Rosie Tucker New Vinyl Thursday

It’s Rosie Tucker New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:

Abbey Lincoln- Abbey Is Blue

Arctic Monkeys- AM

Arlo Parks- Collapsed In Sunbeams (Deep Red Vinyl)

Benjamin Tod- A Heart Of Gold Is Hard To Find

Beyoncé- Lemonade (Colored Vinyl, Yellow)

Billie Eilish- Dont Smile At Me

Billie Holiday- Strange Fruit

Billy F Gibbons- Hardware

Weekly Review:

The roadster on the cover of Billy Gibbon’s third solo album isn’t too different from the hot rods that graced the front of his band ZZ Top’s records during their commercial peak in the 1980s.

Likewise, much of the music on Hardware utilizes the same traits Gibbons brought to the Top: blown-out blues guitar, impish jokes, boogie rhythms and rumbling vocals. Three consecutive songs near the top of the album could easily slide into any Top playlist: “She’s on Fire,” “More-More-More” and “Shuffle, Step and Slide.” 

Over on side two, “West Coast Junkie” is a fun blast of surf-rock, while Larkin Poe stop by to help on “Stackin’ Bones.” A cover of Augie Meyer’s “Hey Baby, Que Paso” imagines a south-of-the-border juke joint. Album closer “Desert High” is an atmospheric spoken-word piece.

It’s unclear why Gibbons didn’t make Hardware with ZZ Top. The most recent Top album was in 2012 and Gibbons has released three solo albums since 2015. Regardless, Hardware result will satisfy longtime Top fans and hopefully win Gibbons a couple new ones. -Joel Francis.

Black Patti- Satan’s Funeral

Black Pumas- Black Pumas (Limited Edition, Cream, Colored Vinyl)

Blackberry Smoke- You Hear Georgia

Blink 182- Dude Ranch (Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition)

The Beatles- Let It Be

The Black Keys- Delta Kream

CROW / O.S.T. – The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Cavetown- Lemon Boy (Red Vinyl)

Cigarettes After Sex- Cigarettes After Sex

Weekly Review:

Cigarettes After Sex has a very distinct dream pop sound- you know it when you hear it. Singer Greg Gonzalez uses melancholic lines and melodies, fronting a soft and steady beat to create something that could evoke catharsis, and even relaxation.  

Something I think they do really well with the construction of this album is having a consistent theme throughout that allows the songs to flow seamlessly from one to the next. Though the vocals, guitar riffs, and backing beat remain fairly similar throughout the entire album, it conveys Gonzalez’s message much more clearly, with slight changes in tempo or key to add to the specific story. In general, I think the lyrics are well thought out, as they speak metaphorically, but also about the reality of life struggles and raw human emotion in beautiful harmony with the instrumentals. Contradictions, sad lines, and a hint of reverb all put together is a recipe for nostalgia, and a generally emotional listen. Listening to this album with headphones on, makes it feel like it was made to be a soundscape. I get lost in the spacious, airy tones that persist throughout. In my opinion, it’s definitely an album better suited for relaxing times, late night drives, or a guide through a rough patch.

In comparison to other alternative/indie/dream pop bands and albums, I’d rate this album a 7/10. This is because I appreciate many aspects of the album, but I would’ve liked to see more variation in beats, riffs, and vocal tone. Artistically I think it’s up to the mark, but creatively I would’ve liked to see more, I’d still highly recommend it, but definitely more towards a certain audience. – Nova Stebbin. 

Charlie Quintet Parker- Bluebird

Dave Matthews- Crash Anniversary Edition

The Cranberries- Dreams: The Collection

David Byrne- Love This Giant

David Bowie & Trevor Jones- Labyrinth

Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs

Def Leppard- Songs From The Sparkle Lounge

Dep Leppard- X

Weekly Review:

Pop-metal hitmakers hit their zenith in the 1980s, but remained an active recording group into the new century. Two titles from the ‘00s are now on vinyl for the first time.

The touchstones for 2002’s X were Aerosmith’s “Jaded” and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” To accomplish both ends, Def Leppard brought in Marti Frederiksen, who produced and co-wrote Aerosmith’s Top 10 hit, and Max Martin, the man behind “It’s My Life” and a slew of boy band and pop star hits.

Unfortunately, X doesn’t soar to either level. The album tests the patience of listeners by starting with five straight ballads. The belated rocker “Four Letter Word” sounds a lot like “Animal.” It’s easy to play spot-the-remake with these songs, but the songs where Def Leppard are aping their previous hits are better than songs like “Unbelievable” and “Girl Like You” that are so generic they sound like they could be performed by anyone.

X pumps harder in the second half, but it’s ultimately too limp and faceless to recommend. 

The band was no doubt wanting to correct course for their 2008 album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. Opening number “Go” rocks harder than anything on X and even better, the band sounds like themselves again. Tim McGraw guests on “Nine Lives” in a blatant attempt to get some crossover appeal, but the band doesn’t change much to accommodate him. 

At 11 songs and 40 minutes, Sparkle Lounge doesn’t overstay its welcome. The ballads arrive like brief reprieves that improve the album’s pacing. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge doesn’t try to replace Hysteria or Pyromania, but can sit comfortably next to them as proof that the band still had something to offer more than 20 years later. – Joel Francis. 

Def Leppard- Volume Two (Boxed Set)

Deftones- Ohms

Dinosaur Jr- Sweep It Into Space (Purple, Indie Exclusive)

The Doors- Strange Days

The Doors- The Doors

Fall Out Boy- Take This To Your Grave (Colored Vinyl, Silver)

Faith No More – Who Cares a Lot? The Greatest Hits

Weekly Review:

The San Francisco-based alternative rockers Faith No More built a decent career defying expectations and boundaries. Their best work combined metal, punk, hip hop and funk – sometimes all in the same song. The band’s only Top 40 hit, 1990’s “Epic” features metal guitars, rapped verses and a huge sound that distills into a single piano by the end. It’s the video with the fish flopping around at the end.

Released in the wake of Faith No More’s breakup, Who Cares a Lot? rounds up 15 songs from five albums released in the decade between 1987 and 1997.  The chronological collection democratically selects three tracks from most albums, with a couple b-side covers snuck into the mix for good measure.

While “Epic” was the band’s biggest hit, several other songs received airplay and just about all of them may be found here. Solid covers of the Commodore’s “Easy” and the Bee-Gee’s “I Started a Joke” demonstrate the band’s fearless confidence and dedication to flouting assumptions. A later CD collection has four more songs and a few more rarities, but Who Cares a Lot? remains an excellent entry point into Faith No More’s adventurous catalog.- Joel Francis. 

It’s hard to understate the influence that Faith No More had on the popularizing of the alternative rock genre. Their mixture of Funk, Metal, and Emotive Rock would spillover from the college radio airwaves of the late 80’s to influence the mainstream NuMetal MTV set like Limp Bizkit and Korn as well as alt funk bands like Primus and Rage Against the Machine.
Along with albums like PIXIES’ Doolittle and Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, FTM’s genre bending breakthrough album The Real Thing, released in 1989 would pave the way for Nirvina’s Nevermind to take over the world three years late in 1991 and help define a decade of heavy rock music.
I was lucky enough to catch FTM at the KU Ballroom in Lawrence, KS on the Real Thing Tour. There was really nothing else like them at the time. They’re mix of upfront thrashing guitars with Journeyesque synth string pads and acrobatic vocal stylings that bordered on cartoonish at times was a true melting pot of American Pop music at the time. They stretched my ideas of what heavy metal could be and introduced me to the godfather’s themselves, Black Sabbath, through their spot on cover of War Pigs. It was the perfect encore for a very memorable show!
Who Cares A Lot? The Greatest Hits is a two disc, clear vinyl, album that spotlights tracks released by Faith No More between 1987 and 1997. The album starts with their first hit “We Care A Lot” followed by “Introduce Yourself”; both sung by original lead singer Chuck Mosley. In 1988 Mosley was replaced current front man Mike Patton, who’s first album with the band was the renowned, previously mentioned, “The Real Thing.”
The remainder of the album includes prime cuts spanning their next four releases including the simply glorious covers of The Commodores Easy as well as the early Bee Gees tune I Started a Joke.  Whether you’re a longtime fan or looking for a way in this is must have for Vinyl Lovers of 90’s rock! – Major Matt.

First International Sex Opera Band- Anita (Colored Vinyl, Purple, Remastered)

Gil Scott-Heron- Pieces of a Man

GZA- Liquid Swords

Godspeed You Black Emperor- G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! (Incl. 10″)

Golden Earring- Together

Gorillaz- Song Machine, Season One

Greta Van Fleet- The Battle At Garden’s Gate (Colored Vinyl, White)

Guns N Roses- Greatest Hits

Guru Guru- Hinten (Colored Vinyl, Yellow, Limited Edition)

The Grateful Dead- Anthem Of The Sun

H.E.R.- H.E.R.

Horse Jumper of Love- So Divine

Iggy & Stooges- Jesus Loves The Stooges (Black & Gold Splatter)

Japanese Breakfast- Jubilee

Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced

Weekly Review:

It’s no doubt that Jimi Hendrix was not only an extremely influential musical figure in the 70’s, but even today, does his work remain legendary. In 1967, Are You Experienced was released, bringing a fresh sound to rock. His experimentation with vocal reverb in combination with guitar flares, and irregularly placed synths and riffs brought with it a beautiful psychedelic rock that seems to have had an everlasting effect.

Just in his guitar playing alone, Jimi Hendrix went above and beyond to create an entirely different listening experience. Mixing blues with rock, psychedelic, and even hints of R&B is, to me, what makes him stand out (ontop of being one of the best guitarists, of course). 

With this album, something I think he does really well is incorporates soulful, powerful guitar riffs, with alluring, deeply poetic lyrics. A lot of listeners find inspiration from his incredible instrumental skills, but I think his lyrics hold just as much, if not more value. He pairs his vocal melodies with intricate riffs, drums, synths, and other interesting fills that evokes catharsis, and a generally positively related listen . He also creates art based on real life struggles that aren’t commonly talked about, especially considering the time frame in which he was making music. 

Overall, I personally find this album, along with all of his music, to be immaculate, inspirational, and ultimately legendary. – Nova Stebbin. 

John Coltrane- 1963: New Directions (Boxed Set)

Joni Mitchell- Blue

Journey- Greatest Hits

Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak (Deluxe Edition, Collector’s Edition)

Kanye West- College Dropout

Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Demos Vol 1 & 2 [Limited Orange Marble Colored Vinyl]

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Fishing For Fishies: Demos & Live (Limited Edition)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Live In London 19 [Limited Gatefold Red Colored Vinyl]

The Kinks- Best Of The Kinks 1964-1970

The Kinks- Something Else By the Kinks

L7- Hungry For Stink (Limited Edition)

Lana Del Rey- Chemtrails Over The Country Club

Lionel Loueke- HH

Lost Dog Street Band- Weight Of A Trigger

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real- A Few Stars Apart

Max Roach 4- Plays Charlie Parker

M.I.A.- Arular

Mac Miller- K.I.D.S.

Mammoth Wvh- Mammoth Wvh

Miles Davis- Filles De Kilimanjaro

Miles Davis- Kind of Blue

Moby- Reprise

Weekly Review:

Moby has built an impressive catalog during his three decades in the music business, but he’s also earned the reputation of being the one electronic artist your parents really like.

Reprise, Moby’s latest and 19th album, finds the musician revisiting several of his old songs with an orchestra. This organic approach shows a new depth to Moby’s compositions.

The woozy synthesizers on “Porcelain” are replaced with a full string section, bringing a cinematic feel to the song. This is doubly true on “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,” a song used in its original form to great effect in the movie Heat, given even greater emotional heft by the sweeping orchestral arrangement. “Extreme Ways” is known as the end credits song in all the Jason Bourne films. Here, Moby strips the song back to acoustic guitar, adding strings that make the lyrics seem mournful, as if Bourne was looking back over his life with regret.

In addition to the orchestra, Moby gets help from Kris Kristofferson, Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Gregory Porter and a handful of other collaborators. Reprise isn’t good enough to Moby’s music away from dinner parties and back into the clubs, but it will make longtime fans appreciate the traits that made them fans in the first place.- Joel Francis. 

Mogwai- Zerozerozero

Night Beats- Outlaw R&b

Nitin Sawhney- Live At Ronnie Scott’s

OutKast- Stankonia

Panic! At the Disco- Death of a Bachelor

Passerine Dream – Passerine Dream

I had to look it up, but a passerine is a perching bird, including all songbirds. It’s the perfect name and description for this charming, hope-filled album that leaves you feeling a little bit better about yourself and our world after listening.

Passerine Dream is Dave Tanner’s passion project. The longtime Kansas City resident is frequently found playing bass for Liverpool, a local Beatles tribute band. Unsurprisingly, Tanner’s songs share many of Sir Paul’s characteristics, including bright melodies that pull you right in.

The album’s nine songs came together during last year’s shutdown and clues to their origin are sprinkled throughout the lyrics. On the wistful opening number “Be Together,” Tanner sings “A lot had happened and a year went by/I was reminded why I had to try.”

On the cheerful “Little Dreams,” Tanner informs “I’m saving these hours for me/gonna spend them away from reality” before offering the proverb “little dreams should turn into bigger dreams.” “Driver” is another standout track and example of Tanner’s clever songwriting. Here, he turns a song about staying out too late drinking into a psalm of gratitude. When Tanner sings “I’m always here for you” on “Breaking Through,” it feels genuine and heartfelt.

Passerine Dream is like a hug that makes you want to dance. Treat yourself to its healing grooves today – you deserve it.- Joel Francis. 

Passerine Dream is a solo project for local KC bassist and songwriter Dave Tanner.  Full disclosure, Dave plays bass on a musical project of mine called Broken Heart Syndrome. But he’s probably best known for other things including the The Depth and the Whisper and the the Beatles tribute band Liverpool.
I have a confession. I wasn’t aware of this project. I knew he was doing a lot of recording over the past year but didn’t know what it was specifically. I was out of town last week and thanks to Record Store Day on Saturday we’ve literally got piles of records here that I have been working my way through. So, yesterday I put on this record with a pretty bird on it called Passerine Dream, having no idea what it was.
Passerine is defined as:“relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds.” It all makes sense, now, knowing Dave is an avid bird watcher and photographer. I’m assuming all the bird shots are by Dave.
From the first track, Be Together, I was getting a seasoned Brit pop vibe, like later Teenage Fanclub or Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Good sign!
Once track two came on, Little Birds, I said to myself, “Wait, I know this song… I’ve sung on this song!” We had performed a version of Little Birds with Broken Heart Syndrome the project I mentioned earlier. I was totally amazed! It sounded so much better here. The arrangement is more epic with a slow build into Beatlesesque string arrangement and my guitar gently weeping solo.
This record sounds amazing thanks to an array of local KC guest musicians including: Marty Scott, John Perrin, Erik Voeks, Albert Bickley, John Countryman, Steve Davis and Bob Dobro.  The record was mostly self recorded over the pandemic and then mixed by Paul Malinowski at Massive Sound in Shawnee, KS.
The anthemic Hometown is a perfect wink to KC with the cheeky line “It’s one thing about the old home town. It picks me up and puts me down.”
The hopeful upbeat vibe of Breaking Through is a perfect prescription for Post pandemic blues. And in the closer, Open Your Eyes, Dave really flexes his inner Paul McCartney! This ones gonna be my uplift summer jam for sure. For fans of The Vaselines, Traveling Wilburys and The Beatles! – Major Matt.

Phish- Lp On Lp 01 (Ruby Waves 7/ 14/ 19) (Limited Edition)

Phish- Lp On Lp 02 (Waves 5/ 26/ 2011)

Pink Floyd- Animals

Post Malone- Beerbongs & Bentleys

Rosie Tucker- Sucker Supreme

Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain

SZA- CTRL (Colored Vinyl, Green)

Sarathy Korwar- My East Is Your West

Sleater-Kinney- Path Of Wellness

Weekly review:

Prior to their decade-long hiatus, the all-female, alt-rock trio Sleater-Kinney had never made a bad album. That changed in 2019, when a collaboration with St. Vincent resulted in a departure from the band’s usual drums-and-guitar sound and lead to the exit of longtime drummer Janet Weiss. In their first album since then, Sleater-Kinney, now a duo, has delivered another first in their catalog: an OK album.

Path of Wellness steps back from the synthesizers that mark the work with St. Vincent, although they are still subtly present. There are plenty of good moments across these 11 songs and 40 minutes, but as a whole the album doesn’t contain the energy and desperation of S-K’s best work.

The political tracks find the band most fired up. “Complex Female Characters” is a takedown of how the entertainment industry uses women as window dressing. Closing track “Bring Mercy” was inspired by last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Portland, Ore. Against an increasingly urgent electric piano, the song pleads for mercy and love.

“If I’m going to f-k up, I’m going to f-k up with you,” Corin Tucker sings on “Worry with You.” While it’s great to hear Tucker’s dedication to bandmate Carrie Brownstein, one hopes they find a new raison d’etre before the next album.- Joel Francis. 

Growing up in the golden era of Alternative College Radio juxtaposed with growing up in the golden era of Classic Rock Radio makes it hard for me to fully “do nostalgia.”  Of course, we all have our first loves and our favorite memories and it can be very enjoyable to revisit those memories, especially when they are connected to music.  But I also aspire to be present in the here and now.
I’ve been a fan of the band Sleater-Kinney for over twenty years. And honestly, I feel divided about their latest album Path of Wellness.
Most people know Carrie Brownstein as the awkward and hilarious counter to Fred Armisen on the hit comedy show Portlandia. I know her as the angular guitar-playing profile charging her bandmate Corin Tucker’s banshee-like wails on stage like a matador in front of drummer Janet Weiss’ grounding freight train rhythms. Regardless of what I or anyone could say about their recordings,  the chemistry those three women have (had ) on stage was a one-of-a-kind musical equation.
Sadly in July of 2019 After twenty-five years, drummer, Janet Weiss announced she was leaving that equation due to creative differences.  Suddenly the future of SK seemed uncertain.
I’m not going to say there wasn’t writing on the wall. Their 2019 album (Center Won’t Hold) was a painful yet fascinating de/reconstruction of the band under the glitchy,  stylized wand of producer Annie Clark of St. Vincent, requiring them to tour with a fourth member for the first time just to cover the bases.
So here we are with Path of Wellness, SK’s tenth studio album. A band that fostered the riot grrl punk movement into an era of indie rock feminism with two guitars a drummer and a whole lot of heart as just added a bass player, a second guitar player, and a dude on drums.
There are a lot of things that I could say about the new SK equation that ruffle my feathers a little but I’m not going to because ultimately Path To Wellness is a damn good record!
Unlike their previous album, from the very first track, I knew I was hearing a band evolving from the inside out. These songs have a bit more seasoning, a bit more range. Written mostly during the pandemic, this is SK’s first self-produced album to date.
What we have in the end is a batch of songs likely to have as much in common with Heart or Fleetwood Mac as they do with X-Ray Spex.  Suddenly the up-and-coming tour opening for Wilco this summer makes a lot more sense.
In the end, I think the die-hard Janet fans that SK may be losing will return in the form of a wider more diverse audience.  And that ain’t so bad. – Major Matt.

Snoop Dogg- Doggystyle

Sons of Kemet- Black To The Future

Sons of Kemet- Burn

Sons of Kemet- Your Queen Is A Reptile

Spoon- Everything Hits At Once: The Best Of Spoon

St Vincent- Daddy’s Home

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble- The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

The Sisters of Mercy- Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Tame Impala- Innerspeaker

Taylor Swift- Speak Now

Terrace Martin- Dinner Party

Thelonious Monk- Palo Alto

Tubby Hayes- Modes And Blues – Live At Ronnie Scott’s, 8th February 1964

Tyler, The Creator- Flower Boy

VAMPIRA WITH SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS / O.S.T.- Vampira With Satan’s Cheerleaders (Original Soundtrack)

Van Halen- Fair Warning

Viagra Boys- Welfare Jazz

Waxahatchee- Saint Cloud

Weezer- Pinkerton

Wipers- Land Of The Lost (Limited Edition)

The White Stripes- The White Stripes Greatest Hits

Zapp & Roger- All The Greatest Hits


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