R.I.P. Allen Toussaint

Posted by Billy Gil, November 10, 2015 01:37pm | Post a Comment

allen toussaint

Legendary New Orleans pianist, songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint died today. He was 77.

Toussaint died this morning of a heart attack while in his hotel room in Madrid, The Associated Press reports. Toussaint had still been touring and performing at the time of his death.

Toussaint began performing in the 1950s and wrote hundreds of hits for other artists, such classics as “Working in a Coal Mine” for Lee Dorsey and “Lady Marmalade” as performed by LaBelle. His solo career blossomed in the 1970s with releases such as his 1971 self-titled album.

Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and 2009, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. He has performed with everyone from Paul McCartney to Elvis Costello. Toussaint is considered one of New Orleans’ most celebrated artists and often performed as a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Watch a performance of Toussaint in Madrid from from video taken yesterday below.

12 Vinyl Releases to Look For on Black Friday

Posted by Billy Gil, November 9, 2015 09:45am | Post a Comment

12 Vinyl Releases to look for on Black Friday

Black Friday is coming up on Nov. 27, that big shopping day right after Thanksgiving. The folks at Record Store Day will be releasing more than 140 releases that day, not to mention it’s new release day, with new stuff out from Bjork, Parquet Courts and others. If you can't make it in to one of our stores on 11/27, there's still hope you can snag one of these titles. We'll be adding Record Store Day Black Friday releases to throughout the day.

See a list (.pdf) of everything we’ll have for sale here, and check out our 12 picks for releases to look for on Black Friday below.

ariel pink heaven knows what

Ariel Pink – Heaven Knows What [OST]
[Pink Ninja Star Shaped 7”]

Weekly Roundup: L.A. Takedown, Seth Bogart, Lissie, Busdriver, James Supercave

Posted by Billy Gil, November 6, 2015 12:59pm | Post a Comment

L.A. Takedown L.A. Takedown Stream

la takedownComposer/musician Aaron M. Olson’s L.A. Takedown is doing an L.A. takeover, performing at different area record stores as he releasse his self-titled debut on Ribbon Music. The cinematically minded artist performs as a full-fledged band live and will perform Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. at Amoeba Music, and we’ll have the album in-store that day prior to its Nov. 20 wide release. Stream the album’s throbbing analog synthesizers and dramatic turns here.









Seth Bogart – “Eating Makeup (featuring Kathleen Hanna)

seth bogartSeth Bogart has delivered sweaty garage-pop goods for years under the Hunx moniker, solo and with His Punx. Now he’s setting out under his own name with a more lo-fi electro-pop tunes called “Eating Makeup” that recalls his time in Gravy Train!!!!, getting silly with Kathleen Hanna over a chintzy beat with post-punky, out-of-tune guitars. Cole MGN produces, who’s worked with Ariel Pink and Julia Holter, among others. Bogart’s solo album is due early next year on Burger and will also feature collaborations with Tavi Gevinson, Cherry Glazerr and Chela.

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Album Picks: Grimes, Floating Points, Carla Morrison, W-X

Posted by Billy Gil, November 6, 2015 12:05pm | Post a Comment

Grimes Art Angels

grimes art angels downloadAfter three years and a false start, Grimes aka Claire Boucher has returned with the follow-up to her breakthrough, Visions, and it’s a brightly colored collection of artpop magical realism. The drumline beats and sunny guitars and melodies of “California” and the title track could almost pass for something on mainstream radio, if not for Boucher’s clarion voice cutting through. Similarly, the nimble “Flesh Without Blood” might not be the most original song Grimes has put to tape, but it’s the catchiest and is damn near irresistible. Yet in between those songs we get “Scream,” which has none of the safety of her more accessible tunes, between Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes’ twisting flow and Boucher’s curdled screech. The previously released “REALiTi” throws fans of her more straightforward electro-pop a bone, though it continues with the posi vibes and influences of K-pop and early ’90s house that flow through the rest of the album. Meanwhile, “Venus Fly,” her spacey hip hop duet with Janelle Monae, is a pure delight, coming off like a futuristic art-school version of the Spice Girls, and “Kill vs. Maim” has the feel of the drama kids taking over a pep rally with Boucher’s yelp simultaneously spirited and demented. Boucher has no use for genre boundaries and is seemingly allergic to negativity, all of which gives Art Angels an unbeatable all-embracing energy. The biggest change from Visions is that Boucher’s personality is more front-and-center; whereas that album could be more cold and cerebral in its in-between tracks, Art Angels is entirely engaging, and even its most digitized moments are stained with blood. (Art Angels will be released on LP and CD Dec. 11.)

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Album Picks: Ryan Adams, Car Seat Headrest, Martin Courtney, Cheatahs, Wolf Eyes, Boogarins, GEMS

Posted by Billy Gil, October 30, 2015 12:34pm | Post a Comment

Ryan Adams1989

ryan adams 1989 lpRyan Adams’ full-album cover of Taylor Swift’s blockbuster album 1989 is easily derided in concept. What benefit would Adams fans get from the cultish, prolific artist seeking inspiration from a pop singer as young and ubiquitous as Swift? Plenty, it turns out. Adams hasn’t sounded this directed in ages. “Welcome to New York” is perfectly suited to Adams’ Springsteen-ish heartland rock tendencies (think of it as a cousin to his own “New York, New York”). Musically, 1989 is gorgeous; the reverb-rock take on “Style,” mandolins as strings in “Out of the Woods,” chiming Smiths guitars in “Wildest Dreams” and ’80s rock pulse of “All You Had to Do Was Stay” give 1989 an immaculate sheen worthy of its pop predecessor. Some of Swift’s lines and singsongy melodies sound a little silly coming through Adams’ world-weary lips (“Shake It Off’s” “Haters gonna hate”), but he also has a way of revealing not only the darkness underneath most pop lyrics (“you look like my next mistake” sound sad rather than impulsive in “Blank Space”), but the universality of the emotion behind them. Part of the record’s success can be attributed to Adams’ chutzpah; the rest comes from the fact that these were solid hooks and entertaining lyrics to begin with. It’s clear from listening that 1989 is no cash-in; Adams may have been 15 in 1989, when Swift was born, but he uses that to his advantage. The youthful emotion present in these songs still courses through him, and the tinges of regret and nostalgia he adds makes the material all the stronger.

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