Dec 2021

Old Friends New Friends (CD)

Nils Frahm's Old Friends New Friends is a double album consisting of twenty-three (mostly) previously unreleased solo piano tracks recorded from 2009-2021. It's a testament to Frahm's talents that these were on the back burner; the songs are thoroughly enchanting and enveloping. The tracks swim fluidly from the intensely emotional to the playful and light, from yearning to joyful. It's a richly-drawn album that feels alive in a way that's hard to describe until you immerse yourself in its beauty. With friends like these, you're in good company indeed.

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Live From Blackalachia (LP)

Moses Sumney's Live From Blackalachia is an electrifying experience. Recorded on a ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains during summer 2020, the album finds Sumney and co. bringing new directions to the tracks from his first two albums. The songs on Blackalachia were originally arranged in preparation for a live tour—but well, 2020—and thus the band decided to bring them to listeners in a new format, i.e. this album. And what a gift that decision has turned out to be. Blackalachia feels alive with emotion, with the beauty and tenuousness of those days, the songs accentuated by the sounds of crickets and birds chiming into the finely-crafted live panorama of guitars, keys, violin, saxophone, double bass, drums, and trombone.

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A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 (CD)

Common's Beautiful Revolution Part 2 is exactly what it sounds like: a rallying cry rooted in beauty, joy, and positivity. (It's also obviously a Part 2, in this case a followup to last year's EP.) Drawing inspiration from the tumult of 2020, Common doesn't look away from the darkness. He acknowledges trauma while celebrating progress, resiliency, and the long road ahead. This is an uplifting and dynamic album, made all the better by stellar contributions from Seun Kuti, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), Black Thought and James Poyser (The Roots), Rene Moore and Angela Winbush (Rene and Angela), and many more.

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Jerry Garcia Band [30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] (LP)

The Jerry Garcia Band’s self-titled live album gets the 30th anniversary reissue treatment with this comprehensive 5-LP box set, out courtesy of the good people at ATO Records. Available in a limited edition pressing of 10,000, each LP is pressed on 180 gram vinyl—all the better to savor the sweet sounds of the band’s appearance at The Warfield in San Francisco, coming to us all the way from 1990. Featuring the unbeatable lineup of Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Melvin Seals, David Kemper, Gloria Jones, and Jacklyn LaBranch, this Deluxe Edition is really something to celebrate. A landmark album, now available in an equally solid reissue format.

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