Hello good people. We are wrapping up the week here with a post about pretty much everything at Backbeat. First though just a quick note to let you know we will be closed this coming Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015. Sorry for any inconvenience but we’ll be back at it on Wednesday as normal.
Selected New Books 70% off
We have an excellent selection of new books at 70% off. Once they’re gone they’re gone so come in soon to make sure you don’t miss out.
Sale books will be indicated on the spice and will also have an orange price sticker showing the discounted price.
Featured New Vinyl Releases
Another three new releases this week to mention. This is usually the time of year that my album of the year shows up, don’t think it’s here yet but there have already been some pretty sweet releases for 2015. Here’s what is spinning this week.
Aphex Twin – Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments PT2
New and unheard material from Richard D. James as Aphex Twin following the Top-15, Grammy nominated album Syro. 13 Tracks with a Total runtime of over 28 mins. Artwork by The Designers Republic. “There are few figures in the past twenty years of electronic music as important and as mercurial as James” – The New Yorker
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The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
From AllMusic.com – Review by Mark Deming
The Decemberists belatedly embraced their indie pop sensibilities (or at very least their fondness for R.E.M.) on 2011’s The King Is Dead, and were rewarded with a number one chart placing and the group’s greatest commercial success to date, leading some to wonder if Colin Meloy and his bandmates were going to go for more hooks or return to the more ornate sound of their earlier work now that they had a large audience waiting for the follow-up. As it turns out, 2014’s What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World finds the Decemberists managing to have it both ways; if anything, many of these songs are brighter and hookier than those on The King Is Dead, but if this is pop, it’s pop that’s keenly intelligent, melodically adventurous, obsessively literate, and perfectly willing to explore sadness and disappointment rather than just the upbeat moods that are expected to accompany catchy melodies. The melodies on “Lake Song” and “Till the Water Is All Long Gone” may be more streamlined than you’d hear on Picaresque or The Crane Wife, but the arrangements are richly detailed, playing on the dynamics of Chris Funk’s guitars, Jenny Conlee’s keyboards and accordions, and John Moen’s percussion, and the group takes much pleasure in the dour beauty of its melodies. The band also embraces its upbeat side on this album with numbers like “The Wrong Year” and “Philomena” (the latter pondering teenage lust as only the Decemberists can), and the opening track, “The Singer Addresses His Audience,” is a witty but cutting meditation on the notion of fame, its impact on the culture, and where the Decemberists fit into the puzzle in the wake of hit records and appearances on Parks & Recreation. There’s still more than enough folk in the Decemberists’ approach to make them stand apart from their peers on the upper reaches of the pop charts, and the intuitive smarts of their stylistic vision are still front and center, but What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is an album where the creative sprawl is more a matter of how this divergent selection of melodies and moods interacts, rather than how many elements can be folded into one song; this is very clearly the Decemberists, but with a new kind of focus in their songs and arrangements that makes it clear this album’s sound is a result of creative evolution, not an offering to their newer, larger audience, and it’s a sweet and sour wonder that rewards repeated listening.
toyGuitar – In This Mess
Jack Dalrymple has cultivated a near legendary status with his involvement in One Man Army, Swingin’ Utters, Dead To Me, and The Revolts. Of course, few musicians in punk rock possess a calling card like Jack’s velvety vocals, but his song writing and guitar work are just as renowned. All three talents are on full display in Jack’s latest endeavor, toyGuitar. Filled out by Miles Peck, Rosie Gonce, and Paul Oxborrow, all outstanding musicians in their own right, toyGuitar churns out a hyper-elevated level of garage rock. Based on the raw fuzz of 70’s protopunk and complemented by intricate guitar leads, unbelievably hook laden melodies, and captivating lead and backing vocals, toyGuitar’s ultra-stylized sound even incorporates elements of surf, 60’s soul, and power pop. In This Mess is toyGuitar’s first full-length and first release on Fat. From the Bowie-esque twinge of ‘Human Hyenas’, to an attitude reminiscent of The Stooges on ‘In My Head’, to the hypnotic vibe of ‘Roller Coasters’, every track on In This Mess offers something unique without ever losing the album’s pervasive jolt of energy.
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Audio Gear A-GO-GO
File this under a work in progress, but we’ve just loaded up with some fine vintage audio gear. We already have an amazing selection of it here and ready to go but are still in the process of cataloging and pricing it all but we will keep you posted on everything in the near future. We will have turntable, amps, receivers and more from AKAI, Harmon, Kenwood, Luxman, NAD, Nikko, Pioneer and Sony. We also have some sweet speakers from Bose, JBL, KEF, Koss, Mission, Sound Dynamic, Technics and Wharfedale.
So yup, been a pretty fun week here. We hope you drop by, grab a book, some vinyl and maybe some new gear, go home get all setup and just chill and enjoy.
That’s all folks.