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The ROTM Club November pick is…

…lost soul from Lee Moses!

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Lee Moses was a huge talent and if he’d had the big hit album he richly deserved, Time And Place would’ve been it. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Moses cut his teeth in the clubs of Atlanta, the ‘Motown of the South’, where he frequently performed alongside his contemporary Gladys Knight (who reportedly wanted him for the Pips, but couldn’t pin him down).

It was, however, in New York in the ‘60s that Moses made his greatest bid to find the solo fame he desired. Moses began working there as a session player, even playing frequently with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, but his close relationship with producer and Atlanta native Johnny Brantley eventually saw him getting his own break via a series of 45s in 1967 – most notably with covers of Joe Simon’s “My Adorable One”, The Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” and The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”.

It was 1971 before Moses’ dream of being at stage front was realized, when he released his Brantley-produced LP Time And Place for Maple Records. Recorded with a band including members of The Ohio Players and Moses’ own backing group The Deciples, it was, nonetheless, Moses himself whose star quality shone through, via his scratchy guitar riffs, his throat-ripping vocals and the stirring mood that permeates the LP’s heady mix of funk, soul and R&B.

The LP did no business, and Moses’ dream quickly crumbled. Though details on his life are scarce, it’s believed he fled New York disenchanted with the music industry, feeling he’d been double-crossed by Brantley both in credit and remuneration for the countless records he’d played on. Back in Atlanta, Moses returned to playing the clubs, married twice, and fell into depression and drug dependency. He died in 1997 at the age of 56.

Time And Place soon became a much-sought-after item for collectors, and its cult has continued to grow over the years. Here’s the record on deluxe vinyl, with brand new liner notes from Sarah Sweeney including interviews with Moses’ sister and his closest collaborator, the singer and guitarist Hermon Hitson. Through them, Moses becomes a little – but just a little – less of an enigma.

An absolutely essential lost soul record. Members will also get a Hi Records CD sampler featuring killer soul from Memphis by the likes of Al Green, Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Syl Johnson, OV Wright, and more. Sign up here!

Record of the Month Club for February: Sunflower Bean & Seratones

The February selection(s) for our Record of the Month Club are two recently signed groups to the Fat Possum Records roster.  This is our first Fat Possum selection for the ROTM Club, and it’s a doozy.  As many of you know, Fat Possum Records is based right here in Oxford.  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.  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.  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.  We’ll also be throwing in a promo poster featuring the Human Ceremony cover artwork. 

 

Second up, we’re sending out the debut 7″ single Necromancer/Take it Easy from Shreveport, Louisiana group Seratones.  They’ve been working on their debut album with Jimbo Mathus at the production helm 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, blue vinyl version of the single. 

 

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.  Sign up now if this has you interested! 

November ROTM Club pick: Chris Knox “Seizure”

This may be my favorite record picked so far in this first year of our Record of the Month Club.  We’ve been waiting on this record since Captured Tracks began reissuing classic titles from New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records catalog. AND IT’S FINALLY HERE! The November selection for the Record of the Month Club is Seizure by Chris Knox.  I’ve been trying to track down a copy of this record for years to no avail and now we can not only snag a copy but we get to pass copies along to all of you, and that makes us really excited.  Club members will be getting a super-limited, screen printed by hand version of the record featuring the original artwork.  We’ll also be throwing in a little surprise with this record…so heads up on that.

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Chris Knox is considered the grandfather of New Zealand music.  He’s responsible for many of the early Flying Nun recordings and his bands Toy Love and The Tall Dwarfs made tons of great records, but his solo record Seizure may be his greatest work.

Seizure, originally released in 1989, was certainly not the start of his story, but it is often considered his first ‘proper’ solo album. Though in fairness there is nothing proper about it, exploring the surreal, the political, the satirical and sometimes simply the crazy, all of which had never been seen on the hit parade. Yet, musically they should have been, packed with brilliantly skewered hooks and humorously scathing lyrics, Seizure is a lo-fi mix of punk, indie rock and pop that works perfectly.

From the simple pop of “The Face of Fashion”, through to the driving force of “Wanna!!”and the strangely uplifting brood of “My Dumb Luck” – all that without mentioning “Not Given Lightly”, the love song to end all love songs – Seizure, despite our dislike of the word, is a legendary release in the Flying Nun catalogue.

LP of the Month: Charles Bradley “Victim of Love”

charles-bradley-victim-of-love This isn’t really a new release (it came out last April) but it’s a timely selection for our “LP of the Month,” as Charles Bradley will be headlining this year’s Double Decker Arts Festival here in Oxford on April 26th! So come buy the record and then check him out live!

 

“Victim of Love” received tons of great reviews and critical praise upon its release: 

“When he saunters through the groove of ‘You Put the Flame on It,’ stomps and shrieks the J.B.’s-like funk of ‘Confusion’ and, especially, digs into tearstreaked ballads (‘Crying in the Chapel’), he sounds like an heir, not an impersonator.” -RollingStone (Best Albums of 2013 List)

“A lot has happened in the life of soul singer Charles Bradley since his stellar debut, No Time for Dreaming, was issued in 2011. He has not only received attention, but the album sold well, and he’s toured extensively. His compelling story is also the subject of a documentary film. The songs he co-wrote with Thomas Brenneck on that recording were steeped in his autobiography and reflected Southern soul music as it was recorded at Stax and Muscle Shoals in the middle of the ’60s. Victim of Love is not so much a departure from that sound as a progression of it. These tunes, once more co-written by the pair, reflect the soul’s evolution as it approached the end of the decade. The material is less dark in its vision — perhaps reflecting the turn in Bradley‘s life circumstances — but is no less poignant. His voice is no less gritty, his scream no less heart wrenching, his emotion no less forthcoming. Opener “Strictly Reserved for You” has an uptown, funky bassline and fuzztone guitar. The sweet backing vocals soften Bradley‘s wrenching toughness enough to make it vulnerable. “Let Love Stand a Chance” is brimming with a slow burning tenderness that beseeches the absent beloved to hear him out. One has to wonder who could refuse a request so searingly rendered. “Where Do We Go from Here” and “Confusion” are drenched in urgent, bristling, psychedelic funk, with wah-wah guitars, fuzzed-out bass, and organ. “Love Bug Blues,” is a roiling soulful blues. “You Put the Flame on It,” with its uplifting interaction between singer and backing chorus, and underscored by horns, weds world-weariness and optimism. “Hurricane” finds Bradley flanked by horns and B-3 on one side and his backing chorus on the other. He’s testifying to the calamities and darkness in the human heart — with some wild phase shifting on the instrumental backing. The set ends with “Through the Storm” — it’s spiritual soul that could easily be taken as an offering of gratitude to fans. The shimmering guitars, vibes, and slippery, funky snare, frame the horns which in turn accent Bradley‘s absolute conviction that he’s come through the worst.Victim of Love showcases growth — and a sound not heard before on Daptone — while not straying from the gritty soul that established the singer; it is every bit as strong as its predecessor and more diverse. You just can’t get enough of the real thing.” -AllMusic.com

 

LP of the Month: Angel Olsen “Burn Your Fire For No Witness”

jag246.11183Many of you will remember Angel Olsen’s amazing performance recently at Lamar Lounge.  The PA system was acting weird so Olsen stepped out from behind the mic and belted out her songs…just a voice, and a damn fine one.  The room was totally under her spell.  We haven’t forgotten that show and now we have a brand new album from Angel Olsen.  Bill and Jimmy–both employees at the shop–have been championing Angel from the beginning. They love her and you should too.  Her singing with Bonnie Prince Billy was worth the price of admission, but now her solo work is standing well on its own. This new album is guaranteed to grow her fanbase to new heights.  The tone of the album and Angel’s voice seem heavily influenced by the excellent Sybille Baer (check out her amazing record on Orange Twin), which is a very good thing.  We think it’s a damn fine record and one of the best of 2014 so far.  Come by the store and hear it for yourself, or check her out on NPR’s Tiny Desk series…it rules.

We have a few free 7″s to give away with the purchase of this record. While supplies last.

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Some of Our Favorite Releases of 2013…so far

2013 is going strong! Tons of great records coming out weekly and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down as far as we can tell, with new records still to come from Iggy Pop & the Stooges, The Flaming Lips, Julian Lynch, Deerhunter, Smith Westerns, Yeah Yeah Yeah, and tons of others.  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of surprises and reissues as well that we’ll be flipping out over. So, we decided it’s time to take a breather and reflect on some of our favorites records…so far.

So here’s what we’ve been listening to the most in 2013:

-Water Liars “Wyoming” (Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum)

-David Bowie “The Next Day” (Columbia)

“Sorrow Come Pass Me Around” (Dust to Digital)

-Beat Happening s/t LP (K Records; reissue)

-Kurt Vile “Wakin On A Pretty Daze” (Matador; also the coolest packaging of 2013…so far, with The Knife’s new record, “Shaking the Habitual,” as a close secord.)

-Jacco Gardner “Cabinet of Curiosities” (Trouble in Mind)

-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Push the Sky Away” (Bad Seeds Records)

-Grouper LPs (Kranky)

-My Bloody Valentine “m b v” (finally!!!)

-William Tyler “Impossible Truth” (Merge)

-Yo La Tengo “Fade” (Matador; also one of our favorite live shows so far this year)

-Phosphorescent “Muchacho” (Dead Oceans)

-Plume “Seasons Change” (self released)

-Thai Funk Vol. 1 & 2 (Light in the Attic/Burger Records)

-Youth Lagoon “Wondrous Bughouse” (Fat Possum)

-“The Devil is Busy in Knoxville” (Mississippi Records)

I’m sure we’re leaving out some killer records, but here’s what we’ve got…so far.

 

 

Back to School stock update

Lots of new stuff in today! Plus some great used LPs and 45s!

Here’s a taste of the new and restocks:
-Archers of Loaf vinyl reissues
-Blur vinyl reissues
-John Maus LPs restock
-Grateful Dead “American Beauty” and “Workingman’s Dead” vinyl reissues
-Sonic Youth “Sister” LP plus lots more
-Lost Sounds new demo LP from GONER RECORDS
-Mississippi Records restocks including Abner Jay
-Pin Group reissue LP from FLYING NUN
-Chris Knox 10″ (some great, great songs on this)
-Staring into the Sun: Ethiopian Music LP from SUBLIME FREQUENCIES
-Lots of great reissues from 4 MEN WITH BEARDS including Modern Lovers, Chris Bell, Wire, etc.
-Ol’ Dirty Bastard “Return to 36 Chambers” LP reissue
-J. Dilla “The Shining” LP
-some great compilations from HONEST JON RECORDS
-Destroyer’s “Rubbies” LP
-The Trypes LP (compilation including members of The Feelies)
-Jack White “Blunderbuss” vinyl restock

plus a lot more!

More record players (vintage and new) in stock as well.

The Tallest Man on Earth

For a limited time, you get a FREE 7″ and poster when you purchase the new record from The Tallest Man On Earth, “There’s No Leaving Now,” on vinyl.