Music Releases 11-17-23
The surprise companion to The National’s April release First Two Pages of Frankenstein, Laugh Track is the band’s most freewheeling, all-hands-on-deck album in years. If Frankenstein represented a rebuilding of trust between group members after 20+ years together, the vibrant, exploratory Laugh Track is both the product of that faith and a new statement of intent. Reveling in the license to radically upend its creative process, The National honed most of this material in live performances on tour, and captured those invigorated versions in impromptu sessions at producer Tucker Martine’s Portland studio. Two nights later in Vancouver, the nearly eight-minute album closer “Smoke Detector” was recorded during soundcheck, completing a body of work bristling with spontaneity and vintage rock energy that makes a perfect complement to the songs found on its more introspective predecessor.
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Limited edition on glacial blue vinyl. Iron & Wine's Who Can See Forever is an accompanying live record to the film of the same name. Captured at Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, the soundtrack features nineteen songs from the twenty plus year career of singer-songwriter Sam Beam. Having found inventive ways to re-invent his catalog live over the years, Who Can See Forever offers new and fresh versions of Iron & Wine songs including "The Trapeze Swinger", "Boy With a Coin" and "Naked As We Came." The film - initially intended as a live concert film - evolved into a visual portrait capturing Beam during a creative outburst that earned him four Grammy nominations in four years. Like his music, the film touches on universally personal themes as Beam juggles being an artist, husband and father. Taken as one, the soundtrack and film are a fascinating first-time glimpse behind-the-scenes of Iron & Wine.
Global superstar Post Malone holds the record for most RIAA Diamond certified singles in history. The Diamond Collection is a compilation of his top hits to date, including “Congratulations (feat. Quavo),” “Sunflower” with Swae Lee, “White Iverson,” and more. The physical release includes the Diamond certified hits as well as additional tracks.
Vinyl: $59.98 Buy
Global icon and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dolly Parton, has joined forces with some of rock music’s most legendary artists along with today’s biggest stars for her first-ever rock album, Rockstar. The ever-evolving Parton teamed up with an all-star roster of musicians for the 30-song collection which includes 9 original tracks and 21 covers of iconic rock anthems.
Over-Nite Sensation turns 50 years old. To celebrate this iconic album, we present a 4CD + 1 Blu-ray Audio Super Deluxe showcasing 88 total tracks with 57 unreleased tracks & mixes. Featuring the 2012 remaster of the original album by Bob Ludwig along with additional masters, highlights and mix outtakes from the original 1973 sessions mastered by John Polito. Also included are live recordings from 1973 showcasing the same band that recorded the album, one from the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and the other recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit. The Blu-ray contains the album newly re-mixed in Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround by Karma Auger and Erich Gobel at Studio1LA, Zappa’s original 4-channel Quadraphonic mix (available for the first time since 1973), and the Hi-Res stereo 2012 remaster at 192K24B and 96K24B. The package features unseen photos from the album cover shoot along with liner notes and essays by Mark Smotroff and Vaultmeister Joe Travers.
ColleGrove was the "gumbo” or “jambalaya" of two of the most prominent and influential names in hip hop, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne. 2 Chainz hailing from College Park, Georgia, and Lil Wayne from Hollygrove, a neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, the two combined their hometown roots to create the title, ColleGrove. Released in 2016, ColleGrove has racked up 2.8 billion global streams to date, honoring a musical friendship that has sustained two decades. After much anticipation and almost 8 years later, fans will finally be able to enjoy the powerful duo's follow up album, Welcome 2 Collegrove. The upcoming project is not only a perfect merge of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, but it also features some of the best icons in music today, including Usher, 21 Savage, Rick Ross, Fabulous, Benny the Butcher and more. Welcome 2 Collegrove is the next installment of this powerful duo looking to serve up real raps, cultural flair and authentic brotherhood.
Keith Urban #1’s CD includes 24 #1’s Hits on 2 CD’s (all packaged in 1 jewel case) from his entire catalog of albums. The album spans from Keith’s very first #1 song to his latest and includes duets with Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, and Julia Michaels. This is the ultimate Keith Urban album and a must have for all fans. Each CD will include a limited-edition double-sided poster.
Shania Twain releases her record-breaking Greatest Hits album for the first time on 180g black vinyl! Selling over 100 million records, Shania is the best-selling female country artist ever, and this compilation showcases why. Including her iconic songs “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”, “Any Man Of Mine,” “You’re Still The One,” and “Forever And For Always”, this updated remastered release now contains her newest hit “Giddy Up!” and fan favorite “Life’s About To Get Good.”
Following the release of the critically acclaimed Random Access Memories 10th Anniversary Edition earlier this year, this new iteration of the GRAMMY-award winning Album of the Year strips away all drum and percussive elements from the album, giving listeners the ability to dive deeper into the layers of instrumentation on each track. 2LP vinyl gatefold package with an 8 page booklet.
Toby Keith just doesn’t sing #1 hits, he also writes them, solo, hence 100% Songwriter, compilation of 13 Keith self-penned country music hits featuring 5 #1 singles: "Should’ve Been a Cowboy," "Who’s That Man," "You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This," "Courtesy of The Red White and Blue (The Angry American)" and "Who’s Your Daddy". During Keith's career he has achieved 42 top 10 hits, 32 No. 1s, 40 million albums sold and more than 10 billion streams.
Vinyl: $28.98 Buy
Vinyl: $22.98 Buy
Vinyl: $29.98 Buy
Deafheaven’s monolithic second LP Sunbather, was not only a massive success in 2013, it created a radical shift in heavy music culture, an acceptance of the genre by previous outsiders, and a trailblazing sound that heretofore hadn’t been heard outside of learned circles. It was a reville introducing the changing of the guard in metal, featuring phenomenal reviews across the board, and breaking the mold used by buttoned-up indie types and false-flag musical dilettantes intent on keeping the status quo. A maverick release in every facet, the cornerstone for the triumph that is Sunbather truly lies in its world class songwriting. From the opening anthem “Dream House,'' it's clear to see that Deafheaven was soaring triumphantly into the unknown, through the emotional highs and lows, the fire and rain, and onto the unseen road ahead. Lyrically, Sunbather examines themes of existentialism, diving headfirst into the abyss, and the pursuit of self-discovery. The album's title itself is similar in scope, representing the embrace of the light and movement out of the dark unknown. Sunbather takes influence from the majesty of early Emperor and underground US heroes Weakling, the dark beauty of France’s Alcest, the introspective nature of post-rock and shoegaze gods like Mogwai and Slowdive, as well as the DIY spirit of punk ranging from Fugazi to Man is the Bastard to create a new realm for their emotional and expansive epics. The result is the nihilism and icy darkness found in black metal melding perfectly with the pensive, ethereal nature of shoegaze and the expansive dramatics of post-rock to create a new landscape. By juxtaposing propulsive and harsh blast beats and riffs against soaring melody, Deafheaven had refocused the blind-hate nature found at the kernel of black metal into a melancholic and singular journey to explore the unknown. Considering metal’s staunchly negative relationship with the press, Deafheaven’s Sunbather was nothing less than a true triumph. An immediate success at the time of it’s release, Sunbather blasted through the glass ceiling that limited so many other heavy music bands before them. Lauded by virtually every major critical outlet, Sunbather is the picture perfect ideal of a music darling– leading to sold out shows around the globe in increasing numbers. Sunbather would eventually become a year end favorite, repeatedly named one of the best albums of 2013 and landing on top 10 lists that were previously alien to heavy music– outlets like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the New York Times and the like. And while the critics were dogpiling on the compliments, the conservative nature of heavy metal could not help but spin things in the opposite direction. As the saying goes, ‘the first one through the door catches all the bullets.’ “The easy answer was it was totally positive and overwhelming,” says founding guitarist Kerry McCoy with a bit of a chuckle when asked about his feelings about the response to Sunbather. “But in actuality it was also kind of frustrating. We were grateful for the positive notes, but there were people who thought we were the worst thing to ever happen to metal and others who thought that we claimed to invent the genre. Neither were true.” In addition to the game-changing musical approach, the band’s aesthetics were nothing if not utterly controversial as well. Designer Nick Steinhardt’s striking cover with use of a highly stylized font and a pale pink as the chosen color is not only a masterstroke in contemporary design, it was a true middle finger to the black metal establishment– one that prided itself on a lo-fi black and white aesthetic. The bright and easily recognizable cover openly positioned the album as a true outsider unafraid to duck genre boundaries. Formed in 2010 in San Francisco, California with the core duo of George Clarke and McCoy, the pair completed their debut demo with Jack Shirley, who would eventually helm Sunbather, releasing it on limited cassette. The cassette became an underground phenomenon, leading to a record deal with Deathwish Inc who released the cassette in limited numbers on seven-inch. After recruiting a live band, the five piece recorded their debut LP Roads to Judah and embarked on a series of shorter tours to promote the release. When the time came for the follow-up, the band slimmed back down to the original duo and added drummer Daniel Tracey– creating what many believe to be one of the most important musical statements of the ‘10s. The release would be their third with Jack Shirley. “Honestly, Sunbather gave us a career,” says McCoy with candor. “Before then we were working jobs and had these grandiose dreams, but that was the record that turned us into a real band. Because of that record, we ended up meeting a lot of people around the world that changed our lives and set us on the path we’re on now.” Ten years later, Deafheaven is nothing less than a mammoth and live touring juggernaut, with fans across the far reaches of the earth and a flawless live lineup of Shiv Mehra on guitar (joined in 2013) and Chris Johnson on bass (2017) in addition to Clarke, McCoy and Tracey. One of the most important and original rock bands of the past fifteen years, the long-awaited reissue of this pivotal release celebrates its tenth anniversary with a fresh shine and coat of paint– a newly remixed and remastered sound by original producer Jack Shirley with available spacial audio, an updated look to the packaging in all formats courtesy of the album’s original designer Nick Steinhardt, and deluxe color vinyl that includes a gatefold jacket with spot UV printing and 2 full-color printed inner sleeves. Whether a newbie to this colossal record or a familiar party, the anniversary edition is a crucial addition to the collection of any erudite music fan.
Vinyl: $36.98 Buy
Experience the captivating soundscape from one of 2023’s biggest blockbusters on the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Original Score) vinyl. The sequel to 2019’s Oscar-award winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse broke the global box-office on release, and the critically acclaimed, viral hit-making score is now available on vinyl for the first time.
Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated composer Daniel Pemberton returns to expand upon the Spider-Verse’s iconic, multi-versal soundscape with a genre-defying score that seamlessly combines a 100-piece orchestra with DJ scratching, operatic vocals, techno beats, punk rock, acid-house-inspired Indian percussion, soaring synth solos, and even…a prominently sampled goose. From the Gwen Stacy’s fan favorite motif to Spider-Man 2099’s internet-breaking theme music, the film and its intricately-woven score is sure to transport you into some wildly unexpected parallel dimensions.
This double vinyl release comes pressed on two kaleidoscopic, multiversal orange and purple marbled LPs, featuring highlights from the score hand-selected by Daniel Pemberton. The package includes a stunning soft-touch gatefold jacket with spot gloss, a double-sided collectable poster and two printed sleeves with custom art – plus, an 8-page art booklet featuring liner notes from Daniel Pemberton and art from the film.
As an upcoming member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame class of 2023, Sheryl Crow releases a collection of songs that have been made available digitally on a limited-edition picture disc LP.
Phantom Power, one of the best Hip records, is now a true double album with 5 brand-new, never-before-heard tracks – 17 tracks in all. Also included in this 25th Anniversary Edition is a live 1998 show recorded at the Metropol in Pittsburgh on 2 LPs, a bonus LP of 8 alternate tracks curated by the band, a Blu-ray disc with Atmos 7.1 mixes, a 64-pg 12x12 book, a 24-pg illustrated “Bobcaygeon” video storyboard with behind-the-scenes photos, a replica 8x10 signed publicity photo, and silver foil sticker sheet. 5 LP/Blu-ray Boxset.
A deluxe box set celebrating Bob Dylan's 1978 world concert tour and the 45th anniversary of the artist's first concert appearances in Japan, The Complete Budokan 1978 includes two complete shows from Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Hall (February 28 and March 1, 1978) featuring 58 tracks, 36 of which are previously unreleased. The audio is newly remixed from the original 24-channel analog tapes.
This luxurious 12 x 12” box is imported from Japan and includes 4 CD’s, a 60-page full-color photo book of liner notes and previously unpublished photos of Dylan on-stage and behind-the-scenes at the airport, press conferences and more and facsimile memorabilia such as concert tickets, pamphlets, posters, and flyers.
Another Budokan 1978 includes 16 specially selected tracks from the new Complete Budokan 1978 box set, newly mixed from the original 24-track analog tapes. All tracks are previously unreleased. This 2-LP set comes in a gatefold sleeve with an OBI-strip and a 4-panel insert with liner notes.
Acetone - I'm still waiting. is a definitive, career-spanning 11 LP box set featuring the band’s debut EP Acetone (first ever vinyl release outside of the UK), Cindy (expanded to a double LP and available in the US on vinyl for the first time), I Guess I Would (Available on vinyl for the first time commercially in the US), If You Only Knew (On Vinyl for the First Time Ever), Acetone LP (featuring the band’s original mix), York Blvd. (expanded to a double LP), & Prime Cuts (featuring 8 previously unreleased recordings). Each box set includes a 60 Page, Full Color Book featuring extensive liner notes by J Spaceman (Spiritualized) and Drew Daniel (Matmos/The Soft Pink Truth), never-before-seen photos & more.
This limited edition box set features records pressed on crystal clear vinyl. Each record has been mastered for vinyl at RCA Studio A with lacquers cut at the world famous Abbey Road Studios. All full length LPs are packaged in gatefold sleeves.
Each organ in the human body serves its own vital role, but life only truly becomes miraculous when all of these components work together. On his new release, Living Organs, saxophonist/composer Shauli Einav debuts a new quartet that operates on the same synergistic principle. Featuring organist/keyboardist Laurent Coulondre, guitarist Eran Har Even and drummer Paul Wiltgen, the band offers a modern, evocative take on the jazz organ group format enfolding jazz, rock and pop influences.
“In the corner of your vision, there’s a daydream on a mission” says Russell Edling in the beginning of “Park (Rye)”. Humming vibrations crescendo around the words floating in the air and a listener may visualize a flower growing in fast motion, or a dog running backwards, lava flowing, children jumping rope in the evening sun. Suddenly these visions plumet and new frenetic images appear as drums, percussion, and full accompaniment burst into space. The band has arrived, a theme recurrent in Golden Apples’ new record, Bananasugarfire.
A listener might hear echoes of the Velvet Underground, Stereolab, Stone Roses, Yo La Tengo, but there is more going on than just a studied homage to indie rock’s progenitors. The themes of doubt and bewilderment found on previous albums are still present, but they are thrown into a kalaedoscope with beams of positivity, hope, and optimism.
“The revelation that you didn’t need formal training to start a band in 1977 and the realization that you don’t need to be Merce Cunningham to dance are one and the same.” - Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork, 2003
47 minutes. Two sides. A single spine jacket. Confident and deliberate. Lightning in a bottle. The Rapture’s Echoes was and is a clear-eyed kick in the teeth, a band at the peak of their powers and producers with an ambitious vision making. a. point.
The whole “indie crowd finally learns to dance” narrative is overwrought and irrelevant in 2023 - perhaps context is no longer king - but what remains clear is that this album, made by a San Diego punk band who had moved to New York via Seattle, and produced by the DFA in their own studio, where time and gear and ideas both good and bad were aplenty, maintains an energy and search for catharsis that could bulldoze even the most uptight.
For whatever reason, it’s remained out of print on vinyl since its initial run. (Don’t worry, though, there were a lot of CDR promos lying around.) And now, with minimal pageantry, it’s back.