It’s Horace Parlan New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers – Hard Drive (2022 – Remaster)
Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
Alice in Chains – Dirt (150 Gram Vinyl, Remastered)
ABBA – Gold: Greatest Hits
Batmobile – Brace For Impact (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Colored Vinyl, Yellow)
Belle and Sebastian – A Bit of Previous (Indie Exclusive)
Bill Evans – Portrait In Jazz (180 Gram Vinyl)
Bow Wow Wow – When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Pink Colored Vinyl)
The Beatles – Let It Be (Special Edition)
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds [Stereo] (180 Gram Vinyl)
Boygenius – Boygenius (Extended Play)
Bobby Hutcherson – San Francisco (Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series)
Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days (Indie Exclusive, Deluxe Edition)
Blink 182 – Nine (Gatefold LP Jacket, 140 Gram Vinyl)
Blink 182 – Enema Of The State
Boney James – Detour
Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Orange Colored Vinyl)
Cassandra Wilson – Belly of the Sun (180 Gram Vinyl)
Cecil McBee – Mutima (Remastered)
Charles Wright & Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Express Yourself (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Turquoise Colored Vinyl)
Charlie Parker – Charlie Parker with Strings
Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 1
Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 2
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Cage the Elephant – Melophobia (180 Gram Vinyl, Digital Download Card)
Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends
The Cure – The Greatest Hits
David Bowie – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (2017 Remastered Version)
Domi & JD Beck – Not Tight
Earth Wind & Fire – Their Ultimate Collection (180 Gram Vinyl, Yellow Colored Vinyl)
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
Gorillaz – Gorillaz
Gorillaz – The Now Now
Grant Green – Green Is Beautiful (Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series)
Green Day – American Idiot (180 Gram Vinyl, Poster)
Gil Scott-Heron – Small Talk At 125th & Lenox
Gill Scott-Heron was only 20 years old when his debut album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, was recorded in 1970. Still very much a newcomer, Scott-Heron already had a book of poetry and novel to his name.
The 14 tracks on Small Talk are very informed by Scott-Heron’s poetry. The album’s 45 minutes lie somewhere between spoken word, jazz and what would become rap. Backed only by two percussionists, Scott-Heron delivers blistering diatribes in front of an audience on the civil rights movement, race, homophobia and the state of America in general.
Scott-Heron’s signature number “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” opens the album. While the words are the same, this early version lacks the urgent bassline of the better-know interpretation found on 1971’s Pieces of a Man.
While most of the world was celebrating Neil Armstrong’s giant leap on the moon, Scott-Heron penned “Whitey on the Moon.” Using succinct, demanding words, Scott-Heron decries the use of taxpayer money on lunar missions when so many Americans lack access to healthcare and suffer in poverty.
On “Evolution (and Flashback)” Scott-Heron looks at the passing of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the future of the civil rights movement. Scott-Heron sits down at the piano and sings “Who Will Pay Reparations on my Soul” foreshadowing the decade of provocative music he would make with pianist Brian Jackson throughout the 1970s.
Many of the pieces on Small Talk are still potent and relevant, but the homophobia of “The Subject Was F—ts” mars its author and is the album’s only blemish. – Joel Francis
Greta Van Fleet – The Battle At Garden’s Gate (Indie Exclusive, Colored Vinyl, White)
H.E.R. – H.E.R. (Gatefold LP Jacket)
Herbie Hancock – Inventions & Dimensions
Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage
Horace Parlan – Speakin My Piece (Blue Note Classic Series)
Jackie McLean – Bluesnik (Blue Note Classic Series)
John Lewis – Wonderful World Of Jazz (180 Gram Vinyl)
J Dilla – Donuts
Juice Wrld – Goodbye & Good Riddance
Juice Wrld – Legends Never Die
Kehlani – While We Wait
Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
Kid Cudi -Entergalactic (Bonus Track)
Kiss – Kissworld: The Best Of Kiss (140 Gram Vinyl)
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Kraftwerk – Man Machine (Limited Edition, Remastered)
Kevin Morby – This Is A Photograph
Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here
Lauryn Hill- Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Leon Bridges – Good Thing (180 Gram Vinyl, Download Insert)
MF Doom – My Favorite Ladies
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew [140 gram Vinyl]
Miles Davis – Steamin (180 Gram Vinyl, Limited Edition)
Mogwai – Mogwai Young Team; Come on Die Young
Scottish post-rock ensemble Mogwai have created a lush catalog of studio releases, soundtracks and live albums over their nearly 30-year career. Now, the band’s first two albums are back in print for the first time in more than a decade.
Released in 1997, Mogwai’s debut, Young Team is more stripped down compared to the group’s later releases, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful or engaging. The album starts slowly, fading in with opener “Yes! I Am a Long Way from Home,” gradually building with each piece. Although each of the 10 songs are distinct pieces, they often intentional blur into each other.
The 11-minute epic “Like Herod” rides a tense bassline from Dominic Aitchison before rupturing into violence. Album closer “Mogwai Fear Satan” clocks in at more than 16 minutes and remains a live favorite.
Between these titanic tentpoles, Mogwai present emotionally powerful, mostly wordless compositions. “Tracy” is built around pieces of a phone conversation with a cinematic arrangement foreshadows the group’s successful second career as soundtrack composers. The solemn “R U Still In 2 It” is the only song with lyrics, detailing the mundanity of a relationship going nowhere.
Two years later, Mogwai dropped Come on Die Young, their second album. An extended sample of Iggy Pop speaking on a Canadian talk show opens the album, setting up “Cody” as close to a traditional song as the band had done up to that point, with sung vocals.
The rest of Come on Die Young doesn’t contain as many surprises, but does a good job maintaining a melancholy mood. Mogwai’s sophomore album doesn’t contain the range of emotion and dynamics of Young Team, making Come on Die Young tougher to get into, but once inside it delivers a myriad of subtle joys. – Joel Francis
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Indie Exclusive, Pink Colored Vinyl)
N.W.A. – Greatest Hits (Bonus Track, Remastered)
Ogassa – Ogassa Original Vol. 1 (Reissue)
Orphan Egg – Orphan Egg
Orville Peck – Bronco (140 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon(180 Gram Vinyl)
Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps
Paramore – This Is Why
To give an idea of how different the world was when Paramore released their last album, Alex Smith was the Chiefs starting quarterback. During nearly six years of downtime, band members released multiple solo albums, leaving fans to question if they’d ever hear new material from the pop/rock trio.
Thankfully, after six months of trickling out singles, Paramore’s sixth album, This Is Why, has arrived. As the lead single, opening cut and title track “This Is Why” does a lot of heavy lifting. Fortunately, “This is Why” is up to the task, serving a perfect encapsulation of the sense of dread, fear and survivor’s guilt that have engulfed the world since early 2020.
“This is why I don’t leave the house,” singer Hayley Williams bellows on the chorus. “You say the coast is clear/But you won’t catch me out/Oh, why?
This is why.” The feeling of being overwhelmed and uncertain carries into the rocking second track, “The News.” Williams and her bandmates touch on these themes several more times across the album’s 10 songs and 37 minutes. “Big Man, Little Dignity” targets men wealthy enough to live without consequences for their greed and selfishness. “C’est comme ça,” the second single, details the time when a chiropractic appointment was a big social occasion. Translated to “it is what it is,” the resignation of the lyrics are countered by a hyperactive guitars and a bouncy chorus.
In the run-up to This Is Why, Paramore said they were inspired by the guitar-driven indie rock they grew up on in the early ‘00s. There are echoes of Bloc Party, Futureheads, OK Go and Foals across the album, but also early ‘80s New Wave. By tweaking their sound, Paramore not only make This Is Why sonically rewarding, but keeps the often grim lyrics at bay. -Joel Francis
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik (180 Gram Vinyl)
Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against The Machine XX (20th Anniversary Edition)
Samara Joy – Linger Awhile
Sonic Youth – Goo
St Paul & the Broken Bones – Alien Coast (Indie Exclusive, Limited Edition, Gold Colored Vinyl)
Stan Getz – Getz / Gilberto
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Live at Carnegie Hall (180 Gram Vinyl)
Sleep – Dopesmoker
Sloan – Steady (First Edition, Purple Colored Vinyl)
Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
Steely Dan – Can’t Buy A Thrill (180 Gram Vinyl)
SZA – CTRL (150 Gram Vinyl, Colored Vinyl, Green, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Total Refreshment Centre – Transmissions From Total Refreshment Centre (180 Gram Vinyl)
Tyler Childers – Purgatory
Tennis – POLLEN (Indie Exclusive)
Tame Impala – Currents
Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy (Gatefold LP Jacket, 150 Gram Vinyl)
Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar (Clear Vinyl)
White Zombie – Astro-Creep: 2000
Wilderado – Wilderado (180 Gram Vinyl)
Wilson Pickett – It’s Too Late (Indie Exclusive, Cream Colored Vinyl, Anniversary Edition)
Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World
“This Stupid World” is Yo La Tengo’s 17th album in a career spanning nearly 40 years.
Indie Rock, Alternative, Art Rock, Shoegaze, No Wave, Post Rock, Experimental, Krautrock, Drone, Noise Rock… If any of these terms cause the hairs on the back of your next to perk up (like mine) this is a band and an album that you need to check out.
Sonically speaking, even though officially formed by husband wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley in 1984 it wasn’t until 1992, when multi-instrumentalist James McNew joined the band for their sixth album: “Painful,” that YLT seemed to solidify.
“I think it sounds different from the things that came before it,” says Kaplin. “… it really seems like mostly we’ve built on that record… Since Painful, I think we’ve gotten more confident and more willing to trust ourselves and trust each other, and probably better at dealing with things that go wrong.”
Taking a turn from 2020’s We Have Amnesia Sometimes, a collection of five pleasant, improvised ambient jams, “This Stupid World” is a return to form (if that’s even possible with this band). For me “Stupid World” most resembles their 1995 indie rock classic Electr-O-Pura, their first studio album after “Painful.”
The opening track, “Sinatra Drive Breakdown” is 7:20 min. wandering soundscape that unfurls not unlike a late period jam by the seminal Krautrock band Can.
Track two, the single “Fallout,” is a melancholic shoe gaze number that combines Sonic Youth styled guitar lines with lofty Mama’s and The Papa’s vocals. The guitars are crunchy and resonant while Kaplan’s understated vocal style shines through like a rain cloud on a murky desert horizon.
Aselestine, named after a medication used to treat asthma, is a dreamy folk song featuring Hubley’s exquisit sleepy alto range. The spaced out pedal steel is the secret sauce on this one IMHO.
Critics are calling ”This Stupid World” YLT’s Beat Album in ten years and I’d have to agree. No other band in recent memory has made such consistently challenging and beautiful music over such a long period. Like much of YLT’s work there’s a cinematic quality to this record that also captures an intimacy that is hard to describe. The word hope come to mind. – Major Matt
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