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Joe Bataan — Afrofilipino

Joe Bataan Afrofilipino LP

Joe Bataan’s career offers a true All-American success story. Born on November 15, 1942 to African-American and Filipino parents in Spanish Harlem, Bataan briefly led a street gang and spent time in a correctional facility on a stolen car charge before emerging in the mid ‘60s to author his own unique blend of boogaloo, doo wop, and soul. Bataan’s sound caught the ears of Fania Records, who signed him for a string of eight successful albums before Bataan left to co-found the Salsoul label—he also came up with the name, a combination of salsa and soul—where he recorded three albums, of which this 1975 record was the first. You’ll hear a little disco and funk mixed in with the salsa and soul on this release, whose “East Coast Side” and “West Coast Side” were recorded on opposite sides of the country. But no matter where Bataan laid down the tracks, he made sure to get the best musicians—playing on Afrofilipino is a veritable Who’s Who of session cats including Richard Tee, John Faddis, Cornell Dupree, Randy Brecker, and David Sanborn. For the first-ever vinyl reissue of this classic Latin R&B album, we’ve given it a brand-new remastering (by Mike Milchner at SonicVision), and pressed up 1000 copies in opaque yellow vinyl…hip-shakin’ stuff! Available from Real Gone Music.

Charles Dickens — A Christmas Carol

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Available only as an extremely limited edition bonus to Cadabra Records Subscription 4 subscribers – special art by Same Heimer, and pressed on random color vinyl.  The Cadabra subscription is for serious vinyl collectors only, and those who want to support Cadabra’s making history bringing some of the greatest horror fiction works to life on vinyl.

 

Bets — Future Color

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Chance has been good to Betsy Hershey, who performs her lush, abstracted pop under the name Bets. After all, it wasn’t the plan for the Los Angeles native, fresh out of music school, to play her first ever live shows at South by Southwest nor did she intend a personal project—last year’s lauded project violent femmes, a shoegaze-tinged cover album of the titular band’s 1983 debut—recorded on a whim to garner international attention. It’s just that when Bets puts her ethereal, exhilarating songs out into the world, people can’t seem to help responding.

And while a significant amount of thought and care has gone into her latest album, Future Color, anyone who’s previously fallen for her driving melodies and witty, catchy lyrics, will no doubt find something here to love. It’s a call to the creative side in everyone; the songs express themes of the uphill battle of isolation, frustration, and longing that can occur being an artist. These are not love songs but songs of longing, songs about need, and songs about trying to be something that’s never fully attainable. And while some of the tracks have the emotional resonance of great love songs, Bets says it’s a different kind of emotion that was actually driving her songwriting.

Grab a copy now!

 

Lisa/Liza — Momentary Glance

Huntertones — Passport

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Huntertones brings people together around the globe with fun, imaginative and fearless music. Their high energy, horn-driven sound fuses inspired improvisation and adventurous composition melding jazz, funk, rock, and soul. Adding depth and contrast to their live set, Huntertones shift from a dynamic six-piece ensemble to a trio featuring saxophone, sousaphone, and beat-boxing, keeping their listeners’ eyes and ears open at every turn.

Huntertones formed in Columbus, Ohio at The Ohio State University and hosted their first shows at a house on Hunter Avenue. They have since relocated to New York City, released three albums, and toured North and South America, Europe and Africa — experiences which have pushed the band to expand even further, stylistically. What started as a group of classmates finding a voice has developed into a highly collaborative group of musicians traveling, sharing, and growing together.

Individually, members of Huntertones have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists in pop, jazz, soul, and musical theater. This includes work with Jon Batiste and Stay Human, O.A.R., Snarky Puppy, Stevie Wonder, Andy Grammer, Ed Sheeran, Allen Stone, Gary Clark Jr., Phillip Phillips, We Banjo 3, Umphrey’s McGee, Vulfpeck, and more.

 

Mitch Bradford — Love Is Kind

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Born and raised in the small town of Brownsville, TX, Mitch Bradford discovered music at a young age, immersing himself in the sounds of Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell.

In 2016, Mitch left his job in the tech world to purse his passions for music and film full-time.

Fast forward two years later, Mitch teamed up with GRAMMY-AWARD WINNING producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Zac Brown) to write and record his debut album.

With sessions in Memphis, TN but drawing inspiration from his new West Coast home, Mitch sought out a classic ‘California country’ feel – something that hearkens back to the 1970s folk-rock ‘Laurel Canyon Sound’ of the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor – but with a modern twist.

 

Laura Jane Grace & Devouring Mothers — Bought To Rot

 

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers Bought to Rot Album Artwork

To say musician, author and activist Laura Jane Grace has had a defiant career would be the understatement of the year. Whether being accused of leaving the DIY punk scene to pursue a major label career over a decade ago, or courageously challenging people’s conceptions of gender identity with a bombshell Rolling Stone article, Grace has remained a daring and influential cultural figure in her over 20+ years of creating dynamic art across various mediums. Sure, she’s bound to worry some fans with her decision to press pause on Against Me! to release a more intimate singer-songwriter leaning solo album under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, but her artistic motivation cast her determination in steel. “In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘f**k all of you, I’m going to do this anyway,’” she says with a smile.

With this conviction came liberation, because few expectations equals total freedom. Indeed on the record’s opening cut, “China Beach,” Grace delivers a bold, lip-curled statement of intent: “Learn to trust yourself, no one else matters / Respect the source and always welcome failure.” And it’s in this spirit—with the help of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and long-term AM! producer Marc Jacob Hudson on bass—that Bought to Rot, the debut album from Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, came into existence.

Bought to Rot was written largely in motion—on tour, in Spain, Australia, Amsterdam hotel rooms, and some at home in Chicago. It’s a record scorched with honesty, unapologetically confessional, capturing many moments snipped from Grace’s life and stitched together in song. Although it’s a step and a twist away from Against Me!’s sonic blueprint, there’s still a kinetic punk energy that vibrates throughout. These compositions are looser, stripped, but with a melodic pop immediacy pushing to the fore. “I have my main gig, but I’m still doing this thing,” she continues. “It’s undeniable and it’s really good and here’s the proof … so what are you going to do with that?” Well, it has to go out into the world: via Bloodshot Records, the storied Chicago indie boasting a past & present roster that includes Ryan AdamsNeko CaseMurder by DeathOld 97’s and Justin Townes Earle.

The seeds of this project were initially sown when Grace, Hudson and Willard introduced the band on a small run of dates in 2016 that included Grace delivering impassioned readings of journal entries between stripped-down Against Me! songs, most of which were featured in her critically acclaimed memoir Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Coming off the cycle for Shape Shift With Me, Against Me!’s latest full-length studio album, and a North American arena tour with Green Day, Grace was asked to perform a Mountain Goats cover on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and it was then that she received a massive sense of renewed momentum overall.

With additional songs penned that felt more stand-alone than a proper Against Me! offering, Bought to Rot resulted in 14 gripping tracks detailing Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago (“I Hate Chicago”), the act of interpersonal acceptance (“The Friendship Song”), all-consuming affection until our ultimate demise [“Apocalypse Now (& Later)”], complicated romance (“The Airplane Song”), and reconciling everything in the end. As a complete body of work, the album stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date, and is what she affectionately calls her “Scorpio” record – redolent in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.

Additionally inspired in large part by Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Tom Petty was when he created his classic solo debut. In light of his recent passing, Grace was even able to pay direct homage to him on the recording. “I bought a ’64 Fender Jaguar off Stan Lynch, drummer of the Heartbreakers, and I always like to think that maybe Petty had picked it up and strummed a couple chords on it,” she says. “I always liked the idea of having my fingers dance on the same fret board as my hero.”

There’s a refreshing sense of variety present on Bought to Rot, an album that features a vast array of musical textures and lyrics that read like separate short stories throughout. “My approach musically to the record was that I wanted it to feel like a mixtape,” Grace recently told Rolling Stone“Like OK, you’ve got this Nirvana-like song, you’ve got a Cure song. It was musically freeing, in that way, to just be playing whatever was coming to me as I was writing and not having to think about it.” As such, “I Hate Chicago,” a tongue-in-cheek centerpiece to the album that has become a bit of a live favorite to Chicagoans and non-locals alike, finds Grace at her most wry and entertainingly venomous, lambasting the city’s sports teams and revered bands, its festivals and its unfriendly denizens over an Americana-angled jaunt.

Created at a breakneck pace, Bought to Rot is finally here and ready to be consumed & dissected: to be loved, to be hated. It’s an album propelled by a sense of restless, forward motion and the inherent need for Grace to continue evolving as an artist and person the only way she knows how. “I don’t want to write about these same things anymore,” she says. “I need some new sources of inspiration. And I don’t want to be negative. I want to write some positive, happy songs, and I wanted that to be inspired by positive, happy living, too.

Buy now from Bloodshot Records.

 

EGi — Vessel

Magical Beasts — Peninsula

Hiro Kone — Pure Expenditure

Pure Expenditure LP

Since assuming the recording moniker Hiro Kone in 2011, New York City-based electronic artist Nicky Mao has personalized a space predicated on dark layers interacting with rhythm. With her early EPs on Group Tightener and Bitterroots, leading up to the EP Fallen Angels and the acclaimed debut full length album, Love Is the Capital (both on Geographic North), Mao’s meticulously crafted textures attracted collaborators like Drew McDowall (Coil), Little Annie, and Roxy Farman (Wetware) while driving against the grain of experimental techno.  Mao’s explorations often cast themselves against danceable structures, creating a duality of crisis and escapism.  Order now from Dais Records.

 

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