PLAN 9 - OUTSIDE THE HEARD - DECEMBER 2014

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Jarrett/Haden/Motian
Hamburg '72
ECM Records
  
 
Keith Jarrett’s trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian – formed in 1966 – was his first great band. His choice of players a masterstroke: With the bassist who had learned his craft in Ornette Coleman’s band, and the drummer from Bill Evans’s ground-breaking trio, Jarrett was able to explore the full scope of modern jazz, from poetic balladry to hard-swinging time-playing to ferocious and fiery free music, the improvisation including episodes with Keith on soprano sax. The interaction between the three musicians is uncanny throughout, reaching a peak in an emotion-drenched performance of Charlie Haden’s “Song for Che”. Manfred Eicher returned to the original tapes, remixing the music for this edition in Oslo in July 2014, together with Jan Erik Kongshaug. You need this.
 
Walk The Moon
Talking Is Hard
RCA Records

 
Walk The Moon's new album, Talking Is Hard, is a bold statement from a band known for its blissful, quirky brand of rock and roll. The band holed up in a repurposed Masonic Lodge in Dayton, KY, which housed graffiti artists, screen printers, and photography, not to mention secret rooms, ghosts, and taxidermy, for 14-hour songwriting sessions that found the band pushing itself beyond its creative limits. Later the band relocated to North Hollywood, where they entered the studio with producer Tim Pagnotta (Neon Trees, Tokyo Police Club) for two months of getting things just right.  The results speak for themselves: Just check out lead single "Shut Up And Dance" an undeniable pop-rock anthem about freeing yourself from the shackles of self-consciousness and embracing the present.
Front Porch Step
Aware
Pure Noise Records

 
Front Porch Step is the nom-du-rock of Columbus, Ohio acoustic guitar strummer Jake Mcelfresh. The concept behind Front Porch Step seems pretty simple – songs about girls from a solid yet unlucky-in-love dude from the Midwest inspired by the likes of Dashboard Confessional, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and a touch of country music (not so much in sound, mind you, but it’s in the blood – Jake grew up listening to lots of country and bluegrass music)… You might say that these songs could be appreciated in performance on someone’s front porch as they would in concert – as you may know if you caught him on the most recent Warped Tour. But if you’re not lucky enough to have Mcelfresh perform on your steps then listening to Aware is the next best thing.
 
Trio Mediaeval
Aquilonis
ECM New Series

 
Trio Mediaeval, three Scandinavian women whose singing produces a sound of extraordinary and consoling beauty, are back with a collection of polyphony from the medieval to the modern titled after the North Wind with, Aquilonis. In creatively realizing Icelandic chant from the Middle Ages, Trio Mediaeval accompanies its vocals with discreetly textural instrumentation. The group also arranged 12th-century Italian sacred pieces and sings 15th-century English carols, with timeless folk melodies in the air, too. There is some modern music, too, including pieces by Anders Jormin, William Brooks, and Andrew Smith. Aquilonis is synthesis of sound, atmosphere, history, and geography.
Cursive
Ugly Organ Deluxe Edition
Saddle Creek
 
With The Ugly OrganCursive made a landmark album for itself and its label, Saddle Creek. The darkest days of the Bush Era were settling in like a dense fog over the entire country, and the outlook was bleak. That made The Ugly Organ especially potent, its gloomy inward focus a natural reflection of the era. The press accolades came quickly, from the mainstream (Rolling Stone called it “a brilliant leap forward,” and Entertainment Weekly said it “raised the Saddle Creek bar”) to the niche (The A.V. Club called it “a potent piece of rock art,” Alternative Press gave it a perfect score). This deluxe edition of The Ugly Organ features the remastered album as well as some hard to find singles and B-sides the era.
 
Robin Williamson
Trusting In The Rising Light
ECM Records

 
Nine years on from the widely-acclaimed Iron Stone recording, Scottish singer-songwriter, harpist and guitarist Robin Williamson returns with a new album of self-penned pieces – thoughtful and touching meditations on love, destiny, the natural world, roads travelled, and the daily pleasures of being alive today. Trusting In The Rising Light finds Williamson in fine voice and in best creative form on his diverse instruments, drawing inspiration also from the ingenious improvisational input of violist Mat Maneri (further developing the association initiated on Skirting The River Road) and percussionist Ches Smith (last heard on ECM with Tim Berne’s Snakeoil band).
Michael Mantler
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update
ECM Records

 
In 1968, composer-trumpeter Michael Mantler recorded The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. This classic, groundbreaking album of composition and improvisation featured Mantler conducting a large jazz orchestra that included some of the era’s iconic free improvisers as soloists: pianist Cecil Taylor, cornetist Don Cherry, trombonist Roswell Rudd, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, guitarist Larry Coryell, saxophonist Gato Barbieri. In the process of digitizing his catalog, Mantler reacquainted himself with early scores, eventually envisioning fresh performances of this vintage material. With The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Update, Mantler has re-imagined his 1960s music for the 21st century, with electric guitar and amplified string quartet added to the instrumentation. Just as the original did in 1968, the result sounds stirringly contemporary, brimming with dark majesty and a bright sense of sonic possibility.
 
Circa Survive
Descensus
Sumerian
 
After several years, two successful album and limitless amounts of love and respect earned and shared between one another, Circa Survive has become one of the most impactful, ethereal bands on the planet. Perhaps even more significantly, they've also become a family – which explains why the suburban, Pennsylvania house that serves as the band's writing and rehearsal space is also their shared home. Descensus, the band’s latest album, is a swirling collection of the band's boldest virtues (alternately evocative and crashing guitars, dexterous bass and uncannily inventive kitwork among them) buoyed to blissful heights by Anthony Green's soaring vocal gymnastics. It's Circa Survive's most imaginative, challenging, reflective, and aggressive statement to date.
 
Time For Three
Time For Three
Universal Music Classics
 
A young, dynamic trio of classically trained string musicians, Time for Three transcends traditional performance genres. Tf3 is equally comfortable offering their own arrangements of shorter classical works and popular hits, whether Brahms or the Beatles. Time For Three’s self-titled debut album showcases not only the trios melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration. Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver, Grammy-winning producer David Lai, critically acclaimed Steven Hackman and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis, Decca’s young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine.
 
The Hot Sardines
The Hot Sardines
Universal Music Classics

 
Bandleader Evan Bibs Palazzo and lead singer Miz Elizabeth combine with the musical powerhouse of Sardine, as well as their very own tap dancer, to play hot jazz the old fashioned way: With a little glamour, a little grit, and a lot of passion. The Hot Sardines have a distinctive recipe for making musical magic: Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a stride-piano virtuoso in the Fats Waller vein, and tie it all together with a one-of-the-boys front-woman who sings in both English and French with a voice from another era. The Hot Sardines sound fuses musical influences from New York, Paris, and New Orleans that were nurtured from the Prohibition era through the Great Depression, WWII and beyond.
No one would expect it but Birmingham, AL is a city that loves its shoegaze. Ask around and longtime denizens of The Magic City will regale you with tales of seeing My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Medicine (among others) in intimate venues with the volume pushed to the max. When music journalists go on routine geographical surveys they predictably pick up on bands in drag – Soul Drag, Southern Rock Drag, Country Drag – often overlooking the vibrant rock scene of a city that loves all manner of heavy, gauzy, and loud. Fortunately, Wray’s noise is gaining attention. The band’s self-titled debut is a study in POWER-GAZE. It’s their term and it is, indeed, apt: Wray isn’t afraid to revel in repetition, churning (like butter) confident, seamless grooves firmly in the tradition of NEU!, Faust, or Can. Their shimmering, headphone-ready tones owe much to Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and even The Cure, but without the crippling self-absorption of chillwave, dreampop, or whatever all the sad bastards are listening to this week. The album’s first half gently pummels you into submission – and everything after the epic grandeur of “The 15th” feels like a blissful comedown… And, speaking of repetition, you’ll wanna catch this buzz again and again. You need this.

WRAY -
WRAY

Communicating Vessels
moremusic

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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