Recommended New Releases – The Avalanches, Car Seat Headrest, Jeff Beck

The Avalanches – Wildflower
On the whole, the indie pop songs are more successful than the tracks featuring rappers. “Colours,” the first Jonathan Donahue feature, sounds like a lost classic of psychedelic pop from a forgotten Elephant 6 offshoot, a lysergic mix of backward beats, warbly guitar, and wide-eyed vocals awed by the overpowering beauty of the world. Read the full review on Pitchfork

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Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
The distortion-laden songs on Teens Of Denial build and soar, often repeatedly within a few minutes. This isn’t entirely new for the band; Toledo previously released 11 rock records as Car Seat Headrest’s sole, overdubbed performer (including last year’s excellent Teens Of Style). Teens Of Denial’s full lineup only adds to those albums’ intensity. From the first notes of album opener “Fill In The Blank,” in which a chiming, distorted electric guitar is joined by a clockwork kick drum—only to periodically stop on a dime—it’s clear that Teens Of Denial is going to be an exciting burst of fits and starts that add up to an electrifying whole. Read the full review on AV club

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Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer
Here is an album which is enjoyable, fun and also delivering a personal statement of observations about the time we are living in. Jeff Beck innovates and continues to add different essences to guitar playing. He once said his aim was to make people forget he was a guitar player and, while you may understand what he means, there is little chance of that. But he is a guitar player who keeps delivering, bringing new sounds to the instrument, finding new doors to break through and never for an instant hitting inertia. Read the full review on Something Else

Recommended New Releases – Avett Brothers, DJ Shadow, Neil Young

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Avett Brothers’ music has proven to follow a predictable formula: riveting Americana ballads, lyrics that weave intricate stories, and old-timey harmonies and instrumentation that lend themselves to a time that has long passed and been reborn from the ashes. On True Sadness, the familial duo of Seth and Scott Avett hold steadfast to that identity they’ve deliberately constructed, yet augment their sound with new twists and turns. These shifts are more than welcome. Although the album’s cadence glides from genre to genre, the continuity remains within poetic lyrics and tales that can be returned to for years to come. Read the full review on Consequence of Sound

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Neil Young – Earth
The first thing to clear up is that Earth is no Pet Sounds, and it doesn’t sound like The Beatles’ “Good Morning” complete with roosters and barnyard animals thrown in for sonic effect. It’s not a pastiche or remix of Young’s music with animals playing leads and singing backups as some have feared. And, finally, don’t fear, this is not a Deep Forest type of new age record with pleasing hanging keyboard washes decorated with the sounds of birds and waterfalls. Rather, Earth is a ferocious call out, a love song to the earth and its inhabitants. Other than on a few tracks like “Seed Justice” in which the nature sounds make perfect thematic sense and are heavily featured, the animal sounds are subtly integrated, with the effect that hearing Neil sing against this backdrop doesn’t sound that much different than listening to him outdoors at Red Rocks, The Gorge or at the end of a pier in Duncan, British Columbia. read the full review on Paste

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DJ Shadow – Mountain will fall
“Hi.” This simple utterance kicks off “The Mountain Will Fall,” the leadoff track from DJ Shadow’s new album of the same name, right before a swell of operatic sound (reminiscent of the theme accompanying the THX logo prior to a movie screening) rises from the silence. This coupling, of the slight and unobtrusive with the bombastic, is a fitting reintroduction for an artist who has made a career of fusing unlikely and disparate components into a unique musical whole. The Mountain Will Fall is the first proper album in half a decade from the artist, and it showcases a confident new direction, largely moving beyond the sample-driven work that first earned him fame. Read the full review on AV Club

Recommended New Releases – Radiohead, Swans, Mitski

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
In some ways, A Moon Shaped Pool plays like a Thom Yorke solo album for that reason, akin to a Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes successor, with personalized invitations mailed to both Greenwoods: “Jonny, I was hoping you could pen some of those monstrous There Will Be Blood strings here. And, Colin, perhaps some lines too subdued for the spotlight that are still rather thick? What do you say? xxx.” But there’s communal pain in Yorke’s words, in everyone’s playing. When he uses an acoustic guitar on “Desert Island Disk” for pastoral finger-plucking, it could easily stop there as rework of live solo material, but whirring electronic waves and light drumming turn it into Radiohead’s version of full-blown English countryside folk, their own “Hazey Jane I”. Perhaps they realized Yorke’s pain could speak for the band as a whole. Read the Full Review on Consequence of Sound

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Swans – Glowing Man
The aforementioned sense that every note and word on this record is building toward something truly colossal is fulfilled in the record’s title track. “The Glowing Man” is nothing short of a storm, every musician in lockstep as if creating one giant note that bears all the force of a Category 5 hurricane. While there are some moments of calm, nearly all of the song’s 29 minutes are explosive. Read the full review on Treble Magazine
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Mitski – Puberty 2

From overdriven punk to the gentlest of ballads, Puberty 2 is a multifaceted venture through what it means to be strong. Out of luck? Lost in love? Unsure and insecure? The songs on this album are all of those things, and in admitting it, showcase an unparalleled grace that can only come from accepting all of who you are. With “Happy” Mitski spins a lyrical tale of being fulfilled and then forsaken by a significant desire. Whether it’s about a relationship or a sense of contentment is up to the listener, but portrayed through the narrative of cleaning up to feel good again the notion is universal. Read the full review on Line of Best Fit

Recommended New Releases: Band of Horses, Allen Toussaint, Fitz + The Tantrums

Allen Toussaint – American Tunes
American Tunes, released posthumously following his death last November, isn’t designed to capture or simulate a live concert experience. But it does present a side of Toussaint he seemed to emphasize at those shows — an almost retrospective, autumnal focus on the ideas which made him and his music. This is a program of largely all-time-classic songs from jazz and pop history, emphasizing his hometown and personal hero Professor Longhair. Read the full review on NPR

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Band of Horses – Why Are You OK
Opening track Dull Times/The Moon actually opens with a faint synthesiser, an unexpected tack for the band, and proceeds through 5 minutes of tense blues, before exploding into a joyous climax in its final minutes. It feels well-paced and thoughtful, nostalgic without being saccharine. Lead single Casual Party is a fast-paced, rollicking track, and details the awkward smalltalk of a party – “talking television at a casual party”. The sardonic subject matter is welcome, given the band’s propensity for navel-gazing. Read the full Review on Renowned for sound

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Fitz and the Tantrums – Self Titled
Led by founder and frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz and the Tantrums burst onto the national scene in 2011 with their breakout hit, “MoneyGrabber,” from their debut album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. Featuring a throwback, soulful sound build around keyboards, sax and the exuberant vocals of Fitzpatrick and co-lead vocalist Noelle Scaggs, the band became unlikely fixtures on radio, continuing to pump out hits with their 2013 sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, which featured the tracks “Out of My League” and “The Walker.” Read the full review on LA Weekly

Free Stuff 06/03/16

The Kills prize pack free with purchase of new album “Ash & Ice” cd($12.49)/lp($27.96) includes:

Vinyl shopping bag

Matches

Lyrics Books

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The Monkees Coloring Book with purchase of new “Good Times” cd ($12.49)

Ladyhawke sticker with “Wild Things” cd($12.49)/vinyl($18.96)

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Michael Franti heavy stock poster with purchase of “Soulrocker” album, cd ($13.99)/vinyl ($28.96)

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Tegan & Sara sunglasses with purchase of “Love You to Death” cd($12.49) or vinyl ($18.96)

GrateFul Dead wristband with purchase of “Live at Red Rocks (7/8/78) on cd ($25.99)

Recommended New Releases: Miles Davis, Daniel Romano, Beth Orton

Beth Orton – kidsticks
It’s a particularly atmospheric record, which should perhaps be expected as it was co-produced with Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons and mixed by David Wrench, who has a quite remarkable strike rate when it comes to being involved in beautiful music. Pulled together over time, with loops worked on in the presence of her family and friends, ‘Kidsticks’ has an effortless quality to it that is woozily endearing. Read the full review on Clash Music

160309_eb_coverMiles Davis / Robert Gasper – Everything’s Beautiful
Unlike most tribute albums, which generally devolve into glorified cover songs, Everything’s Beautiful is a musical collage of Miles Davis’s work. Glasper mixes in some of the jazz legend’s riffs and melodies in order to create new and original songs that sound almost nothing like the source material. The music is mixed tastefully, changing certain stylistic elements but retaining the same passion and energy that Davis himself imbued in his music, and the end result is an album that has no major flaws musically from start to finish. Read the full review on Pop Matters

danielmoseyDaniel Romano – Mosey
Romano had grown up in rowdy punk and indie bands in his hometown of Welland, Ontario before turning to folksy Americana as part of Daniel, Fred and Julie and drowning in pedal steels, acoustic guitars and languid, rootsy lullabies on his early solo work. Feathers were ruffled when he started calling himself the ‘King of Mosey’ and strutting about like the lonesome, bohemian ghost of Hank Williams, with many questioning whether this was some kind of hipster affectation or parody piss-take. Read the review on The Line of Best Fit

Recommended New Releases: Grateful Dead, Fruit Bats, Nothing

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Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser
Yes, Absolute Loser is a winner. (You see how EDJ challenges us at every step!) There’s no avoiding the too-twee-to-be-actually-wistful tone and the winfully-wry-yet-heartfelt-and-affecting lyrics that have always made Fruit Bats a favorite among KEXP listeners, and Eric D. Johnson doesn’t even try to break from the Dustbowl orchestral pop that has grown in complexity with each consecutive Fruit Bats album. If you’ve loved the band, as so many already have, you’ll love this, and if you haven’t yet heard Fruit Bats, then Absolute Loser is a terrific place to start. Read the full review and listen on KEXP Blog

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Grateful Dead – Red Rocks 7/8/78
The 12-CD set features full-concert recordings from five Midwestern shows, including performances in Kansas City, St. Paul and Omaha that have never been in circulation, as well as the band’s first ever appearances at Morrison, Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. (The complete July 8th, 1978, Red Rocks show will also be available as a separate three-CD set.) Each show in the box is drawn from the legendary Betty Boards, soundboard recordings made by the band’s former engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson — July 1978: The Complete Recordings will be the first official Grateful Dead release sourced from Betty Boards master recordings. Sample the collection with this exclusive stream of “Wharf Rat” from the July 8th show. Read the full review on Rolling Stone

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Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow
Nothing’s cryptically worded lyrics can be tricky to parse under the feedback, yet Setta and Palermo don’t shy away from examining flaws, or admitting their complicity in poisoning relationships by making the same mistakes. “Can someone find a cure, because you know me and you know I am not well / I always knew I’d eventually hurt you,” they sing in the scorching “ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder).” “I will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.” Read the full review on NPR

Recommended New Releases: Brian Eno, Aesop Rock, Jayhawks

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Brian Eno – The Ship
Obliquely inspired by the sinking of the Titanic as a metaphor for scientific hubris presaging the industrialised conflict of WW1, The Ship is a strange amalgam of Eno’s familiar ambient approach with poetry – the latter delivered in a sonorous basso profundothat resonates with a sort of looming, warning warmth. Read the full reivew on The Independent.

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Aesop Rock – Impossible Kid
With his new album The Impossible Kid coming out this Friday, Aesop Rock decided to change the album stream game by releasing his album as one nearly 50 minute video. But instead of just putting his album cover as a visual, he and his team recreated Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining in a near shot-for-shot remake! The video uses little toys and scale models. It’s a mixture of being charming in its obvious low-budget approach but also delightful in how much detail and passion was poured into the end product. This was a labor of love and I’m adoring every second! Read the full story on Bloody Disgusting

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Jayhawks – Paging Mr Proust
“Paging Mr. Proust” kicks off with a one-two punch that’s a good guide for the rest of the collection. The leadoff, “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces,” shimmers with a beauty and familiarity that wouldn’t have been out of place on the band’s “Tomorrow the Green Grass” or “Rainy Day Music.” It’s followed by “Lost The Summer,” which equally rocks but the jangle is replaced with a slightly less common funky syncopation and distortion. read the full review on Washington Post

Recommended New Releases: Lumineers, Parquet Courts, M83

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The Lumineers – Cleopatra
Aptly named title track Cleopatra is the perfect taste of the material that makes up this new LP, with it’s slow building beat, infectious chorus and an intriguing tale, each of its elements plays a role in tracks to come. Take the incredibly smooth, and even catchier, Ophelia, crooning, “Ophelia, you’ve been on my mind girl since the flood.” / “Ophelia, heaven help a food who falls in love.” And then, striping back the padding, Gun Song, Angela and Sick In The Head feature a poem-like quality to them, with nothing but a simplistic combination of melody and beat as the backing for the vocals. Read the full review of Renowed for Sound
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Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Few bands are as articulate as Parquet Courts, so Dust confounds our expectations right away with sparse lyrics that leave the story unfinished. The music, however, is eloquent enough, an interweaved playing of tense guitars and organ swirls that paint images of urban blight and crumbling tenements. This time around there are more shades and textures to the band’s sound, no doubt aided by the album’s long gestation, which is quite contrary to the hurried DIY approach of their first recordings. Read the full review on No Ripcord
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M83 – Junk
The key musical cue on M83’s last two efforts was the sound of the 1980s—pulsating beats, garish synths, shimmering vocals. Junk, on the other hand, stretches the time-space continuum by taking Gonzalez back one decade further to the syrupy piano ballads and blue-eyed soul of the 1970s. It’s a style long considered tacky—but much like last year’s Tame Impala effort Currents, the record finds a way to invigorate the styles your dad probably listened to in his shag-carpeted van. Read the full review on Pretty Much Amazing