pretty with fellow writer/producer David Garcia. Underwood adds, “At this point in my career, I feel stronger and more creative than ever. I think you can hear that in this new album. It’s emotional, it’s soulful, it’s real, and we also have some fun on there too. I hope everyone loves it as much as I have loved making it.” [Limited pink colored vinyl pressing also available.]
CDs + Vinyl:
Cold War Kids – Cold War Kids CD (Downtown)
Beloved blues drenched Long Beach, California indie rockers Cold War Kids offer up an eponymous 14-track compilation of the ‘Best Of’ their Downtown Records years which saw them release the five stellar albums Robbers & Cowards (2006), Loyalty To Loyalty (2008), Mine Is Yours (2011), Dear Miss Lonelyhearts (2013) and Hold My Home (2014). Cold War Kids collects the prime catalog cuts “Louder Than Ever”, “First”, “Miracle Mile,”, “All This Could Be Yours”, “I’ve Seen Enough”, “Hospital Beds” and “Royal Blue”.
Crippled Black Phoenix – Great Escape CD/2xLP (Season Of Mist)
The follow-up to 2016’s towering full-length Bronze, Great Escape sees the international collective blend passion and purpose with their dark and dreamy post-rock in an altogether different way. Their beauty is deceptive; the vast, sweeping songs weave sophistication and grandeur with dire warnings about a world spinning out of control.
Deicide – Overtures Of Blasphemy CD/LP (Century Media)
The godfathers of US death metal return with their twelfth studio album. [180gm bloodshot translucent vinyl pressing also available.]
The Doors – Waiting For The Sun [Reissue/1968] 2xCD/LP (Elektra)
50th Anniversary reissue. This double-CD and single-LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer. The CD set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show.
Amanda Fish – Free CD (VizzTone)
For this all-original album Amanda has refined her focus to blues-flavored rock, while still showing influences ranging from R.L. Burnside to Nirvana. Her songs show mature songwriting, and express her victories over forces beyond her control and those within herself. Amanda’s remarkable singing is stronger and more expressive than ever, and she plays a wide range of instruments including all bass tracks, acoustic guitar, electric and 12-string guitar, mandolin and piano.
Good Charlotte – Generation Rx CD/LP+MP3 (BMG Rights Management)
The quintet offers up intricate, infectious anthems of hope for a generation under the shadow of the opioid epidemic, icons gone too soon, mass tragedy, loneliness, and confusion. Powered by punk spirit, rock songcraft, and cinematic ambition, Good Charlotte retain the signature vitality and vulnerability of their formative years, while delivering an urgent, unafraid, and undeniable message befitting of two decades in the game. [Limited edition yellow-colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Grave Digger – The Living Dead CD/LP (Napalm)
When you think of pure and unadulterated traditional metal, you will at some point stumble over these German. The five-piece has survived trends, many ups and downs and continues to deliver solid material. The Living Dead serves as the old schoolers’ 20th studio long-player.
The Lemon Twigs – Go To School CD/2xLP+MP3 (4AD)
A conceptual musical conceived by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the 15-track opus was written, recorded, produced and mixed by the pair at their home in Long Island. Go To School tells the heartbreaking coming of age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy as he comes to terms with the obstacles of life. Todd Rundgren and their real life mother Susan Hall play Shane’s parents. The album features contributions from Jody Stephens (Big Star), Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) and their father Ronnie D’Addario.
Willie Nelson – My Way CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
My Way is Willie Nelson’s second new studio album of 2018, following the release of his critically-acclaimed Last Man Standing in April. An album of standards and classics made famous by Frank Sinatra, My Way finds Willie (who’s written a few standards himself) swinging his way through some of the most beloved songs in the Great American Songbook.
Orbital – Monsters Exist CD/2xCD (ACP Recordings Ltd.)
First new album in five years from the British electronic outfit. Monsters Exist is a more classically structured Orbital album than their previous release Wonky, drawing inspiration from the international political landscape all the way back from brothers Paul and Phil’s pre-rave squat-punk roots right up to the volatile tensions and erratic rhetoric of today. [Deluxe double-CD edition also available. Vinyl edition due September 28.]
Mark Ribot – Songs of Resistance 1942 – 2018 CD (Epitaph)
With his new album Songs of Resistance 1948 – 2018, Ribot—one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed guitar players—set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury. The eleven songs on the record are drawn from the World War II anti-Fascist Italian partisans, the U.S. civil rights movement, and Mexican protest ballads, as well as original compositions, and feature a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius. [Vinyl edition due September 21.]
Sleaford Mods – Sleaford Mods CDEP/12” (Rough Trade)
British hip-hop/punk act Sleaford Mods’ eponymous EP follows-up 2017’s critically acclaimed English Tapas and features five brand new tracks including lead single, “Stick In A Five & Go”. Jason Williamson on the new material: “The lead tracks are mostly full of violent tendencies that only transpire through imagination. People are powerless under the political monster and the intense anger and frustration morphs into illusions of attacking each other through the bravado of social media, depression and paranoia.”
Thrice – Palms CD/LP+MP3 (Epitaph)
Thrice created Palms with a free-form and fluid approach to the album’s sonic element. The result is their most expansive work to date, encompassing everything from viscerally charged post-hardcore to piano-driven balladry. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Loudon Wainwright III – Years In The Making 2xCD (Storysound)
Loudon Wainwright III’s Years In The Making compiles 45 years of off-beaten tracks into over two hours of rare and unissued Loudoniana along with a few brand new songs (“Birthday Boy” and “Rosin the Bow”) for good measure. It’s a double-CD audio-biography, full of orphaned album cuts, live recordings, radio appearances, home demos, and more.
Paul Weller – True Meanings CD/2xLP (WB/Parlophone)
To put it simply, True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he has ever made before. It’s characterized by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Weller’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited. A dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in, it’s both an album that his faithful audience has been wanting him to make for a long time, and an album that many new people outside of that audience will relate to.
Ann Wilson – Immortal CD/2xLP (BMG Rights Management)
New solo release from the former vocalist from classic rock band Heart. 10 musically diverse tracks that pay tribute to some of Ann’s influences and friends who’ve recently passed and whose music poignantly lives on.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Vision)
Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Camila Cabello – Camila LP (Epic)
Limited red colored vinyl LP pressing. Debut studio album from Camila Cabello, the Cuban-born pop singer who recently broke away from her girl group Fifth Harmony to focus on her solo career. Primarily a pop record, the album incorporates elements of Latin music and R&B.
Dick Dale and His Del-Tones – Singles Collection ’61 – 65 2xLP (Sundazed)
28 wild ‘n’ killer single sides from the Deltone and Capitol labels. These powerhouse As & Bs offer testament to the undiminished power of Dale’s work, as well as his continuing status as one of rock’s preeminent guitar innovators.
First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings 10” (Sony)
“Technically, Tender Offerings are the four songs that did not make it onto Ruins. For these ladies, these precious songs did not fit the bombastic folk-nature of the album. Instead, they truly felt like tender offerings; too sweet and soft in scope to be fluidly aligned with their other tracks. Once, you hear such gorgeous tracks like, “I’ve Wanted You” and “All That We Get” you will understand their point. Instrumentally, you feel every hook, melody, and chorus was precisely and clearly made as a cloud creates a raindrop. This duo turn their guitar melodies into field of amber strings dancing in the suns of their voices like grains move with daylight.” – Diandra Reviews It All
The Flaming Lips – In A Priest Driven Ambulance [Reissue/1990] LP (Rhino)
The Flaming Lips – Death Trippin’ At Sunrise: Rarities, B-Sides & Flexi-Discs 1986-1990 2xLP (Rhino)
Vinyl reissue of The Flaming Lips’ fourth studio album and a new rarities/B-sides collection.
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Blood Lust [Reissue/2011] LP (Rise Above)
Uncle Acid – Mind Control [Reissue/2013] 2xLP (Rise Above)
Limited import-only splatter colored vinyl reissues of the English psych/acid band’s second and third albums.
Tom Waits – Heartattack And Vine [Reissue/1980] LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Released in 1980, Heartattack And Vine was Waits’ final album on Elektra Asylum and it built on the raw blues approach of Blue Valentine with the incendiary title track, the funky, organ driven “Downtown” and the stomping NOLA blues of “Mr. Siegal”. This album also contains some of Waits’ most popular ballads, including “Jersey Girl” which was famously a hit for Bruce Springsteen. “On The Nickle” is a moving song about the homeless people who lived on 5th street in downtown LA, and “Ruby’s Arms” is a beautiful song with a lovely Bach-like melody. [180gm pressing also available.]
Weeknd – Kiss Land [Reissue/2013] 2xLP (Republic)
Double seaglass-colored vinyl LP pressing. Kiss Land followed up The Weeknd’s unanimously celebrated double-platinum selling 2012 debut, Trilogy. Tapping into that same signature mystique, this second effort is an elegant pastiche of love, longing, and lust set to a futuristic soundtrack of shimmering keys, disruptive synths, and airy atmospherics.