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Various Artists

Driftless Dreamers: In Cuca Country

    Home to Cuca Records and hundreds of Nashville-fantasizing pluckers and singers, Wisconsin’s Driftless region was a hotbed of country music in the 1960s. Influenced by old-timey ethnic songs, Bakersfield outlaws, countrypolitan rainbows, and the lonesome twang of every rural route roadhouse, these 17 Driftless Dreamers washed up at Jim Kirchstein’s Sauk City record plant with little more than $100 and a longing. Collected here are the fruits of Cuca’s documentary approach to record making, capturing the voices and stories of a culture and glacier in abatement.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Unknown Artist - When She Finds The Way Back Home
    2. The Lavenders - Wanderer
    3. Nancy Lee Jordan - Happy Don’t Last Forever
    4. Artie Minz, Ellie Shepherd & The Countrymen -
    Just Another Name
    5. Curley Fields & The Kentuckians - Frisco Flower Tale 6. Dave Davis - Kentucky Sunshine
    7. Patti Whipp - It’s Gone
    8. John D. Curnow - Cardinal

    Side B
    1. Gene Ski & The Troubadours - Six Foot Down
    2. Dixie Drifter - Little Hero
    3. Larry Phillipson - Challenge
    4. Harrison Two - Run Little Girl (Harrison)
    5. Johnny Madrid - Hello Houston (Goodbye Ol’ L.A.) 6. Duane & The Drifters - Tell Me
    7. Sam Podany - There’s A River
    8. John D. Curnow - Yellow-Throated Vireo

    Side C
    1. Shunka Wa Kaon - Legend Of The White Buffalo
    2. Frank Gay & The Gayblades - Down Bound Train
    3. Unknown Artist - Now They’re Gone


    4. Rog Winters & The Plainsmen - When I See You 5. Harrison Two - La Fraja
    6. The Chieftones - The Sun Is Shining 7. Patti Whipp - Walkin’
    8. John D. Curnow - Hermit Thrush

    Side D
    1. Gary Chamberlain & The Country Cats - Muleskinner Blues
    2. Rod & Terry - I Still Love You
    3. Janet Kaye - Heaven Help The Working Girl
    4. Curley Fields & The Kentuckians - Trouble Sweet Trouble (Just A Barstool Away)
    5. Georgette Beltran - This Lovely Day Is Mine 6. Tom Sheehan - God Help The World
    7. Sam Podany - Highway
    8. John D. Curnow - Brown Thrasher

    Seam

    Headsparks - 2021 Reissue

      In the wake of Bitch Magnet and current of Superchunk, Sooyoung Park and Mac McCaughan formed a raw version of Seam in the summer of ’91. With bassist Lexi Mitchell, the trio banged out an album and two singles worth of shambolic dream pop in the sweltering Chapel Hill heat. Ten songs of talk-whispered vocals, sloshing guitar solos, scattered snare rolls, Velocity Girl’s Sarah Shannon, and the original version of Codeine’s slowcore classic “New Year’s,” on LP for the first time in 30 years.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1 Decatur
      A2 Grain
      A3 Sky City
      A4 Pins & Needles
      A5 Feather
      B1 Atari
      B2 King Rice
      B3 New Year’s
      B4 Shame
      B5 Granny 9x

      Karate

      In Place Of Real Insight

        The Great Alternative Boom of the early ’90s had begun to wither on corporate FM barely halfway through the decade, but the ever-changing underground had almost entirely regenerated after two major-label thrifting trips. In the ever-in-flux city of Boston, Karate positioned themselves as a crucial tendril in a sprawling nationwide community. They did so largely by refusing to stick to any single formula from the myriad of styles at their root—slowcore, post-hardcore, and jazz. As if to make a point, Karate’s lineup went through its own shift too. In the lead up to 1997’s In Place of Real Insight, Eamonn Vitt took up the guitar, and Karate compatriot Jeff Goddard entered the fold to become the band’s bassist. Armed with two guitarists, the band got significantly louder, and they smeared punk fury all over their second LP.

        At its most intense moments, In Place of Real Insight bestows the kind of rowdiness that elevated hardcore base buried deep within the unconscious of their music—it comes out most vividly when Geoff Farina and Vitt trade throat-searing shouts and bite-sized barks on “New Martini.” So many lesser bands with two guitarists and a copy of In on the Kill Taker at their disposal felt the need to try their hand at being Fugazi, Karate evaded such pratfalls, though Goddard’s compact, quicksilver basswork and Gavin McCarthy’s fractured drumming on the bridge for “New New” contain the same rhythmic electricity that the D.C. legends wielded so well. For the most part, Karate used their larger palette to intensify their already alluring musical sensibilities.

        Farina and Vitt’s gentle guitars nearly mirror each other as they carry the drawn-out tension of “The New Hangout Condition” to its equanimous conclusion, though Karate wouldn’t hold that mood for long; they made quick work of disrupting such peacefulness with the needling disquiet that opens “On Cutting,” a rare track that cast a spotlight on Vitt’s understated vocals. Karate emboldened the quiet moments of In Place of Real Insight with the same forcefulness of its archly punk cuts, effectively allowing the tenderness that blankets “Today Or Tomorrow” to coexist alongside their rough-hewn material. Karate made sense of seemingly polarizing styles, and In Place of Real Insight is arguably their best album because they allowed such disparate parts to co-mingle. In a subversive music community oscillating between radical polemics and hair-splitting musical orthodoxy, Karate were a question mark—one that exhibited the scene’s best instincts, because they sounded like few others.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. This, Plus Slow Song
        2. New Martini
        3. Wake Up, Decide
        4. It's 98 Stop
        5. New New
        6. The New Hangout Condition
        7. On Cutting
        8. Die Die
        9. Today Or Tomorrow

        The third installment of Numero’s ode to lowrider souldies, Rust Side Story compiles highly sought after sweet soul singles from the Buck Eye State. Prepare for a low and slow ride from Youngstown to Dayton, Cleveland to Columbus, Toledo to Cincinnati, all soundtracked with silky falsettos and dreamy harmonies

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. La'Fez - This Is The Way I Am
        A2. Ice-Cold-Love - Sheer Magic
        A3. Young Mods - Gloria
        A4. Harvey & The Phenomenals - What Can I Do (To Prove My Love Is Real)
        A5. Bobby Wade - Can't You Hear Me Calling
        A6. Soul Superbs - Just Ask Me
        B1. Now - Lovin You Is Easy
        B2. The Nombres - Just Call Me
        B3. Iron Knowledge - Oh Love
        B4. Foreign Blue Renaisance - Oh, Yes I Do
        B5. The Donations - I'm Gonna Treat You Good
        B6. Unknown Boddie Recording Artist - I Do Love You

        Female Species

        Tale Of My Lost

          This is the story of two sisters who nurtured a dream for half a century and never let it die. Vicki and Ronni Gossett launched their musical career as teenagers in Whittier, California in 1966. They called themselves the Female Species. Members came and went; their base of operations moved to Las Vegas, back to LA, and over to Nashville. Along the way their sound transformed from garage rock to lounge to country pop, the only constant being an innate mastery of hooks and harmony.

          These ladies had it. Along the way, they crossed paths with The Carpenters, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Judds, and seemingly half of the industry’s power players, rebuffing all untoward advances, focused always on their craft. In the 1980s they became staff songwriters for music publishing companies in the hit-making business. Relentless pushing landed them a once in a lifetime audition before the court of RCA’s top executives — the kind of new talent showcase that almost never happens after 30.

          Vicki and Ronni were by then in their 40s. Tale of My Lost Love is the whole story from beginning to end of two sisters who gave everything to their dream, yet never made a single record... until now. Sometimes great music just isn’t enough to break through — until it is. Numero Group is thrilled and proud, at long last, to introduce Female Species.


          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Bye Bye Bye
          A2. Tale Of My Lost Love
          A3. You Need Me
          A4. Peace Of Mind
          A5. Baby Buggy
          A6. Stop And Think It Over
          A7. I’m Gonna Make It
          A8. Explain Why
          A9. Tying The Leaves
          B1. Coast To Coast
          B2. There’s A Rainbow
          B3. Sooner Or Later
          B4. Here Comes The Night
          B5. Till The Moon Don’t Shine
          B6. In The Moonlight
          B7. Someone Lock Me Up
          B8. Chinchilla Hat

          Unwound

          Repetition - Reissue

            Dead-eyed post-punk from Olympia’s reigning noise-niks. Repetition rejects the major label signing spree of the mid-’90s entirely, training its hulking focus on haircut hardcore, white belt Jiujitsu, and frenzied feedback. The soundtrack to a fantasy Halloween candy heist, now on vinyl for the first time since 1996.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1 Message Received
            A2 Corpse Pose
            A3 Unauthorized Autobiography
            A4 Lowest Common Denominator
            A5 Sensible
            A6 Lady Elect
            B2 Murder Movies
            B3 Next Exit
            B4 Devoid
            B5 Go To Dallas And Take A Left
            B6 For Your Entertainment 

            Trey Gruber

            Herculean House Of Cards

              A tortured songwriter and struggling addict who jolted the tired Chicago DIY scene with his own brand of primal despair, Trey Gruber and his band Parent were on track to join the ranks of Twin Peaks, Mild High Club, and Whitney. His death in 2017 at the age of 26 brought it all to a halt. In his final years, Trey wrote and recorded hundreds of previously unheard demos, dandelions in the cracked concrete of 21st-century disconnect, an alphabet’s worth of which have been compiled by his family and friends for his only album: Herculean House Of Cards.

              TRACK LISTING

              A
              1. Eisenhower To The West Side
              2. Do You Feel Fine
              3. Guillotine
              4. Same
              5. Money’s Ran Off
              6. Pray To Christ In Heaven
              7. No Man For No Home
              8. Last July

              B
              1. Sister Say
              2. Dirt
              3. I Tried
              4. Summer City
              5. Jess

              C
              1. Stay In Line
              2. Get Your Fix
              3. On Fear
              4. Momma’s Way
              5. Herculean House Of Cards
              6. The Leaving

              D
              1. In Between - Live
              2. Ain’t Nobody’s Fault - Live
              3. Fool’s Gold - Live
              4. Even Jesus Christ Had Died - Live
              5. Eisenhower To The West Side (Ballad Reprise) - Live
              6. Hammer Out The Edges (Bonus Track)

              Jackie Shane

              Any Other Way / Sticks And Stones

              The definitive version of Stax legend William Bell’s 1962 single "Any Other Way" wasn’t cut inside the storied Memphis studio, but rather 1300 miles away in Boston by a transgender pioneer. Recasting the plaintive breakup lament into an anthem of defiance and gay liberation, Jackie Shane rewrote the song without changing a word. Astoundingly, the track wasn’t selected for the A side of the late ’62 release - that would be "Sticks and Stones," a dynamite blast of a policy piece regarding gossips, scolds, and other little people. Following the Grammy-nominated success of our Jackie Shane anthology, Numero is glad to present this essential 45 for DJs and home listeners alike, packaged with a never before seen photo of Ms. Shane herself.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Any Other Way
              2. Sticks And Stones 

              Don Slepian

              Sea Of Bliss

              First ever vinyl edition of the landmark 1980 cassette by synth wizard Don Slepian. Utilizing the fabled and notoriously complex Alles digital synthesizer at the Bell Laboratories scientific research center, "Sea Of Bliss" features two transcendent cascading sidelong tracks, to easily qualify as one of the ultimate pinnacles of the new age genre. Cut with care using the Direct Metal Mastering process, and featuring cover artwork by visionary artist Jonathan Meader.

              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Sea Of Bliss (23:32)
              B1. Awakenings (24:21

              94 East

              The Cookhouse 5

                In 1975, Pepe Willie booked time at Cookhouse Recording Studios in Minneapolis to demo five original compositions. Known colloquially as “The Cookhouse 5” these recordings showcase a 16-year-old guitar prodigy named Prince Rogers Nelson. A crucial document concerning the origins of the Minneapolis Sound, the B-side boasts instrumental versions of each infectious tune, providing an even greater vantage point from which to admire the Purple One’s expressive playing style, already evident in his teenaged years.

                TRACK LISTING

                A
                1. If We Don’t
                2. If You See Me
                3. I’ll Always Love You
                4. Games
                5. Better Than You Think

                B
                1. If We Don’t (Instrumental)
                2. If You See Me (Instrumental)
                3. I’ll Always Love You (Instrumental)
                4. Games (Instrumental)
                5. Better Than You Think (Instrumental)

                Universal Togetherness Band

                Dreamality / Lucky Stars

                Two brilliant, previously unissued modern soul discoveries from the archive of U.T.B. mastermind Andre Gibson. “My Lucky Stars” rides the 120 BPM crest, with sharp horns, handclaps, triangle, and a wild guitar solo filling out the four and a half minute ride. “Dreamality” cops a Steve Miller vibe and goes on a spaced-out future funk adventure. 

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Dreamality
                B1. Lucky Stars

                Originally issued as a hand-dubbed demo tape in 1982, Elisa Waut’s icy debut gets its first vinyl issue. The Flemish trio of Chery Derycke and siblings Elsje and Hans Helewaut took new wave to its natural conclusion; trading Europe’s organic post-punk approach for the new cold war order of synth and rhythm box. Soviet paranoia, isolation, suicidal musings, and other miscellaneous bouts of young adult depression are covered in both French and English. A 28-minute minimal wave masterpiece.

                TRACK LISTING

                A
                1 Intro
                2 Being Strong
                3 Waiting
                4 Red Soldier

                B
                1 Unrath
                2 Au Clair De La Lune
                3 Russia
                4 Summary Of All My Dreams

                From the blown-out motherboard of West Philadelphia’s Master Control Programmers, Charles Grossman broke off to explore his own personal outer space experience. With just a DW-8000 to keep him company, University City’s loneliest cyborg issued this eight song electro-mellow statement in 1989. Spectral synths, pulsating programming, and yes—a keytar—set the soundtrack to your next game of Spy Hunter. Jam on to a sound more sophisticated.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Sweet synth boogie / relaxed e-funk here from 80's outsider Chasman. I'm always gonna give a warm welcome to a man clutching a keytar in Eddie Murphy's Delirious outfit, and the Chasman repays me with vocal and instrumental versions of his mellow magic.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side A
                1. Dream Woman (Voc.)
                2. Wind Fall
                3. It’s About A Dollar (Inst.)
                4. 76 West
                5. Somber-Daze (Inst.)

                Side B
                1. Synth-E-Fuge
                2. It’s About A Dollar (Voc.)
                3. Dream Woman (Inst.)
                4. Somber-Daze (Voc.)

                Happy Rhodes

                Ectotrophia

                  The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s. Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes’s similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination. Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes’s mid-’80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager—wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A
                  1. Oh The Drears
                  2. I Cannot Go On
                  3. Would That I Could
                  4. Where Do I Go
                  5. For We Believe

                  B
                  1. When The Rain Came Down
                  2. If Love Is A Game, I Win
                  3. I’m Not Awake, I’m Not Asleep
                  4. Baby Don’t Go

                  C
                  1. Come Here
                  2. Don’t Want To Hear It
                  3. If So
                  4. I’ll Let You Go
                  5. Because I Learn

                  D
                  1. I Am A Legend
                  2. Perfect Irony
                  3. Many Nights
                  4. To Be E. Mortal

                  Bernadette Carroll

                  Laughing On The Outside

                  Though not a household name, Bernadette Carroll is one of the more successful teen vocalists of the girl group era. She charted as a member of the Angels, as a solo act, and as a for-hire backup singer, performing on at least two #1 hits, selling over a million copies of each. You’ve heard her voice, whether you know it or not.

                  Her early ’60s work with Hazlet, New Jersey, producer Tommy Falcone resulted in a handful of singles for the Cleopatra and Julia labels, including the syrupy ballad “Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)” and the upbeat dancer “Heavenly.” “Laughing” was buried in a New Jersey basement until the label pulled it from obscurity for last year’s 'End of the F***ing World' for Netflix, which garnered the track five million streams in its first three months. Bernadette Carroll will be featured prominently on Teen Expo: The Cleopatra Label and Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground, both due this fall.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Laughing On The Outside
                  2. Heavenly

                  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.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A
                    1. Smooth False Foxglove
                    2. Canary Folded
                    3. Area Man
                    4. Drawing Of A Lake
                    5. Mansion
                    6. Asunder

                    B
                    1. Focus Puller
                    2. No Trace Of You
                    3. Unfamiliar Lights
                    4. Pass From View
                    5. The Apache Door
                    6. Touch Of Goodbye

                    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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Volta Jazz - Air Volta
                      2. Volta Jazz - Bi Kameleou
                      3. Volta Jazz - Fitri Mawaly
                      4. Volta Jazz - Djougou Toro
                      5. Volta Jazz - BB Peyrissac
                      6. Volta Jazz - Mama Soukous
                      7. Volta Jazz – Fintalabo
                      8. Volta Jazz - Wêrê Wêrê Magni
                      9. Volta Jazz - Nâgô Fâla
                      10. Volta Jazz - Mousso Koroba Tike
                      11. Volta Jazz - Dounya Te Soyé *
                      12. Volta Jazz - Beni Djarabi *
                      13. Volta Jazz - Chérie Nawa *
                      14. Volta Jazz - Ma Douce Ledy *
                      15. Volta Jazz - Djougou Malola *
                      16. Volta Jazz - Na Dalo *
                      17. Dafra Star** - De Nwolo 
                      18. Dafra Star - Sie Koumgolo19. Dafra Star – Dounian
                      20. Dafra Star - Si Tu Maime 
                      21. Dafra Star – Tjiranama
                      22. Dafra Star – Yafamma
                      23. Dafra Star – Foli
                      24. Dafra Star - Ram Passomayé 
                      25. Dafra Star - Bombossi *
                      26. Dafra Star - Sondja Magni * 
                      27. Dafra Star - Limaniya *
                      28. Echo Del Africa – Gentlemen Doromina
                      29. Les Imbattables Léopards - Bissongo Lebguinw 
                      30. Les Imbattables Léopards - Dja Tigui Kie 
                      31. Les Imbattables Léopards – Milaoba 
                      32. Echo Del Africa - Yiri Wah 
                      33. Les Imbattables Léopards - Néné 
                      34. Ouedraogo Youssef - He Ya Wannan 
                      35. Idy OIdrissa - Arindo 
                      36. Les Imbattables Léopards – Ne Toumdé *
                      37. Les Imbattables Léopards - Boudou Nyida *

                      * Available On CD Only 

                      ** Full Band Name Is Coulibaly Tidiani & Dafrastar

                      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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Bethlehem Center Children's Choir - I'm A Special Kid
                      Scott Three - Runnin' Wild (Ain't Gonna Help You)
                      Jimi Hill - Guessing Games
                      Leonard (Lil' Man) Kaigler - You Got Me Believing
                      Cash - I Love You Still
                      Brighter Side Of Darkness - Because I Love You
                      Next Movement - Every Where You Go
                      The Bennett's - I Want A Little Girl
                      Future Kind - Simon Says
                      The Dynamics - I'm Free, No Dope For Me
                      The Brother's Rap - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
                      The Greer Brothers - We Don't Dig No Busing (The Busing Song)
                      Little Man & The Inquires - Funky Breakdown
                      Five Ounces Of Soul - Love Got A Piece Of Your Mind
                      Magical Connection - Girl Why Do You Want To Take My Heart
                      Soul Emotions & Co - It's Time For Love
                      Brotherly Five - Losing My Girl
                      The Mighty Mustangs - The Other Guy
                      Nancy Dupree With A Group Of Youngsters - James Brown


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