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DOM
Sun Bronzed Greek Gods
Astralwerks
 
Worcester, Mass based quartet, Dom, have been so kind as to re-release Sun Bronzed Greek Gods. This EP was previously only available in limited physical quantities and is now newly remixed and remastered Sun Bronzed Greek Gods -- keeping the original's same analog spirit of the original intact yet with a little bit of added glimmer. With warped vocals, fuzzy low-fi distortion, and broken Casio keyboard lines, Dom filters a DIY aesthetic through the upbeat, sunny rhythms of pop music. There's a MacGyverized style to Sun Bronzed Greek Gods: At any minute they could break apart. But they don't. "We like to get gnarly," says Dom "But that doesn't mean we're a joke."
 
James Vincent McMorrow
Early In The Morning
Vagrant

 
From start to finish, Early In The Morning is a ten-song recollection of one man's journey through a time of change and transition. Having four years worth of songs written and endless time to document them allowed for James Vincent McMorrow to dissect each song and perfect. Written about transformation and change, Early In The Morning is equal parts thoughtfully crafted words and inventive instrumental arrangements. Towards the latter half of the record a darker tone emerges, or as James puts it, "the closest I'll ever get to proper mythical fantasy writing!" These songs are where we find him at his most literate and ornate, creating ominous figures, and a wholly tangible sense of tension and foreboding. Written and recorded entirely by James himself, Early In The Morning is ample proof that this young Irishman is someone to watch.
Chikita Violenta
Tre3s
Arts & Craft

 
Chikita Violenta is a Mexicanindie rock band from Mexico City. They all met in high school in early 2000 and shared a deep love for bands such as Pavement, >Sonic Youth, Built To Spill and Tortoise. Eventually their music caught the attention of Stars' Dave Newfeld who took the band under his wing. Chikita Violenta's latest album, TRE3S, was recorded on three sporadic trips to Canada throughout a year and a half (2009-2010). Many recognized musicians from the Canadian indie scene collaborate: Wintersleep's Loel Campbell, The Most Serene Republic's Tony Nesbitt-Larking and Broken Social Scene's Lisa Lobsinger. TRE3S is a near-perfect pop album that introduces not only a band to watch out for but also an entire country getting ready to take the independent music world by storm.
 
Diamond Rings
SPECIAL AFFECTIONS
SECRET CITY

 
First conceived in the summer of 2009 by Toronto-based artist and musician John O, Diamond Rings burst onto the scene with an inventive home-crafted video for his self-released single "All Yr Songs". The single received "Best New Music" honors from the tastemakers at Pitchfork and sold out in a matter of weeks. In keeping with his predilection for confounding public expectation, Diamond Rings' debut full-length, Special Affections, dabbles in a wide range of styles and soundscapes. Spacey slow jams give way to aggressive guitar rock that leads seamlessly into shuddering club beats and soaring synth lines. In addition to the previous singles "All Yr Songs" and "Wait & See", Special Affections gives Diamond Rings' fans eight new songs all tied together in a stylish package designed by the artist himself. Party!
Puro Instinct
Headbangers in Ecstasy
Mexican Summer
 
Last year, you likely came under the spell of the starry Kaplan sisters: Piper and Skylar, and their band Pearl Harbor, who graced the land with their beatific Something About the Chapparrals EP. Funny how time flies for the beyond their year siblings, as it's suddenly 2011 and Pearl Harbor now goes by the name of Puro Instinct. Now Piper and Sky find themselves bolstered by four other bandmates -- Cody Porter, Jessie Clavin, Mike Baum, and Crazy Murray -- to make the hazy, swirling pop of their deliciously-titled LP, Headbangers In Ecstasy, even more realized and sumptuous.
 
Memphis
Here Comes A City
Arts & Crafts

 
At their best, duos are a uniquely formidable type of creative chemistry. Whether Simon & Garfunkel or Pet Shop Boys, Steely Dan or Soft Cell, an alchemical magic occurs when two simpatico minds go in pursuit of a singular result. Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont have been making music together since the late 1990s, quite some time before the former achieved worldwide success as singer in Canadian quintet Stars. Here Comes A City is both a nod to the song by Australian pop gods The Go-Betweens and an acknowledgment of the nomadic nature in which the album was made. "It's infused with bits and pieces of my day-to-day life and experiences," says Campbell. "Age inspired it, I reckon... And, you know, the usual Memphis influence: drugs."
LUCINDA WILLIAMS
BLESSED - Deluxe Edition
Lost Highway Records
 
The expanse of Lucinda Williams’ palette is gradually revealed over the course of Blessed, a collection that unfolds in an origami-like fashion. While an air of mortality imbues a few of Blessed’s songs -- notably the fiercely slashing “Seeing Black,” on which Williams cuts through a hail of angry guitars that come courtesy of Elvis Costello -- songs like “Kiss Like Your Kiss” exude a sassy sensuality, while closer “Sweet Love” is, quite simply, an aural incarnation of that title, pure, warm and sweet. The Deluxe Edition comes with a bonus disc called 'The Kitchen Tapes'. These are the demos Lucinda recorded of the songs that became Blessed right as they were born at her kitchen table. The Deluxe Edition is available with 8 different album cover images randomly distributed through the manufacturing process.
 
Various Artists
Generation Bass Presents:
Transnational Dubstep

Six Degrees
 
For the last few years, the Generation Bass Blog has been exposing listeners to the hottest new trends in global/electronic/dance hybrids. Transnational Dubstep is the first major compilation to document the groundbreaking fusion of dubstep and world music. Compiled by Generation Bass co-founder DJ UMB in cooperation with Six Degrees Records, Transnational Dubstep pulls together some of the most exciting new producers in electronic music who are incorporating sounds from around the planet with the bass bin shaking thump of dubstep. By utilizing influences from Cumbia to Balkan- Chinese to Indian- Middle Eastern to Japanese- Transnational Dubstep represents the vanguard of a whole new electronic sub-genre that is ready to capture the ears and imaginations of listeners world-wide.
Malachai
Return to the Ugly Side
Domino

 
Malachai is Hebrew for 'angel.' It's also the name of the red-haired kid from Children Of The Corn. From which the band's name is derived. Why we're not exactly sure. Malachai, strictly speaking, are a duo. They're from Bristol, England. They aren't part of a scene, but they reflect the Bristol vibe these days: groups with dubstep running through their bones, hip hop in the fingers, '60s psychedelia in the heart. At times, Return To The Ugly Side the album sounds like a Jamaican garage rock band. Other time it sounds like Merseybeat if the beats were supplied by RZA. Or like Dick Dale surfing the River Severn. Either way it's deliciously blunted, so lean the seat back, turn the lights down and enjoy.
 
Esperanza Spalding
Chamber Music Society
Concord

 
Centuries ago, long before the advent of radio or recording technology, chamber music was the music for the masses - the music in which people from nearly every segment of society could find meaning and relevance. A decade into the 21st century, Esperanza Spalding - the bassist, vocalist and composer who first appeared on the jazz scene in 2008 - takes a contemporary approach to this once universal form of entertainment with Chamber Music Society. Backed by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and pianist Leo Genovese - and inspired by the classical training of her younger years - Esperanza creates a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical music (Do yourself a favor and listen to her recent profile on NPR). Highly recommended!
moremusic

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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