On RESIST!, Chicago’s original punk cowboys, The Waco Brothers, play protest songs about the folks getting shoved down, and songs about the system that’s doing the shoving. The band’s 25-year songbook remains alarmingly relevant. They can be political, they can be personal, and sometimes there is no difference. Their shout-along manifestos and strident tomfoolery make for a potent elixir in times when reason and humor are at odds. They can be political, they can be personal, and sometimes there is no difference. Their shout-along manifestos and strident tomfoolery make for a potent elixir in times when reason and humor are at odds. With a hardy cackle and righteous rant, they’re down for the siege, as long as there’s enough beer to make it to last call.  Commit to something drastic! Hoist a pint for Joe Strummer! And ¡Viva Los Hermanos Wacos!

Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives even further into the musical dichotomies they’re known for—lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily— and what emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks. The Main Thing delivers Real Estate’s most inspired and self-aware set of songs to date. Across the album’s 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirizing lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.

J.S. Bach: Complete Cello Suites (Transcribed For Violin) (CD)
JS Bach’s cello suites are known and loved by classical aficionados worldwide. These are the second known recordings of the suites on violin and the first to feature the 6th Suite on 5-string violin. Gandelsman’s years of experience with master musicians from various world traditions (Bela Fleck, Martin Hayes, Kayhan Kalhor) bring a refreshing deeply personal view to these magnificent works.

CHARLES LLOYD, 8: Kindred Spirits, Live From The Lobero (LP/CD)

The legendary saxophonist, composer, and jazz mystic Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday on March 15, 2018, at his hometown venue, Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre, with an unprecedented grouping of musical friends including guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland, with special guests organist Booker T. Jones and bassist Don Was joining the ensemble midway. His new album 8: Kindred Spirits, Live From the Lobero documents both the sights and sounds of that extraordinary concert, and arrives in a signed and hand numbered limited-edition deluxe box set that includes 3-LPs, 2-CDs, and a DVD of the full performance, along with a 96-page hardcover book and 2 photo prints that commemorate the first 8 decades of Lloyd’s remarkable journey. The album also comes in standard LP/DVD, CD/DVD, and digital versions featuring the concert’s first half.

CARIBOU, Suddenly (LP/CD)
Some artists’ careers seem to progress according to a carefully calculated plan, and there are others whose career seems to progress as a result of happy accidents and unexpected outcomes. Dan Snaith, who records as Caribou and Daphni, belongs firmly in the latter category. In the early 00s, he started out making critically acclaimed electronica that variously tilted towards psychedelia, krautrock and the wistful techno of Boards of Canada; he did it while studying for a PhD in pure mathematics, which added to its cerebral, rarefied air. There were artists who seemed less likely than Snaith to release an Ibiza-approved dancefloor banger, but they largely resided in the realms of funeral doom metal and musique concrète. This made it a surprise to everyone – including Snaith – when Sun, a track from 2010’s Swim, became an Ibiza-approved dancefloor banger. That was five years ago: Snaith’s return to the Caribou name comes accompanied by the suggestion that he’s moved away from what he considers commerciality.  Throughout, Suddenly pushes Snaith’s voice to the forefront, frequently without reverb or any of the other effects applied as standard to vocals: it feels like he’s singing directly into your ear. Suddenly is appropriately named: it’s an album that keeps unexpectedly changing course, often in the middle of a track. The overall effect is to continually pull the rug out from underneath the listener, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out what Snaith’s driving at: life has a habit of not turning out as you expect.

The fourth album from Alabama sibling duo the Secret Sisters is the stunning country-soul opus their talent has always promised. Laura and Lydia Rogers have been at it since 2010, and in 2017, the pair enlisted singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile to co-produce their third LP, You Don’t Own Me Anymore, helping them up their game in a set of songs about piloting life’s hardships, delivered with tender intimacy. Carlile is back for Saturn Return, a spare, gorgeous, relatably realistic set. The record taps the melting-pot influences native to their hometown of Muscle Shoals, from hymnal ballads like “Tin Can Angel” and “Hold You Dear” to the Joan Baez-like noir folk of “Fair.” They honor vintage sounds, but also play with them: “Silver” feels like a 17th–century-style English ballad, telling the tale of a woman who realizes she’s going gray, but what feels like a lament soon becomes a speedy roots rocker with a winking defiance against the stigma of aging. A tension between Southern gothic darkness and churchy salvation has always simmered beneath the surface of the Sisters’ music. Here it feels like that fault line might erupt, as they segue from bluesy rage to dreamy retro-pop pastiche. The effortlessness with which the Secret Sisters articulate their musical ambitions places Saturn Return among recent country-roots gems from songwriters like Jason Isbell and Pistol Annies. If working through their struggles has been a strange process, the wait was more than worth it. As they tell us with pride, “It doesn’t matter when you bloom/It matters that you do.”

THE REVIVALISTS, Made In Muscle Shoals (CD)





COR-CRANE SECRET (blue swirl vinyl LP)
TODAY’S ACTIVE LIFESTYLES (yellow and red swirl vinyl LP)
North Carolina math rockers Polvo are reissuing two albums from the early ’90s: Polvo’s 1992 debut Cor-Crane Secret and their 1993 follow-up Today’s Active Lifestyles will be available February 28 via Merge. Both records will be pressed on colored vinyl; Cor-Crane Secret will be released on blue and white swirl vinyl, while Today’s Active Lifestyles will be issued on mustard yellow and red swirl vinyl. The reissue of Cor-Crane Secret will showcase rare posters and ephemera from the band’s archive while Today’s Active Lifestyles includes never-before-seen photos


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