Numero Group: By The Numbers


Coming to an LP bin near you: Nikki Sudden & Jacobites
September 10, 2013, 12:11 pm
Filed under: JR., Newsworthy | Tags: ,

NikkiQuad-1400x1400In founding the post-punk prefacing Swell Maps, Nikki Sudden and his drumming brother Epic Soundtracks charted new territory for racket and corrosive guitar. But after folding Swell Maps at the dawn of the ’80s, Nikki Sudden plowed through another decade’s worth of terrifically fertile ground. Drawing on his devotion to the Rolling Stones and T. Rex—alongside guitarist Dave Kusworth as Jacobites, plus a cheekily named cohort of British sidemen—Nikki Sudden cut a string of raw, inspired rock ‘n’ roll records, etched with double-edged travel melancholia and hard-bitten punk dejection.

Unavailable in their native format since the 1980s, Nikki Sudden’s own Waiting on Egypt and The Bible Belt, plus Jacobites and Robspierre’s Velvet Basement—Sudden’s stellar collaborations with Dave Kusworth—return to LP on November 12. These first four missives in a 7-LP Nikki Sudden reissue project get the high-standard treatment JR and Numero buyers know and love: replica album cover artwork and labels, original tracklistings, tip-on sleeves, and the handsome obi that has become a JR hallmark.

Waiting on Egypt

Nikki Sudden’s 1982 solo debut cut back on the skronk and clatter of his own latter-day Swell Maps. Unused Maps material received Sudden resurrection, while Nikki’s new ideas moved confidently in a Bolan direction. Elsewhere, early Stones gem “I’d Much Rather Be With The Boys,” recast in withdrawn piss and vinegar.

The Bible Belt

Sudden’s second LP marked his first collaboration with writer/guitarist Dave Kusworth, the alliance that would forge Jacobites. On The Bible Belt, Sudden stands in rock reverence to his own saints, from Bowie slink and Dylanesque strum to the mandolin post-punk of “Missionary Boy.”

Jacobites

1984’s Jacobites marked the first appearance of Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth under that loaded Brit imprimatur. The matching LP trafficked in dramatic rock classicism: vital, shambolic, anchored by a healthy obsession with plaintive Dylan phrasings. Here, Sudden & Kusworth took grim new looks at the same hills Mick and Keith had long since rolled past.

Robespierre’s Velvet Basement

The lush second Sudden/Kusworth album as Jacobites, 1985’s Robespierre’s Velvet Basement is a decadent and inviting garage, decorated by unabashed devotion to Faces, Stones, and the folky young Bolan. Originally planned for four sides of vinyl, it pared down to hit a pinnacle in Sudden’s oeuvre, a loose and grandly bedraggled portrait of British rock at the crossroads.



This now exists: Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label
August 21, 2013, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Eccentric Soul, Forte, Newsworthy

Forte Slip

In 1969, after three years as Soul Sister #1 to James Brown’s touring entourage, Marva Whitney came home to Kansas City, putting Ellis Taylor’s Forte label back at full fighting strength. She’d calmed aching crowds the day after MLK’s death, and she’d lived the life, despite its rigors—to pour out her pain and exuberance on Forte sides including “I’ve Lived The Life” and “Daddy Don’t Know About Sugar Bear,” which made national rounds in 1972. By then, Forte had already done more than deliver Marvelous Marva to market. Taylor worked overtime at KPRS to bring the world The Rayons, who’d stroll their girl group harmonies past Chicago’s RCA studios on “Baby Be Good.” In ’68, The Four Darlings sauntered in with smoky-voiced soul operatics on the demanding “Give Me Love.” Progressing in the middle ’70s, Everyday People got “Super Black” on Forte’s pine-green label. Still powering forward some 13 years on, Forte redawned with the 1980s, essaying disco-funk with Sharon Revoal’s “Reaching for Our Star.”

Numero 047 Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label charts Kansas City yeoman’s work, the Carpets and the Derbys, dapper clothiers mysteriously murdered, and marriages made and broken. In 28 tracks, plus a trove of promo headshots and every-hued label scans detailing all iterations of Forte’s logo in print, this 16th Eccentric Soul sojourn hands over vivid floor shakers and lost dance craze records alike—though what moves “The Hen” required remains anyone’s guess.

Compact disc:

1. Gene Williams – Don’t Let Your Love Fade Away
2. Lee Harris – I’m Gonna Get Your Thing
3. Tear Drops – I’m Gonna Get You
4. Louis Chachere – The Hen Part 1
5. The Fantasticks – Cry Night And Day
6. Marva W Taylor – I’ve Lived The Life
7. Fabulous Rhythm Makers – Mini Mini Afro Twist
8. Tony Ashley & the Delicates – I’ll Never Be Satisfied
9. The Rayons – You Confuse Me Baby
10. The Four Darlings – Baby Your Love Is Amazing
11. Lee Harris – Lookin’ Good
12. Marva Whitney – Daddy Don’t Know About Sugar Bear
13. Gene Williams – Whatever You Do (Do It Good)
14. Everyday People – Is It Really That Bad
15. The Rayons – Baby Be Good
16. Tony Ashley & the Delicates – All Along I’ve Loved You
17. Lee Harris – I’ve Got To Have Somebody’s Love
18. Everyday People – Super Black
19. James Whitney – With Fun In My Life
20. Sharon Revoal – Reaching For Our Star
21. Marva W Taylor – Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness)

Long playing double album:

A1. Gene Williams – Don’t Let Your Love Fade Away
A2. Lee Harris – I’m Gonna Get Your Thing
A3. Tear Drops – I’m Gonna Get You
A4. Louis Chachere – The Hen Part 1
A5. The Fantasticks – Cry Night And Day
A6. Marva W Taylor – I’ve Lived The Life
A7. Fabulous Rhythm Makers – Mini Mini Afro Twist
B1.Tony Ashley & the Delicates – I’ll Never Be Satisfied
B2. The Rayons – You Confuse Me Baby
B3. The Four Darlings – Baby Your Love Is Amazing
B4. Lee Harris – Lookin’ Good
B5. Marva Whitney – Daddy Don’t Know About Sugar Bear
B6: Gene Williams – Whatever You Do (Do It Good)
B7. Everyday People – Is It Really That Bad
C1. The Rayons – Baby Be Good
C2. Tony Ashley & the Delicates – All Along I’ve Loved You
C3. Lee Harris – I’ve Got To Have Somebody’s Love
C4. Everyday People – Super Black
C5. James Whitney – With Fun In My Life
C6. Sharon Revoal – Reaching For Our Star
C7. Marva W Taylor – Nothing I’d Rather Be (Than Your Weakness)
D1. Four Darlings – Give Me Love
D2. Unknown Artist – Dearest Lover
D3. Fantasticks – Live And Let Live
D4. Fabulous Rhythm Makers – Ya Gotta Be Doing It
D5. Lee Harris – Skate Boogaloo and Karate Too
D6. Tear Drops – Don’t Fade Away
D7. Marva Whitney & Ellis “Gripey” Taylor – We Need More (But Somebody Gotta Sacrifice)

You can go ahead order either format (or digital download) here. 



Purple Snow: The Pre-Order
August 2, 2013, 8:36 am
Filed under: Newsworthy, Purple Snow

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In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound began bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Buried beneath 50 solid inches of annual snow, Minneapolis made a Sound quite different than what the pop world foresaw. It issued forth as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. Never known for sizable African-American populations, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in fact harbored a tight-knit community of musicians working feverishly through the late ’70s and early ’80s toward a radical manipulation of American dance music, coating futuristic funk with the glamorous sheen of guitar rock. Synthetic ebony and ivory met electricity, with sexed-up results sent shockingly across the pop heavens like violet lightning.

On 4 LPs or 2 CDs, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound—the Numero Group’s breathlessly anticipated 50th mainline release—chronicles the scene’s first steps, false starts, and follow-throughs, sourcing the life’s work of known quantities and shadowy figures alike. In the beginning, there was Purple Haze, whose billing as Haze on two obscure albums left the color purple to their city’s incipient sound. Pepé Willie’s 94 East project gave local prodigy Prince Rogers Nelson an early chance to row along with the crew. From there, the story courses past Jimmy Jam Harris’ extroverted Philly throwback Mind & Matter collective, to Terry Lewis and Flyte Tyme, flamboyant precursor to Morris Day’s The Time. Unearthing basement demos by Prince’s childhood sidekick/departed bassist André Cymone, plus deep cuts from legend-about-town Alexander O’Neal, Numero 050 gathers relentlessly as the sprawling, nonfiction prequel to Purple Rain’s cultural takeover.

Surpassing 30,000 words, our hardbound, full-color book companion to Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is a gorgeous, exhaustively detailed, and insight-rich guided tour across two hours of music and a decade of North Star history. Inside, dozens of supporting characters and combos seed clouds for the meteoric rise of a genre formerly known mostly as Prince’s—not to mention unheard product from his top collaborators and fiercest competitors. In game-changing sound and image-rich splendor, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound clears a crowded stage, ushering in unsung Twin Cities future-funk talent, to bask for a spotlit moment, out of that persistent violet shadow, and to shine.

Our own Adam “We’re up all night to get” Luksetich made this spiffy teaser video below, featuring the music of the Stylle Band:

About that pre-order:

Back in 1985, with the Minneapolis Sound at the leading edge of its music culture takeover, David “T.C.” Ellis—an aspiring St. Paul rapper—dedicated his own rhyming-couplet document to the genre’s founding city. Constructed upon a sturdy drum machine and vocoder bedrock, “Twin Cities Rapp” contextualized and outright flattered the movement’s marquee contenders, threading together Prince, André Cymone, the Time and Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Sheila E, and sundry other Purple Snow honorees. Originally released as a 12” single by Twin Town Records, Ellis’s electro-rap narrative gets into the grooves of a Numero replica 7”—complete with Minnesota silhouette pic sleeve—to be included with the first 500 pre-orders on Numero 050, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, as well as with 2013 LP and CD subscriptions. For all the many strengths of the compendious Purple Snow book, its words almost never rhyme. We’ve left that level of artistry to Minneapolis, to Ellis, and to good old 1985.

The 32-song, four album, 108-page hardbound book, and “Twin Cities Rapp 45” will run you $85.

The 32-song, two disc, 144-page hardbound book, and  “Twin Cities Rapp 45” will run you $35.

Track list:

Disc 1

94 East – If You See Me
Aura – Taste Of Love
Herman Jones – I Love You
Orville Shannon – Oh Lover
Mind & Matter – I’m Under Your Spell
Haze – Waiting For The Moment
Prophets Of Peace – Get It On
Cohesion – Expense
Mind & Matter – Sunshine Lady
The Lewis Connection – Higher
Flyte Tyme – It’s The Things That You Do
Herman Jones – Ladie
Michael A. Dixon and J.O.Y. – You’re All I Need
Music, Love & Funk – Stone Lover
Cohesion – Cohesion
Haze – I Do Love My Lady
The Lewis Connection – Got To Be Something Here

Disc 2

Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – I Have Love at Home
Flyte Tyme – I’ve Got You On My Mind
Quiet Storm – Can You Deal With It
Steven – Quick
The Stylle Band – If You Love Me
The Girls – I’ve Got My Eyes On You
Sue Ann Carwell – Should I Or Should I Not?
Alexander O’Neal – Do You Dare
Ronnie Robbins – Contagious
Alexander O’Neal – Borrowed Time
Orville Shannon – One Life To Live
André Cymone – Somebody Said
Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – Do It Baby Do It
Rockie Robbins – Together
Mind & Matter – No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby

Side A

94 East – If You See Me
Aura – Taste Of Love
Herman Jones – I Love You
Orville Shannon – Oh Lover

Side  B

Mind & Matter – I’m Under Your Spell
Haze – Waiting For The Moment
Prophets Of Peace – Get It On
Cohesion – Expense
Mind & Matter – Sunshine Lady

Side C

The Lewis Connection – Higher
Flyte Tyme – It’s The Things That You Do
Herman Jones – Ladie
Michael A. Dixon and J.O.Y. – You’re All I Need

Side D

Music, Love & Funk – Stone Lover
Cohesion – Cohesion
Haze – I Do Love My Lady
The Lewis Connection – Got To Be Something Here

Side E

Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – I Have Love at Home
Flyte Tyme – I’ve Got You On My Mind
Quiet Storm – Can You Deal With It
Steven – Quick

Side F

The Stylle Band – If You Love Me
The Girls – I’ve Got My Eyes On You
Sue Ann Carwell – Should I Or Should I Not?
Alexander O’Neal – Do You Dare

Side G

Ronnie Robbins – Contagious
Alexander O’Neal – Borrowed Time
Orville Shannon – One Life To Live
André Cymone – Somebody Said

Side H

Walter Lewis &the Blue Stars – Do It Baby Do It
Rockie Robbins – Together
Mind & Matter – No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby



Unwound: Kid Is Gone Pre-order (With bonus LP!)
July 3, 2013, 1:58 pm
Filed under: Newsworthy, Unwound | Tags:

P1010952

We just got photos of our upcoming Unwound: Kid Is Gone 3LP box and they sure are pretty. Chipboard, high density black ink, kraft-wrapped jackets… it’s too much. Check it out:

P1010953Then, Henry Owings came through with a gorgeous black on gold sleeve concept for the bonus, mail-order only LP:

Unwound_Bonus_Front

Oh, you didn’t know that Unwound reunited in July of 2001 with their original drummer Brandt Sandeno for a quick run through their old songs at Olympia’s Phoenix Street House? Neither did we. A decade removed from their post-hardcore roots, with heaps of technical proficiency to go around, the trio blazed through their debut album and a few Giant Henry cuts for a select number of Olympians just prior to the release of their final album, Leaves Turn Inside You.

We’re only pressing 1000 of these LPs, and they are only available when you buy Kid Is Gone from our site. We’ll be shipping the box and bonus around 9/15, which means you’ll get KIG a full two weeks prior to the release date and be the envy of your apartment complex.



Watch the video for Express Rising’s “Horse Opera”
June 28, 2013, 6:55 am
Filed under: Newsworthy

We’re still a month away from the release date of Express Rising (2), but Dante Carfagna wanted to floss his vintage cave postcard collection and we thought ya’ll deserved another sip of the juice.

Fuck it. We’ve got this live on our website right now on CD/LP/Download. You need this.



Upgrade your homemade Numero Bincard
June 6, 2013, 9:14 am
Filed under: Newsworthy

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Our friends at Stranded in Oakland recently sent us their own handcrafted bin divider… it’s pretty impressive. We love it when anyone has to employ carpentry skills to display our oeuvre. However, for those less inclined or more sawdust-allergic, we have created our own. (For those paying attention, this is the second time we’ve done this, but those old ones are long gone.)

2013 BincardAn image already bandied about on the cover of our slick new catalog seen in the finest record retail locations around the world. This bin card expands on it… a collection of all and sundry logos connected with the Numero universe… a glimpse at the weird one-shot brands and defunct companies conceived by our independently-minded artists. They’re already being shipped to record stores around the country, but the most serious Numero archivists will have the Numero catalog titles filed together in their collection and a custom divider can add perfect flair to showcase their collection. With this in mind, we put a few extras on sale. These bincards are limited as hell. Do not delay.



Announcing: Unwound: Kid Is Gone
May 28, 2013, 10:06 am
Filed under: Newsworthy, Unwound

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Kid Is Gone is the unquiet portrait of primal Unwound. Before 1993’s Fake Train ripped through, they’d been Giant Henry, Supertanker, and Cygnus X-1, short-lived black holes gathering dark material into something built to explode. From Justin Trosper, Vern Rumsey, and Brandt Sandeno’s first restive years, “Crab Nebula” might’ve best prepared the indie-sphere for what Unwound became, had Sandeno’s split not stalled their planned debut. Part 1 in Numero’s 4-part reissue project, Kid Is Gone documents signal chaos in Olympia’s fertile scene before Unwound’s turbulent noise hit stride, in unrevealed period photos, 34 tracks, and three LPs—cassette-only demos, early 7”s, a KAOS radio broadcast, material tracked live in a local basement, and all of what became 1994’s Unwound, on which the band’s prehistory plays out in a feral maelstrom of screaming, distortion, feedback, and abrasive promise.

Track list:
Side A
1. Bionic
2. LD-50
3. Lying At Best
4. Stumbling Block
5. Whilst You’re A Head
6. Rubber Band Heart
7. Crab Nebula
Side B
2. Caterpillar
3. Miserific Condition
4. Love And Fear
5. You Speak Jealousy
Side C
1. Antifreeze
2. Rising Blood
3. Understand & Forget
4. Fingertips
5. You Bite My Tongue
6. Stuck In The Middle Of Nowhere Again
Side D
1. Warmth
2. Prospect
3. Kid Is Gone
4. Kandy Korn Rituals
5. Against
6. I’d Die To Know You
7. Sugarfit
Side E
1. Understand & Forget (KAOS session)
2. Miserific Condition (KAOS session)
3. Against (KAOS session)
4. Ape Skins (KAOS session)
5. Awkward (KAOS session)
Side F
1. Antifreeze (Live)
2. Rising Blood (Live)
3. Prospect (Live)
4. Stuck In The Middle Of Nowhere Again (Live)
5. Hating In D (Live)
Watch:



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