UPDATE: TIME CHANGE! The in-store show will now be at 1 p.m. (not 3 p.m.)!Â
We’ll be hosting Luther Dickinson for a free, in-store show on Sunday, March 13 at 1 p.m. Many of you know Luther from the hill-country boogie rock band The North Mississippi Allstars. Luther’s dad, Jim Dickinson, is also well known around these parts (he was the Thacker Mountain Radio house band leader). Luther’s latest record, Blues & Ballads, is out now via New West Records. The record is in stock now on beautiful 180 gram double LP with songbook and CD. Stay tuned for more info…
From Luther’s website:
This acoustic collection of songs interpreted simply, recorded live, solo or with a small group of friends reflects my relationship between music, songs, the written word and legacy. Blues & Ballads celebrates the American oral tradition of blues and folk songs, not only being passed down and evolving but being transcribed (the original recording technique) and entered into the discipline of written sheet music and songbooks.
The songs themselves tell the story of growing up in a modern day rural south amongst first generation Memphis rock ân rolling, song collecting, folk bohemians, disapproving pre-rock ân roll holy rollers, and citified punk rockers and modern day blues giants, experiencing the miracle that was Fat Possum Records and Hill Country Blues in the 90s, singing songs in a language near extinction, barely pre-internet, when community, word of mouth, firsthand experience, books, records and art still ruled. When the elders begin passing on, these family, friends and heroes should be made into folk heroes and their vernacular and stories should be sung.
The CD package contains my handwritten lyrics representing the songwriterâs notebook and the creative process that I love.
The vinyl art includes my dream come true â my songbook, a printed collection of my tunes (my life), transcribed and made to look legitimate. The limited pressing makes the legitimacy fleeting and as it should be: rare and underground. I represent the Memphis underground and the mid-south regionâs music. This art is not for the masses. It is meant to wither and fade and then rise from the ashes again and again, evolving and mutating.
Is it too late to tell your and your communityâs tales thru the vinyl groove and the block lettered, mimeographed page? Never! So be it through text messaged fluency of thumb and mp3-ed micro speakers, the lives and legends of modern day folk music heroes will live on and the spirit of American roots rock â n roll will shout to the man, the masses, and disposable pop culture, âFuck off. Even in death, the art lives on.â
We are now proud dealers of Audioengine bookshelf speakers. These speakers pack a punch and sound amazing especially considering their size. Designed in Austin, TX these powered speakers take sound and convenience to a whole new level. Â We paired them up with our bestselling turntable, the Audio Technica LP-60, and they sound really great. Â Come by the shop to hear ’em and check out a pair. All you need to get to spinning your records is any turntable with an internal, phono preamp and a set of these Audioengine speakers, and you can get it all from us for under $400.
The Audioengine A2+ speakers come in black, gloss white, and gloss red. They are $250/pair. We can also order any other Audioengine products…just ask!
âEasily one of the best deals in high-end audio, the Audioengine 2+ is simply incredible.âÂ – The Absolute Sound, Editor’s Choice Award
Len Clark–artist, painter, drummer–just moved his studio next door to the record store. Len has been a buddy to the store since we opened in 2012 (and long before). You may remember his work on the poster for our first anniversary party back in 2013 and for our Record Store Day poster in 2014. We’re really excited about having Len in the neighborhood and his work is extraordinary. He recently painted a portrait of David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, and it’s now hanging in the shop. Come by to see it!
To check out more of Len’s work head over to his website www.leonardrayclark.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll be happy to paint you your own Bowie!
The February selection(s) for our Record of the Month Club are two recently signed groups to the Fat Possum Records roster. Â This is our first Fat Possum selection for the ROTM Club, and it’s a doozy. Â As many of you know, Fat Possum Records is based right here in Oxford. Â They’re just down the street from the record store actually and we work closely with them acting like an unofficial storefront for the label. Â Fat Possum made its name by releasing hill country blues classics from R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, but we wanted to show the newer side of the label by showcasing some of their best up-and-coming artists like Sunflower Bean and Seratones (also check out Fat White Family, Mother, Yung, and the now-classic album Sweet heart, sweet light by Spiritualized among lots of others).
First up, we’re sending out the debut album by Brooklyn’s Sunflower Bean.RollingStone magazine gives it 4 stars and says, “Listening to the debut album, Human Ceremony, from Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean is a bit like flipping through some smart stoner’s impeccably refined record collection. All the correct drone-rock references are present: the Velvet Underground at their beachiest, the Autobahn liftoff of vintage Seventies Kraut-rock, the Eighties drug-punk of Spaceman 3, recent garage-grind aesthetes like Ty Segall, and the entire college-jangle canon from early R.E.M. to the Smiths to Real Estate and beyond.” We’ve got super limited, coke-bottle clear vinyl copies just for our Record of the Month Club members. Â Club members will also be getting a limited CD (only available via Rough Trade in the UK) featuring Sunflower Bean covering some of their favorite songs. Â We’ll also be throwing in a promo poster featuring the Human Ceremony cover artwork.Â
Second up, we’re sending out the debut 7″ single Necromancer/Take it Easy from Shreveport, Louisiana group Seratones. Â They’ve been working on their debut album with Jimbo Mathus at the production helmÂ and if this first single is any indication it’s going to rule. Seratones have played in Oxford several times now and they’re live show is top notch, so go see them when they come to your town (they’ll be back at Proud Larry’s on March 5th!) and be on the look out for their debut album coming later this year. Club members will be receiving the limited, blueÂ vinyl version of the single.Â
So to wrap it up for February we’ll be sending our Record of the Month Club members the Human Ceremony LP by Sunflower Bean, the limited Sunflower Bean covers CD, a poster, and the Seratones 7″ single. Â Sign up now if this has you interested!Â
âBillâs Picksâ is a new column weâll feature right here on our blog each week featuring a new release selected and reviewed by our smartest employee, William Boyleâknown as Bill to most folks. Bill is from Brooklyn, NY butÂ lives in Oxford now. He is the author of the novel GRAVESEND and the story collection DEATH DONâT HAVE NO MERCY. Â You can find him behind the counter at the record store on Sundays and Mondays. Â You can buy his books at Square Books in Oxford.Â
Read Billâs Picks belowâŚ
Julien Bakerâs Sprained Ankle is my favorite release of 2015. The vinyl has been delayed, but itâs out now and in stock at the store and you should get it. Maybe you know Bakerâs storyâthat sheâs just 20-years-old, a product of Memphis, has been making great music with Forrister/The Star Killers for years. I didnât know any of that when my pal Jimmy texted me about her last summer. He knew Iâd love her. He knew the part of me that gets lost in the work of Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen would get lost in Julien Baker too. The first song I heard, âBrittle Boned,â was amazing and stayed with me, but the whole record, when I finally streamed it in the fall, slammed me. I love a lot of music; Iâm often blown away by the likes of Sharon Van Etten and Water Liars and Mark Kozelek and Damien Jurado and Will Oldham. AddÂ Sprained Ankle to the list of truly miraculous records Iâve heard over the last decade or so. When you listen to it, you crawl up inside of it like a hideout. This is the kind of raw, perfect stuff that Iâm always after, be it in music, literature, or film. Bakerâs voice reminds me of Carolyn Berk of Lovers, and sheâs got the same ability to shatter you with a line. The voice is what hits you first, but everything else is equally as stunning. That guitar. Lyrics as honest and cutting as Iâve seen recently. Take this line from the title track: âWish I could write songs about / anything other than death / But I canât go to bed without / drawing the red, shaving off breaths.â My favorite song is âRejoice.â Rarely have I heard yearning expressed so sincerely. Thereâs a loneliness here, a deep well of anguish and hope. In that way, Bakerâs songs remind me of Jason Molinaâs early Songs: Ohia material, when he too was a kid who seemed to have seen it all, to have just returned from some mystical journey. I can give you a long list of reasons why Sprained AnkleÂ hits me so hard, but I donât feel like I should say too much more about it. Itâs too good, too special to ruin with talk. Let the album do its work. I can tell you this: Driving back to New York for the holidays, spinning Sprained Ankle on repeat, I hit a particularly desolate stretch of road in Western Pennsylvania and, as âRejoiceâ came on, I cried for everything that is and ever was. Thatâs rare magic.
The January pick is The Replacements breakthrough record Let it Be. Â Rhino records is pressing Let it Be on vinyl for the first time in over 20 years as part of their “Start the Ear Off Right” campaign. Â RotM Club members will receive the Let it Be LP, a 2016 calendar courtesy of Rhino Records, a plaid Replacements turntable slipmat, and a Replacements button to put on your leather/jean jacket.Â
The records just showed up and we’ll be shipping them out or ready for in-store pickup starting Monday, January 18th!
In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Let it BeÂ at number 239 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and called it “a post-punk masterpiece”.Â In 1989, the magazine had also rated it at #15 on its list of 100 best albums of the ’80s.Â In the 1999 miniseries “VH1’s 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll,” VH1 ranked Let It Be #79.Â PitchforkÂ rated the album at #29 on their 100 Best Albums of the 1980s. Spin ranked it #12 on their list of the 25 Greatest albums of all time.Â
Stay tuned for the February and March Record of the Month Club announcements!
The kind dudes in Holy Ghost Electric Show have been busy working on a new album down in Water Valley, MS over the past few weeks. Â They want you to hear it! Â We’re hosting the band in the shop on Saturday, Jan. 16th at 4 p.m. for a listening party.
The band recorded the albumÂ at Dial Back Sound studio with Simone Felice (formerly of the Felice Brothers) at the production helm.
We’re excited to hear the new record, which will be out later this year, and we’re excited to see where Cody and the boys go from here.