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NUMERO

Express Rising

Fixed Rope II

    The fourth Express Rising LP (and second featuring the expanded lineup of William Suran and Kevin Blagg, in addition to leader Dante Carfagna) finds the trio largely eschewing percussion in favor of twelve concise, three-minute-or-so-long bittersweet excursions that nevertheless retain the restrained, measured, and highly melodic scaffolding of their previous work. There’s more than a bit of Santo & Johnny at their most somnambulant here, slightly glazed, definitely reverb’d out, mysteriously bottling the flaring, saturated light of the desert at dusk.

    Various Artists

    Technicolour Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Others Exotic Delights

      It was a musical cocktail born in a marketing meeting: Two parts easy listening, one part jazz, a healthy dollop of conga drums, a sprinkling of bird calls, and a pinch of textless choir. Serve garnished with an alluring female on the album jacket for best results. Exotica! The soundtrack for a mythical air conditioned Eden, packaged for mid-century, tiki torch-wielding armchair safariers. Be it mosquito-bitten torch singers, landlocked surf quartets, fad-chasing jazz combos, mad genius band leaders, D-list actors, or a middle aged loner programming bird calls into a Hammond, Exotica was always more concerned with what geography might sound like over who was conducting. Captured across three albums are 48 (54 on the CD) curious examples of the short-lived genre’s reach, each summoning their own sonic visions of Shangri La, bringing their versions of the Pacific, Africa, and the Orient to the hinterlands of America. Technicolor Paradise is where one makes it, after all.

      The 20th volume of the flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the 'World’s Greatest Bail Bondsman' swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O’Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County’s greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America’s soul musiccapital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins + 1, Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O’Jays. Comes with the usual ES treatment - extended sleeve notes, photos and lush, tip-on cover. Wonderful!

      Unwound

      New Plastic Ideas

        Unwound: New Plastic Ideas An album Maximum Rock ’N’ Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound’s 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike. From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of “Entirely Different Matters” to the neck-snapping velocity of “What Was Wound” to the relentless pounding at the end of “All Souls Day,” New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train’s post-punk-obsessed little brother.

        “If you’re seeking catharsis, here it is.” —Mother Jones

        Hüsker Dü

        Savage Young Dü

          Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.

          This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set..

          “We created this blistering wall of sound—bright white radio static with occasional melody.” —Bob Mould

          “It was like rolling down a hill aware of the bumps, but focusing on blowing people’s minds and completely wearing out the audience.”—Grant Hart

          “We didn’t know what hardcore was. We just got up there and played real fast and loud.”—Greg Norton

          FORMAT INFORMATION

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          Lion - and the mean ecstasy of “You’ve Got A Woman,” the B-side to their sole release - comprise a rare burst of psychedelic-Western soul from two names best known for Dutch progressive rock and new wave. Drummer Peter de Leeuwe, departing from the symphonic leanings of Dutch prog-fixtures Ekseption, penned it in 1975, layering syncopated explosions of hand-claps, vibraslap and slick drumwork with neutron-star density, with super-producer Hans van Hemert nearly bursting Glenn Robles’ vocals through the fore. The “Shoes Subtle Edit” provides exactly that, gently teasing the organ- and requintohinted contours of the track to better suit the treasure within. Chicago-based septet Whitney have brought some attention to “You’ve Got A Woman” with a recent cover, and the faith with which they recreate much of the original instrumentation proves the extent of Lion’s accomplishment.

          Jackie Shane

          Any Other Way

            Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman’s 20,000 word essay is Jackie’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane’s story in her own words.

            This deluxe two album (or two CD) set is copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and a life unlike any other.

            Pastor T.L Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir

            Like A Ship (Without A Sail)

              Recorded in 1971 by a 27-year-old pastor and an after school program choir, Like A Ship is a stirring and powerful meditation on the wayward aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Tracked with the help of Chess/Cadet maestros Gene Barge, Phil Upchurch, and Richard Evans, the album is a mix of euphoric gospel and Mayfield esque political soul, with sleigh bells, hand claps, and jazzy piano stabs. Sampled by T.I., Kanye, and Khaled, Barrett created a rapturous, crossover gospel classic that’s still wildly relevant.

              Various Artists

              Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares

                As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their proto-metal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips.

                Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies. 


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Matt says: This fearsome Numero collection is made up of sonic remnants excavated following the collapse of Haight-Ashbury and the 'Summer Of Love'. Bathed in bad vibes, strong amphetamines and cheap LSD; "Acid Nightmares" chronicles the musical movements of biker bands, social drop-outs and narco-casualties struggling to make their voice heard against the backdrop of civil unrest and encroaching mortality.

                The Numero Group’s dive into the deep end of America’s private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it’s time to take it easy.

                With pop music’s volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early ‘70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast- and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock’s softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Those exceptional diggers and audio archivists at Numero do it yet again, raiding the pound bins, warehouses and thrift markets to turn up a twenty track selection of smooth 70s grooves. Pour yourself a glass of red, push aside that beaded curtain and watch the world go by...

                Tommy McGee

                Now That I Have You

                Having anthologized his ‘60s songbook with 1976’s overdue long-player Positive-Negative, Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Tommy McGee was eager to place something more modern into the marketplace. Brass at Brunswick and MCA failed to hear a hit in McGee’s sultry-yet-assured delivery of “Now That I Have You.” Unable to find a home for the romantic anthem, McGee issued his 2-step masterpiece on his own TMG Records in 1981. McGee would revisit the composition later in the decade, dressing the tune with drum machines and synthesizers for a run of 12-inch singles. However, this 45-only version from 1976 captures the progressive soul stepper at its most organic.

                Various Artists

                Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque In Upper Volta

                  Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory Sanlé documented a nation’s transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation’s pop culture explosion of the 1970s. A melange of community elders and emboldened youth spill from the brightly lit confines of Sanlé’s Volta Photo into the dimly lit nightclubs of Upper Volta’s cultural capital. Accompanying this hardbound monograph are dozens of rare and evocative recordings spread over three discs by Bobo-Dioulasso’s musical titans: Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables Léopards.

                  Crimpshrine

                  Duct Tape Soup

                    Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992’s Duct Tape Soup and 1998’s The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.

                    Crimpshrine

                    The Sound Of A New World Being Born

                      Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback.

                      Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992’s Duct Tape Soup and 1998’s The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.

                      Will Syl Johnson ever run out of soul? No way, baby. He’s got a bottomless supply! Syl’s inspiring voice and his mighty band, the Pieces of Peace, are a match made in soul heaven. Hit songs “One Way Ticket To Nowhere” and “Get Ready” are just two of the highlights from this LP, adding to his sky high stash of smashes. They’re joined by a super-funky “Annie Got Hot Pants Power,” the uplifting “We Do It Together,” and “Thank You Baby,” and revivals of Jackie Wilson’s “That’s Why,” and the Temptations’ “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” transformed so completely that you’d swear they were written specifically for Syl.

                      Syl Johnson is an American funk, soul, and blues institution. He recorded for Vee Jay Records in the very late 1950s before debuting as a solo artist in 1959 on Federal Records. The early part of the 1960s saw a cascade of Syl Johnson releases on 45, on labels including Zachron, Cha Cha, and Ember. In the decade's latter half, Johnson worked tirelessly for Chicago's Twinight record label. Dresses Too Short, Johnson's debut LP, was released by Twinight in 1968; Syl followed that up with 1970's Is It Because I'm Black?, the apex of his artistry and social consciousness to that point. Syl spent the bulk of the 1970s as a labelmate to Al Green, recording a deluge of 45s and LPs for Memphis's Hi Records. This LP collects together every side of every 45 from Syl Johnson’s formative years on the Federal Label. Recorded between 1959 and 1962, "My Gift" is an exemplary collection of early R&B that blends Chicago blues with fiery soul. Cut from the original master tapes, these early recordings are presented pristine fidelity. 

                      School is back in session! A decade removed from their acclaimed Homeschooled compilation comes a new class of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. "Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul" contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground. 

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Patrick says: Numero have done it again! Risking respiratory disease and a bad case of diggers knee (you know what I'm talking about) the reissue masters teach us a lesson with their second excursion into the strange and beautiful world of grade school funk.

                      Blonde Redhead

                      Peel Sessions

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

                        On June 7, 2000 Blonde Redhead stepped into the BBC’s Radio 1 Yalding House studios for what would be their sole Peel Session, a setting particularly important as it inspired the namesake of one of this 7” single’s two songs. “Where is John?” a nervous producer asked again and again, pacing the room, unable to locate the revered radio host, as a warmed up Blonde Redhead waited patiently.

                        The trio’s affection for Peel dated to a very early tour in 1995, when they were lost among the tumbleweeds of a barren Texas landscape. As the band turned the crackling radio dial, the celebrated radio presenter’s Northern English accent suddenly piped through their van’s speakers with high praise for the track “Violent Life” from their recently released sophomore LP, La Mia Vita Violenta. This unexpected bit of encouragement from Peel helped give the young, extremely road weary and relatively unknown trio the confidence and validation to press on in what had proven to be an arduous road expedition. Five years later, the seasoned threesome eventually played live for Peel’s show, and it seemed only fitting that the they christen a brand new, yet-to-be-titled song after their only session with the man held deep in their collective heart.

                        Remastered and released here for the first time on vinyl, “Where is John?” b/w “Missile ++” speaks not only of a band in the prime of their celebrated sound, but also of the people who helped along the way.

                        With no less than a mansion, a state beach, and a three-mile stretch of road bearing his fabled family’s name, Ned Doheny easy-glided into the 1970s on a crest of wealth and privilege. Signposting Ned’s sojourn through the LA recording industry were Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Chaka Khan, Graham Nash, “Mama” Cass Elliot, Bonnie Raitt, and David Geffen - each a household name both inside and far from southern California. And while no bust of Ned Doheny appears alongside those of his Laurel Canyon brethren in the pantheon of classic rock, it’s due to no lack of songwriting or recording chops.

                        After Doheny and his buddy Jackson Browne were expelled from Elektra’s failed recording ranch, he and his Nudie-decked Canyon cohorts would go on to form the bedrock of Geffen’s Asylum label. But while his peers were looking east to Bakersfield for inspiration, Ned was applying skills foraged under the tutelage of classical guitar god Frederick Noad and west coast post-bop jazzer Charles Lloyd. Rolling Stone called his self-titled 1973 debut, “a sort of Southern California 'Astral Weeks',” but that complimentary comparison brought few copies of the album to Tower on Sunset’s cashiers and Doheny was dropped unceremoniously.

                        Two of Ned’s most enduring compositions were written during his free agency. The tongue-in-cheek “Get It Up For Love” began as a rollicking folk number, only to be stretched out by the likes of David Cassidy, the Fabulous Rhinestones, Johnny Rivers, Tata Vega, and Ned himself on his sophomore album 'Hard Candy'. Also appearing on the Steve Cropper-produced album was “A Love Of Your Own,” co-written with Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart, and covered over the coming years by the Ebonys, Melissa Manchester, Millie Jackson, and AWB. Despite featuring a who’s who of California heavyweights, including David Foster, JD Souther, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Linda Ronstadt, HB Barnum, and the entire horn section for Tower of Power, the 1976 album was no match for Columbia’s real blue eyed priority Boz Scaggs, whose “Lowdown” battleship blew Ned’s cutter out of the water. His last taste of American chart success would come in 1981 via “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me,” another cowrite with Stuart that Chaka Khan took to the top of the charts.

                        Over the last three decades, Doheny’s albums have slid in and out of print on LP and CD, budget jobs without any involvement from the self-described “avatar for casual vulgarity.” 'Separate Oceans' examines Ned Doheny’s first ten years adrift in song, pulling together choice album cuts and 11 previously unissued demos. An 8000 word essay is illustrated by images from the archives of noted rock photographers Henry Diltz, Moshe Brahka, Clive Arrowsmith, and Gary Heery, creating the first ever overview of this unheralded marina rocker.


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