Music Millennium - Outside The Heard - July 2016

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The Hot Sardines
French Fries & Champagne
Decca
 
French Fries & Champagne illustrates the duality of the Hot Sardines ethos: on one side, they are a rollicking, lowbrow, gutbucket R&B and Hot Jazz band, who love to let the good times roll. The other? Hot Sardines are the elegant, smooth, soft and luxurious lovers of lush orchestral arrangements of ballads about newfound love, loss and loneliness. Either way, you win.
 
The Hot Sardines
The Hot Sardines
Decca

 
The Hot Sardines have a distinctive recipe for making musical magic: Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a stride-piano virtuoso in the Fats Waller vein, and tie it all together with a one-of-the-boys front-woman who sings in both English and French with a voice from another era. It’s Gypsy Jazz for moderns.
Snarky Puppy
Culcha Vulcha
GroundUP

 
Following hot on the heels of their second Grammy win for 2015’s Sylva and this year’s critically-acclaimed (and chart-topping) Family Dinner Volume Two, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Denton, Texas band camp heroes, Snarky Puppy return with Culcha Vulcha. The album is a slight departure for Snarky Puppy darker, with elements of Rock along with brilliant flourishes of R&B, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Bossa Nova, electric Blues and more.
 
DeJohnette/Coltrane/Garrison
In Movement
ECM Records

 
Fifty years ago, as a guest with John Coltrane’s group, legendary drummer, Jack DeJohnette, played with the fathers of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Matthew Garrison – and In Movement opens with the elder Coltrane’s harrowing and still pertinent elegy, “Alabama.” We’re also treated to classics by Miles Davis and Earth Wind, and Fire, as well as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Pure fire!
Bley/Swallow/Sheppard
Andando El Tiempo
ECM Records

 
Andando el Tiempo features new music of wide emotional compass by NEA Jazz Master Carla Bley, and underlines her originality and resourcefulness as a jazz composer. This trio – with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow on bass – has been an ideal vehicle for Carla’s writing for more than 20 years and also provides one of the best contexts for her unique piano playing.
 
Wolfert Brederode Trio
Black Ice
ECM Records


 
After two quartet adventures, pianist Wolfert Brederode returns to a trio setting with Black Ice – an apt metaphor for his new music, with its gleaming lyricism, transparency, and hint of danger. There is sleek melodic invention both from the leader and from Icelandic bassist Gulli Gudmundsson, and Jasper van Hulten proves to be a resourceful addition to the team – a tone-sensitive drummer adept at embellishing the sensitive musical language and sense of interplay.
Khayam/Riahi
Narrante
ECM Records
 
Narrante is the ECM debut album of Golfam Khayam and Mona Matbou Riahi. The guitarist and clarinetist, both born in Teheran, have pursued further musical adventures outside Iran while remaining fascinated and strongly influenced by their homeland’s rich and diverse traditions. In the process they’ve taken the forms, modes, drones and rhythms of Persian music – and its call for improvisation – to new creative ends.
 
Drowners
On Desire
Frenchkiss Records

 
The hooks careening across On Desire hit as hard as their debut – a DIY record that earned Drowners a cult following. Lurking a few levels beneath the group's tightly wound post-punk tracks are bittersweet minor-key melodies that burn like the red light of a setting sun. On Desire was born from the decades-old tradition of Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, and early Cure -- caustic and catchy. You can dance to it, too.
K.D. Lang & The Reclines
A Truly Western Experience (25th Anniversary Edition)
Nettwerk

 
This 2-disc version of k.d. lang’s stunning debut album, a truly western experience, represents an intense period of touring and recording that took place from 1983 through late 1985. The album proper is here along with rare or previously unreleased recordings and videos. All music has been digitally re-mastered, the videos have been digitally enhanced and the physical release is available in eco-friendly packaging.
 
Broncho
Double Vanity
Dine Alone Records

 
Double Vanity is the sound of Broncho steadily moving ahead, transforming the raw angst of the first record into a sound decidedly more layered and complex. Tracks like “New Karma" or “Two Step" riff off the later explorations of punk, culling up refracted images of John Hughes prom nights, love songs echoing from a boom box held high. "Jenny Loves Jenae" and "Speed Demon" strut with an “80s meet 50s swagger” – discord transformed into a jagged, frenetic pop.
Kaleo
A/B
New Elektra
 
Firmly a phenomenon in their native Iceland, Kaleo has finally descended upon our shores with A/B – a gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock that has mainstream America in its sights. But don’t expect something quotidian: Kaleo’s isolated heritage inspires a unique take on familiar sonic elements, resulting in diversity and freedom on each and every breathtaking track.
 
Michael Kiwanuka
Love and Hate
Interscope Records

 
Michael Kiwanuka's second album, Love & Hate, was recorded in LA and London produced by Grammy Award winner Dangermouse and young up-and-coming producer, Inflo. Honest, unabashed, and ambitious, Love & Hate is Kiwanuka emerging from the emotional cocoon of his first album, ready to secure his position as one of the most exciting and renowned talents or our time with an album of simmering, swaggering psychedelic soul that’s eager to peak.
Kongos
Egomaniac
Epic

 
By now you know one of Phoenix, AZ’s biggest exports, Kongos – the four Phoenician (by way of South Africa) brothers responsible for radio hits like “Come With Me Now” and “I’m Only Joking.” Kongos’ new album, Egomaniac, features the band’s signature accordion and slide guitar, but this time around, the four brothers explore plenty of new territory. Egomaniac is the band’s first album that features songs written by all four brothers, who each share lead vocal duties.
 
Bat For Lashes
The Bride
Warner Bros.

 
The Bride follows the story of a woman whose fiancé has been killed in a crash while en route to their wedding. The Bride flees the scene to take the honeymoon trip alone, resulting in a dark meditation on love, loss, grief, and celebration. Written as the soundtrack for a feature length film in mind, The Bride is Bat For Lashes most ambitious work to date.
Van Morrison
...It's Too Late to Stop Now... Volume I
Legacy
 
This seminal Van Morrison live album is rightfully being reappraised as an unassailable document of an artist at the height of his powers. Featuring the best performances from eight 1973 concerts at the Troubadour, Los Angeles, Santa Monica Civic Center & Rainbow Theatre, …It’s Too Late to Stop Now… Volume I has been newly remastered in 24-bit high-resolution sound and it absolutely kills.
 
Selah Sue
Reason
Atlantic

 
Four years have gone by since her debut album, and though Belgian singer-songwriter Selah Sue might not be over her demons, she's at least harnessed them to compose the songs of Reason. Brimming with energy, light and emotion, these songs sweep you over from the first bars, coming from an artist who's at once full of life and full of scars, who always seems to be one with her guitar.
Tom Odell
Wrong Crowd
RCA

 
Deftly avoiding the sophomore slump, Tom Odell knew exactly what he wanted with his second long-player, Wrong Crowd: “I wanted the songs to sound big and dramatic; big strings and melodies emphasizing the songs further – rich in musicality and holding nothing back.” And hold nothing back he does – bridging the gap between Elton John and Coldplay. If you like your music big, then Wrong Crowd demands you love it.
 
The Shelters
The Shelters
Warner Bros.

 
The Shelters’ full-length debut is a blast of Southern Californian rock and roll from a four-piece like they used to make them, when the factory was still up and running. Co-produced by Tom Petty, this album comes at you from behind, nothing you were expecting. He gave The Shelters the keys to his home studio and showed them a few things. One listen to their single "Rebel Heart," or any one of the other eleven songs on their debut, and you'll know they pulled it off.
Matt Bennett
Terminal Cases
Fanatic Records
 
Los Angeles based musician Matt Bennett finally unveils his singular debut album Terminal Cases – a concept album about divorce based on the films of Robin Williams, which was shelved indefinitely after Williams' 2014 passing. In Williams' movies, there is often a character named Jack (see: Jack, Hook, Fisher King), and that the films often deal with aging – either too slowly, too quickly, or with the reticence of a man child to "grow up." They also often dealt with divorce. The result is a bittersweet charmer.
 
Heavy Drag
Sabana Ghost
Limited Fanfare

 
Sabana Ghost is the debut 10 song LP from Miami psych-rock foursome, Heavy Drag. Recorded and mixed by Ryan Haft (Torche, Wrong). Heavy Drag thread a smart needle on their way down into the druggy netherworld, punctuating their narcosis with power, noise & darkness. Their mammoth plod packs every bit the tonnage that their name promises, but they're also soaring & charged with guitars that peak at wuthering shoegaze heights.
Nahko, an Oregon-native born a mix of Puerto Rican, Native American, and Filipino bloodlines considers himself a citizen in service to the planet.  Disillusioned by the world around him and inspired by vagabond, Americana musicians and storytellers like Conor Oberst and Bob Dylan, Nahko left home as a teenager in search of adventure and self-discovery.  Armed with stories, a guitar, and a fierce set of ideals, he set out to bridge the cultural gaps dividing his own psyche. He began producing a public, musical journal of his journey toward personal, spiritual, and social healing, and thus Medicine for the People was born. Nahko describes his music as a mix of hip-hop and folk rock with a world message – and lovers of the Dave Matthews Band and Michael Franti & Spearhead will find much here to love. On HOKA, Nahko’s voice is strong and his mission is clear: “Hoka is a Lakota word,” says Nahko. “It is a call to action. It’s what Crazy Horse would say when he went into battle, ‘Hoka, hey!’ My call is to put action to the words that I speak and the lyrics I sing. Not just to talk, but to do.” And, with that, HOKA looks to inspire as much as it makes you wanna dance and sing along. You’ll find it impossible to resist either urge.

Nahko and Medicine for the People -
HOKA

SideOneDummy
Garbage – Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig – have been enjoying a reassessment over the course of the last year, thanks to their debut album getting the reissue treatment. Of course, for some of us, Garbage was always a great band – and their self-titled debut sounds as fresh now as it did 20 years ago. Now the band are back with announced their sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds – the first to be released on the band’s own label STUNVOLUME. Working initially in Vig's basement and then at Red Razor Sounds in Los Angeles, Garbage drew on a variety of sources, from their recent fan letters back to the albums they loved growing up. “The guiding principle was keeping it fresh, and relying on instinct both lyrically and musically,” said frontwoman Shirley Manson. “Strange Little Birds is less fussed over than anything Garbage has ever made. We fell in love with immediacy,” adds Vig. Some will hear echoes of Garbage’s 1995 debut album in Strange Little Birds, including Manson herself. “To me, this record, funnily enough, has the most to do with the first record than any of the previous records,” she says. “It’s getting back to that beginner’s headspace... That’s a result of not having anyone to answer to.” Right on. .

Garbage -
Strange Little Birds

BMG-Vagrant
Likely you’ve heard about Radiohead’s 9th album, A Moon Shaped Pool: That it was born from the internet on May 8tt, was released on vinyl in June, its heavy on string arrangements, and it’s a sorta break-up record. That said, if you’ve not actually listened to the album, then you need to correct that – NOW. A Moon Shaped Pool is the most gorgeous sounding record of 2016 thus far. Less glitchy and crowded than their last couple of albums, A Moon Shaped Pool is filled with wide-open spaces, leaving plenty of room for guitars, Yorke’s soaring voice, jazzy grooves a-la Alice Coltrane or Charles Mingus, and multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood’s eloquent arrangements. There’s also plenty of room for the songs – it’s been a while since we’ve heard Yorke sound so vulnerable on album, and the textures of A Moon Shaped Pool compliment these emotions rather than obscure them. It’s sound they’ve hinted at on songs like In Rainbow’s “Videotape” and the slower number of 2011’s unfairly maligned King of Limbs. If that wasn’t enough, it feels like the A Moon Shaped Pool’s lead instrument is analogue tape: Everything here feels sumptuously saturated -- and it’s unique artifacts – all the wow and flutter – are still shaped into oblique hooks all their own. It’s a masterpiece.

Radiohead -
A Moon Shaped Pool

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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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