Posts Tagged ‘David Bowie’

Record Player, Disc, Multimedia, Music

The National return with I Am Easy To Find, there’s black vinyl, indies only clear vinyl 2xLP and deluxe 3xLP pressed on 3 different colours.
New black midi 12″ arrives on Rough Trade.
Brand new 12″ from Interpol.  Limited Dinked Edition of the new album from Black Peaches (featuring Rob Smoughton of Hot Chip). This version is pressed on teal vinyl with an exclusive 7″ and a signed print.
Third Man reissue the long out of print second album by The Raconteurs.
Institute return with Readjusting The Locks on bourbon coloured vinyl, via Sacred Bones.
slowthai unleashes his debut album, limited white vinyl pressing.
Two new David Bowie releases, Boys Keep Swinging 7″ picture disc and the nice Clareville Demos 7″ box set.
Excellent new compilation on Anthology, Sad About The Times, full of 70s psych jammers.

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The National –  I Am Easy to Find

I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s Grammy®-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was mostly recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn and more far flung locations. The album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.

As the album’s opening track, You Had Your Soul With You, unfurls, it’s so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Matt Berninger’s familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: The racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out—not as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it’s Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris—not a negation of the band’s dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.

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Interpol – A Fine Mess

 

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Olden Yolk – Living Theatre

The musical duo of Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer released their debut album as Olden Yolk last year, an alluring concoction of hypnagogic folk and kosmiche rhythms, expanding and refining Butler’s work in his former band Quilt toward a more focused direction. Living Theatre is the follow up to that eponymous debut and more than lives up to its promise.

The songs on Living Theatre were written and recorded during a heavy time of transition and upheaval for the duo, with personal tragedies and a big move from their NYC home to a warmer climate in Los Angeles coloring the album’s inception. Thematically Living Theatre tunes seem to be about how humans react to the ways life is colored by both fate and the consequences of the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. Musically, the duo’s songwriting has gelled into a unified front, relying more on the subtle shifts of melody and rhythm than a barrage of chord changes; Living Theatre’s hooks lap at your feet like a babbling brook, rather than bowl you over like violent waves. The refinement in tunes like Castor and Pollux, Grand Palais and first single Cotton and Cane points to a new frontier for the group; soaring skyward toward the emotionally textural plateaus of trailblazers like The Go-Betweens or Yo La Tengo. There’s a discernible romantic feel to tunes like Violent Days or Distant Episode’s lush arrangements with Shaffer in particular finding her own voice here; poetic, abstract and expressive. Living Theatre showcases a band breaking free from it’s chrysalis, and embracing its next phase of evolution.

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Alex Lahey – The Best Of Club

On her sophomore LP, The Best of Luck Club, 26-year-old Melbourne, Australia native Alex Lahey navigates the pangs of generational ennui with the pint half-full and a spot cleared on the bar stool next to her. Self-doubt, burn out, break-ups, mental health, moving in with her girlfriend, vibrators: The Best of Luck Club showcases the universal language of Lahey’s sharp songwriting, her propensity for taking the minute details of the personal and flipping it public through anthemic pop-punk. Lahey’s 2017 debut I Love You Like a Brother encases Lahey’s knack for writing a killer hook and her acute sense of humor delivered via a slacker-rock package and, in a way, The Best of Luck Club picks up where that record left off. Lahey co-produced the album alongside acclaimed engineer and producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Manchester Orchestra), and dives headfirst into a broader spectrum of both emotion and sound through polished, arena pop-punk in the vein of Paramore with the introspective sheen of Alvvays or Tegan and Sara. Here, Lahey documents the highest highs and the lowest lows of her life to date. After a whirlwind of global touring in support of breakout debut I Love You Like a Brother, Lahey wrote the bulk of her follow-up in Nashville during 12-hour days of songwriting. There, she found the inspiration for The Best of Luck Club ís concept: the dive bar scene and its genuine energy.”Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck, so The Best of Luck Club is that place.

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Lone Justice – Live At The Palomino 1983

Previously unissued live performance from October 22nd, 1983. Recorded at Los Angeles’ iconic Palomino club. New liners from the band’s Marvin Etzioni and Ryan Hedgecock. Located in North Hollywood, The Palomino hosted Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, and many more classic country acts. Later, George Harrison, Elvis Costello, and Green Day played there. It was even featured in Every Which Way But Loose, Hooper, and even CHiPs. But, in the early ’80s, it was a haven for “cow-punk” acts like Lone Justice. Live At the Palomino, 1983 features 12 tracks from the early Lone Justice line-up consisting of Maria McKee, Ryan Hedgecock, Marvin Etzioni, and Don Willens. Songs from their yet to be issued debut are coupled with classic country covers, and songs which have appeared on various collections throughout the years – but never with this live power from this L.A. landmark. Packaging features photos and new notes from Etzioni and Hedgecock, and is issued with full cooperation from the band. Step back into the time when Lone Justice was the band to see, way out in the dusty valley. A timeless performance from a band that helped define a genre: Lone Justice – Live At The Palomino, 1983. They still are the light.

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The Doors – Stockholm ‘68

The Doors, live at Konserthuset, Stockholm on 20th September 1968 The Doors finally visited Europe in September 1968, playing to rapturous audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. Many fans agree that they were at their peak on this tour, despite Jim Morrison’s condition being unpredictable from gig to gig. This release contains the final date of the tour, originally broadcast by Sveriges Radio. It includes rare performances of Mack The Knife, Love Street and You’re Lost Little Girl as well as familiar staples of their set, and is presented here together with background notes and images.

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Ronnie Lane – Just For A Moment: Music 1973-1997

This box includes Ronnie Lane’s 4 solo albums – Anymore For Anymore (and singles), Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance, One For the Road and the cruelly underrated See Me. In addition it features tracks from Ronnie’s Mahoney’s Last Standalbum with Ron Wood and Rough Mix with Pete Townshend. The final disc of the set focuses on Ronnie’s time in the US with live highlights and studio tracks never previously released. The set also featured lots of rare and unreleased material – be prepared to here fantastic cover versions of The Wanderer, Rocket’ 69and The Joint Is Jumpin’as well as unheard Ronnie compositions plus live recordings, tracks for the BBC and highlights from a legendary Rockpalast concert. The set is curated by long time musical associate of Ronnie’s, Slim Chancer musician Charlie Hart. Comprehensive sleevenotes focus on Ronnie the musician, the songwriter, the collaborator and split the post ’73 period into three distinct parts. Writers are Paolo Hewitt, Kris Needs and Kent Benjamin covering Ronnie’s Austin years.

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Traffic – The Studio Albums 1967-74

50 years after Steve Winwood jumped ship from chart toppers The Spencer Davis Group and quit the bright lights in favour of the countryside and jam sessions with Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason and Chris Wood we celebrate Traffic’s influential legacy with this stunning limited edition Island records studio collection. Boasting all 6 studio albums recorded for the label remastered from the original tapes and presented in their original and highly collectible ‘first’ Island pressing form (gatefold sleeves, pink eye labels etc), the set also includes a related and super rare facsimile promo poster for each album.

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David Bowie – Clareville Grove Demos

Following on from Spying Through A Keyhole, in early 1969 at his flat in Clareville Grove, London, David Bowie with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson continued to demo Space Oddity and other tracks. This live demo tape session is released as a 7″ vinyl singles box set of six home demos, four of which are previously unreleased recordings. As with the Spying Through A Keyhole vinyl singles box set, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels with cover and print photos by David’s then manager Ken Pitt taken in the Clareville Grove flat. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m. Due to the nature of some of the solo home demos where Bowie accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, the recording quality isn’t always of a usual studio fidelity. This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.

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David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging

2019 is the 40th anniversary of Lodger and first comes the latest limited 7″ picture disc from Parlophone, Boys Keep Swinging.

While originally recording the song, Bowie had hoped to capture a garage band feel with the musicians swapping instruments after a deck of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards had suggested ‘reverse roles’. So guitarist Carlos Alomar played drums and drummer Dennis Davis played bass.

The version featured on the A side is the 2017 mix by Tony Visconti from Lodger, undertaken for the A New Career In A New Townbox set, as both Tony and Bowie felt they never had the opportunity to give Lodger the mix it deserved in 1979, due to time and studio constraints.

The AA side features I Pray, Ole which was apparently recorded during the Lodger sessions, but remained unreleased until mixed by David and David Richards for inclusion as an extra track on the 1991 reissue of theLodger album. The track has been commercially unavailable since then.

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Working Mens Club – Bad Blood / Suburban Heights

Like a homage to smoke-filled vaults, aging billiard rooms and crumby packets of pork scratchings in the Working Men’s Clubs of days gone by, Todmorden-by-way of-Europe trio Syd, Jake and Giulia are about to fling open the doors of their own millennial social hub with the fresh post-punk of infectious debut single, Bad Blood / Suburban Heights. With the start-stop sound of Talking Heads, Gang of Four and Television,Bad Blood, fuses 70s post- punk with the stomp of Parquet Courts’ positivity and resonates with the start of the weekend...Syd’s half-spoken words jab through Strokes guitar lines with Mark E Smith drawl…it’s the feeling of a Saturday spent scuffing about in thrift stores and hanging out with friends.

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L’Epee – Dreams

This is the debut single release from L’Epee, the band are Emmaunelle Seigner (Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle), Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) and Lionel and Marie Liminana (The Liminanas). Recorded in Cabestany (France) and Berlin at Anton’s Cobra Studio, this three track 12” single comes in deluxe packaging and precedes the full length album released in June this year.

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David Bowie Is (Deluxe Hardback)

Published to accompany the blockbuster international exhibition launched at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, this is the only book to be granted access to Bowie’s personal archive of performance costume, ephemera and original design artwork by the artist, and brings it together to present a completely new perspective on his creative work and collaborations. The book traces his career from its beginnings in London, through the breakthroughs of Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and on to his impact on the larger international tradition of twentieth-century avant-garde art.

for more info contact the Flood Gallery,

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it’s just over *One* week now till Record Store Day 2019 and the excitement is palpable. People are already eyeing up the sacred list, marking down their order of priorities, and what a bumper year it is this year too – with an unbeatable set of rarities, exclusives, fancy editions and downright collectables to feast your eyes and ears on.

Notable releases this week : music fans were rewarded with some of the most exciting new releases of the year so far. Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, has released a career-defining LP, Titanic Rising, one of the highest-rated albums of 2019 so far. also received this week the highly-anticipated sophomore LP from D.C. rockers Priests, The Seduction of Kansas. In terms of track releases, we heard new singles from Vampire Weekend, The National and Big Thief plus some great cuts from Julie Shapiro, Field Medic and Porridge Radio.

The David Bowie ‘Spying Through The Keyhole’ 7″ box set looks great!
Circa Waves bring out a brand new record – limited blue vinyl.
There’s a new Weyes Blood album that has had excellent reviews – limited red vinyl.
the New Order ‘Movement’ box set looks nice – weighs a ton too.
A second set of Motorhead reissues.
Limited coloured vinyl from Music On Vinyl for Matthew Sweet and Within Temptation reissues.
Black vinyl for The Wannadies ‘Be A Girl’ .

W.H Lung’s dinked n limited “Incidental Music” should be first album of note to receive the attention combining it does, the thrust of Krautrock, the shimmer of psychedelia and all the gung-ho decadence of space rock.

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W H Lung – Incidental Music

W. H. Lung’s arrival at their debut album has been less conventional than most. A trait shared with the music they make, which weaves between shimmering synth pop and the infectious grooves of 70’s Berlin. The band never had any intention of playing live when forming, aiming instead to be a primarily studio-based project.

That approach was challenged when they released their debut 10” (‘Inspiration!/Nothing Is’) in 2017, which meant that they were quickly in demand. Booking requests started to flood in and W. H. Lung found themselves cutting their teeth on festival stages that summer. Though whilst some new bands may have let that interest change the course of the project, W. H. Lung stayed true to their original reticence and worked mainly as a studio band with their formidable live shows kept sporadic.

W. H. Lung have allowed this album to naturally gestate over the course of two years . The result is a remarkably considered debut – the production is crisp and pristine but not over-polished, the synths and electronics radiate and hum with a golden aura and the vocals weave between tender delivery and forceful eruptions. There is a palpable energy to the songs, as experienced in 10 glorious minutes of opening statement ‘Simpatico People’.
“I think it’s important to erase the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture,” states Joseph E. This colliding of worlds not only exists in the potent mix between whip-smart arrangements, lyrics and seamlessly danceable music but also in the fact that they are named after a cash and carry in Manchester. As Tom P. explains, “I thought it was funny juxtaposing those kind of austere associations with W. H. Auden and other initialed poets, writers, artists, etc. with the fact that it’s really just a Chinese supermarket.”

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Rozi Plain – What a Boost

Rozi Plain has been making music since her brother taught her a few chords on the guitar aged 13. Raised in Winchester, she spent a few years studying art and painting boats in Bristol, where she began collaborating with long-term friends Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rachael Dadd among many others on a thriving local scene. It was there that Rozi made her first two albums, 2008’s Inside Over Here and 2012’s Joined Sometimes Unjoined, each works of deliciously sad and beautiful pop full of heart-wrenching harmonies dotted with unexpected instrumental flourishes. Released in April 2015 on Lost Map and featuring contributions from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor among others her last album Friend was a deeply meaningful and wonderfully measured ode to memory, place, companionship and music’s remarkable power as an emotional salve. A companion album of remixes, unreleased tracks and radio sessions, Friend Of A Friend, was released in 2016.

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Luke Sital-Singh – A Golden State

Luke Sital-Singh releases his third album A Golden State on Raygun Records. The album was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, Soak), who also produced Luke’s last album, 2017’s Time Is A Riddle, and recorded in Portland’s Jackpot Studios, famously set up by Elliott Smith, where alumni include R.E.M., Stephen Malkmus, and The Decemberists. A Golden State contains new single Los Angeles, plus the 2018 singles The Last Dayand Love Is Hard Enough Without The Winter.

At its most basic, A Golden State is album of California dreaming. The songs therein reflect a new chapter, and a new mindset for Luke. “Overall, there is this ethereal, positive vibe – without being too cheesy,” he says. “There is an Americana fantasy, of wanting to escape to this gorgeous place – but also about what I’m escaping from.” The cover artwork, created by Hannah, a four-colour lino cut of the Venice Beach canals, is taken from her upcoming art book, Coastline.

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Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood, a.k.a. Natalie Mering, has designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist. Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising – which was written and recorded during the first half of 2018, after three albums and years of touring – as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.” The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.” As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”

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Priests – The Seduction Of Kansas

What is at stake in the seduction of Kansas? Like a gavel or hammer, the question rattles across the second LP from Washington, D.C. rock iconoclasts Priests: Entering their eighth year as a band, Priests—drummer Daniele Daniele, vocalist Katie Alice Greer, and guitarist G.L. Jaguar—remain an inspired anomaly in modern music. A band on its own label—jolting the greater music world with early releases by Downtown Boys, Snail Mail, Sneaks, and Gauche—they are living proof that it is still possible to work on one’s own terms, to collectively cultivate one’s own world. Priests enlisted two primary collaborators in writing, arranging, and recording The Seduction of Kansas. After playing cello, mellotron, and lap steel on Nothing Feels Natural, multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin (Mellow Diamond, Marissa Nadler) returned to breathe air into Priests’ demos, serving as primary bassist and a fourth songwriting collaborator on The Seduction of Kansas.

The band also found a kindred spirit in producer John Congleton (Angel Olsen, St. Vincent), recording for two weeks at his Elmwood Studio in Dallas. It marked the band’s first time opening up their creative work to collaborate with someone outside of their DC-based community—a decidedly less hermetic approach. Priests found a third collaborator in bassist Alexandra Tyson, who has also joined the touring band. The songwriting process found the group once again analyzing the textures and scopes of albums as aggressive as they are introspective, like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, Portishead’s Third, and Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral. The first single, “The Seduction of Kansas,” is Priests’ purest pop song to date. It is dark and glittering—though there is still something fantastically off about it, decadent and uneasy at once.

As journalist Thomas Frank explored in 2004’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?, the ideological sway of Kansas has often predicted the direction in which the U.S. will move—whether leaning socialist in the 1800s or going staunchly conservative in the 1980s. Illustrating Kansas’ potent place in our national imagination—as well as “a chorus of whoever is trying to persuade the social consciousness of Kansas”—Greer sings brilliantly of a “bloodthirsty cherub choir” in a cornfield, of “a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country through it used to be,” beckoning that “I’m the one who loves you.” The song does what Priests do best: They make us think, stir us with complexity.

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Son Volt – Union

Led by vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Jay Farrar, Son Volt became one of the leading bands in the alternative country community, attracting critical praise and an audience that was loyal if not always large. Farrar has collaborated with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and several other well respected artists / musicians. Union is the bands 10th studio album and mixes present and past into strong confluence. The thirteen new songs written by Farrar confront our turbulent politics and articulate the clarity and comfort music can offer in the tumult.

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Lady Lamb – Even In The Tremor

Even in the Tremor marks Spaltro’s latest full-length LP following 2015’s After and it’s a remarkable achievement because, among other things, it’s the first time in her career that Spaltro is singing explicitly about herself. Between confessing a tantrum in a batting cage (Little Flaws), telling the story of her parent’s kiddie-pool baptism (Young Disciple) and singing openly about untangling her girlfriend’s wet hair (Deep Love), Even in the Tremor is deeply rooted in the people and places, extraordinary and mundane, that have shaped Spaltro into the self-determining artist she is today. Known for her keen observations of others, Spaltro now turns her multifaceted ruminations inward; She calls out from dreams, peers into churches, has fits of rage, and struggles to get out of her head long enough to love herself and those around her. Commitment to creating only what is necessary and urgently felt is the key to appreciating Spaltro’s fearless songwriting, as emotional as it is philosophical. Even in the Tremor signifies the arrival of her most sonically soaring and brutally honest album to date.

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Shana Cleveland – Night Of The Worm Moon

Shana Cleveland has been beguiling listeners for years in her role as the superlative front woman for elastic surf rockers La Luz. Now Cleveland is evolving her sound on the new solo full-length Night of the Worm Moon, a serene album that flows like a warm current while simultaneously wresting open a portal to another dimension. As much a work of California sci-fi as Octavia Butler’s Parable novels, Night of the Worm Moon incorporates everything from alternate realities to divine celestial bodies. Inspired in part by one of her musical idols, the Afro-futurist visionary Sun Ra (the album’s title is a tip of the hat to his 1970 release Night of the Purple Moon), the record blends pastoral folk with cosmic concerns. Cleveland dreamt up this premise while living in Los Angeles, a city where – as deftly explored on La Luz’s recent Floating Features – reality and fantasy casually co-exist.

Abetting Cleveland during the recording process was a familiar gallery of co-conspirators: multi-instrumentalist Will Sprott of Shannon and the Clams, original La Luz bassist Abbey Blackwell, Goss, pedal steel player Olie Eshelman, and Kristian Garrard, who drummed on Cleveland’s previous solo effort (with then-backing band The Sandcastles), 2011’sOh Man, Cover the Ground. But whereas that album was internal and contemplative, Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks–a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.

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Gurr – She Says

Gurr return with a new 7 track EP “She Says” released in April 2019. Recorded with New York producer Mathew Molner (Sunflower Bean, Friends) and Berlin based producer Tobi Kuhn at the UFO studios in Berlin.

“We met Sunflower Bean at Latitude Festival in UK and asked them who produced their album “Human Ceremony” as we liked how it sounded retro and modern, they connected us with Mathew and we brought him to Berlin to record with us” says Andreya Casablanca... “After ‘In My Head’ was recorded all in analogue we definitely wanted to have a little bit more room for the production in these songs. We were adding guitars, small synth lines and sounds after laying down the basic tracks.”

The writing of the EP was heavily influenced by the big transitions in the lives of Laura Lee and Andreya Casablanca in the 12 month period after the release of ‘In My Head’, which can be heard in the fake highs of optimism of tracks such as “Of Hollywood” and “Bye Bye”, the melancholia of “She Says” and “Hush” and the angst of Middleton Mall but musically the band draws inspiration across genres, from contemporary dream pop wonders Beach Fossils to psychedelic classics such as The Velvet Underground.

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David Bowie – Spying Through a Keyhole

With 2019 marking 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, Space Oddity, Parlophone release a 7″ vinyl singles box set of nine previously unreleased recordings from the era during which Space Oddity was first conceived.

The title Spying Through A Keyhole is a lyric taken from the previously unknown song, Love All Around, and though most of the other titles are known, these versions have never been officially released until late last year. Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances, unless otherwise stated.

The design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m.

Due to the nature of some of the solo home demos where Bowie accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, the recording quality isn’t always of a usual studio fidelity. This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.

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The Proper Ornaments – 6 Lenins

‘Six Lenins’, the third album release from The Proper Ornaments, sees the band master their seemingly effortless but finely-wrought sound as their songwriting prowess refuses to plateau. Fresh from an US tour in Autumn last year, the London jangle pop group led by James Hoare (also of Ultimate Painting/Veronica Falls) and Max Claps (Toy) went into James‘ home studio in Finsbury Park, London and made their finest recordings to date on a newly-installed 16 track Studer machine – joined by Danny Nellis (Charles Howl) on bass and Bobby Syme (Wesley Gonzalez) on drums. Having escaped deep, twisting tunnels of illness, divorce and drug abuse to release their second record in January 2017, it’s unsurprising they sound sunnier this time around. What their supremely melodic work suggests is a nonchalance or naivety but is in fact an expensively bought slice of coherence and clarity within a constantly shifting backdrop to their lives and landscapes. The band exists as an unassuming and resilient organism in a fiercely competitive, trashed environmental niche. Throughout their years of hard-edged music industry Darwinism, they’ve shown longevity and growth scuttling from the wreckage of their previous guitar bands to become one united organism. “We started writing new songs in the Summer. I was in bed recovering from hepatitis and very broken and tired so couldn’t do anything else apart from playing guitar,” says Max, “and the songs slowly started to appear. In August we realised we had five new songs each and free time, so we decided to record them. The actual recording only took two weeks and it was considerably easier than our previous recordings.” The speed with which “Six Lenins” was made suggests the two songwriters managed to keep a keen focus on what they wanted to achive, further finessing the balance of conflict and collaboration that lends their sweet, succinct tunes their nervous energy. Well-crafted songwriting and a controlled sonic despite a zealous analogue sensibility. The opener ‘Apologies’, sets out stridently and the mood and momentum, even as we weave through some more sombre moments, never dips before soaring with the Velvets-y propeller riff of live favourite ‘In the Garden’ to end the record.

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Circa Waves – What’s It Like Over There?

The new studio album from Circa Waves, titled What’s It Like Over There? via Prolifica Inc. / [PIAS]. Recorded in just one month, and renewing their blossoming co-producing relationship with Alan Moulder (Foals, The Killers), What’s It Like Over There? is an album that’s creatively unshackled and refuses to stay still. It fuses the visceral thrill of rock music with a slick pop sound, its themes of modern ennui, emotional fragility and all the inside-outs and upside-downs of relationships making it a record that could only have been made now. Whilst the anthemic Movies will appeal to the band’s long-standing fan base, the likes of Sorry I’m Yours and Be Somebody Good see Circa Waves experiment with a new progressive sound that will surprise and delight in equal measure. Me Myself and Hollywood touches on the band’s love of R&B, whilst Times Won’t Change Me is a piano-led, Beatles-inspired future hit. What’s It Like Over There? always manages to sidestep genres and easy pigeonholing, but what remains constant is Circa Waves’ ability to create the kind of infectious music that is propelling them towards the top tier of British music.

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The Drums – Brutalism

Brutalism is quite possibly the best collection of songs in The Drums’ ten-year career. The album is defined by growth, transformation and questions, but it doesn’t provide all the answers. Brutalism is a form of simplistic architecture defined by blocks of raw concrete. Brutalism is rooted in an emotional rawness but its layers are soft, intricate and warm, full of frivolous and exquisitely crafted pop songs that blast sunlight and high energy in the face of anxiety, solitude and crippling self-doubt.

Even the fact that Brutalism sounds intentional, focused and efficient is a symbol of how Pierce’s prioritizing of his own health and wellbeing has bled into how he makes music. For the making of this album, between his lake house in Upstate New York and a studio in Stinson Beach, California, Pierce was more open than ever, keeping his control freakery at bay, working with others to produce and record the album. He brought in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Amen Dunes) to mix it. If there was a guitar part he wanted to write but couldn’t play, he brought in a guitarist. It’s also the first Drums record with a live drummer. Delegating freed up Pierce’s time to produce a more specific vision.

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Molly Tuttle – When You’re Ready

Award-winning guitarvirtuoso Molly Tuttle, whose debut album, ‘When You’re Ready’ is an insightful, gifted album from a songwriter who was crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP Rise, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible at picking guitar technique and confessional songwriting.

Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 25-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. ‘When You’re Ready’, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.

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Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend

Matthew Sweet is an American singer-songwriter and rock musician. He was part of the burgeoning music scene in Georgia during the ‘80s, before gaining commercial success in the ‘90s. In 1991 Matthew Sweet released Girlfriend, the pop-rock album which was widely considered an artistic breakthrough. It quickly garnered impressive sales, spawning a top 10 single with the title track. Girlfriend is Sweet’s most commercially and critically successful album to date. Both the title track and Divine Intervention did well on the charts. The album was included as number 61 on Paste’s list of “The 90 Best albums of the 1990s”.

LP – Limited edition of 1.000 individually numbered copies on 180 Gram pink vinyl with Insert.

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New Order – Movement – Definitive Edition

Out of the ashes of Joy Division, the remaining members decided to carry on recording under the name of New Order. The band’s debut album Movement recorded between 24th April to the 4th May 1981 at Strawberry in Stockport and featuring all new material, produced by Martin Hannett was released in 11th November 1981 on Factory Records. TheMovementboxed set includes the vinyl LP with its original iconic sleeve designed by Peter Saville, original album CD in replica mini album sleeve, a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, DVD of live shows and TV appearances plus hard backed book all housed in a lift off lid box. The vinyl LP of the original album is cut on 180 Gram and features the 2015 remastered audio, presented in a replica of the original sleeve. The second CD includes 18 completely unreleased tracks made from Demos, Sessions, Rehearsal Recordings and an Alternative 7” version of Temptation Accompanying the set is a 48 Page hard back book which features photos and an essay.

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Karen Dalton – The Karen Dalton Archives Box

Packaged in Ampex studio tape style carboard box. Including for the first-time ever on Vinyl – 3 LP : the 1962 double live album Cotton Eyed Joe remastered…. and the 1963 home recordings album Green Rocky Road remastered. 4 CD – same albums and 1CD of unreleased home recordings including a mesmerizing take on God Bless The Child – 52 Page Book with scans of Karen Dalton Personal archives (writings, photographs, memos) disclosed here for the first time. It also comes with a Large T-shirts and a Download Card.

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Fake Laugh -Honesty / Surrounded

Hot on the heels of his debut LP and follow up 7”, Fake Laugh AKA Kamran Khan delivers yet two more bangers for the kids, in the form of another double A-Side. The driving, dream-pop bop that is Honesty features guest vocals from Poppy Hankin of previous tour-mates Girl Ray, whilst the skittish, social commentary of Surrounded hurtles along set against a backdrop of razor-sharp melodies and instant-hit hooks.

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In January 1983, David Bowie invited Stevie Ray Vaughan to record guitar for six new tracks he’d written for his upcoming album, “Let s Dance”. Vaughan’s powerful and unique guitar work brought a fresh sound to Bowie’s music, most famously on songs like China Girl and the record s title track. With the album a success, Bowie was keen for Vaughan to join his group for the subsequent “Serious Moonlight Tour”. However, with Vaughan reluctant to leave his own band Double Trouble (who had just finished recording their debut album, “Texas Flood”), David’s management offered to let the group open the show on select tour dates. However, just four days before the tour began, Bowie’s team reneged, telling Vaughan’s manager, Chesley Millikin,that the band would not be included and, furthermore, Vaughan wasn’t allowed to talk about the group or its new record in interviews. With the offer pulled, Milikin understandably took Vaughan off the tour. And although both artists still achieved huge critical and commercial success during the 1980s, what they might have gone on to do together remains one of rock’s great “What Ifs”. No video footage of Bowie and Vaughan performing together is known to exist. However, rehearsals for the tour, which took place at the Las Colinas Soundstage in Dallas – Stevie Ray’s hometown – on 26th April 1983, were not only recorded but broadcast on local radio too, thus allowing these legendary sessions to be heard again today.

This is interesting to hear the clever musical arrangements particularly the crisp horn sounds and backing vocals. Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar here and was due to be a part of the touring band. His contributions are pretty much what you’d expect rather than anything fiery or super- inventive.
Bowie and the backing singers make some mistakes particularly Life on Mars, Golden Years and Red Sails, on which Bowie seems to be trying to find the correct voice.
It’s a must-have for fans but please be aware that 132 minutes were broadcast.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Bowie live 1983 rehearsal broadcast for the Serious Moonlight Tour! From An FM Radio Broadcast Recorded At The Las Calinas Soundstage, Dallas, TX, 26th April 1983. 19 tracks total including China Girland Let’s Dance.

In October of 2015, I got an email from Amy Russell, the Director of Programming at Carolina Performing Arts. She told me about a celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday planned for January of 2017 and asked if I would want to be involved somehow—and without knowing what that would entail, I just said “yes.” Soon she proposed pairing a symphonic performance of Glass’ Symphony No. 4, which is based on David Bowie’s “Heroes” album, with a rock performance of the Bowie album.

This was an exciting idea, but performing an album straight in its entirety always feels a little boring to me because everyone familiar with the record knows what’s coming next… but in Glass’ case, his symphony does not adhere strictly to the track listing of the original Bowie album, which meant that we didn’t need to, either. I was mostly excited about being able to collaborate with musicians I don’t normally get to play with, and to play this amazing music with them.

Three months later, David Bowie’s death hit everyone hard and we discussed whether to move ahead, but as 2016 progressed, Bowie’s music only seemed more important. When everyone I asked to take part said “yes” immediately even though the concert was a year away and we didn’t know what shape it would take it was a good sign.

Eventually, we settled on a set list that was a combination of Glass’ (which added “Abdulmajid” to the album’s tracks) and our own desire to hear Dan Bejar sing “Beauty and the Beast” and “Joe the Lion,” which Glass left off his.

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Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund, and I got together once or twice to learn the songs because we knew we would only have one real rehearsal with the whole band. When DanWilliam Tyler, and Ken Vandermark descended upon Chapel Hill and Jenn Wasner returned from tour, we had a great day figuring out how to play these songs all together, and convened for the performance the next day in ornate Memorial Hall.

Halfway through soundcheck on the day of the performance, we learned that all water in the town of Chapel Hill was deemed unsafe to drink due to a water main break and a pump failure in the great Orange County water system. UNC campus had to be abandoned, and the show was cancelled. We staged a secret last-minute performance at the Pinhook (in Durham, where the water is always safe) just because we wanted to play this record, but the actual show at Memorial Hall was postponed by a month. So the recording you hear is actually our band reunion and the second-ever performance of A Merge Group. And the “Heroes” on the record is our version of Glass’ version of Bowie’s classic record. So much fun to play, and I’m glad there’s a document. From Mac McCaughan:

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Dan Bejar started Destroyer as a solo home-recording project in the early to mid-nineties. Exploring and overturning genres such as glam, MIDI, yacht rock, and even underground Spanish independent artists, Bejar was proclaimed “Rock’s Exiled King” . His is a body of work that consistently flouts convention in favor of musical leaps of faith, statements of purpose cloaked in subterfuge, and the joyous refrain of an optimist’s heart cloaked in cynicism.

Released by :Merge Records Release date: 8th February 2019

All this week, we’re presenting “[W]hat may well have been among New York City’s best live shows this year [2018]” recordings of the performances of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy: Low(1977), “Heroes”(1977), and 1979’s Lodger, and the music that inspired the trilogy. In the week where we mark the anniversaries of Bowie’s birth and his death, you can hear those stunning performances of Bowie’s music and the works that inspired it.

One album was performed in its entirety each night—Lodger on the 17th, “Heroes” on the 18th, and Low on the 19th—and each concert will open with short programs of music that inspired the trilogy composed by Brian Eno and Klaus Schulze.

Recorded at Brookfield Place in October of 2018, the cast of players was led by Shearwater/Loma’s Jonathan Meiburg and featured current and past members of Shearwater, Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors, Wordless Music Orchestra, Xiu Xiu, Battle Trance, Glass Ghost, and Loma, along with special guest, Carlos Alomar (David Bowie’s guitarist and musical director for 30 years.) Also, hear music that inspired the trilogy: Brian Eno’s “Discreet Music,” and selections from Another Green World (1975), and “Body Love” by Klaus Schulze.

Jonathan Meiburg, in the program, writes that “[T]hese albums are the pinnacle of [Bowie’s] musical and artistic output…the Berlin Trilogy has everything: brooding, cinematic instrumentals, rave-ups that end almost before they begin, gorgeous ballads that threaten to collapse on themselves, and Bowie’s most famous and expansive song. Jonathan Meiburg had begun rehearsing a few songs from Lodger with his band Shearwater. Then Bowie passed, and it seemed like an encore or two of “Look Back in Anger” wasn’t enough. They figured out how to play the whole album, and then wanted more. Meanwhile, the band’s Emily Lee had already begun the herculean task of scoring out the albums’ impenetrable ambient epics.

Shearwater decided to begin with Lodger, the album they knew best and was easiest to play, which also meant the series would end with Low’s loveliest and most confounding moments. They also decided to bring in some friends, including saxophonist Travis Laplante and Deerhoof shredder Ed Rodriguez. While Bowie had at least a dozen singers in his body, they split the songs into three, more or less: Meiburg, Lee, and Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart. It was a series of smart decisions for a strange locale.

Wordless kicked off the first night with a statement of intent: Eno’s Discreet Music, reenvisioned as wafts of guitar, cello, and electronics for a platonic ideal of mall music. Lodger is the most accessible in the trilogy, but it’s hardly Muzak—especially its wildest moments Bowie never attempted to play live. The deeply weird “African Night Flight” was all squalls and lumbering rhythms and rapid-fire monologue from Stewart, while “Move On”—essentially Bowie’s “All the Young Dudes” played backwards—sounded live like some blend of the Who and Pornography-era Cure. And the, as Meiburg put it, “unfortunately timely” “Boys Keep Swinging” was a sleazy riot.

In the rehearsals I sat in on, the band seemed deeply nervous about tackling “Heroes.” And yet, piled into a warehouse’s small soundproofed room with views of the toxic Gowanus Canal instead of the Wall, they’d managed to make the beloved title track sound new, anchored by Power’s amiable bass and Meiburg’s affectionate melancholy set against Stewart’s anguished wailing. On stage, they did it again, and tore through the first side’s “Beauty and the Beast” and especially the psychotic broken beats of “Blackout” with relish before launching into the second side’s moody complexity.

It’s possible to play these songs, Meiburg had told Schaefer in an interlude, as long as you stop thinking “and just glide over the top of it.” As Lee plucked her koto and Stewart caressed a gong for “Moss Garden,” we were all gliding along with them. And then we were plummeting deep into “Neuköln,” the low point of “Heroes,” which they performed as a kind of Badalamenti-goes-to-Berlin noir with an almost ridiculous finale courtesy of Laplante’s bravura sax solo. How could this possibly be followed? “Luckily, this album comes with its own encore,” Meiburg joked, referring to the slinky “The Secret Life of Arabia,” which closed the night with the kind of release only disco handclaps can offer.

Speaking of release, on the final night Wordless dug up a 1977 porn soundtrack by Klaus Schulze as a prelude to Low, and cellist Clarice Jensen filled her arrangement of the krautrock icon’s Body Love with wild drones and spurts of percussion—a real treat, especially with surprise guest Shahzad Ismaily on Moog. Schaefer also came with a surprise: Bowie’s longtime collaborator Carlos Alomar, who explained that completing the trilogy took “curiosity, courage—oh, and a half-million-dollar budget.”

Meiburg and company had plenty of the first two, launching into Low with a fairly nonchalant “Speed of Life,” the album’s opening credits, and a menacing take on “Breaking Glass” in which Stewart howled “you’re such a wonderful person/but you’ve got PROBLEMS” and Meiburg whispered in response, “I’ll never touch you.” The moment was fraught. But the real killer of Low is side two. In rehearsals, Meiburg had counted out the beats for “Warszawa” as the group found the math in its midsts. On stage, before the largest and loudest audience of the series, Alomar came out and conducted, his presence almost pastoral. Blessed, they carried on, playing “Weeping Wall” with a lack of preciousness that turned Bowie’s proto-post-rock beauty into an ersatz Morricone Western. “Subterraneans,” Low’s highlight, was a different frontier altogether: still alien, still bleak, but newly inhabitable.

The crowd stood and cheered, visions of Bowie in our heads, looking back in wonder at where we are now. Just blocks from where Bowie passed, the city paid its respects the way it always does: by reinventing the past. The Berlin trilogy might be history, but it’s full of living songs,

John Schaefer continues:

Bowie actually began referring to his “Berlin Trilogy” only in the promotional phase leading up to Lodger’s release. In retrospect, all three albums reflect the city – its darkness, its cultural ferment, its isolation. Working with Brian Eno, and Tony Visconti, Bowie produced some of his most memorable rock songs, and some of his edgiest. But he also surprised and confounded the listening public by devoting large stretches of each record to musical experiments that departed not only from the world of rock but from the song format itself.

The lasting impact of these three albums has been felt not just in the world of rock but in contemporary classical music as well. Philip Glass was moved to write a series of symphonies based on the trilogy: his Lodger Symphony completes that trilogy and premieres in 2019. Subsequent generations of composers and musicians have grown up with the freedom to move among the various musical worlds that Bowie explored in these three pivotal albums. For proof, you need only look at the musicians in these concerts: they represent a gathering of the tribes, from the worlds of indie rock, but also from New York’s thriving contemporary music scene – many are part of both camps, and some are composers themselves.”

The band Members:

Timo Andres (piano, synthesizer)

Angel Deradoorian (flute, voice, synthesizer) launched a solo career after making a name for herself with well-known acts such as Dirty Projectors, Avey Tare, and Flying Lotus. In 2009, she appeared on Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca, released her first solo EP under the name Deradoorian and lent her vocal talents to LP, the debut album from Discovery (founded by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Wesley Miles of Ra Ra Riot). In 2015, she released her long-awaited solo album, The Expanding Flower Planet (2015), Eternal Recurrence, her second release released in 2017.

Dan Duszynski (guitar, voice, percussion) He is also the drummer of ethereal rock band Loma (Sub Pop).

Greg Fox (drums) is a New York City born-and-bred drummer, He has played on and released 49 records since 2008, including his work with Liturgy, ZS, Ben Frost, Colin Stetson, Skeletons, Hieroglyphic Being, Man Forever, and others, named “Best Drummer in NYC” by the Village Voice in 2011. Currently spending most of his time in NYC,

Josh Halpern (drums) is a live and session drummer, singer, and producer based in Austin, Texas and is known for his infectiously animated performances. He’s most at home on the road with bands like Shearwater, Still Corners, Marmalakes and Palo Duro His most recent studio recording is Nights and Weekends, a collaboration with songwriter Peter Shults, released under the name Teddy Glass.

Clarice Jensen (cello, electronics) is the artistic director of ACME, She has collaborated with composers and recording artists, including Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, Owen Pallett, Max Richter, Tyondai Braxton, and numerous others.

Eliot Krimsky (synthesizer) played keyboards with Here We Go Magic and Meshell Ndegeocello, He is currently preparing his first solo album, Wave in Time.

Travis Laplante (tenor saxophone) is a saxophonist, composer, and qigong practitioner living in Brooklyn, New York, Laplante leads Battle Trance, the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet, as well as Subtle Degrees,

Emily Lee (musical director, keyboards, voice, koto, violin) is a New York-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. She performs in Shearwater, Loma, and Snake Oil, and plays keyboards with Mutoid Man for the heavy metal talk show Two Minutes to Late Night.

Frank LoCrasto (synthesizer) is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based musician, He has appeared on more than 40 records.

Grey Mcmurray (guitar, bass, voice) has been called “sublimely odd” (New York Magazine), and “the world’s least obtrusive guitarist” (The Guardian). Recently he has been performing as a duo with Beth Orton, Colin Stetson’s Sorrow Ensemble, He is the co-leader of the duo itsnotyouitsme with Caleb Burhans, with four releases on New Amsterdam Records.

Jonathan Meiburg (voice, guitar) leads the band Shearwater, which has released six albums since 2006 on Matador and Sub Pop Records. The most recent, 2016’s Jet Plane and Oxbow, and the band’s live performance of Lodger for the Onion’s A.V. Club inspired them to take on Bowie’s entire Berlin trilogy. Meiburg also performs with Loma, whose self-titled debut was released this year by Sub Pop and is currently finishing a book about South America’s strangest birds of prey. He lives in Brooklyn.

Lucas Oswald (guitar, voice) is a songwriter, He has toured internationally with Minus Story, Old Canes, Appleseed Cast, Jesca Hoop, and Shearwater.

Sadie Powers (bass)  She tours with Shearwater and recently toured with Lucy Dacus. Her composition, Wick (for french horn, water glasses, and electronics), was recorded in Spring 2018 by the avant-garde trio How Things Are Made and appears on the trio’s album, She comprises half the electroacoustic ambient duo, Triptychs, and was the bassist for the new romantic band Dead Fame, which released albums Frontiers (2011) and Vicious Design (2014).

Ed Rodriguez (guitar) has been around far too long  He currently plays guitar in Deerhoof.

Jamie Stewart (voice, percussion) He began the musical group Xiu Xiu in 2002.

Carlos Alomar (special guest) was David Bowie’s rhythm guitarist and music director for almost thirty years. His songwriting credits include “Fame” with Bowie and John Lennon, as well as “DJ” and “The Secret Life Of Arabia” with Bowie and Brian Eno.

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New release time once again, and there is a healthy whack of excellent reissues this week, with Kate Bush taking the top spot with Aerial, The Directors Cut and 50 Words For Snow all landing. As well as all of the individual albums, part 2 of the ‘Remastered’ box set seeing it’s release as well as the vinyl counterparts, Remastered In Vinyl Parts III and IV.

This week also the latest in a long line of much anticipated Fall live shows from the mid 90’s with Derby in ’94 and London in ’95 both show the range and excitement of the live show’s they were so well known for.

There is brand new album from Liverpool band ‘The Fernweh’ to be released on James Skelly’s (of The Coral fame) label, Skeleton Key Records. Psychedelic hooks, folky ruminations and shimmering acoustic meanderings. It’s a beautiful thing indeed. Plus A new full-length from Johnny Flynn. 

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Neil Young – Songs For Judy

Songs For Judy is the debut release on Shakey Pictures Records, Young’s own imprint distributed by Reprise Records. Songs For Judy is thoroughly engaging collection of live acoustic performances culled from Neil’s November 1976 solo tour and features twenty-two songs recorded at various cities along the tour. This song cycle of live recordings is particularly powerful and unique. Young had spent much of the year traveling around the world on tour with Crazy Horse. When touring on his own, he recharged and focused on songs that would not surface in recorded form for several years. Of the albums many treasures, No One Seems To Know would not see the light of day until now and it remains unreleased in any other iteration. The raw versions of the tracks found on Songs For Judy reflect an artist completely unvarnished and unafraid to allow the songs to breath and to find their own shape when performed in a solo setting. Songs written in that era would come into focus and then seemingly disappear only to re-enter Young’s orbit somewhere down the road. White Line and Give Me Strength are such examples of finding the light in 1990 and 2017 respectively. It’s also fascinating to hear Young revisit early gems such as Springfield’s Mr. Soul (’67), Here We Are In The Years (’68), andThe Losing End (’69) from some of his earliest solo recordings which remain as timeless as ever.

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Johnny Flynn And The Sussex Wit – Live At The Roundhouse

‘Live At The Roundhouse’ is an electric performance of ten years’ worth of songs; recorded without overdubs, it pays homage to the past whilst pointing propitiously to the group’s future. The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme.

Live At The Roundhouse’ is 24 tracks long and pulled from a decade’s worth of music. Fans will hear renditions of songs from Johnny’s “Masterclass” (4/5 The Independent) debut album ‘A Larum’, sophomore ‘Been Listening’, an album “radical in its honesty” (8/10 Drowned in Sound), ‘Country Mile’, “an extremely clever and nuanced record” (Mojo) and his most recent effort, ‘Sillion’, which explored the idea of man’s endeavour to connect with the earth while separated from it; “Another exploratory and remarkably high-caliber LP” (AllMusic 4.5/5). The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme. Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit are without a doubt one of the most consistently exhilarating live bands around, inspiring an undying devotion among fans and peers who will cherish ‘Live At The Roundhouse’ for its gritty and impassioned renditions of now-classic songs.

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The Fernweh – The Fernweh

Recorded in seclusion on the North Yorkshire coast and transporting listeners on musical journey. Three friends, Jamie Backhouse (guitars), Ned Crowther (vocals and guitar) and Oz Murphy (keys/saxophone) gathered to make the album they always knew they could make, based on a pure and profound love for a golden era for British and US folk rock. Wringing every last drop of their combined experience into a cup that overflows with melody, song craft and deeply evocative imagery of a quintessentially British era of ‘mainstream psychedelia’, they are joined by Maja Agnevik (vocals/flute)and Phil Murphy (drummer).

Melodies and stories inspired by distinctly British, coal-fired version of 60s/70s psychedelia. Layered vocal harmonies, gentle, steam-train percussion and strokes of piano, acoustic guitars and subtle string arrangements are a feature of this sublime and compelling debut. A return journey into Britain’s explosively creative, post-war period. Arriving back in 2018, the band uses such deeply evocative influences to deliver an irrepressible psych-pop-folk non-genre record.

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David Bowie –  Glastonbury 2000

DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ documents Bowie’s legendary Sunday night headline performance on 25th June at the most famous festival on earth. The legendary full performance released for the first time including many of David’s greatest hits and never before seen footage.

All formats feature David’s diary, originally written for Time Out, which documents him preparing for the show in his own inimitable manner. In addition to newly mastered audio and upgraded video DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ features new artwork from Jonathan Barnbrook (who worked with Bowie on the sleeves for Heathen, The Next Day & ★) and notes from the renowned author and Bowie fan Caitlin Moran who reviewed the show for The Times.

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Jeff Tweedy  –  Warm

Jeff Tweedy releases Warm, a solo album of all new material via dBpm Records. Warm was produced and recorded entirely by Jeff at his now legendary Loft Studio in Chicago’s  (with help from some of his usual collaborators – Spencer Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Tom Schick). Warmfollows the acoustic retrospective release, Together at Last (2017), and Wilco’s 2016 album, Schmilco.

It is a tender manifesto of self-doubt, a shout fading into a murmur. It’s a journey beyond self-consciousness and towards mature vulnerability, to an evolved idea of what is musically pure.

A brief inquiry into online relationships

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Winners of 2017’s Best British Group at the BRIT Awards, The 1975 release their 3rd album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.’ 
The album is a follow up to ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,’ which charted at Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic going Platinum in the UK in the process.

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Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Bought To Rot

14 tracks spanning Laura Jane Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end, Bought to Rot stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date.

Inspired in large part by Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me

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Batts  –  62 Moons

Batts is the moniker for Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tanya Batt, and this is her mesmerising and melancholic debut EP 62 Moons. Named after the 62 Moons of Saturn, the obsession with space is an underlying theme throughout the record, from the Nasa recording of Saturn’s rings which opens the recording, to the EP title. Batts explains “I had the thought of combining the music we create as humans, with the natural music of things out in space that have existed for billions and billions of years. I want to instil knowledge of space within music to people, but not via lyrics – via sounds.”

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The Fall – The Rough Trade Singles

The Rough Trade Singles collects The Fall’s four singles recorded for this influential label in 1980 and 1983 – How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’ / City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired / Putta Block, The Man Whose Head Expanded / Ludd Gang and Kicker Conspiracy – none of which appeared on any of the band’s studio LPs. With 7-inches being the era’s vehicle for buzzing communiqués, The Fall would use the format for short-form, standalone works rather than as mere promotional devices for forthcoming albums.

“Totally Wired” is often cited (and rightfully so) as The Fall’s most infectious tune – an amphetamine-fueled anthem with stuttering nods to forebears, yet too incisive to have been made by anyone else. “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man'” is another mad hoedown, one reimagined for the post-punk age. While the playful rhythm machine on “The Man Whose Head Expanded” almost suggests danceability, Mark E. Smith’s idiosyncratic shriek on “Kicker Conspiracy” pierces through the twin drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the group’s unpredictable / unmistakable racket. Together these songs remain some of the absolute best material The Fall would ever release.

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Bill Callahan – Live at Third Man Nashville

Bill Callahan, aka Smog, is simultaneously a staple of strange American country, lo-fi, folk and independent music. His lyricism comes across as challenging and deeply autobiographical, equal parts “poetry leaning on true-to-life darkness” and “three chords and the truth.” So, it is fitting that Callahan’s live set would command the same sense of friendliness-with-difficulty that the recorded songs do. With brief, candid, and charming interludes between older and newer material, an outsider can hear that this performance was obviously a full-bodied (and multi-era) engagement, no space left for distraction. The full album is an experience; make it one you look after.

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DIIV  –  Covers

Originally shared on DIIV’s YouTube channel and then later given away on a limited edition cassette run of 50 copies at an acoustic DIIV show in a synagogue in New York City, Captured Tracks now presents a vinyl version of Zachary Cole Smith’s lauded Sparklehorse and (Sandy) Alex G covers. Pressed on Clear Vinyl and limited to 500 copies to celebrate Captured Tracks’ 10th Anniversary.

Sleeve for Lou Reed's Transformer

Commercial success and critical acclaim together or apart are not really the true measure of an artist’s work. History and public acceptance can ‘transform’ the perspective and create a re-evaluation, or revisionist history towards how the art is viewed. No other work quite typifies this more than Lou Reed with his second solo effort “Transformer”.

Transformer is an incarnation of Reed at his most tuneful and accessible, just right for an almost-teenager. Just wrong, you might say. If the swooping basslines and whooping choruses drew me in, the lyrics kept me riveted and puzzling. “Shaved her legs and then he was a she” I could work out. But what was the “Up-all-oh”? “Angel dust”? “Giving head”? What about “hustler”? Oh, how Google would have helped me then

With the Velvet Underground, Reed became a beacon to the outsider experience and while album sales were low, critics and musicians had found a kind of anti-hero on whom to heap praise. Once the Velvets had broken up, Reed continued his stories and of counter-culture misfits but to a more commercialized effect on Transformer. Produced by David Bowie and his guitarist Mick Ronson, Transformer would be heavily influenced by Bowie’s then ‘glam’ movement and blur the same androgynous lines can be heard singing backing vocals (his falsetto seems obvious on Satellite of Love, . However, Reed would use his own brand of wry observation and deadpan delivery to create characters that lived with and amongst his crowd as opposed to embodying the characters space as Bowie did with Ziggy and Aladdin Sane.

As with its predecessor Lou Reed, Transformer contains songs Reed composed while still in the Velvet Underground (here, four out of ten). “Andy’s Chest” was first recorded by the band in 1969 and “Satellite of Love” demoed in 1970; these versions were released on VU and Peel Slowly and See, respectively. For Transformer, the original up-tempo pace of these songs was slowed down.

“New York Telephone Conversation” and “Goodnight Ladies” are known to have been played live during the band’s summer 1970 residency at Max’s Kansas City; the latter takes its title refrain from the last line of the second section (“A Game of Chess”) of T. S. Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land: “Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.”, which is itself a quote from Ophelia in Hamlet.

As in Reed’s Velvet Underground days, the connection to artist Andy Warhol remained strong. According to Reed, Warhol told him he should write a song about someone vicious. When Reed asked what he meant by vicious, Warhol replied, “Oh, you know, like I hit you with a flower”,resulting in the song “Vicious”.

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Oddly, it was “Walk On The Wild Side” a song that spoke of transsexuality, oral sex and drug use that propelled the album to heights neither seen by the Velvet Underground or Reed himself in previous efforts. It wouldn’t be until the 1990’s that “Perfect Day” would become an underground hit. The supposed ode to his drug habit, Perfect Day, only works because, no matter who the song is dedicated to, it is a beautiful ballad. Then there is the epic, neon-drenched goodbye to his association with Andy Warhol and his factory acolytes,

On its release in 1972, Transformer was given mixed reviews by critics who claimed it was overly “art-y” and overly sexual. History of course has shed new light and Transformer has made just about every magazines ‘Best All-Time’ list. There was a BBC documentary devoted entirely to Walk on the Wild Side. My questions were answered. There was Holly, who did indeed “come from Miami FLA”. It turned out “Up-all-oh” was the Apollo theatre in Harlem, and “Sugar Plum fairy” a drug dealer. Though Candy and Jackie had departed this world, Joe Dallesandro was there, wistfully contemplating wasted opportunities. And then there was Lou – decked out in leather jacket and leathery skin – complaining about people using Walk on the Wild Side without permission.

Despite, or maybe due to its recognition, finding vinyl editions of Transformer is pretty easy, but figuring out what works best for you might get a little more difficult. You can find used copies pretty much anywhere. I’m sure a lot of people who bought Transformer to get similar material to “Walk On The Wild Side” only to find that it wasn’t like that. As for new, eight official vinyl editions have come out since 2004 with four in just the last three years. On RSD 2012 a straight re-issue was put out in record stores, and is still the most common new copy you will find. In 2013 – 2014 unofficial green and blue versions were released in the UK. Finally, a few weeks ago Newbury Comics put out a Limited Edition half black and half gold version. There were 1200 copies printed and each was gold stamp numbered.

Due to the sheer amount of what is available, you can get most copies of Transformer for less than $30.00 (including the unofficial UK copies). Only the Newbury edition is commanding high prices on the resale market, and that’s pretty damn silly, because you can still get a copy from Newbury for less than $30.00. The split colour looks awesome and indeed sounds great.

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You can get it here. Anyway, with his recent induction into the “Rock Hall of fame” you can expect some renewed interest and copies of Transformer may begin to disappear. You might want to give that some thought this time if you’ve been sitting on the fence.

Last November, on the 45th anniversary of Lou Reed’s legendary Transformer album, photographer Mick Rock joined Rolling Stone editor David Fricke in a conversation for readers at the New York Public Library. Marking the anniversary, Mick kindly signed 45 bookplates specially for readers around the globe. Accordingly, 45 Collector copies are now available, each additionally including:

  • The new 24-page booklet with an essay by Mick Rock and 50 previously unpublished photographs
  • The looseleaf ‘Rock and Roll Heart’ facsimile handwritten lyric sheet
  • The commemorative New York Public Library bookplate signed by Mick Rock on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Transformer
  • Transformer book bag and publishing prospectus

Transformer

David Bowie Glastonbury 2000′ 3x vinyl LP set, Released Friday 30th November

DAVID BOWIE ‘Glastonbury 2000’ documents Bowie’s legendary Sunday night headline performance on 25th June at the most famous festival on earth. The legendary full performance is released for the first time including many of David’s greatest hits. While often regarded as one of the greatest sets in Glasto history, the Sunday night closing show has never been released on video or audio in its entirety.

The package includes the full 21 song greatest hits set including the Glastonbury performance of ‘Heroes’, a highlight of the record breaking ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition and the only track that has been previously released.

This 3LP set also features David’s diary, originally written for Time Out magazine, which documents him preparing for the show in his own inimitable manner. In addition to newly mastered audio, David Bowie Glastonbury 2000′ features new artwork from Jonathan Barnbrook (who worked with Bowie on the sleeves for Heathen, The Next Day & ★) and notes from the renowned author and Bowie fan Caitlin Moran who reviewed the show for The Times.

The Glastonbury box set will also include a reproduction of a diary Bowie kept for Time Out, in which he documented his preparations for the headlining gig. A snippet of the diary reads, “As of 1990 I got through the rest of the 20th century without having to do a big hits show. Yes, yes, I know I did four or five hits on the later shows but I held out pretty well I thought… big, well known songs will litter the field at Glastonbury this year. Well, with a couple of quirks of course.”

The package features photos of Bowie resplendently dressed in a 3/4 length one-of-a-kind Alexander McQueen frock coat, the pattern of which was made to echo the hat (the famous ‘bipperty-bopperty hat’ mentioned in the song Queen Bitch) and worn by David at his Glastonbury Fayre debut in 1971.

“I often get asked what the best set I’ve seen here at Glastonbury is, and Bowie’s 2000 performance is always one which I think of first,” said Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis. “It was spellbinding; he had an absolutely enormous crowd transfixed. I think Bowie had a very deep relationship with Worthy Farm and he told some wonderful stories about his first time at the Festival in 1971, when he stayed at the farmhouse and performed at 6am as the sun was rising. And he just played the perfect headline set.

Don’t forget to watch the DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ hour-long special on BBC4, Friday 19th October!

For David Bowie, the 1980s were years of tremendous ch-ch-changes, in which the stylistic chameleon went mainstream to great success, experienced some artistic disappointments, and solidified his place in the pantheon as a legend of rock.  Now, this era is being looked back upon in the fourth annual volume of Parlophone’s ongoing series of box sets dedicated to the late superstar. Loving the Alien (1983-1988) will arrive on October 12th in 11CD and 15LP vinyl configurations.

This lavish set is filled with more exclusive material than any of its predecessors, as only three studio albums are included, all in newly remastered editions: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987). Loving the Alien also premieres a new version of the latter album, for which Bowie’s friend and producer Mario McNulty has completely re-recorded the instrumentation with the artist’s collaborators Reeves Gabrels (guitar), David Torn (guitar), Sterling Campbell (drums), Tim Lefebvre (bass), and a string quartet with arrangements by Nico Mulhy plus an appearance by Laurie Anderson on “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love).”  This new version of Never Let Me Down is rooted in McNulty’s 2008 re-production of “Time Will Crawl” which featured new drums and strings.  Its success prompted Bowie to comment, “Oh, to redo the rest of that album.” McNulty has now made good on Bowie’s wish.  (Note that “Too Dizzy,” which Bowie requested be removed from Never Let Me Down following the original LP pressing, remains missing in action.

Additionally, the box includes the remastered live set Glass Spider: Live Montreal ’87, the previously unreleased Serious Moonlight live album recorded in Vancouver in 1983, a new collection of period remixes entitled Dance, and the fourth volume of odds-and-ends series RE:CALL.  Dance (titled after an abortive remix album once slated for release in November 1985) collects a dozen original remixes of songs from the era.  The new installment of RE:CALL has a whopping 30 tracks: original single versions, the non-LP side “Julie,” film songs from The Falcon and the Snowman, Absolute Beginners, and Labyrinth, plus duets with Tina Turner (“Tonight” and “Let’s Dance”) and Mick Jagger (what else, “Dancing in the Street”) and more.  The extended edit of B-side “Girls” is on this disc, though not the shorter version or the Japanese re-recording.

The generous book will run to 128 pages in the CD version and 84 in the LP box, with copious illustrations, original press clippings, and historical notes from producers and engineers Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, Mario McNulty, and Justin Shirley-Smith.  The CDs will be packaged in the expected deluxe mini-LP replica sleeves, but in a special touch, they will be pressed in gold rather than standard silver. The vinyl release will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

Loving the Alien looks to be a great opportunity to revisit one of David Bowie’s most overlooked – yet most mainstream – periods.  Look for this set on CD and vinyl on October 12th