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Dave Matthews Band’s 10th studio album, Walk Around the Moon, took shape during the pandemic and is as much a reflection on the current times as it is an urge to find common ground. Walk Around the Moon will be released to coincide with the start of the band’s 2023 summer tour.  

Dave Matthews Band - Walk Around The Moon [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Clear LP]
$28.98
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Limited green colored vinyl LP pressing. We choose life or death. No third option exists. $uicideboy$ rap like their lives depend on it, because they actually do. Hip-hop lifted the New Orleans duo of cousins-Scott Arcenaux, Jr. a.k.a. $lick Sloth and Aristos Petrou a.k.a. Ruby da Cherry-out of a violent drug-riddled hood nightmare and into an underground phenomenon. On the way up, they landed a Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top 200, tallied 2 billion-plus streams, averaged 4.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, sold out arenas on three continents, and received acclaim from Pigeons and Planes, XXL, Billboard, and Revolver. Not to mention, they collaborated with everyone from Academy® Award winner Juicy J to members of Korn. These accolades cemented the pair as the culture's most insurgent, inescapable, and influential cult by 2020.
$uicideBoy$ - Sing Me A Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation [Limited Edition Green LP]
$23.98
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The duo of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, 100 gecs, announces that the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, 10,000 gecs, will arrive on March 17th, 2023. Following their breakout debut album, 1,000 gecs, the anticipation of their next body of work has been high and the band’s teases have been plentiful. The forthcoming album is set to include previously released singles “mememe” which was described in the story as "an ebullient carnival of ska-inflected verses that bounce off a chorus of thrash guitars and a squiggling synth line" along with the 90’s Alt Rock-inspired “Doritos & Fritos,” which The Fader noted as "unlike any other Gecs track before it.”
 
For those yet initiated: 100 gecs planted their flag on the proverbial pop culture moon with their 2019 debut album 1000 gecs, which was heralded by The New Yorker as, “an impressively precise maximalist exercise with no rules” and “utterly unhinged in the best way possible” by GQ. The innovative project captured the hearts of fans and critics alike - selling out all of their live shows to date along with The New York Times calling it, “some of the savviest pop music of the year,” and Rolling Stone dubbing it “one of 2019’s most exciting debuts.” In just a few months following the release of 1,000 gecs, the band went from playing their first concert from inside the video game Minecraft to selling out shows across the country, proving that their rabid, rapidly multiplying fanbase doesn't only exist in the far corners of the internet. After their world tour was postponed in the summer of 2020, Brady and Les kept rolling with the release of 1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues, a rework of the original album featuring collaborations from the likes of A. G. Cook, Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, as well as crowd sourced contributions by fans. The transformative release was described by The NME as a “brain-melting, genre-crushing vision of pop’s future.” Their subsequent international touring over the past two years has sent the unlikely wizard-cloaked pied pipers jumping from sold-out show to sold-out show, seemingly two steps ahead of the zeitgeist, not to mention having a blast while doing it. 

100 Gecs - 10,000 gecs [Indie Exclusive limited Edition White LP]
$31.99
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We’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the debut album from legendary hip-hop collective The Pharcyde with this exclusive RSD Essential 2-LP set of Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, pressed on clear with yellow + purple splatter vinyl.

Originally released in 1992 through the iconic Delicious Vinyl, this RIAA Gold-certified album was featured as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

This album features the singles “Passin’ Me By” “Ya Mama” and “Pack the Pipe”, and is a must-have for any West Coast hip-hop fan.

The Pharcyde - Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde [RSD Essential Clear w/ Purple & Yellow Splatter 2LP]
$44.99
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Kanye West

Donda [Deluxe 4LP]

Vinyl: $59.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $17.99 Download

Kanye West delivers a Deluxe Edition of the record-shattering Donda, featuring 4 bonus tracks plus fan-favorite verses from Andre 3k, Kid Cudi and more. This release, from one of “the most influential pop stars of the 21st century,” was his 10th #1 album on the Billboard 200, racking up over 1 billion streams in the first 10 days. Originally previewed at 3 historic livestream events, the global phenomenon topped charts in 11 countries and set an Apple Music record of #1s in 152 countries. 4 LP.

Kanye West - Donda [Deluxe 4LP]
$59.98
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Slipknot

Iowa [Translucent LP]

Vinyl: $29.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Double translucent coke bottle green colored vinyl LP pressing. Iowa is the second studio album by Slipknot. Released by Roadrunner Records on August 28, 2001, it was produced by Ross Robinson and Slipknot. The title derives from the band's home state, Iowa, which members have stated is one of their greatest sources of inspiration. With much anticipation for the album following the success of their 1999 self-titled debut, pressures on the band were high. Their relationships with each other suffered and this was later described as the darkest time of their career. It was also the first full album to feature guitarist Jim Root after only appearing on two songs from their previous album.
Slipknot - Iowa [Translucent LP]
$29.98
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Pearl Jam delivers the Tour Edition of their 11th studio album, 2020's critically acclaimed #1 Rock Album and Billboard 200 Top 10 album, Gigaton, featuring 11 live songs including: "Dance Of The Clairvoyants", "Superblood Wolfmoon", "Retrograde" and more. Gigaton (Tour Edition) includes the original vinyl LP with an 11 track live CD recorded during various 2021 performances. The Gigaton Tour continues its European leg through July and then the band will hit Canada and the East Coast this Fall! 

Pearl Jam - Gigaton: Tour Edition [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition 2 LP/1 CD]
$50.99
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Dirt, the critically acclaimed and 5x Platinum certified, studio album from Alice In Chains is celebrating its 30th anniversary.  The album, which features some of the band's biggest hits including "Them Bones," "Would?," and "Rooster," is now available on vinyl for the first time as a 2-LP with remastered audio. 

Alice In Chains - Dirt [2LP]
$34.98
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Clever

Crazy [LP]

Vinyl: $27.98 Buy

After heating up the anticipation to a boiling point, CLEVER unleashes his debut album, CRAZY, via Grade A/Posty Co./Republic Records. He bulldozed the way for the record with the buzzing smash “Life’s A Mess II” featuring Juice WRLD & Post Malone. Right out of the gate, it amassed 4 million and counting Spotify streams in addition to garnering critical acclaim. Repeatedly dubbed “The music industry’s best-kept secret,” CLEVER is no longer a secret in 2021.

Clever - Crazy [LP]
$27.98
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21 years since the release of Radiohead’s seminal albums, Kid A and Amnesiac comes a combined and expanded reissue, KID A MNESIA Here put back together as originally intended, with an additional disc of bonus material - including 2 original unreleased recordings from the era: ‘If You Say the Word’ + ‘Follow Me Around’. 

“A new, uniquely fearless kind of rock record for a new, increasingly fearful century, Radiohead’s fourth album, released in October 2000, remains one of the more stunning sonic makeovers in music history” Rolling Stone [500 Greatest Albums of All Time: #20 Kid A]

Radiohead - KID A MNESIA [3LP]
$61.98
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Sturgill Simpson will be releasing his new concept album, The Ballad of Dood and Juanita, on CD on August 20th, vinyl release will be December 3rd.  This is the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter's third album in twelve months and his most ambitious project to date.. Written and recorded in less than a week, and featuring the same ace musicians who played on last year's Cuttin' Grass albums, the record tells a classic American story of a Civil War-era couple torn apart by violence and reunited by love—what Simpson calls "a simple tale of either redemption or revenge."
“I just wanted to write a story—not a collection of songs that tell a story, but an actual story, front to back,” says Simpson. He describes the concept album as a “rollercoaster ride through all the styles of traditional country and bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a cappella.” 

In a career marked by risk-taking and rule-breaking, Simpson has previously challenged genre conventions with 2016’s soul-inflected A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy award for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year, and 2019’s Sound & Fury, which was nominated for Rock Album of the Year.
The Ballad of Dood and Juanita is available on an indie record store-exclusive CD that includes a printed illustration from the album artwork. A standard CD is also available. On 12/3/21, the vinyl will be available on indie-exclusive Translucent Natural vinyl, and will include another 11x11 print of the illustration on the front cover. Standard black vinyl is also available. Support your local independent record store. 
Sturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood and Juanita [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Natural LP]
$21.98 Video
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Ava Max’s much anticipated debut album Heaven & Hell. The collection includes Ava’s worldwide hit singles “Sweet But Psycho”, “Salt” and her latest smash “Kings & Queens” alongside 12 brand new tracks.   

Ava Max - Heaven & Hell [Transparent Blue LP]
$24.98
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Violet Transparent Vinyl. Like a Phoenix, DOMKRAFT rise from the ashes of their previous apocalyptic-themed albums with third full-length "Seeds". The latest album from the psychedelic riff-doom trio focuses on the idea of emerging from the ruins to start anew, building something different and better beyond the cataclysm. In the midst of 2020's summer heatwave, the Swedes headed to Welfare Sounds Studio in Gothenburg for three days to nail down a new epic that feels raw and alive with studio heads Kalle Lilja and Per Stålberg. With due credit to the mixing wizardry of Karl Daniel Lidén (GREENLEAF, KATATONIA, LOWRIDER), DOMKRAFT's trademark heft is more prominent than ever, and the ambitious lyrical themes add context to the always-massive riffs and hypnotizing flow. Originally, DOMKRAFT bonded over a mutual love for SPACEMEN 3, MONSTER MAGNET, SLEEP, and HAWKWIND among others. Drawing from the heaviest of their combined influences, the trio from Stockholm crafted a sound that blends towering dirges, mind-bending psychedelia, and hypnotic minimalism, which is embodied by their monolithic 2016 debut album "The End of Electricity" and 2018 follow-up "Flood". With "Seeds", DOMKRAFT have drawn a detailed map to a groove-driven heavy rock utopia, where humankind can evolve and unite. Better living through monolithic volume!
Domkraft - Seeds (Violet Transparent Vinyl) (Gate) [Limited Edition]
$32.98
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Groundbreaking, genre-defying instrumental trio, Animals As Leaders bring you their highly anticipated new album "Parrhesia". Their first new full-length album since 2016's critically acclaimed "The Madness Of Many" will be released on 3/25/22 via Sumerian Records.

Animals As Leaders - Parrhesia [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Neon Orange LP]
$27.98
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Sonny Clark, one of the finest pianists and composers of the hard cop era, arrived fully formed on his supremely swinging 1957 Blue Note debut, Dial "S" for Sonny. Clark assembled a top-flight sextet for the occasion with Art Farmer (trumpet), Chris Fuller (trombone), Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone), Wilbur Ware (bass), and Louis Hayes (drums). Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Optimal.

Sonny Clark - Dial 'S' For Sonny [Blue Note Classic Series]
$27.98
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In the kitchen of the Byron Bay home of Winston McCall stands a refrigerator, adorned on one side by a quote from Tom Waits: “I want beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”

This, the PARKWAY DRIVE vocalist says, is a pretty good summation of him-self. It holds true, too, as one of the guiding principles behind Darker Still, the seventh full-length album to be born of this picturesque and serene corner of north-eastern NSW, Australia, and the defining musical statement to date from one of modern metal’s most revered bands.

Darker Still, McCall says, is the vision he and his bandmates – guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, bassist Jia O’Connor and drummer Ben Gordon – have held in their mind’s eye since a misfit group of friends first convened in their parents’ basements and backyards in 2003. The journey to reach this moment has seen Parkway evolve from metal underdogs to festival-headlining behemoth, off the back of close to 20 gruelling years, six critically and commercially acclaimed studio albums (all of which achieving Gold status in their home nation), three documentaries, one live album, and many, many thousands of shows.

While Darker Still remains irrefutably PARKWAY DRIVE, it finds the band sonically standing shoulder to shoulder with rock and metal’s greats – Metallica, Pantera, Machine Head, Guns N’ Roses – as much as it does their metalcore contemporaries. “I wanted a classic guitar tone for this record,” explains Ling, who credits much of his inspiration to the connection his riffs have with a crowd in a live setting. 

Emerging from the darkness of the past few years, this is the true face of PARKWAY DRIVE: redefined and resolute, focused in mind and defiant in spirit.

Parkway Drive - Darker Still [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Clear with Red Smoke LP]
$31.98 Video
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Vinyl LP pressing. "In 1980, two brothers from Milwaukee named Jimmy and Dennis Flemion formed a band called The Frogs. Eight years, a few thousand dollars, and a self-titled debut album later, they took a call from Gerard Cosloy of Homestead Records. Cosloy wanted to sign The Frogs, but he wasn't interested in their album. Instead, the then frontman of Big Black, Steve Albini, had passed him a tape of The Frogs' brilliantly funny, mostly improvised and home-recorded songs about things like child abduction and homosexuality, and Cosloy wanted to put those out instead. 1989's gay supremacy record It's Only Right And Natural... won The Frogs the patronage of some of the biggest stars [Kurt Cobain, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, Eddie Vedder] in what people, at the time, had no qualms calling alternative rock" (Vice). The band were chosen by Animal Collective to perform the long out of print album in it's entirety at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival they curated in May 2011.
Frogs - It's Only Right And Natural
$25.99
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100 Gecs

1000 gecs [LP]

Vinyl: $24.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

100 gecs is a duo comprised of Laura Les and Dylan Brady. Scavenging scraps of musical influences and welding them together into dangerous machines, they destroy the competition with their army of lethal bangers. This is a repress of the band’s debut album released in May of 2019.

100 Gecs - 1000 gecs [LP]
$24.98
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Omar Rodríguez-López THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES Part I, II & III These recordings of three sessions dating from the years 2018/ 2019 and taken at the Clouds Hill Studio are now being published digitally and as a 3-LP vinyl box set. Part I features eight pieces, and Parts II and III six pieces each, which have been entirely newly arranged, produced by Johann Scheerer, and performed by Omar Rodríguez-López and a range of guest musicians. Only very few songwriters and arrangers have succeeded in leaving their mark on several generations with their compositions and their performances. Omar Rodríguez-López is one of these exceptional artists. Just hearing his name brings a shine to the eyes of aficionados of hard or virtuoso or cosmic music. Listening to his music you can feel it: This is someone who completely abandons himself to his art - and someone with an incredible amount of knowledge about the depth of possibility guitar music can explore. During the 2000s Omar Rodríguez-López released an astonishing variety of solo works. On these recordings the artist used pieces that had accumulated over the years. However, what has so far been missing is a release that brings together the pieces from that era. This wait now has come to an end for here are THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES, Part I - III featuring 20 tracks that present his music in a new light. Omar Rodríguez-López has long considered the Hamburg Clouds Hill studio his creative second home. He has known the producer Johann Scheerer for 15 years and they are close friends as well as creative partners. "Johann is great at what he does. What makes him truly special is his instinct. This helps him find most interesting sounds, make the right decision", is how Omar Rodríguez-López describes it. Whenever the two meet, a shared creative process ensues immediately. This is just what happened at the end of 2018: Really, Omar Rodríguez-López had come to Hamburg as a visitor at the Clouds Hill Festival, but Johann Scheerer invited him to use free studio capacity for a session in which to re-record outstanding pieces from the previous solo albums. "We got the band together, rehearsed for two days - and then we ran the tapes", Omar Rodríguez -López recalls. These original tapes can incidentally be seen on the covers of the three albums resulting from the sessions. THE CLOUDS HILL TAPES will be one of the reference works in the musical cosmos of this unique artist. The Clouds Hill Tapes Pts. I, II & III

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - The Clouds Hill Tapes Pt I, II & III [LP]
$54.98
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Culture Shock exclusive release of 100 hand numbered copies for release on Record Store Day October 24th, 2020.

Support your local Record Stores and Bands!

---includes bonus tracks only available on physical release---

-Burn The Bridge (Original Demo)

-Voyeuristic Observer (Original Demo)

-Small Town (Original Demo)

-Dark Daisies (Unreleased)

Sickhorse - Sickhorse (Culture Shock Exclusive CD)
$10.00
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HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM is a four LP set of Beyoncé’s historic headlining Coachella performance on two weekends in April 2018. Beyoncé was the first African American woman to headline the Coachella festival, and her performances received immediate widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike for the staging and celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The set includes over two dozen songs that moved over 125,000 concert goers in the Valley. The epic pyramid-shaped bleachers held some 100 dancers and band, with special guest performers including Solange, JAY-Z, and Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, who brought Destiny’s Child magic, harmony and nostalgia.

Beyoncé - Homecoming: The Live Album [4LP]
$54.98
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Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Jimmy Smith was a self-taught pianist who helped popularize the Hammond B3 organ with a revolutionary style that caught the ear of Alfred Lion at Blue Note who later dubbed him The Incredible Jimmy Smith. Back At The Chicken Shack was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in 1960 with Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Donald Bailey on drums.
Jimmy Smith - Back At The Chicken Shack
$27.98
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“Fearless was an album full of magic and curiosity, the bliss and devastation of youth. It was the diary of the adventures and explorations of a teenage girl who was learning tiny lessons with every new crack in the facade of the fairytale ending she’d been shown in the movies. I’m thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless is done and will be with you soon. It’s called Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and it includes 26 songs.” – Taylor Swift. Includes 6 unreleased tracks. Gold 3 LP.

Taylor Swift - Fearless: Taylor's Version [Gold 3 LP]
$39.98
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2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Shakira’s hit crossover album, Laundry Service. Originally released on November 13th 2001, The album was written and produced by Shakira and features the #1 single, “Suerte/Whenever, Wherever,” “Objection (Tango),” and “Underneath Your Clothes.” To commemorate its 20th year, the LP will be reissued on an exclusive opaque yellow vinyl.

Shakira - Laundry Service [Opaque 2LP]
$46.98
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Limited five cassette box set. MF Doom is the man in the iron mask. The most mysterious figure in hip-hop has also become one of the most popular, supplying beats and rhymes for Gorillaz, de la Soul, Madlib, Danger Mouse, and Wu-Tang Clan, and drawing praise from heavyweights like Just Blaze, Nas, and Mos Def. Since 2002, MF Doom has released numerous volumes of Special Herbs, one of the longest-running instrumental series in hip- hop history. With obscure loops and dusty samples galore, Special Herbs is a must-have for any MF Doom fan or hip-hop head. MF Doom's Special Herbs series now available on cassette for the first time in a limited edition!
 - Special Herbs: (5xcassette Box Set) [Limited Edition]
$64.99
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In 1992, Biohazard signed with Roadrunner Records and releasedUrban Discipline,which gave the band national and worldwide attention in both the heavy metal and hardcore communities. In 2005,Urban Disciplinewas ranked number 277 inRock Hardmagazine's book ofThe 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. The video for the song "Punishment" became the most played video in the history ofMTV'sHeadbangers Ball, and the album sold over one million copies. The band also began opening for larger acts such asHouse of Pain,Sick Of It All,Fishbone, and Kyuss. This 30th anniversary edition sees the album's first release on vinyl in North America, and expands it to 2LPs; which includes bonus tracks making their debut on the format.
Biohazard - Urban Discipline: 30th Anniversary [Limited Edition Deluxe 2LP]
$34.98
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The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch is the debut studio album by American rock band Cute Is What We Aim For. Following the band's formation in early 2005, they posted demos on Myspace and PureVolume. These demos soon garnered attention from record labels. After a period of time, the group received a call from major label Fueled by Ramen founder John Janick, who signed the band. Vinyl description: Silver colored vinyl
Cute Is What We Aim For - Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch (Fbr 25 Aniv)
$21.98
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Limited edition vinyl LP pressing. Alongside Vagrant Records, who are celebrating their 25th birthday, we're happy to be pressing From Autumn to Ashes's album Abandon Your Friends to vinyl for the first time.
From Autumn To Ashes - Abandon Your Friends
$23.98
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Few bands have had as much cultural impact upon generations of gamers as Weezer has, making this release all the more resonant. iam8bit has ecstatically partnered with the band, Crush Games, and developer Funktronic Labs to debut the excellent new single, "Tell Me What You Want," on a beautifully screen-printed "melted popsicle" colored wax. It's a banger of a track, exclusive to the '80s-drenched, "skateboarding" phenomenon, Wave Break, punctuated by the super fun, in-game, "Weezy Mode" (giant W trick ramp... hash pipe... see where we're going with this?). Lifelong Weezer diehard and designer extraordinaire, Cory Schmitz, tops it all off with a fitting retro jacket design, complete with shimmering embellishments so glittery that you'll be forced to don shades.
Weezer - Weezer X Wave Break (Tell Me What You Want) - Single
$16.99
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In May of 1957, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers went into the studio with Thelonious Monk to record a one-off album for Atlantic. The Jazz Messengers were a loose collective of young Jazz musicians, with a constantly rotating lineup to keep the music fresh and help launch new careers. In this iteration we find Art Blakey on drums, Thelonious Monk on piano, Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone, Bill Hardman on trumpet and Spanky DeBrest on bass. -Blakey had recorded with Monk on various occasions, but this was the first time Monk sat in with the Jazz Messengers. This also marks Thelonious Monk’s only appearance on Atlantic Records. The result is a true meeting of the minds, a beautiful union of Monk’s melodies with Blakey’s unshakable sense of swing. This 65thAnniversary deluxe edition includes an extra disc ofunreleased outtakes, celebrating the most sensational jazz collaboration of the 1950s.
Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk - Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk [Deluxe Edition 2LP]
$34.98
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Coleman shook the jazz world when he arrived at the Five Spot Café in New York City in 1959 and began his run of seminal albums on Atlantic that laid the foundation for the free jazz movement to come. After a period of disillusionment during which he withdrew from public music making, Coleman re-emerged on Blue Note in 1966 and began writing an intriguing new chapter of his legendary career.

"I have been an Ornette Coleman fanatic going back to the late-60s, in fact going back to the time the records in this set were originally recorded for Blue Note," says Harley. "Turns out Don Was is as big an Ornette fan as me, so it was only a matter of time before we put our heads together to plan this boxset. I love those early records Ornette did for Atlantic. who doesn't? But I feel that Ornette's later recordings for Blue Note are every bit as vital and important to gain a more complete understanding

"It is true that the most shattering of his wails could wake the proverbial dead," writes Conrad in his essay. "But something happened to Coleman's tone while he was woodshedding those two years. In the Golden Circle it is still penetrating but more pure. His cries are even more vocal, more human. His control of microtones provides new resources of expression. He can now make the same note sound ecstatic or despairing or anywhere in between, through microtonal nuance."

At The `Golden Circle' Stockholm, Vol. 1 (1965)

At The `Golden Circle' Stockholm, Vol. 2 (1965)

In late 1965, Coleman embarked on his first tour of Europe with a new trio featuring David Izenzon on bass and Charles Moffett on drums. Two nights of the trio's two-week engagement at the Golden Circle (Gyllene Cirkeln) in Stockholm, Sweden were recorded and released across two volumes the following year. The freewheeling live sets were electrifying and found the saxophonist jumping off into sound explorations on the violin and trumpet as well.

The Empty Foxhole (1966)

Coleman's first studio recording for Blue Note was his first studio album in four years and he once again confounded expectations by selecting his 10-year-old son Denardo Coleman to play drums on the date alongside bassist Charlie Haden. The music is raw and exploratory with solemn ruminations and bursts of unbridled joy. The striking album cover features a painting by Ornette himself.

New And Old Gospel (1967)

Coleman's next appearance on a Blue Note album came in a rare sideman role on this explosive session led by alto saxophonist Jackie McLean. McLean had already waded into the avant-garde on prior Blue Note dates like One Step Beyond and Destination. Out!, but he went even deeper here with Coleman featured entirely on trumpet along with LaMont Johnson on piano, Scott Holt on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Following an extended suite by McLean on Side 1, the second half of the program featured two Coleman c

New York Is Now! (1968)

Love Call (1968)

On April 29 and May 7, 1968, Coleman brought a dynamic quartet with tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones into the studio to record what would yield his final two albums for Blue Note. The alchemy of this group, which combined Coleman's first-time two-saxophone pairing with a rhythm team deeply associated with John Coltrane, produced thrilling results.

BLUE NOTE RECORDS - ROUND TRIP - THE COMPLETE ORNETTE COLEMAN

Ornette Coleman - Round Trip - The Complete Ornette Coleman (Box)
$229.98
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"Fresh grief, like fresh love, has a way of sharpening our vision and bringing on painful clarifications. No matter how temporary we know these states to be, the vulnerability and transformation they demand can overpower the strongest among us.

Then there are the rare, fertile moments when both occur, when mourning and limerence heighten, complicate and explain each other; the songs that comprise Angel Olsen’s Big Time were forged in such a whiplash.

“I can’t say that I’m sorry / when I don’t feel so wrong anymore,” the record begins, her voice softer and more open than ever, as if she’s singing through a hard won smile. “All the Good Times”, a twangy banger with nods to JJ Cale, starts the album on a triumphant and bright note. The title song, “Big Time”, follows and continues the warm optimism. “Guess I had to be losin’ to get here on time,” she sings, a fearless love song co-written with her partner.

Big Time is an album about the expansive power of new love, but this brightness and optimism is tempered by a profound and layered sense of loss. During Olsen’s process of coming to terms with her queerness and confronting the traumas that had been keeping her from fully accepting herself, she felt it was time to come out to her parents, a hurdle she’d been avoiding for some time.

“Some experiences just make you feel as though you’re five years old, no matter how wise or adult you think you are,” she writes of that time. After that tearful but relieving conversation, she celebrated with her partner, their friends, oysters, and wine. “Finally, at the ripe age of 34, I was free to be me.”

Three days later, her father died; his funeral became the occasion for Olsen to introduce her partner to her family. Though she was fearful their presence as a newly out queer couple would be “an additional symbol of loss,” those days went peacefully, yet only two weeks later Olsen got the call that her mother was in the ER. Hospice came soon after, and a second funeral came quickly on the heels of the first. Another trip back to St. Louis, another grief to face, another deepening and intensification of this still-new love.

The shards of this grief—the shortening of her chance to finally be seen more fully by her parents—are scattered throughout the album. “It’s a hard time again,” she sings on “This is How It Works”, pushing against the irrevocability of death, “Tell me a story that will make me forget.” “Go Home”, which begins with an almost numbed calm, slowly builds up to a wailing that comes up straight from the ground: “I want to go home, go back to small things. I don’t belong here. Nobody knows me.”

“You can’t plan grief, you can’t organize it or schedule it or know how you’ll feel when it comes. It just happens, and when it does sometimes it’s not what you thought it would be.” Three weeks after her mother’s funeral she was in the studio, recording this incredibly wise and tender new album.

Loss has long been a subject of Olsen’s elegiac songs, but few can write elegies with quite the reckless energy as she. If that bursting-at-the-seams, running downhill energy has come to seem intractable to her work, this album proves Olsen is now writing from a more rooted place of clarity. She’s working with an elastic, expansive mastery of her voice—both sonically and artistically. These are songs not just about transformational mourning, but of finding freedom and joy in the privations as they come.

Playful bits of Tammy Wynette and Kitty Wells are here, too, but so are the complex orchestrations of her genre-bending 2019 record, All Mirrors. While that record was full of dramatic shifts and twists, here the surprises come in their simplicity—a slow swell of strings, instrumentation that cycles like a storm, or sparkling horns in a light-flooded break-up ballad.

While the spritely nature of her last EP, Aisles, may have signaled Olsen’s turn deeper into the electronic direction of her last All Mirrors, there’s hardly a synth in sight here. Jonathan Wilson, served as co-producer and also mixed the tracks, while Drew Erickson played piano, organ, and scored the string arrangements. Emily Elhaj, Olsen’s longtime bandmate, was a consistent collaborator as well, on the bass throughout.

“And I can’t fit into the past that you’re used to, I refuse to,” she sings as a wraithlike piano scaffolds her hopeful voice on “Ghost On”. “Forget the old dreams,” she rejoices on “Go Home”, “I got a new thing.” Darkness inherently suggests depth, but it takes a much wiser writer to find meaning and complexity in the luminous place that Big Time occupies. “Chasing the Sun” ends the record in a smiling, romantic place, a verdant crescendo rising as she pines: “Write a postcard to you / when you’re in the other room/ I’m just writing to say that I can’t find my clothes / If you’re lookin for something to do.”

The burning of her earliest work is still here, of course, but this time she’s “freed from the longing / for one moment to last” and she’s ready to “walk through the fires / of all earthly desires.”

—Catherine Lacey
Oaxaca, February 2022"

Angel Olsen - Big Time [Opaque Pink 2LP]
$31.98

        
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