Anatomy of a Sellout

$11.99

Vinyl / Logan Hardware Records

“The genre these locals inhabit is less shoegazer and more steel-toed-boot gazer: it’s sophisticated, brooding and perpetually entranced with itself, sure, but also heavy enough to hurt you if you make an issue out of it…it’s gorgeous stuff – and though it’s inner logic is triplike, it holds up upon recollection.”  Chicago Reader

Dark Fog has been part of the underground freak scene for over a decade and has been celebrated by scholars of the underground near and far.   Their psychedelic energy has been harnessed by a series of full lengths and EPs by connoisseurs of the genre like Galactic Zoo and Eye Vybe Records.

‘Anatomy of a Sellout’ is Dark Fog’s new LP on Logan Hardware Records.  The album acts as a freak-out jingle machine complete with imagined radio ads and commercial spots from a much weirder dimension like The Who’s ‘Sellout’ with a more “tape is always rolling” spirit that invites you deep inside Dark Fog’s creative process.
 
Otto Preminger’s 1959 crime masterpiece ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ beautifully frames a strong legal defense in a complicated court case.  The language and realism of Preminger’s script stoked such fear in the heart of infamous hardheaded Mayor Richard Daley that he banned the unedited version of the film in Chicago until a federal court overturned the ruling because the clinical language of the trial in the screenplay was realistic enough within it’s context. ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ went on to become an American film classic.
 
In our fast-paced homogenized culture where artists create for praise and accolades, “selling out” has become a norm for success.  Similar to Preminger, Dark Fog have decided to break with current traditions in rock music and sell out the comfort of success with their uncompromised vision of risk and parody in hopes of conveying the timelessness nature of the unedited sounds of Anatomy of a Sellout.


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The Alabama Love Man

$7.99

CD / Rabbit Factory Records

The question of who Ralph “Soul” Jackson is, is a bit of a complicated one to answer. Depending on where you look online, you’ll find bits and pieces of the following three talking points: 1) He comes from Phenix City, Alabama. 2) He snuck into the deep south’s music clubs in the 1960s as a kid, thus exposing him to an acutely original kind of soul and funk. And 3) The Alabama Love Man may or may not be his first actual proper album—after nearly a half-century in the music business—despite reports that he was brought to Muscle Shoals decades ago to record his first single.

And that’s it. That’s the list.

But despite those confusing, disputable truths, there’s still one thing missing from all the record label bios and dead links that clutter a few Google search results: His latest eight-song effort on The Rabbit Factory imprint is the single greatest music release of 2012 that you almost certainly have yet to hear. It’s got soul, it’s got funk, and most importantly, it’s got more authenticity than the Alabama Shakes playing on a back porch during a 95-degree day in Jackson, Mississippi.

Actually, the recent success of Brittany Howard and company was probably something that helped push Jackson into getting this underground masterpiece out and on store shelves, anyway. Though if that’s the case, 2011’s buzziest band better watch their backs because not only does “Soul” upstage them when it comes to old school funk, but he also knows how to craft more pop choruses than his closest contemporaries. This, friends, is what soul music is supposed to be.

The Alabama Love Man is dirty. From the opening guitar lines of “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” to the final croons of “I’ll Take Care Of You”, Jackson’s weathered voice sounds like it comes directly from a 1967 house party at 926 East McLemore Avenue. And his band certainly holds up its end of the bargain, too, as the cats he recruited for this modern-day dose of retro perfection play the parts flawlessly, accentuating the horns when they call for it, switching up the groove when the tempo begins to lag and showering it all with a rainstorm of funk that is as sincere as it comes.

“You’ve Been Very Good To Me”, for instance, simply sounds like Duck Dunn had a hand in its production, and Estelle Axton immediately began playing the 45 in her Satellite Record Shop. Dedicated “to all the pretty ladies out there who have been real good to their man”, the track bleeds the Stax sound as Jackson evokes Otis Redding’s falsetto and Rufus Thomas’ unorthodox growl. The slow feel simmers so consistently for three-and-a-half minutes that anybody with a pulse can’t help but shake their shoulders by the time verse two comes around.

“Vehicle” is funky enough to get any Memphis party started with its pitter-patter vocal track and the climactic pre-choruses that allow for an explosion by the time the hook appears. “There Must Be A Reason” showcases a doo-wop approach for people who like a side of 6/8 waltz with their Al Green ballad. “Searching” is as poppy as true soul can get, making a darn good case for the most unheard Top 40 hit of 1971 (recorded in 2000-something-or-other) as its horn line promises to stay with listeners for days.

Jackson is at his best, though, when he opts to combine his strengths, which is why “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” is easily the set’s most memorable. A shoe-in for year-end Best Of lists, the track’s wah-wah-heavy funk guitar gives way to a fantastically precise horn part that confirms the artist’s place among today’s most authentic and original soul acts. There is nothing “neo” about this as Jackson’s low moans add a type of yesteryear flavor to selected spots of the verses and the slightly sugar-coated chorus all but promises to have any soul-music-lover’s attention for days. It’s pretty great stuff.

Actually, The Alabama Love Man as a whole really has nothing but great stuff, and if you’ve ever jived to a Booker T. and the MGs record or turned the volume up to an Eddie Floyd classic, these eight songs should reserve a spot among the best rhythm and blues records you own. It’s a timeless sound, the one that Ralph “Soul” Jackson seemingly finds so easy to emulate, but it’s also a sound that is typically shunned in favor of the kind of modern-day gloss that always seems to creep its way into every recent soul recording. None of that pop production is here, though, and the end product is a lot better off for it.

Is this really the first release from a guy who has spent 40 years in the music industry without managing to get a single full-length album on store shelves? Who knows. But then again, who cares? When you put out something as good as The Alabama Love Man, you’re allowed to take your time. Besides, these eight songs sound just as good today as they would have in the 1960s, when this kind of spectacular blend was more the norm than it was the retro or the hip. Here’s hoping there’s more of the same that’s ready to come down the pipeline, and here’s hoping it doesn’t take another 40 years to finally get it in our hands.


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The Alabama Love Man

$11.99

Vinyl / Rabbit Factory Records

The question of who Ralph “Soul” Jackson is, is a bit of a complicated one to answer. Depending on where you look online, you’ll find bits and pieces of the following three talking points: 1) He comes from Phenix City, Alabama. 2) He snuck into the deep south’s music clubs in the 1960s as a kid, thus exposing him to an acutely original kind of soul and funk. And 3) The Alabama Love Man may or may not be his first actual proper album—after nearly a half-century in the music business—despite reports that he was brought to Muscle Shoals decades ago to record his first single.

And that’s it. That’s the list.

But despite those confusing, disputable truths, there’s still one thing missing from all the record label bios and dead links that clutter a few Google search results: His latest eight-song effort on The Rabbit Factory imprint is the single greatest music release of 2012 that you almost certainly have yet to hear. It’s got soul, it’s got funk, and most importantly, it’s got more authenticity than the Alabama Shakes playing on a back porch during a 95-degree day in Jackson, Mississippi.

Actually, the recent success of Brittany Howard and company was probably something that helped push Jackson into getting this underground masterpiece out and on store shelves, anyway. Though if that’s the case, 2011’s buzziest band better watch their backs because not only does “Soul” upstage them when it comes to old school funk, but he also knows how to craft more pop choruses than his closest contemporaries. This, friends, is what soul music is supposed to be.

The Alabama Love Man is dirty. From the opening guitar lines of “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” to the final croons of “I’ll Take Care Of You”, Jackson’s weathered voice sounds like it comes directly from a 1967 house party at 926 East McLemore Avenue. And his band certainly holds up its end of the bargain, too, as the cats he recruited for this modern-day dose of retro perfection play the parts flawlessly, accentuating the horns when they call for it, switching up the groove when the tempo begins to lag and showering it all with a rainstorm of funk that is as sincere as it comes.

“You’ve Been Very Good To Me”, for instance, simply sounds like Duck Dunn had a hand in its production, and Estelle Axton immediately began playing the 45 in her Satellite Record Shop. Dedicated “to all the pretty ladies out there who have been real good to their man”, the track bleeds the Stax sound as Jackson evokes Otis Redding’s falsetto and Rufus Thomas’ unorthodox growl. The slow feel simmers so consistently for three-and-a-half minutes that anybody with a pulse can’t help but shake their shoulders by the time verse two comes around.

“Vehicle” is funky enough to get any Memphis party started with its pitter-patter vocal track and the climactic pre-choruses that allow for an explosion by the time the hook appears. “There Must Be A Reason” showcases a doo-wop approach for people who like a side of 6/8 waltz with their Al Green ballad. “Searching” is as poppy as true soul can get, making a darn good case for the most unheard Top 40 hit of 1971 (recorded in 2000-something-or-other) as its horn line promises to stay with listeners for days.

Jackson is at his best, though, when he opts to combine his strengths, which is why “I Can’t Leave Your Love Alone” is easily the set’s most memorable. A shoe-in for year-end Best Of lists, the track’s wah-wah-heavy funk guitar gives way to a fantastically precise horn part that confirms the artist’s place among today’s most authentic and original soul acts. There is nothing “neo” about this as Jackson’s low moans add a type of yesteryear flavor to selected spots of the verses and the slightly sugar-coated chorus all but promises to have any soul-music-lover’s attention for days. It’s pretty great stuff.

Actually, The Alabama Love Man as a whole really has nothing but great stuff, and if you’ve ever jived to a Booker T. and the MGs record or turned the volume up to an Eddie Floyd classic, these eight songs should reserve a spot among the best rhythm and blues records you own. It’s a timeless sound, the one that Ralph “Soul” Jackson seemingly finds so easy to emulate, but it’s also a sound that is typically shunned in favor of the kind of modern-day gloss that always seems to creep its way into every recent soul recording. None of that pop production is here, though, and the end product is a lot better off for it.

Is this really the first release from a guy who has spent 40 years in the music industry without managing to get a single full-length album on store shelves? Who knows. But then again, who cares? When you put out something as good as The Alabama Love Man, you’re allowed to take your time. Besides, these eight songs sound just as good today as they would have in the 1960s, when this kind of spectacular blend was more the norm than it was the retro or the hip. Here’s hoping there’s more of the same that’s ready to come down the pipeline, and here’s hoping it doesn’t take another 40 years to finally get it in our hands.


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The Raw Dents

$7.99

CD / Tizona Records

For the past year and a half, the band formerly known as D. Rider has been busy recording, playing shows and adding to their lineup. In 2009 they released their darkly psychedelic debut album, Mother Of Curses, while playing shows across the country. The original lineup of Todd Rittmann (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums), Andrea Faught (synth, vocals, horns), and Noah Tabakin (saxophone, vocals, synth) saw the addition of Theo Katsaounis on drums to complete a live act that would tour the country and gain a reputation as a challenging and entertaining powerhouse.

In early 2010, the band continued to play live, and between tours, headed into their studio to start recording tracks for their next effort: The Raw Dents. A scheduling conflict with Katsaounis prompted the band to search for a substitute to play some live dates, and asked fellow Chicagoan Matt Espy if he would bridge the gap. He agreed, and more than rose to the challenge, playing several shows with the band. The immediate chemistry between Espy and the band was too potent to ignore though, and the idea of a substitute quickly evolved into adding Espy to the recordings, and to the official lineup of the group.

The result is The Raw Dents, and the lineup isn’t the only thing that transformed. This record continues the band’s trajectory of balancing fresh syncopated rhythmic ideas with bold, and sometimes abrasive sonic textures, but the sound has evolved into a total juxtapositions between harmony and noise, chaos and groove, bombast and space, beauty and disaster. Though the emphasis is on songwriting here, the players are free to subvert. The hooks are designed more like events than simple repeating motifs, harmony and dissonance are embraced with equal measure.

And one more thing has expanded. In honor of the new additions to the band, the band has de-truncated their name. They are now known as: DEAD RIDER.


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The Raw Dents

$11.99

Vinyl / Tizona Records

In 2009 the band formerly known as D. Rider released their darkly psychedelic debut album, Mother Of Curses, and toured throughout the year. In early 2010, the group headed into their studio to start recording tracks for their next effort: The Raw Dents. This record continues the band’s trajectory of balancing fresh syncopated rhythmic ideas with bold, and sometimes abrasive sonic textures, but the sound has evolved into a total juxtapositions between harmony and noise, chaos and groove, bombast and space, beauty and disaster. Though the emphasis is on songwriting here, the players are free to subvert. The hooks are designed more like events than simple repeating motifs, harmony and dissonance are embraced with equal measure. The band has also de-truncated their name. They are now known as: DEAD RIDER.


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Mother of Curses

$4.99

CD / Tizona Records

Is that jack-o-lantern laughing at your shirt? It is okay, the D. Rider debut album “Mother of Curses” knits your mind a sweater. Aaah, that’s better, a little itchy, but you’ll get used to it. Rock and roll presentation by Todd Rittmann, Andrea Faught, Noah Tabakin, and a special friend. Okay virus, do your stuff.  Almost forgot to mention horseback riding on the moon with your “cool” aunt.


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Mother of Curses

$9.99

Vinyl / Tizona Records

Is that jack-o-lantern laughing at your shirt? It is okay, the D. Rider debut album “Mother of Curses” knits your mind a sweater. Aaah, that’s better, a little itchy, but you’ll get used to it. Rock and roll presentation by Todd Rittmann, Andrea Faught, Noah Tabakin, and a special friend. Okay virus, do your stuff.  Almost forgot to mention horseback riding on the moon with your “cool” aunt.


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Saucerland

$20

Double LP / Logan Hardware Records

Saucerland is the complete unearthed recordings of the Canadian proto-punks. The band that had the smallest of discographies with the largest voice is putting out the gems it held from the world for almost 40 years. These alternative takes, live recordings, and demos show the many influences of Simply Saucer that reach from kraut and psych, to the riffy stylings of the Stooges or the Kinks.

LP 1
side 1
1. rock and roll the brain cells (4:45)
2. you’re the one girl (3:30)
3. baby nova (4:00)
4. ring-a-ling-oh-my (5:02)
side 2
1. nice noise (4:19)
2. clearly invisible (15:15)

LP2
side 1
1. brainshock (3:04)
2. i don’t care (1:54)
3. takin you down (3:20)
4. more illegal bodies (11:30)
side 2
1. teenage dream (3:41)
2. bulletproof nothing (3:04)
3. almost ready betty (2:48)
4. live a strange life (3:02)
5. blues from saucerland (4;33)
6. the story of simply saucer (3:15)


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Reckless Agitation EP

$15

7 / Logan Hardware Records

By now the deep heads and even a few squares are hip to the psychedelic proto-punk fury that is Simply Saucer. We are proud to present 4 completely unheard vintage 1975-1977 Saucer compositions on one fancy-packaged 45″ EP. Ranging from snarling VU-inspired pre-punk to poppy ditties that would make Kevin Ayers blush, the EP comes housed in a possibly groundbreaking package–bolted onto a true Saucer that, well, actually flies!


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Saucer Package: ‘Saucerland’ 2xLP + ‘Reckless Agitation’ EP

$30

Double LP / Logan Hardware Records

Catch a good deal while it lasts!  With limited amounts of the ‘Reckless Agitation’ EP left we wanted to give an opportunity to those who would otherwise find it too expensive to ship this cool but bulky item!  This package will get you the new ‘Saucerland’ 2xLP set as well as the limited ‘Reckless Agitation’ EP together with one affordable shipping amount.


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