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Simone Dinnerstein/
Tift Merritt


Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt join forces for the first time in Night -- a unique collaboration merging classical, folk, and rock worlds, exploring common terrain and uncovering new musical landscapes. Night features new songs written especially for the duo by Brad Mehldau (“I Shall Weep at Night”) and Patty Griffin (“Night”), as well as Tift Merritt's herself (“Only in Songs,” “Still Not Home,” “Colors,” “Feel of the World)”, and a couple of classical selections (including an arrangement of Schubert's “Night and Dreams” and Bach's “Prelude in B minor”). The album also includes the world premiere recording of “The Cohen Variations” by Daniel Felsenfeld -- a solo piano piece commissioned by Dinnerstein based on one of her favorite songs, Leonard Cohen's “Suzanne.” You need this.
Wild Belle

Wild Belle is the new duo of siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman. The two have weaved in and out of each other's musical lives for years sharing records, tapes, sounds and experiences. Wild Belle marks their first official collaboration, finding their sound rooted on a tropical island where rocksteady rhythms, disco beats and soulful grooves shine down steadfast and abundant. Recorded with electronics wizard Bill Skibbe at Keyclub Recordings in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the band's debut album, Isles, was written and produced by Chicago based siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman and is comprised of eleven songs that showcase duo's unique songwriting talents that exhibit a hybrid of retro pop, jazz, reggae, and R&B musical elements. They’re rather good looking, too.
Vicky Cryer
The Synthetic Love Of Emotional Engineering
Fancy Animal
After his last world tour with Louis XIV in the Spring of 2009, frontman and producer Jason Hill converted an isolated 100-year-old house in the Hollywood Hills into a recording studio named Ulysses. Brimming with instruments and vintage equipment such as tape machines, plate reverbs (and a fireplace), he quickly began writing songs. Late night recording parties ensued, friends started dropping in more frequently and a grand experiment was born. By the winter of 2012 the full album, The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering, was finished and a band name was conceived. Vicky Cryer proved to be a star-studded affair of friends featuring Dominic Howard (drums, Muse), Mark Stoermer (bass, The Killers), Nick Fyffe (bass, Jamiroquai), Dave Elitch (drums, Mars Volta), Jeff Kite (keyboards, Beat Club, Julian Casablancas), Alex Carapetis (drums, NIN, Julian Casablancas) and even an appearance from New York Dolls icon David Johansen. Get sexy.
Walk Off The Earth

Walk Off The Earth features multi-instrumentalists Gianni Luminati, Marshall, and Sarah Blackwood on vocals, Taylor on keyboards, and Joel Cassady on drums. The band gained notoriety for their creative multi-million-viewed YouTube videos ranging from a cover of the Weeds theme "Little Boxes" to Adele's "Someone Like You" to their wildly popular cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" with all five band members playing one guitar, which has been viewed over 143 million times and landed the group a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. R.E.V.O. (an acronym for the band's motto "Realize Every Victory Outright") is being released especially for your stereo. The album features their immensely popular cover of Gotye featuring Kimbra's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (which was the most-viewed cover song of 2012, and the #2 YouTube video of 2012), as well as 10 original songs. What’s best? No more buffering!
Saxon is an English heavy metal band, formed in 1976 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. As leading lights in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal they had huge success in the 1980s with 8 UK Top 40 albums including 4 UK Top 10 albums. Saxon also had numerous singles in the Top 20 singles chart. Between 1980 and 1987 Saxon established itself as one of Europe's biggest metal acts, they also had success in Japan and in the USA. In Japan, the single "Motorcycle Man" stayed in the charts for over 5 months. They still tour heavily and regularly. Their latest tour is their largest in the UK since the late 1980s. Saxon have sold more than 13 million albums worldwide and heavily influenced bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Sodom and Running Wild, and the bands latest – and twentieth – album, Sacrifice, thrashily carries on tradition.
Mad Season
Above (Legacy Edition)
Mad Season features the legendary Layne Staley of Alice in Chains on vocals, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam on lead guitar, Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and bassist John Baker Saunders of the Lamont Cranston Band. The band recorded and released one album, Above, in 1995 which was certified Gold and became an essential touchstone in the history of Seattle rock. Above is the only complete album of Layne Staley's introspective and mystical lyrics, which were highlighted by additional vocals from Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan. This deluxe edition of Above is a three-disc set comprised of two CDs and one DVD that, together, feature the original album plus a slew of acoustic tracks, songs from the band’s unfinished second album, a cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier,” and the band’s final concert in its entirety. Above also features a full-color collector's booklet with previously unseen performance photographs and an essay by Barrett Martin reflecting on the lives of Staley and Saunders and the history of the band.
Young Dreams
Between Places

Between Places is Young Dreams’ deep dive into symphonic pop, borrowing from classical composition as much as classic 60's pop as much as textural electronic experimentation. On 'Wounded Hearts' you find an attempt to literally capture the feeling of a dream in song form, as arranged in the style of Gil Evans' work with Miles Davis in 'Wounded Hearts Forever'. There's a choral introduction based on Mozart's requiem on 'Through The Turnstiles', and a "Steve Reich/John Williams-ish" orchestral house track in album centerpiece 'The Girl That Taught Me How To Drink And Fight'. Dense, darting arrangements are utilized to convey the most plaintive, honest of emotions, and on the contrary, sparse simplistic melodies carry the weighty feelings of young love and uncertain futures -- it could all very easily come across as overwrought, indie pretentiousness if it weren't for the abundance of pure unfettered feeling at every trick and turn.
Harper Simon
Division Street

It’s not easy to stand out of the shadow of a towering music genius like Paul Simon (Just ask Art Garfunkel), but Harper Simon’s sophomore album, Division Street, defiantly shines in its own right. Division Street is a departure for Simon: it features a sound that's much more driven by electric guitars than his Alt-Country flavored debut. Simon co-produced Division Street with Tom Rothrock, who produced three albums for Elliott Smith (Either/Or, XO and Figure 8) and Beck's first album Mellow Gold, among others. Division Street was recorded with a small coterie of guest musicians including Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello's Attractions on drums, Nikolai Fraiture from the Strokes on bass, vocals by Inara George, Feist's musical director Brian LeBarton playing synths, as well as Nate Walcott from Bright Eyes and Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen. Despite the title, this is a family affair – and one well worth exploring.
Iva Bittova
Iva Bittova
Czech singer/player/composer Iva Bittova has said, “The violin is a mirror reflecting my dreams and imagination. I believe there are fundamentals to my performance, such as the music’s vibration and resonance between the violin and my voice.” That relationship is beautifully explored on this album recorded at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano, and produced by Manfred Eicher - which expresses the essence of Bittovas unique and extraordinary solo work. These modestly-titled “Fragments” resist definition. An idiosyncratic folk music, contemporary composition, improvisation, any and all of these may apply from moment to moment. Bittova’s music is a living, changing thing. This amazing self-titled album is Bittova’s debut for the legendary ECM label. Dive in.
The Shouting Matches
Grownass Man
Middle West
The Shouting Matches is the new project from multi-Grammy winning singer/songwriter for Bon Iver, Justin Vernon. Brian Moen, Phil Cook and Justin Vernon played one show as The Shouting Matches nearly seven years ago. They reunited in Eau Claire, Wisconsin this past year and a made a record fusing influences into what they do best: playing together. Over years of sharing stages and studios in a myriad of projects, they come together as a trio and give you Grownass Man, a record with Midwestern knuckles and Southern calluses. Bon Iver has sold well over a Million albums worldwide. Now this band will be playing Festivals starting with Coachella throughout Spring and Summer 2013. Also available on Vinyl (witch features a download of the entire album).
It’s oh-so-French of global pop phenomenon, Phoenix, to call its new album Bankrupt! given the worldwide success of the band’s breakthrough album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Madison Avenue practically made that album an ATM. But for good reason: As they had been doing (practically unnoticed) for years, said album was filled to the brim with great hooks and a sugary production that produced a buzz on contact. Despite their Parisian roots, Phoenix plays guitars and sings in English. You’d think their countrymen would despise such a methodology, but when you write songs this good then all is usually forgiven. Bankrupt! is anything but. In fact, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Just direct your ears to the first single “Entertainment” and you’ll quickly realize that this is still a band on top of their game (and, when you get home, be sure to check out the Dinosaur Jr “remix” – which is basically this definitively American band performing a cover that rivals the original). Sorry to keep harping on the money thing, but it does seem like the band’s good fortune has made it’s way into the lyrical content as well. But these aren’t songs that wallow in bling, rather they find the band at what might be their most sardonic. It’s oh-so-French of them.

Phoenix -

Founded in 2004, The Black Angels have been at the spearhead of the post-millennial psychedelic movement, picking up the mantle of their hometown’s long lysergic history and reinvigorating it with progressive political commentary and unrestrained creativity and ambition. The Black Angels’ most revelatory collection thus far, Indigo Meadow marks the Austin, Texas-based band’s fourth full-length release, following 2010’s acclaimed Phosphene Dream. Once again The Black Angels prove themselves the undisputed avatars of contemporary psychedelic rock, simultaneously exalting the genre’s kaleidoscopic past as they thrust it further into the future. Now a four-piece – ably supported behind the board by producer/mixer John Congleton (David Byrne & St. Vincent, Explosions In The Sky, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) – the band have brought new focus to their wide-ranging songcraft, the righteous riffs and dogmatic drones gaining increased power as they fuel a more expansive emotional terrain. The ominous organ grooves and carpet-bombing beats surely resonate with blood and fire, but songs like “Love Me Forever” and the deep blue title track also see a little light entering The Black Angels’ notorious heart of darkness. A 21st century trip as transcendent as any in the canon, Indigo Meadow masterfully affirms The Black Angels’ full-throttle commitment to the psychedelic ethos of creativity, community and boundless experimentation.

Black Angels -
Indigo Meadow

Blue Horizon
Shields is the fourth and most fluid album by Grizzly Bear to date. The quartet of Chris Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor have never made a quick follow-up: It took them three years to get from Horn of Plenty to Yellow House, three more to get from Yellow House to Veckatimest. Between those records, though, they'd not only toured (headlining as well as with the likes of Radiohead, Feist, Wilco, TV on the Radio and more), but issued singles and splits, EPs, remixes and solo projects. The potential energy gathered in tour vans and busses, in studios and on stages for years was finally released, giving the individual band's pieces the chance to recover and, after a year, return to being Grizzly Bear, and delivering their best album yet. ''This has a different energy behind it,'' concludes Ed Droste. ''Veckatimest was a little more of a polite album; the desire to keep the vocals smooth might have kept a little distance between us and the audience. This one feels a bit more rough and exposed, so that on Shields, everything speaks for itself.'” Indeed, Shields is filled with a raw, shocking power that goes for the gut without ever sacrificing the languid beauty of Grizzly Bear’s gorgeous four-part harmonies. Spectral, visceral, and beautiful, Shields is Grizzly Bear at their finest.

Grizzly Bear -


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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