Monday, November 25, 2019

Masters featured on November titles

Some of music's most notable heroes and underground names have crucial new collections available now, or as part of Record Store Day's Black Friday celebration being held on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.

Artist: Beck
Title: Hyperspace (Capitol Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Beck, Radiohead
Tell me more: With modern rock no longer a major force in the mainstream, Beck has continued his transformation into the future with his genres-blending fourteenth studio album Hyperspace. Indeed, this is an album that sounds as if it was beamed back in time, dreamt up and recorded years from now. Beck's 2017 LP Colors was a commercial success, but lacked the far-reaching experimental and art rock flourishes that have marked so much of the Los Angeles-based artist's creative output dating back to the early 1990s. The 11-track Hyperspace is a move back in the right direction, thanks to the notable contributions of principal collaborator Pharrell Williams (who co-wrote and co-produced seven tracks on the disc), singer Sky Ferreira (heard on "Die Waiting"), guitar master Jason Falkner, keyboardist-singer Roger Manning, Jr., Coldplay singer Chris Martin (heard on the wonderful "Stratosphere"), and a cast of others. The majority of songs mine probing moodscapes with musical dexterity and emotional depth. The highlight on the album is the Americana-tinged disc closer "Everlasting Nothing," but the future of the sonic-sphere is heard more forcefully on the dreamy "See Through," luxurious "Chemical," blues/electronica/rap mashup "Saw Lightning," confessional "Dark Places" and undeniable single "Uneventful Days." Information:

Artist: Tim Buckley
Title: Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968 (Manifesto Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley
Tell me more: Although Tim Buckley died of a heroin overdose at the mere age of 28 in June 1975, he left an enduring legacy as a groundbreaking artist who explored folk, rock, blues, jazz fusion, funk and other styles over his short career. Fans of the late artist have been rewarded with the release of Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968, a collection of 14 acoustic songs recorded over the course of a two-night stint at the venue in May 1968. Described in the liner notes as "works in progress", the selections are potent even when heard via this sparse forum where Buckley (on vocals and 12-string guitar) is backed by a bassist and conga player. The lovely "Sing a Song For You," haunting "Danang," a cover of the Helen Deutsch/Bronislaw Kaper co-write "Hi Lily, Hi Lo" (the latter bolstered by Buckley's high-reaching falsetto vocals), a terrific take of Johnny Cash's "Big River" and the intoxicating "Gypsy Woman" are highlights on disc one; his renditions of Fred Neil's "Dolphins" and "Looks Like Rain," as well as his own "Happy Time" and "The Father Song" shine on disc two. Live at the Electric Theatre Col. Chicago, 1968 includes liner notes about the Chicago shows along with remembrances from Buckley collaborators songwriter Larry Beckett and guitarist Lee Underwood. Information:

Record Store Day's Black Friday Releases

Artist: Paul McCartney
Title: In A Hurry / Home Tonight
Tell me more: The swirling psychedelic-meets-Baroque pop gem "In A Hurry" and infectious "Home Tonight" are featured on a forthcoming Paul McCartney double A-side single set for release on Nov. 29, 2019 as part of Record Store Day's Black Friday. "In A Hurry" is the more interesting of the tracks, with its artful build and the use of creative background vocals and diverse instrumentation. The poppy "Home Tonight" recalls some of McCartney's '70s folk rockers and is as catchy as anything he has recorded in recent years. Fans of McCartney's 2018 Egypt Station will enjoy adding these memorable tracks to their library. An important note: only 12,000 copies of the 7-inch vinyl picture disc will be distributed worldwide at brick-and-mortar music retailers on Nov. 29; it will be very difficult to score a copy of the colorful single to be sure. Information:

Artist: New Riders of the Purple Sage
Title: Thanksgiving in New York City (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: the Grateful Dead, Gram Parsons
Tell me more: Recorded live at the Academy of Music in New York City on Nov. 23, 1972, New Riders of the Purple Sage's Thanksgiving in the City should be on every music lover's Black Friday shopping list. The two-disc release serves as both a perfect introduction and an essential addition for those seeking to discover – or learn more  about the legendary American country psychedelic rock band. There is a winning spirit displayed across the recording, with great lead and harmony vocals and top-tier musicianship coming in the service of great strong country- and Americana-styled rock songs. The tender "Leaving on Her Mind," freewheeling take on the classic "Hello Mary Lou," lovely "Contract" and "Linda," a wistful cover of "Long Black Veil" and stylish reworking of the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" are among this writer's favorite tracks on the collection. Speedy guitar work courtesy of lead guitarist-vocalist David Nelson and pedal steel player Buddy Cage (as evidenced on "Henry") are among the draws on a terrific collection, but the nuanced work provided by rhythm guitarist-vocalist John Dawson, bassist-vocalist Dave Torbert and drummer Spencer Dryden add to the power of the New Riders of the Purple Sage's timeless sound. Information:

Editor's note: In addition to "Thanksgiving in New York City," Los Angeles-based Omnivore Recordings' other Record Store Day/Black Friday releases include the previously-unreleased  Alex Chilton cut "My Rival" (recorded in 1975 and engineered by Big Star co-founder Chris Bell) and a vinyl Christmas single from the Peter Holsapple Combo


Record Store Day, the global celebration of the culture of the record store, takes place annually in April. Record Store Day’s Black Friday event takes place on November 29, 2019. For more info, visit

Robert Kinsler


Unknown said...

Very interesting. I have some misgivings about the Beck album but will give it another try after reading your review.

Robert Kinsler said...

I don't think Beck's album will appeal to everyone, but I have enjoyed it and think it's much stronger than "Colors."