Waterloo Records

Music Releases for Friday 3/17

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4 LP Super Deluxe Collector’s Boxset featuring 40 new acoustic and reimagined recordings from the U2 catalog, produced and compiled by The Edge and arranged into individual band member volumes. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a stunning mat laminated slipcase with bespoke debossing, this limited and numbered boxset includes new lyrics by Bono, exclusive photos by Anton Corbijn and liner notes from The Edge.

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Created between Palm Springs, California and Hilo, Hawai'i, V is the first double album from the Hawaiian-New Zealand singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra band. Designed to play as one continuous movement and road-tested on dry California freeways, V is the definitive Unknown Mortal Orchestra car record. It's also the fifth full-length album Ruban has released in twelve years. Across fourteen sunbleached songs - written solo or with his brother Kody - Ruban draws from the rich traditions of West Coast AOR, yacht rock, weirdo pop and Hawaiian Hapa-haole music. Over a laidback blend of singalong anthems and cinematic instrumentals, he evokes blue skies, afternoons spent lounging by hotel swimming pools and the alluring darkness that lurks below perfect, pristine surfaces. It's a duality expressed in the dilapidated sunset blues and the saltcorroded soul Ruban explores through tracks like 'Layla' and 'Nadja. ' During the pandemic's early days, Ruban reunited with Kody at a cousin's wedding in Hawai'i. With assistance from their father, Chris Nielson (saxophone/flute) and longstanding Unknown Mortal Orchestra member Jake Portrait, they brought everything Ruban had been thinking about together. The result was V, due for release on March 3, 2023, through Jagjaguwar. When they talked about records that moved them in that spine-shivering manner, Ruban started thinking about the 70s AM radio rock and 80s pop songs that had lurked on the edge of his subconscious mind for most of his life. He wanted to write his version of records like that, leading to the two glorious uptempo singles Unknown Mortal Orchestra released in 2021, 'Weekend Run' and 'That Life'. However, the golden good times never last forever. Not long after, health issues began to plague his extended family. Putting his recordings aside, he helped his mother and his uncle move home from New Zealand and Portland to Hawai'i, and began dividing his time between Hawai'i and Palm Springs. During this period he reconnected with his relatives, reassessed his past, and started to look at things with fresh eyes. Hawai'i brought back memories of the darker side of his parents' lifestyle as entertainers. On those trips, he heard those classic AM radio rock records everywhere. They were inextricably intertwined with the palm trees, swimming pools, and glamorized hedonism he'd internalized from his childhood. There's a type of music in Hawai'i called Hapa-haole (Half white). You can hear it expressed in signature Unknown Mortal Orchestra style through the humid guitar-led atmosphere of V's penultimate song, 'I Killed Captain Cook'. Although the songs are presented in a traditional Hawaiian manner, they're mostly sung in English. Having been influenced by Hawaiian music since Unknown Mortal Orchestra's first album, Ruban saw a space for himself within the tradition. When he reflected on his success, he realised he had the responsibility and platform to represent Hapa-haole music on the global stage.

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Over the span of two decades, M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez has firmly established himself as an artist whose work transcends mere escapism in favor of full-on worldbuilding. Whether it be via his celebrated studio albums, film soundtracks, or compositions for stage productions, Gonzalez has proven that nothing surpasses his ability to perfectly encapsulate a specific time, emotion, or sense of place.

Now with Fantasy, the Platinum selling, GRAMMY nominated artist returns with his most personal album to date. Featuring long-time collaborator Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Joe Berry, M83’s touring keyboardist and sax player, the album was born out of extended jam sessions that lasted nearly a year. The result is an exuberant, live-sounding record where trademark M83 goosebump moments abound.

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Limited clear vinyl LP pressing. 2023 release by The Band of Heathens featuring 10 new songs.
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Limited translucent green colored vinyl LP pressing. Luv 4 Rent is the third studio album by Smino. It was released on October 28, 2022. The album includes guest appearances from J. Cole, Doechii, Fatman Scoop, Cruza, Lucky Daye, Phoelix, Cory Henry, Ravyn Lenae, Lil Uzi Vert and Reggie.
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Double vinyl LP pressing. On the band's 30th Anniversary of their breakout album Shake Your Money Maker they recorded the entire tour and chose the performances that would show off the best of the tour. This is the end result.
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Kacey Musgraves will be releasing a limited edition Zoetrope Picture Disc Vinyl in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of her debut Platinum and Grammy winning album- Same Trailer Different Park. The album went to #1 on the Country Album Charts when it was released in 2013. Kacey co-wrote all 12 tracks and co-produced the album with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. Album won the Grammy award for the Best Country Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The album featured the break-out singles- “Merry Go Round”, “Blowin’ Smoke”, and “Follow Your Arrow”.

Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park: 10th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition Picture Disc- Zoetrope LP]
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Say Hi

Elocution Prattle [LP]

Vinyl: $38.98 UNAVAILABLE

I’m sorry, what? A double Say Hi LP without any vocals? Yep, you’ve heard right. I woke up one day not too long ago and decided I needed to take a break from words, so it seemed like a convenient time to attempt the all-instrumental-mega-synthesizer-record I’ve been itching to make for a while. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but these songs aren’t meandering, ambient sketches. They’re just as focused and concise as I’ve tried to make every other Say Hi record. It’s just that the melodies here are expressed via dulcitones or vector-synthesis in lieu of my usual slightly-off-key vocal chords. Please dig in. It took me a while to get the formula right, but I’m hopeful you’ll like it. Oh yeah, it’s also the 20th anniversary of Say Hi, so I’ll be performing every past record around the release of the new one. -- Eric / Say Hi

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The duo of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, 100 gecs, announces that the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, 10,000 gecs, will arrive on March 17th, 2023. Following their breakout debut album, 1,000 gecs, the anticipation of their next body of work has been high and the band’s teases have been plentiful. The forthcoming album is set to include previously released singles “mememe” which was described in the story as "an ebullient carnival of ska-inflected verses that bounce off a chorus of thrash guitars and a squiggling synth line" along with the 90’s Alt Rock-inspired “Doritos & Fritos,” which The Fader noted as "unlike any other Gecs track before it.”
 
For those yet initiated: 100 gecs planted their flag on the proverbial pop culture moon with their 2019 debut album 1000 gecs, which was heralded by The New Yorker as, “an impressively precise maximalist exercise with no rules” and “utterly unhinged in the best way possible” by GQ. The innovative project captured the hearts of fans and critics alike - selling out all of their live shows to date along with The New York Times calling it, “some of the savviest pop music of the year,” and Rolling Stone dubbing it “one of 2019’s most exciting debuts.” In just a few months following the release of 1,000 gecs, the band went from playing their first concert from inside the video game Minecraft to selling out shows across the country, proving that their rabid, rapidly multiplying fanbase doesn't only exist in the far corners of the internet. After their world tour was postponed in the summer of 2020, Brady and Les kept rolling with the release of 1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues, a rework of the original album featuring collaborations from the likes of A. G. Cook, Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, as well as crowd sourced contributions by fans. The transformative release was described by The NME as a “brain-melting, genre-crushing vision of pop’s future.” Their subsequent international touring over the past two years has sent the unlikely wizard-cloaked pied pipers jumping from sold-out show to sold-out show, seemingly two steps ahead of the zeitgeist, not to mention having a blast while doing it. 

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2023 release. All Time Low have undeniably carved out their own corner of popular culture. The multi-platinum Maryland quartet have topped charts, sold out arenas worldwide, and served up a series of instantly irresistible anthems in the process. Their catalog consists of five consecutive Top 10 albums on the Billboard Top 200 in addition to picking up multi-platinum, platinum, and gold certifications. Their influence remains pervasive: 5 Seconds of Summer have covered their tunes, Cheat Codes and Pierce the Veil have jumped at the chance to collaborate, and they've contributed music to films by visionaries such as Tim Burton and Diablo Cody. Speaking to their impact, Rolling Stone even named "So Wrong, It's Right" among it's 50 greatest pop punk albums. In 2020, they ascended to a new commercial and critical high watermark with their eighth full-length LP," Wake Up, Sunshine." Following a #1 debut on the Top Rock Albums chart, it spawned the biggest hit of the band's career thus far, "Monsters" [feat. blackbear]. It clinched #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart for an unprecedented 18 weeks, emerging as the longest charting song ever at the Modern Rock format. In addition to going platinum, it notably garnered "Alternative Rock Song of the Year" at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards, while superstar Demi Lovato teamed up with the group for the Official Remix. Meanwhile, the mainstream came to them as they delivered show-stopping performances everywhere from Bonnaroo and Firefly to The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ellen, Good Morning America, and beyond. Now, All Time Low kick off another era with "Tell Me I'm Alive."
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Go West!: The Contemporary Records Albums combines legendary Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ two studio albums for Lester Koenig’s Contemporary Records, Way Out West and And The Contemporary Leaders, with a third disc, Contemporary Alternate Takes. Featuring remastered audio by Bernie Grundman, the set is available on both RTI pressed 180g 3-LP and 3-CD formats and includes an expanded booklet with new notes and interview by GRAMMY Award-winning music historian Ashley Kahn.
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The music on Blackout rocks, has a truckload of sweat, blood and energy & conveys an intense insight into relationships (Walk Away) & personal politics (Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight - lyrics written by Woody Guthrie after the band was given special exclusive access & permission to use the words of Woody Guthire through his family). The record still contains rousing tunes rooted in Irish music & American Folk (Black Velvet Band & The Dirty Glass) and destined to be a Boston Bruins call to arms classic called “Time To Go”. And it’s important to mention that each member of the band played a crucial role, working hand in hand to create this new record. Everyone’s influence from the youngest member of the band to the most experienced, bring together their many influences to play a role in creating an all time gem of a rock record. With each new record, they just don’t let up, their passion, life experience & and true commitment to music fans shines through on every song. Reissued on limited edition red vinyl to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary!

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Enveletration is a mix of the words: envelopment and penetration. Conceptually it is kind of a late-night space out thought trap around the perceived power dynamic of sexual organs, inside out body parts, matter density within a void, atomic structures that are analogous to solar systems, and other weird human-cosmic relations that will really eat your brain if you think on them for a while. It’s basically imposter syndrome for all of humanity relative to the universe.
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Pierce The Veil

A Flair For The Dramatic [LP]

Vinyl: $29.98 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $11.49 Download

Vinyl LP pressing. Released on June 26, 2007 The Fuentes boys and company have moments when it seems lightening is dying to get out of the bottle. For a pure example of that, wait till just before the minute mark, when these guys rival the gruesome metallic energy Pantera. Let's get down to brass tacks, this album is phenomenal at moments.
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Into The Woods (2022 Broadway Cast Recording), starring multi-Platinum, Grammy-winning and Tony Award-nominated artist Sara Bareilles, along with a cast of Broadway superstars, is the album of the smash-hit Broadway revival. Featuring an enchanting score by legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods turns the world of fairy tales upside down and teaches us the responsibility that comes with getting what you want.
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Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell includes 7 “Yoshimi”-era tracks that were included in the 6 CD Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 20th Anniversary Box Set released in November 2022. Originally released as CD EP in 2003, it is now being released on vinyl for the first time. It features two versions of the title track (one remixed by Jason Bentley), a remix by The Postal Service of “Do You Realize??”, and 4 non-album tracks. This limited edition version is pressed on Glow In The Dark Green Vinyl.
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“Fight Test” was the third single released from The Flaming Lips hugely popular and successful albumYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Released in June 2003, the single entered the US Billboard Top 100 and peaked at #28 in the UK singles chart. The 7-track EP was included in the 6 CDYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 20thAnniversary BoxSet released in November 2022, and it is now being released on vinyl for the first time. In addition to the title track, it features a remix of “Do You Realize??”, “Thank You Jack White”, and 3 covers including a live version of the Kyle Minogue hit “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, and Radiohead’s “Knives Out”. This limited edition version is pressed on Ruby Red Vinyl.
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Indie Exclusive * So named because the CD version originally clocked in time-wise at 29 minutes and 29 seconds, ‘29:29 Split Vision’ was recorded in December 1985, just after the band had split up, and they wanted to bring some closure to that period by recording the new songs they were working on at the time, alongside some of their older material that hadn’t yet been properly recorded. Whilst the B-side hints at the underlying reasons the band split up – the inevitable ‘musical differences’, with the three newest songs on the release literally worlds apart (excuse the pun) from their classic material - the five songs on the A-side are veritable belters, and ‘Split Vision’ remains a frustratingly fascinating offering from this most unconventional of punk bands.
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Indie Exclusive * The EP-LP was originally released in early 1986, after the band had split in November 1985, and collected for convenience the first four Subhumans EPs onto one disc. This includes the fiery six-track debut, ‘Demolition War’, that was first unleashed at the end of 1981, the powerful and provocative ‘Reason For Existence’ and the perennial ‘Religious Wars’, both from 1982, and the intensely angry ‘Evolution’, from May 1983, whose title track rages so effectively against the senseless tragedy that is vivisection. Whilst never intended to be released as a full-length album when first recorded, most of the eighteen tracks on offer are still staples in the band’s set to this day, and hang together very cohesively as an essential body of work.
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Indie Exclusive * As the title suggests, this 1986 album compiled the eight-track ‘Time Flies… But Aeroplanes Crash’ 12”, originally recorded and released in 1983, and the four-track EP, ‘Rats’, that had been recorded during the summer of 1984 and released in early ’85. ‘Rats’ might just be the band’s most powerful and compelling release, the title track inspired by the Stop The City protests of ’84 that sought to highlight the undeniable links between first world capitalism and third world poverty. Whilst it’s something of a mish-mash, with several rowdy live tracks and a few, very enjoyable re-recordings of old Stupid Humans songs (Stupid Humans being guitarist Bruce’s pre-Subhumans band…), it contains two of the Subhumans’ best-loved tracks, ‘Work Rest Play Die’ and ‘Susan’, the latter something of an oddity as it’s a stirring piano piece, with lyrics written by Steve Hamilton, an old friend of the band.
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Ultramodern heavy icons KAMELOT reign supreme with their anticipated new studio album, The Awakening! Following  decades of top-charting releases and massive international touring, new radio-ready anthem “One More Flag in the Ground” continues the band’s legacy, proving their balanced rock and metal potency and featuring additional vocal layers from JUNO Award winning musician/producer Brian Howes.

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A Space In Time is Ten Years After's sixth, and best selling album, and was originally released in August 1971.

Featuring their most well-known track "I'd Love To Change The World", which regularly features in movies and TV shows, saw the band taking a more melodic direction from previous releases and showcased the band at their peak. This new (delayed) 50th Anniversary edition of the album features a brand new mix by the original producer/engineer, Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones/Emerson Lake & Palmer/Marillion), using the original 2" multitrack tapes. He has used modern day plug-ins that perfectly emulate and expand upon the original recording. The results are stunning. The second disc in this set features the original 1971 mix of the album. Both have been mastered and cut at half-speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.

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Her Loss is a collaborative studio album by Drake and 21 Savage. It was released on November 4, 2022 through OVO Sound/Republic Records and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart.

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Frightened Rabbit has earned a wide range of critical applause and a fervent international fan following with their emotional melodies and frank lyricism. As moving and triumphant on stage as they are on record, Frightened Rabbit has performed countless headline shows, as well as sharing stages with such like-minded artists as Modest Mouse and Atlantic labelmates Death Cab for Cutie. The band has also won over audiences at a scope of international festivals, including Glastonbury, T in the Park, Oxegen Festival, and Latitude in the UK, Australia's Splendour in the Grass, and our own Lollapalooza and South By SouthWest (SXSW).

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Honestly, Nevermind is Drake's seventh studio album. The album's producers include longtime collaborators like Noah (40) Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib, and Noel Cadastre, as well as Black Coffee, who has recently worked with David Guetta and Usher. The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving the superstar his 11th No. 1 on the chart.
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Vinyl LP pressing. 2023 release. The Layers is a stunning companion piece to guitarist Julian Lage's acclaimed 2022 album View With A Room. The collection features six original pieces featuring the trio of bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King with the addition of guitar icon Bill Frisell. Intimate and gorgeous, The Layers is a welcome additional offering from this meeting of two of modern jazz's most distinctive voices with one of the music's most skilled and inventive rhythm sections.
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RSD Essential 036 * Think Indie Exclusive * The Offspring preserve the essential ingredients of their chosen genre--guitars grinding out three chords, shouted vocals, and plenty of vitriol--and layer them over a melodic base that packs considerable popular appeal. The singles from Smash, the Offspring's breakthrough album, still receive considerable radio airplay: "Gotta Get Away," "Come Out and Play," and "Self Esteem." With these and Smash's 11 other tracks, the band chronicles the adolescent experience with clarity and surprisingly incisive wit. That pretty much describes all of their albums, but this is the one to get. It's got more shape than their earlier material and isn't as disturbingly poppy as their more recent recordings; it's the perfect blend of riffs and rage. Smash is the best-selling independent album of all time with over 20 million sold worldwide. Alongside Rancid’s And Out Come the Wolves and Green Day’s Dookie, Smash signaled the arrival of punk rock as a commercial force upon it’s initial release in 1994.

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First Time on Colored vinyl. Following a decade of stagnation and waning interest, legendary singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who masked his soft side with his sarcastic, lyrical prose, entered the new millennium with his acclaimed 10th studio album Life'll Kill Ya. Though the album predated Zevon's fatal cancer diagnosis by two years, its title track, as well as standout cuts like "My Shit's Fucked Up" and "Don't Let Us Get Sick," brought the album critical praise as a "mournful lament on the aging process and the inevitable decay that accompanies it." Available now for the first time on colored vinyl. Ship To Shore PhonoCo's reissue of Life'll Kill Ya features expanded liner notes and rare photos from Jorge Calderón, Zevon's son, Jordan, and Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith. Other highlights include "Porcelain Monkey," which puts Elvis Presley in Zevon's sardonic crosshairs, a cover of Steve Winwood's "Back In The High Life Again" sounds as if it were written for Zevon, and "Fistful of Rain" is a melodious examination of the fickle nature of fame. Engineered as a comeback vehicle, co-produced by Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade (the producing duo responsible for Radiohead's Pablo Honey), Zevon's songwriting collaborator Jorge Calderón added a lighthearted accent to Zevon's musical portraits of doom and gloom. Despite helping with a successful comeback, Life'll Kill Ya's content was revealed all too true when, in 2003, Zevon passed away of pleural mesothelioma. "I mean, the fact that life will kill you is just that," Zevon told Rolling Stone upon the album's release. "I think you have to spend a fair amount of time realizing that you will be, so that you'll remember to enjoy everything you possibly can every minute you're not. You always want to try and tell younger people that, which is very difficult because they don't really hear it because they feel a life has been imposed on them. And of course, they're absolutely correct."

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Indie Exclusive * Pressed on black ice vinyl, with a transparent ruby red 7” that includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks featuring Bilal and Talib Kweli * A small pressing of a standard black variant will be in the marketplace before this drops - it won't have the 7"w/ the bonus tracks * Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom is the debut album by Mystic, released on June 19, 2001 through GoodVibe Recordings and JCOR Entertainment. The album elicited highly positive reviews from critics, who praised the album's lyrics and themes. Eventually, the album earned Mystic several accolades and award nominations. In 2001, Kludge magazine ranked it at number seven on their list of best albums of the year. In 2002, the album earned Mystic a nomination for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards, where she lost to Missy Elliott. That same year, the album cut "W" was nominated for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration," a new category, at the Grammy Awards; the song lost to Eve's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," a collaboration with Gwen Stefani.
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Maita

Loneliness

CD: $14.98 UNAVAILABLE

Portland artist MAITA’s latest offering, Loneliness is an unorthodox release for the prolific writer, in that the track listing is exactly the same as 2022’s I Just Want to Be Wild For You. Following the release of IJWTBWFU, MAITA felt the urge to record a quiet, introspective record, allowing the same songs to be heard in a different light, closer to how they were originally written. The once bombastic ‘‘Honey, Have I Lost It All,’’ an ode to fearing writers block and obsolescence, comes across as gauzy yearning, while “Pastel Concrete,” shows up not as the jaunty surf-pop audiences are familiar with, instead a wistful reflection of the shallow depths of Southern California sunshine. Throughout the record, songwriter Maria Maita-Keppeler, accompanied only by her nylon string guitar, re-imagines I Just Want to Be Wild For You, cementing her place among the echelon of today’s greatest songwriters.

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Yellow colored vinyl LP pressing. 2023 release. The Cash Box Kings return with another enthusiastic celebration of Chicago blues in all it's electric forms. Not content to merely pay homage to the past, they mix contemporary authority and old-school authenticity, opening a door into the intoxicating spirit and sounds of 1950s and 1960s Chicago-based blues brought right up to the minute by the original songwriting of singer Oscar Wilson and harmonicist/singer Joe Nosek. Sparked by Wilson's commanding vocals and Nosek's blistering harp, Oscar's Motel brims with raw, unvarnished ensemble playing on hard-driving shuffles, funky workouts and pleading slow blues.
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Limited red colored vinyl LP pressing. 2023 release from New York City's most diabolical Rhythm & Blues street gang. The band's fourth studio album represents a wellspring of bottled-up feelings and emotions that need to be taken to the streets. Produced by Oakley Munson of the Black Lips at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY the band expands upon a sound that's all their own and features guest appearances from Punk Rock legend Wreckless Eric providing backing vocals on "Nightmare" and "Silver Satin" and The Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian on "Ding-Ding Man," In dark times Daddy Long Legs continue to shine their light everywhere they go, leaving a piece of themselves on stage every night because it's in them and it's got to come out. Over the last decade these gentlemen have burned down houses the world over with their explosive fire ceremony and have amassed a cult-like following all their own with a tough to beat reputation for being one of the finest live acts on the road today. Written and recorded against a backdrop of political tension, riots in the streets and a deeply uncertain future, Street Sermons is a testament to triumph over adversity.

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Coming from a country renowned for having outstanding singer-songwriters, Lynn Miles is considered Canadian songwriting royalty. With a JUNO Award in 2003 for Roots Traditional Album of the year, Lynn subsequently scored JUNO nominations in 2011 and 2006, and took home six Canadian Folk Music Awards including three for Songwriter of the Year. In 2016, American artist Clair Lynch recorded Lynn's song "Black Flowers" on her Grammy-nominated album of songs penned by Canadians called North By South.Lynn has the ability to instantly convert listeners into lifetime fans. On her newest album TumbleWeedyWorld she sings about the differences between people, which ultimately only demonstrates how we are so much the same. As always her ever-emotive voice carries each lyric with breathtaking clarity and heart-wrenching emotion, showcasing her talent as a singer and songwriter.
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Since the release of his self-titled debut 15 years ago, Doug Paisley has earned accolades for unflinchingly self-reflective songs delivered with simplicity and beauty. The critical response to his sophomore release, Constant Companion, underlined this quality. MOJO, naming the album one of the top ten of 2010, found in its “rare kind of purity” evidence that “an anti-star is born”. While Rolling Stone deemed it to be a “nearly perfect singer-songwriter record”, UNCUT described it as “sure-footed and ageless…uncluttered, sad and unerringly lovely.” The “quiet and contemplative” nature of his last record, Starter Home, continued this trend, earning it a place in the New Yorker’s top ten albums of 2018. Doug’s new record, Say What You Like, underscores his prowess as a songwriter, while exploring new sonic terrain with producer Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas). Distilled from more than 250 songs penned by Paisley over the last decade, the 11 tracks selected by Jurvanen combine folk, country and pop sensibilities to showcase his rich sense of melody and remarkable way with words. This is Doug at his best – honest, exposed, searching – comforting in his ability to communicate the universal in the struggles of the individual. In meditations on the disappointments and shortcomings of love, Paisley looks hard at middle age, and facing the time “when looking young is getting old.” “We’re always somewhere in-between forever and walking away / we’ll spend a lifetime, you and me, day by day.” One cannot help but get the sense from these songs that Paisley simply must write – it's about emotional survival and the process of working through. “As a songwriter these days,” Paisley reflected earlier this year, “there’s very little to gain and very little to lose so I am working only from the heart, there’s no other motive.” It shows.
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A saxophonist of striking originality, Sam Rivers arrived fully formed on his debut album Fuchsia Swing Song recorded for Blue Note in 1964. Though a strong avant-garde undercurrent flowed through his music, Rivers kept a foot planted firmly in post-bop and the blues on this impressive set of originals including his stunning ballad "Beatrice." This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is stereo, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
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Pianist Herbie Hancock showcased the full breadth of his artistry on his masterful 4th Blue Note album Empyrean Isles recorded in 1964. The album presented 4 diverse original compositions including the hit song "Cantaloupe Island" performed a deeply attuned quartet featuring Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is stereo, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
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Misc. Items, trumpeter Jake Baldwin’s second record as a leader, features Adam Harder Nussbaum on drums, Toivo Hannigan on guitar and Cody McKinney on electric bass with seven compositions by Baldwin and three from Hannigan. It showcases Baldwin’s ability to mesh the simple and melodic with the exploratory and textural, the juxtaposition of beauty and tension, showing that miscellaneous items can sometimes be used together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. 

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There’s more than a hint of ambition on the double LP sophomore effort from Sam Austin Rabede, the producer known as DJ Black Low. Pretoria, South Africa-born and based, the young man makes amapiano with new ways of expressing this local-turned-global style of dance music. 

In DJ Black Low’s musical imagination, the songs manage to smoothly vacillate between dreamy and firmly-grounded. Adorned with vocalists across most of the twelve tracks, there’s a new dimension to Black Low’s now-signature approach to abstract, angular deconstruction of the rhythmic developments in his songs. 

The album references influences and ambitions in its song titles and lyrics while the music itself is anthemic in its sonic and structural aspirations. On many of the songs a slow-burning tension transforms into something unexpected until you’re somewhere else as the track concludes. There is an emotional and compositional maturity that builds on his earlier work. Vocals and lyrics are in focus. Production collaborators among Black Low’s Gauteng Province circle add to the constantly churning array of ideas that populate this consistently surprising release. Despite being a relative newcomer, DJ Black Low is onto something here.

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After spending the past 20 years in the studio, on concert stages all over the world and at the literal top of the charts, All-American Rejects co-founder Tyson Ritter didn’t start Now More Than Ever in 2018 with the expectation it would turn into a real band – but a real band is very much what it has become. In tandem with veteran musicians/songwriters/producers Scott Chesak and Izzy Fontaine, Ritter has begun a meaningful and exciting new chapter in his music career with Now More Than Ever’s debut album Creatrix, which will be released March 17, 2023, by Thirty Tigers.

To hear Ritter tell it, All-American Rejects’ relationship with the traditional music industry was in many ways the reason he was eager to try something different: simply making music with friends for fun, without any preconceived notions about what would, could or should happen next. In other words, no constraints, no A&Rs, no deadlines and no mandate to sound like anyone or anything other than themselves.

The fact that Ritter and Chesak have known each other for so long certainly helped jumpstart things, as the latter has been a multi-instrumentalist touring member of All-American Rejects since 2011. Chesak later segued into writing and producing for artists such as Weezer and Panic! At The Disco, a skill Ritter has long admired but had difficulty incorporating into his own creative process. As he began thinking about new music, he “definitely knew” he “didn’t want to write in the traditional sense with and for another artist in a studio. Scotty and I just got to talking and decided to write some tunes. It started that innocently.”

“We didn’t have a name, or an idea of being a band, until probably a year after that,” Chesak adds. “We were kind of just writing for the purity of writing and trying to make something cool. There’s a huge folder of songs we made during that time that aren’t part of this project, but three or four of them showed us there was something cohesive there.”

Having spent decades in the same musical scene, Ritter and Chesak were committed to a fresh approach when it came to the sound of their new work. “We were kind of sick of guitar music, because we both come from the rock world,” says Chesak, who handled bass, drums and keyboard duties during the sessions. “So at first we made a rule: Fuck guitars. No guitars!” Quickly they realized their beef wasn’t with guitars per se, but rather the same old sound of the instrument. Enter Izzy Fontaine, who has worked closely behind the scenes with everyone from Taking Back Sunday and Glassjaw to Seal and Banks, and came up in the industry alongside many of the same bands as Ritter and Chesak.

Now More Than Ever shimmers with that spirit of freedom, its nine tracks gracefully surfing the peaks of the past four decades of pop and rock. These are the kinds of songs that used to be on the radio and certainly still should be today – the ones that make you dance, shake your ass and forget about everything else for a while. The breathless electro-rock of “D-E-A-D Together” and the sultry power ballad “Heart To Heart” best embody that vibe, while horn players from Ozomatli add an instant dance party to “Candle.” The ‘80s synth-driven closer “Never You” started life as a Ritter acoustic song but was quickly transformed by Chesak and Fontaine into what’s now the perfect soundtrack for a vintage slow dance prom scene.

To that end, “Heels Up Head Over” explores those themes with a tale about a werewolf and vampire getting married, while lyrical references to the ageless cool of Joan Jett and drunk, young romance make you feel right at home in Now More Than Ever’s company. “This is a record where there was freedom in lyric,” Ritter says. “When you’re on a major label for 15 years, you can succumb to trying to follow your last thing. That can seep into the music in a way that’s so unconscious. The joy of this band is that it’s completely free of any oppressive overlords, ivory towers, approval processes or co-writes that have been manufactured, licked, stamped and thrown onto the assembly line.”

Now More Than Ever is here to help make sure the pillars of pop and rock will never fall, and they’re prepared to go down believing. “This is our little monolith,” Ritter says. “It might be six feet tall amongst giants, but it’s pure. And it’s truth for us. It’s saccharine as fuck, and I love it.”

Quick View
In 1976 Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols set the agenda for punk's year zero with 'Anarchy In The UK', a song that summed up the spirit, sound and attitude of the band in one shocking package. Two years later, the Sex Pistols were in tatters, but Rotten was as unsentimental as you'd hope. He reverted to his real name - John Lydon - and set about forming a band whose very identity kicked against press and media manipulation. Featuring bassist Jah Wobble, drummer Jim Walker and guitarist Keith Levene, his new group were Public Image Limited. The public image would be limited. PiL were a very distinct prospect from the Pistols, founded with a greater thought for rhythm, and with a sound that turned the page from snarling punk to a more experimental sound fusing rock, dance, folk, ballet, pop and dub. But that's not to say Lydon's new outfit lacked vitriol. 'Public Image' hits out against the notorious British tabloid press, who never gave Lydon an easy ride, and against his own Sex Pistols public image - "You only saw me for the clothes I wore". The debut single (and the album that followed) operated as a theme song and a manifesto: "... my entrance/My own creation/My grand finale/My goodbye," as the lyrics had it. It is, essentially, the sound of four people letting loose in a studio - and not caring what anyone else thought. The album was never officially released in the USA back in the day, it's sound considered too un-commercial by major-labels for an American release. First Issue has been lovingly reproduced from the original UK 1978 release and this special reissue also comes with a clutch of post-punk era treasures. The 2023 LP edition includes an expanded gatefold jacket, an archive replica fold-out poster, a PiL sticker, insert, and Download Card for the album, the archival BBC interview, and "The Cowboy Song." All of which were approved and coordinated with John Lydon and his personal management.

        
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