Music Releases 05-26-23
My Soft Machine [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Transparent Green LP]
Vinyl: $24.98 Buy
This product is an authorized manufactured on demand CD-R
Hailed as the “hitmaker of tomorrow” by Variety, multiple GRAMMY-nominated rapper/actor/entrepreneur born Jackman Harlow is one of music’s brightest stars. The Louisville, KY native boasts six GRAMMY Award nominations, two #1 singles, nearly 30 RIAA platinum certifications, and over 10 billion career streams to date. Harlow released his critically acclaimed, RIAA platinum certified debut album, THATS WHAT THEY ALL SAY in December 2020, which featured the chart-topping, 8x Platinum worldwide hit, “WHATS POPPIN,” which earned him his first GRAMMY nomination for “Best Rap Performance,” along with a wide array of other award nominations.
The Generation Now/Atlantic Records rap superstar reached even greater heights in May 2022, with his Gold-certified sophomore album, COME HOME THE KIDS MISS YOU, highlighted by the bombastic Platinum-certified lead single “Nail Tech” and the chart topping, multiple-GRAMMY-nominated, 2X platinum single “First Class,” which made a spectacular debut at atop the Billboard “Hot 100,” marking his first solo #1 single, while earning the biggest streaming week of 2022.
The Generation Now/Atlantic Records star has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, GQ, Forbes, Variety, Complex, SPIN, Footwear News and XXL’s coveted Freshman Class Issue, and brought his captivating live show to TV with performances on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, MTV Video Music Awards, BET Awards and Kids Choice Awards, to name a few.
This Spring, Harlow will make his acting debut, starring in the remake of the cultural classic, “White Men Can’t Jump.”
Vinyl: $24.98 Buy
Black Country, New Road
Vinyl: $29.98 Buy
In early 2022, Black Country, New Road released their UK #3 and Billboard #9 (Vinyl Albums) album “Ants From Up There” (their second Top 5 UK album debut in 12 months, following their A2IM Libera Award nominated “For the first time”), which was lauded by fans and critics alike, spending 6 weeks in the Top 10 of the NACC Top 200, gaining numerous 5* reviews and appearing on end of year lists across the globe, including being voted #1 by fans on r/indieheads, Rate Your Music and #3 by Pitchfork readers.Fresh from the success of “Ants From Up There” and with a full touring schedule ahead of them in 2023, the now six-piece band decided to write an entire new set of material to perform. They played to swelling crowds at festivals, including triumphant performances at Primavera, Green Man and Fuji Rock, entering a new musical phase as they navigated and developed songs that were just weeks old. They also toured the US with black midi and headlined two shows at Bowery Ballroom in New York, the first of which sold out in under 5 minutes. Their US tour was covered Pitchfork, Stereogum, Paste, and more.The band garnered widespread support for this new material across the board with Rolling Stone UK describing their Green Man set as "unmissable", and the Guardian going on to say that they were "greeted by something close to rapture." These performances have also attracted a profile from the New York Times, multiple glowing live reviews, and a nomination for Best Live Performer at the AIM Independent Music Awards last year.
Feast of Wire: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition [3LP]
Vinyl: $59.98 Buy
Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition 3xLP of Calexico's acclaimed 2003 album Feast of Wire on 180 gram vinyl. The original album has been fully remastered, includes the band's popular cover of Love's Alone Again Or. This limited triple LP edition includes the unreleased live recording of Calexico's 2003 performance at the China Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, and titled More Cowboys in Sweden (Live).
The Exploding Hearts
Guitar Romantic: Expanded & Remastered [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Pink/Yellow Wisp Clear LP]
The thought of how an underground power/pop/punk band should exist in the aftermath of the Green Day Nineties was a proposal that hung heavy with apprehension, confusion and bewilderment. While a difficult construct to navigate, this is the unlikely Portland, Oregon setting we see the Exploding Hearts erupt from.
Drawing spiritual inspiration from the likes of the Buzzcocks, Undertones, and Nick Lowe, the attitude and implied delinquency of the Exploding Hearts was more in line with that of au courant Naughties Warped Tour line-ups. The band also considered themselves peers with the scuzzier side of “The” rock bands at the top of the 2000s. The intersection between Detroit garage punk, Goner Records and the shelves at Hot Topic is a seldom tread land, but it was fertile with potential.
With ten undeniable songs clocking in at just 28 minutes, the Hearts' indisputably essential Guitar Romantic operated as the punk rock equivalent of Ernest Hemingway’s writing: Nothing extraneous, simple, straightforward, to the point, deserving of no additional flourish or accoutrement, with every creative decision pushing forward the work as a whole. Arguably, perfect.
The album immediately felt strong. It felt classic. It felt…destined for bigger things.
Yet barely three months after its domestic release, with momentum building and Lookout! Records sniffing around, band members Jeremy Gage, Adam Cox and Matt Fitzgerald, all barely in their twenties, would die in a tragic van accident that ended the band.
The intervening two decades has found Guitar Romantic bubble up from a below-the-radar cult classic to a genuinely acknowledged and appreciated touchstone of its time. As years have carried on with the album rightfully landing on countless “Best of” lists, this record is somehow still ascending and growing.
With that in mind, the passing of Guitar Romantic co-writer “King” Louie Bankston in 2022 served as inspiration for Six to place the album with an appropriate and caring long-term home after years of planning to self-release. Six approached only one label - Third Man Records - who immediately agreed to take up the mantle of the record that was near and dear to their collective hearts.
Guitar Romantic (Expanded & Remastered) doesn’t just present the album with a sharp, spiffed up remastering. It also found original album producer Pat Kearns spinning the old reel to reel and archived DAT tapes for the first time in twenty years. This enabled Six to drop in nuggets like little snippets of pre-and-post-take studio dialogue amongst band members, adding audible life to a record that for too long has been overly-associated with death.
If that weren’t enough, the remastering uncovered the previously forgotten organ-heavy “King Louie Mix” of the fan favorite “I’m A Pretender.” Even more intriguing was the discovery of a completely unheard take of “So Bored", previously not even known to have been recorded at the Guitar Romantic sessions. Of most excitement though is a remastered version of “Busy Signals” (a song originally released on a small-quantity 7-inch in January 2003).
All of these songs are included here, housed in a beautiful gatefold packaging and still all fitting on a single LP.
With plans to play a handful of select tribute shows across the US to honor the Guitar Romantic material, Terry Six continues to carry the torch for the Exploding Hearts and the countless fans who count this album as a quintessential touchstone.