New Releases for September 30, 2016:
Van Morrison: Keep Me Singing
is Van Morrison’s 36th studio album to date and consists of 13 tracks – 12 original songs written and performed by Morrison, as well as a cover of the blues standard ‘Share Your Love With Me’ – written by Alfred Baggs and Don Robey and previously recorded by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Kenny Rogers. For the track ‘Every Time I See A River’, Morrison has collaborated with acclaimed lyricist Don Black. The album’s closing track, ‘Caledonia Swing’, is an instrumental featuring Van on piano and saxophone. All tracks were produced by Van Morrison.
Bon Iver: 22 A Million
22 stands for Justin Vernon. The number’s recurrence in his life has become a meaningful pattern through encounter and recognition. A mile marker, a jersey number, a bill total. The reflection of ‘2’ is his identity bound up in duality: the relationship he has with himself and the relationship he has with the rest of the world. A Million is the rest of that world: the millions of people who we will never know, the infinite and the endless, everything outside one’s self that makes you who you are. The other side of Justin’s duality is the thing that completes him and what he searches for. 22, A Million is thus part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. When Justin sings, “I’m still standing in the need of prayer” he begs the question of what’s worth worshipping, or rather, what is possible to worship. If music is a sacred form of discovering, knowing and being, then Bon Iver’s albums are totems to that faith. The poly-fi record formed at the congruence of a bold yet delicate sonic palette. These sounds were the way out from the suffocating enclosure and captivity of anxiety. The ten songs of 22, A Million are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard coincidence. If 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.
Pixies: Head Carrier
The Pixies consists of founders Black Francis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), David Lovering (drums) and new bass player Paz Lenchantin (Zwan, Papa M, Queens Of The Stone Age). For over 25 years, they have been an Independent music staple, have influenced countless acts from Nirvana, The Strokes, PJ Harvey, Weezer, Radiohead, etc. Bono of U2 has called the Pixies “one of America’s greatest bands ever” and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has said that “the Pixies had changed my life”. The Pixies have been covered by David Bowie (“Cactus”) and recently invited on tour to support Robert Plant. Head Carrier, their first proper full-length in many years, is a return to that familiar Pixies sound everyone adores and touches on classic Pixie’s sounds. The album was recorded with Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Opeth, Band Of Skulls).
EC LIVE in San Diego with JJ Cale
LIVE archive release from the rock legend. On March 15, 2007, Eric Clapton’s world tour stopped at San Diego’s iPayOne Center (originally the San Diego Sports Arena and now the Valley View Casino Center). The band lineup for the tour continues to be a firm fan-favorite, with Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II on guitars, Chris Stainton and Tim Carmon on keyboards, Willie Weeks on bass, Steve Jordan on drums and backing vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White. During the set, EC’s long-time musical inspiration, JJ Cale, sat in for five songs, including three from their Grammy-Award winning album, The Road To Escondido, released in 2006.
John Prine: For Better, Or Worse
The follow up to Prine’s Grammy award winning record, In Spite of Ourselves, For Better, or Worse features duets with Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss, Susan Tedeschi, Lee Ann Womack and others. Two time Grammy Award winner, John Prine, is a singer/songwriter who, from his eponymously titled first LP release in 1971, has continued to write and perform songs that have become central to our American musical heritage. Long considered a “songwriter’s songwriter,” John Prine is a rare talent whose writing is greatly admired by his peers. With his career spanning more than 40 years Prine continues to perform at sold out shows all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Among the many awards and accolades John has received in recent times include is his 2003 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, an Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting and was honored at the Library of Congress by US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. Prine has become for many, not just a well-loved and appreciated songwriter, but a bonafide American treasure.
the 12th full-length album from the Swedish rockers. Since the early ’90s, Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with to the records like Blackwater Park and the band’s recent record, 2014’s Pale Communion, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. There are few bands that can or will match Sweden’s Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that’s shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They’ll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they’re only getting better.
Jimi: Machine Gun
This debut concert by Hendrix and his Band of Gypsys is released in it’s entirety for first time ever. This set was captured live at the Fillmore East in New York and features Jimi joined by Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. These 11 songs were recorded New Year’s Eve 1969, the night before the original Band of Gypsys live album was recorded – eight of the tracks are previously unreleased while the three previously released tracks have been newly mixed by Eddie Kramer. As the ’60s came to a close, Jimi Hendrix pushed the boundaries of funk, rock and R&B with a brand new group, Band of Gypsys. Together with Cox and Miles, Hendrix unveiled stunning, newly written material across four shows at the legendary Fillmore East in New York City.
Drive-By Truckers: American Band
On the 20th anniversary of being a band, Drive-By Truckers return with an urgent and timely protest album, made for our times, and in particular this election year. Songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley have made an epic statement and what NPR Music says ” very well might be their greatest album.” Drive-By Truckers are based in Athens, GA though two out of five current members (Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley) are originally from The Shoals region of Northern Alabama, and the band strongly identifies with Alabama. The band currently consists of Cooley (lead vocals, guitar, banjo), Hood (lead vocals, guitar), Brad Morgan (drums), Jay Gonzalez (keys/guitar/accordion/backing vocals) and Matt Patton (bass guitar).
Bob Weir: Blue Mountain
Before he co-founded the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir spent a summer working and living on a ranch in Wyoming, sparking a lifelong fascination with the stories and songs of the American West. Blue Mountain, Weir’s first solo album in over 10 years, brings his musical journey full circle. Working with producer Josh Kaufman, acclaimed songwriter Josh Ritter, guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner and bassist Scott Devendorf, Blue Mountain is a moody, highly textured modern interpretation of Weir’s unforgettable experience. Includes ‘Whatever Happened To Rose’, ‘Lay My Lily Down’, ‘Only A River’, ‘Cottonwood Lullaby’, ‘Gallop On The Run’ and more.
Regina Spektor: Remember Us To Life
is composed entirely of all new songs recently written by Spektor, a change from past albums when she would record songs written throughout her career. Spektor gave birth to her first child in 2014 and she spent considerable time writing during and after her pregnancy. Says Spektor I made more art and felt more inspired than I had in a long time. Spektor recorded with producer Leo Abrahams (David Byrne/Brian Eno, Frightened Rabbit, Paolo Nutini) in Los Angeles at The Village Studios. Says Spektor of Abrahams, he is such a kind and talented musician. And person! I felt very grateful to work with him.
Banks: The Altar
the second studio album by American singer and songwriter Jillian Rose Banks AKA Banks. Producers Tim Anderson and Al Shux worked on the album – they also contributed to Banks’ debut studio album, Goddess. The lead singles from the album include “F*** with Myself”, “Gemini Feed” and “Mind Games”. Banks is from Orange County, California. She is signed to Harvest Records and Good Years Recordings. Following the release of two extended plays, Fall Over and London, in 2013, Banks released her debut album, Goddess, on September 5, 2014, to positive reviews from contemporary music critics. She has toured internationally with The Weeknd and was also nominated for the Sound of 2014 award by the BBC and an MTV Brand New Nominee in 2014.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 50 Year Thing
LIVE release that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the country/folk legends. This performance and album features Aliison Krauss, John Prine, Vince Gill, Jackson Browne and many other “friends” of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and was recorded at the historic Ryman Auditorium in NAshville TN. The CD contains two extra songs not originally part of the PBS version.
Suicidal Tendencies: World Gone Mad
the twelfth studio album from Venice Beach’s legendary hardcore punk/heavy metal band, Suicidal Tendencies. The band’s current lineup features frontman Mike ‘Cyco Miko’ Muir and Dave Lombardo on drums. Dave is one of the founding members of Slayer and known as the ‘Godfather of the double bass.’ The band is often credited (along with D.R.I.) as one of “the fathers of crossover thrash”. Suicidal Tendencies rose to fame with their 1983 self-titled debut album; it spawned the single “Institutionalized”, which was one of the first hardcore punk videos to receive substantial airplay on MTV.
New Releases from September 23, 2016:
Bruuuuce: Chapter and Verse
is the audio companion to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. Five of the album’s eighteen tracks are previously unreleased. Springsteen selected the songs on Chapter And Verse to reflect the themes and sections of Born to Run. The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenaged Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s Wrecking Ball. The collected songs trace Springsteen’s musical history from it’s earliest days, telling a story that parallels the one in the book, and is a must for any Bruce Springsteen fan.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra: Broken Lines
hard rock supergroup. With five Grammy nominations and two wins; Golden Gods, Kerrang! And VH1 awards; headlining slots in many major festivals and countless Top 10 albums and singles, the members of Giraffe Tongue Orchestra are ready to re-write the rules of the successful rock supergroup. Comprised of William DuVall of Alice In Chains, Ben Weinman of Dillinger Escape Plan, Brent Hinds of Mastodon, Pete Griffin of Dethklok and Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra has created an album akin to classic cinema. The name itself represents strength and ingenuity per guitarist, Brent Hinds, “During the time Mastodon was there for Soundwave, I was at the zoo in Sydney, Australia and was checking out the giraffes. They are amazing animals – one just grabbed a bunch of bananas from my hand with it’s tongue and peeled them with it as well – by the time the bananas got to it’s mouth, they were ready to be eaten. I saw Ben who was at Soundwave too and said ‘Man I think I found the name for our band,’ and told him the story.” Ben adds “That giraffe made it happen… like us, he figured it out.”
Dwight Yoakam: Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…
Dwight developed a love for bluegrass music at an early age, and for years has wanted to record an all bluegrass album. The songs for this album are new interpretations of classic Dwight songs plus a John Prine track that Dwight loves, and a very unique cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The album includes four of Dwight’s past Billboard Top 100 Country tracks: “These Arms,” “Gone,” “Guitars, Cadillacs,” and “Please Please Baby,” all reimagined with a bluegrass treatment.
Joe Bonamassa: LIVE at The Greek
two CD live release from the celebrated blues rock master. Joe Bonamassa delivers a musical tribute to The Three Kings Of the Blues (Albert, Freddie and B.B.) at the legendary Greek Theatre – taped in August 2015. On this release, Bonamassa is backed by a stellar band of blues musicians. Playing on a warm summer night to a nearly sold-out crowd, Bonamassa’s handpicked setlist of songs was called “spectacular” by Premier Guitar; Los Angeles Times said the show “had swing and Polish” and that “Bonamassa evoked the signature licks of all three icons while managing to put his own stamp on things.” Songs ranged from blues standards to deep cuts, including “Born Under A Bad Sign,” “Lonesome Whistle Blues,” “Hummingbird,” “Let The Good Times Roll,” and, of course, B.B. King’s famed “The Thrill Is Gone” as the evening closer. For Bonamassa, the tour’s importance deepened significantly when B.B., his friend and mentor, passed away two months before it began. “My only regret is that B.B. was not alive to see it,” said Bonamassa.
The Sword: Low Country
The legendary Austin metal rockers return with Low Country, the alternate, stripped-down version of their critically acclaimed album High Country. The Sword has been categorized as a stoner rock and doom metal band, and is influenced by groups such as Black Sabbath and Sleep. The band has toured with a wide range of fellow rock and metal artists since it’s formation, including Metallica, Lamb of God and Clutch, and in recent years has also headlined it’s own tours.
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry: Shine a Light
In March 2016, acclaimed singers Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles bound train at Chicago’s Union Station with the hope of reconnecting with the culture of American railroad travel and the songs it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles of track, the pair recorded songs while the train paused to pick up passengers. In waiting rooms and at the track side in St. Louis, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Alpine, El Paso and Tucson, they set up their recording equipment, performing classic railroad songs while keeping one eye on the train, bounding back aboard just before pulling out for the next town. After four days crossing the country, they pulled into Los Angeles at 4:30am, recording their final song in Union Station at dawn, just as the first birds began to sing. The resulting album Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad takes listeners along on that journey and will be released September 2016 on Cooking Vinyl Records. The album features the perfectly matched voices of Bragg & Henry and captures the varied atmospheres and environments in which they recorded – from the close proximity of soft furnished sleeping cars to cathedral-like ambience of waiting halls built to hold thousands of passengers. Containing thirteen-songs originally recorded by legendary singers such as Lead Belly, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and more, Shine A Light reveals an often forgotten but integral part of America’s musical heritage.
John Scofield: Country For Old Men
the jazz guitarist, John Scofield goes country! With the help of drummer Bill Stewart, organist and pianist Larry Goldings, and bassist Steve Swallow, Scofield renders 12 classic country tunes through the prism of vigorous modern jazz. Country icons including Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and George Jones are hereby reinterpreted by Scofield by focusing strongly on the melody of each song, accentuating his playing with a noticeable twang, which lends the music the requisite bucolic sensibility.
Warpaint: Heads Up
It’s easy to get the wrong impression about Warpaint. The band’s studio albums (including their most recent full-length, 2014’s Warpaint) have tended to emphasize moody atmospheres: gauzy keyboards, hypnotic harmonies and sinister grooves. In concert, however, the Los Angeles quartet – vocalist/guitarist Emily Kokal, vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman, bassist/vocalist Jenny Lee Lindberg and drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Stella Mozgawa – pair this moodiness with bumped-up tempos and sinewy beats. The music’s no less dark – but it has an additional rhythmic urgency and tension that can be surprising. Of course, confounding expectations has been part of Warpaint’s m.o. since the band formed in 2004. And so when the band convened to make their third studio album, Heads Up, they shared a common goal: to make a faster, dance-oriented record. “We’ve always had this really jammy, high-energy live show compared to some of our records,” Kokal says. “We all love to dance. We didn’t want to take away from the emotion or the core feeling of what our band is all about – which I don’t even think we could take out if we wanted, because it is who we are – but we wanted to bump the speed up and have a little bit more fun.” Mission accomplished.
Devendra Banhart: Ape In Pink Marble
the ninth studio album from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. The album was written, produced, arranged, and recorded in Los Angeles by Banhart with his longtime collaborators Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick, both of whom also worked on Banhart’s most recent album, Mala (2013). Devendra Banhart was born in Houston, TX, and moved with his mother to her native Caracas, Venezuela, when his parents separated. The family relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years; it was there that he learned to speak English, skateboard, and play music. Banhart first began to perform in public while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. He has since lived in New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where he currently resides. An accomplished visual artist, Banhart’s distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the world. He has created the cover art for most of his records, including Mala, and in 2010 his artwork and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.
Jake Shimabukuro: Nashville Sessions
is one of the most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging recordings yet from the man whose music has redefined the ukulele for the 21st century. In Shimabukuro’s gifted hands, the age-old Hawaiian instrument has become a medium for previously undreamed-of levels of expressiveness and musicianship. And with Nashville Sessions he’s reached a new plateau with the instrument. The result is one of the most bold and unique ukulele records ever made a new benchmark for the uke.
The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues… Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire… slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona. -Chicago Tribune Rough and ready blues played with unmitigated intensity… Swirling, snarling, riveting slide… The Blues Imperials pound out riffs and rhythms like they’re overdosing on boogie juice. Scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping. -Living Blues In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues stringbending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.” Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Lil Ed And The Blues Imperials – bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton – have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any band), fueling his songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship. The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials is the musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun new album from the band Guitar Player calls “a snarling boogie-blues machine… they blow down the walls.” The CD features Lil’ Ed’s incendiary playing and playful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album’s 14 songs, the others gems written by Uncle J.B. The Chicago Reader says the band’s music “is a soundtrack for dancing and celebration infused with a sense of hard-won survival. Williams attacks his lyrics like he attacks his guitar: with bare-bones intensity that makes each word sound like a matter of life or death.” With the new release, the band continues to bring their blistering Chicago blues to “Ed Heads” new and old. Their infectious energy, joyful showmanship and masterful playing have been honed to a razor’s edge by their many years together. Lil’ Ed, Pookie, Mike and Kelly have seen sports stars and presidents, musical fads and fashion trends come and go. Meanwhile, their fiery music has more than stood the test of time. “We’re not band members,” says Williams, “we’re family, and families stay together.” Night after night, gig after riotous gig, the musical family called Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials bring their big, dynamic Chicago blues sound to fans across the country and around the world.
New Releases from September 16, 2016:
Usher: Hard II Love
is Usher’s long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Looking 4 Myself. The album features the “No Limit” (with Young Thug), “Crash,” “Missin U” and “Champions.” The latter comes from the motion picture Hands of Stone, in which Usher plays legendary boxer “Sugar” Ray Leonard.
Led Zeppelin: The Complete BBC Sessions
Three CD set. Nearly 20 years ago, Led Zeppelin introduced BBC Sessions, an acclaimed two-disc set of live recordings selected from the band’s appearances on BBC radio between 1969 and 1971. The Complete BBC Sessions is an updated version of the collection that’s been newly remastered with supervision by Jimmy Page and expanded with eight unreleased BBC recordings, including three rescued from a previously “lost” session from 1969. In addition, the set includes extensive session-by-session liner notes written by Dave Lewis. For the first time ever, it provides accurate details and notes about all of the band’s BBC sessions. Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans. Originally broadcast in April 1969, the session included three songs: “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” “You Shook Me,” and the only recorded performance of “Sunshine Woman.” Also included are two unreleased versions of both “Communication Breakdown” and “What Is And What Should Never Be.” Separated by two years, the performances vividly demonstrate the young band’s rapid evolution over a short period of time.
Willie Nelson: For The Good Times a Tribute To Ray Price
finds Willie paying tribute to one of his most legendary influences and longtime friend, Ray Price. The album debuts Willie’s new interpretations of 12 songs Price made famous, including “Heartaches by the Number,” “Crazy Arms,” “Night Life,” “Faded Love” and “For the Good Times.” It was produced and arranged by longtime Nelson and Price friends/collaborators, Fred Foster and Bergen White. For the Good Times showcases the breadth of Price’s output by featuring Nelson’s unique approach in his tribute. For the more traditional country songs, Nelson and Foster recruited the Grammy Award-winning Western swing outfit The Time Jumpers, featuring such luminaries as guitarist Vince Gill and pedal steel player Paul Franklin.
Dawes: We’re All Gonna Die
Dawes are a alt-rock/roots outfit. Of the album, Taylor Goldsmith (guitar, vocals) explains, “Pretty much every song on this record explores a difficult situation and tries to find a way to find the good in it, or at least remind yourself that it’s not always that big of a deal. After all, as scary as it is, we are all gonna die.” The album was produced by Grammy nominated producer Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes) and includes backing vocals from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Brittany Howard of The Alabama Shakes, Mandy Moore, Will Oldham, and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius. Jim James proclaims about We’re All Gonna Die, “The record sounds so fresh-yet fills me with a strange nostalgia for things that haven’t happened yet… I hear it at the beach and blasting out of car windows on future summer nights… easily having become a natural part of people’s lives.”
Madeline Peyroux: Secular Hymns
jazz/blues vocalist, Peyroux set out to record a collection of songs with their own hymn-like stories of self-awareness and inner dialogue, a communal consciousness and a spiritual essence. Here, Madeleine intimately renders tunes by seminal blues artists like Willie Dixon & Lil Green, gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, dub star Linton Kwesi Johnson, three renowned American composers (Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Allen Toussaint), 19th century composer Stephen Foster and ending with a traditional African-American Spiritual.
Joey Alexander: Countdown
Joey Alexander (the 13 year old jazz pianist) has jaw-dropping ability and beyond-his-years artistry that brought him to some of the grandest stages, from performing at the Grammys and the White House, to appearing on the Today Show and 60 Minutes. Just over a year removed from his debut, the same maturity and dedication to his craft that made him a phenomenon is evident in his remarkable evolution on his sophomore release, Countdown. Now stepping forward as a composer, while still paying tribute to the jazz greats (Coltrane, Monk, Strayhorn), Joey is poised to continue his ascent to being one of the biggest names in jazz, recognized not as a prodigy, but as simply a great musician.
The Devil Makes Three: Redemption & Ruin
is a 12-song cover-record with two distinct, but intertwined personalities. The first half of the record focuses on the faults and vices that can drive creation within music while the second half focuses on the absolution of life, the soul and forgiveness. The Devil Makes Three exhibits their wide range of influences including nods to the blues (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters), gospel (Down in The Valley), country (Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams Sr.), buegrass (Ralph Stanley), and the obscure (Tom Waits). With the energy of The Devil Makes Three’slive show so prevalent in all of their recordings, Redemption & Ruin pays homage to where that energy was created and shaped.
George Carlin: I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die
The night before the attacks of 9/11, George Carlin was doing what he did best- harnessing his darkest thoughts and turning them into incisive long-form jokes live on stage. On that particular date Carlin was performing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – part of what would be a four-year residency there – working toward his 12th HBO special. The plan was to title that special I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die, which, considering the names of the specials that bookended that one (You’re All Diseased and Life is Worth Losing) was, in hindsight, in line with the later-era tone of Carlin’s comedy. The next morning, however, a lot of people actually died and Carlin eventually decided to rename the special, recorded two months later at the Beacon Theater in New York, Complaints and Grievances. Any bits that he deemed in poor taste juxtaposed with the mass casualties and injuries sustained during the attacks on the World Trade Center were scrubbed and shelved. Seven years later Carlin died at the age of 71, before he could release that material. But 15 years after those bits were recorded, I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die is finally getting released.
The Handsome Family: Unseen
the tenth studio album from husband and wife duo The Handsome Family and their first release since their unexpected worldwide fame when their song “Far From Any Road” was picked as the True Detective Season 1theme song. With it’s unique mix of country instrumentation and intriguing surrealist lyricism, the album explores the unseen stories, people, and places of the American West, where members Brett and Rennie Sparks live (Albuquerque, NM) and shines a light on the obscure and forgotten. Unseen continues The Handsome Family’s embrace of things beyond easy view: the slow dive of the sun, enormous bugs awakening in thorny yards, sirens, and coyotes that cry out to the purple sky. An epic western gothic masterpiece, Unseen draws from real life events. “Gold” first began when a bunch of twenty-dollar bills blew in Brett’s face in a parking lot dust storm and “Gentlemen” is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from alternate dimensions. Many tracks fix around the idea that light emanates from things we can’t see, including behind “The Red Door,” in the empty hands of blackjack losers (“The Silver Light”), and amidst desert bones bleaching in the sun (“King of Dust”). The album was recorded in the Sparks’ home studio at night “with only hawk moths listening” and features a rich tapestry of instrumentation which conjures images of the magical landscape of the couples New Mexico surroundings. Guest performers on the record include David Gutierrez (mandolin, dobro), Alex McMahon (guitar, baritone guitar, pedal steel), and Jason Toth (drums).
Amanda Shires: My Piece of Land
My Piece of Land is Amanda’s third record and follows up 2013’s Down Fell the Doves and was primarily written while pregnant with her and husband Jason Isbell’s first child. The record was produced by Dave Cobb, who worked with Isbell on his Southeastern and Something More Than Free record to go along with albums by Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and many others.
Mac Miller: The Devine Feminine
The Devine Feminine is an album about women and for women. It features guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, CeeLo Green, Anderson Paak and Ariana Grande, among others. Includes the singles ‘Dang!’ (produced by Pomo) and ‘We’ (produced by Frank Dukes).
Die Antwoord: My Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid
In 2009, Die Antwoord (translated from Afrikaans as “the answer”) burst onto the international scene out of the deep dark depths of South Africa. The rave rap duo of Ninja and ¥o-landi Vi$$er introduced zef culture into the pop culture lexicon, and pop culture hasn’t been the same since. Early videos racked up a combined 35 million views, the band’s website crashed due to the influx of traffic, and no one has been able to look at Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon art the same way again. In total their videos have over 250 million views and their albums are approaching a million in sales worldwide. In 2014, Donker Mag contained their next breakthrough tracks and remarkable videos. Now Die Antwoord release their next masterpiece – My Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid and the breakthrough video for ‘Banana Brain’.