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Various Artists

True Stories, A Film By David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack

    In conjunction with The Criterion Collection’s special-edition DVD and Blu-ray release of David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories, Nonesuch and Todomundo Records release a comprehensive soundtrack, collected for the first time in one package and in film sequence: True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack. David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make his sole foray into feature-film directing, an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life and a distillation of what was in his own idiosyncratic mind. Byrne plays a visitor to Virgil, Texas, who introduces us to the citizens of the town during preparations for its Celebration of Specialness. As shot by cinematographer Ed Lachman, Texas becomes a hyper-realistic late-capitalist landscape of endless vistas, shopping malls, and prefab metal buildings.

    In True Stories, Byrne uses his songs to stitch together pop iconography, voodoo rituals, and a singular variety show. Byrne calls the record “an immersive audio voyage into the little town of Virgil, Texas, in the mid-eighties.” He continues, “I always imagined that the music written for True Stories should be heard as it is in the film. It makes the most sense this way. Me singing the song that was written for John Goodman’s character, Louis Fine, always felt weird to me. It was written for that character, not for me.”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLtd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance double vinyl.

    Nonesuch reissues on vinyl Steve Reich’s 1989 classic album Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint. On the Grammy-winning piece Different Trains, performed by Kronos Quartet, Reich evokes his American childhood during World War II while also addressing the Holocaust. The New York Times declared it ‘A work of such originality that ‘breakthrough’ seems the only possible description.’ Legendary guitarist Pat Metheny performs Electric Counterpoint.

    Steve Reich has been called ‘our greatest living composer’ (New York Times) and ‘the most original musical thinker of our time’ (New Yorker). His path has embraced not only Western Classical music, but the structures, harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western and American vernacular music, particularly jazz. ‘There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich is one of them,’ states the Guardian. In April 2009 Steve Reich was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Double Sextet. Nonesuch has released twenty-four Steve Reich albums, beginning in 1985 with The Desert Music and including two box sets; his most recent album was Pulse / Quartet (2018).

    ‘There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical History and Steve Reich is one of them.’ – Guardian.

    ‘Reich’s late-career masterpiece. The piece found a new tenor for Reich – clear-eyed, anguished, searching – that suited him. He wasn’t a minimalist upstart anymore; he was a moral conscience, albeit as earthbound and lost as the rest of us.’ – Pitchfork, 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: The two finest moments in the whole Reich catalogue, the propulsive and engaging "Different Trains" and the uber-Balearic guitar composition "Electric Counterpoint" (Pat Methany ladies and gentlemen) on one record - this is essential!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl.

    Fleet Foxes

    Crack Up / In The Morning

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      Crack Up (Choral Version) / In The Morning (Recorded Live in Montreaux)

      American Utopia fits hand-in-hand with Byrne’s vision for his series ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ - an ongoing series curated by Byrne of hopeful writings, photos, music, and lectures – named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation – something seen, heard, or tasted. Just as the album questions the current state of society while offering solace through song, the content of the series recognizes the darkness and complexity of today while showcasing alternatives to the despair that threatens us. 

      While David Byrne has collaborated on joint releases with Eno, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), and most recently St. Vincent over the past decade, American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album since, 2004’s Grown Backwards, also on Nonesuch. American Utopia morphed during the writing and recording process, beginning with longtime collaborator Eno, and eventually growing to include collaboration with producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule, Sampha, Savages) alongside a diverse cast of creative contributors including Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (St. Vincent producer, aka Doveman), Jack Peñate, and others. The album was recorded in New York City at David’s home studio, Reservoir Studios, Oscilloscope, XL Studios, and Crowdspacer Studio and in London at Livingston Studio 1.

      Speaking about the album, Byrne said:
      Is this meant ironically? Is it a joke? Do I mean this seriously? In what way? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?

      These songs don’t describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world – the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves – well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking.

      This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere – the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire – I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on.

      I have no prescriptions or surefire answers, but I sense that I am not the only one looking and asking, wondering and still holding onto some tiny bit of hope, unwilling to succumb entirely to despair or cynicism.

      It’s not easy, but music helps. Music is a kind of model – it often tells us or points us toward how we can be.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: From what I garner from reading Byrne's comments on his newest release, he is commenting (possibly) sarcastically on the duality of American life... or possibly he wasn't. What is less ambiguous is just listening to the album, taking in the excellently written songs and the latent, wry politicism peppered throughout. It's wonderful, that's all you need to know.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Sonny Smith

      Rod For Your Love

        Sonny Smith, of Sonny And The Sunsets, will release his tenth studio album, Rod For Your Love via Dan Auerbach's new label, Easy Eye Sound. The record, produced by Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, roots itself in old-school, guitar-driven rock & roll, and is equally built for the garage and the dance floor, with big-hearted melodies and thick harmonies. "I think a lot of albums are made in reaction to the one that came directly before," says Smith, whose earlier recordings were released by labels like Fat Possum and Polyvinyl. "By the time we got to Nashville and began working with Dan, I was thinking 'let's just make a fun, guitar-driven record. I don't want to have any extracurricular stuff here. I just want it to be really pure.’” The album’s first single is ‘Pictures of You’.

        Rod For Your Love was recorded at the end of a cross-country tour, and features Smith and his band firing on all cylinders, their rough edges sanded down by weeks of nightly shows. Hearing that The Arcs, Auerbach's side-project, had covered one of his own songs during their own tour, Smith reached out to the Black Keys singer. From there studio time was booked, and when Smith wound up finishing his countrywide tour in Nashville, he and his road band tracked the album at Auerbach's studio. The result is a deeply personal album, filled with heart-of-sleeve songwriting, which shines a light on the songs and the band, without many overdubs or assorted clutter.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card and insert.

        Shannon & The Clams

        Onion

          Shannon & The Clams will release their fifth studio album, Onion, via Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound label. The album features the lead single, ‘The Boy’, with a video directed by Ryan Daniel Browne, described by Noisey as ‘a sparkling, hook-laden track that immediately gets under your skin with its wall-of-sound chorus, rife with crisp guitar strums, cascading riffs, and raw harmonies led by vocalist-guitarist Cody Blanchard.’ Onion, produced by The Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, finds a finely tuned and tour-tested band stretching out from the 60s-inspired, surf inflected rock that has defined their previous releases, and delves into genres including soul and psychedelic pop. On their new LP, the band explores themes of origin and self-determination, loss and recovery, and the power of community to heal after tragedy. “It’s okay for people to interpret the songs,” Shannon Shaw says. “You can put your own story into it if that helps you heal. I just want people to feel something, whatever it is.” Recently, the band has been confirmed as openers for the 20-date Easy Eye Sound Revue Tour, with Dan Auerbach, Shannon Shaw, and Robert Finley.

          ‘Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard trick out warped Fifties-Sixties rock driven by space-age thrift-shop keyboards, shimmy-shake dance grooves and sexy moonlit vocals – Shaw's woozy Amy Winehouse-isms are backlit by Blanchard's shrieky falsetto.’ – Rolling Stone.

          ‘Shannon Shaw’s star is certain to ascend dramatically in 2018.’ – Mojo.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card and insert.

          Nonesuch Records releases Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s "Landfall". The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. "Landfall" juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson have performed Landfall at commissioning presenters Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Adelaide Festival, Barbican Centre, Montclair State University, Perth International Arts Festival, Stanford Live, and the University of Texas at Austin, among other venues. The New York Times said the piece’s presentation at Brooklyn Academy of Music ‘set the auditorium awash in elegiac string sounds and postmillennial gloom. Performed by the composer and the tirelessly innovative Kronos Quartet, the work, written in New York during that epic storm, often resembled the flotsam bobbing on the receding floodwaters, with poignant snippets and small treasures.

          ‘(Anderson) doesn’t just tell stories; she draws out every word with a kind of physical pleasure, tasting its flavor as she probes the everyday mysteries of life. Those mysteries – and the nature of language itself – were at the heart of Anderson’s Landfall, a riveting, gorgeous new multimedia work that she premiered this weekend … in collaboration with the equally venerable Kronos Quartet.’ – Washington Post.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson blend together their venerable talents in this emotive and impeccably realised suite of ambient modern-classical and visceral spoken word. Superb.

          Another uber-hyped album from a band that deserve all the impressive praise they've rapidly garnered, this beguiling record remains unrelenting in its sheer beauty. Appetites whetted by the absolutely stunning five-track EP "Sun Giant" (which, thank the lord, is included on the second record of the lovely double-vinyl package) this soon became a nailed-on Piccadilly album of the year, happily uniting all staff with its assured accessibility. Whilst many have been swift to dismiss their sound as too derivative – doubly accusing the Foxes of committing flagrant musical theft and lacking authenticity due to the tender age of lead singer Robin Pecknold - this record can be much better understood as a group of very talented music fans/singer-songwriters crafting effortlessly stellar tracks that, yes, borrow heavily from country-rock, gospel, baroque pop and the soft A.O.R of America, Dan Fogelberg and CSNY, yet make these influences sound utterly fresh and relevant today.

          Fleet Foxes are from Seattle and the members of the band are Robin Pecknold, Skye Skjelset, Josh Tillman, Casey Wescott, Christian Wargo, and Morgan Henderson. The first Fleet Foxes album ("Fleet Foxes") was released on Sub Pop in 2008, and though the band's intention was to record a new album in the 6-8 months following its release, the reception of the record was such that Fleet Foxes found themselves very busy, touring consistently through the end of 2009.

          Engineered and mixed by Phil Ek and co-produced by Phil and the band, the new Fleet Foxes record is called "Helplessness Blues". Recording for "Helplessness Blues" began in April 2010 at Dreamland Recording in Woodstock, NY and continued off and on through November of that same year back in Seattle at numerous studios, including Bear Creek, Reciprocal Recording and Avast. Like very nearly every worthwhile thing, making this album was not easy; it was a difficult second album to make. Drawing inspiration from folk/rock from about 1965 to 1973, and Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" in particular, "Helplessness Blues" sees Fleet Foxes heighten and extend themselves, adding instrumentation (clarinet, the music box, pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, Tibetan singing bowls, vibraphone, etc., along with more traditional band instrumentation), with a focus on clear, direct lyrics, and an emphasis on group vocal harmonies. We have it on good authority that the album is called "Helplessness Blues" for at least a couple of reasons. One, it's kind of a funny title. Secondly, one of the prevailing themes of the album is the struggle between who you are and who you want to be or who you want to end up, and how sometimes you are the only thing getting in the way of that.

          Having heard "Helplessness Blues", we mean to get out of its way.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: Bolder and brighter than their debut, this should consolidate their position as the poster-boys of the recent-ish folk revival. No massive departure but still very good.

          Steve Reich

          Drumming

            Simply put, Drumming is, along with some of Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach, one of the most fascinating pieces of first-generation minimalism. The version recorded for Elektra/Nonesuch in 1987 ranks among Reich's masterpieces. The 60-minute continuous work features one basic rhythm pattern. Throughout four segued movements it is multiplied, played in canon on various percussion instruments. "Part I" is for four pairs of tuned bongo drums; "Part II" for three marimbas (played by nine players) and two singers mimicking the sound of marimbas; "Part III" for three glockenspiels, piccolo, and whistling (played by Reich himself); "Part IV" for all previous instruments, including voices. Transitions between movements are gradual, the whole piece being built on accumulation and reduction. When it is time to go to the next movement, players are slowly removed, quarter-notes replaced by rests, in order to make room for the new instruments. The piece almost comes to a complete halt at the end of "Part III," keeping only the most basic pulse before the whole process starts over, building up to the finale. There is a sense of happiness and lightness irradiating from Drumming. It is a perfect example of the paradox of the simple and the complex, the easy and the challenging underlying minimalist music. Both cerebral and vitally tribal or ritualistic, this album is a must-have. Francois Couture/AMG.

            Personnel : Bob Becker, Ben Harms, Russ Hartenberger, Gary Kvistad,
            James Preiss, Steve Reich, Gary Schall, Glen Velez, Thad
            Wheeler – tuned drums, marimbas, glockenspiels
            Pamela Wood Ambush, Jay Clayton – voices
            Steve Reich – whistling
            Mort Silver - piccolo

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: 180 gram audiophile remastering.

            Crack-Up is Fleet Foxes’ long awaited and highly anticipated third album. It comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut. 

            All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

            Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut made a profound impact on the international musical landscape, earning them Uncut’s first ever Music Award Prize, and topping numerous ‘Best of’ lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s and Pitchfork’s 50 Best Albums of 2008. Fleet Foxes is certified Gold in North America and Platinum in both the UK and Australia. The follow-up album Helplessness Blues was met with the same critical praise as its predecessor (Mojo five stars, Rolling Stone four stars, Pitchfork Best New Music); that album debuted at No.4 on the Billboard Top 200, went Gold in the UK, and earned the band a GRAMMY nomination.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xLtd LP Info: Heavyweight, double 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card.

            Conor Oberst’s new album, Salutations, is a companion piece to 2016's lauded Ruminations. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo – with just voice, piano, guitar and harmonica – he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. In the midst of putting together that band – upstate New York's The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more) – the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form, as his seventh solo album: Ruminations, which was released in October 2016.

            Pitchfork called it ‘A record like none other in Oberst’s catalog, stunning for how utterly alone he sounds,’ and the Sunday Times called it, ‘The rawest album yet from the forever troubled one-time voice of a generation. Political and very, very personal,’ saying Oberst is ‘One of the best songwriters around.’

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Oberst brings it once again with his latest opus, a companion piece to last year's Ruminations. As ever, superbly well crafted odes to love and life, imbued with his trademark melodic twists and incomparable ear for melody. Aching Rhodes, swooning guitars and beautifully constructed to the end. How does he keep doing this? A triumph.

            Nonesuch Records releases the Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir, a five-CD/five-LP set that chronicles the 50 years of songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life with one song per year. It was produced by Stephin Merritt with additional production by Thomas Bartlett and Charles Newman. The Magnetic Fields performed the 50 Song Memoir over two nights per city, beginning November 18 & 19 at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA, and continuing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on December 2 & 3. Further dates begin in spring 2017. 50 Song Memoir is available in five-LP and five-CD editions including an extensive interview by Daniel Handler and facsimile handwritten lyrics by Merritt, and as a standalone bound book with a full-album download card.

            Merritt began recording on his 50th birthday: February 9, 2015. Unlike his previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction – in Merritt’s words, “a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis).” As he says in the album’s liner note interview with Handler, “I am the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet. I will probably not write any more true songs after this than I did before, but it’s been interesting working on it.”

            In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than one hundred instruments on 50 Song Memoir, ranging from ukulele to piano to drum machine to abacus. In concert, the music will be played and sung by a newly expanded Magnetic Fields septet in a stage set featuring 50 years of artefacts both musical (vintage computers, reel-to-reel tape decks, newly invented instruments), and decorative (tiki bar, shag carpet, vintage magazines for the perusal of idle musicians). The seven performers each play seven different instruments, either traditional (cello, charango, clavichord) or invented in the last 50 years (Slinky guitar, Swarmatron, synthesizer). The stage extravaganza will be directed by the award-winning Jose Zayas (Love in the Time of Cholera, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter).

            To date, Stephin Merritt has written and recorded eleven Magnetic Fields albums, including the popular and critically acclaimed 69 Love Songs. A song from that record, ‘The Book of Love’, has been covered by Peter Gabriel and has appeared in numerous TV shows and films; notably, the Nairobi Chamber Orchestra performed the song at an official state dinner in Kenya, before Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta delivered their toasts. Merritt has also composed original music and lyrics for several music theatre pieces, including an off-Broadway stage musical of Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline, for which he received an Obie Award. In 2014, Merritt composed songs and background music for the first musical episode of public radio’s This American Life. Stephin Merritt also releases albums under the band names the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes. 


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

            ‘Fans take for granted that Mr. Oberst will reveal his every thought to them, from romance to personal philosophy to politics. He’s the image of sensitivity... Yet [he] isn’t just singing his diary… He also measures out every musical and verbal effect. The craftsmanship makes him seem even more unguarded.’ – New York Times

            In the winter of 2016, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album Ruminations. “I wasn't expecting to write a record. I honestly wasn't expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone,” says Oberst.

            Oberst began publicly releasing music in 1994 at the age of 14. Those early recordings, made in Omaha on four-track cassette by Oberst and his friends, were an introduction to the work of a prodigious songwriter whose creative outpouring would soon be widely lauded. Writing and recording prolifically over the next two decades, first with his band Bright Eyes and later under his own name – and at special moments as a member of Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk – Oberst became known, the Los Angeles Times said, as an artist who ‘sees the world with fresh and fearless eyes’. The Times continued, ‘He weaves his findings into intimate songs whose melodies are as timeless as a hymnal and whose images are hauntingly poetic... He can command your attention with long narratives that have more words than a pocket dictionary, or stop you cold with a single line.’

            In Nebraska last winter, songs that hark back to that earlier era unexpectedly began to take shape. Oberst went to ARC, the studio he built with his Bright Eyes bandmate and longtime friend Mike Mogis, to record that music. With the help of engineer Ben Brodin, he recorded all the songs in the span of 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness, and they ultimately became the songs that comprise Ruminations. These tracks do not have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.

            Devendra Banhart was born in Houston, Texas, and moved with his mother to her native Caracas, Venezuela, when his parents separated. The family relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years; it was there that he learned to speak English, skateboard, and play music. Banhart first began to perform in public while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. He has since lived in New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where he currently resides.

            Banhart first attracted international notice with his 2002 debut album, Oh Me Oh My… The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit – a collection of recordings he had made for himself. Subsequent albums include Rejoicing in the Hands (2004), Niño Rojo (2004), Cripple Crow (2005), and Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (2007), and What Will We Be (2009). Mala, his Nonesuch debut, was described by Q as a ‘career-best’ and by the Wall Street Journal as his ‘most concise, hushed and winsome effort to date’. Banhart has collaborated with fellow musicians including Anohni (formerly known as Antony) and the Johnsons, Beck, Vashti Bunyan, Os Mutantes, and Vetiver. He also has performed with both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and was part of a David Byrne–curated concert at Carnegie Hall.

            An accomplished visual artist, Banhart’s distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the world, including the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; and Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2015 Prestel published I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street, a collection of his of drawings, paintings, and mixed media pieces. He has created the cover art for most of his records, and in 2010 his artwork and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.

            Ape in Pink Marble, Devendra Banhart’s ninth album, was written, produced, arranged, and recorded in Los Angeles by the singer/songwriter/guitarist with his longtime collaborators Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick, both of whom also worked on Banhart’s most recent album, Mala (2013). 




            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card and poster.

            Emmylou Harris

            Wrecking Ball

              THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

              Emmylou Harris's groundbreaking, Grammy Award–winning album Wrecking Ball receives its first worldwide vinyl release this Record Store Day, complete with additional bonus material. The new edition, pressed on three 180-gram discs at Record Industry, includes the original Daniel Lanois–produced album, remastered, along with several bonus tracks first released on the 2014 three-disc Nonesuch reissue of the album, which Uncut magazine called "a masterpiece."

              Originally released in 1995 to widespread critical praise, Wrecking Ball won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Mojo called the album ‘a deeply addictive record that sounds like a window on Harris’s soul’, while Rolling Stone said, ‘…the album features unvarnished, otherworldly renditions of songs written by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, and other lesser-known artists,’ and the Los Angeles Times said, ‘The pace is deliberate, unhurried, meditative, the atmosphere rich, dark and ghostly.’

              A 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Her most recent solo album, 2011’s Hard Bargain, debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received tremendous critical acclaim.


              Natalie Merchant

              Paradise Is There - The New Tigerlily Recordings

              Natalie Merchant’s Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings is a collection of all-new recordings that revisits Merchant’s multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, originally released in 1995 following her departure from 10,000 Maniacs. 

              Tigerlily was described by the New York Times in 1995 as ‘an anomaly in a music scene in which reckless female performers reign supreme’. The album sold more than five million copies worldwide and featured the popular hit singles ‘Carnival’, ‘Wonder’, and ‘Jealousy’. Paradise Is There presents the songs as they have evolved over the past two decades of live performance. Joining Merchant on the album, which she produced herself, are her long-time band members Gabriel Gordon (guitar), Jesse Murphy (bass), Uri Sharlin (piano & accordion), and Allison Miller (drums), as well as a string quartet – Scot Moore (violin), Shawn Moore (violin), Marandi Hostetter (viola), and Stanley Moore (cello) – plus Sharel Cassity (saxophone), and guest vocals by Simi Stone, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

              “Tigerlily is the most significant album I’ve made because it defined me as an independent songwriter after 12 years in 10,000 Maniacs,” Merchant explains, “It also created a bond between me and an audience that has supported and sustained me for 20 years. I decided to make the Paradise Is There album and film for them, to honor the journey that we, and these songs, have all taken. Songs have new life breathed into them every time they are sung. Time has changed them as much as it has changed me.’” She continues, “I wanted to record these songs again because it seemed unfair to confine them to the way that they were performed in the studio in 1995. They are so versatile, whether I strip them bare or enhance them with strings, and they lend themselves so well to re-arrangement. There are several songs from Tigerlily – ‘Carnival’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Beloved Wife’, ‘River’, and ‘Cowboy Romance’ – that remain at the core of my live shows. They still have relevance to me and, by the response they receive, I can tell that they still resonate with my audience,” Merchant says. “I’ve spent a full year preparing this album and film, and the process gave me a chance to take the measure of everything that’s happened because of Tigerlily. The distance this music traveled once it left my hands is humbling, and I am moved by how many lives it has touched along the way.”

              Merchant’s career began in 1981 when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs, which signed to Elektra Records in 1984. As lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometimes pianist, Merchant released six critically acclaimed studio albums with the band, including the platinum-certified In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Our Time in Eden (1992), and MTV Unplugged (1993). She left the group in 1993, and in 1995 released her multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998) and Motherland (2001). In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, which also coincided with the birth of her child. For the next seven years she lived quietly in New York’s Hudson Valley devoting herself to family and community, while taking opportunities to collaborate with other musicians and strengthen her commitment to activism and philanthropy.

              In 2010, Merchant returned with a thematic double album, Leave Your Sleep, her debut for Nonesuch Records. For this meditation on childhood and mothering Merchant set 19th- and 20th century American and British children’s poetry to music. She also collaborated with award-winning children’s book illustrator Barbara McClintock for a picture book based on the album. In 2014, Nonesuch released Natalie Merchant, her sixth solo album and first of entirely original songs in 13 years, which the New York Times called a ‘set of dark, brave, thoughtful and serenely startling songs’ and the Daily Telegraph praised for the ‘intelligence of her writing, and piercing character studies that thicken with each musical brushstroke’. Merchant remains dedicated to a wide array of social justice and environmental causes. Recently, she spearheaded the making of the protest concert film Dear Governor Cuomo (2013) with New Yorkers Against Fracking, actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, and filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Alex Gibney, and she directed and produced SHELTER: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence (2014).

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Andy says: Her finest hour, even better than 10,000 Maniacs. Possibly! Either way: superb songs, gorgeous voice. Brilliant.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xLtd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance double disc vinyl, with download card.

              2xCD/DVD Info: The CD is accompanied by a documentary DVD. The memoir-style film contains live performances, archival footage, and interviews with musicians, friends, and fans about the influence the songs of Tigerlily have had over the past 20 years.

              Yours, Dreamily, is the debut album by The Arcs, who are Dan Auerbach, Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, and Nick Movshon. Also featured on the album are Kenny Vaughan, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Yours, Dreamily, includes the singles ‘Stay In My Corner’ – about which NPR Music wrote, ‘It's got a slinky, timeless feel, propelled with alluring ease by Auerbach's falsetto and a lush instrumental backdrop befitting The Arcs' roster’ – and ‘Outta My Mind’, ‘A great of slab of loose, catchy, psych-rock blues,’ in the words of the NME. 

              The Arcs collaboratively wrote and recorded 13 tracks for Yours, Dreamily, with the musicians playing a large array of roles both vocally and instrumentally. Co-produced by Auerbach and Michels, the album was recorded in roughly two weeks through spontaneous, informal sessions across the country at the Sound Factory in Los Angeles, the Diamond Mine in Queens, Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, and in a lounge room at Electric Lady in Manhattan. Tchad Blake mixed the album on his horse farm in Wales.

              The Arcs

              Outta My Mind / My Mind

                The Arcs are Dan Auerbach, Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon, Kenny Vaughan, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. In advance of their debut album, Yours, Dreamily, which will be released on September 4 on Nonesuch Records, they release a limited edition 7-inch single, available only at independent retail outlets. The single includes the songs ‘Outta My Mind’ and non-album track ‘My Mind’. This is The Arcs’ second 7-inch single, following the earlier release of ‘Stay in My Corner’ and non-album track ‘Tomato Can’, two boxing tales inspired by the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao match in May 2015.

                The Arcs collaboratively wrote and recorded 13 tracks for the forthcoming album Yours, Dreamily, with the musicians playing a large array of roles both vocally and instrumentally. Co-produced by Auerbach and Michels, the album was recorded in roughly two weeks through spontaneous, informal sessions across the country at the Sound Factory in Los Angeles, the Diamond Mine in Queens, Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, and in a lounge room at Electric Lady in Manhattan. Tchad Blake mixed the album on his horse farm in Wales.

                Nonesuch releases composer Clint Mansell’s score to visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah, from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises.

                Russell Crowe stars as Noah in the film inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice, and hope. The cast stars Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins.

                The Noah score is performed by Kronos Quartet, joined by Patti Smith for her song “Mercy Is” (co-written by Lenny Kaye). An orchestra and choir are led by Matt Dunkley, who was also the principal orchestrator and arranger. Other musicians on the soundtrack include solo cellist Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, guitarists Mike Fonte and Mark Stewart, guitar violist Nigel Wiesehan, and the composer on prepared piano, Mellotron, bass guitar, and Moog. The album was produced by Clint Mansell and Geoff Foster.

                Mansell, a musician, composer, and founding member of the band Pop Will Eat Itself, first worked with Aronofsky on the score for his 1998 film π. In 2000 Mansell worked with Kronos Quartet to record his acclaimed and best-selling score for Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream (Nonesuch), and in 2006 he scored the filmmaker’s The Fountain (Nonesuch), which included performances by Mogwai and Kronos.

                Steve Reich

                Music For 18 Musicians

                  "After Reich's initial experiments with phase music, he moved on to exploring pulse - music that had no relation to melody, but would repeat phrases of either one or several notes, increasing then decreasing in volume as long as the musician had the stamina. When repeated with several musicians playing around one key and starting them off at different times, the result was a piece that continuously evolved, sounding like a night drive through a neon city with bright sounds appearing on the horizon, coming closer, then disappearing behind. The original recording in 1978 on ECM records was a major step forward for Reich and legitimized his music beyond the experimentation of such works as "Violin Phase." Where the phase work felt insular and looped, Music for 18 Musicians stretches as far as the eye can see. The piece was rerecorded in the late '90s, but this original recording is worth checking out, even more now for the historical value" - All Music.

                  "Here Lies Love" is a double-disc song cycle, improbably poignant, decidedly surreal, surprisingly thought provoking - about the rise and fall of the Philippines' notorious Imelda Marcos. It was conceived by David Byrne; composed by Byrne and Fatboy Slim, AKA Norman Cook; and performed by a dream cast drawn from the worlds of indie rock, alt country, R&B and pop. Byrne's taste in collaborators is as imaginative as it is impeccable, including Cyndi Lauper (who recounts, to light-hearted disco beats, Imelda's courtship with Ferdinand Marcos), Steve Earle (as the power-hungry Ferdinand), Dap-Kings vocalist Sharon Jones (recalling Imelda's introduction into New York society) and Natalie Merchant (as spurned Imelda confidante Estrella, anticipating the onset of martial law). Along with vocals turns from such stars as Tori Amos and the B-52's Kate Pierson, Byrne works with rising indie rockers St Vincent and My Brightest Diamond; New York chanteuses Nellie McKay and Martha Wainwright; and dance-music divas Roisin Murphy and Santigold. Byrne himself appears as the voice of imperialistic America on "American Troglodyte", a send-up that wouldn't have seemed out of places in Talking Heads' "True Stories".

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xCD/DVD Info: Deluxe with 104 page cloth-bound book with 2 CDs & bonus DVD.

                  Laurie Anderson

                  O Superman (For Massenet)

                  More than 25 years after it originally became a surprise No.2 hit in the UK singles chart, Nonesuch Records re-releases Laurie Anderson's "O Superman (For Massenet)", the day before Anderson celebrates her 60th birthday. The newly remastered version is available on limited edition 12" vinyl and download only, and features original B-side track "Walk The Dog". In the early 1980s Anderson was already respected as a conceptual artist and composer, adept at employing gear both high-tech and homemade in her often violin-based pieces, and she was a familiar figure in the cross-pollinating, Lower Manhattan music-visual art-performance circles from which Philip Glass and David Byrne also emerged. But Anderson hadn't exactly plotted a path to pop stardom. While working on her now-legendary seven-hour performance art / theatre piece 'United States, Part I–IV', which premiered over two nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983, she'd cut the spare, mesmerising "O Superman (For Massenet)", an electronic-age update of 19th Century French operatic composer Jules Massenet's aria "O Souverain", for the tiny New York City indie label 110 Records. In the UK, DJ John Peel picked up a copy of this very limited edition 33RPM 7" and spun the eight-minute-plus track on BBC Radio 1, resulting in the aforementioned hit single, lots of attention in the American press, and a worldwide deal with Warner Bros.

                  Listening to Laura Veirs is like looking up into the night sky and suddenly witnessing a meteor shower: there's something startling and magical, both intimate and awesome, about her songs. The nature-obsessed images Veirs conjures up and the mesmerising sound she creates are as indelible as the blaze of shooting stars. "Saltbreakers", her third album release in three years, is her most beautifully realised band-oriented disc yet. Produced by Tucker Martine (Decemberists, Built To Spill), it is by turns haunting, playful, tender and fierce, embracing everything from machine-driven beats, to angelic gospel choirs, to fuzzed-out guitars and driving alt-rock rhythms. "To The Country", was recorded in the Nashville cabin once occupied by June Carter and Johnny Cash, with Veirs backed by an eight-member Baptist choir, some of whom had previously performed on the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? With its gorgeous shape notes singing, it is the stunning centrepiece of an album that is as entrancing as staring at the sea or gazing at the stars, waiting for the next one to fall.

                  Sam Phillips

                  A Boot And A Shoe

                  "A Boot And A Shoe" is produced by T Bone Burnett, and includes Phillips' distinct vocals and vintage guitar sound, plus piano vamps and string arrangements by Patrick Warren, electric bass by T Bone Burnett, and drums by Jim Keltner, Jay Belarose, and Carla Azar (Autolux). The New York Times said of Phillips that she possesses 'touches of Kurt Weill via Tom Waits, and of the Beatles via Elvis Costello, all turned inward,' and that she sings 'torch songs banked down to a low but persistent simmer, evading melodrama by keeping quiet.'

                  Robin Holcomb

                  The Big Time

                  Robin Holcomb is a genre-defying singer/songwriter similar in many ways to Jane Siberry, who mixes folk and classical elements in her songs and layers a jazz sheen over them. Clever, literate lyrics and vituoso piano work makes "The Big Time" another intelligent and at times daring collection featuring contributions from artists of the calibre of Bill Frisell, Kate and Anna McGarrigle and husband Wayne Horowitz. Two traditional folk songs "A Lazy Farmer Boy" and "Engine 143" are included in the twelve tracks on display here but their treatment is anything but traditional and as with most of her own compositions they feature arrangements that have an edge and intelligence about them that makes this album rather special.

                  Joni Mitchell

                  Travelogue

                  To hear a major artist of the stature of Joni Mitchell reinterpret 22 of her greatest works is a true revelation. In these new orchestral arrangements her lyrics shine like diamonds and her voice, aged like a fine wine, brings out new nuances in the words. There is a symphonic dimension to the arrangements, they are both sympathetic and melodious, and this acts as the perfect foil for Joni's new look at her tremendous body of work.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xCD Info: Deluxe packaging includes two booklets plus enhanced CD content.

                  This is as close to instrumental perfection as you can achieve in a recording studio. Guitarist Frisell has played in many different styles and genres and on "The Willies" he's chosen classic americana roots tracks and mixed them with a suitable selection of his own compositions to achieve a brilliant contemporary edge with a traditional feel.

                  Sam Phillips

                  Fan Dance

                  Sam Phillips (aka Mrs T Bone Burnett) has made a darkly atmospheric Americana album that owes much to Gillian Welch (who sings and plays on the album) and Lucinda Williams. M Burnett and Marc Ribot play on it too, the album is always interesting as she explores the darker side of the American dream like a female Tom Waits or Johnny Dowd.


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