This Month's Picks

The Explorers Club (CD)

The Explorers Club
Nashville-based sunshine pop band The Explorers Club’s self-titled album is their fourth and full-length release and boldest work to date, breaking sonic barriers while maintaining lush melodies and multi-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of ‘60s and ‘70s groups like The Beach Boys, The Turtles, and The Association. More
Genre: Rock

S&M2 (CD)

Metallica, San Francisco Symphony
In October of 2019, Metallica and The San Francisco Symphony teamed up once again, 20 years after the two legendary and seemingly dichotomous entities first collaborated on an epic set of concerts billed as Symphony and Metallica (S&M).  S&M2  features 20 songs (that’s more than 2.5 hours of music) from the two-night event that blew the doors off of San Francisco’s Chase Center. There are many Metallica fan favorites here and two unique classical pieces chosen by San Francisco Symphony Musical Director Michael Tilson Thomas.  S&M2  has been newly re-edited by the band with remixed and remastered audio. More
Genre: Rock

Elliott Smith [Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition] (CD)

Elliott Smith
Twenty-five years after Elliott Smith's self-titled second album was released to little fanfare by the press, this highly-influential work gets the attention it deserves from the good folks at the Kill Rock Stars label. Smith is a songwriter of great emotional depth whose influence on indie rock cannot be underestimated. This influence continues to expand and shape music years after his death, and this dark and beautiful album is considered his seminal work by many. The anniversary reissue includes many bells and whistles for fans, but the most thrilling detail for many will be the inclusion of the earliest known recording of Smith performing as a live solo act. The Smith family’s official archivist, producer and engineer Larry Crane, sorted through archive of reels, cassettes, DAT tapes, and digital files to locate the best sources for Smith’s first-generation mix downs. More
Genre: Rock

The Neon (CD)

Erasure
Erasure reunites for the momentous occasion of their 18th studio album, The Neon , which follows 2017’s World Be Gone . Like the glowing hot substance of the title, the music evokes an exciting and energetic mood. The Neon is a place that lives in the imagination. It’s a place of possibility bathed in warm light and this is music that takes you there. Vince and Andy pull inspiration from pop music through the decades, from bands they loved and want to share with a new generation. The Neon connects us to our pasts and our futures as it glistens with hope. More

SUGAREGG (CD)

Bully
Bully’s third album sees frontwoman Alicia Bognanno reinventing her process with a newfound clarity of purpose, and, as a result, the sound immediately takes flight like My Bloody Valentine after three double espressos. A highly-accomplished engineer who ran the boards herself on the first two Bully albums, Bognanno frees herself of those duties to focus on the writing, and partners with the Grammy-winning John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sleater-Kinney, The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse, and more) at the famed Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. An additional five months of writing and recording following that session completed  Sugaregg , Bognanno’s most accomplished album to date. More
Genre: Rock

Live At Goose Lake: August 8th, 1970 (CD)

The Stooges
Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the performance, Live at Goose Lake: August 8th, 1970 , is the rare release that rewrites history. The apocryphal tale of The Stooges performance at the Goose Lake festival has been told many times over the past five decades: bassist Dave Alexander spaces out in front of 200,000 attendees; he does not play a single note on stage. He is fired by Iggy Pop immediately following the gig and thus starts the beginning of the end of the seminal proto-punk band. But what if that wasn’t true? Found buried in the basement of a Michigan farmhouse, the 1/4” stereo two-track tape of The Stooges complete performance at Goose Lake on August 8th, 1970 has been found and you can now own it. Not only is this the last performance of the original Stooges line-up, but it is the only known soundboard recording of said line-up. Playing the entirety of their 1970 masterpiece Fun House , everything about this record is revelatory. And guess what? Alexander actually did play bass during this performance and, despite failures on some songs, he was damn solid on others. More
Genre: Rock

Purple Noon (CD)

Washed Out
Washed Out, the Atlanta-based producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene, delivers his most accessible creation to date with his fourth album, Purple Noon . With each release, Greene has approached his evolving project with meticulous detail and a steadfast vision. Greene wrote, recorded, and produced Purple Noon following a brief stint of writing for other artists (most notably Sudan Archives). His time writing for others enabled Greene to explore genres like R&B and modern pop. These brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter for Greene. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder…you can hear the luxuriousness of Sade, the sonic bombast of Phil Collins, and the lush atmosphere of the Balearic beat classics. Mediterranean coastlines inspired Purple Noon , and Greene pays tribute to the region’s distinct island culture using it as a backdrop to tell stories of passion, love, and loss. Purple Noon ’s title comes from the 1960 film based on the novel The Talented Mister Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, and much like romantic Hollywood epics, the melodrama throughout this album is strong. Purple Noon adds a layer of emotional intensity to the escapism of Washed Out’s oeuvre, taking the music to dazzling new heights. More
Genre: Rock

Beyond The Pale (CD)

JARV IS...
This is the first original music from Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker since 2009. The "JARV IS" band was originally formed to play at the Sigur Ros "Norður og Niður" festival in Iceland in 2017. As they continued to play shows, they recorded their live sets so that they could monitor how the songs were developing, and eventually used these recordings as the basis for Beyond the Pale . Overdubs and vocals were later added at Narcissus Studios in Neasden, London. Cocker’s lyrics are as witty as ever, perhaps turbo-charged to meet current hard times, and the arrangements and hooks are just as strong as in the Pulp days, if not more inventive for hybridizing live with digital production. More
Genre: Rock

XOXO (CD)

The Jayhawks
In classic Jayhawks fashion, the songs on XOXO  mix the influence of American roots music with British invasion and jangly power-pop. There's also a newfound vitality at play, an invigoration of confidence and energy. The result is an album that, just like the band's lush harmonies, brings multiple distinctive voices together into a singular whole. This is a collection that finds unity in individuality and identity in reinvention. More
Genre: Rock

Pure X (CD)

Pure X
Pure X is back after six years with their fourth album, a shimmering and swirling self-titled work of vintage sounds recorded live in single takes. It’s their most focused work to date, with vocals clear and smooth as a summer day, and a rhythm section like a night train chugging through the desert. Pure X  weaves together their old sound, all the delays and distortion, and mixes it with a new optimism of straight-ahead melody. More
Genre: Rock