Out of the Crate is our monthly column—which seems to have taken a couple of months off, again, hey it’s a pandemic—that highlights the physical media world of new vinyl releases, sexy cassettes, reissues, compilations, and whatever else is available and interesting. (Sometimes even digital!)
Neutrals, the roustabout Oakland punk band we wrote about last December, will be playing their first post-pandemic show on September 16 at Bottom of The Hill, opening for Spiritual Cramp & Spice. Their debut album Kebab Disco came out in 2019 on Emotional Response Records and garnered acclaim as “an excellent collection of terse melodies, unique storytelling, and scraping pop,” according to AllMusic. You can purchase it now on a glorious Orange cassette here.
Sonny & the Sunsets partnered with Aquarium Drunkard for a new Lagniappe Session, wherein they present two new covers of The Troggs, tackling “Our Love Will Still Be There” and “With A Girl Like You.” “The Troggs always felt so mysterious, and now 50 years later they seem like unknown mystics from another time. It’s the same feeling when you think about some old-world mystic poet, Rasputin, or Rumi or something,” as Sonny describes it. The inspired session is in advance of the upcoming album New Day with New Possibilities.
You can pre-order the vinyl here. It’s out July 30 on Rocks In Your Head Records, which is fresh off the release of the acclaimed Fake Fruit self-titled release this past March. Both Sonny & the Sunsets and Fake Fruit play Rickshaw Stop, September 30.
Real hip-hop never comes casual. It steps up, makes its presence known, and leaves listeners whispering to themselves “What the eff was that ” hitting the rewind triangle. “Fruit SNX ” from Marcey Yates and Xoboi (pronounced like Zo-Bwai) featuring (feat. Conny Franko) does just that. It’s from the upcoming Culxr House:Freedom Summer collaborative project. Dropping on July 30, it shines the light on a host of talent from Omaha, Nebraska. Culxr House is an innovative community hub that focuses on providing artists and creatives a safe space to grow their talent and obtain access to resources necessary to turn their art into economic opportunities. You can pre-order here.
There was a time in the late naughty aughties where you could go to Dalva, in the Mish, and catch a Country music night on a Monday. I did not stutter. The city is notorious for these types of super-specific genre nights. There used to be a Frank Sinatra night at Club Deluxe, Cassanova was notorious for hosting several ‘’Soft Rock” DJ nights over the years that worked like gangbusters. But DJ Blaze Orange, his name a hat tip to anarchist country artist Michael David Fuller aka Blaze Foley, put on that country night at Dalva that always veered into a country funk set. We’re talking “Piledriver” from Dennis The Fox, with that chunky and delicious opening drum break, as Gene Clark, half of Dillard & Clark, retooled The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” with backbeat timidity amongst others.
That ace tune was included on Light in the Attic’s Country Funk Volume II (1969-1975) compilation in 2017. Now comes Country Funk Volume III (1975-1982) dropping on August 6, tracking over two discs how country, much like r&b in the ’80s, steered through disco and ventured into highly syncopated textures.
It’s a trip right? Sure there is the pedestrian pop-country-r&b of Eddie Rabbitt, synthy Jerry Reed, and the cocaine-dusted funk of J.J. Cale….but the cool, almost City Pop, accents found with Tony Joe White proves, yes indeed, it was still one nation under a groove. Beat-heads, this is for you.
In honor of the label’s 20th anniversary, Daptone announced The Daptone Super Soul Revue Live at the Apollo, a 3LP set of performances at the famed New York theater. The live album (pre-order here) arrives this fall on October 1st and features performances by Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Naomi Shelton, Antibalas, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, Sugarman 3, Saun & Starr, and the Como Mamas.
It’s been a rough……really really rough couple of years without the voices of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, two very human r&b vocalists who found the spotlight later in their careers. Both rocketed the Daptone label to heights never expected. Here is a candid and beautiful dose of Miss Sharon Jones above, being unapologetically Sharon Jones. WE miss you.