LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 24 february 2015...
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>BADBADNOTGOOD/Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul CD/LP (Lex)
"Everything about the formula for
Sour Soul screams instant classic. Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD made a name for themselves over the last couple of years via a retro fusion of jazz and instrumental hip-hop. Part of that notoriety came from whip-smart covers of tracks by the likes of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame, but also from imaginative, expressive originals — the keys/bass/drums trio acting as a younger generation of The Bad Plus, choosing their covers from the hip-hop and electronic canon rather than pop and rock. Pairing the Canadians with Ghostface Killah, a rap legend who excels over soulful, spacy throwback production, would seem to be beyond a no-brainer" – Consequence Of Sound. (Limited copies pressed on gold vinyl.)
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>THEESatisfaction – EarthEE CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
EarthEE is the follow up to awE naturalE, the alternative R&B group's critically acclaimed debut. The album was recorded in Seattle and Brooklyn, and features guest appearances from Shabazz Palaces, Meshell Ndegeocello, Porter Ray and Taylor Brown. "EarthEE suggests up front a comparison to Shabazz Palaces' second album, Lese Majesty, because both albums expand on their predecessors, stretching these sonic palates into otherworldly spaces. But that is about where the comparisons end. Shabazz Palaces' music has always lets its seams show a bit more, but THEESatisfaction—especially on EarthEE—challenges a whole other set of listener expectations. The atmosphere is more expansive than awE naturalE, the textures more patient, but the fitful structures feel a little bit like Harris-White and Irons are constantly changing the rules just as we think we've got a hold of them." – Pop Matters
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>Torche – Restarter CD/LP+MP3 (Relapse)
"Over what seems like a very short time span of ten years, Torche has seen their nearly exclusive sound garner an impressive number of fans as well as generally widespread critical acclaim. Even a brief listening experience reveals that the band's coveted formula for success in the world of independent heavy music makes complete sense. The music has been catchy enough to offer accessibility to more than just the self-enclosed world of heavy metal fandom and yet versatile enough in its execution to keep (most of) the knee-jerk purist criticism at bay.
Restarter, the band's fourth full-length, sees a return to form for Torche that even in its unabashed nods to frontman Steve Brooks' other musical endeavors, retains the pop sensibilities that have continually been the point of distinction between the two." – The Quietus
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>Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer CD/LP (Domino)
"Dan Deacon's
Gliss Riffer is his first new full-length since 2012, and his first album since his 2007 breakthrough Spiderman Of The Rings that Deacon recorded and produced entirely on his own. Early singles "Feel The Lightning" and "Learning To Relax" served as good reminders of the spirited, Technicolor world that Deacon inhabits when he's on his A-game, and the album follows in a similar vein. The Baltimore producer has made yet another record that's deliriously all over the place, but still feels like something you'd want to spend a lot of time with." – Stereogum
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>Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up CD/LP+MP3 (Hardly Art)
I Want To Grow Up, the latest collection of songs from L.A. songstress Colleen Green, follows a newly 30-year-old Green as she carefully navigates a minefield of emotion. Her firm belief in true love is challenged by the inner turmoil caused by entering modern adulthood, but that doesn't mean that her faith is defeated. This time, she's got a little help from her friends: the full band heard here includes JEFF The Brotherhood's Jake Orrall and Diarrhea Planet's Casey Weissbuch, who collaborated with Green over ten days at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN.
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>Sam Prekop – Republic CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop's music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combination of oscillators, sequencers, limiters and filters to create a system that allows him to create sounds that are surprising and inviting. His new album,
The Republic, is his latest synthesizer work, following 2010's Old Punch Card, and showcases Prekop's talent for creating expressive music through mechanical patterns, repetitions, and chance.
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>Steve Gunn And Black Twig Pickers – Seasonal Hire CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Seasonal Hire is a collaborative album between Steve Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers that combines Gunn's circular, meditative guitar playing with the Twigs energetic mastery of old time instrumentation.
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>JJ Grey & Mofro – Ol' Glory CD/LP+MP3 (Provogue)
' Glory contains 12 new songs that feature the deep, soulful blend of blues, rock, folk, funk, gospel, gritty R&B and personal, Southern-inspired narratives that have become synonymous with JJ Grey & Mofro. The album showcases the strength of Mofro members Anthony Cole (drums and percussion), Andrew Trube (guitar), Anthony Farrell (piano/organ), Todd Smallie (bass) and Dennis Marion (trumpet) and Jeff Dazey (saxophone). Special guests include Luther Dickinson on dobro and electric slide guitar and Derek Trucks on electric slide guitar.
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>Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up CD/LP+MP3 (Hardly Art)
I Want To Grow Up, the latest collection of songs from L.A. songstress Colleen Green, follows a newly 30-year-old Green as she carefully navigates a minefield of emotion. Her firm belief in true love is challenged by the inner turmoil caused by entering modern adulthood, but that doesn't mean that her faith is defeated. This time, she's got a little help from her friends: the full band heard here includes JEFF The Brotherhood's Jake Orrall and Diarrhea Planet's Casey Weissbuch, who collaborated with Green over ten days at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN.
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>Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti [Reissue/1975] 2xCD/3xCD/3xCD+3xLP+MP3/2xLP+MP3/3xLP+MP3 (Atlantic)
Digitally remastered edition of Led Zeppelin's 1975 double album. CD and HQ-180gm vinyl available in Standard double-disc or Deluxe Editions. The Deluxe triple-CD/LP edition adds a bonus disc containing seven previously unreleased alternate versions of tracks from the album. The Super Deluxe Edition gathers all formats in a lavish box, packaged with a hardbound 96-page book and a high-quality print of the original album cover.
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>Michael Chapman – Window [Reissue/1971] CD/LP (Light In The Attic)
Every artist has a piece of work that niggles them-something that they wish they could redo, given the chance. For the prolific Michael Chapman, that album is
Window, the missing link in the series of Chapman's early albums being reissued by Light In The Attic Records. In 1970, signed to the hip Harvest label, Chapman was still an artist waiting for that first big success, perpetually skint and permanently touring to make ends meet. With that in mind, he aimed to make Window in as little time as possible because being in the studio meant not being on the road. Producer Gus Dudgeon-who'd been working with Elton John-had other ideas and booked Chapman and his band into one of the UK's most expensive studios, Trident. Recorded with guitarist Phil Greenberg, violinist Johnny Van Derek, and pianist Alex Atterson, the album has a blend of electric and acoustic instruments, both traditional and experimental at once, synthetic sounds melding with fingerpicked guitars.
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>Iron & Wine – Archive Series Volume No. 1 CD/2xLP+MP3 (Black Cricket Recordings Co.)
Sam Beam gathers otherwise unreleased home recordings, covers, live sets, and curiosities from his entire career as Iron And Wine and releases them on his own label, Black Cricket Recordings Co. The songs on
Volume No. 1 came to life at the same times as those selected for Iron And Wine's debut album, The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002). Performed and recorded at home on a four-track cassette, some of this material has been widely bootlegged, but has never been widely released. (Limited copies pressed on white vinyl.)
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>Arthur Russell – Calling Out Of Context [Reissue/2004] CD (Audika)
The compilations that started the renaissance. In 2002, Audika Records entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the estate of Arthur Russell to compile and issue previously unreleased and out of print material from Arthur's vast archive. This first album
Calling Out Of Context, features 12 previously unreleased tracks of Buddhist Bubblegum Alt Disco Pop recorded during Arthur's prime years 1985-'90.
for the week of 17 february 2015...
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>José González – Vestiges & Claws CD/LP (Mute)
Brand new, long awaited album from José González -- his first album in seven years. Since then, González recorded and released albums with his other musical incarnation, Junip a duo made up of González and Tobias Winterkorn. Most recently, González teamed up with Ryan Adams to create a track for Ben Stiller's
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty released last year. "It was no doubt a conscious decision to work without a producer. I didn't want this to be too polished, or too 'in your face.' Most of all, it's fun to be in complete control of the artistic aspect. Also, I was inspired by and picked up a lot of tricks from the producers I have worked with in the past. I like to use distortion and let things be a little overdriven, which gives things a warmer sound. Sometimes people complain that my music is too muddled, but I really do not want a modern crisp sound. I'd much rather aim somewhere between Shuggie Otis and Simon & Garfunkel."
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>Ibeyi – Ibeyi CD/LP (XL)
Ibeyi (pronounced "ee-bey-ee") means "twins" in the language of the Yoruban culture of Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz. The album of the same name, produced by XL Recordings boss Richard Russell, is the story of two sisters: their relationship, their origins, their shared history and their musical chemistry. The twins' roots are reflected in the polyglot nature of the lyrics -- in English, French and Yoruban -- and music that combines ritual chants with synths and samplers, jazz vocals with the spellbinding mystery of Bjork and Fever Ray, the traditional with the modern.
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>The Amazing – Picture You CD/LP (PTKF)
The Amazing inhabits an aural landscape that's all its own: a panoramic, constantly evolving spectacle marked by layers of intertwining guitars, richly textured keyboards and a rhythm section adept at skewed tempos and a tendency to veer off in unexpected directions. The band's free flowing, cinematic sound balances focused song structures with unbridled improvisation to create a heady genre smashing exercise in sonic exploration.
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>Phosphorescent – Live At The Music Hall 2xCD/3xLP (Dead Oceans)
Recorded over three nights at The Music Hall of Williamsburg in 2013, this live set is a veritable 'best of' from a band at the height of their powers. One part cowboy bravado, one part wounded master.
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>A Place To Bury Strangers – Transfixation CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Transfixation, the new album from Brooklyn fuzz-pedal abusers A Place To Bury Strangers, is the band's fourth album. Given that these guys like to pride themselves on their face-hurting loudness, it might not be their loudest album. But it might be their toughest. The band has always had some My Bloody Valentine and some Sonic Youth in its DNA. This time around, they seem to have some Suicide and Hawkwind and Motörhead, as well. It's a dense and heavy and impressive rock album, and it's well worth your time." – Stereogum
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>Sonny And The Sunsets – Talent Night At The Ashram CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Initially envisioned as a film project, each song on
Talent Night At The Ashram was originally a short film that, when strung together, formed a feature-length movie. Equal parts Fellini and Os Mutantes, Talent Night At The Ashram is cinematic in its storytelling and kaleidoscopic in its mixing and merging of musical genres. (Vinyl version pressed on red wax.)
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>Pop Staples – Don't Lose This CD/LP+MP3 (Anti)
Don't Lose This was produced by Pops & Mavis Staples with Jeff Tweedy, and features son Spencer on drums and the original Staples Singers vocal lineup.
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>Sir Richard Bishop – Tangier Sessions CD/LP/Cassette (Drag City)
New album from the singer/guitarist best known for his work with the Sun City Girls.
Tangier Sessions tells the oft-told tale: while traveling abroad, nobleman meets guitar. Guitar is too expensive for nobleman and outraged, he departs. Nobleman quietly returns several days later for guitar but still can't bring himself to pay the price. Yet nobleman can't get guitar out of mind (he's never heard anything like it) -- so nobleman buys guitar, then travels the world with it, enchanted, and makes this album while in Tangier.
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>The Mavericks – Mono CD (Valory)
The Mavericks are fronted by singer/songwriter Raul Malo, known for his fearless and eclectic musical visions encompassing everything from Buck Owens and Tejano sounds to Dean Martin, Tito Puente, Roy Orbison and Ray Price. With bass player Robert Reynolds, Eddie Perez on guitar, drummer Paul Deakin and keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden, the group has not only retained the vision they demonstrated on their 1991 self-released album, they've expanded on it.
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>Letts – Hold Fast CD/LP (Vagrant)
Christian Letts is more commonly known as the guitarist from Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes. Letts is releasing his debut solo record, produced by Marcus Mumford. The track "Matches" also features backing vocals from Mumford.
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>Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band – So Delicious! CD (Shanachie/Yazoo)
"On the lyrical side,
So Delicious! features a heavy helping of Peyton's crisply tongue-in-cheek songwriting and sense of humor; something that he says he's always wrestled with. Tracks like the Delta-slide barnburner 'Raise A Little Hell' are prime examples of how Peyton manages to convey a decidedly intense sound without taking his songwriting too seriously. But beyond its humor, its fingerpicking or its percussion, So Delicious! is notable for the stamp that will be placed upon it, that of the legendary Yazoo Records. Founded in the 1960s, the label came to prominence by reissuing the original work of legendary blues artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Rev. Gary Davis, Skip James and more. Because Yazoo had never been in the business of signing contemporary artists, it was a complete surprise to Peyton when the label's name reared its head as the band searched for a new home prior to the completion of So Delicious!" – Elmore Magazine. Vinyl version due February 24.
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>Bob Marley & The Wailers – Easy Shanking In Boston '78 CD/DVD (Island)
Digitally remastered previously unavailable live set released to coincide with the reggae legend's 70th birthday year.
Easy Skanking In Boston '78 features a historic live show from Boston's Music Hall, June 8, 1978. Bob Marley & The Wailers had broken through to the American mainstream by the time they arrived at Boston's Music Hall for two shows on June 8, 1978. (Also available on DVD and Blu-ray.) Vinyl version due March 31.
for the week of 10 february 2015...
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>Father John MistyI Love You, Honey Bear CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
I Love You, Honeybear was recorded from 2013 to 2014 in Echo Park, Los Angeles. There's a case to be made that it sounds and acts a bit like Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Dory Previn. The songs are a narration of my experience falling in love. My ambition was to address the sensuality of fear, the terrifying force of love, the unutterable pleasures of true intimacy, and the destruction of emotional and intellectual prisons with an imprint that is undeniably my own. Blammo." (Vinyl version available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe is pressed on tricolor vinyl in a custom pop-up jacket that plays the title track upon opening, using a greeting card-style sound module. Also includes poster and listening instructions.)
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>Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses CD/LP (Rounder)
Holding All The Roses compellingly captures the energy, attitude, and honesty that have already helped to make Blackberry Smoke one of America's hottest live rock & roll outfits. This 12-song set -- produced by Grammy-winner Brendan O'Brien (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) showcases the Atlanta-based quintet's emotion-charged mix of bluesy rock, gospel soul, and country, with Charlie Starr's raspy twang matched by his and Paul Jackson's snarling guitars, Brandon Still's hauntingly expressive organ and piano, and the propulsive sibling rhythm section of Richard and Brit Turner.
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>Andy D – Ready, Set, Bleed! CD (Aerobic Int'l)
For those who have fallen in love with the energy and spectacle of his live show,
Ready, Set, Bleed! contains the energy fans have come to expect from Andy D. This album leaves the more conceptual narrative framework of WarCries behind in favor of a more free-form collection of inspirations drawing from history, politics, sex, and dancing. "Listeners who appreciate Andrew WK's hedonistic spirit, Lady Gaga's synth-pop game and Biz Markie's cartoon approach to hip-hop may find Bloomington-based Andy D to be their next pop-culture obsession." -- Indianapolis Star
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>Egyptrixx – Transfer Of Energy CD/LP (Halocline Trance)
Egyptrixx's music is primitive, minimalist, and fixated on texture and weight. Smudged facsimiles of club music with crude and abstract grooves.
Transfer Of Energy starts with cleansing drones then lapses into a fractured digital melody. Toggling between metallic shards of DX7, drum machine blast beats and grandiose, hyper-color drones its strange cohesion of disparate objects suggesting a novel synchronicity.
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>Thurston Moore/John Moloney – Full Beed CD/LP (Northern Spy)
First proper studio album/widely distributed release from the pairing of Thurston Moore and John Moloney (sometimes known as Caught On Tape). The music is heavy and noisy, yet bears the unmistakably poignant touch of the Sonic Youth mastermind and Sunburned Hand Of The Man legend. Thurston Moore is one of the founders of noise rock, and one of the most idiosyncratic guitarists of all time. John Moloney rose to prominence as the drummer of the psychedelic, ever-prolific Sunburned Hand Of The Man. They have been combining their talents in an experimental duo project since 2012, cutting several limited release LPs and performing internationally.
for the week of 03 february 2015...
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>Ty Segall – Live In San Francisco CD/LP (Castle Face)
By now you should know what you're in for here: an eardrum-toasting take to tape of the mighty Ty Segall Band, captured during two nights in San Francisco at the barely-pushing-medium-sized venue The Rickshaw Stop. Rowdy crowd, meet stacks of amplifiers-Ty, Charlie, Mikal and Emily came to singe your ears off.
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>John Carpenter – Lost Themes CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
John Carpenter has been responsible for much of the horror genre's most striking soundtrack work in the fifteen movies he's both directed and scored. The themes can instantly flood his fans' musical memory with imagery of a menacing shape stalking a babysitter, a relentless wall of ghost-filled fog, lightning-fisted kung fu fighters, or a mirror holding the gateway to hell. The all-new music on
Lost Themes asks Carpenter's acolytes to visualize their own nightmares.
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>Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night CD/LP (180 Gram+CD) (Columbia)
Shadows In The Night is Bob Dylan's 36th studio album, and marks the first new music from the artist since 2012's Tempest. Regarding the repertoire on this album, Bob Dylan commented, "I've wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That's the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for the most part, mixed as it was recorded. I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day."
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>Butch Walker – Afraid Of Ghosts CD (Dangerbird)
The guitarist/producer's new album was produced by Ryan Adams at Pax Am Studios in L.A. and includes guest contributions by Johnny Depp and Bob Mould. With gritty hints of folk, pop and rock,
Afraid Of Ghosts weaves a journey through life, love, death and everything in between. Vinyl version due February 24.
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>Murder By Death – Big Dark Love CD/LP (Bloodshot)
For a band that has built its formidable, near 15-year career around a consideration to tension, release, bombast, ecstasy, and highest-highs vs. lowest-lows, it is something to say that this is Murder By Death's most dynamic release to date. Sonically here, their signature sound rootsy indie rock, cinematic gothic ballads, and rousing pub rock shout-alongs mix with enlivening new stylistic elements touches of pop, synth-y electronics, and psych rock only hinted at on previous albums.
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>Kath Bloom – Pass Through Here CD/LP (Chapter Music)
Bloom presents a distinctive new sound, uplifted by floating synthesizers and disembodied choruses, while retaining the direct simplicity and power for which she is loved.
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>The Church – Further Deeper CD/2xLP+MP3 (Unorthodox)
25th studio album from the legendary Aussie band. After over three decades of making music in various formats, lineups, places and cognitive states, this is a band who have committed to exploring unchartered sonic territories. With long-time member Marty Willson-Piper being unavailable, Ian Haug (formerly of Powderfinger) came on board to partner the iconic guitar playing of founding member Peter Koppes.
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>Title Fight – Hyperview CD/LP+MP3 (Anti)
New release from the Pennsylvania punk band.
Hyperview is the band's third full-length release and includes the single "Chlorine" as well as nine other brand new tracks.
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>Scientist – The Dub Album They Didn't Want You To Hear! CD/LP (Jah Life/Deeper Knowledge)
Totally killer, previously unreleased dub companion LP to Flick Wilson's
School Days LP. Jah Life was no slacker when it came to mixing dubs, and sat in with Scientist at King Tubby's or the mixing of many of the classic Junjo/Radics Scientist albums. But more importantly, they also mixed a ton load of dubs for Jah Life himself, many of which, like this album, remain unreleased. Nine out of ten tracks from the Flick Wilson album are dubbed here, and one track from Wayne Jarrett's 1981 album, What's Wrong With The Youths.