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When Aesop Rock debuted in the late 90s with Music For Earthworms and Appleseed, Blockhead was also a part of the process, not only as a producer, but also helping coordinate sales of the CDRs to hungry Hip Hop fans. Blockhead and Aesop continued to collaborate, creating an impressive list of songs along the way, including two of Aesop’s most popular songs to date; “Daylight” and “None Shall Pass”. In recent years, Blockhead has contributed production, as well as remixes, to many of Aesop’s solo releases and group projects, and Aesop has made a handful of guest features on Blockhead’s solo projects, but in all that time, Aesop and Block have never done a full album together, until now!
Garbology came together over the course of the pandemic, as well as in the midst of Aesop processing the loss of a close friend in January of 2020, resulting in a period of time of feeling uncreative. Looking back on that time that feels both like yesterday and forever-ago, Aesop recalls, “The world got real weird during those months. I knew at some point I had to get back to making something. Make a beat. Draw a picture. Write. Just go. But the idea of making a beat felt like math homework, and drawing is just so hard. Writing is hard too, but at some point I had to pick one.” With writing as the chosen path, Aesop hit up Blockhead to send over some beats. At the beginning there wasn’t a plan for an album, or any particular plan beyond creating some songs. However, it wasn’t long before one song became a few, and then a handful, until finally an album was born.
Garbology encapsulates the soundtrack of current times, capturing a snapshot of Aes and Block expressing a means of entertaining themselves in the midst of less social interactions than usual, “anchored on a goulash of cabin fever, fear, anger and boredom”, as Aesop describes it.
As for the album title, Aesop explains, “Garbology is defined as the study of the material discarded by a society to learn what it reveals about social or cultural patterns. I find a lot of parallels between that and the idea of picking up the pieces after a loss or period of intense unrest, and seeing what’s really there. It’s information that speaks to who I am, who we are, and how we move forward. Furthermore - the idea of digging through old, often neglected music from another time with an ear tuned for taking in that data in a different way than your average listener would is exactly what Tony does. Go through the information and see what you find.”
Phoebe Bridgers wrote her first song at age 11, spent her adolescence at open mic nights, and busked through her teenage years at farmers markets in her native Los Angeles. By age 20, she'd caught the ear of Ryan Adams, who listened to her perform her song "Killer" in his L.A. studio, inviting her to come back and record it there the next day. The session blossomed into the three-song ‘Killer’ EP, released to much acclaim on Adams’s Pax-Am label in 2015. In the two short years since, Bridgers has toured or played with Conor Oberst, Julien Baker, City and Colour, Violent Femmes, Mitski, Television and Blake Babies among others. On September 22nd, Phoebe Bridgers will release her debut full-length, Stranger In The Alps. From the weeping strings and Twin Peaks twangs of opening track Smoke Signals, to the simple heartbreak of Funeral and melancholic crescendo of Scott Street, Stranger in the Alps is a swooningly beautiful record with a gothic heart.
Vinyl: $26.98 Buy
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered edition. High 'N' Dry', is the first of Def Leppard's albums to be produced by Robert 'Mutt' Lange and was released in 1981. It reached #38 in the US and #26 in the UK chart, further cementing the bands status.
Deluxe edition. 2021 release. Planet Her is the third studio album by rapper and singer Doja Cat. The album was produced by Doja Cat's frequent collaborators such as Dr. Luke, Y2K, and Yeti Beats, and the rapper herself. Titled after the fictional planet conceived by Doja Cat, Planet Her is an amalgamation of pop, R&B, and hip hop styles. It features guest appearances from Young Thug, Ariana Grande, the Weeknd, JID, SZA, Eve and Gunna.
Private Space, the group’s third album, is a previously untapped vibe at the heart of The Indications. Pushing beyond the boundaries of the funk and soul on their previous releases, Private Space unlocks the door to a wider range of sounds and launches boldly into a world of synthy modern soul and disco beats dotted with strings. It’s an organic, timeless record that’s as fresh as clean kicks and familiar as your favorite well-worn LP. Developed after being apart for much of the year, Private Space is creatively explosive and delights in upending expectations. Its 10 tracks are both an escapist fantasy and a much-needed recentering after a tumultuous 2020. Throughout, The Indications highlight a collective resiliency – as well as the power of a good song to be a light in the darkness.
Durand Jones & The Indications have long provided the soulful soundtrack for such deep thoughts, both on stage and on your turntable. But as the world slowly resets from the chaos of the past year, Durand Jones & The Indications’ Private Space is arriving at just the right time.
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Double LP on yellow & black marble color vinyl in same packaging as the standard version. Side D is an etching. Full album download included. Ltd Edition. Indie Only.
The never-ending psychedelic web of Kurt Wagner's Lambchop continues to unravel on September 30th with a new album titled The Bible.
The story of The Bible begins with Wagner up in the middle of the night during the first year of the plague, watching his new friend from Minneapolis, Andrew Broder, play a Wurlitzer on Instagram Live. Broder was one in a group of Minneapolis musicians Wagner had met prior to the pandemic through mutual friend Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). After watching the livestream, he called Broder up. “Dude, I’ll get you in a studio,” he says, “you just go in there for like three or four hours and do your thing.” Broder sent him back twelve 20 minute-long pieces. And then Wagner found himself in Minneapolis, in the sweltering summer of 2021, in a decommissioned paint factory turned practice space. Wagner would find an immediate musical spark with Broder & his musical partner Ryan Olson (Gayngs, contributor to Taylor Swift's Evermore). Olson contributes greatly to the album, both with arrangements & production. “Ryan and Andrew, they’re like two sides of my personality,” Wagner says. “And if you put them together as a team, they represent me.” Good thing, because this would be the first time Wagner let somebody else—people who weren’t even from Nashville—produce a Lambchop record.
The music on The Bible is more unpredictable than it’s ever been on a Lambchop record. Jazz careening into country, into disco, into funk, and back to country. All tied together with Wagner’s own voice, born from a perspective on his own life inspired by taking care of his father at the end of his life. The sounds all jumbled together with snatches of observations, words torn from the headlines in Minneapolis—bumper stickers on the freeway, or graffiti from outside that decommissioned paint factory. Through the weeks, musicians (local & non-local) would come & go, putting their own thumbprints on this bible. Perhaps most strikingly, contributions from two different vocal choirs (Bells of the Lakes & Lutheran Bells) & gorgeous string arrangements courtesy of yMusic co-founder C.J. Camerieri (who has also arranged strings for Sufjan Stevens, Antony & the Johnsons & The National).
The live double LP from Madonna’s record-breaking Rebel Heart Tour features 14 tracks, performed around the world on her 10th global trek. Recorded at Sydney’s Allphones Arena in 2016, this spectacular is everything (and more) you’d expect from The Queen of Pop. The tracklist spans Madonna’s entire career, including songs from her chart-topping Rebel Heart album and classic fan favorites, pressed on “Purple Galaxy Swirl” vinyl. Limited Edition.