NEW RELEASES 7/28: July ends with an ARCADE FIRE dance party, a live set from CAGE THE ELEPHANT, some smokin’ guitar from REX BROWN and a slew of APHEX TWIN reissues!

Arcade Fire tops the New Release cavalcade this week, along with Cage The Elephant and the Manchester Orchestra, but we’ve also got some Dawg from the vaults and no fewer than six Aphex Twin reissues on vinyl! Read on…

ARCADE FIRE, Everything New (CD/LP)
Arcade Fire’s fifth LP Everything Now opens with its title track, twice. The first version, logged under the name “Everything_Now (Continued),” lasts for just under one woozy minute, and it in no way prepares the listener for what’s to come. When the dirgelike intro gives way to the full five-minute “Everything Now,” the explosion of joyous rhythm, infectious melody, and disco glitz is unexpected—but, boy, is it ever welcome. The album that follows has a lot more in common with the “fun” take on its opening song than the more plaintive, somber one. While both iterations of “Everything Now” feel like a natural progression from the arty world-beat/dance-fever experiments of 2013’s Reflektor, placing these two tracks back-to-back at the start of Everything Now almost feels like a gesture of reassurance to longtime fans. “Relax,” the band is saying. “This album won’t be as difficult as the last one.”

CAGE THE ELEPHANT, Unpeeled (CD/LP)
Despite four solid albums of robust rock & roll, Cage the Elephant are best experienced live. These 21 tracks are not, however, indicative of the explosive shows that made their reputation, instead they come from a recent acoustic tour and feature a string quartet. The result is a surprisingly excellent collection, the new context bringing a refreshing sense of vulnerability to a once quite brattish band. The strings are most effective on “Too Late To Say Goodbye”, while the intoxicating swagger of “Cry Baby” and “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” is not dulled. Singer Matt Shultz’s impressive emotional range caps off that rare thing: a highly satisfying live album.

MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA, Black Mile To The Surface (CD/LP)
Manchester Orchestra’s latest album, 2014’s Cope, pulsed with angst and searing grunge and emo rock. Now, frontman Andy Hull, 30 years old and a first-time father, has found his pained inspiration muted by the pram in the hall. After a brief sojourn scoring weirdo indie film Swiss Army Man, the group from Atlanta, Georgia, returned to their original project, determined to fuse this newly acquired cinematic scope to their trademark turbo-emotion. Rather than creating lofty Sigur Rós soundscapes or Trent Reznor-like industrial atmospherics, their fifth LP is full of hearty, outdoorsy Americana. While there are oddball lyrical themes throughout, it orbits a grownup indie rock world: The Moth recalls the glacial expanses of Mew; The Alien shares both Fleet Foxes pattering and the quietly cosmic influence of the Antlers. The Sunshine finds them comfortable in softness, while The Grocery is pure adult contemporary; a cosy tone they strike with reluctant ease.

REX BROWN, Smoke On This (CD/LP)
“Smoke On This” finds Rex Brown stepping out into the limelight as master of his destiny for the first time. And for good measure he’s singing, playing lead and rhythm guitar here (don’t worry, though, he’s also the four string player). It starts as you might expect it to. “Lone Rider” is a chunky southern rocker that finds him “rolling down the highway, moving eighteen wheels” as its first line. Equal parts Black Label Society and Lynyrd Skynryd it is a fine opener and if the rest of the record was in this vein then it’d still be superb. Confessional and deeply personal, the album is mostly split between whiskey soaked rockers like “Train Song” and those with more lofty ambition. “Get Yourself Alright” is clearly influenced by The Beatles – albeit The Beatles if they had long hair rather than mop tops. “Fault Line” is a country fried singer songwriter thing that wouldn’t be out of place on a Tom Petty album, and “What Comes Around” is a glorious chugging mid-paced ballad.

DEL MCCOURY & DAVID GRISMAN, Del & Dawg Hardcore Bluegrass (CD)
David Grisman met Del McCoury at the first show Del ever played (on banjo) with Bill Monroe in the spring of 1963 at New York University in Greenwich Village. Three years later, Del & Dawg played their first gig together in Troy, NY at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. They both celebrated the arrival of first-born sons, Monroe Grisman and Ronnie McCoury, within a month of each other. This unique collection of bluegrass classics, made at two Dawg studio jam sessions in the 1990s, celebrates the nearly 50-year bluegrass friendship that these two legendary musicians have shared.

ALICE COOPER, Paranormal (CD/LP)

JACKYL, Jackyl 25 (CD)

JOHN PIZZARELLI, Sinatra & Jobim At 50  (CD)

 

 

KILLER REISSUES:

APHEX TWIN:

The grandaddy of British electronica gets the deluxe reissue treatment with six vinyl releases of his biggest and most influential albums.

Come To Daddy (LP)
Drukqs (LP)
I Care Because You Do (LP)
Richard D James Album (LP)
Selected Ambient Works II (LP)
Windowlicker (LP)

 

DAVID GRISMAN & JIM HURST, David Grisman’s Folk Jazz Trio
David Grisman and his bass-playing son, Sam, first met and played with guitarist/vocalist extraordinaire Jim Hurst a decade ago at the “Bluegrass At The Beach” camp in Oregon. In 2011, David attended one of Jim’s remarkable solo performances in Sonoma County and was inspired to form this trio to explore some of their common roots in folk, country and jazz.

 

 

COMING SOON:

COLDPLAY, Kaleidoscope (8/4)

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL: I Love You All The Time: Live At Olympia In Paris (8/4)

OLD SALT UNION, Old Salt Union (8/4)

 

And don’t forget these STILL-NEW platters that matter!

CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, Barefoot In The Head (CD/LP)
The notion of being Barefoot In The Head perfectly expresses the enduring hippie instincts of Chris Robinson’s prolific band. It also conveys the laidback rustic stoner vibe of this latest album, on which keening steel guitar and country harmonies in songs like “Blonde Light Of Morning” and “If You Had A Heart To Break” locates them squarely in the Laurel Canyon lineage. But unlike most of their country-rock forefathers, Robinson’s blues-rock background gives the CRB a soulful edge evident here in the funk shuffle “Behold The Seer”, where liquid guitar licks and quacking clavinet carry his invocation to “put on your dancing shoes, we got nothing to lose, it’s only space and time.”

STANTON MOORE, With You In Mind (CD/LP)
With You In Mind: The Songs Of Allen Toussaint, a new release from Galactic-drummer Stanton Moore with David Torkanowsky (keyboards) and James Singleton (bass) features an all-star cast: Cyril Neville, Jolynda Kiki Chapman, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, Maceo Parker, and Wendell Pierce. The musicians on With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint are present-generation masters of the unique musical style of the world-historic city of New Orleans. These singers and players felt the mission of the album, and delivered inspired, focused performances. Producers Torkanowsky and Moore sculpted it all into a great album that grows with every subsequent listen.

AVEY TARE, Eucalyptus (CD)
Avey Tare’s latest album still resembles Animal Collective, but in a way that feels invigorating rather than tired. Described as “an electroacoustic movement through leaves, rocks and dust”, it revives the backwoods freak-folk that the band largely abandoned after 2005’s excellent Feels. There are a few too many noodling sound collages across its 15 tracks, but at its peak – on the delicate, maudlin Ms Secret or the chirpingly melodic Jackson 5 – Eucalyptus reminds you of what made Tare and his bandmates such a thrillingly different prospect in the first place.

DAN CROLL, Emerging Adulthood (CD)
Merging elements of jazz, vintage rock ‘n’ roll and new wave, Dan Croll’s newest release, Emerging Adulthood is a modern pop triumph. These ten songs successfully explore countless genres without sounding inconsistent and all while expanding on Croll’s signature sound. From the psychedelic opener, “One Of Us” to the twinkling “Sometimes When I’m Lonely” all the way to the massive “SWIM,” Emerging Adulthood will take you on a journey and give you a few new summer anthems to blast until fall.
DAMIAN MARLEY, Stony Hill (CD)
While others in the Marley family carry on Bob’s name through premium headphones, gourmet coffee and decaffeinated tea, his youngest son continues to push reggae forward. Blockbuster trap production is put to skanking service on Here We Go, but there’s still room for classic roots on Looks Are Deceiving. Lyrically, it’s what you might expect, with odes to the medicinal properties of marijuana (Medication), lamplit sweet nothings (Grown and Sexy), and a string of socially conscious lamentations. On epic digi-dub track Time Travel, he perhaps lets the paranoia induced by the aforementioned medication get to him, and lists Fifa and Madden video games alongside Isis and global warming in a list of contemporary ills. But his authoritative, melodious voice paints vexation on Roar and disappointment on Slave Mill in equally affecting brushstrokes, creating the kind of universally understood sociology his father specialised in.

NIGHTHAWKS, All You Gotta Do (CD)
This most venerable D.C.-based band of blues warriors once again recasts a wide range of cover fare in their signature road-toughened, small-group sound.  A Randy Newman tune- “Let’s Burn Down The Cornfield”- sounds as at-home for a blues harp-fronted four-piece outfit as does a more likely inclusion- the Willie Dixon-penned, Muddy Waters hit “Baby, I Want to Be Loved”.  A late 50’s Brenda Lee hit, “That’s All You Gotta Do” fits in as well as does Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Ninety-Nine”.  Perhaps the Standells’ 60’s smash “Dirty Water” is not such a surprising pick by the end of the set.

TYLER THE CREATOR, Flower Boy (CD)
Like a lot of great artists, Tyler, the Creator is hard to figure out, especially regarding how much of a character he’s been playing on his records. On Bastard – his 2009 debut, an online release made when he was 18 that is too musically accomplished and lyrically lacerating to dismiss as a mixtape – he set a mischievous, even malevolent, tone with songs about rape and mutilation that dared listeners to wonder how fictional a creation the rapper was. His albums since – Goblin (2011), Wolf (2013) and Cherry Bomb (2015) – have mixed piteous confessions with homicidal obscenities, but always with the arch tone of a detached observer. That Tyler has established himself as a video director (not to mention festival entrepreneur, and photobook and media app creator) has furthered the sense of a renaissance man amusing himself before making the inevitable move to something grownup, like making movies. But Flower Boy – promoted in the weeks since it leaked as Scum F*ck Flower Boy – doesn’t seem like the work of someone treating music as a trifle. In fact, it feels like a statement, even a concept, an impression enhanced by reports that Flower Boy marks Tyler’s coming out. Ever since Bastard, on tracks such as Blow, Tyler has been juxtaposing murderous abasement with mellifluous beats – Scum Fuck, meet Flower Boy – but it has always seemed like a distancing technique, or perhaps even a sardonic comment on the banality of evil. Here, as he puts his N*E*R*D worship to use on gorgeous pillowy synths and lush chord progressions, there are precious few such moments of corrosive sorcery-cum-savagery. Probably only Who Dat Boy will appeal to those desperate for a French! or Yonkers. Those sumptuous sonics are mostly used to soundtrack barely concealed declarations from Tyler regarding his sexuality and his difference from the rap pack.

  • Marantz TT1060 semi-automatic turntable
    Here’s a nice entry level table that will severely outperform any newer table even close to it’s price point. The Marantz TT1060 is a semi-automatic table which means the tonearm will return to rest at the end of play.
  • Technics TT SL 1800 turntable
    Technics SL-1800 full manual direct drive turntable, circa 1977. This table is a heavy beast with a very strong motor. A new stylus has been installed on the Stanton cartridge and sounds fantastic. All tonearm features have been set correctly and the stylus tracks at a recommended 3 grams
  • Realistic Lab 430 Direct Drive Turntable
    Very nice inexpensive table with the benefit of direct drive (no belts to change) and auto return. The table has been thoroughly gone through and all features work as they should. A new elliptical stylus has been mounted on the Shure cartridge and balanced correctly.
  • Sonamp 260 from SONANCE
    Soooo nice! This super nice, modestly priced 100 watt per channel power amp has been all checked out and works great. It’s cost effective way to run lots of power!
  • Technics SL-210 full manual turntable
    The table has been thoroughly inspected and gone through with all features working correctly. This is a full manual table, simply turn the table on and move the stylus to the record surface, no auto features to adjust or be concerned with. The new stylus sounds great, is readily available and super affordable. A nice survivor from 1978!
  • SANSUI FR-D35 SEMI-AUTOMATIC DIRECT TURNTABLE
    A new stylus has been installed on the vintage AT cartridge and all features of the table work perfectly!
  • EPI A110 SPEAKERS: 2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new!
    2-way, classic bookshelf charmers! Sound great, woofers rebuilt like new. Circa 1980’s Epicure Productions vintage feature 8”woofers. Critically acclaimed in their day and still sound good, audiophile delivery without the high dollar price. Full-on ready, great sound, woofers rebuilt like new!
  • TASCAM 102 CASSETTE DECK!
    So fresh and so clean! This deck is in great shape and sounds like a champ. Bust out those old bootlegs and mixed tapes.
  • VINTAGE RARE SAE MARK XXXI SOLID STATE STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER WORKS GREAT! SOUNDS GREAT!
    Unit is in really nice physical condition. Recently gone through, tested and checked, all functions have been tested and work great! ready to rock with a pre-amp!
  • ADVENT LAUREATE Mini Tower Speakers
    amazing sound, brilliant natural refined listening experience. woofers on both speakers just completely rebuilt better than new! The Advents, both large and small, sounded pretty good and gave excellent value for the money. The company was one of a long string of companies that descended from the original Acoustic Research (AR). Advents eventually lost their enormous popularity and nearly faded away. International Jensen, a company based in the Chicago suburbs, rescued Advent and resurrected it. The Advent model we tested deserves a Ph.D. Advent appropriately names it the Laureate. The Laureate overwhelmed my skepticism that a modestly priced floor-standing loudspeaker could deliver good sound
  • SANSUI SR-525 DIRECT DRIVE TURNTABLE
    Excellent working and sounding Sansui SR-525 full manual direct drive turntable. A new stylus has been installed, and the cartridge has been properly aligned in the headshell according to Sansui specifications. This is a very heavy table with great Sansui build quality.
  • YAMAHA NATURAL SOUND A-700 INTEGRATED STEREO AMPLIFIER
    A classic “hoss” circa 1983/84. 100 watts per channel! Has phono input.
  • Fisher REC 727 AV Receiver
    This Fisher A/V receiver has phono input, remote and 200 watts! Fire it up bro!
  • Marantz REC SR 225
    This super vintage budget receiver is the perfect starter unit for someone wanting to explore the world of hi fidelity sounds. It’s been all checked out and has a clean bill of health; and with phono input so it’s good to go with any classic turntable.
  • Sansui SPEAKERS SP 2000
    These Sansui SP-2000 speakers from the 70s are some awesome vintage rockers! These big boys have a four way/six driver configuration plus a bass port. They have been tested and sound great.
  • BOZAK CS4000 mod speakers, omg!! these big-boys ROCK!
    8 tweeters, 1 midrange and 2 woofers per. all original, very clean. extremely rare and VERY AMAZING sound!
  • BOSE 901 SERIES V SPEAKERS WITH BOSE 901 SERIES V ACTIVE EQUALIZER
    The essentially crossoverless design gives the 901 an unmistakable coherence, the model’s greatest strength. Its incredibly wide dispersion comes in a close second. The Bose 901s sound great anywhere in the room, After extensive listening, the Bose 901s strike me as being damn good. They have some limitations, but don’t all $1,400 speakers? For that matter, what $10,000 speakers are perfect? They are so smooth and musical.
  • Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers, 2 way plus bass port
    You can enlarge your sound while shrinking the speakers with a reliable bookshelf system. The Polk Audio T15 speakers can blend into the background while delivering impressive tone quality. It can be a superior system that offers balanced drivers and tweeters for a wide response with low distortion.