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Music Releases 10-01-21

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Brandi Carlile's new album, In These Silent Days, October 2021 via Low Country Sound/Elektra Records. It's the follow-up to her 2018 album By The Way, I Forgive You, and she recorded it at Nashville's RCA Studio A with producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. Tim Hanseroth (vocals, bass), Phil Hanseroth (vocals, guitar), Cobb (guitar, percussion), Jennings (piano, organ, synth), Chris Powell (drums, percussion), and Josh Neumann (strings) all appear on the album, and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius make a guest appearance, adding backing vocals to "You And Me On The Rock."

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The Metallica Blacklist celebrates the 30th anniversary and enduring influence of the iconic Black Album, with one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived by the Metallica team: An unprecedented 50+ artists spanning an unbelievably vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique interpretation of their favorite Black Album song. All profits from The Metallica Blacklist will be split evenly between the All Within My Hands Foundation and 50+ charities chosen by the artists who play on the album. All music overseen by executive producer Giles Martin.

 

The seven LPs will be housed in die-cut jackets with a booklet in a library-style slipcase. Comes with an MP3 download card.

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Celebrating 10 years since they first recorded together, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga returned to the studio for another collaboration featuring the very best of the Cole Porter Songbook. Continuing the musical legacy that began with “Lady Is A Tramp,” followed by the GRAMMY winning album, Cheek To Cheek, this new recording captures the evolution of the singular creative and personal relationship of these two world famous artists. Tony, who turns 95 on August 3, 2021, has spent over 7 decades dedicated to performing the Great American Songbook and Lady Gaga who, with Tony by her side, renewed her love of the popular standard and redefined herself in the process. The album features duets as well as solo performances by both artists accompanied by Tony Bennett’s quartet, The Brian Newman Quintet, along with big band and orchestral arrangements by Marion Evans and Jorge Callandrelli.

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Roger Taylor

Outsider [LP]

Vinyl: $28.99 Buy

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Rock icon and multi-instrumentalist Roger Taylor introduces his new solo album Outsider. With much of Outsider recorded during lockdown, this new album finds Taylor in a reflective mood, conveying a palpable sense of isolation, concerns over the passing of time, and tellingly dedicated "to all the outsiders, those who feel left on the sidelines". A highly personal project, Outsider's instrumentation is almost entirely performed by Taylor, with his vocals matching the mood-piece atmosphere.

New Vinyl: $28.99 Video
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To say In Heaven is about conquering grief would be oversimplifying everything Tim Showalter has achieved on the eighth studio album from Strand of Oaks. A stunning, hopeful reflection on love, loss, and enlightenment, In Heaven is a triumph in music making, and a preeminent addition to the Strand of Oaks discography.

In late 2018, Showalter’s wife, Sue, lost her mother in a car accident. Soon after, Stan, the cat they both adored, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Showalter quit drinking so he could take better care of his wife and help rebuild the life they shared. And within months, they decided to pack up and move across the country from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas. It was an irrational decision made at the height of a terrible time, but it’s one that shaped so much of what In Heaven is about.

In Heaven was recorded in October 2020 with Kevin Ratterman at Invisible Creature in Los Angeles. Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is featured on guitar throughout the record, while James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) contributed vocals and guitar for “Easter.” Bo Koster (MMJ, Roger Waters) provided keyboards, Cedric LeMoyne (Alanis Morrissette, Remy Zero) bass, Scott Moore violin, and Ratterman monstrous drums. Showalter also played a lot of synth on this record, which he hasn’t done since 2014’s HEAL. With clean sounds, Jeff Lynne-esque acoustics, and sophisticated songwriting, he approached In Heaven in a more poised and pop-leaning way than his past releases.

“I wanted to strive for something greater than what I thought I was capable of.”

The result is something extraordinary, as Showalter has crafted a poignant narrative that transcends his personal experiences and achieves a universality rooted not only in loss but joy, celebration, and newfound strength. The gorgeous opener “Galacticana” finds him telling us “I don’t want to drag you down,” a reassurance that his intentions lie in uplifting. But there’s a duality present throughout In Heaven that is palpable, as felt on “Easter,” an exuberant pop anthem featuring jaunty guitar and ethereal vocals courtesy of Iha, that both celebrates Showalter’s new life and references his efforts to “stop the boat from sinking.” It’s a powerful sentiment echoed in slow burner “Hurry,” which showcases some exceptional shredding by Broemel, and beyond, as Showalter explores mortality and a heightened sense of his own existence, intensified by a world where he no longer uses alcohol to cope.

Pairing smart, imaginative lyrics and striking arrangements, tracks like “Carbon” and its magnificent violin stand out, as does “Sister Saturn” with its funky, sinuous groove, and the sublime “Horses at Night,” which features one of Showalter’s most exquisite melodies to date. There’s also a discernible current running through In Heaven of homage to some notable losses in music—John Prine, Jeff Buckley, and Jimi Hendrix all play a part—for In Heaven is about moving beyond sadness or anger to a state of gratitude that we ever had these people to begin with. And while every song provides some clue to Showalter’s personal heaven, the jubilant “Jimi and Stan” says it all, wherein Hendrix and his beloved cat Stan are hanging out, going to shows, and looking at stars together.

And as our musical odyssey ends in the warm embrace of “Under Heaven,” the weight of everything Showalter has manifested—the beauty, and the sadness, and the immensity of it all—hits with tremendous impact. But any sense of hopelessness or melancholy yields to a different feeling entirely, just as he intended. Perhaps we’re feeling stronger, more prepared for something. Or maybe it’s just a reminder: call your parents, text your friends, hug your pets. Listen to your favorite records. And think about what it means to be alive. 

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Following nearly two years of global touring in support of their adventurous and acclaimed album, The Wilderness (2016), Explosions In The Sky paused on the future to reflect on the past. Celebrating their 20th year as a band with a pair of remastered reissues of early beloved classics – How Strange, Innocence(2000) and The Rescue (2005) – they embarked on a memorable series of anniversary concerts in 2019. It was around then that Explosions In The Sky was approached to craft the score to a new documentary about a place with which, as native Texans, they were very familiar: Big Bend National Park.

That documentary, Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas, premiered on PBS in the United States as well as on a variety of networks in other countries in early 2021. The hour-long film intimately follows the lives of native animals amid expansive aerial views of the iconic desert landscape that makes up one of the grandest natural wonders in the world. The band set these sights to an inspired, melodic, and meaningful blend of acoustic guitar, slide guitar, strings, piano, bells, and drums that feels as alive and diverse--and vast and lonely--as the place it depicts.

Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television) takes that mesmerizing score and recontextualizes it as a stand alone album. Those brief cues have been expanded and transformed into a thoughtful, gorgeous full-length album that recalls some of the band’s most magical and memorable moments from their storied history.

Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas is a film that explores the past and present of the vast, complicated landscape that still holds countless mysteries yet to be uncovered. In Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television), Explosions In The Sky pursue a similar approach to their own past and present, and find inspiration in all that has yet to be discovered.

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“Fearless was an album full of magic and curiosity, the bliss and devastation of youth. It was the diary of the adventures and explorations of a teenage girl who was learning tiny lessons with every new crack in the facade of the fairytale ending she’d been shown in the movies. I’m thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless is done and will be with you soon. It’s called Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and it includes 26 songs.” – Taylor Swift. Includes 6 unreleased tracks. Gold 3 LP.

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Flying Lotus follows the release of his sweeping epic Flamagra and his Producer of the Year Grammy nomination for Thundercat's It Is What It Is, with an expansive original soundtrack for Netflix's new anime series, Yasuke.

Flying Lotus is the executive producer & composer of Yasuke, which retells the story of feudal Japan's first African samurai who served with Oda Nobunaga. The series is directed by LeSean Thomas, stars Lakeith Stanfield and features Takeshi Koike as its lead designer.

Flying Lotus' score for Yasuke is an unforgettable titan in his musical canon, drawing enhanced influence from prior instrumental and vocal works alike, while looking towards the future uncompromisingly. The music lies heavily steeped within the legacy of jazz and electronic instrumentation, with select feature appearances by longtime friends and collaborators: Thundercat, Denzel Curry and Niki Randa.

New Vinyl: $25.99
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JW Francis

Wanderkid [LP]

Vinyl: $25.98 UNAVAILABLE

JW Francis burst onto the scene with his critically acclaimed debut ‘We Share a Similar Joy’, with features from DIY and Line of Best Fit to being named Album of The Day on BBC 6 Music. His warm, affable melodies and comforting lyrics earned him fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and now he returns with his sophomore album WANDERKID, a concept album about a wandering anti-hero. WANDERKID hones in on JW’s dreamy soundscapes and explores themes of escapism, whilst still maintaining that sense of comfort and intimacy so beautifully demonstrated in his debut. To celebrate the release, JW is going on a 2,000 mile walking journey across the Eastern United States along the Appalachian Trail. With WANDERKID, JW Francis is further cementing his place as a future stalwart in the alternative New York scene.

New Vinyl: $25.98 Digital Tracks
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2021 release. Asking Alexandria is teaming up for the first time with Better Noise Music for their seventh studio album, See What's On the Inside. Asking Alexandria is returning with a revival and a rebirth after spending the winter of 2021 living in the studio, the first time band had spent a period alone together writing and recording in over a decade. The product is the truest album by the band yet.

Movie Releases 10-05-21

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Welcome to the Jam! When NBA champion and cultural icon LeBron James and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered‐up roster of NBA and WNBA stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest‐stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready‐for‐action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even “King” James by playing the game their own way.
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When a killer plague wipes out 99% of the world’s population, the embattled survivors struggle to make their way in a post-apocalyptic reality. This 2020 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand frames the eternal battle between good and evil, as embodied by the peaceful prophet Mother Abagail (Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg) and the menacing presence Randall Flagg (Emmy Award winner Alexander Skarsgård), and closes with a new coda written by Stephen King himself. The all-star cast also includes James Marsden and Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear, with guest stars Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Heather Graham. Delve deeper into this epic reimagining of King’s iconic novel with exclusive special features.