Enter here for the chance to win a pair of tickets to see One More Time With Feeling at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Sat. Dec 17!



Last Month's Top Sellers

1. LEONARD COHEN - You Want It Darker
2. DRIVE BY TRUCKERS - American Band
3. ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO - Burn Something Beautiful
4. NICK CAVE & BAD SEEDS - Skeleton Tree
5. NORAH JONES - Day Breaks

Click here for full list.





"The Tompkins Square label is well-known for reissuing lost records and reactivating careers (Mark Fossom, Max Ochs, Don Bikoff) as well as kickstarting the careers of younger musicians (Frank Fairfield, William Tyler, Daniel Bachman, Ryley Walker).

In this case, Tompkins Square alumnus Walker found the long-forgotten Opus III LP in a Chicago record store, dug it and shared it with Tompkins Square owner Josh Rosenthal. I guess it was a no brainer for Rosenthal to reissue this.

There were not much traces of Hulburt on the internet before this reissue. There are recordings of The Knaves, a '60s garage rock band he founded, and an early '80s video of Hulburt playing some folk tunes in a bar in Chicago. With this release and its nicely informative booklet, though, he's got the international attention that this record deserves, even if it is post-mortem.

This album counts 20 titles, so it's approximately two minutes per song: mostly solo guitar, some with lyrics, and even a flute shows up. The overall vibe is like the guitar guys on Numero Group's Wayfaring Strangers series, with a kind of jazzy, bluesy virtuosity." - Dying For Bad Music


SLIM TWIG - Thank You For Stickin' With Twig

"After producing two albums for U.S. Girls (U.S. Girls on Kraak in 2011, Gem in 2012), and scoring two films (Sight Unseen & We Come As Friends (winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance, among numerous other accolades), Twig found himself in 2013 at a creative impasse re: his own songwriting. He had been through full band incarnations live and on record. They featured a cast of Toronto heavies (members of Zacht Automaat, etc...). He briefly performed Slim Twig sets as a duo, featuring multimedia artist and musician, Meg Remy (U.S. Girls). They performed sets that combined versions of Twig’s released songs with freely structured improvisations, samples, and brightly melodic synth textures. Something in this combination of the pop-minded and the cerebrally-produced has rubbed off on the recordings found on Twig’s latest.

Thank You For Stickin' With Twig is to date the most sonically immersive album in Twig’s discography. Where some records have focused explicitly on sample-based songwriting, while others have been completely live-recorded, the new album arrives at a perfectly produced fusion of fidelities. It hovers, glamorously caught between a cloud of obscurant, half-speed tape hiss, and the most stoned Jeff Lynne production you’ve ever heard. Twig flirts here with a variety of vibes, most often opting for a three dimensional approach whereby a warped tape aura is overlaid with colourful, laser-cut keyboard and guitar melodies. A fetishization of analogue texture is married to a digital approach. All the while, we find Twig irreverently raiding classic rock of its symbolism, sexuality, and social ambition for ulterior subversions. In this respect, TYFSWT's closest cousin may be Royal Trux's Accelerator." - DFA Records


LINK WRAY - 3-Track Shack

"Following his instrumental hits 'Rumble' and 'Jack The Ripper,' Link Wray settled into a routine of gigging with his band the Raymen in the Northeastern states, particularly the rough and ready dives of Washington, DC. In the early '70s this stopped, and Link concentrated on working on the farm his brother Vernon had bought in Accokeek, Maryland. Vernon installed a three-track recording studio in the basement of the farmhouse, but his wife complained about the noise so it was moved outside to an old chicken house: the 3-Track Shack was born.

Producer Steve Verroca caught one of Link's performances in a local bar, was impressed, and thought the time was right for a comeback. Extracting elements from his own country, blues and gospel roots and somehow melding them together with the very landscape itself, he created an organic blend of downhome music that was imbued with a primitive spirituality. There is an unpolished, spontaneous feel to the music which sparks it greedily into life, and the Accokeek earth seems to be ground deep into every groove.

These three albums have been out on CD before, but never mastered from the original tapes. You can even hear the frogs croaking outside the shack!"
- Ace Records


VA - Reaching Out! Chess Records at FAME Studios

"There aren't many recording studios that play such an important part in their town's history that they’re added to the list of local landmarks and designated part of the town's heritage: that's what happened to FAME Recording Studios in December 1997, when the studios were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

FAME Recording Studios is no ordinary recording studio. It was where some of the greatest soul music of the sixties was recorded. FAME was also home to one of the greatest house bands in soul music, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Along with the Muscle Shoals Horns, they featured on countless recordings. Record labels often sent their artists to FAME, seeking that elusive hit single. 

This included Atlantic Records, who in the summer of 1966 started sending artists to FAME. By the spring of 1967, the Muscle Shoals horns and rhythm section had worked their magic, playing on hits by Percy Sledge, Arthur Conley and Wilson Pickett. They would later send Aretha Franklin and Jimmy Hughes.

Reaching Out! Chess Records At FAME Studios, released via Kent Soul on 28th August 2015, features twenty-four tracks recorded at the legendary studios. By 1967, the Chess brothers, who no longer had their own studio band, sent their artists to Alabama, hoping that they would enjoy the same success as their counterparts at Atlantic." - Derek's Music Blog


BLANK REALM - Illegals In Heaven

"Illegals in Heaven lives between past and present fun. Blank Realm's fourth LP, it's impulsive yet nostalgic—it's pulling on your shoes and running across fields when you were a kid, running into green and more green, unashamedly free.

The Australian band channel this feeling of reflective escapism from fizzy opener 'No Views'. The over-arching impulsiveness of the album is captured in its eminently shoutable chorus: 'I've got no views on it, it's just something that I did.' 'Just do it,' it seems to whisper. Lead single 'River Of Longing' speaks only in the most hopeful of terms. 'Meet me on the other side/and we'll make up for stolen time,' chant sibling singers Daniel and Sarah, arms outstretched—'won't you take me by the hand?' It bubbles over with an unbridled, youthful charm." - Crack Magazine


YO LA TENGO - Stuff Like That There

"Yo La Tengo have been in a retrospective bubble since 2013's well-received but too quickly forgotten Fade LP.  With an expanded version of 1993's sublime Painful (as Extra Painful, on Matador) and a vinyl reprint of 1990's well-loved Fakebook on vinyl (on Bar/None) both appearing last year, backwards glancing has been helpfully reminding us how special the group can be.  Now appears the tongue-twistedly-titled Stuff Like That There as an ostensible Fakebook sequel, mixing-up obscure as well as not so obscure covers, self-reworkings and a couple of new songs in less amplified settings, with even past member Dave Schramm returning as an auxiliary guest guitarist.

Yet, in a good way, Stuff Like That There isn't a straightforward second volume of Fakebook. Whilst the concept and band set-up is broadly similar, the sonic execution feels noticeably different. Instead of its quasi-prequel's more overtly rustic hoedowns and more exuberant choice of material, the new album instead frames its gathered assortment of compositions with languid electro-acoustic guitar layers, brushed and shimmery drums, prowling upright-bass lines and some gorgeous tri-part vocal interplay from the long-running core trio of Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew. Such arrangements and production settings seem to re-locate the warm intimate spots previously hidden amidst the more art-rocking tracts inside two of the band's most essential albums, 1995's Electr-O-Pura and 1997's I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. This connection is reinforced with balmy remouldings of 'The Ballad Of Red Buckets' and 'Deeper Into Movies' from those respective long-players." - Delusions Of Adequacy


MICHAEL HEAD AND THE STRANDS - The Magical World Of The Strands

"While Head seems unfussed by his relative obscurity, it is still hard to accept that a masterpiece like The Magical World Of The Strands remains so marginal. If anything, The Magical World has improved with age. In the mid-'90s, there was an imperative to position Head as bruised guru to a generation of British rock classicists, exemplified by the Gallaghers and Richard Ashcroft. Head shared a certain romanticism that was rooted in but transcended the working-class Northwest of the country, and his study of old records was just as thorough and unabashed. He was not, though, a writer of anthems, his songwriting mostly too feathery, too evanescent for blokey singalongs.

The closest he came on
The Magical World was a rueful and brilliant song about his heroin addiction called 'X Hits The Spot,' which articulated a difficult choice that he had madeessentially, drugs instead of a relationshipand its consequences: coming round to discover he had sold all his furniture to stay high. The chorus is punchy, emphatic, memorable. The verses, though, are more typical of The Magical World: words come in breathless, jazzy flurries, Head appropriating [Arthur] Lee's trick of squeezing two or three extra words into a line to create a sense of babbling discombobulation." - Uncut


JORGE BEN - Ben (1972)

"If there was one thing that all the movements that swept Brazilian popular music during the '60s and '70s—bossa nova, Jovem Guarda, Tropicalia, Música Popular Brasileira, samba soul, Black Rio—had in common, it was that they all revered Jorge Ben. That's because Ben incorporated aspects of all their styles without compromising his own; as Caetano Veloso put it, 'Jorge Ben, without attempting an artificial or homogenizing 'fusion,' came through with a strong, original sound, confronting a body of issues from the opposite end, that of the finished treatment, while we were groping and coming up with varied and incomplete solutions.' Now, Real Gone Music and Dusty Groove are embarking on a long-awaited tour through Ben's catalog, starting with his 1972 masterpiece, Ben. This is the album that made Jorge Ben a superstar in Brazil, a lean marvel of rhythmic and melodic concision that contains some of his most indelible, durable songs, like the first version of 'Taj Mahal' and his ode to his favorite soccer player, 'Fio Maravilha.'" - Real Gone Music


DRINKS - Hermits On Holiday

"Cate Le Bon wrote some of my favorite words of 2013 on her album Mug Museum. White Fence is the swirly psych music of Tim Presley. Cate and Tim are friends—Cate played guitar on a tour with White Fence—and so now there's this: DRINKS.

DRINKS has an album coming August 21, and the title track is called 'Hermits On Holiday.' The percussion is a machine at the start, the guitar distinctly Cate, as is that thickly Welsh voice. Tim plays bass on this song, though he told me on the phone that they swap instruments a lot on the album. When that bass kicks in, so does White Fence drummer Nick Murray and the song's lockstep rhythm loosens up, as if it's had a drink. The easy joy and silliness here make me look forward to hearing the full album, Hermits On Holiday." - Bob Boilen, NPR



"The lower Manhattan music scene circa the late '70s was a bubbling, effervescent confluence of disco, No Wave, jazz and punk. It birthed the careers of Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, the Ramones and even Don Was, whose Was (Not Was) band was also a player. Somewhere on the fringes was Lizzy Mercier Descloux, a French import who used music as just one aspect of her artistic avant-garde arsenal which also included poetry and fashion. This reissue of her off-the-radar ZE label debut didn't make much of a splash upon its 1979 release. Regardless, it has come to be regarded as a charming, evocative curio of a time and place that was fleeting and temporal yet fascinating and influential in its ambitious attempt to join jazz, punk and dance.

Originally only eight selections clocking in at under 30 minutes, this reissue more than doubles that tracklist and is still only 46 minutes long. Extensive liner notes by noted critic/scenester Vivien Goldman in a sumptuous 20-page booklet tell the Descloux story in detail with rare photos and quotes from Smith and Richard Hell, both of whom were friends.

These minimalist pieces—many can't be considered songs—were often improvised in the studio and Descloux, who spoke virtually no English, wasn't exactly a driven vocal talent. Nonetheless, it's the air of cool detached ambiance with mostly sung/spoken vocals over a funk/jazz backing that makes this such a mesmerizing time capsule." - American Songwriter


VA - Ian Levine's Solid Stax Sensations

"Most people on the soul scene know of Levine's youthful obsession with Motown and Detroit soul in general, and how it led to a 45-year (and counting) career as a tireless promoter of the music he loved as a teenager, whether behind record decks or in more recent times as a successful songwriter-producer. Less well known is the fact that the young Ian was almost as obsessive about Stax, collecting the blue and yellow Stax-era 45s and those on the company's many subsidiaries with the same level of single-minded intensity that he applied to acquiring rare gems on obscure Detroit labels.

I've known Ian since 1969. We met by chance in the Soul City record shop and immediately established a bond of friendship that has continued unbroken ever since. As far as I am concerned, my good friend Ian will always be a man with the most extraordinary passion for soul music, and a lifelong desire to share that passion with others.

Many of Ian's 25 choices are well-known floor-fillers via the extensive play they have received from discerning DJs down the decades, but he's also chosen a pile of lesser-known and equally great sides that deserve to be part of every soul DJ's playlist. Ian's notes fully convey the pleasure he still gets from this music after all this time." - Tony Rounce for Ace Records



"Indiana's Triptides have finally washed up in Los Angeles, a much more suitable home away from home for their appealling, bite-sized snacks of hazy summer psychedelia.

The move seems to have helped them shed the last vestiges of their vintage jangle, replacing it with a much more contemporary sheen, which sees them pawning their Byrdsy tendencies in favour of a much shinier, post-eighties jangle influence.

Perhaps it's just me, but I've found that it's almost impossible to listen to
Azur without visualising one of those really colourful multicoloured plastic beach balls. Go and try now. You're back? Hard, wasn't it? 

Azur, simply put, sounds like Real Estate's Days draped over a deck chair with a margerita, which is extremely welcome as we're smack bang in the middle of one of the chilliest cold spells I can remember over here in the New Zealand winter. Given that this hardly constitutes the ideal listening conditions for this album, I'm a little concerned about how obssesed I'd have become with Azur had I been exposed to it in our summer.

There's not a lot more to be said. Short, sharp and irresistable, there's plenty within these songs to keep vintage pop addicts and scenesters alike happy. The always reliable team at Norman Records sum it up perfectly: 'An utterly perfect amalgam of '60s beat pop (The Hollies!) with those moments when Deerhunter decide they are going to be a pop combo.'

I can't top that. The perfect summer record." - The Active Listener


JACKSON C. FRANK - The Complete Recordings (3CD)

"The long wait is over. Justice, at long last, is being done. The prophet is no longer without honor in his own country.

The late Jackson C. Frank was announced early this month as a member of the newest group to be honored in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. The irony is that is not all, not by a long shot.

In October and November, Buffalo is scheduled to be visited by two French documentary filmmakers shooting a doc on this utterly remarkable and utterly tragic musician from Buffalo. But more than that, his hometown will finally have an opportunity to know exactly why he is so revered by folk musicians everywhere but especially in Europe, where his songs were loved and recorded by Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, among many others.

His one album, which included the classic song 'Blues Run the Game' (still sung by folk singers, including by one in the concert honoring the recent movie Inside Llewyn Davis), was produced by Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel before Simon and Garfunkel were cornerstones of their era's folk music. Nevertheless, it has never before been released in America. (Frank later claimed that Simon had stolen 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' from another folk musician.)

Now, finally, courtesy of Frank's crucial biographer and late-life protector Jim Abbott, among others, his complete known recordings have been blessedly been collected on three discs by BaDaBing Records."
- The Buffalo News



"When Deaf Wish found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: 'Let's not make anything that's going to last. If we're together for just two shows, then that's what it is.”

They've deviated some.

Over the course of eight years, the Melbourne foursome—bassist Nick Pratt, drummer Daniel Twomey and guitarists Sarah Hardiman and Jensen Tjhung, with each member contributing vocals—have instead amassed one of rock's most exhilarating bodies of work, a concise run of wooly seven-inches and white-knuckle LPs whose legendary live translation has been most accurately described as 'unhinged.' All this despite their being scattered across multiple continents, with no way of getting to know one another outside of intermittent touring. 'We didn't really know what this band was,' Tjhung says. 'We had something, but it wasn't clear—we had to figure out what that was.'

This year marks the arrival of Pain, the first they’ve written since coming together again semi-permanently in Melbourne, and their appropriately titled first full-length for Sub Pop. (Last October's St. Vincent EP was their proper Sub Pop debut.) It is a miraculously dissonant, wonderfully immediate display of Deaf Wish at their mightiest, alive with the same wild chemistry and sense of possibility that made their first recordings so vital." - Sub Pop


VA - Kollektion 4: Bureau B compiled by Richard Fearless

"I always listen out for music with a sense a space, where compositions are stripped down to the barest components while retaining the power to conjure emotion. It's for this reason that I'm so drawn to dub, techno and German avant-garde minimalist music. To me the bands and labels in the Bureau B archive, current and past, were looking to distant lands, their own 'Neuland,' whether in the future with bands like YOU and Riechmann, or from a more remote past, like medieval folk band Ougenweide. They were creating something radical and experimental, something that didn't draw on the same rhythm and blues, Anglo-American rock that was saturating the airwaves at the time. They were pioneers in every sense of the word. With all due respect for the music that forged these paths, it was on hearing the mental guitar on Faust's 'Herbstimmung' that I knew to look not only at the so-called golden years of this era, but to look at what these artists were doing later, as well as the new bands that were emerging from those schools. Artists who are still creating, still innovating. I hope you enjoy the journey." - Richard Fearless for Bureau B


DANIEL ROMANO - If I've Only One Time Askin'

"Daniel Romano's fourth long-player If I've Only One Time Askin' is set for release on New West, the follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 album Come Cry With Me released on New West imprint Normaltown Records. His new album sees Daniel continuing to mine the rich seam of country music traditionalism with a contemporary collection of songs echoing the greatness of Williams, Parsons, Jones and Haggard, but ensuring the music is very much his own with a self-proclaimed genre.

'Mosey music is a study in contrasts,' Romano says. 'There's glitz and grit, reveling and wallowing, wretchedness and showmanship. Mosey music's pioneers wore their battered hearts on sequined sleeves.'

The album was recorded in Daniel's hometown of Welland, Ontario, and self-produced. Amongst the many highlights, there's a lovely collaboration with Caitlin Rose on 'Strange Faces.' For those lamenting the bro-country takeover of the genre, there's much to admire and hang your hat on in Daniel's lyricism, arrangements and neotraditional stylings: classic in every sense of the word." - Beat Surrender


DUCKTAILS - St. Catherine

"The thing that you quickly learn about Matt Mondanile while having a conversation with him about contemporary indie music: Dude is friends with everybody. Not just with the underground darlings who actually worked with him on the Real Estate guitarist’s fifth album as Ducktails (St. Catherine, out this week) but Ariel Pink, Mac DeMarco, and just about every other prolific, do-everything studio rat likely to pop up on the year-end list of a publication like ours. It could make Mondanile sound like a name-dropper, but he’s sincere and genuine enough that he comes off more as a likeable guy who’s just really excited about how well his buds are doing and how much awesome music they’re making.

That geniality also filters into St. Catherine, an album that approximates the gentle comfort of a Sunday afternoon, while not ignoring that day’s trepidation about the week ahead. At times explicitly autobiographical, it’s one of Mondanile’s most personal albums—the chorus to 'Headbanging in the Mirror,' for example, details the East-to-West Coast relocation that gives him his current sense of fish-out-of-water anxiety. But, as always, he gets by with a little help from said friends, including experimental singer/songwriter Julia Holter, who provides vocals to 'Church,' and electronic composer James Ferraro, who appears on 'Mirror.'" - SPIN


AMARA TOURÉ - 1973-1980

"Although already brimming with incredible talent, Amara Touré joining Le Star Band de Dakar in 1958 began the band's meteoric rise to the top. The band quickly became Dakar's number one orchestra, and it cemented the reputation of the Miami nightclub as the hottest spot in the country. The place was packed nightly, and Dakar was boiling. 

Amara Touré's Senegalese adventure lasted for ten years when he received an irrefutable offer and in 1968, joined by a few talented Senegalese musicians, headed to Cameroon and immediately formed the Black and White ensemble. Many live gigs later, and it was time for the first songs to be recorded. A total of three singles were produced between 1973 and 1976. These singles, representing the first six songs on this compilation, fully epitomise and distill the essence of what Touré had learned during his career, his Mandingue roots fused with the Senegalese sound that he had mastered: the perfect foundation for the Touré's Cuban interpretations. 

If Touré's intention was to create the most sensual music ever recorded in Africa, he might very well have reached this goal. The musicians on the recording sound like they are playing in a smokey, poorly lit juke joint, where dark rum was sipped ever so slowly, and the pulse of the music took up a life of its own. How many couples have danced, swayed, and melted together to the distinct sound of Amara Touré? Nobody can say for sure..."
- Analog Africa


VA - Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83

"Emerging in Jamaica in the 1930s from a period of political and social upheaval, Rastafarianism was not always as synonymous with reggae music as it would go on to become. With reference to Ethiopiathe seat of Emperor Haile Selassie I since 1930first appearing in Jamaican music on Lord Lebby and the Jamaican Calpysonians' 1955 recording 'Etheopia,' it wouldn’t be until the mid '60s and '70s that the Rastafarian faith would dovetail so heavily with the island's emerging reggae sound.

Telling this story from calypso through to ska and roots reggae, Soul Jazz have pulled together a double compilation charting the music of the Rastafari like never before. Pivoting on figurehead master drummer Count Ossie who was the first to bring the deeply spiritual nyabinghi and burro rhythms to popular music (influencing everyone from The Skatalites to Clement Dodd), the compilation also includes music from Johnny Clarke, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Bongo Herman and Roy Ashanti of The Congos, alongside many more." - The Vinyl Factory


MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975 - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (4CD)

"The fourth volume in the ongoing Miles Davis live Bootleg Series, Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975 is a four-disc anthology that brings together all of the legendary trumpeter's live recordings captured at the storied Newport Jazz Festival. Founded by organizer George Wein in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival grew into one of the premier music festivals in the world, thanks in no small part to Wein's longstanding association with Davis. With Wein's support and famous dedication to encouraging artistic experimentation, Davis would return to the festival throughout the most creatively vital years of his career. Although he first appeared at the festival in 1955, unbilled, ostensibly as part of an all-star group featuring pianist Thelonious Monk and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, it was his star-making rendition of "'Round Midnight" (the microphone buried deep in his trumpet to overcome sound-system issues) that landed him a record deal with Columbia and marked his ascent as one of the most innovative and important figures in music history. Miles Davis at Newport details the association between Davis and the festival, each performance serendipitously documenting his ever-morphing sound, from swinging cool jazz in the '50s to aggressive, free jazz-influenced modal bop in the '60s and finally to funky, acid-soaked fusion in the '70s." - Allmusic

Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 63 Next 20 Entries »