Release Day Picks: October 9th New Album Highlights
Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Garcia Peoples, Yo La Tengo, Bahamas, Gunn-Truscinski Duo, Big Something and The Doors. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Garcia Peoples – Nightcap At Wits’ End
The Scoop: Prolific New York City-based psychedelic rockers Garcia Peoples are back with another Beyond Beyond Is Beyond full length release, Nightcap At Wits’ End. The follow-up to 2019’s Natural Facts and One Step Behind was recorded by guitarists Tom Malach, Danny Arakaki and Derek Spaldo, keyboardist Pat Gubler, bassist Andy Kush and drummer Cesar Arakaki in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler. Veteran rock journalist David Fricke wrote an essay accompanying the 12-track Nightcap At Wits’ End, concluding with the following paragraph:
Nightcap at Wits’ End was a long time coming: more than nine months in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler, who recorded Natural Facts – from the first work in August, 2019 to the final mix, only a few weeks before I heard it in that eerie midnight. But this album has arrived as if absolutely destined for right now. I am tempted to say it is the band’s best record, except Garcia Peoples are too restless to settle for plateaus. Just do as the title says. Raise a glass at your wit’s end, and let the music blow away the night.
Yo La Tengo – Sleepless Night
The Scoop: Following the July release of their “playing formlessly” EP, We Have Amnesia Sometimes, Yo La Tengo have released another EP, Sleepless Night. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew co-wrote the long original on the six-song Sleepless Night. The other five tracks are covers of songs by The Delmore Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Ronnie Lane and The Flying Machine.T he songs were chosen by Yo La Tengo in collaboration with Japanese artist and longtime Yo La Tengo fan, Yoshitomo Nara, for the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art’s (LACMA) exhibition Yoshitomo Nara. Kapalan shared background on the project, stating in part:
We met Yoshitomo Nara in 2003, would see him at his art shows and our concerts. We DJ’d at an opening at the Asia Society, and on another occasion he drew a picture of Georgia strangling me on a Gloomy pencil case that became one of Georgia’s prized possessions until it was stolen from her at the bar at the K-West hotel in Shepherd’s Bush. To make the catalog of his 2020 exhibit at LACMA more personal, the idea came up to include an LP of some of Nara’s favorite songs as part of a deluxe edition. We were asked to provide one side of the LP (and that one track be a new composition), with the other side being another six songs selected by Nara, in their original versions.
Bahamas – Sad Hunk
The Scoop: Bahamas (Afie Jurvanen) is back with the follow-up to 2018’s Earthtones. The Nova Scotia-based singer-songwriter today released Sad Hunk, an 11-track LP, via Brushfire Records. Afie recruited guitarist Christine Bougie, drummer Don Kerr, bassist Mike O’Brien and vocalist Felicity Williams to contribute to Sad Hunk. Additionally, the Robbie Lackritz-produced album features Sam Weber, a guitarist Jurvanen discovered on YouTube. Afie shared the following about Sad Hunk:
I think I’m always trying to get closer and closer to the source, like the way old blues albums were made—there’s no production; all the emotion you’re hearing is just the players, the room, the song. It’s almost like a photograph as opposed to a painting, where if you don’t like the color of a certain flower in the garden, you change it. I want you to hear every word I’m saying and take in the song and make it your own.
Gunn-Truscinski Duo – Soundkeeper
The Scoop: Gunn-Truscinski Duo — consisting of guitarist Steve Gunn and drummer John Truscinski — released their fourth collaborative album today, Soundkeeper, on Three Lobed Records. The new effort sees the duo further expanding their sonic universe with “music that immediately goes out, gets out, stays out, has always been out, a glowing radius around the amp and drum kit,” as per music journalist Jesse Jarnow. Gunn and Truscinski recorded most of the 12-track LP at Sonelab recording facility in Massachusetts and Echo Canyon in Hoboken, New Jersey. But the album’s centerpieces — the 10-minute “Pyramid Merchandise” and the 16-minute “Soundkeeper” — were conjured live from shows performed at the duo’s virtual home venue of Union Pool in Brooklyn. The record also includes a tribute to late Parliament/Funkadelic guitarist, Eddie Hazel.
Big Something – Escape
The Scoop: North Carolina-based band Big Something gets back to their roots while showing off an evolution that comes from a decade together on Escape, a new studio album. The 11-track LP was recorded with producer John Custer at Ovation Sound. “I think it’s a great portrait of where we came from and what we’ve grown into musically over the last 10 years,” explained drummer Ben Vinograd. The title is a fitting one. “The songs themselves are all centered around the theme of escape,” guitarist/frontman Nick MacDaniels added. “What it means to ‘escape’ can be interpreted in a lot of different ways: sometimes positive; you’re escaping from things that are holding you down or holding you back. Sometimes negative; escaping from reality in a way that’s not healthy. I was thinking about that concept before we started recording last Summer. And that was long before quarantine and the pandemic hit. Back then I would have never imagined the world would look like this just a year later, but it’s also now a strangely fitting time for us to release this album.”
The Doors – Morrison Hotel (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The Scoop: The Doors’ deluxe reissue of Morrison Hotel arrives today via Rhino in celebration of the iconic 1970 album’s 50th anniversary. The 2-CD/1-LP set features the original LP newly remastered by longtime Doors engineer Bruce Botwick along with an entire disc of bonus material boasting over an hour of unreleased recordings and outtakes that transport the listener into the studio with Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek as well as the band’s producer Paul Rothchild. “There are many takes, different arrangements, false starts, and insightful studio conversations between the band – who were in the studio – and producer Paul Rothchild – who was in the control room,” Botnick said in a statement. “It’s like being a fly on the wall.” Through this longtime stay at the Morrison Hotel, fans get a chance to see how songs like “Queen Of The Highway,” “Roadhouse Blues” and “Peace Frog/Blue Sunday” evolved along with the band jamming in the studio on classic tunes like “Money (That’s What I Want)” and B.B. King’s “Rock Me.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.