This Month's Picks

The Frank Sinatra Collection: Happy Holidays with Frank and Bing / Vintage Sinatra (DVD)

The Frank Sinatra Collection brings together some of Frank's finest performances on television and in concert. This release combines a classic early color television Christmas special from 1957 with a compilation from his 1950s TV shows that includes commentary and reminiscences from his three children: Nancy, Tina, and Frank Sinatra Jr. More

Days Gone By (CD)

Bob Moses
Using organic instrumentation mixed with electronic production, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to vividly resonate across both. Alternating between dancefloor burners and moments of reflective repose, Days Gone By weaves a rich spectrum of sensation over the course of its ten tracks. More

Kiss Rocks Vegas Nevada (DVD/CD)

In November of 2014, KISS brought their legendary live show to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for a Los Vegas residency. KISS Rocks Vegas captures the event in all its pyrotechnical glory as the band powers through hit after hit in front of the adoring KISS Army. This two-DVD/CD combo is a must have for all KISS fans. More

Flux (CD)

Rich Robinson
The blues rock attitude of the sixties stays perfectly alive with Black Crowes' Rich Robinson. Head-throttling guitars slam your head with emotional solos that are powered up and amplified to shock. With his back catalog recently reissued, Robinson approached Flux differently than his prior efforts. Whereas he previously wrote tracks at home and then beefed them up in the studio with his large backing band, Flux was a bit more improvisational. Fragments of songs were taken into the studio and worked out with his band until they popped just right. You can hear the excitement in the way the loose, almost ramshackle way all the elements come together, just like Bob Dylan's mid-'60s period. There are more risks and strange choices done than in any of his other solo albums or with The Black Crowes that it creates the atmosphere of pure musical joy. "Sleepwalker," his Eagles-ish ballad, is about independent thought and dealing with human emotions. While society stigmatizes open thought and emotion, Robinson's blunt lyrics and spiritual guitar embody pure feeling so beautifully that it is painfully real and raw. "Which Way Your Wind Blows" channels the aggressive English-blues sound of Bad Company with a bass line that weighs a ton and a guitar solo distorted so it sounds almost like a synth. Robinson's scathing lyrics taunt and mock in such a weirdly, sloppy way that it reminds you of the missing attitude from modern rock. Crack open a beer and blast this one. Its hypnotic blues-rock blend will take you back to 1975. More
Genre: Rock

Ash & Ice (CD)

The Kills
The Kills are back with a record that manages to build on their raw rock ’n’ roll appeal by adding some unexpected new elements (see the electronica-tinged intro to “Doing It to Death”). On Ash & Ice  the duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince kick their songcraft up a few notches by rooting their usual ultra cool garage and blues riffs to pop sensibilities, creating relentlessly catchy tracks perfect for driving around on sweaty summer days with your windows down. Yet, there’s an unexpectedly intimate feel to this album, with more introspective lyrics and a toned down version of their former brashness. It’s a natural progression for a duo who first garnered attention with their snotty, raucous debut in 2003, and have stayed together as creative compatriots despite the changing demands of growing fame and growing up. Standout tracks include the previously mentioned “Doing It to Death” and the slow burning, yearning album closer “Echo Home.” More
Genre: Rock

Sonderlust (CD)

Kishi Bashi
It's almost insane to think pop wunderkind Kishi Bashi has had the success he's had. His combination of polyrhythmic drums, minimal synths, tape loops, soft vocals, complex lyrics, and violin sounds could have been destined for a niche audience or avant garde weirdos, but under his control, it's total poetry. It's a heavenly mix of indie dream pop and experimental minimalism and the resulting album is much needed in this dark year. It's more closely tied to the symphonic sounds of mid-'60s Beach Boys than to any other contemporary artist. With the strange harp sample that starts up "m'lover" it seems like it'll step into baroque antiquity any second before sampled vocals pop up with all their digital glitchiness, eventually exploding into a beautiful cacophony of synths, drums, and layered vocals. It sounds like it could go off rails any second, but Kishi Bashi keeps it all carefully orchestrated and beautifully composed. "Hey Big Star," the first single released for the album, almost breaks into a freakout that is so sugary sweet and joyful it's impossible to not smile while listening. It shines with bright optimism and a type of joy that seems to be missing from music today. It's exciting and almost shocking to cynical ears, but by the time you get to the operatic "oooohhhs" at the end, your heart will have been won over. Sonderlust feels revolutionary, not by being grotesque and in your face, but by creating a glowing atmosphere that can change the vibe of a room. Clear proof that pop still has plenty of life in it! More
Genre: Rock

99.9% (CD)

KAYTRANADA
Kaytranada's long anticipated debut release,  99.9% , is a perfect blend of soul, funk, and electronic jams. He is well known for his reworks of R&B joints like Janet Jackson's "If" and Teedra Moses' "Be Your Girl," but his original creations on this effort will get him in well with the people who weren't aware of his eclectic sound, and it gives those who already know his vibe more of what they've been loving. The album features vocals and appearances from some of the urban alternative scene's brightest stars, including Anderson Paak, Alunageorge, Badbadnotgood, Karriem Riggins, Syd Bennett, Little Dragon, Phonte and more. More

Roxy: The Movie (DVD)

Frank Zappa's December 1973 concerts at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood are legendary. Filmed in 16mm, this footage has been sitting in the Zappa vault ever since. Now fully restored by the Zappa Family Trust, this live concert film is being made available for the first time. More

Eric Clapton: Slowhand at 70 Live at The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)

In May of 2015, Eric Clapton performed his 200th concert at London's famous Royal Albert Hall fifty years after his first performance there with The Yardbirds. Clapton's seven-night run at the venue creates a set list of vintage blues tracks and Clapton classics from across his astonishing career. More

The Wilderness (CD)

Explosions In The Sky
It’s been five years since post-rock greats Explosions in the Sky released an album. But their stature seems to be as high as ever, given that their music is continually used in film, TV and video game soundtracks — most famously in “Friday Night Lights.” Their music has only become more streamlined — and ultimately more potent — on their latest release. Listen as they cram a whole lot of epic into four minutes on “Disintegration Anxiety,” as guitar washes sigh over a pulsating, lively groove. Or, on the other hand, how “Logic of a Dream” moves from quiet splendor into rumbling waves of noise take over and send shivers down your spine. On The Wilderness , Explosions in the Sky remain utterly capable of creating sounds that leave you in awe, both beautiful and foreboding. More
Genre: Rock