It’s Jason Isbell New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Alunah – Strange Machine
Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)
Black Widow – Black Widow
Black Keys – Dropout Boogie
After taking a few years off in the 2010s, the Black Keys are back in a big way with Dropout Boogie, the
band’s third album in four years.
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney sound energized on opening track (and lead single) “Wild Child”
emerges from a slinky disco groove into a wall of fuzz guitars that sound like a horn section. After a few
tracks, however, that initial burst of energy tapers off and Dropout Boogie starts to feel like any other
Black Keys release.
“Your Team is Looking Good” is a swampy Delta blues number that would have fit on any of the Keys’
previous albums, except this song is about … sports. I can’t imagine this song igniting stadium crowds.
The groove is too laid back and lyrics are way too polite to be effective as trash talk. “Your team is
lookin’ good, but not as good as ours,” Auberach sings. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust/You beat
everybody, but you won’t beat us.”
Another stand-out track, “Burn the Damn Thing Down” marries a T-Rex boogie with a chorus that brings
to mind “We’re an American Band.” “Baby, I’m Coming Home” leans so heavily on the riff from
“Midnight Rider” that Gregg Allman should get co-writing credit. Even a guest appearance from ZZ Top
guitarist Billy Gibbons on “Good Love” can’t shake excitement into the album.
The first time the Keys’ sound started getting stale, they brought in Danger Mouse, who helped the duo
craft some of the best music in their catalog and break into the mainstream. The second time, the pair
packed it in for several years. At this point, 20 years after the release of their first album, color-by-
numbers blues albums might be all we can expect from the boys. Fair enough, but there’s hardly any
reason to pick up Dropout Boogie if you have any of the Keys’ previous work. -Joel Francis
Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album (140 Gram Vinyl, With Booklet)
Bill Evans – At The Montreux Jazz Festival
Black Pumas – Black Pumas (Limited Edition, Cream Colored Vinyl)
Bill Evans – Inner Spirit: The 1979 Concert At The Teatro General San Martin (RSD Exclusive)
Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love (Black, 140 Gram Vinyl)
Charley Crockett – Lil G.l. Presents: Jukebox Charley
Claypool Lennon Delirium – Monolith Of Phobos (Phobos Moon Edition, Gray, Smoke Colored Vinyl)
The Clash – Combat Rock + The People’s Hall (Bonus Tracks, 180 Gram Vinyl, Special Edition)
The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
Eminem – Encore
Eric Dolphy – Conversations
Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs
Earlier this year, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder released a solo album with contributions from Elton
John, Stevie Wonder, half of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other guests. Ukulele Songs is not that
album. Ukulele Songs is Vedder’s second solo album. Released in 2011, and back on vinyl for the first
time since that initial run, Ukulele Songs is – you guessed it – Vedder performing on ukulele.
There’s a lot of charm in hearing Vedder perform in this stripped-down, intimate environment. The false
starts and between-song murmuring make the 16 songs feel more like a 34-minute recital than an
Because most of the album is just Vedder and his uke, it’s tempting to look at this as a collection of Pearl
Jam demos. And while it’s true that three of the songs here also appear on PJ albums, these definitely
aren’t home recordings. Vedder layers his instrument to create a lush bed for his rich vocals.
That said, there’s only so much one can do with a ukulele and voice. Duets with Glen Hansard and Cat
Power add some variety, but 34 minutes is still a lot of ukulele. It’s hard to imagine even devoted fans
reaching for this over Vedder’s new full-band rock album or a favorite PJ release. -Joel Francis
Esperanza Spalding – Songwrights Apothecary Lab
Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death (Deluxe Edition, Gatefold LP Jacket, Photo Book)
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia (LIMITED EDITION OPAQUE RED VINYL)
Hermeto Pascoal E Grupo – Planetario Da Gavea
High Pulp – Pursuit of Ends (Opaque Tan Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Hot Water Music – Feel The Void
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue
Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales (150 Gram Vinyl)
Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers – American Babylon (Anniversary Edition)
Joel Ross – The Parable Of The Poet
John Coltrane – My Favorite Things (2022 Remaster)
Japanese Breakfast – Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack)
Three months after releasing their breakthrough album Jubilee, Japanese Breakfast returned with
another new release. Sable is the soundtrack to an exploration video game, where a young girl seeks a
mask which enables her to rejoin her nomadic tribe. There are many, many places to delve into, each
with a unique soundscape.
To create these themes, Japanese Breakfast auteur Michelle Zauner drew on the density of shoegaze,
intensity of industrial and the hazy ambience of Brian Eno. Woodwinds, synthesizers, classical guitar and
piano all float in and out of the album’s 32 tracks.
While it’s interesting to hear Zauner experiment and expand her palette, most of the pieces are
designed to be background music. As such, few stand out. These themes average around three minutes
and the double album clocks in at nearly 100 minutes, which makes listening a considerable investment.
I’m not sure who the audience is for this album. The best way to experience these pieces is through the
game, which is where nearly all gamers will hear it. There aren’t enough actual songs to make Sable
interesting to Japanese Breakfast’s pop fans. Ultimately, Sable’s most compelling aspect will be to see
how Zauner draws on what she’s learned in this process and applies it to future Japanese Breakfast
albums. -Joel Francis
Kevin Morby – This Is A Photograph (Gold Colored Vinyl)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Nonagon Infinity
Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Kanye West – Late Registration
Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Milky Clear Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Maki Asakawa – Maki Asakawa
Monophonics – Sage Motel (Transparent Orange w/ Black Swirl Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Across the past six albums and 15 years, Kelly Finnigan has proved to be adept at conjuring and
recreating the sounds and mystique of classic soul and R&B tracks. The latest album from Finnigan and
his comrades in the Monophonics is no exception, but it also raises the question if the group has any
other new tricks up their sleeves.
The cover, which looks like one of those ‘70s rock sleeves designed by Hipgnosis, provides the first hint
that Sage Motel is a concept album. Like most concept albums, however, the concept isn’t very clear
and you don’t need to understand it to enjoy the album.
Sonically, Sage Motel draws on the underrated albums Norman Whitfield made with Marvin Gaye, with
swirls of Philly soul, Northern soul and more than a little Curtis Mayfield. Together, it all effortlessly
congeals into an impeccable 37-minute performance.
This proficiency and familiarity also highlight the Monophonics’ greatest weakness. There’s nothing on
Sage Motel that makes it stand out from the band’s previous albums. Furthermore, there is no shortage
of other acts repurposing the same veins of ‘70s soul. Developing a concept for Sage Motel is a nice step
forward for this consistently solid band. Hopefully next time they will push out even more. -Joel Francis
Metallica – Metallica
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Picture Disc)
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (Remastered 20th Anniversary Edition)
Neil Young – Citizen Kane Jr. Blues 1974 (Live at The Bottom Line)
Prince – Purple Rain (Picture Disc)
The Proclaimers – Sunshine on Leith
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Night Gnomes (Red Colored Vinyl, 180 Gram Vinyl)
Rammstein – Zeit
Roxy Music – Stranded
Sunflower Bean – Headful Of Sugar (Orange Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
The Brooklyn-based indie rock trio Sunflower Bean continue to grow and delight on their third album,
Headful of Sugar.
On their previous album, 2018’s Twentytwo in Blues, the band felt disheartened by the current political
landscape and unsure of their place in society as grown-ups. Four years of adulting and the rat race have
not abated that anger and frustration. “The TV makes me so mad / NPR is always telling me something
bad,” singer Julia Cumming sighs on “Baby Don’t Cry.” “Everything made in a boardroom gets pumped
straight into my head.”
“Roll the Dice” sounds like a lost Yeah Yeah Yeahs track and calls out corporate greed. “Win big, win
lose, that’s just how the game works,” Cumming sings. “In this city money talks, that’s just how the
world works/Making rich another man.”
Headful of Sugar isn’t just a playlist for Bernie Sanders rallies. “I Don’t Have Control Sometimes” is a
cheery blast of self-assurance and “Beat the Odds” is a powerful, scuzzy anthem. Sonic touchstones
Garbage, Liz Phair and Gorillaz keep the party percolating and keep the album from getting weighty.
Sunflower Bean aren’t questioning their place in an unpleasant environment. They’re shoving their way
forward with swagger and confidence. -Joel Francis
Skull Snaps – Skull Snaps
Sir Edward -The Power Of Feeling
Steve Vai – Flex-able: 36th Anniversary (Clear Vinyl, Anniversary Edition)
Suicidal Tendencies – Controlled By Hatred / Feel Like Shit…deja Vu (Pink Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Tony Allen – Secret Agent
Van Morrison – What’s It Gonna Take?
Van Halen – 1984 (180-gram)
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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 Topeka, Kansas musician P. Morris. 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