From a basement in New Jersey, Tommy Falcone remade himself into a DIY Phil Spector. From 1962 to 1970, he founded and ran Cleopatra Records, discovered and mentored young Garden State talent, wrote songs and produced wild studio effects, and quit his day job to promote it all himself. Trained as an accordionist, Falcone had a whirlwind imagination and an omnivorous approach to genre, expressed through acts like the Centuries, the Tabbys, Johnny Silvio, the Inmates, Bernadette Carroll, the Hallmarks, Vickie & the Van Dykes, the Shandillons, Eugene Viscione, the Shoestring, and more. Cleopatra became a time-capsule of every 1960s pop style imaginable - garage rock, psychedelia, surf, girl groups, soul, novelties, exotica, even a crooner - a kaleidoscope of sound in search of the ever-elusive hit record.
It was a musical cocktail born in a marketing meeting: Two parts easy listening, one part jazz, a healthy dollop of conga drums, a sprinkling of bird calls, and a pinch of textless choir. Serve garnished with an alluring female on the album jacket for best results. Exotica! The soundtrack for a mythical air conditioned Eden, packaged for mid-century, tiki torch-wielding armchair safariers. Be it mosquito-bitten torch singers, landlocked surf quartets, fad-chasing jazz combos, mad genius band leaders, D-list actors, or a middle aged loner programming bird calls into a Hammond, Exotica was always more concerned with what geography might sound like over who was conducting. Captured across three albums are 48 (54 on the CD) curious examples of the short-lived genre's reach, each summoning their own sonic visions of Shangri La, bringing their versions of the Pacific, Africa, and the Orient to the hinterlands of America. Technicolor Paradise is where one makes it, after all.
Between 1979 and 1982, Nick Blinko and Martin Cooper's Outer Himmilayan Records released 7-inches by three short-lived bands - The Magits, Soft Drinks, and S-Haters - who would nonetheless cast a massive shadow on the UK's burgeoning post-punk/anarcho punk scene. Outer Himmilayan Presents collects all of the music found on those original records, along with rare and unreleased tracks by all three bands. It's a snapshot of a period of frenzied creativity by some of the UK's most thrilling experimental punks.
In the wake of 2017's Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht, the Numero Group is proud to present another addition to the soft rock cannon: W2NG. Set your FM dial to smooth and sail away with 42 minutes of uninterrupted easy glide, pontoon rock, and whispery disco. Featuring unreleased burners from Gary Hyde, Love Transfusion, Marshall Titus, and Phillips, alongside scarce cuts from Nannette, Greenflow, Jim Spencer & Son Rize, Larry Sanders, Kettner & Shawe, Orphans of Love, and Lion, W2NG is sure to surprise even the most devout boat shoe enthusiast.
On April 6, 2018, Merge Records will release I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas, a double-LP compiling the covers of each track from All Hail West Texas that will be unveiled during the first season of I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats, a unique new podcast from Night Vale Presents. The podcast is a remarkable conversation series featuring Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead creator Joseph Fink and New York Times best-selling author John Darnielle, who is also the founder, lead singer, and songwriter for the Mountain Goats-and Fink's own personal artistic hero. Together, Fink and Darnielle take the listener on a deep dive into the world of creativity and the duality of being an artist and a fan, both by sharing their own creative processes and music-geek obsessions and through immersive chats with other notable musicians and writers including best-selling YA author and music nerd John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) and Merge Records co-founder Mac McCaughan (Superchunk), as well as many special music guests such as Andrew Bird, Craig Finn, Laura Jane Grace, and Amanda Palmer, who offer up their own opinions as well as new renditions of songs from All Hail West Texas.
The 20th volume of our flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the "World's Greatest Bail Bondsman," swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O'Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County's greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America's soul music's capital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins + 1, Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O'Jays.
As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their proto-metal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips.
Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies.
We are glad to announce that our legendary DINGED VINYL GRAB BAGS are back while supplies last! Most of the dinged vinyl has either rounded or bent corners but the vinyl in each package is still unused / unplayed.
Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans, and St. Ives are offering these 30 piece vinyl grab bags to direct retailers for $100!
A few things to note:+ Each box will contain 30 randomly selected Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, or St. Ives LPs+ Vinyl will be chosen at random per Grab Bag, so we can't do specialized boxes.+ We'll try and make the selections diverse, but boxes may include doubles of some titles.+ This promotion is effective now until stock runs out (roughly 1-2 weeks)+ As per usual, these vinyl titles are nonreturnable.+ You will find various states of distress: full corner bends, crunched corners, missing/damaged shrinkwrap -- just remember, these are SUPER discounted.+ Order quantities may be capped to satisfy demand.
The Numero Group's dive into the deep end of America's private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it's time to take it easy.
With pop music's volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early '70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast - and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock's softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.
Pressed in a quantity of 500 and available to Bay Area stores only is the Berkeley Sampler, a vinyl reissue of the original Cometbus-issued 1987 cassette. The A-Side is Crimpshrine's first demo, while the B-side is the Rosetta Stone of Berkeley punk, with members of Operation Ivy, Samiam, Rancid, Tilt, and Wynona Riders in their earlier, teenage bands.
By 1970, the folk revival had all but ended. Gone were the heady days of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "If I Had A Hammer." Hootenanny had been cancelled. Broadside was out, Rolling Stone in. Richard FariĂ±a was dead; Bob Dylan had plugged in. Paths paved by Joan Baez and Judy Collins had led a younger, more introspective generation of songwriters into the woods, while the ethos forged in weather-beaten hills and tempered on the lower east side of Manhattan was being reborn in the canyons of California, as songs for seagulls crafted in Joni Mitchell's visage. Culled from beyond the crop of crit-revisionist darlings Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, or Vashti Bunyan, Ladies From The Canyon examines the world of private folk via the works of 15 unlikely heroines who sang beneath the infrastructure of the music business, playing to coffeehouse chatter and church picnic silence. Each of these Wayfaring Strangers walk in the handmade aesthetic of lyrics scribbled into faded denim, of delicate movements captured and released.
Everybody's still talking about the good ol' days! A rough and rugged collection of Numero Group classics that have inspired swarms of killer beats. A head nod to the sounds of Shaolin, the thirteen chambers of Shanghai'd Soul have led a generation of lyrical chefs and production geniuses to compose some of their most ominous hip-hop. Bound by heavy drums, moody chords, and haunting melodies, Gods and Earths alike will appreciate the raw funk and smoother-than-a-Lexus soul that come together like Voltron on this special compilation.
After the initial blast of punk rock bands made their impression on the youth of the late 1970s, subgenres quickly emerged. Some preferred the faster, louder aggression of hardcore, others the angular danceability of post-punk, some the raw and more personal home-made sound of DIY, and so on. Looking back among and between these genres we now recognize various blends of punk, post-punk, goth rock, industrial, and DIY as "deathrock." In 2014, Sacred Bones Records launched the series Killed By Deathrock to document an entire scene of bands that haven't yet received proper recognition. This is the second volume of that series.
The CD release of DFA Records Compilation #1 came out in days of yore, when the iTunes store did not exist, when iPods were more coveted than your phone. The only way to hear the first batch of singles DFA released was to seek out the vinyl and lots of people did.
This magical mythical first group of releases from DFA included "House of Jealous Lovers" by The Rapture, "Losing My Edge" & "Give It Up" by LCD Soundsystem. It also included two very different approaches to dance music from The Juan Maclean - "By The Time I Get To Venus" and "You Can't Have It Both Ways", which subtly introduced the world to the vocal powers of Nancy Whang.
Black Dice also released a 12" single, throwing their noise roots behind a 4/4 screech and created one of the most unique singles in the DFA catalog with "Cone Toaster".
The compilation was edited to fit onto one CD, more a sampler than a completist's anthology. In hindsight, it should have been an anthology of the first 5 singles in full but the A sides had enough momentum happening to make the sampler a bonafide success for the label.
The 8.0 review from Pitchfork in 2003 helped cement the DFA label as both the leaders of a new production approach, as well as a collection of artists who could co-exist make music together and please both the discerning DJ and the indie rock enthusiasts.
In the review, the writer Nick Sylvester calls DFA "The Neptunes of the discopunk underground", which maybe seems funny and far-fetched now, but back in 2003 was a compliment and comparison that DFA were very willing to accept. It is now 2016 and both parties continue to work and stay busy and relevant. Success being relative, this compilation represents the humble beginnings of the label and the birth / re-birth of DFA flagship artists The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem & Black Dice.
This is the first time this title has ever been pressed to vinyl.
From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory SanlĂ© documented a nation's transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation's pop culture explosion of the 1970s. A melange of community elders and emboldened youth spill from the brightly lit confines of SanlĂ©'s Volta Photo into the dimly lit nightclubs of Upper Volta's cultural capital. Accompanying this hardbound monograph are dozens of rare and evocative recordings spread over three discs by Bobo-Dioulasso's musical titans: Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables LĂ©opards.
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain.
A decade removed from our acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.
FatCat Records' 130701 imprint has played a pioneering role in the development of today's vibrant post-classical scene. It has introduced the likes of Max Richter, Hauschka, and Set Fire To Flames, and has been home to Sylvain Chauveau, Johann Johannsson, and Dustin O'Halloran. With its fifteenth anniversary approaching on 13th July 2016, 130701 is celebrating with the release of a compilation featuring eleven exclusive tracks - one from each of the artists to have graced the roster over the past fifteen years, plus three new signings - Ian William Craig, Olivier Alary and Resina - whose first 130701 albums are each set to appear this year. Curated and compiled by 130701's David Howell, none of these tracks has previously seen a physical release.
Hear the document of one man's passion crossing over into obsession. Chicago radio disc jockey and soul archivist Bob Abrahamian was deeply devoted to celebrating and documenting unknown Chicagoland group harmony music. Upon his untimely passing in 2014, he left behind hundreds of radio programs and a daunting collection of 35,000 carefully-selected 45s. Our collection borrows its title from Abrahamian's long-running and acclaimed WHPK radio show, and it spins a tale that's cautionary, inspiring, and set to the sounds of the impossible-to-find tracks that made Bob Abrahamian's on-air playlist and animated the radio programs that were his life's work. Collected here are 12 artists (16 on the CD) featured on Sitting In The Park, in their own words and through the lens of our friend Bob.
A decade into its limitless ambitions, Numero's flagship Eccentric Soul series is effectively remapping the American soul diaspora. Each compilation explores, in exacting detail, another US city's smallest time hooks and would-be world beaters tossed into the glutted big-hole record sea of the 1960s and '70s. In Eccentric Soul's alternate universe are motley and mishandled Motowns beyond number, and the unforgettable records that could have, and should have, and never did. Find their stories here, retold for the first time.
BIS001-020 is a compilation surveying the first twenty Beats In Space Records releases. In keeping with the sensibility coveted by Sweeney during his time on air, it's clear what makes these releases harmonious. There's an attitude a little bit rude, but softened with sensitivity. There is a sense of motion narrative and duration; a dedication to crescendo, a theatricality that never yawns. An appreciate for melody, but not at the expense of propulsive percussive textures.
Twang reigned, the shitkickers kicked shit, and the vaguely western-sounding guitar records piled up. Country-rock became "the dominant American rock style of the 1970s," as Peter Doggett's comprehensive Are You Ready for the Country put it much later. Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music picks up and dusts off golden ingots from the dollar-bin detritus of that domination, to reconstruct events as seen from the genre's real Wild West - America's one-off private press label substructure.
This sonic companion to Entertainment comes straight from the record collection of top-secret Neil Hamburger alter ego Gregg Turkington, an avid gatherer of privately pressed curios and the self-proclaimed #1 fan of Frank Sinatra Jr. Joining the Son of the Chairman of the Board on this limited edition LP is a cast of downtrodden personalities, including a emphatically Los Angeleno nun, an Italian-language folkie whose guitar laments the Vietnam war, and a Columbus, Ohio, civil rights activist and record man. Included are interstitial dialogue snippets, one of which lets co-star John C. Reilly supply a bizarre rendition of "Away In A Manger."
Where in the mythos of punk is there room for a frizzy-haired cinephile San Diegan? How could the defining rock attitude and look of the late 1970s get brainstormed by two go-nowheres from a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware - a D student and kid voted Most Unknown by his senior class?
Forget the worn-out yarns about London gobbers and safety-pin piercings - the true story of the birth of punk rock on 45 is the story of Ork Records, captured by Numero Group on four hefty LPs (or two shiny compact discs) and told across 120 high-gloss pages (184 for the CD) filled with insider photos and sordid details. It is a story populated by iconic names like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, the Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie and the Ramones. And it's a tale told from the hallowed grounds of CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and Ardent Studios.
It all began with Terry Ork, a Jewish SoCal film nerd enthralled by Andy Warhol's posse as they made a transgressive surfing flick, who moved cross-country to manage a movie memorabilia shop on the grubby streets of the Lower East Side. Made in the shadows of disco and dereliction in late-'70s Manhattan, Ork Records: New York, New York is not just the genesis of punk, it is the birth of the New York City scene and indie culture as we know it.
The rawest, DIY gospel ever resurrected. The West Side of Chicago was just an annex of the deep rural South for Gene Autry Cash and his flock of recent Old Dominion transplants looking to cut their fiery, unadorned sounds indelibly to plastic. His Jade label absorbed those God-fearing artists: family bands with wailing kids and barely amateur groups sourced from local parishes, infused with reverberations of country and western and deep soul. Glinting authenticity shines from every track like a diamond in the unpolished rough - each group completely convinced that salvation comes through song.
Released back in 2008, the original collaboration between Adult Swim and Ghostly International, Ghostly Swim was praised for its adventurous survey of exploratory dance and pop music. Our curatorial focus has shifted this time around, moving further inward (spiritually) and outward (as far as our roster goes) to reflect the electronic underground in all of its hazy and vibrant experimentalism. Ghostly Swim 2 is a document of textured ambient zone-outs and woozy, granular house and techno, featuring original tracks from Shigeto, CFCF, Dauwd, Galcher Lustwerk, and more.
In the spirit of AIP's dodgy regional garage rock series Highs In The Mid Sixties comes Lows In The Mid Sixties Volume 54: Kosmic City Part 2. This set of roughhewn cobblestones was culled from the remnants of Cavern Sound - Independence, Missouri's subterranean studio of choice - and covers that thin swath of the late sixties when American teens were imitating the Beatles. All of the artists here barely mustered a session of cover tunes, much less a single, taking this compilation beyond Nuggets; These songs are gold flecks in the rustiest of mining pans. All brought to you by team Numbero. Numbero: We dig deeper in graveyards so you don't have to.