Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11
With six CDs of music, here’s the basement’s kitchen sink, sans a few “unlistenables”. Sweetening added to 1975’s partial LP release has been stripped away and, after years of sleuthing, the cleanest sources were located. (A 2-CD set is available for the financially impaired.) In ’67, while recuperating from the “Judas!” tour, Bob and The Band kept sharp by rehearsing in Big Pink’s basement. Some of the bard’s then-new tunes were sent as publishing demos to The Byrds and others, and The Band released a few on 1968’s Music From Big Pink. Otherwise they simply revelled in making music for fun. In addition to future Dylan classics (You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, I Shall Be Released), they jammed on many shades of blues, honky-tonk, rockabilly, calypso, 19th century drinking songs, et al. Although keyboardist Garth Hudson ran tape, they had no idea that anyone might hear the results, save for the dozen-plus demos. Read the full review on MOJO
Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
Unlucky for some, but not for Deerhoof. The quartet’s 13th LP is a product of the band’s 20 year history together, but if you didn’t know it, you would never guess that this wasn’t a sparkling debut written by a bunch of 20-somethings with an abundance of live-wire energy. Interesting that an album which was kickstarted by the band’s impromptu decision to record a song that sounded like their own take on the Ramone’s “Pinhead” ended up being named after Madonna’s kitschy classic “La Isla Bonita” – but that’s Deerhoof (nothing will be stranger than Milk Man, their 2004 concept album based around a pied piper figure enchanting children into his “dreamland”…) “Exit Only”, the album’s high-octane “Pinhead” sound-alike, is just one taste of the bolshy, punk streak that bleeds through the whole LP. Read the full review on Line of Best Fit
Grouper – Ruins
The emotional core of the album is the four melancholy songs for piano and voice, which are complemented by two instrumentals of a similar mood. Rarely have Harris’ lyrics been so clearly audible, and rarely, if ever, has love been so plainly the focus of her songwriting. “I hear you calling and I wanna go/ Run straight into the valleys of your arms,” she sings on “Holding”, her multitracked close harmonies reminiscent of Low circa The Curtain Hits the Cast. On the devastating “Clearing”, she sings, “Every time I see you/ I have to pretend I don’t”; on “Call Across Rooms”, she has a change of heart: “I have a present to give you/ When we finally figure it out.” (“The song is on one level very plain and literal, about a letter I wrote for someone I loved and could not get along with,” she told Vogue.) Read the full review on Pitchfork.
Thurston Moore – The Best Day
Following more in the footsteps of late-career Sonic Youth than his recent foray with Chelsea Light Moving, Moore’s new eight-song album is a record filled with complementary guitar lines (“Speak to the Wild”), dissonant post-punk thrashers (11-minute epic “Forevermore” and the upbeat “Detonation”) and poetic, punk rock ponderings (the Darby Crash-alluding “Germs Burn”). Read the full review on Exclaim
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were
Balls. 27-year-old singer-songwriter Ben Howard certainly has a pair of balls. After the unexpected success of 2011’s acoustic heavy debut Every Kingdom that saw him land a couple of Brit Awards and a Mercury Prize nomination, he’d be stupid not to build on that success and chuck out more of the same, right? Wrong. He’s fed up of the first album after having flogged it to death touring it extensively, so has chosen a different direction entirely – one down electric avenue, in fact. Read the full review on Music OHM
Sunn O & Scott Walker – Soused
Soused begins with “Brando”, a searing piece that immediately sets the limit for which the patience of the listener will be (consensually) tested over the course of the record. Various off-beat sounds open the track – a Slash-y guitar stinger here, a whip crack there, before the first gargantuan drone burns like molten tarmac through the speakers. Scott’s wet croon is as gorgeous and ectopic as ever as he moans amidst growling guitar feedback, and you can sense he’s instantly at ease coated in corrosive electric dew by Messrs Anderson and SOMA. And those whip cracks can really eat you up, too, if you ain’t careful, especially considering the fact that they are the beat… Read the full review on The Line Of Best Fit
If their last album was a 60s feast, ‘…And Star Power’ is a 70s all-you-can-eat buffet that gloriously clashes stewed girl-group harmonies (‘Star Power IV: Ooh Ooh’) with chargrilled punk riffs (‘Can’t Contextualize My Mind’), crushed-ice soul shakes (‘Coulda Been My Love’), side-dishes of glam rock (‘Freedom II’) and a supersize bucket of hip-shaking foot-clicking, finger-licking raw attitude.
Even with a pupil-popping twenty-four tracks, the album rarely feels repetitive. In usual Foxygen style, most of the tracks anyway comprise of several parts that twist-and-turn and helter-skelter like a piss-up at a playpark. ‘Cold Winter / Freedom’, for example, shape shifts from a distortion sludge into a full-out wig-out, while ’ Cosmic Vibrations’ morphs from a Doors-y feel into a Stones-y ending and ‘Everyone Needs Love’ rollercoasters through every sound of the album like a musical safari. Read the full review on DIY Magazine
Melvins – Hold It In
Hold It In finds the band in fairly playful mood and with a line-up that is positively mouthwatering. Alongside stalwarts Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover are Butthole Surfers members Jeff Pinkus (bass) and Paul Leary (guitar). The result is one of the band’s most rewarding and varied albums to date. They lend the Melvins a slightly poppier sound in places and, although Leary’s swirls of psyche-guitar lunacy make an occasional appearance, this is most definitely a Melvins album and not some kind of bizarre hybrid. Read the full review on Music OHM
Stars – No One Is Lost
Among the most dependable Canadian indie-rock institutions of the post-millennial era, Stars are just as easily to be taken for granted at this point as they are to be appreciated. What was most astonishing about the band when they landed their critical and popular smash with their third album, Set Yourself on Fire, a decade ago, is how fresh their sound was. Inverting the experimental-noise-to-pop-melody ratio of early collaborators Broken Social Scene, Stars made a record that bounded seamlessly from the blissed-out electronica of its title track and the gorgeous shoegaze-pop of “Ageless Beauty” all the way to the gnarled post-punk fury of “He Lied About Death.” Read the full review on Exclaim
Olivia Jean – Bathtub Love Killings
Jean wrote all the songs on Bathtub Love Killings and plays most of the instruments, too, showing off the talent that made her stand out to Jack White when she handed out demos of her solo surf guitar music after a Dead Weather gig in her hometown of Detroit. Since then Jean has been a regular on a variety of Third Man projects and played on both of White’s solo albums. Preview the album at No Country for New Nashville
Like many people who’ve grown past 30 years old, Steven Ellison has lost some important people in his life. Specifically, they were artistic inspirations—from collaborators like Austin Peralta to influences like J Dilla to blood relatives like Alice Coltrane—formative catalysts that made his music and his life what it is. Coltrane in particular is frequently brought up as a familial connection to Ellison, but even if she weren’t his great-aunt, her meditative way of being in the world and putting forth music as a way of spiritual connection has carried through deeply into Ellison’s own art, even when it appears irreverent or cartoon-ridiculous on the surface. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Jackson Browne – Standing in the Breach
It is a testament to Browne’s raw talent and longevity — he turns 66 on Thursday — that he releases his 14th studio album, Standing in the Breach, Tuesday. It’s a record that bears witness to a songwriter’s confusion about the world we’re living in, and yet, he remains resolute and hopeful.
He laments the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United and takes a shot at the absence of gun control — “They’ll sell a Glock 19 to just about anyone” — and most of all, he mourns the fact that America and the larger world are defined increasingly by have-nots getting crushed by haves.
“So many live in poverty,” he writes, “while others live as kings.”
And yet, Standing in the Breach is not without humor and an optimism that we can all do better. Despite everything that surrounds us, “If I could be anywhere right now,” Browne writes, “ I would be here.” Read the full review on Dallas News
Stevie Nicks – 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault
Serving as the follow-up to 2011’s In Your Dreams, the album was co-produced by Dave Stewart and Waddy Wachtel and features new recordings of previously unreleased material from Nicks’ storied career. “Most of these songs were written between 1969 and 1987,” Nicks described in a press release. “One was written in 1994 and one in 1995. I included them because they seemed to belong to this special group.” Stream the new album on Consequence of Sound
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright
Could their ninth studio album accurately be called Bluerton, some flawless hybrid of the band’s first two works? Not exactly. Cuomo isn’t the brooding, isolated man he was when he wrote “Say It Ain’t So” and “Across the Sea”. Yet in revisiting those times, in trying to get back in touch with that man, he and the rest of Weezer have created something that’s completely unique to their catalog, a record that tries its damnedest to feel alienated by the conflicts of the past, but discovers that it’s actually at peace with them. Read the full review on Consequence of Sound
Tomorrow, September 27th, is Cassette Store Day!! Stop in to grab an exclusive CSD release!
ALSO **all** of our regular non-CSD cassette’s will be on sale (new and used). Check out the list below of what CSD releases we have in stock and check out their website for more info: http://cassettestoreday.us/
See you tomorrow!
Adolescents – The Complete Demos 1980-1986 (Burger/Frontier Records)
Kurt Braunohler – How Do I Land? (Kill Rock Stars)
Cymbals Eat Guitar – Lose (Barsuk Records)
Enslaved – Riitiir (Nuclear Blast)
Exodus Exhibit – B: The Human Condition (Nuclear Blast)
The Golden Dawn – Power Plant (Burger Records)
Robyn Hitchcock – The Man Upstairs (Yep Roc Records)
King Bitch – Lost in the Party: The Best of King Bitch (Infinity Cat Recordings)
Mutual Benefit – Love’s Crushing Diamond (Other Music Recording Co.)
Natural Child – Live in Birmingham (Burger Records)
Chuck Prophet – Night Surfer (Yep Roc Records)
Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam (Nuclear Blast)
Testament – Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast)
Testament – The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast)
They Might Be Giants – They’ll Need A Crane (Idlewild Recordings)
They Might Be Giants – (She Was A) Hotel Detective (Idlewild Recordings)
1349 – Massive Cauldron of Chaos (Season of Mist)
Torres – S/T
Townes Van Zandt – S/T (Burger Records)
Various Artists – Friends and Family Vol. 1 (Northern Spy Records)
Various Artists – Friends and Family Vol. 2 (Northern Spy Records)
Various Artists – Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Yep Rock Records)
Weedeater – …And Justice for All (Season of Mist)
Weedeater – Sixteen Tons (Season of Mist)
Alt-J – This Is all Yours
The otherworldly layers of vocal chants on “Intro” don’t so much set a tone for the album as they make a statement of off-kilter intent, flowing into the more intimate but nonetheless interesting “Arrival in Nara.” “Every Other Freckle” sees the band at their most lyrically provocative, as Joe Newman croons, “Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet” with disturbing honesty. Single “Left Hand Free” is a high point, with its rapid-fire vocals and drums, while the Miley Cyrus sampling “Hunger of the Pine” intrigues and beguiles in its slow build. Read the full review on Under The Radar
Tweedy – Sukierae
On these 20 songs, the younger Tweedy emerges as the kind of musician who actively challenges his old man. His playing is rooted in jazz, rock, and avant-garde, which means he doesn’t simply keep time and add a lot of fills—but he still defines the grain and texture of these songs. Spencer gives “Diamond Light, Pt. 1” its jittery gallop, “Low Key” its low-key hustle, “World Away” its classic rock rumble. Favoring what might be described as a strum—rolling across toms and kick drum in a rhythm that rocks toward and away from the beat—Spencer ensures his father’s pop melodies never sound settled or merely decorous. Instead, he conveys a jumpy paranoia, as though he and his dad expect to hear the worst news possible. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
Popular Problems, his 13th studio album, has everything of which a latter-day Cohen album is popularly known to be composed: the amelodic, magical croak of Cohen’s own finely aged voice; the hyper-melodic shine of his singers, who have become as integral to Cohen’s project as he himself; a loose, blurring approach to genre and tone. The album seems to be of the same make as 2012’s Old Ideas; both are relaxed in their dedication to definite genre, and both humbly display the wisdom one would expect from an icon like Cohen. Even their titles comprise the interlocking halves of some private mantra or joke, some defining force behind Cohen’s recent inspirations: “Old Ideas, Popular Problems.” The Old Ideas, still Popular Problems, seem to be the things Cohen has always written about: sex, god, art, mystery, society. Read the full review on Tiny Mix Tapes
Can’t wait to hear the Tweedy, the brand new double album by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy? Neither can we so we’re hosting a listening party this Saturday September 20 from 3pm-6pm. During the listening party you’ll be able to pre-order the CD for $13.99 or the vinyl for $24.99. If that’s not enough of a reason to come down, we’ll also be having a sale on all new and used Americana CDs and vinyls.
Oh and one more thing, during this listening party you can also get entered into a drawing for a giveaway of a white-label version of the Tweedy vinyl signed by Jeff Tweedy himself. This Saturday from 3pm-6pm will be the only time to be entered into this drawing so be sure to come on down!!
On Saturday September 20th, we’re hosting a special listening party for Lucinda Williams’ upcoming double album, “Where the Spirit Meets the Bone.” The listening party will run from 12-3 pm. During the listening party not only can you get a free Lucinda Williams print, you can also get 10% on all new and used Americana CD and vinyl!!! (Note: does not include already marked down items.) You can also pre-order Lucinda’s new album on CD for $11.99 or vinyl for $29.99. So come on down this Saturday from 12pm-3pm for prints, savings and Lucinda Williams!!