This Just In: Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule

Neko Case fans rejoice! ANTI- just reissued her entire, career-spanning (previously almost entirely out-of-print) discography in a gorgeous, and very heavy box set. You can call it Americana and/or country, folk, whatever, but it also delves into rock, chamber pop, gospel, and hits some experimental fringes too. Regardless of genre/style, Case’s strong suit (besides an incredible voice) is her ability as a storyteller. Everything she writes creates a brilliant picture of the characters, places, and (inter)actions in question – her words are NOT all autobiographical like they may seem at first. The songs/stories are sad, hopeful, jarring, and memorable, serving as modern-day parables. If this sounds like something you’d be into, then here’s your chance to go big with an entire collection to learn and treasure. And if you’re already into her stuff, then you know how valuable the OOP copies have become, and this is your chance to get all the albums for the price of one or two first-pressings. -MLE

Neko Case – Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule 8LP Box Set
Watch: Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule Trailer
Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule is the complete Neko Case discography on vinyl. Remastered from the original analog tapes, many of these hard-to-find and out of print LPs are now available together for the first time. Includes an 80 page full-color photography book designed and curated by Neko (exclusive to this collection!) and a vinyl slipmat – all in a handy-dandy storage box.

Albums include:
–  The Virginian – On vinyl for the first time
– Furnace Room Lullaby – Vinyl out of print since 2007
– Canadian Amp – Vinyl out of print since 2001
– Blacklisted – Vinyl out of print since 2008
– The Tigers Have Spoken – Vinyl out of print since 2004
– Fox Confessor Brings The Flood – Vinyl out of print since 2009
– Middle Cyclone
– The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

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Audiophile, DJ, Casual Listener – new releases, reissues and restocks…

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This Just In: Day Of Radiance

35 years after its debut, Laraaji’s Day of Radiance is finally available on vinyl again! The third part in Brian Eno’s Ambient series, this was also Laraaji’s first recorded output under that name, and a landmark in ambient music. The story goes that Laraaji was “discovered” by Eno while busking with an electronic zither in Philadelphia in the late 70’s. Eno was blown away with what he heard and released Day Of Radiance the following year. With the album, Laraaji gained a cult-like following amongst spiritual enthusiasts and meditation teachers/students. If you listen, you’ll understand why. Zone out with the full album below, and check out this week’s insane in-stock list below that. -MLE

Laraaji – Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance LP+CD
Listen: Full album!
“Laraaji’s glistening album Ambient 3: Day of Radiance has from the beginning been considered an outlier. Though widely celebrated at the time of its release in 1980 — as the third installment of Brian Eno’s emerging ambient music series (Ambient 1-4) — the album also brought with it an aura of mystification. Where did it fit in? An uncharted synthesis of resonating zither textures, interlocking, hammered rhythms and 3-D sound treatments (courtesy of Eno) Day of Radiance seemed to push open many doors at once, ambient music being only one of them.

Laraaji music was always increasingly influenced by both his studies of Eastern spiritualism and the presence of Eastern musical motifs in the Jazz and rock music of the time. When he entered a pawnshop in the early 70’s, hoping to hock his guitar, he instead listened to an ‘inner guidance’ and traded it for an autoharp, an instrument that he later adapted into a zither (by removing the chord bars) and electrified by using the speaker on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. This spontaneous decision brought on a fortuitous shift in Laraaji’s musical direction and led to his chance encounter with Eno several years later.

The appearance of Day of Radiance as part of Eno’s landmark ambient series massively elevated Laraaji’s musical profile. In the years following, while he maintained contact (both personal and musical) with Brian Eno, he delved deeper into projects that fused the ethereal qualities of his music with spiritual studies and teachings.

Laraaji has experienced a resurgence in recent years, following a renewed interest in outsider new-age music (he appears on last year’s I Am The Center compilation on Light In The Attic) and a career spanning compilation (Celestial Music 1978 – 2011) and reissue project dedicated to his work by Eno’s All Saints label. Laraaji also continues to interface with other of musicians who have found inspiration in his work: Bill Laswell, Sun Araw, Blues Control, Julia Holter and many others.” -Glitterbeat

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Discs of radiance – new releases, reissues & restocks…

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This Just In: You Forgot It In People

Pretty stoked that one of Team Sweat’s favorite albums has just been reissued! We’re all huge fans of Borken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People, well, besides maybe Randy, because I haven’t asked him. But hey, 5/6 ain’t bad. It’s just been reissued on sexy purple vinyl, and their S/T album reissue will be available on equally sexy red vinyl next week. If you still don’t own a copy, now’s the time. And if you’ve never heard the album, check it out ASAP so you can buy a copy before this edition is gone. Read NOISEY’s “Retrospective Review” below and check out our weekly in-stocks below that. -MLE

Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People 2LP
Listen/watch: “Cause=Time”

Retrospective Review: Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People
In the early 2000s, it seemed like there was a competition between Canadian bands over who had the most members. The New Pornographers consisted of virtually everyone in Vancouver who could strum a guitar, and Arcade Fire collected nearly every band geek from between Ottawa and Texas. I think that in order to join Godspeed You! Black Emperor, you just had to show up with food. So when Broken Social Scene arrived with their sprawling lineup of 11+ shaggy Torontonians, it seemed like the latest sign of a trend gone too far.

But one listen to their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People, made it clear that BSS were unlike anything else out there. They were sort of post rock, sort of jazz, sort of pop, but really not any of those things at all. They had layer upon layer of guitars, synths, horns, and vocals, and avoided traditional song structures, but somehow it was all undeniably catchy. Songs like “Almost Crimes” and “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl” got into your head, despite all their bizarre noises and weird turns. There was something fresh about the whole thing, like you were experiencing songs right as they were written, with no filter between you and the band’s wild ideas.

While BSS drew members from some of Toronto’s best indie bands, like By Divine Right, Stars, and Do Make Say Think, it took a while for You Forgot It In People to break beyond their home city. The album got reviewed on Pitchfork when one of their writers made a new year’s resolution to listen back over every CD sent to the office in 2002. This one stood out, and earned a 9.2/10, though the reviewer couldn’t quite explain why. This is what happens with BSS: it’s hard to explain why they stand out, but they just do.

By most standards, You Forgot It In People shouldn’t work. It’s all over the map stylistically, jumping between ambient drone (“Capture the Flag”), jam rock (“KC Accidental”), light bossa nova (“Looks Just Like The Sun”), piano crooning (“Lover’s Spit”), and straight up pop (“Almost Crimes”). There’s no discernible lead singer, as various members take turns on the mic, making it hard to for listeners to form a connection with anyone. There’s endless jamming and background noise, nonstop guitar noodling, and only the occasional hook. And yet, there’s a certain energy keeping the whole chaotic mess together.

A lot of that energy comes from co-founder Kevin Drew, who brings rockstar charisma to a band that could easily play while staring at their shoes. As much as he likes to hide his presence on record and blend in with the collective, when you see them live, it’s clear that he is their frontman and spiritual leader. He’s the one who can take a weird noise, a two-chord jam, or a simple vocal melody and sell it as a pop song.

Despite all the layers of sound, the real secret behind You Forgot It In People is its pop minimalism. “KC Accidental” comes off at first as cacophony of guitars, but when you really listen, there are maybe five notes in the whole song. Emily Haines’ vocal line in “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” has a measly three notes. It’s their ability to make huge, airy, energetic songs out of so few elements that separates them from the pack. When you have a band with 20 people on stage at a time, it’s really hard keeping things simple, but BSS manage to channel everyone’s energy while avoiding clutter. Most bands try to do more with less, but BSS turn it around, like some grinning punks, and say “Why not do less with more? -Greg Bouchard (Noisey)

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Time is tight – new releases, reissues and restocks…

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Brazilian Girls, Millionyoung, and More FRIDAY!

This Friday head up to the lovely North Beach Bandshell (plenty of free parking!) for what is sure to be a fun evening… Mishu Live and Poplife present HOUSE OF CREATIVES featuring BRAZILIAN GIRLS live with some great locals including The Hongs, Millionyoung, Grey 8’s, and Bluejay! Here’s a quick interview with Millionyoung talking about …

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