This Just In: The Frightnrs

Everyone’s talking about this year’s “summer anthem,” so I figured I’d join the pack. I have one pick, and it’s not a “new” song per se – hell, it’s not even that upbeat. It’s a cover of Etta James (yes, that’s dangerous territory), but since it’s a rocksteady cover, The Frightners pull it off without butchering the vocal. “I’d Rather Go Blind” works really well in a reggae style, and this version is so good that the mighty Daptone Records was happy to put their seal of approval on it. Pick up a copy today, relax with the single, then get real mellow with the dub version b-side. Don’t dig my summer anthem? Choose one of your own from this week’s in-stocks below, or from the INSANE amount of pre-loved wax hitting the floor every day (really jazz-heavy this week). -MLE

The Frightnrs – I’d Rather Go Blind 7”
Listen: “I’d Rather Go Blind”
“Ladies and Gentlemen we would like you all to give a gregarious ‘Great To Meet Ya’ to Daptone’s newest sensation, The Reigning Rocksteady Kings of Queens, New York: The Frightnrs . If classic Reggae done correct is your game, then kindly get ready to par ty down. Seriously… Once you hear their version of the late great Etta James’ classic (pressed into Daptone Family recipe petroleum based chips), ‘I’d Rather go Blind,’ you will find it impossible to not want to get down with friends and foes alike, imbibing on rum-flavored hooch lovingly poured into a pineapple or preferred tropical-fruit shaped vessel. Rejoice in the newfound excitement!

Had enough? NO! YOU WANT MORE!? Well, flip over this waxen platter of reggae perfection and find the dubbed-out ‘VERSION’, expertly produced by long time Daptone ringer, Victor ‘Ticklah’ Axelrod. Honestly… This record is a killer, and only available on this here Daptone 45rpm record. Please run down to your favorite INDEPENDENT record shop and grab one before they’re all gone.” -Daptone

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This Just In: Black Mountain

“One, two, three, another pop explosion. One, two, three, another hit recording. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, TEN!” Ten years since Black Mountain’s S/T album was released. To celebrate, Jagjaguwar has released a deluxe 2LP anniversary edition. This still stands as one of my favorite rock albums – no frills, just straight jams. “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around” kills me every time and makes me jump around like a drunken idiot (even when not drunk). And live? A beastly force to be reckoned with. Check out a track and read the album’s story below. This week’s in-stocks are listed right below that. Aaaaaaand, if you like rock and its various iterations, our used bins are bursting with hundreds of new arrivals of classic rock, alt rock, pop rock, prog and other riff-filled goodies.

Black Mountain – S/T Deluxe 2LP:
Listen: “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around”

“It’s only a cliché because it’s true, but the greatest records are timeless. Black Mountain’s self-titled debut album is just such a record, its roots leading twisting paths back into the past, while always sounding like ‘now’, like a future still to come. The work of a small collective of musicians operating from Vancouver, Canada, far from any industry buzz but firmly in the eye of their own storm of creativity, Black Mountain’s debut album was, of course, a beginning, but it also marked an ending for Jerk With A Bomb, the group that preceded Black Mountain.

‘Some of us came from the punk scene, but sonically we weren’t a punk band.’ says bandleader Stephen McBean, of the group who, over their three-album lifespan, gathered together three future soldiers in the Black Mountain Army: Joshua Wells, Amber Webber and McBean. ‘We didn’t fit in – round pegs or square holes. We took the new name, and everything fell into place.’

Begun as the fourth Jerk With A Bomb album, Black Mountain’s debut grew from skeletal sessions cut by McBean and Wells. ‘We laid down the bed tracks, the guitars and drums,’ remembers McBean. ‘Matt [Camirand, bass] joined, and we changed the band name after a dream of how life could be different in the B section between Black Flag and Black Sabbath. Josh’s roommate Jeremy [Schmidt, keys] was lurking about. We asked him if he wanted to add some synth bleeps or whatever. He came back with all these orchestrated keyboard parts, and we said, ‘Oh, you should probably join the band now.”’

McBean had been sending Jerk With A Bomb recordings to Chris Swanson of Jagjaguwar since their second album. ‘They were one of the few labels that got back to us, though they said they weren’t looking for new bands,’ says McBean. But a slow avalanche of further McBean recordings changed their mind; the label even signed Black Mountain’s sister group, Pink Mountaintops, whose debut album preceded Black Mountain’s by six months. ‘The advance for recording and mastering Black Mountain was a thousand bucks,’ says McBean. ‘And Jagjaguwar said if we sold 3,000 records, that would be good. We were, like, ‘Right on!’ Because Jerk With A Bomb had sold about twelve records.’

They cut the album at the Hive in Vancouver, recording in ‘a big cement room with a tall ceiling, nice boomy acoustics, lots of natural reverb,’ remembers McBean, ‘on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder.’ During the sessions, these elemental first Black Mountain tracks found their true shape: the wry, giddy shuffle of ‘Modern Music,’ with its Roxy Music sax and Velvets-y chug; the epic, sky-staring riffage of ‘Don’t Run Our Hearts Around;’ the hypnotic, gracefully heavy groove of ‘Druganaut;’ the joyful rush of ‘No Satisfaction;’ the dark, powerful blues of ‘Set Us Free;’ the mysterious murk of ‘No Hits.’ Here was a new classic rock, its reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible.” -Jagjaguwar

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This Just In: Nebraska

I was never a Bruce Springsteen fan, and I’m probably still not. But I love Nebraska. A friend gave me a copy one day and I made a strange face. He told me to forget everything I (thought I) knew about Springsteen, suspend judgement, and just listen. And he was right (thanks Joe, wherever you are). It made sense though – this wasn’t like all the other Springsteen I’d heard – it was a demos collection of would-be E Street Band songs, never fully realized, for the better. It wasn’t cheesy, and it wasn’t forgiving. There’s a reason you rarely see this Springsteen record in the used bin. When I do come across it though, I always pick it up to give to a friend and continue the tradition of spreading the gospel of Nebraska. Now there’s also a proper 180g reissue, so it’s a little easier, albeit more expensive to share with friends. Give Nebraska to anyone you know who’s into lo-fi country/folk and hasn’t heard it yet, and you’ll be blowing minds in no time.

Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (180g) LP
Listen: “Atlantic City”
Read the original 1982 Rolling Stone review

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This Just In: Apocalypse, girl

New week, new releases, including the heavily anticipated Sacred Bones release of Jenny Hval’s Apocalypse, girl. I’ve been a big fan of Hval’s laconic, conversational/confessional songwriting since hearing Viscera a few years ago. With a voice somewhat reminiscent of Robyn or Sarah Cracknell (St. Etienne) and a meandering, slowcore-like delivery, Hval’s songs draw you in with her penchant for stretching (inter)personal/fantasy-esque lyrics in and around subtle tones and binaural beats. Take a listen to “The Battle Is Over” below and check out this week’s in-stock list below that. -MLE

Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl LP
Listen: “That Battle Is Over”
Think big, girl, like a king, think kingsize. Jenny Hval’s new record opens with a quote from the Danish poet Mette Moestrup, and continues towards the abyss. Apocalypse, girl is a hallucinatory narrative that exists somewhere between fiction and reality, a post-op fever dream, a colourful timelapse of death and rebirth, close-ups of impossible bodies — all told through the language of transgressive pop music.

When Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug interviewed Jenny Hval for his fanzine in early 2014, they started talking about movies, and the conversation was so interesting that she asked him to produce her next record. It turned out that talking about film was a great jumping off point for album production. Hval’s songs slowly expanded from solo computer loops and vocal edits to contributions from bandmates Håvard Volden and Kyrre Laastad, before finally exploding into collaborations with Øystein Moen (Jaga Jazzist/Puma), Thor Harris (Swans), improv cellist Okkyung Lee and harpist Rhodri Davis. All of these musicians have two things in common: they are fierce players with a great ear for intimacy, and they hear music in the closing of a suitcase as much as in a beautiful melody.

And so Apocalypse, girl is a very intimate, very visual beast. It dreams of an old science fiction movie where gospel choir girls are punks and run the world with auto-erotic impulses. It’s a gentle hum from a doomsday cult, a soft desire for collective devotion, an ode to the close-up and magnified, unruly desires.

Jenny Hval has developed her own take on intimate sound since the release of her debut album in 2006. Her work, which includes 2013’s critically celebrated Innocence Is Kinky (Rune Grammofon), has gradually incorporated books, sound installations and collaborations with poets and visual artists. For Hval, language is central, always torn between the vulnerable, the explosive and total humiliation.”

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This Just In: Remain Dystopian

Pretty bummed I’ll be missing Maruta’s brutal release show on June 6th at Churchill’s. However, I’ll be in New York to see RIDE (holy shit!). A pretty shoegaze band AND an insane grindcore band all in one post? Come on, you know that’s how I roll. So, if you’re not being serenaded by sexy reverb in New york (isn’t there a freakin’ caravan of South Florida people going?), I suggest you get your face destroyed by deathgrind. We can compare notes next week. -MLE

Maruta – Remain Dystopian CD, LP:
Listen: Remain Dystopian Full Stream via Metal Sucks
“Miami deathgrind maniacs Maruta return to the fold with their Relapse debut Remain Dystopian, their most punishing and focused album to date. Recorded in various studios including drums with Pig Destroyer’s Scott Hull and vocals with Torche’s Jonathan Nuñez,Remain Dystopian is a vicious, 17 song blast of relentless and infectious death metal infused grindcore. Featuring guest vocals from the legendary Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear) and Pig Destroyer’s J.R. Hayes plus layers of noise from Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Jay Randall, Remain Dystopian raises the bar for what 21st century grind can accomplish!” -Relapse

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