BLACK FRIDAY & BEYOND VINYL SALE
Happy Holidays, friends! Shop below and use promo code BlackFridayVinyl at checkout for 25% off on any or all of these Big Stir Records and SpyderPop Records vinyl releases... including the 2022 hits SOUNDS IN ENGLISH by Richard Öhrn (extremely limited edition), FLAVOR OF THE MONTH by Lannie Flowers (including a super-exclusive bonus CD), PRESSED & IRONED by Crossword Smiles and SOMEONE'S GOT TO LISTEN by Maple Mars! The code expires after Monday, November 28, so order now... and thank you, friends!
The new album from Maple Mars on a vinyl LP in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.
Limited edition (100 copies) red vinyl with picture sleeve of the legendary band's all new 2021 recreation of their long lost 1981 LP. Track list: A1. Christabelle A2. Love Too Late A3. Crying Time A4. Rita A5. Play This Song (On The Radio) A6. So Much Love B1. Breaking My Heart (Over You) B2. Tired Of Waiting For You B3. What I Used To Know B4. It's Not Love Any more B5. Street Punk Blues
The legendary band's all new 2021 recreation of their long lost 1981 LP. Track list: A1. Christabelle A2. Love Too Late A3. Crying Time A4. Rita A5. Play This Song (On The Radio) A6. So Much Love B1. Breaking My Heart (Over You) B2. Tired Of Waiting For You B3. What I Used To Know B4. It's Not Love Any more B5. Street Punk Blues
Vinyl LP with 8-page full color booklet. Ships starting August 2.
SIDE ONE: 1) Appalachukrainia 2) Pushing Forty 3) McCadden 4) The Romantic Dream Appears Before Us 5) Suddenly Succulents
SIDE TWO: 1) (How Did You Make) A Mistake Like Me? 2) Satellite Business 3) Is Drama Sue Here? 4) Alesandra 619 5) Just Like Carl Crew Said 6) When We Were In England (And You Were Dead)
THE ARMOIRES return with their keenly-awaited second album ZIBALDONE. The Burbank, CA band's co-leaders Christina Bulbenko (vocals, keys) and Rex Broome (vocals, guitar) describe the new work as a sonic love letter to music itself: the music that inspired them and the music of their friends and fellow travelers on the stages of the global pop rock scene. The album will be available on vinyl, CD and digital download through Big Stir Records on August 2.
THE ARMOIRES arrived quietly on the music scene with their debut album Incidental Lightshow – a lovely but grief-shadowed record deeply informed by the loss of Christina's son Ian midway through its creation – in 2016. Since that time, Broome and Bulbenko have semi-famously poured their hearts and souls into the nurturing of the music scene which has embraced them by founding Big Stir, a rapidly rising and widely admired international record label, live concert series, magazine and general community hub for creators and lovers of melodic rock.
The band themselves, having solidified their lineup with Christina's daughter Larysa (viola, backing vocals), Clifford Ulrich (bass, harmonica, backing vocals) and Derek Hanna (drums), have gigged, toured and written relentlessly during Big Stir Records' gestation, but remained silent on the recording front for the first 12 releases on the burgeoning label they themselves founded. Earlier this year, the SIDE THREE EP appeared, introducing the band as they are now, over 100 gigs deep into their proper career: a boisterous, exuberant but sophisticated pop combo joyously banging their way through four raucous, jangling originals and a cover of a New Pornographers classic.
ZIBALDONE, produced, like the EP, by Plasticsoul's Steven Eric Wilson with a deft and empathetic touch, is a deeper dive into the same waters and crackles with the energy of a band that's found its voices... or voices, if you will. The unique harmonies of Broome and Bulbenko are the anchor, ornamented by the refined 12-string and viola lead interplay that's become the band's secondary signature. The road-tested immediacy of the EP is still very much evident, but the pallet is more varied. Alongside a clutch of vibrant rockers are the charming Go-Betweens-meet-The Beach Boys shuffle of “McCadden”, the aqueous post-punk jangle-dub of “The Romantic Dream Appears Before Us”, the low-desert chamber-pop of “Suddenly Succulents”, the pedal-steel-sweetened melancholy of “Satellite Business” and the surf-klezmer clang of “Just Like Carl Crew Said”. A veritable host of the band's friends from the pop scene show up for the party, as whimsically depicted by artist Joseph Champniss on the strikingly detailed jacket art. Along with Wilson himself, members of Spygenius, The Bobbleheads, The Corner Laughers, Toxic Melons and Blake Jones from The Trike Shop (on theremin no less!) appear, and ace harmonies from Michael Simmons and Steve Rosenbaum weave in and out between the leads... even former Soft Boy Matthew Seligman takes a turn on bass (as do Ruth Rogers of Spygenius and Broome's daughter Miranda). But despite the impressive and warm support of these luminaries, The Armoires sound more like themselves than ever before: the distinctive drumming of Hanna ties it all together, while shared lead harmonies (ranging from sunshine pop sweetness to X-like co-howls) and the bed of guitar, keys and viola, all finessed to its organic ideal by Wilson's production touch, are unmistakable for anyone else.
“Incidental Lightshow was a record we had to make at the time”, says Broome, “and Zibaldone is the record we wanted to make.” The songs are the proof – they're lyrically playful and strewn with characters and mementos of the band's experiences. The record is bookended by the soaring “Appalachukrainia” and the deeply Robyn Hitchcock-indebted “When We Were In England (And You Were Dead)”, both virtual travelogues of The Armoires' two transformative swings through the UK. The band's personal musical idols crop up repeatedly. You'll catch references to The Who, Blondie, Dylan, Bob Mould, Neil Young, The Jazz Butcher and R.E.M. alongside the aforementioned X and Soft Boys and many of Bulbenko and Broome's contemporaries. It's no trainspotter's checklist for the pair, though, but a loving acknowledgement of the musical air they breathe and the inspirational power of the songs, old and new, that fuel and define them.
A strain of defiance against the middle-aged wasteland runs through tunes like “Pushing Forty”, “McCadden” and the barbershop Buzzcocks bash of “Is Drama Sue Here?”, songs that could only have been written by parents (and teachers). The Motown-meets-The Byrds stomp of the lead single “(How Did You Make) A Mistake Like Me?” nods to Christina's Detroit roots while “Satellite Business” draws on Rex's own West Virginia origins. Longtime live favorite “Alesandra 619” achieves psychedelic majesty in Wilson's ethereal mix, and Christina's vocal on the delicate “Suddenly Succulents” is a true heartbreaker. The overall package is, typically for The Armoires, timeless, at once sounding like it might have sprung from the late '60s Sunset Strip, the charts of the mid-'80s college rock heyday, or last weekend at Joe's Great American in Burbank.
The release of Zibaldone will, unsurprisingly, be followed by a new round of touring for The Armoires well into 2020 in the US and UK, sharing stages with their BSR labelmates and other beloved collaborators. New material is already in the wings as the band moves ever forward. “It's no wonder I feel like I'm dreaming”, goes the chorus to “Alesandra 619”, and The Armoires seem intent on pursuing that romantic dream for some time to come.
The new double LP from SPYGENIUS in a lavishly illustrated gatefold package.
- Another True Story
- If You Go A-Roving
- Salaud Days
- Cafe Emery Hill
- Dolphinarium 1986
- New Street
- Man Overboard
- Green Eyed Monster
- In A Garden
- Don't Blame It On Your Mother
- Midnight Bandola
- Watch Your Back
- Remember Me When I Was Good
Vinyl LP (orange vinyl) plus CD plus a digital download of the full album and a 20-track collection of remixes, demos, singles, compilation contributions and live tracks!
The sixth release from the Trike Shop features 13 brand new slices of hooky, quirky art pop full of the humor, heart and inventiveness for which the Fresno legends are justly renowned.
TRACK LIST: 1. Make a New Day 2. My Soft Rock Girlfriend 3. Hard Pan/Hard Land 4. Goldfinger 5. Take a Look at the Stars 6. Wind Blues 7. At Every Train Stop 8. Wednesday 9. That Abandoned Theater 10. My Girl (brings me colors) 11. The Ghost Ship Sails On 12. Come Down (Great Big God) [demo] 13. Alchemy C'mere
Big Stir Records is thrilled to announce the addition of Orange County, CA pop legends SPARKLE*JETS U.K. to our roster with their first new release in 18 years: a limited edition colored 7” vinyl single that's of unique significance to both the band and the label. It's a pair of covers related to BSR's namesake Big Star – the band's classic “The Ballad of El Goodo” and the beloved Chris Bell solo cut “You and Your Sister” – recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis with Jody Stephens on drums. Both the A and B sides will be available digitally ONLY with the physical 45 (until they're collected on the fourth Big Stir Singles CD in late 2019). The single is officially out Friday, July 26 and can be pre-ordered here:
It's a welcome return for sparkle*jets u.k., remembered as one of the most adored bands in the power pop movement of the late '90s and early 2000s and mainstays of the early International Pop Overthrow Festival years. Their adorably geekly sensibility and their sound – a distinctive marriage of '60s and '70s rock and whimsical guitar pop -- set then apart. Founding members Michael Simmons, Susan West, and Jamie Knight first met in 1995 at a gig for Simmons' band at the time, Virgin 7. Within a year the trio's separate acts had merged into a single entity, which included the first writing contributions from Simmons as well as material from West and Knight.
The group, which was initially dubbed Happy Birthday!, was renamed sparklekets u.k., including the "U.K." tag because the name wasn't nearly wacky enough. The three bandmembers also shared a lot of musical common ground, starting at The Beatles and running through Electric Light Orchestra, Brian Wilson, Teenage Fanclub, Pixies, The Jackson 5. SJUK recorded their 1998 debut In, Through and Beyond and pressed just 1,000 copies. Copies of the disc made it into a single store, where rock journalist John Borack (Goldmine Magazine and the Shake Some Action power pop guidebooks) bought a copy, his decision based only on the cover art and 3.99 dollar price. After passing word onto pop fanatic and International Pop Overthrow organizer David Bash, sparkle*jets u.k. were soon inducted into the close-knit family of Los Angeles-based power pop acts and their fans, then in its fondly remembered heyday.
The delightfully absurd I Love SparkleJets U.K. multi-artist tribute album and the excellent 2001 sophomore album Bamboo Lounge would follow before the group went dormant on the recording front. Simmons would go on play a major role in Popdudes (with Borack, Knight, Robbie Rist, BSR's own Addison Love and many more) and form another multigenerational in the form of Yorktown Lads (also with Love and Cameron Lew). His own solo album First Days of Summer, recently reissued in expanded form on Big Stir, adorned many a Best of 2018 lists. The album, along with occasional and warmly received SJUK reunion gigs, paved the way for the Memphis sessions which yielded the new single.
Along with “El Goodo”, Big Stir Records is making expanded versions of the two proper sparkle*jets u.k. albums available for download, and also offering the 2017 vinyl reissue of Bamboo Lounge in our store. There are rumblings that the much-rumored third LP may see completion and release in the year ahead... stay tuned for further developments, and grab your 45 while they last!