Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Buckley’

Juliana Hatfield Remembers Jeff Buckley

Shocking and unexpected was the news that Jeff  Buckley had passed away. The tragic drowning death in 1997 at the age of 30 instantly propelled him to a legendary status accorded the greats who die young, he was already well on his way to becoming one of the more admired and respected singer-songwriters of his era. He drowned? How?? It was so awful, so unbelievable. Jeff was gifted with a prodigious, supernatural, dazzling talent. He could do so much with his voice and his guitar and the way he wove them together was breathtaking. The gateway to acceptance came with his very first studio album, Grace, released in 1994 (25 years ago this summer). Though not a huge success when it was released, Grace was to become one of those albums that sort of insinuated itself into people’s album collections over time, as friends passed it to friends, discovering one cool song after another that spoke to them for whatever reason. His lyrics were often spare and poetic, delivered in that unmistakable voice that could easily move from a near-whisper to an ethereal wail. Of course, it was his version of Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluljah” on Grace that really put him (and that song) on the map.

He was a fan of so much music, so many kinds of music, and he absorbed it all with a quasi-photographic musical memory, integrating all sorts of disparate elements effortlessly. It must have been overwhelming sometimes to have so many options, hard to narrow down what it was he wanted to present to the world. Grace is filled with exceptional songs, among them “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over,” presented in a striking video performance here.

Sometimes Jeff seemed to be trying genres out, trying to figure out what he wanted to be, dipping a toe into a certain musical style one day, into another the next. Sometimes it seemed that with certain choices he made he was trying to prove his punk rock/indie rock bona fides, like when his band would play a version of “Kick out the Jams” was too self-consciously overwrought. Jeff’s guitar shredding abilities — his real technical skills, and his musical sensitivity and sophistication — were not punk rock at all. With punk rock, the whole idea is that you barely know how to play your instrument. And you do just one thing — the one thing that you can do — over and over again.

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Jeff Buckley could do so many things. His music was kind of all over the place. It showed off. It was exploratory. Jeff was category-resistant.

Jeff also had that star power. He would play it up and play it down. He would wear a grubby, once-white, ill-fitting V-neck T-shirt a lot (the one he wore in the “Last Goodbye” video), as if to resist his own glamorization. But then he also had a sparkly gold jacket (the one he wore in the photo on the album cover of Grace), which he put on in New York for a big show at the Roseland Ballroom.

People were discovering Grace’s mysterious, confident charm, falling for it — falling hard. Jeff would sometimes joke about his growing stardom, to lighten the load of it, maybe. But at the same time there was a gravity and a sense that his charismatic power (musically and otherwise) was not something to be squandered or misused — he accepted it and respected it although it must have been a burden, all the passion he inspired, all the projection onto him, people wanting access to him, wanting pieces of him, of his time, and all the expectation and pressure to deliver a second album that was as magical and accomplished and ambitious and  weird and wonderful and unique as Grace.Grace was all those things and more. It was serious, playful, puzzling, exotic, traditional, quiet, loud, clean, dirty, pretentious, humble, curious, beautiful, sad, happy, challenging, rewarding— as was Jeff.

Jeff did hilarious, spot-on impressions of other singers. He did a great Chris Cornell; if you closed your eyes you could almost believe that Chris was in the room. Jeff could mimic female singers, too. It was uncanny. And loving, and admiring — all of his vocal impersonations were done in homage and appreciation rather than meanness or mocking.

His gifts, his music, the things he liked, his time. Jeff was a model for savoring it all, being fully in every moment, rather than off to the side, just observing or thinking about it. Each show he did was like a ceremony of sharing, a sacred ritual, an active meditation of mindfulness, but also fun. He was fully immersed in every second of every song, but also fully connected to the audience.

Part of what was so heartbreaking about Jeff Buckley’s early death was that he seemed determined not to end up like his father, Tim Buckley, who had died young (at twenty-eight, of a drug overdose). It wasn’t something Jeff really talked about, but you could sense that there was some recognition or pull that Jeff felt toward some darkness, some dark legacy. And that he was going to shape and drive his fate away from that, to somewhere less tragic and more self-determined. (In fact he did outlive his father by a couple of years, age-wise.) Even though Jeff never knew his dad and met him only once as a boy, when he took his birth father’s last name and went public as an artist it was an acknowledgment of that connection.

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The big records releases from Kurt Vile, John Grant, St Vincent and at last The Lucid Dream plus loads of fantastic reissues from Mute and Dark Entries (that Eric Random is amazing) and the next David Bowie box set. Among new artists with records you should be listening too goes to Anna St. Louis, I have to say that I hadn’t heard her before but when I saw the press release compare her to Loretta Lynn, Townes Van Zandt and John Fahey I had to give it a spin. It is sooooooo good. Easily eyeing up a top spot in our albums of the year list. Its one of those records that everyone asks who it is when you hear a song, each track gets better as it goes along until when the album finishes you have just got to stick it straight back on.
I love records that are a surprise and I think you will love it too.

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St. Vincent – Masseducation

A year on (to the week) from the release of the critically acclaimed Masseduction album, St. Vincent releases re-imagined piano versions of the album. Performed with Thomas Bartlett over two days in a studio in Midtown Manhattan, August 2017.

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Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Kurt Vile is back with his first record in three years, the eclectic and electrifying Bottle It In, which he recorded at various studios around America over two very busy years, during sessions that usually punctuated the ends of long tours or family road trips.

Every song, whether it’s a concise and catchy pop composition or a sprawling guitar epic, becomes a journey unto itself, taking unexpected detours, circuitous melodic avenues, or open-highway solos. If Vile has become something of a rock guitar god—a mantle he would dismiss out of humility but also out of a desire to keep getting better, to continue absorbing new music, new sounds, new ideas—it’s due to his precise, witty playing style, which turns every riff and rhythm into points on a map and takes the scenic route from one to the next.

Using past albums as points of departure, Bottle It In heads off in new directions, pushing at the edges of the map into unexplored territory: Here be monster jams. These songs show an artist who is still evolving and growing: a songwriter who, like his hero John Prine, can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same line, as well as a vocalist who essentially rewrites those songs whenever he sings them in his wise, laconic jive-talkin’ drawl. He revels in the minutiae of the music— not simply incorporating new instruments but emphasizing how they interact with his guitar and voice, how the glockenspiel evokes cirrocumulus clouds on Hysteria, how Kim Gordon’s “acoustic guitar distortion” (her term) engulfs everything at the end of Mutinies, how the banjo curls around his guitar lines and backing vocals from Lucius to lend a high-lonesome aura to Come Again.

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John Grant  –  Love Is Magic

With his fourth solo album, Love Is Magic, Grant has continued evolving, creating his most electronic record yet.

In collaboration with Benge (Ben Edwards), analogue synth expert / collector and a member of electronic trio Wrangler, Grant’s collaborators earlier this year under the collective name of Creep Show on the album Mr Dynamite. Anyone familiar with Grant’s story will recognise his battles – with addiction and health, with trusting love and relationships. From this turbulence he’s forged another riveting collection of often brutal diatribes and confessionals, where humour, fear, anxiety and anger overlap as Grant, with trademark candour, figuratively exposes the machinations of his saturated brain. It’s epitomised by the album’s brilliant opener Metamorphosis, almost as if his warring psyches are facing up to one another, as impervious synth-pop and brain-on-fire imagery (“Tiki bar, rat soufflé, Buik regal, Marvin Gaye”) melts into dream-ballad introspection (“Questions left unanswered, spiritual extortion”) and back to synth-backed mania. The magic of love pervades in two gorgeous, magisterial ballads toward the end of the album,Is He Strange and The Common Snipe – referring to the wader bird that makes a unique ‘bleating’ sound by rubbing its tailfeathers together.

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David Bowie  –  Loving the Alien (1983 – 1988)

The box contains newly remastered versions of David’s most commercially successful period Let’s Dance, Tonight, Never Let Me Down (Original and 2018 Versions), the live album Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87)’, the previously unreleasedSerious Moonlight live album, a collection of original remixes entitled Dance and the non-album / alternate version / b-sides and soundtrack music compilation Re:Call 4. The highlight of this latest box is the brand new production of the 1987 album Never Let Me Down by Bowie producer / engineer Mario McNulty with new instrumentation by Bowie collaborators Reeves Gabrels (guitar), David Torn (guitar), Sterling Campbell (drums), Tim Lefebvre (bass) as well as string quartet with arrangements by Nico Muhly and a guest cameo by Laurie Anderson on Shining Star (Makin’ My Love). The seeds of this new reimagining of the albums were first sown in 2008 when David asked Mario McNulty to remix the track Time Will Crawl and record new drums by longtime Bowie drummer, Sterling Campbell along with strings. The track was issued on the iSelect compilation to much acclaim, and in the notes, for that record, David remarked ‘Oh, to redo the rest of that album’. The new re-workings have revealed Never Let Me Down as a very strong collection of songs with a dark thematic thread running through them. Fans listening to Never Let Me Down (2018)would be forgiven for thinking that they were listening to a brand new ‘lost’ Bowie record. Also in each box is the never before released Serious Moonlight live album recorded in Montreal in 1983. Originally mixed at the time by Bob Clearmountain, the double album captures Bowie on what at that time was his most successful tour. The artwork features shots taken by photographer Denis O’Regan. Exclusive to each box is Re:Call 4 and Dance. The former a new compilation featuring remastered contemporary single versions, non-album singles, album edits, b-sides and songs featured on soundtracks such as Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners and When The Wind Blows. Dance features 12 contemporaneous remixes some of which are appearing on CD and vinyl for the first time and is named after an unreleased Bowie remix album that was originally slated for release in November 1985. The box set’s accompanying 128 page book features rarely seen and previously unpublished photos by photographers including Denis O’Regan, Greg Gorman, Herb Ritts and many others as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from producers / engineers Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, Mario McNulty and Justin Shirley-Smith.

11CD – The CD box set includes faithfully reproduced mini-vinyl versions of the original albums, and the CDs are gold coloured rather than the usual silver. Includes 128 Page hardback book. Let’s Dance (remastered) (1CD) Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) (previously unreleased) (2CD) Tonight (remastered) (1CD) Never Let Me Down (remastered) (1CD) Never Let Me Down 2018(previously unreleased) (1CD)* Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) (2CD) Dance (1CD)* Re:Call 4(non-album singles, edits, single versions, b-sides and soundtrack music) (remastered) (2CD)*

* Exclusive to Loving The Alien (1983-1988)

15LP – LP Box Set includes a 88 Page hardback book. Let’s Dance (remastered) (1LP) Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) (previously unreleased) (2LP)* Tonight(remastered) (1LP) Never Let Me Down (remastered) (1LP) Never Let Me Down (2018) (previously unreleased) (2LP – side 4 is etched)* Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) (previously unreleased on vinyl) (3LP)* Dance(2LP)* Re:Call 4 (non-album singles, edits, single versions, b-sides and soundtrack music) (remastered) (3LP)*

* Exclusive to Loving The Alien (1983-1988) LP box.

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Primal Scream  –  Give Out But Don’t Give Up – The Original Memphis Recordings

In 1993 Primal Scream went to Memphis to make an album with Tom Dowd and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, that album never saw the light of day, until now. Following the recent discovery of these tracks in a box lurking in Andrew Innes’ basement, Primal Scream release the original studio recordings from Memphis of the tracks that eventually became their 1994 album Give Out But Don’t Give Up. Teaming up with legendary producer Tom Dowd and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section of David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums) at Ardent Studios in Memphis, the resulting recordings from those classic sessions showcase the more country soul, rock’n’roll side to a band who continue to surprise. It’s Primal Scream as you’ve never heard them before. Dowd’s deft production, coupled with the merging of this sublime rhythm section and one of the UK’s best ever bands, led to the creation of nine glorious tracks that run the gamut between blues, gospel and brilliant songwriting, available for the first time.

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Elvis Costello and The Imposters  –  Look Now

Costello returns with his first new collection of songs since his Wise Up Ghost collaboration with The Roots in 2013. It features The Imposters (bassist Davey Faragher along with original Attractions members, drummer Pete Thomas and keyboardist Steve Nieve). The album was co produced by Costello with Latin Grammys winner Sebastian Krys. Two standout tracks are Under Lime and Unwanted Number. The former is a spry, heavily textured pop rocker with Beatles-esque harmonies and horn arrangements on which Costello sings, “It’s a long way down from that high horse you’re on.” The latter is more low-key and boasts a soul groove and lush backup vocals, which allows Costello to belt lyrics about enduring a sour relationship. “I knew if we could make an album with the scope of Imperial Bedroom and some of the beauty and emotion of Painted From Memory, we would really have something,” Costello said in a statement, referring to the 1982 album he recently revisited on the road and his collaboration with songwriter Burt Bacharach. Bacharach co-wrote a few songs on Look Now, and sat in on piano with the Imposters on two of them, Don’t Look Now and Photographs Can Lie. Costello wrote another Look Now song, Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter, with Carole King.

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Arc Iris – Icon of Ego

Arc Iris releases Icon Of Ego, its third groundbreaking album, as a trio that packs the heft of a far bigger band with fully realized sonic and visual intensity. On this latest album, vocalist / guitarist Jocie Adams, keyboardist / sample artist Zach Tenorio-Miller and drummer Ray Belli have crafted a vividly expressionistic new album that reflects both the group’s protean talents as well as its journey of survival. After its self-named 2014 debut on the nti- label, Arc Iris achieved critical acclaim, along with tours with St. Vincent and Jeff Tweedy and festivals like Bonnaroo followed. Within two years, the band self-released Moon Saloon in the US while Bella Union released the album in Europe. Tours supporting Kimbra, Gene Ween, and a complete re-imagination of Joni
Mitchell’s Blue performed at Washington’s Kennedy Center followed, which added to a growing, international fan base that has remained dedicated throughout.Icon of Ego finds a stronger, more experienced band. Recording at Providence’s Columbus Theater, home to silent movies and vaudeville during the ’20s, the band has evolved into a concentrated pop-prog explosion, mixing styles with disparate elements that captivate and surprise. With heavy synthesizer work by Tenorio and Adams, and seemingly impossible transitions executed effortlessly by Belli, the songs here carry a thick, analog electronic sound that harks back to the ’70s. Presiding over these are Adams’ powerful vocals that house the energy under pop forms.

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The Lucid Dream – Actualisation

The Lucid Dream return with the release of their 4th album, Actualisation. Driven by fans raising £10,000 to help replace all equipment robbed after a Paris show in early 2017, a new album became the instant focus in the summer of 2017 for a rejuvenated The Lucid Dream. Actualisation is soaked in the influence of acid house, amalgamated with dub and kosmische. The album was penned over the summer of 2017 by Mark Emmerson (vocals/guitar/synths), using only the classic Roland 303/808 synths, bass and vocals as tools for writing. Inspiration for the writing was formed via continuous listening to the Chicago to UK acid house works of 1986-1992, the focus predominantly on the groove. Several months on from those writing sessions and The Lucid Dream have completed their 4th album in 5 years. A record made for the dancefloor. Recorded at Whitewood Studios, Liverpool, with Rob Whiteley, the album is produced alongside long-time collaborator Ross Halden (Ghost Town Studios, Leeds), with mastering via Dean Honer (All Seeing I/I Monster/The Moonlandingz). The confrontational techno-punk of Alone In Fear opens the album, a 9-minute attack fuelled by the frustration and anger spawned by Brexit, government and a realisation of what 2018 Britain currently is. Recent single SX1000 (the first work from the album, unveiled via 12′ vinyl in April this year) is the band’s first move into pure acid house. The acid house fusion runs throughout the record, represented furthermore by Ardency, a track already praised by live critics when aired live for the first time earlier this year as ‘even on first hearing, would’ve raised the roof of The Hacienda’. The 2-part opus of Zenith follows, commencing with a space-dub / house instrumental groove before building into a track that will go for your head as much as your hips. Only Breakdown harks back to sounds of old for the band, a little reminder of the skull-crushing impact they can make when stripped to the bare bones. No Sunlight Dub closes the album, a dark-dub that invites the classic acid-house tool (Roland 808) into the dub. The track makes a stop-off into drum ‘n’ bass / jungle along the way before rounding up in a manner suited to Lee Perry, King Tubby, Augustus Pablo and other Jamaican greats.

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Anna St Louis  –  If Only There Was a River

If Only There Was A River is the first full-length studio album from Anna St. Louis. The songwriter, who originally hails from Kansas City, began writing songs after moving to Los Angeles five years ago and has previously released a cassette of recordings on Woodsist / Mare Records, appropriately titled First Songs. On her proper debut, St. Louis spreads her wings and expands on the promise hinted at on First Songs. To achieve that end, she enlisted Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) and Kevin Morby to produce the album, which was engineered by Thomas in his home in Mount Washington, LA. The collection of eleven songs also features Justin Sullivan (Night Shop) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo). While hints of influences like Loretta Lynn, John Fahey and Townes Van Zandt peek out of the corners of the songs, this album is not a nostalgic affair. Rather it marks the emergence of an artist fully coming into their own.

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The KVB  –  Only Now Forever

The KVB release their sixth album, entitled Only Now Forever via Invada Records. Whilst holding evident inspiration from previous times, the sound this London-founded duo present is progressive and distinctly new in every sense. Idyllic at times; gritty in others, each bar is as enchanting as the last, leaving you in a melancholic trance. Offering poignant lyricism that explores modern anxieties that plague many, the duo manage to imbue feelings of empowerment, fighting such struggles with a deceivingly sanguine sound. This seamless juxtaposition is perhaps their best trait. Will appeal to fans of Depeche Mode, The Soft Moon, New Order, Nine Inch Nails and My Bloody Valentine.

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The KVB  –  Of Desire

The fifth album from UK darkwave duo The KVB is released on Invada Records. Of Desire is Kat Day and Nicholas Wood’s second release on Portishead member Geoff Barrow’s Bristol-based label. It follows a string of releases for operations like Downwards, Minimal Wave sublabel Cititrax and Ukraine’s ~taqueOT, most of which explored a moody shoegaze aesthetic. The recording of In Deep saw the The KVB raid Portishead and BEAK> man Geoff Barrow’s synth collection, as well as roping in Sonic Boom to master it. Their most fully formed record and considered in terms of dynamics, arrangements and instrumentation, taking in influences such as Death In Vegas, Scott Walker and Roxy Music, The KVB have managed to create something that is at once familiar and yet inventive and original.

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Cocteau Twins – Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years

There was perhaps a sense, after a while, that the world was taking The Cocteau Twins for granted. Late Eighties reviews had routinely described them as The Voice of God, yet 4AD, concerned that we’d get tired of appreciating the rarefied genius which shimmered in front of our noses, would keep reminding us that they were truly special. The irony was that The Cocteaus were themselves evolving, morphing, reconstituting and taking on new shapes. This wasn’t widely registered at the time. It can be now, as The Fontana Years demonstrates a musical marvel which still makes your ears feel like they’re sucking citrus fruits after years of licking ashtrays, while the rings of Saturn crash-land in your front room. This 4-CD set brings together the two albums the band recorded for Fontana along with B-Sides, EP’s, Radio One sessions and the odd rarity. The set was mastered at Abbey Road from the original tapes and approved by Robin Guthrie. Housed in a study box designed by James Issacs – the booklet contains photos a discography from the era as well as a sleeve note by noted author Chris Roberts.

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Beta Band  –  The Three Eps (20th Anniversary Remaster)

Arguably one of the most acclaimed and loved bands of the past 20 years, by both fans and their musical peers alike, The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Innovative and singular, their unique musical and aesthetic approach to everything they did set them far apart from their musical contemporaries. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation. After acquiring the Beta Band’s catalogue last year, Because Music reissue their releases, with a double vinyl edition featuring the EPs Champion Versions, The Patty Patty Soundand Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos with remastered tracks and coloured vinyls, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1998 compilation.

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Tokyo Police Club  – TPC

If the universe had tilted the tiniest bit, there would be no TPC – the not-quite self-titled fourth (and best) Tokyo Police Club album. By 2016, singer-bassist and chief songwriter Dave Monks had settled into life in New York City; he made a solo record and did some co-writing. Drummer Greg Alsop was living and working in L.A. Keyboard player Graham Wright and guitarist Josh Hook remained in the band’s native Canada. Tokyo Police Club created songs via e-mail, thinking they had enough natural chemistry and experience to make that setup work. But eventually, the lack of friction meant there was less musical spark, and it dawned on everybody that the end was near. There was resignation, not anger, when Wright, Alsop, and Hook told Monks they were done with the band. After putting aside the idea of splitting up and back-burnering their commercial expectations, there was just one thing left to do: go to church. Specifically a church in rural Ontario, where the foursome could recapture the energy of their early years by playing in a room together. Songs that Monks had written were abandoned when they didn’t feel right for this new energy, and TPC started to take shape, built on camaraderie and esprit de corps.

Monks’ friends could once again help shape his songs into TPC songs, and the batch that ended up on the record aren’t quite like anything they’d done before. Album opener New Blues signals that Tokyo Police Club doesn’t need a racing tempo to introduce themselves; Pigs takes a sneering look at record-business politics; Simple Dude is unabashedly horny. Not giving a fuck—or, more accurately, only giving a fuck about those things closest to your heart—paid off. It’s the channeling of energy, which flows into every song on TPC, that makes the record their best. They’re through being cool, through doubting themselves, and through wasting time on ancillary things. TPC is self-titled, almost, because it’s Tokyo Police Club circa 2018—scarred but smarter, fully re-energized.

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Peter Holsapple vs Alex Chilton – The Death Of Rock

Newly discovered recordings of early solo Peter Holsapple and Like Flies On Sherbert–era Alex Chilton. Liner notes by Peter Holsapple and author / filmmaker, Robert Gordon. Previously unseen photos from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer. It’s 1978 at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN. Peter Holsapple had rolled into town chasing the essence of Big Star. He hooked up with musician / engineer / friend-of-Big-Star, Richard Rosebrough after approaching, and being turned down by, Chris Bell who Holsapple had hoped might be interested in producing him. Together Richard and Peter started laying down tracks during the off hours at the studio. Chilton meanwhile, was knee deep in the making ofLike Flies On Sherbert, also being tracked at Phillips. He told Peter, “I heard some of that stuff you’re working on with Richard . . . and it really sucks.” Alex promised to come by and show Peter “how it’s done.” The results? Alex’s tracks definitely line up with the chaos found on Flies, while several of Peter’s songs found homes on The dB’s albums (Bad Reputationand We Were Happy There) and on an album by The Troggs (The Death Of Rock retooled as I’m In Control), so not a loss at all. What we have in these newly discovered tapes, is a fascinating pivot point with both artists moving past each other headed in distinctly different directions. Chilton moved toward punk/psychobilly as he began playing with Tav Falco’s Panther Burns and produced The Cramps debut, Songs The Lord Taught Us, within a few months of these recordings. Holsapple was off to New York to audition for The dB’s and enter the world of “sweet pop.” Liner notes by Peter Holsapple tell the story of these recordings firsthand and author / filmmaker / Memphian, Robert Gordon, helps pull the time and place into focus. Previously unseen photos included in the package are drawn from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer. Produced by Cheryl Pawelski with mastering by Mike Graves at Osiris Studio and Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl / Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, who brings it all right back to where it started.

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John Hiatt  –  The Eclipse Sessions

The Eclipse Sessions, John Hiatt’s newest album, offers up his strongest set of songs in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. The 11 tracks presented in The Eclipse Sessions, from the breezy opener Cry To Meto the stark Nothing In My Heart, the lost-love lamentation Aces Up Your Sleeve to the rollicking Poor Imitation Of God, demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry. Hiatt goes all in with The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs – a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colours every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like Poor Imitation Of God and One Stiff Breeze. “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” The Eclipse Sessions is the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment.

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Spacemen 3 – Forged Prescriptions

Forged Prescriptions is a double album by Spacemen 3, containing alternative takes and demo versions of songs from their album The Perfect Prescription, plus some previously unreleased tracks. In his liner notes

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Jeff Buckley –  Live In Pilton UK, June 24, 1995

Recorded in Pilton, Somerset, England at the legendary Glastonbury Festival – running nearly 50 years now, since 1970 – on June 24, 1995, this is one of Jeff Buckley’s most famous live recordings. Raw, heavy, heartfelt, and deeply emotional, the set is comprised almost entirely of Buckley originals, mostly off of 1994’s Grace as well as one unreleased track and an unexpected cover of the MC5. Required live listening for any fan of this great 90s artist gone way too soon, who left only a small but nearly perfect legacy of recorded music.

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The Rolling Stones – The BBC Sessions 1963-1965

Amazing early live BBC recordings from The Rolling Stones, even including recordings made before the release of their first record. Essential stuff for any fan of the greatest rock and roll group of all-time, including a ton of their great early R&B and blues cover versions! Including early Stones classic covers like Memphis, TN, It’s All Over Now, and Hi-Heel Sneakers, this is a party on wax. Nothing beats early Stones with Mick and Keith wailing and the band as amped up as they ever were! Classic.

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Small Faces – The BBC Sessions 1965-1966

Collecting some of their earliest BBC sessions onto one disc this is Steve Marriott and his Small Faces at their absolute rocking R&B rave up best. Featuring classic originals like Watcha Gonna Do About It, E Too D, and Understanding, as well as killer covers of Motown and Otis Redding, this set is guaranteed to get you go-go’ing on the dancefloor. The greatest UK blue eyed R&B group of all-time at their live best.

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The Kinks – The BBC Sessions 1964-1967

Spanning tracks from the classic 1964 self-titled debut to their 1967 masterpiece Something Else by the Kinks, this collection features nearly two dozen Kinks klassics, recorded live on the BBC. With stunning sound quality and a near perfect group of songs, hear the Davies Bros and Co. at their live, raw best. From the psych-pop brilliance of David Watts to the foot-pounding R&B of All Day And All Of The Night this collection runs the full spectrum of The Kinks’ sound. Essential live cuts from one of the top British Invasion and psychedelic era groups!

This Weeks Releases —-
Anna St. Louis – If Only There Was A River – Woodist
Daniel Brandt – Channels – Erased Tapes (Indie Exclusive)
John Grant – Love Is Magic – Bella Union (Deluxe)
Kurt Vile – Bottle It In – Matador (Indie Exclusive)
Yves Tumor – Safe In The Hands Of Love – Warp
Factory Floor – A Soundtrack For A Film – Heart Of Data (Indie Exclusive)
A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard & The Ballroom – Muts (Indie Exclusive)
Silicon Teens – Music For Parties – Mute
William Basinski & Lawrence English – Selva Oscura – Temporary Residence (Indie Exclusive)
Goatman – Rhythms – Rocket Recordings (Indie Exclusive)
Groundhogs – Blues Obituary – Fire Records (Indie Exclusive)
The Fall – I Am Kurious Orange – Beggars Banquet
Eric Random – A Boy Alone – Dark Entries
Talking Drums – Courage – Dark Entries
Cyrnai – To Subtle Drive – Dark Entries
Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – A Recordings
Holger Czukay – Rome Remains Rome – Gronland
Holger Czukay – Der Osten Ist Rot – Gronland
Haley – Pleasureland – Memphis Industries (Indie Exclusive)
Exek – A Casual Assembly – Superior Viaduct

 

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A Big, big day for new releases tomorrow, Pixies re-release ‘Come On Pilgrim’ and ‘Surfer Rosa’ with an unreleased bonus LP!
New Live EP from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds!
New Amber Arcades record!
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs new album – is that enough Pigs for you?
New Graham Parker record – on limited pink vinyl!
A very limited Soft Cell 7″ – hurry, these are going quick!

More new albums out tomorrow from the likes of Alt-J, Blackfield, Gouge Away, Dave Grohl, Hater,Jlin, Ava Luna, Metric, Mini Mansions, Mudhoney, Marissa Nadler, Eddi Reader and Ana Da Silva & Phew.

It’s a bumper reissue day tomorrow as well. With a set of Stereolab reissues. plus the excellent Joe Strummer box set, but with the expensive price tag, there’s thankfully a slimmed down 4LP set as well. The Pink Floyd ‘Best Of’finally makes its way to vinyl, as does a collection of Aretha Franklin singles from the Atlantic label. Throw in new re-releases from U2, John & Beverley MartynHouse Of Love .

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The Pixies  – Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa

30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Pixies’ Debut EP and Album, Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, includes Bonus 1986 Radio Concert Live From The Fallout Shelter. It’s been thirty years since the release of Surfer Rosa – a record made up of rage, religion, gore, incest and superheroes named Tony – a debut album so good that it’s since seen as a masterpiece. A year prior came Come On Pilgrim, an eight-track mini-album released in 1987 which contained cuts culled from their first ever studio session, where they famously recorded seventeen tracks in just three days (in full, this session makes up the band’s much bootlegged and now officially released The Purple Tape). These formative records showed the Pixies to be an alien breed; four oddball outsiders from Boston blending US underground thrash rock, indie surf pop and Spanish-language flamenco with the Biblical mythology of Frances’s childhood. They would go on to record another masterpiece in 1989’s Doolittle but it’s the gruesome glory of Surfer Rosa, and the ruined sexuality of its cover image (a topless flamenco dancer in a crumbling Mexican bar) that set a fresh blueprint for an indie rock dynamism that not only planted the seeds of grunge (Kurt Cobain would admit that he was trying to imitate the record while writing Nevermind) but of much of the best rock music made since. The thirtieth anniversary edition contains Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Live From The Fallout Shelter, a concert-cum-session that first aired in late-1986 on WJUL in Lowell, MA. In addition to both a three CD and three LP edition, there’s also a super-limited and stunning deluxe clothbound hardbook three LP version, which will be a must for all fans. Like all other Pixies sleeves, Vaughan Oliver returns as designer, stunningly reinterpreting his original artwork with Simon Larbalestier’s iconic photographs remaining these record’s crowning glory.

3LP – Triple Gold Vinyl with Download Card of Live from the Fallout Shelter.

3LP+ – Deluxe Version in Clothbound Hardbook, Triple Clear Vinyl, Lyric Booklet, Art Book and Download Card of Live From The Fallout Shelter.

3CD – Triple CD in Hardbook Wallet Case with Lyric Booklet.

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Nick Cave – Distant Sky (Live In Copenhagen)

Filmed at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena in October 2017, Distant Skycaptured an extraordinary and triumphant live concert from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Performing new album Skeleton Tree’s beautiful compositions alongside songs from their essential catalogue. 4 track 12” taken from the performance

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The Joy Formidable – AAARTH

The Welsh trio (vocals & guitar RItzy / bass Rhydian / drums Matt) release their fourth album. It was recorded in their mobile recording studio with songs created all over the world then brought home to roost in the Welsh hills and made into a lush new album.

A little bit grungy, a little bit hard rocky, even a little bit of metal-tinged chug. Ritzy’s smooth vocals soar and dive over churning, swaying lurching fluttering guitars, grinding bass and relentless drums. It’s not all hard-hitting alt-rock though – a skilful hand on the power-on button means there’s room for a sweeter side and a push me, pull me tug on the dynamics.

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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – King of Cowards

Indeed, not only do psychologists theorise that the human braincan only memorise a sequence of this length, but Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – the Newcastle -based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years -have made a second album in King Of Cowards which does its damnedest to take consciousness to its very limits. Moreover, another notable seven is dealt with here -that of the deadly sins. As vocalist and synth player Matt Baty notes “For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression. When can guilt be converted into positive action? After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s my fire and brimstone Catholic upbringing coming into play there!” Building on the momentum this band has built since their January 2017 debut Feed The Rats, this opus sees them entering a new phase as a sleeker and still more dangerous swineherd. The Iggy-esque drive to dementia, Sabbath-esque squalor and Motörhead-style dirt may still be present and correct, yet the songs are leaner, the long-drawn-out riff-fests sharpened into addictive hammerblows and the nihilistic dirges of yore alchemically transformed into an uplifting and inviting barrage of hedonistic abandon.“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” So George Orwell noted at the end of a certain slim volume. King Of Cowards is nothing less than just sucha metamorphosis, one in which -in a blur of primal urges and beastly physicality -this band shows us just which animals are really in charge of the farm.

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Amber Arcades –  European Heartbreak

Dutch dream poppers Amber Arcades return with the elegant and romantic European Heartbreak was recorded and co-produced in LA with Chris Cohen from Deerhoof and in Richmond, Virginia with Trey Pollard (Natalie Prass, The Waterboys, Bedouine), who oversaw horn and string overdubs from Spacebomb. A vast step forward from Amber Arcades’ critically acclaimed debut album Fading Lines, this selection of songs flit around Europe, from Berlin to Spain to the south of France. It’s European not just in lyrical theme but also in the sly sophistication of its music: songs that carry with them the air of open-topped cars on clifftop roads, of cocktails on the terrace at sunset. And then the lyrics undercut that sunny mood, artfully and skilfully. For fans of Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura and the mellower parts of Alvvays.

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Lala Lala  –  The Lamb

“The Lamb was written during a time of intense paranoia after a home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence around me and my friends,” says Lillie West, the Chicago-based songwriter behind Lala Lala. “I began to frequently and vividly imagine the end of the world, eventually becoming too frightened to leave my house. This led me to spend a lot of time examining my relationships and the choices I’d made, often wondering if they were correct and / or kind.” West initially started Lala Lala as a way to communicate things that she felt she could never say out loud. But on The Lamb, her sophomore LP and debut for Hardly Art, she has found strength in vulnerability. Through bracing hooks and sharp lyrics, the 24-year-old songwriter and guitarist illustrates a nuanced look on her own adulthood – her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her. Across the album’s 12 tracks, West carefully examines the skeletons in her closet for the first time, hoping to capture honest snapshots of her past selves. Many of the songs show West asking herself agonizing questions about her life with a clever and hopeful curiosity. On the album’s first single and opening track, Destroyer, she reflects on feeling self-destructive and the delayed realization something in the past has irrevocably hurt you. In Water Over Sex, West laments her old precarious lifestyle, while trying to readjust to her newfound sobriety, and Copycat confronts her feelings of alienation and boredom. “Some of this album is about being frustrated that everything is always repeating itself and being bored with your own feelings,”she explains. Copycat in particular is about how everyone talks exactly the same on the Internet and how it sometimes feels futile to try and be yourself.”

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Metric  –  Art of Doubt

Toronto’s Metric emphasize guitars on the band’s latest album, a collection of 12 new songs packed with massive riffs, driving rhythm and raw / smooth vocals that have become their instantly identifiable signature sound. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Metric’s seventh LP addresses a climate of cultural and political anxiety while refusing to give despair the upper hand. In many ways, it’s the most Metric album the band has ever made as Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key rediscover their shared love of music and how good they are at making it together.

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Eyelids – Maybe More

After coming home fired up from their 2017 tours (which included UK / Euro / US dates with Drive-By Truckers, Dream Syndicate, Fruit Bats, The Cribs) Eyelids headed into various studios in Portland to finish up a new batch of songs they had been working on. They ended up with a perfect combination of
the lilting, powerful hooks of their recent Peter Buck-produced album or alongside the spookier, more meditative moments from their debut 854 . Oh and they added in a fiery rendition of The Gun Club’s Sex Beat (with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of R.E.M. throwing down alongside them) just to hammer the point home. Now Eyelids could always write a earworm of a song (which is why or ended up many best of 2017 lists) and from the minute the needle hits this vinyl, there it is again. With its rolling and
intricate jangle the band (like XTC, R.E.M. and The Byrds— their three biggest comparisons from the press) make their three distinct personalities / guitars become an amazingly powerful whole.

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Jeff Buckley – Live In Pilton UK, June 24, 1995

Recorded in Pilton, Somerset, England at the legendary Glastonbury Festival – running nearly 50 years now, since 1970 – on June 24th, 1995, this is one of Jeff Buckley’s most famous live recordings. Raw, heavy, heartfelt, and deeply emotional, the set is comprised almost entirely of Buckley originals, mostly off of 1994’s Grace as well as one unreleased track and an unexpected cover of the. Required live listening for any fan of this great 90s artist gone way too soon, who left only a small but nearly perfect legacy of recorded music.

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The KVB  –  Of Desire

The fifth album from UK darkwave duo The KVB is released on Invada Records. Of Desire is Kat Day and Nicholas Wood’s second release on Portishead member Geoff Barrow’s Bristol-based label. It follows a string of releases for operations like Downwards, Minimal Wave sublabel Cititrax and Ukraine’s ~taqueOT, most of which explored a moody shoegaze aesthetic. The recording of In Deep saw the The KVB raid Portishead and BEAK> man Geoff Barrow’s synth collection, as well as roping in Sonic Boom to master it. Their most fully formed record and considered in terms of dynamics, arrangements and instrumentation, taking in influences such as Death In Vegas, Scott Walker and Roxy Music, The KVB have managed to create something that is at once familiar and yet inventive and original.

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Hater  –  Siesta

Effortless and assured, the Scandi quartet drift eloquently into well-structured and stunning melodies.

Resolute in their sound, Siesta is the perfect soundtrack for that summer romance and the inevitable break up. Heartbreak has never sounded so sweet!. Produced by Joakim Lindberg (Yast and Hey Elbow) at Studio Sickan within old railway sheds outside of Malmö Sweden. Hater tackle their personal experiences of life, love and relationships yet through their shared songwriting there’s a togetherness. Synth pop earworm It’s So Easy contrasts the slower paced I Wish I Gave You More Time Because I Love You that blends beautiful sweeping sax from Inge Petersson Lindback. Hater boast Marr-esque guitars and vocals reminiscent of fellow Swedes and The Concretes whilst having the pop sensibilities of The Chills, Alvvays, Snail Mail and Makthaverskan.

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Marissa Nadler  –  For My Crimes

The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. The album is released via Bella Union and Sacred Bones. The opening title track is classic Nadler: a sweeping, vaguely Southern drama of voices, strings, and acoustic guitar, that walks the fine line between character song and personal indictment by metaphor. For My Crimes spawned out of a songwriting exercise in which Nadler wrote from the perspective of someone on death row, but the song casts a dark shadow over an album that turns marital conflict into inner reflection. Helping Nadler dig down into the song’s remorseful soul is her old friend Angel Olsen, who serves as a distraught echo from beyond in the chorus. Dreaminess and eeriness have often been two sides of the same coin in Marissa Nadler songs. Where For My Crimes and Blue Vapor come from her dark side, the album has plenty of moments that twinkle in their sadness and sentimentality. I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore is one of those highly specific songs you’ll get if you’ve ever lost a favourite band to your own broken heart.

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Squirrel Flower – Contact Sports and Bonus Tracks

For fans of Big Thief, Mitski and Sharon Van Etten. Squirrel Flower is the alias 21-year-old Ella Williams adopted for herself when writing and performing songs as a child. Since those early days her movement through music has progressed at a staggering pace and now a reissue of her second EP Contact Sports, available on vinyl for the first time. Contact Sports is a perfectly formed collection of songs about relationships; intimacy, dependency, betrayal and place set to the unique backdrop of the American Midwest. The first three songs represent the push and pull of love and intimacy while the last three are more meditative, more place-based. From the fulsome guitar and visceral, cathartic breakdowns of lead single Conditions to the carefully layered beauty of Hands Melt, this varied collection frequently impresses with its maturity and craftsmanship. Lyrically too, tracks like the fuzzy, dimly-lit euphoria of Daylight Savings are spellbinding in their turn of phrase as Williams sings “I know we’ve gained an hour, but I feel like we’ve lost two”.

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Goggs  –  Pre Strike Sweep

With their second album Pre Strike Sweep, Goggs add a new level of primordial anxiety to their already catastrophic symphony. Recorded and mixed in 2017 by Goggs guitarist and co-founder Ty Segall, the album explores the damaging affects of modern life before blowing them up one by one. Singer Chris Shaw uses terms like “space rinse” and “roadside surgery” to inform the listener that this is a strange and different trip, far and away from the Glendale Junkyard he romanticized in 2016 on their self-titled album. In fact, all expectations brought on by that acclaimed debut are crushed into dust, revealing a new standard by which the Goggs march thumps. Ty Segall side project featuring Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult) on vocal duty and Charles Moothart (Fuzz) on drums.

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Parquet Courts – Wide Awake Remixes

Limited 12″. Standout tracks from Parquet Courts’ latest album Wide Awake! get the dancefloor treatment in a collection of remixes available on 12” vinyl. The A-side features a re-work of the danceable title track by legendary first wave NYC disco pioneer Danny Krivit, who has delivered classic vinyl re-edits of tunes from Visage, James Brown, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, and many more. The B-side features remixes of two tracks by prolific Australian producer and engineer Mikey Young, known for his work in Total Control and Eddie Current Suppression Ring. “Mikey has always impressed me as a musician and person,” says Parquet Courts’ A. Savage, “but he’s developed a remarkable talent for producing electronic music, as evidenced by projects like Lace Curtain and Total Control. He has a skill of impressing his genius and personality into a track and elevating it to something more.

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Alt J  –  Reduxer

Reduxer is a set of 11 incredible reinterpretations of songs from their award winning third album ​Relaxer, ​reimagined by a host of fans, friends and peers, including a globe-straddling cross-section of some of the world’s most influential and prolific hip hop artists and producers. Putting their own indelible vocals on the songs are, amongst others, Grammy-nominated US hip hop high flyer GoldLink​, platinum-certified Parisian rapper ​Lomepal​, Berlin powerhouse ​Kontra K​, Dublin-born breakthrough rapper ​Rejjie Snow​, Australian auteur ​Tuka​, Puerto Rican rapper ​PJ Sin Suela​ and London’s acclaimed ​Little Simz. The project was first hinted at when Virginia Beach hip hop superstar​ PushaT​ and LA synthpop polymath Twin Shadow both joined alt-J for a surprise performance of In Cold Blood on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, before swiftly releasing the studio version of the collaboration. Another standout is a new version of Deadcrush reworked by legendary producer ​The Alchemist and Latin American production powerhouse ​Trooko​, and featuring the unmistakable vocals of hip hop iconoclast​ Danny Brown​.

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Mudhoney –  Digital Garbage,

Since the late ’80s, Mudhoney – the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end – has been a high-pH tonic against the ludicrous and the insipid. Thirty years later, the world is experiencing a particularly high-water moment for both those ideals. But just in time, vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters are back with Digital Garbage, a barbed-wire-trimmed collection of sonic brickbats. Arm’s raw yawp and his bandmates’ long-honed chemistry make Digital Garbage an ideal release valve for the 2018 pressure cooker. “My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times,” says Arm. “I suppose it’s only getting darker.”

Digital Garbage opens with the swaggering Nerve Attack, which can be heard as a nod both to modern-life anxiety and the ever-increasing threat of warfare. The album’s title comes from the outro of Kill Yourself Live, which segues from a revved-up Arm organ solo into a bleak look at the way notoriety goes viral. Arm says: “people really seem to find validation in the likes—and then there’s Facebook Live, where people have streamed torture and murder, or, in the case of Philando Castile, getting murdered by a cop. In the course of writing that song, I thought about how, once you put something out there online, you can’t wipe it away. It’s always going to be there – even if no one digs it up, it’s still out there floating somewhere.”

Appropriately enough, bits of recent news events float through the record: Please Mr. Gunman, on which Arm bellows “We’d rather die in church!” over his bandmates’ careening charge, was inspired by a TV-news bubblehead’s response to a 2017 church shooting, while the ominous refrain that opens the submerged-blues of Next Mass Extinction calls back to last summer’s clashes in Charlottesville. Mudhoney’s core sound – steadily pounding drums, swamp-thing bass, squalling guitar wobble, Arm’s hazardous-chemical voice – remains on Digital Garbage, which the band recorded with longtime collaborator (and Digital Garbage pianist) Johnny Sangster at the Seattle studio Litho. The anti-religiosity shimmy 21st Century Pharisees builds its case with Maddison’s woozy synths, which Arm says “add a really nice touch to the proceedings.” Digital Garbage closes with Oh Yeah, a brief celebration of skateboarding, surfing, biking, and the joy provided by these escape valves. “I would’ve really just loved to write songs about just hanging out on the beach, and going on a nice vacation,” says Arm. “But, you know, that probably doesn’t make for great rock.” Mudhoney, however, know what does make great rock – and the riffs and fury of Digital Garbage will stand the test of time, even if the particulars fade away. “I’ve tried to keep things somewhat universal, so that this album doesn’t just seem like of this time – hopefully some of this stuff will go away,” Arm laughs. “You don’t want to say in the future, ‘Hey, those lyrics are still relevant. Great!’”

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Tom Petty – An American Treasure

Reprise Records release An American Treasure – a career-spanning Tom Petty box set. The 60-track set unveils dozens of previously unreleased recordings, alternate versions of classic songs, rarities, historic live performances and deep tracks that spotlight Tom’s remarkable depth and evolution as a revered and tremendously influential songwriter, recording artist and performer. An American Treasure marks the first release of Tom Petty music since the artist’s tragic passing in October 2017. The first single from An American Treasure isKeep A Little Soul—a previously unreleased recording from 1982 sessions that resulted in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ classic album, Long After Dark. Tom’s daughter, Adria Petty, and his wife, Dana Petty, were the primary catalysts for the commission, creation and release of An American Treasure­ – a tribute and love letter pointing to the music in between the hits, and a strong musical portrait of the person they know in their hearts. Adria and Dana both serve as the project’s Executive Producers, and, together with Tom’s bandmates of 45 years, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, and his studio collaborator, Ryan Ulyate, curated the box set’s track list from Petty’s rich song catalog. Campbell, Tench and Ulyate also produced An American Treasure.

2CD – Double CD Set that features 26 career spanning tracks chosen from the Deluxe editions, as well as Bud Scoppa’s detailed track-by-track.

4CD – Four CD set housed in Hard Cover Book Sleeve that features all 60 tracks, plus a 52-page booklet with rare and previously unseen photographs of Tom, his bandmates, family and friends. The booklet also features detailed track-by-track liner notes by noted journalist and Tom Petty aficionado Bud Scoppa, who drew upon his previous interviews with Tom and new conversations with Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Ryan Ulyate, as well as Adria and Dana Petty.

6LP – 6-LP Set that features all 60 tracks and a 48-page booklet containing all of the photographic and editorial elements found in the CD Deluxe Edition. This set also includes the Nicholas Dawidoff essay.

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Joe Strummer  –  001

Joe Strummer 001 is the first compilation to span Joe Strummer’s career outside of his recordings with The Clash.

Joe Strummer 001 includes fan favourites from his recordings with the 101ers and The Mescaleros, all of his solo albums, soundtrack work and an album of unreleased songs. Standouts include It’s A Rockin’ World, produced by Rick Rubin and taken from the ‘South Park’ Soundtrack and London Is Burning (an alternative / early version of Burnin’ Street from Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros final album Streetcore).

All of the formats include tracks that have never appeared anywhere before as well as new remasters. Exclusive to all formats is an album of unreleased material including an early demo of This Is England entitled Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England, a solo demo of Letsagetabitarockin recorded in Elgin Avenue in 1975, outtakes from Sid and Nancy featuring Mick Jones and unreleased songs Rose Of Erin, the biographical and mythical recording The Cool Impossible and London Is Burning one of the last songs Joe recorded. Punk pioneer, singer, songwriter, recording artist, activist, musical and political inspiration for a generation and mighty diamond Joe Strummer was the most charismatic and passionate frontman to emerge from the punk explosion of the late seventies.

After Joe’s untimely death in December 2002 it was discovered that Joe had been quite an archivist of his own work, having barns full of writings and tapes stored in his back garden. There are now over 20,000 items in the Joe Strummer Archive. The archiving of this material and compiling of Joe Strummer 001 was overseen by Joe’s widow Luce and Robert Gordon McHarg III. All tracks were restored and mastered by Grammy Award winner Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto Canada. On-going through cassettes and recording tapes it was discovered that Joe was rather frugal and keen on hiding tracks. On cassettes he would leave 20 minutes between songs. On the 1” 8 track recordings it was discovered there were hidden tracks superimposed onto each other. For example tracks 1-4 were taken by one song and tracks 5-8 by two other songs which were thought when played back to be caused by tape denigration until the tapes went to Peter J Moore who was able to separate one song from another. The cover of all formats is taken from Joe’s 1990 Californian driving license.

4LP+ – Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set: Quadruple Heavyweight Vinyl, 7” Vinyl Single (exclusive tracks on 7”This Is England(Side A) and Before We Go Forward (Side B), Cassette (previously unheard and unreleased U.S North (Basement Demo) – with artwork replicated from the original cassette recording from Joes’s archive), A4 Book, Enamel Badge, envelope containing a screen print, a high quality image of Joe, two original art prints, and a sticker sheet. The book features rarely seen and previously unpublished memorabilia from Joe’s personal collection as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums. Limited to 3000 Copies.

2CD+ – Limited Edition Deluxe Double CD in A4 Book. Limited to 5000 Copies.

2CD – Double CD in Slipcase.

4LP – Quadruple Heavyweight Vinyl in Slipcase. Limited to 3000 Copies.

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John and Beverley Martyn – Stormbringer!

Originally released in February 1970 by Island Records this is the first and classic album by John and Beverley Martyn. After being rehearsed in Woodstock, NY Stormbringer! was recorded and mixed in only 8 days with engineer John Wood and producer Joe Boyd. John Martyn, inspired by the Band’s Music from Big Pink, worked hard to find a distinctive guitar sound and in two tracks (Would You Believe Me? and The Ocean) introduced his pioneering guitar technique. Levon Helm guested on drums on two tracks while John Simon and Paul Harris are among the other contributors. jazzy undertones, spirit lifting vocals, and buttery folk guitar leads for such a unique and beautiful record.

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John and Beverley Martyn – The Road To Ruin

John and Beverley’s 2nd album, also released in 1970, was Produced by Joe Boyd and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques, the Island Records studio. Features contributions from Danny Thompson, Dave Pegg and Wells Kelly. Contains the single Primrose Hill.

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Redd Kross – Third Eye

The American alternative rock band Redd Kross reached their peak in the early 1980s by releasing clever punk rock song. Their 1990 album Third Eye shows how much they changed their sound over the years. Their aggressive approaches have been changed to fascinating power-pop and alternative rock songs. The colourful choruses on this genre-defining record gives the album more depth than you’d think on first listen. Positively Beatlesque they sound on Bubblegum Factory, while Shonen Knife is a tribute to the contemporary Japanese rockers. Rooted in 1978 as the punk band The Tourists Redd Kross went on to become a well-known name in the punk and power pop music scene.

The Big news this week is the widely anticipated, ‘The White Album’ from The Beatles is getting a 50th Anniversary reissue. Newly remastered and remixed in stereo by Giles Martin, this comes a regular 2LP set, a 4LP set with The Esher Demos and a gigantic 6CD & 1 Blu-Ray box set that throws just about everything in. The 4LP set looks pretty damn essential in our eyes.

Other news this week
A live Father John Misty album, record by Third Man Records!
New Ty Segall album!
A new Mumford & Sons record
A new Ryley Walker record! Covering Dave Matthews Band But don’t let that put you off.

Also added to the site this week are forthcoming albums from Night Beats, Richard Swift, Vessel, a compilation from the Brainfeeder label, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and another in the series of From The Vault recordings live Rolling Stones 3LP set from the Voodoo Lounge tour. Limited blue vinyl for two early Fleetwood Mac albums. A very limited Aretha Franklin 2LP & 10″ set from Music On Vinyl.

looking forward to next week with new albums from Cat Power, Kristin Hersh, Phosphorescent and reissues from XTC and Television. have a great weekend!

This Week’s Releases

Tony Allen & Jeff Mills – ‘Tomorrow Comes The Harvest’ 10″ EP
Alt-J – ‘Reduxer’ LP
Amber Arcades – ‘European Heartbreak’ blue vinyl LP
Barenaked Ladies – ‘Stunt’ 2LP reissue
Blackfield – ‘Open Mind: The Best Of’ limited coloured vinyl 2LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Distant Sky (Live In Copenhagen)’ 12″ EP
Aretha Franklin – ‘The Atlantic Singles Collection’ 2LP reissue
Gaika – ‘Basic Volume’ 2LP
Dave Grohl – ‘Play’ LP
Hater – ‘Siesta’ 2LP
Trevor Horn – ‘Reflection’ limited pink vinyl 2LP
Jlin – ‘Autobiography’ limited red vinyl 2LP
The Joy Formidable – ‘AAARTH’ LP
The KVB – ‘Of Desire’ coloured vinyl LP
Kodaline – ‘Politics Of Living’ LP
Ava Luna – ‘Moon 2’ LP
John & Beverley Martyn – ‘Stormbringer’ LP reissue
John & Beverley Martyn – The Road To Ruin’ LP reissue
Paul McCartney – ‘Egypt Station’ LP

The Meters – ‘The Meters’ LP reissue
Metric – ‘Art Of Doubt’ LP

Mudhoney – ‘Digital Garbage’ limited blue vinyl LP
Marissa Nadler – ‘For My Crimes’ smoke coloured vinyl LP

Graham Parker – ‘Cloud Symbols’ pink vinyl LP

Parquet Courts – ‘Wide Awake: Remixes’ 12″
Peluche – ‘Unforgettable’ 2LP
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – ‘King Of Cowards’ LP
Pink Floyd – ‘A Foot In The Door: The Best Of’ 2LP reissue
Pixies – ‘Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa’ standard coloured vinyl 3LP set
Eddi Reader – ‘Cavalier’ limited blue vinyl 2LP
Redd Kross – ‘Third Eye’ limited purple vinyl LP reissue
Ana Da Silva & Phew – ‘Island’ 2LP
Soft Cell – ‘Northern Lights/Guilty (Cos I Say You Are)’ limited 7″ single
Stereolab – ‘Switched On Vol.1, 2 & 3’ 6LP bundle package
Stereolab – ‘Switched On’ LP reissue
Stereolab – ‘Refried Ectoplasm’ 2LP reissue
Stereolab – ‘Aluminium Tunes’ 3LP reissue

Joe Strummer – ‘Joe Strummer 001’ limited deluxe box set
U2 – ‘The Best Of: 1990-2000’ 2LP reissue
Tony Joe White – ‘Bad Mouthin” white vinyl 2LP

Image result for jeff buckley and elizabeth fraser images

The prodigiously talented Jeff Buckley only made one studio album, 1994’s Grace, before his accidental drowning in the Mississippi River in 1997, but his estate has continued to release a wealth of posthumous material. These range from top notch material like the drafts for his second album, released as Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, as well as great songs like ‘Forget Her’, a Grace outtake, but his clearing of the decks has also felt like it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel with releases like Grace Around the World.

But despite all the archival activity, one fascinating song by Buckley remains in the archive – collaborator Elizabeth Fraser has dismissed the song as “unfinished, you see. I don’t want it to be heard.” Fraser, the lead singer of the Cocteau Twins, previously recorded a version of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song to the Siren’ in the mid 1980s. She was in a relationship with Jeff Buckley in the mid 1990s, and they sang together on ‘All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun’. Even if it’s unvarnished, with Fraser and Buckley only accompanied by an acoustic guitar, it’s still enthralling – two unique, spectacular voices in an unlikely pairing.

Fraser struck up an intense relationship with Jeff Buckley after they became infatuated with each other’s voices. Again, emotion produced music. This sublime duet they recorded called All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun is around the internet, to her irritation.

“Why do people have to hear everything?” she complains. I tell her it’s wonderful. “But it’s unfinished, you see. I don’t want it to be heard.” There’s a pause. “Maybe I won’t always think that.”

Buckley died in 1997, by which time they had lost touch – Fraser had grown frustrated with his constant touring, a reaction that weighs heavily on her. “I just wish I’d been more of a friend,” she says, softly. “His career was everything to him, and I wish I had been more understanding – happy with a different kind of relationship. I missed out on something there, and it was my fault.”

The news that Buckley had disappeared – he drowned, swimming in the Wolf river in Memphis – came while Fraser was recording Teardrop with Massive Attack. “That was so weird,” she says. “I’d got letters out and I was thinking about him. That song’s kind of about him – that’s how it feels to me anyway.” It seems she is haunted by guilt: for not being there for Buckley, for everything. As she puts it: “I need to forgive myself.”

Unreleased (unfinished) acoustic track by Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser. Recorded sometime around 1995-1996.

Thanks APHORISTICAL for this article

I think this is the best interpretation and live version of Leonard Cohen´s classic song.
Performed by Jeff Buckley, one of the guitarists and vocalists I admire most.
This song was recorded on May 13th, 1995, at Cabaret Metro, during the Mistery White Boy tour.

In a tragic case of what could’ve been, Jeff Buckley left the world with only one album to his name. Despite the posthumous release of his incomplete second album and countless reissues of Buckley’s tiny discography, the ten songs that make up Grace is better than what most artists do in an entire career.

Grace is an audacious debut album, filled with sweeping choruses, bombastic arrangements, searching lyrics, and above all, the richly textured voice of Jeff Buckley himself, which resembled a cross between Robert Plant, Van Morrison, and his father Tim. And that’s a fair starting point for his music: Grace sounds like a Led Zeppelin album written by an ambitious folkie with a fondness for lounge jazz. At his best — the soaring title track, “Last Goodbye,” and the mournful “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” — Buckley’s grasp met his reach with startling result.

 

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Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde track “Just Like a Woman” is much disputed — for its mysterious but likely famous subject and for whether or not its lyrics are misogynist — but rarely does the beauty of its warm yet aching melody come into question.

And it’s hard to think of a singer’s voice that can better be described as warm and aching — across their body of work  than Jeff Buckley’s. (Incidentally, the link between Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley in this very piece comes from the fact that  as with Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse  the singer’s public body of work continues to be exhumed, stretched, re-released, and remastered decades after his death). And so, Buckley’s just-shared cover of the Bob Dylan song (from the upcoming collection, You and I) is of course stunning — despite the fact that some might be skeptical of yet another album of early/rare recordings. (Buckley himself only ever released one studio album, 1994’s Grace.)

Buckley’s cover slows Dylan’s song down, and allows the singer to revel in the swelling and androgynous quality of his own voice, rendering the track somewhat more self-reflexive than the original, which was delivered more like a series of enamored insults, subtly underscored by heartache. (There’s certainly nothing subtle about the heartache in Buckley’s delivery.)

You and I will be released on March 16th, It also includes covers of Led Zeppelin, The Smiths, and Jevetta Steele.

The Smiths cover by jeff buckley