MUSIC MILLENNIUM - OUTSIDE THE HEARD - JULY 2013

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Light Heat
Light Heat
Domino

 
Having made a string of records with his former group, Mazarin -- which incorporated the influences of both Johns Cale and Cage; the gazes of both shoe and star -- Quentin Stoltzfus released smoothly jangled albums you want to listen to in a dune buggy on Mars. The fact that Stoltzfus has not released a record since 2005 borders on absurd, but know this: that whole time, Stoltzfus was writing and recording the collection of tunes presented henceforth under the name Light Heat. Written and recorded in the hours and days between producing albums for friends and pulling hours as a professional mover, Light Heat’s self-titled album came together in a stone barn filled with world-class recording studio gear. The result is an album chock full of metaphysical news. Here, sweet soft harmonies alongside guitar pyrotechnics and a rhythm section adrift in Krautrock time signatures. Light Heat is a new beginning.
 
Stranglers
Giants
Fontana North

 
If the Sex Pistols were the iconic British punk band of the late seventies, the Stranglers were the most genuine -- a real reflection of how to be a band that is able to be commercially successful without any compromise. Hit singles such as “Golden Brown,” “Peaches,” “No More Heroes,” “Skin Deep,” and “Strange Little Girl” have secured the Stranglers a firm place in the rock and roll history books. Regularly hitting the headlines with an instinctive nose for controversy and confrontation, the Stranglers' genuine aura of danger and cool -- combined with tough and imaginative songs with dynamic melodies and bass driven aggression --  still influences bands to this day. The Stranglers’ brand new (and 17th!) studio album, Giants, finds the band continuing to confront and exceed the expectations that are the burden of having such a great legacy. These blokes still got it.
Tunng
Turbines
Full Time Hobby
 
To say Tunng have reinvented themselves on their new album Turbines is a bit like remarking that Jay-Z has been doing a bit of rapping lately -- flux defines them. Although the people making up the band are more or less the same as the lineup that first took the stage as a loose collective back in 2003, and there’s still a beating heart of “sci-fi pop”, the very sound and nature of the band shifts constantly. “There’s a lot happened in this band in the last couple of years” says founder and songwriter-in-chief Mike Lindsay, “There’s been children born, people moving into different places, falling in love, skipping country, broadening horizons… julybe this is a coming-of-age record!” Once again, there is newness in every step in Tunng’s career. Each song is a breath of fresh air.
 
Morgan Heritage
Here Come The Kings
VP Records

 
After nearly two decades and ten albums, the mission has come full circle for Morgan Heritage. Globally known as the “Royal Family of Reggae,” and now today being dubbed as the “Rolling Stones of Reggae” (in large part due to the act’s electric stage shows), Morgan Heritage has established themselves as the premiere live group on the reggae circuit. The group’s new album, Here Come The Kings, is a refresher course for culture music fans, staying true to Morgan Heritage’s authentic Rockaz style, with brilliant instrumentation and empowering lyrics. However, collaborations with ingenious young blood producers like Lamar Brown (Notice Priductions), Shane C. Brown (Juke Boxx Productions) and multiple Grammy nominee, Jason “J-Vibe” Farmer, lead the band to explore new sounds that successfully fuse roots, r&b, and a hint of dancehall, evident on cuts like “Perfect Love Song” and “The Girl is Mine.” This is Roots Reggae circa 2013. Prepare for the revolution.
Hausu
Total
Hardly Art
 
Hausu has thought a lot about rock-music. One selects one’s influences and moves from there, a process made simpler in the networked age. The result often resembles a collage, unified by the aesthetic leanings of its maker. Music writers and peers in conversation map out the references and citations made by their favorite new bands – “just like early SST punk” or “frigid cold-wave resembling…” As musicians in 2013, Hausu wanted to produce a record of many thoughts and feelings without abandoning the time-tested format of rock-music. The band were less interested in “resembling” its favorite bands and songs than in searching for the small, indescribable things that made them special. As a public document, Total allows Hausu to extend itself into a broader dialogue. Total aims to acknowledge that freedom: It is at times both melodious and at others dissonant -- all in all, a finished product. A totality.
 
Soundtrack
Stuck In Love
Varese Sarabande
 
Stuck in Love is an indie drama directed and written by Josh Boone and starring Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, and Logan Lerman. It focuses on the complicated relationships between a successful novelist, played by Kinnear, his ex-wife (Connelly) and their collegiate daughter and teenage son. The Stuck In Love score was composed, arranged, performed and produced by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott (from Bright Eyes). The pop tracks on the soundtrack include three new songs: “At Your Door” by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott featuring Big Harp, “Somersaults In Spring” by Friends Of Gemini (Mike Mogis, Nathaniel Walcott and Corina Figueroa Escamilla) and “You Are Your Mother's Child” by Conor Oberst. Other artists featured include Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Nat & Alex Wolff, Wallpaper Airplanes, Like Pioneers, Rio Bravo and Bill Ricchini. Also available on vinyl!
PEACOCK/CRISPELL
Azure
ECM
 
The New York Times called the Gary Peacock and Marilyn Crispell two of the most beautiful piano-trio records in recent memory. The duo’s extraordinary new album, Azure, proves that these two musicians’ shared sense of lyricism, distinctive compositional styles, and profound backgrounds in free improvisation make them exceptional musical partners in the most intimate of settings. The album’s highlights range from the sublimely melodic (the Peacock-penned “Lullaby”) and lyrically pensive (Crispell’s “Goodbye”) to the athletically bracing (Crispell’s “Patterns”) and folksong-like (Peacock’s moving “The Lea”). Then there are the duo’s freely improvised pieces of astonishing cohesiveness (including “Blue” and the entrancing title track), as well as utterly absorbing solo features for each instrument. Azure is as glorious and sublime as the title suggests.
  
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The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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