HAIM, “Forever”/”Edge (feat. Twin Shadow)”: For HAIM’s RSD debut, it only seems appropriate that they rerelease their first song ever, with a kickass 80s-drenched Twin Shadow collab b-side. HAIM in any situation is always bitchin’, but vinyl HAIM is the second-best kind (behind live HAIM of course).
Fleetwood Mac, “Dragonfly”/”The Purple Dancer”: The Mac Attack recently announced their first US tour with original bassist Christine McVie (who was with them for thirty years but quit in 1998). For FM fans this is obviously heart-arresting news, so it’s fitting for the legends to rerelease the 1970 single, the first to feature McVie as a bandmate.
Drive-By Truckers, Dragon Pants EP:Behold your friendly neighborhood DBT obsessive’s obligatory mention! For Truckers fans, new material is always a week-maker. This EP features four new tracks, an alternate take of “Natural Light”, and… some badass artwork (but you didn’t hear it from me).
Parquet Courts, “Sunbathing Animal”/”Pilgrims to Nowhere”: One of the best new indie bands to come out the past couple years (or, in our opinion, a while) would be baby-faced Brooklyn punks Parquet Courts, and it’s hard to find either of their LPs in stores - so snag this if you can.
RPM Turntable Football: Okay, not sure how this one’s gonna play out, but this is somehow a sound-based football fantasy game courtesy of Microfiche Records. It comes with color commentary and ways to score points, on football-field-green wax. Grab this for sheer novelty, but also, to tell us how it works, because we are both puzzled and intrigued.
The Pogues, Live With Joe Strummer: Shane MacGowan was kicked out of the Pogues in 1991 for his unreliability, so they replaced him with some little known singer/guitarist by the name of Joe Strummer. I think he was in some group in the 70s and 80s with those guys in Gorillaz. This is the first and only physical release of the album in the US, so I’m definitely grabbing it if I find it.
Vitamin String Quartet, Vitamin String Quartet Performs Weezer’s Pinkerton: The Vitamin String Quartet releases a bunch of great string versions of rock classics. The past two years, they’ve released vinyls in conjunction with Record Store Day of Sigur Ros songs and Radiohead’s In Rainbows. This year, VSQ’s release is one of the best album of the 90s and the arguably most influential album on the late 90s/00s emo wave of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and others: Weezer’s Pinkerton. The release, specially remastered just for vinyl, is being pressed on green vinyl and includes a download link.
Devo, Live at Max’s Kansas City-November 15, 1997:David Bowie is there backstage with Devo at their New York City première. The Thin White Duke gets onstage and introduces them: “This is the band of the future, I’m going to produce them in Tokyo this winter.” Bowie became busy filming a movie in West Germany, so Brian Eno produced the album in Cologne. In addition to the rare Bowie audio and the entirety of this landmark concert in punk and new wave, Gerald Casale has prepared liner notes specifically for this release. Devo also has a picture disc for their ‘95 Sundance gig and a Side by Side of “Gates of Steel” with The Flaming Lips.
Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea” Single: “Pennyroyal Tea” was due to be the next single off of “In Utero” in 1994. Unfortunately Cobain’s death made Geffen cancel the release of the vinyl (a few promo singles got out to radio stations though - another rarity). 20 years later, Geffen is finally releasing it b/w “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.”
David Lynch, The Air Is On Fire: David Lynch is probably first and foremost known as one of the most accomplished filmmakers of the past three decades and the shepherd of surrealist cinema into the mainstream. Many don’t know his outstanding endeavors in other art forms. This 12-inch is the soundscape he created for a 2007 art exhibition of the same name, and it’s the first time it’s been released on vinyl to boot. I plan on listening to this with a slice of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.
The Velvet Underground, Loaded Reissue on pink, black, and white splatter vinyl
Cage The Elephant, “Take It Or Leave It”
The Space Project
Tame Impala, Live Versions
The Cure/Dinosaur, Jr. Just Like Heaven
Cut Copy, In These Arms Of Love/Like Any Other Day
The Orwells, The Righteous One
Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea” Single
RPM Turntable Football
Cake Vinyl Boxed Set with previously unreleased live album
Bummed that SXSW is now a whole year away? Don’t worry, Pretenders super-front-woman Chrissie Hynde has you covered. The video for Hynde’s first solo single “Dark Sunglasses” plays like a portrait series of alt-America small town life, featuring ATX’s inhabitants wearing (you guessed it) dark sunglasses. The track is catchy, well-made, and as friendly as the folksy folks about town. Warning: may make you desperately crave an organic burger.
“You say I’m freakin’ you out / Well guess what honey, you’re freakin’ me out too / I’d rather let leeches treat me like a milkshake / Than spend another minute without you.” Those odd and unique lyrics – besides evoking fun and fancy-free There Will Be Blood memories – are what open up PT Walkley’s latest solo album Shoulders. Soulfully sung over jaunty keys and a tight horn section to boot, you just know you’re in for a good time. Shoulders plays like a day on the beach: smile-making, soul-lifting, introspective, and laid back. Walkley combines his love of should-be-illegal catchiness (honed from his jingle days) with breezy 70s soul funk – check the driving rocker “Sirens”, the “Kokomo”-esque “Rose-Coloured Glasses”, and the clickety-clack rockabilly of “No Time to Sweat”. This album starts on a high note (literally!!! sorry) and doesn’t let up, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for the reemergence of that large yellow sky ball that we all have a vague recollection of.
NEW TRACKS: Kishi Bashi, “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!”
You know that cliché about someone having the voice of an angel? That stopped being a cliché as soon as Kishi Bashi (stage name of Kaoru Ishibashi… get it?), indie-session-violinist-turned-master-music-craftsman, stepped up to the mic. The Quiche, as I affectionately call him, violinned for acts like Regina Spektor and Sondre Lerche before basing himself in the music hotspot of Athens, GA (go Dawgs) to play with notorious freak folk performance artists of Montreal. Let it be said again that the world owes infinity to Elephant 6 for all of its offshoots, because Kishi Bashi’s first record 151a is the sound of spiritual transcendence magnetized to tape. “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!” is the first single from his upcoming Lighght, and it follows suit. The trippy, rainbow video features Ishibashi’s adorable family AND the happiest vibes you’ll ever experience. Mark May 13 off on your calendar, because Lighght is going to be one of the best releases of the year.