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New Releases for October 23rd (10/23/20)

The following are some of the releases we’re most excited for, but it is not a comprehensive list. There are just too many awesome releases to cover all of them! To take a look at available new releases, click HERE.

Bruce Springsteen – Letter to You

Available on LP and CD!

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Bruce Springsteen has been sad before. In 1978 he howled his way through the inner struggle that rested somewhere in the bleak and unforgiving ‘Darkness On The Edge of Town’. In 1980 he glumly recounted stories of teenage pregnancy and debilitating unemployment in ‘The River’ and in 1982 he ventured to ‘Nebraska’ to talk about men destined for the electric chair and criminals on the run, while on that album’s masterpiece – the powerfully miserable ‘Atlantic City’ – a smidgen of hope prevailed through one of finest lyrics of the 1980s: “Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact / But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

It’s a message that Springsteen returns to almost 40 years later on the meditative ‘Letter To You’, his triumphant 20th album. The question now, though, as Springsteen hits his 70s and watches good friends and family members pass away, is: do they actually? Where he once sang of the mortality of fictional characters, it’s now that much closer to home. That he seems a touch overwhelmed is no surprise.

Every song is a dream. ‘Janey Needs A Shooter’ is a happy return to the kind of fictional character that peppered his earlier material and full of melodic moments that chime with songs Springsteen would release later in his career. The rolling, theatrical ‘If I Was The Priest’ too is packed full of outlaws, bad boys and a “sweet Virgin Mary” dishing out whiskey at the “Holy Grail Saloon”, who wouldn’t have felt out of place propping up a bar on 1975’s ‘Born To Run’. ‘Song For Orphans’, meanwhile, depicts “cheerleader tramps… high society vamps, ex-heavyweight champs” running loose through a ragged Americana landscape of broken dreams and faded glory.

A powerful synthesis of past and present, Letter To You shows us the strength that can be found in sorrow. The result is Springsteen’s finest album since 2002’s The Rising.

Read the full review at NME

Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One

Available on CD and LP!

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Like a party bag full of mad cats, Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz project has always disguised a certain stylistic chaos within its cartoon band conceit. Featuring collaborations with a vast array of distinctive guest artists (Lou Reed, Mark E Smith, Snoop Dogg, Grace Jones, Benjamin Clementine and many others), they began life as an excuse for the Blur frontman to moonlight in slacker hip-hop in 2000 but restlessly morphed into a multi-dimensional beast of a band just about held together by its two-dimensional gift wrap.

Guest-stuffed albums such as 2010’s Plastic Beach and 2017’s Humanz often felt like de facto compilations. So embracing the streaming age tactic of quick-firing individual tracks online for their Song Machine project – a series of songs and videos released monthly throughout 2020, like emergency “stay calm” pandemic broadcasts – seems a natural evolution. And collecting them onto this seventh Gorillaz album (or “season” now they’re an episodic Netflix style franchise) makes for a satisfying round-up of “hits” you blinked and missed.

The only constants are Albarn’s drowsy presence, shuffling through songs as if shot in the neck with a tranquiliser dart, and the stout melodicism that makes …Strange Timez the finest Gorillaz album in a decade. With an Apple Beats radio show and, no doubt, further Song Machine seasons in the offing, it looks like the cats are finally out of the bag.

Read the full review at The Independent

John Prine – Crooked Piece Of Time: The Atlantic & Asylum Albums (1971-1980)

Available on CD!

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Legendary songwriter John Prine passed away earlier this year from complications due to the coronavirus. Music fans everywhere are still processing his immense legacy, and now a new box set looks to become the definite collection of his early years. Crooked Piece of Time: The Atlantic & Asylum Albums (1971-1980) presents remastered CD versions of his first seven albums and will be available October 23rd.

The collection puts all of the qualities that made Prine so beloved on display. It contains everything from his best known hits like the classic “Angel from Montgomery”, comical sketches like “Dear Abbey”, and philosophical reflections such as “Fish and Whistle”.

Each CD comes with a replica mini-LP sleeve, and the clamshell box is stocked with a 20-page booklet of all-new liner notes by David Fricke. The cover is a painting by Joshua Petker, which is itself based on a photo of Prine by Jim Shea. Scroll onwards for the artwork and tracklist.

Read the full press release at Consequence of Sound

Action Bronson Only For Dolphins

Available on LP and CD!

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If Action Bronson can be criticised for anything, it’s probably taking on too many projects. The trained chef has a habit of spreading himself thin, attempting to make his frenetic studio activities with a career as a TV personality, and even some notable screen appearances, including a role in all-star mob flick The Irishman.

‘Only For Dolphins’ finds the New Yorker gaining renewed focus. Last year he hit the gym, losing seven stone in weight and emerging with a new sense of dynamism. As a result, this new album is his most in-depth, challenging, and straight-forwardly enjoyable, and certainly a vast improvement on 2018’s ‘White Bronco’, a project that clocked in at a mere 26 minutes.

‘Only For Dolphins’ is the sound of free-flowing sonic travel, and it’s depiction of Action Bronson in full flight underlines the conception that this is an MC who is back to his peak.

Scope the full review over at Clash Music

The Mountain Goats Getting Into Knives

Available on CD and LP!

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Given the fact that The Mountain Goats are still a relatively obscure indie outfit as far as most folks are concerned, their new opus, Getting Into Knives, deserves to be the album that breaks them out big time. That’s a bold prediction of course, especially considering the fact that the band have never made an overt push for singular stardom. Indeed, the baker’s dozen selections that fill out the album aren’t overtly commercial in any usual sense, and yet they’re so damn addictive and engaging that wider recognition would seem a natural consequence. And yet, as they declare on one of many standout tracks, “Get Famous,” stardom seems secondary to simply making music that resonates with obvious enthusiasm.

The fact that it follows so closely on the heels of two very recent outings — Songs for Pierre Chuvin, released this past April, and last year’s In League with Dragons — makes this new collection all the more impressive still. The core combo — John Darnielle (vocals, guitar, piano), Matt Douglas (keys, guitar, accordion, backing vocals), Peter Hughes (bass), and Jon Wurster (drums) — chose an auspicious locale for this production, that being Sam Phillips’ iconic recording studio in Memphis, and yet clearly they had the goods even before embarking upon these sessions. Practically every song is a stand-out, whether it’s the modest Stax- sounding repast of “Harbor Me,” the easy sway of the title track, “Tidal Wave” and “Picture of My Dress,” the snappy send-up conveyed through “Corsican Stride,” or the light and lilting caress that flows through “Pez Dorado.” It’s evident that this group seems has an easy affinity for melodies that charm rather than challenge. The once true exception is found within the dramatic delivery and upward gaze of “The Last Place I Saw You Alive” and “Wolf Count,” songs that clearly aim to convey a higher purpose and ultimately achieve the full fruition.

Read the full review from American Songwriter

Thurston Moore – By the Fire

Available on CD and vinyl!

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In the nine years since Sonic Youth played their final show, the members’ solo projects have taken various elements of the band’s sound and run with them. Whether with her noise duo Body/Head or the stylized future-punk of last year’s No Home Record, Kim Gordon has eagerly played the experimental jet-setter, while Lee Ranaldo has embraced his standing as Sonic Youth’s resident beatnik on his wistfully melodic and psychedelic solo outings. But for those fans who just want the jams to run free forevermore, we have an impressive string of albums from Thurston Moore that essentially amount to Sonic Youth on steroids, reimagining the group as the sort of fearsome, festival-rockin’ workhorse that could theoretically lay waste to crowds at both Bonnaroo and Unsound with equal aplomb.

Moore’s new record, By the Fire, features the same core engine (guitarist James Sedwards and My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe) that powered his previous rock-oriented releases, 2014’s The Best Day and 2017’s Rock n Roll Consciousness. It also brings back two contributors (Negativland electronics expert Jon Leidecker and drummer Jem Doulton) that helped produce the mammoth, 63-minute “Alice Moki Jayne” movement from last year’s 3xLP collection of improvised instrumentals, Spirit Counsel. But where Moore typically files his avant-garde excursions outside his official discography, By the Fire mirrors the typography and spartan cover design of Spirit Counsel, suggesting a renewed dialogue between Moore’s experimental and accessible sides. The relationship between the two releases is analogous to that of Sonic Youth’s 1998 epic A Thousand Leaves and the concurrent series of free-form EPs they released on their SYR imprint, elements of which were refined into proper songs on the former. (In fact, By the Fire’s opener, “Hashish,” is essentially a more sinewy revamp of A Thousand Leaves’ “Sunday.”) While By the Fire doesn’t explicitly reference Spirit Counsel in the same way, it provides a more concise distillation of the same methodology—i.e., using apocalyptic noise to achieve an ecstatic peace, while reminding us that the punks and the hippies were always on the same side.

Read the full review at Pitchfork

clipping. Visions of Bodies Being Burned

Available on CD and LP!

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The concept of horror is fascinating. Why do we enjoy being scared and what drives consumers to go back to the genre’s well of viscera? Oftentimes, the best horror is one that connects fantastical onscreen fears with legitimate societal ones. Audiences can draw a morbid catharsis from the depictions of our worst fears. Experimental hip-hop trio Clipping accomplished exactly that with its 2019 LP There Existed An Addiction to Blood. The group turned the laser precision flow of MC Daveed Diggs and the harsh noise production talents of William Hudson and Jonathan Snipes to gruesome, detailed stories of brutality. Clipping continue their gore-soaked anthology with Visions of Bodies Being Burned, the second half of a planned diptych, with an equal amount of loving detail towards the horror films the group recreates.

Considering Clipping’s reputation for constantly experimenting with new concepts, the return to the unhinged horrorcore style of There Existed An Addiction to Blood could have easily overstayed its welcome. Thankfully, Visions of Bodies Being Burned not only meets the quality of its predecessor, but it is also the perfect complement to it. The two feel like equal partners with the throughline being Clipping’s tribute to horror as a genre and examination of unforgiving depravity. Few listening experiences this year are as gripping, visceral, and vivid as Visions of Bodies Being Burned.

Read the full review at Under the Radar Magazine

Kasbo Making of a Paracosm

Available on LP and CD!

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Bouncing Souls Volume Two

Available on CD and LP!

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Pallbearer Forgotten Days

Available on LP and CD!

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Melody Gardot Sunset in the Blue

Available on CD!

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Joe Bonamassa Royal Tea

Available on LP and CD!

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AdriAnne Lenker Songs and Instrumentals

Available on CD and LP!

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New Releases on DVD & Blu-Ray for Week of 10/20 – 10/27

 

Music/Stand-up comedy:

N/A

 

Movies/TV:

The Gunfighter (Criterion Collection directed by Henry King) – movie

 

Blu-Ray releases:

Adaptation. – movie

The Gunfighter (Criterion Collection directed by Henry King) – movie

The Hit (Criterion Collection directed by Stephen Frears) – movie

My Neighbor Totoro (ltd. edition steelbook)(directed by Hayao Miyazaki) – animation

Princess Mononoke (ltd. edition steelbook)(directed by Hayao Miyazaki) – animation

Pumpkinhead (ltd. edition steelbook) – movie

The Latest Additions to our Bookshelf

Bruce Springsteen: All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track by Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon    $60.00

Leonard Cohen Untold Stories: The Early Years by Michael Posner    $30.00

How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy    $23.00

Eagles: The Inside Stories Behind America’s Biggest Band by Ben Fong-Torres    $29.95
No Icon by Kim Gordon    $45.00

Jimmy Page: The Anthology by Jimmy Page    $60.00

Confess: The Autobiography by Rob Halford $30.00

This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s Kid A and the Beginning of the 21st Century by Steven Hyden $27.00

David Bowie Changes: A Life in Pictures by Chris Welch $29.95

The Beatles Finally Let It Be by Bruce Spizer $29.99

Levon: From Down in the Delta to the Birth of the Band and Beyond by Sandra B. Tooze $29.99

The Complete John Lennon Songs: All the Songs. All the Stories. All the Lyrics. 1970-80 by Paul Du Noyer $35.00


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