It’s Faith No More New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
21 Savage & Metro Boomin- Savage Mode II (Colored Vinyl, Red)
2 Chainz- So Help Me God!
Adrian Younge- The American Negro
As a Black man, co-author of the Jazz is Dead series and producer renown for draping albums in lush strings, Blaxploitation funk and other touches of yesteryear, Adrian Younge seems uniquely positioned to offer great insight and aesthetics to this look at how structural racism shapes America’s modern identity.
Part of a greater project, including a podcast and short film, The American Negro album buckles under its own weight and shortcomings. While Younge has no problem reaching the sonic grandeur of Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway’s greatest social commentary, he frequently falls short as a lyricist. The multi-voice spoken interludes sound like a class reading from a syllabus. Although Younge’s songs sound terrific, he struggles to contain the complex themes within a verse/chorus structure.
While Younge should be applauded for his ambition and pushing these issues into the center of the table, the result is too muddled for the listener to leave with any great insights or next steps. Progressive listeners who want to delve deeper into these topics are best spending time with the album Nina Simone in Concert, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, the films of Spike Lee and Ava DuVernay, and the writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Angela Davis, to name just a few starting points.- Joel Francis
Albert King- In Session
Ally Venable – Heart of Fire
Arctic Monkeys- Am
Atmosphere- God Loves Ugly
Bad Brains- Bad Brains
Billie Holiday- Strange Fruit
Billy F Gibbons- Hardware (Colored Vinyl, Red, Indie Exclusive)
Black Sabbath- Sabotage (Deluxe Edition, With Bonus 7″, 4LP, Boxed Set)
Blanck Mass- Animated Violence Mild
Bob Dylan- World Gone Wrong
In the early 1990s, Bob Dylan made back-to-back covers albums: Good as I Been to You and World Gone Wrong. Both albums were stripped-down sessions, with just Dylan and his guitar (and occasionally harmonica). On World Gone Wrong, Dylan seems connected to most of the songs, and the pacing never seems to drag or lose any proverbial steam.
Most of the songs he chose for the record are credited as traditional folk songs and possibly unfamiliar to the listener, save for “Deila” which Johnny Cash covered and “Stack a Lee” which everyone from Taj Mahal to Nick Cave covered. Dylan’s liner notes are more informative than mysterious and can send the listener down many rabbit trails in search of the original versions (which is certainly much easier now with YouTube than it was in 1993).
This kind of album where he only covers other people’s songs isn’t new for Dylan. In fact, that’s how his recording career started. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to embrace limitations, and pacing and tempo can be key to maintaining attention. When done well, though, this presentation lends something lachrymose to the songs. Lines like “all the friends I ever had are gone” or “how sweetly I sleep here alone” just wouldn’t sound lonelier with a full band.
There’s something courageous about hearing Dylan once again embrace limitations and not rely on a team of world-class musicians. Plus, it’s fun to play a record and pretend Dylan is sitting on the couch, just playing some songs he likes. Sure, World Gone Wrong may not be one of Dylan’s numerous, important records, but it feels here like he’s playing the songs on the couch with the listener. As the album plays, questions about it being an essential or necessary album in his catalog fade into the listening experience. – Jonathon Smith
Bob Marley- Legend
Can- Live In Stuttgart 1975
Cavetown- Animal Kingdom
Cigarettes After Sex- Cigarettes After Sex
Clifford Quintet Jordan- Starting Time
Colter Wall- Imaginary Appalachia
Cream- Wheels of Fire
Curtis Amy- Katanga
Saxophone player Curtis Amy’s most-heard works are the solos he contributed to the Doors’ “Touch Me” and Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” In the early ‘60s, Amy recorded six jazz albums in three years. The last of these album’s 1963’s Katanga! is part of Blue Note’s Tone Poets reissue series.
The title track kicks things off with Amy and his accompanying quintet moving at a rapid tempo that recalls early bebop. “Lonely Woman” is a slow blues and “Amyable” features an impressive solo from guitarist Ray Crawford. Crawford also shines on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” a ballad that showcases his and pianist Jack Wilson’s sympathetic playing against Amy’s mournful playing.
Katanga!’s centerpiece is “Native Land,” a ten-minute tour de force that finds Amy following John Coltrane’s path. Amy’s opening solo is followed by equally inspired statements from trumpet player Dupree Bolton and Crawford.
Bolton almost upstages Amy on the album. His fluid, lightning-fast runs are flashes of poetry and his playing is a perfect complement to Amy’s style. Bolton got his start at age 15 in Jay McShann’s band, but spent much of his life in and out of jail. This work on Katanga! is one of only two sessions released during Bolton lifetime (a third session surfaced in 2009).
Sadly, Bolton notwithstanding, Katanga! is the only recording by this ensemble. Amy focused mainly on session work and Crawford continued his work with Jimmy Smith. The term lightning in a bottle gets tossed around casually, but Katanga! is truly a magical, never-replicated moment that belongs in any jazz library. – Joel Francis
Dave Matthews- Crash Anniversary Edition
Def Leppard- Songs From The Sparkle Lounge
Def Leppard- Volume 2
Def Leppard- X
Denzel Curry- Unlocked
Donald Fagen- The Nightfly
After crafting several pristine (and successful) albums with Walter Becker as Steely Dan in the 1970s, the duo decided to take a break in the early ‘80s. While Becker stepped back from the music industry, Fagen teamed with Steely Dan’s production team for The Nightfly, his solo debut.
Posing as an ultra-cool, late-night disc jockey, Fagen uses the album’s eight songs to revisit his suburban childhood in the 1950s and early 1960s. “I.G.Y.” opens the album with an optimistic worldview that echoes the hope of the Kennedy era. On “New Frontier,” Fagen discusses the atomic specter of the Cold War by framing it as a party in a bomb shelter.
Musically, The Nightfly is wrapped in the same pristine gauze that marked many of Dan’s best albums. One of the first all-digital albums, there’s not a note out of place. While the smooth jazz and adult contemporary trappings might turn away some listeners, those who embrace it will be rewarded with new details that emerge with each play.- Joel Francis
Doug Carn- Infant Eyes (Colored Vinyl, Orange, Black, Limited Edition)
Eminem- The Eminem Show
Eric Johnson- Ah Via Musicom (Limited Edition, Anniversary Edition)
Erykah Badu- But You Caint Use My Phone
Faith No More- Who Cares A Lot: The Greatest Hits
Fountains of Wayne- Welcome Interstate Managers (Limited Edition, Colored Vinyl, Red)
Gabor Szabo- Bacchanal (Bonus Tracks, Reissue)
Godspeed You Black Emperor- G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! (Incl. 10″)
Japanese Breakfast- Jubilee
Jason Isbell, Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood- Live at the Shoals Theatre
For many fans of the Drive-By Truckers, the period from 2001 to 2007 was a golden era for the band. Having three songwriters with distinct voices in the band, pushed the group to many of the finest moments in their catalog.
By 2007, in an amicable parting, Jason Isbell decided to step away and become a solo act. Seven years later, Isbell and his songwriting partners in the Truckers, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, reunited onstage to perform a benefit concert. Live at the Shoals Theater documents that night across four LPs and 25 tracks.
While this set contains the voices of the Truckers, it feels far more intimate. Each songwriter is armed with only an acoustic guitar and his voice. Although the material naturally leans heaviest on Isbell’s tenure with the band, the trio also perform Isbell’s now classic songs “Alabama Pines” and “Cover Me Up.” A blistering 12-minute cover of AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock” ends the night.
There isn’t a bum song or bad moment in the show, but the strongest moments on Live at the Shoals Theatre are the ones like “Zip City” and “My Sweet Annette” where you can hear the friendship and musical bond. Simply put, Shoals Theatre is essential for all fans of the Drive-By Truckers or roots songwriting.- Joel Francis
Jillette Johnson- All I Ever See In You Is Me
Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced
John Coltrane- 1963: New Directions (Boxed Set)
Joni Mitchell- Court and Spark
Journey- Greatest Hits
Joy Division- Closer
Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly
Khruangbin- Universe Smiles Upon You
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- L.W.
Liz Phair- Soberish
After more than a decade, ‘90s indie rock darling and ‘00s pop pariah Liz Phair finally gifts fans with her seventh album.
The chorus of “Soberish” the song encapsulates Soberish the album. Phair is emotionally direct asking “Why do we keep dicking around? Waited such a long time to be with you/now I’m chickening out” then coyly admitting “I meant to be sober/but the bar’s so inviting.”
On “In There,” Phair admits her confidence is shook, while on “Good Side” opens with the brilliant line “there are so many ways to f-k up a life/I’ve tried to be original.” The catchy “Hey Lou” imagines the Velvet Underground legend from the perspective of his longtime partner, Laurie Anderson. The delightfully lo-fi and bracingly honest “Lonely Street” provides another high point.
Phair reunited with Brad Wood, who produced her early albums, and there is a home-recording quality to the record, but the catchy, infectious songwriting draws from Phair’s much-maligned, major-label era in the early 2000s. Soberish provides the best of both worlds – honest introspection with unbothered production that knows just the right spot to add handclaps, string section or double-tracked vocals to make sure that chorus lodges firmly in your brain.- Joel Francis
Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin 1
Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin IV
Lou Barlow- Reason to Live
Mac Miller- Swimming
Mad Season- Above (2 LP)
Mammoth Wvh- Mammoth WVH (IEX) (Black Ice Vinyl)
Marvin Gaye- Every Great Motown Hit Of Marvin Gaye: 15 Spectacular Performances
Miles Bonny- Lumberjack Soul 2 (Splatter Vinyl, Limited Edition)
Neil Young- After The Gold Rush
Night Beats- Outlaw R&B
Danny Blackwell said his fifth album as Night Beats was made during last year’s lockdown surrounded with Akira Kurosawa films and canned food. Surrounded by wildfires and COVID in California, the album Blackwell created against this backdrop sounds like a Quinten Tarantino soundtrack composed by Roky Erickson and produced by Lee Hazelwood.
There’s not much rhythm and blues, but the outlaw spirit pervades these 11 tracks and 40 minutes. This is a lost trip in the desert with no reprieve or rations. Guitars cut through the haze with a raw buzz or float and dive around the periphery with a well-placed wah pedal. Somewhere overhead, lost in the glare of the midday sun, a Hammond organ soars. All the while, a galloping rhythm propels the assembly onward.
Trying to figure out what this song is about or what this lyric means is a fool’s errand. Blackwell has created an immersive experience that only the brave or foolish will survive. Are you up to finding out?- Joel Francis
Nf- Perception (Indie Exclusive)
Of Montreal- The Sunlandic Twins
Passerine Dream – Passerine Dream
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here
Pixies- Surfer Rosa
Playboi Carti- Whole Lotta Red
Queen- Greatest Hits I
Sandy Denny & the Strawbs- All Our Own Work
Sleater-Kinney- Path Of Wellness
Sons of Kemet- Black To The Future
Sons of Kemet- Burn
TRACTOR / WAY WE LIVE- A Candle For Judith (50th Anniversary Edition, Bonus 12)
The Beatles- Abbey Road Anniversary
The Black Keys- Brothers (Remastered, Anniversary Edition)
The Black Keys- Chulahoma
The Black Keys- Delta Kream
The Black Keys- Let’s Rock
The Doors- 13
The Meters- Fire on the Bayou
The Meters- Struttin’
Thee Oh Sees-Floating Coffin
Too $hort- Life Is…Too $hort
Tyler The Creator- Flower Boy
Various- Midnight in Garden of Good and Evil (Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)
Wes Montgomery- Incredible Jazz Guitar [Bonus Track]
Wu-Tang Clan- Enter the Wu-Tang
Zhu- Came For The Low
50% OFF Any 1 Red Tagged Clearance LP – Thursday, June 10th ONLY!
RSD DROP #1 PREVIEWS:
For nearly a dozen years, Record Store Day has been a springtime combination of Christmas morning and a high holy day for music fans. This Saturday, June 12, will be the first of two Record Store Day drops in 2021.
There are lots of great titles we know you can’t wait to scoop up. That’s why Seventh Heaven has ordered every RSD title and will have them priced below retail. The store will open at 7 a.m. with several measures in place to keep both you and staff safe. Here are 10 RSD releases dropping this Saturday I’m excited about. Don’t forget to grab some tasty treats after checking out. Learn more about Record Store Day Drop #1. https://www.facebook.com/events/the-vinyl-underground-at-7th-heaven/record-store-day-2021-drop-1/5344090418966298/
Jehnny Beth – BBC Session (7” vinyl, limited to 750 copies)
Albert Collins with the Barrelhouse – Live (limited to 1,500 copies)
The Cure – Wild Mood Swings (2xLP picture discs, limited to 8,000 copies)
Desmond Dekker – King of Ska (10×7” vinyl box set, limited to 500 copies)
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin Companion (2xLP, limited to 11,250 copies)
The Hu – Sad But True (7” picture disc, limited to 2,200 copies)
MF Doom/Czarface – Meddle with Metal (3” vinyl, limited to 1,500 copies)
Tom Petty – Angel Dream (limited to 12,000 copies)
Various Artists – Chicago/The Blues/Today (3xLP, limited to 1,800 copies)
Warren Zevon – Preludes (2xLP, limited to 1,800 copies) -Joel Francis
RSD Drop #1 will be Saturday, June 12th. For more info and to RSVP click HERE
Turntables! We got ’em. From starter tables to audiophile, and everything in between, we have you covered. We are honored to once again be carrying a full line up of the award winning, top of their class, made in America, U-turn Orbits! We have all the colors- including the high performance walnut and maple. Get here fast for best selection. Get yours today!
We have official Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven shirts in all sizes again- small to 3XL! Come in today and pick one up.
Thanks for reading this week’s Faith No More New Vinyl Thursday post!
Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:
Sherman, Gordon, Cat, Matt, Dylan, Doyle, Heather, Dave and Max
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