It’s Ghost New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
The 8th Wonders of the World – The 8th Wonders Of The World (Orange Colored Vinyl)
Adia Victoria – A Southern Gothic
Ashnikko – Demidevil
Band of Horses – Things Are Great [Translucent Rust Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Beths – Warm Blood (Brown Colored Vinyl)
With sunny guitar riffs, bubbly harmony vocals and an indie rock sound more infectious than a cold in
day care, the Beths have become both critical darlings and fan favorites since their debut album came
out four years ago. A reissue of the band’s debut EP Warm Blood shows that the Beths with all of their
key elements already in place.
At five tracks and just under 20 minutes, Warm Blood is a radiant blast of power pop that cascades over
the listener, leaving a long trail of happiness. Watching Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan ham it up in the
overbaked sequel Rush Hour 3 sounds a lot more inviting when the Beths cry with giddy glee “I wanna
take you to my home, yeah, and maybe watch a movie” on the song “Rush Hour 3.” That the song’s
bridge bites part of the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” makes it even better. Album closer “Lying in the
Sun” sounds as if it was pulled from Weezer’s Blue Album.
It may be cold right now, but warmer weather isn’t far away. Warm Blood will keep your soul toasty
until nature catches up. Open the windows, turn this up and watch spring commence. -Joel Francis
Bastards of Soul – Corners
Bastards of Soul -Spinnin’
Bendigo Fletcher – Fits Of Laughter (Violet Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Bendigo Fletcher – Terminally Wild / Sleeping Pad
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You (Indie Exclusive)
The Beastie Boys – Aglio E Olio
“Aglio E Olio,” directly translated, is Italian for garlic and oil. It is a typical dish of the Naples region and is widely popular due to its simple, affordable, and readily available ingredients that have long shelf lives in a pantry.
“Aglio E Olio” also just so happens to be the name of any EP released by The Beastie Boys, originally in 1995, between the two seminal albums “Ill Communication” and “Hello Nasty.”
The album was lauded as a return to their punk roots. That’s right, true fans will know, but the average listener may not have realized that one of the most innovated hip hop acts of the late 80’s and 90’s was originally a hardcore punk band.
The inception of “Aglio E Olio” was actually a total accident. In a 1999 interview, Beastie Boy Mike D said that in the recording process for “Hello Nasty” the band had written too many hardcore songs to fit, naturally, on the album.
The band employed the services of Suicidal Tendencies drummer Amery “AWOL” Smith on the recordings, after he had come to the studio initially to help the band set up. A label on the initial release read “Only 8 songs, Only 11 minutes, Only cheap $”.
The two bonus tracks on the record, ‘Soba Violence’ and a cover of The Doors’ ‘Light My Fire’ feature vocals from Miho Hatari. The latter track breaks away from the hardcore format that consistently runs throughout all the other track.
I think most of us can acknowledge The Beastie’s contributions to the world of Hip Hop. But we’re they a great hardcore band?
I don’t know if Aglio and Olieo can answer that question definitively. But as far as 90’s hardcore goes they’re no slouches. Their signature East Coast “Wise Guy” delivery still cuts through. And no one can deny they know how to make a racket.
Though eleven minutes doesn’t leave a lot of time to stray from the format, on tracks like Deal With It and You Catch A Bad One, the guys delve into slightly heavier sludge and grids-core realms.
For fans of Bad Brains, Murphy’s Law and Cro- mags! – Major Matt
The Church – Gold Afternoon Fix (180-Gram Black Vinyl)
The Dip – Sticking With It
DJ Quik – Rhythm-Al-Ism
DJ Quik – Safe & Sound
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
DaBaby- Blame It On Baby
Durand Jones & The Indications- American Love Call
Eric Clapton and B.B. King – Riding with the King (Bonus Tracks, Anniversary Edition, Expanded
Elvis Costello & The Imposters – The Boy Named If
Franz Ferdinand – Hits To The Head (Red Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive, Digital Download Card)
The Ghost – Impera (Indie Exclusive, Limited Edition, Orchid Colored Vinyl, With Booklet, Sticker)
Gary Moore – Live From London (180 Gram Vinyl, Reissue)
Guided By Voices – Crystal Nuns Cathedral
At this point, if Robert Pollard made the best Guided by Voices album of his career, would
anybody even notice? Crystal Nuns Cathedral is the band’s 35 th album in 35 years (and a sixth
album in the past two years). A breakneck pace like this allows both old and new fans little time
to assess the catalog in ways that, say, fans of Radiohead can afford.
But that’s alright; there is little new here. Songwriter and vocalist Robert Pollard still sounds like
he listens to Wire, The Who, Pete Sinfield, and Gabriel-era Genesis records, not a typical list of
influences for indie rock bands in the early nineties when Guided by Voices started gaining
commercial traction. Long-time fans know that Pollard isn’t going to reinvent himself too much
from album to album, so Crystal Nuns Cathedral is more of a refinement than doing something
entirely new. This is still a garage rock band with a singer thinking he can still be a young Roger
Daltrey. And the formula still works!
The album is relatively concise, with *only* 12 songs that clock in at just under 40 minutes.
Producer, and un/official sixth member, Travis Harrison brings back the cello arrangements that
worked well on the last album, It’s Not Them, It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them! If anything is new
here, it’s the album’s unhurried pace. Pollard used to get to the hook in a song and be out,
sometimes cutting off the song before the second chorus. But the album opens with the
plodding “Eye City” that gives the band some proverbial room to spread out before hitting a
climax nearly three minutes in. Other songs like “Mad River Men” and the opening of “Forced
to Sea” also take time to develop. Although recorded by band members in isolation during the
pandemic, many of these songs feel road-tested.
The album has many high points. With the sixteenth notes on the hi-hat and its string
arrangement, “Climbing a Ramp” sounds a bit like a symphonic version of late-period Wire. The
call-and-response in “Birds in the Pipe” is a little reminiscent of The Who. “Huddled” features a
catchy, descending chord change that always seems to work for Pollard. And when it appears
that Pollard may be getting political, the lyrics veer in a different direction. He still feels
indebted to the influence of Peter Gabriel’s Genesis-era imaginative wordplay and delivery.
While the band doesn’t necessarily reinvent itself, it doesn’t sound like the record is a re-tread,
either. Just when a song is going in a “Game of Pricks” direction (which would be just fine with
this listener!), Pollard throws an odd chord or lyric that distinguishes it from anything else in his
catalog—highly recommended. -Jonathon Smith
Gil Scott-Heron – Free Will
Greta Van Fleet – The Battle At Garden’s Gate (White Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Grant Green – The Latin Bit
As the title states, jazz guitarist Grant Green’s 1963 release finds him exploring Latin American rhythms
and melodies. While Latin jazz had been percolating just outside the mainstream for a while – with
notable exceptions Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton – bossa nova numbers from Brazillian musicians
Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto helped the style take over the jazz – and greater pop world – for
Backed by pianist John Acea, bass player Wendell Marshall, drummer Willie Bobo and percussionists
Carlos Valdes and Garvin Masseaux, Green delivers a half-dozen covers that capture the joyful spirit and
dance-ready rhythms of Latin jazz.
Green’s playing is immaculate, as always, but although The Latin Bit precedes Stan Getz and Gilberto’s
breakthrough album Getz/Gilberto by almost a year, the concept feels a bit gimmicky. Performances of
“Besame Mucho” – also covered by Beatles around the same time – and “Mama Inez” feel a bit too by-
the-numbers. Green and his backing quintet fare better on the album’s last two numbers, “Tico Tico”
and Charlie Parker’s “My Little Suede Shoes.” Put these tracks with opening number “Mambo Inn” and
there’s enough for a great EP or one side of an LP. Devotees of guitar or Latin jazz will want to grab The
Latin Bit, but more casual fans can pass. -Joel Francis
Gorillaz – D-Sides
Hurray For The Riff Raff – Life On Earth
I like artists that defy conventional, linear, ideas about what it means to be “successful” in a particular genre of music.
Alynda Mariposa Segarra (Formerly known as alynda lee) was born into a Puerto Rican family in the Bronks, NY and raised by their Aunt and Uncle, listening to Motown and doo-woo music. They are the voice and songwriting force behind the band Hurray for the Riff Raff.
After a full emersion into the transient punk scene formed around the Lower East Side, DIY, venue ABC No Rio, Segarra left home at seventeen and started hopping trains across North America.
In 2007 they joined a New Orleans based hobo band called “Dead Street Orchestra,” which was documented in a photo essay that same year for Time magazine. After two years of touring, Segarra set out to on their own and released two albums on Loose Records in the UK.
HFTR’s Americana tinged style was described by No Depression as “something The Band would’ve had playing on a Victorola while making Music From Big Pink in Woodstock.”
Their next two albums, released on ATO Records, garnered more attention from fans and critics. In NPR claimed, “Segarra’s morning-after alto might be the least showy great voice to hit the national scene this year.”
Even though 2017’s “The Navigator” might have left hints of a new direction, I think it’s safe to say their latest release, “LIFE ON EARTH,” on Nonesuch Records, is a departure, one that whole heartedly endorse and applaud!
Right off the bat ,on the opening track WOLVES, the Tom filled, Joy Divisionesque, drum beat peppered with angelic new wave synth strings seems to have very little to do, sonically with her more folk influenced past.
Track two, PIERCED ARROW, cuts right to a driving four on the floor New Romantic dance beat. The song has more in common with early Annie Lennox than Joan Baez, IMHO.
POiNTED AT THE SUN, is an inspiring classic indie rock tune, much in keeping with current Indie artists like Lucy Dacus and Julian Baker. The song is a revelatory journey of self empowerment through learning to love all the highs and lows of life.
RHODODENDRON continues the theme with even more insight into ideas like our addictions to violence and how observing and connecting to nature can help us cope with impermanence.
The connection to nature is a powerful theme that runs throughout the album as well as through through records artwork if various pics of Segarra in and about what appears to be the swamp lands of her hometown of New Orleans.
This is also beautifully converts on the on the gospelesque title track LIFE ON EARTH. Simple piano accompaniment with slow sounds of clarinets and trumpets fade in and out, another clear nod to her hometown. .
The somber and heart wrenching ballad “nightqueen” (feating an exerpt of Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong ) is meditation on loneliness as an essential element of the human condition.
PRECIOUS CARGO is an affective beat poetry style piece delivered from the perspective of an illegal immigrant, apprehend at the southern US boarder.
But perhaps the most powerful track on the album (and that’s saying a lot), SAGA, is a rolling folk rock tune about the process of moving from a victim of abuse to an empowered survivor.
Aside from the powerful themes and transformative insight expressed on this record what I love most about LIFE ON EARTH are the understated yet wonderfully supportive musical arrangements, which I’d assume to some degree can be credited to indie-rock producer Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver) who Segarra has chosen to work with for the first time her. Good choice!
In this day of excessive content and short attention spans it can be very tempting to make a record that is constantly jumping out and grabbing the listener’s attention with novel studio trickery. I applaude all parties involved for creating a beautifully listenable record that artfully rises to and supports the amazing material that Segarra has shared with us. – Major Matt
Iron Maiden – Killers
Incubus – A Crow Left Of The Murder
Jeremy Ivey – Invisible Pictures (Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
John Patton – Soul Connection
June of 44 – Anahata
Jimi Hendrix- Both Sides Of The Sky
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
Juice Wrld- Legends Never Die
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Kool and the Gang – Kool and the Gang (Purple Colored Vinyl)
Kerri Chandler – Fingerprintz (White Colored Vinyl, Extended Play)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Live In Paris 19 (US Fuzz Club Official Bootleg)(Boxed Set, Colored Vinyl)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishies (Green Colored Vinyl)
Kiss – Kiss Off The Soundboard: Live In Virginia Beach 3xLP
Kiss – Kiss Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001
Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed (Colored Vinyl)
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
Lady Blackbird – Black Acid Soul
Mitski – Laurel Hell (Opaque Red Vinyl)
Mac Miller – Swimming In Circles (Deluxe Box Set)
Miles Davis- Bitches Brew
My Chemical Romance- Life On The Murder Scene
Michael Jackson – BAD (Picture Disc)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Picture Disc)
Mad Season – Above
Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project – Demos
Paramore – After Laughter (Black, White, Digital Download Card)
Peter Tosh – Legalize It (Colored Vinyl)
Phil Ranelin – Inspiration
Place to Bury Strangers – See Through You (Yellow, Black Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Pixies – Live In Brixton (Indie Exclusive, 8LP Box Set, 180-Gram Red, Orange, Green & Blue Colored Vinyl)
Pink Floyd – The Later Years (1987-2019) Highlights (Gatefold LP Jacket, 180 Gram Vinyl)
Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Mono Version) (180 Gram Vinyl, Remastered)
Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut – released just two months after the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s – is unlike any other
release in the band’s catalog. In place of the interplanetary epics the band built its reputation on in the
1970s, Piper is filled with concise, psychedelic pop songs, steeped in Carnaby Street and Lewis Carroll.
In his only Floyd album as the band’s guiding force, founding member Syd Barrett serves up songs about
a Siamese cat (“Lucifer Sam”), a fairy tale about his childhood (“Matilda Mother”) and a pair of celestial
standouts, the instrumental “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Astronomy Domine” (OK, maybe there were
some interplanetary epics at the band’s inception after all).
Bass player Roger Water’s lone solo writing credit, “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk,” shows none of
the brilliance that he would later use to write Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and The Wall. But the
musical chemistry between Barrett, Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright is on full
display throughout. Wright’s backing vocals make Barrett’s singing sound even more dreamlike and his
organ frequently adds an otherworldly quality a song.
Barrett’s time leading Floyd was over before it began. Just four months after Piper’s release, the band
brought in guitarist David Gilmour to help stabilize the band’s sound and prop up Barrett’s declining
mental health. Barrett appeared on some tracks on Floyd’s second album, but by then the group had
moved on. It’s too bad Barrett wasn’t able to receive the help he so desperately needed, because there
are few albums that capture this raw style of psychedelic pop so perfectly. -Joel Francis
Rex Orange County – Who Cares? (150 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, Poster)
Summer Walker – Still Over It
Sade – The Best of Sade [180 gram Vinyl]
Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain
Tears for Fears – The Tipping Point (Green Colored Vinyl, Lithograph, Indie Exclusive)
Ty Segall- Harmonizer
Tom Petty – Greatest Hits
Taylor Swift- Red (Taylor’s Version)
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
The Weather Station – How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars (Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Yola- Walk Through Fire
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Which records, tapes, and CDs are your favorite local artists buying? On this episode of Record Shopping with Shuttlecock, we head to The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven with Missouri-via-Michigan rapper-producer Paris Williams. Tune in to find out what they copped. Follow @ShuttlecockMag on social media and visit www.ShuttlecockMusic.com. Grab a t-shirt, button, or magazine from www.ShuttlecockMag.BigCartel.com to support the channel. Make sure to like, subscribe, and share.
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Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:
Sherman, Gordon, Cat, Matt, Dylan, Doyle, Heather, Greg, Dave and Lain