In the unpredictable wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many (with delicious irony) as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES seeks not only to review the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or otherwise), but to pay due to those who continue to tend the flame, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
Last week, we featured new releases from Samiyam, Fool's Gold, Now-Again, and Inca Ore. This week's crop comes from a likewise boundary-pushing group of music-makers. Submissions or suggestions? Email us.
Label: Rhino/Warner (Burbank)
Format: LP, 180 gram vinyl (remastered), pressing not limited
Rhino's 180-gram remastering of this monumental debut has been out for some number of months, but is there ever a bad time to talk about Talking Heads? The album 77 was released in the year '77, and it rightly encapsulated the frenetic energy of New York at the time. Art school was out for summer (for ever), and the students were running wild, injecting punk's bustle with bristling intellect, sharp style and musical ideas from distant shores. David Byrne and his distinguished crew had yet to link up with Eno, so 77 remains a raw and unslowed expression of their nascent greatness. It should come as no surprise that in a world where bands like Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective are rising stars, this album feels just as relevant as ever.
Purchase now via the Rhino web store.
Label: Community Music / Fairfax Recordings (North Hollywood)
Title: Up From Below
Format: 2xLP, gatefold jacket with alternate cover art, 1100 pressed
A late arrival to the vinyl aisles, the double-LP version of Edward Sharpe's Up From Below comes to us amidst considerable hype -- a small firestorm of buzz that threatens to swallow up whatever copies of the record make it out to local stores. (Tip: Keep an eye on Origami's Twitter feed for updates.) And it doesn't hurt that this edition sports better cover art (free from those wonky psychedelic fonts), or that it splits the album into logical halves: the stunning first 25 minutes -- which includes "40 Day Dream," "Carries On," and "Home" -- and the dustier, less striking remainder not without its charm (respect due to the Heath Ledger dedication, "Brother"). Further evidence of frontman Alex Ebert's radical, hirsute rebirth -- best as we can tell, Ima Robot didn't release a thing on wax.
Purchase now via Insound.