Friday New Vinyl Releases 5/25/18

  • Amorphis – Queen Of Time (Limited Edition on Red with Black Splatter Vinyl)
  • Big Ups – Two Parts Together (EU Pressing)
  • Bjork – Arisen My Senses (12″ Single on ‘Slug Genital’ Colored Vinyl)
  • Blouse – Blouse (10th Anniversary Reissue on Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • The Casket Lottery – Survival Is For Cowards (Limited Edition Reissue on Blood Red Vinyl)
  • Chvrches – Love Is Dead (180gram Indie Exclusive on Translucent Clear Vinyl)
  • Dawn Ray’d – The Unlawful Assembly (Limited Edition on Silver Vinyl)
  • Deeper – Deeper (Shuga Records Exclusive on White Vinyl) and Cassette Tape
  • Destroyer – City Of Daughters (1998) (Limited Edition 1st Pressing on Red Vinyl)
  • Destroyer – Thief (1999) (Limited Edition Reissue on ‘Orange Creamsicle’ Vinyl)
  • Graveyard – Peace (Yellow with Black Splatter Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • Hoobastank – Push Pull
  • Jenny Hval – The Long Sleep (limited Edition on Purple Vinyl)
  • The Love-Birds – In The Lover’s Corner (Limited Edition on ‘Grass Green’ Vinyl)
  • Micawber – Beyond The Reach Of Flame
  • Numb. er – Goodbye
  • Numero Group – Periodical Numerica Vol. 1 – The Exotica Issue (Limited to 1000)
  • Chris Orrick – Portraits
  • Ocean Alley – Chiaroscuro (Transparent Blue Vinyl with Foil Cover)
  • Overkill – Feel The Fire (Live In Overhausen Vol. 2) (Limited Edition on Green with Orange and Yellow Splatter Vinyl)
  • Pedro The Lion – It’s Hard To Find A Friend (1998) (Limited Edition Indie Exclusive Reissue on Clear Vinyl)
  • Elvis Presley – On Stage : February 1970 (180gram Black & Blue Swirl Vinyl)
  • Prince – Nothing Compares 2 U (Limited Edition Reissue 7″ with Silver Foil Sleeve)
  • Joshua Redman (feat. Ron Miles, Scott Coley & Brian Blade) – Still Dreaming
  • Skating Polly – The Make It All Show (180gram Splatter Vinyl)
  • Soccer Mommy – Clean (Indie Exclusive on Coke Bottle Green Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • Sting & Shaggy – 44/876
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Split Cranium – I’m The Devil And I’m OK (Red Vinyl)
  • Tracyanne & Danny – Tracyanne & Danny (‘Peak Vinyl’ Limited Edition on Red Vinyl with Bonus 7″)
  • Various – Technicolor Paradise : Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (3 Lp Compilation Box Set)
  • Various Artists – Outer Himmilayan Presents (Sacred Bones Compilation)
  • Wallows – Spring EP (Pink & Green Vinyl)
  • Wand – Perfume EP
  • Wooden Shjips – V. (Indie Exclusive on Blue Vinyl)

Take it Slow After the Big Bangin’ Holiday with these Chicago Sessions

by Kevin Sterne

If you we’re anything like me this past holiday, you ate for America, drank for America and possibly barfed in the name of ‘merica. I feasted my through beans, greens, hogs, dogs, chickens and turkeys slathered with sauce. I imbibed sheer gallons of frothy IPAs, double IPAs, lagers and pilsners. All the while cursing the name of the Donald.

I woke up for work the next day in a sticky, sweaty t-shirt…swathed in a blanket of empty beer cans, needing about three more recovery days. And perhaps even a lifestyle change—nothing too drastic though. Because I have a New Year’s resolution to uphold.

Maybe just turning back the dial on the ABVs. This means shagging the malty, ultra bready double IPAs in lieu of bright, effervescent hopdom. Thankfully, Chicago has plenty of crushable session beers to get me through this week and the looming dog days of summer.


Daytime IPA by Lagunitas

Unbuckle your slacks, hop on the diving board and jack-knife into this juicy, tropical thirst-pool. It’s a downright chuggable juicy blend made for hop lovers. Chug away, just don’t try shot-gunning these stubby bottles. DO stay hydrated with this crisp, refreshing nectar, just be sure to wait 20 minutes before jumping back in the water.


Flywheel by Metropolitan Brewing

A Chicago-style pilsner from a brewery bucking the IPA trends—Metro Brewing, like Hopewell Brewing Co, focuses mainly on lagers. But this isn’t your dad’s beer by any means. Flywheel packs spicy hops that are evident in the nose and the taste. Pair this one with some backyard grilling or summer pizza.


Lil Citra by Pipeworks Brewing

An enormously juicy session that somehow keeps the ABV below 5%. True brewing prowess by the masters at Pdubs. With hordes of citrus flavor, including mango and guava, this is a beer that demands a companion. A Chicago-style hotdog makes a great pair. Hold the ketchup.


Troublesome by Off Color Brewing

Crisp, tart and refreshing, this beer gives no trouble going down the gullet. So why is it troublesome? Well, it uses Lactobacillus, which I had to look up too. If you’re not clicking on that hyper-informative hyperlink, then you’re missing out on the bacterial properties that lend to the sour flavor of this here Off Color wheat brew. I guess they call it a Gose.


Mango Guppy by Pipeworks Brewing

Does anyone do scintillatingly citrus beers in Chicago better than Pipeworks? Anyone? Bueller? How about session IPAs brewed with mango puree and honey? Mango Guppy is like your cool step aunt’s fruit salad. You know, the one without the shitty honeydew.

Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
Instagram: LeFawnZine

As fun as the idea of a new At the Drive-in album is, I’d rather exist in my Relationship of Command echo chamber…sipping Lagunitas Waldo’s Special Ale

by Kevin Sterne

at the drive in and lagunitas waldo ale.jpg

17 years is a long time to hang with a feeling. But that’s what this so-called “emo revival” is propped on. Nostalgia is what brought Mike Kinsella devotees out of hiding for a second American Football LP. And why the Internet shuts down over so much as a rustle from Brand New’s camp. The Lonesome, Crowded West. Full Collapse. What it Feels Like to Be Something On. These are pillars of 90’s, lower middleclass suburbanite feelings. Whatever you call it, be emo, post-hardcore or “screamo”—At the Drive-in’s Relationship of Command was the high-water mark for which all subsequent music was weighed against.

No band played with as much cathartic energy, or barely corralled violence (however you want to view Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s relationship with a microphone stand). The El Paso four-piece was in another stratosphere with their sonic intensity, and that’s exactly how the media portrayed them in the ironic quest to commercialize a band that was so sincerely anti-mainstream. When the closest comp at the time was Nirvana’s Nevermind it’s easy to see how At the Drive-in was unlike any band in the 1990’s.


So how’s the music 17 years later? In•ter a•li•a is a return to familiarity in the same way Saosin’s Along the Shadow of a Man sought to be. It satiates a need for aggressive, post-hardcore without eyeshadow and every song is relentless. Omar Rodriquez Lopez still plays like he’s trying to break his guitar in half, manic and unrestrained (no more clearly than on the song “Continuum”). Bixler-Zavala’s lyrics still land on the spectrum between cryptic and nonsensical: Smuggled in their faith like an orbit in decay // Drools the cloying adulation of piss ants // One shot for every snitch leads the needle to the stitch. The rhythm section is still a raw, stutter-stop conglomeration. There’s even those little interludes of noise following each song.

All the pieces are there. “Incurably Innocent” and “Call Broken Arrow” empty the adrenaline glands just like their predecessors: “Cosmonaut” and “Mannequin Republic.” It’s not a stretch to imagine “Pendulum In A Peasent Dress” tucked between “Sleepwalk Capsules” and “Invalid Litter Dept.

The band followed their blueprint and delivered an album that checks a lot of musical boxes, but missing is the context of its construction.


In 1999-2000, Emo/post-hardcore was riding a wave (cresting with “One Armed Scissor”), washing up the sediment of: The face palm that was Y2K; the now tame cluster fuck of the Bush v Gore election; American Beauty; Nu Metal; and Fucking Nu Metal. Relationship of Command held a mirror to the lunacy of Adidas rock, consumerist mall shopping and the tech boom. But In•ter a•li•a cannot deliver the same effect.

This isn’t a failure of its design, it’s a failure of our time. The world we know is beyond satirical in representation. 2017 cannot be pinned down through funhouse lyrics masquerading as a dystopic metanarrative. We are a society numb to nonsense, and few among us have the attention span to decode lines like these: TV’s gonna comm lag, jettison the populace // Disassociation in the belly of the beast // Break the fourth wall, break the fourth wall come on // Lobotomize the question of my infinitude. Bixler-Zavala need look no farther than Jon Mess of Rise Record’s label mate, Dance Gavin Dance for lyrics inundated with sarcasm and misanthropy and cynicism.

With so much to distract us, it would take a post-post-modern version of human centipede with Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Putin in the lead roles for us to unplug from the Zucklord and actually pay attention.

I’ll just live out my remaining days in my Relationship of Command echo chamber.


Join me in the echo chamber where I’ve befriended The Waldo’s Special Ale. Purportedly the dankest and hoppiest beer Lagunitas rolled. This ale smokes contemporaries in the imperial IPA game. Hyper citrus fruits cover the heavy alcohol—but unlike Dogfish Head’s multi-minute ales or Stones palate ruiner, the Waldo’s creamy caramel and melon finish won’t leave your tongue tasting gravel.


Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
Instagram: LeFawnZine

Vinyl on Tap: Pairing Music with Beer

by Kevin Sterne


Girlpool’s Powerplant

On their first album Before the World Was Big, Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad navigated age and introspection—feeling young but being old—through specific lyrical scenes. Their sophomore effort Powerplant takes a more abstract and poetic approach in to the lyrics:

“She’s like a shelf the way she looks at the wall
A stock market dance while the poetry falls”

The addition of drummer Miles Witner gives backbone to the dual harmonies of Tucker and Tividad—the deserved draw of Girlpool. With Witner, the sonic representation is more expansive. We see the group explore Lyncheon dream pop, and classic stop-and-go alt rock that everyone seems to be doing. All is standard hipster-indie fare for the cool crowd, but the dreamy atmosphere and lyrical poignancy are what set Powerplant from what you’ll hear over and over and over in 2017.

The video for titular single, “Powerplant” shows the trio half-heartedly performing to coffee-shop art-types in a bowling alley—a setting so “un-hip” it’s fetishized for its irony. The video explores the theme of a singular moment, specifically live performance and a recorded one that is the same the first time and the hundredth. This idea plays out when the video’s director breaks the fourth wall, commanding the band to show more energy.

The moment and the video are comical and offer a meta commentary on the music industry, not unsimilar to Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Good Squad.

Pair the album and the book with Lakewood Brewing’s Vienna-Style Lager.


Skip the $5 bowling alley pitcher of lager for one that is as drinkable but more flavorful. Subtle caramel aromas, a coppery pour and a light, malty sweetness paired with hop bitterness will make you rethink your notion of a lager. Enjoy this one with one of those rotisserie pretzels and accompanying Dixie cup of nuclear cheese melt. Cheers.


Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
Instagram: LeFawnZine

Vinyl on Tap: Ranking Music and Craft Beer

By Kevin Sterne

It’s the first week of May, so I figure we’d take a look back at the last month’s best singles and pair them with a beer list. In case you’ve been living under a rock (me, most of the time), Kendrick Lamar has released a new album. DAMN.’s 14 tracks plus “The Heart Part IV” demand to be on any playlist. To handle all the music, I have a tap list featuring some So. Cal favorites; an Oregon original; a Bostonian specialty; and one of the best porters I’ve had in a while—curtesy of Florida of all places. Expect the unexpected when it involves K. Dot and craft beer.

The Beer List

Mongo India Pale Ale by Port Brewing

A double IPA that bucks the west coast tradition. This amber wave spills five varieties of hops, splashing fresh orange peel and tangerine rind on the palate. When the Mongo waves reseeds you’re left with a tasty bed of malt and piney bitterness. Until the next sip. This is a bold IPA, with a hurricane of flavor typically seen on the east coast.


Session Lager by Full Sail Brewing

A light, crisp, and refreshing Cerveza in a stubby bottle. Brewed with Pilsner malt, flaked corn and Celeia and Northern Brewer hops, this incredibly drinkable beer is another belt notch for Full Sail’s Session brand, accessible without compromising flavor—easier said than done. And with countless awards for their Session Premium Lager, Full Sail has cemented themselves as key leaders in the lager revival.

Colorado Trips

FORTEM by Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Their first release in the Leo V. Ursus Chronology. The beer jointly celebrates FW’s 20th anniversary and new Propagator brew house, which they are using for quarterly one-off releases. Fortem is the first of these beers. Not enough can be said about this IPA. It packs a huge tropical aroma. The first sip is a citrus tsunami of massive mango, tangerine and pineapple. This specialty brew comes unfiltered with an ABV that you’ll never notice.


Framinghammer Baltic Porter by Jack’s Abbey Craft Lagers

Barrel-aged in addition to long, arduous brewing process, this Massachusetts-grown lager is a true cold-brewed labor of love. The lengthy conditioning periods renders this elixir silky smooth and with hints of chocolate rolled in oats and brown sugar. This one pours out of a pint-sized bottle in bourbony gobs. Anywhere else, and they call this a Stout. But it’s Boston-inspired. Pass the lobster roll.


Last Snow by Funky Buddha Brewery

A coconut-infused coffee porter that doesn’t skimp on either. Pours with a pillowey mocha head and wafts of creamy coconut. Appearance and smell are where this triple-headed combination of coffee, chocolate and coconut typically ends with lesser beers. But Funky Buddha has made these flavors even more prominent in the sip. This is porter worth seeking out—in the least likely of places.


The Playlist

*DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar*
In the first few spins, Lamar’s fourth LP seems like a series of punctuated meditations: Pride. Fear. Loyalty.—more a collection of songs than the a unified effort like To Pimp a Butterfly. But as you begin to unpack the album, the Kendrick Lamar as a Christ-figure narrative begins to emerge. The Easter weekend release is not a coincidence, and few things are with K. Dot.

“The Heart Part IV” by Kendrick Lamar
All that needs to be said about this song was said here. Listen. Be enlightened.


“In Cold Blood” by Alt-J
If not for you-know-who, this would be the single of the month. The first cut off the band’s much anticipated third full-length Relaxer set to arrive June 2 via Canvasback Music, “In Cold Blood” sees Alt-J at their most conventionally energetic yet most inspired, seamlessly transitioning from jitterbug verse to look-at-me chorus. Alas, the only bad thing about this song is that it has no reference to the Truman Capote novel.


“Darling” by Real Estate
A fun little dream-jangle from Real Estate’s forthcoming fourth effort. The guitars and bass swathe in dreamy synth textures as frontman Martin Courtney ripples with lyrics about the black and yellow finches in his best Elliot Smith copy.


“I Saw You Close Your Eyes” by Local Natives
Kudos to Local Natives for trying something new and interactive with this single. Their site that welcomes the release of this song instructs listeners to literally close their eyes. Check it out here. If Local Natives haven’t already transitioned from low-key accessible indie to full on mainstream chill, this song puts all doubts to rest.

I Saw You Close Your Eyes Local natives lyricmine.jpeg

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twitter: @kevinsterne
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