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Continuing our commitment to shining a celebratory light on classic and influential music from Detroit, Third Man Records is honored to re-introduce the world to the undeniable importance of the Detroit Cobras. We will reissue the Detroit Cobras debut records - Mink, Rat or Rabbit and Life, Love and Leaving - on August 26th on glorious black vinyl at a record store near you, and available at thirdmanstore.com for pre-order today.
The band has experienced many roster revisions over the years, especially when it comes to their touring configuration, but the perfectly irreverent Rachel Nagy on vocals and Mary Ramirez, one of the greatest guitarists to ever come out of Detroit, have been near constants and the creative force behind these two records. The first of the two releases also include noted Detroit photographer Steve Shaw (The Fondas) on guitar, the prolific Jeff Meier (Rocket 455, Nathaniel Mayer) on bass, and the pure drum work by Damian Lang (Two Star Tabernacle) making for a line-up of pure perfection.
As one of the earliest salvos in the great Detroit garage explosion of the turn of the century, the Detroit Cobras' Mink, Rat or Rabbit (1998) is a landmark album. Comprised solely of covers songs (as has always been the band's MO) the Cobra's spirited takes on Motown classics ("I'll Keep Holding On" originally by the Marvellettes), garage punk laments ("Bad Girl" originally known as "Bad Man" by the Oblivians) girl group tear-jerkers ("Easier to Cry" originally by the Shangri-Las) and New Orleans soul standards ("Break-a-way" originally by Irma Thomas) and the end result is nothing short of a staple that any record collection is empty without.
Originally released in 2001, the Detroit Cobras' Life, Love and Leaving is the group's best-known effort, coming at a time when bands like the White Stripes and Dirtbombs were also releasing seminal albums that started picking up recognition outside of their collective hometown. Hitting hard with songs by soul heavyweights like Solomon Burke ("Stupidity"), Mary Wells ("Bye Bye Baby"), Otis Redding ("Shout Bamalama"), the inimitable vocals of Rachel Nagy would no-doubt be a template from which folks like Amy Winehouse would work from years later. A landmark collection of covers.
To wet your whistles, here is a previously unreleased song, which has been pressed as a bonus track on Life, Love and Leaving titled "This Old Heart."
Pre-Order the records, individually or as a bundle HERE. Officially in stores August 26th.
COUPLER BLUE ROOM SESSIONS
In October of 2015 we invited Nashville purveyors of deliberate ambience, Coupler, to record with a full orchestra of nine friends and musicians, and it turned out to be a very special piece exploring the nether-regions where the organic collides with the electronic. It was 20+ minutes of of captivating and unhurried techno played on both electronic and acoustic instruments that sounded bucolic and propulsive with a deft momentum. However, this wasn't our typical TMR show. We kept it a relatively intimate affair, with the stage in the center of the room, and only sold a handful of tickets to those interested in seeing a recording process become a performance, making this our first installment in The Blue Room Sessions series.
If you're new to the magic of Coupler, you can think of them as an "organization" rather than a band. Ryan Norris' objectives go beyond leading a band - he aims to use Coupler as a vehicle for writing, photography, installation art, film-scoring, etc, and above all this, he aims to collaborate with the creative people around him that inspire him. In the case of this particular performance, the organization core live members, Rodrigo Avendaño, Rollum Haas and Norris, plus a group of auxiliary players: Adam Bednarik, Mark Bond, Matt Glassmeyer, Mia Krout and Ben Marcantel. The icing on the cake was Kelli Shay Hix and her light installation. The performance was tackled from an oblique angle, using group improvisation to reinvent the trajectory as they played. The end result? The birth of a new series, and one of our favorite musical creations to which the Blue Room has ever played host.
Listen to a clip from "Invention 4 Silenzio" above, and pre-order the 12" single now. Coupler will have a release show on July 29 at The East Room in Nashville with direct support from local band Future Daze.
ESSENTIAL TREMORS - THE VISITOR EP
Essential Tremors is something of an anomaly in a city steeped in twang, bathed in sunshine and besieged with hootenannies. Code Knr, Miller, Read Only Memory, Tan, and Eerie Neighbor make up the group voted most likely to trigger a cold sweat, and we love them for it. In the past year, the band has made the charge away from guitar music with a quiet strategy of sporadic shows of crawly, four-track downer violence. During this metamorphosis, the band cut tracks with former Terrible Two and current Serration Pulse synth-lord and tone-boss Daniel Tomczak, crafting a crisp record that is globally exasperated and groovy against all odds: a nosedive into a cesspool of circuit-bent pollution with all the precision intact, notoriously tense, rife with white-knuckle paranoia and fog. Throw in well-placed pangs of electroclash, swirling synth, waterlogged bass lines, and dark-sided shit, and you have an important reminder that good times are not forever, which we are honored to bring to your turntable. This is music for strays. Do you have a home?
A Side: The Visitor
B Side: Death Perception
Listen to "The Visitor" above, and pre-order the 12" EP now. The release show for Essential Tremors is on August 5 at Soft Junk Nashville with support from Spodee Boy, Serration Pulse, and Aquarian Blood.
WILLIAM TYLER - LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS
Recorded on July 18th, 2014 as the opening set for Peter Walker's psychedelic guitar experience, William Tyler's Live at Third Man Records LP was buried for far too long in our backlog of masters. To release it too soon would have been to unleash the secrets of the transcendent and acclaimed new record Modern Country (Merge, 2016) before they had a chance to manifest. To wait any longer would have been torture for us. Originally planned to be a live single, the full, 5-song performance was too truthy, too seamless, and too perfectly whole to be whittled down to two tracks. So, surprise! A live LP is born.
For those unfamiliar with William Tyler, his story is Nashville legend... born into a songwriting family, Tyler was tapped by Kurt Wagner to become a member of Lambchop at age 19 (two decades younger than the other members), and quickly became the "architect of the band's sound." From there, Tyler went on to back up the Silver Jews, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Charlie Louvin, and others... all the while writing songs for his configuration of choice: fingerpicking solo guitar. The acoustic simplicity of his first two albums remains in his most recent effort (which he describes as "a love letter to what we're losing in America. To what we've already lost"), and on this live LP, but Tyler is bringing more depth and more experimentation to his compositions of late. "Gone Clear" (known as "Going Clear" at the time of our recording) which appears on both records, is a melting pot of ideas: a drone reminiscent of Hindustani classical music, a central melody that sounds distinctly Appalachian, a devolution into a kaleidoscope of colors and ideas that it's hard to believe is being produced by a single musician. This layering of textures is Tyler's trademark, and even more awe-inspiring live.
We like to think that with the purposeful lack of smart phones, bars to saddle up to, and, of course, corners, concert-goers in the Blue Room tend to be more in-the-moment than in most performance venues. But it's a rare artist who can take the already focused atmosphere in the room and quiet every last busy mind - Tyler did just that. This immortalization of the performance in all its transmundane glory will entrance you from first note.
1. We Can't Go Home Again
2. Terrace of the Leper King
3. Missionary Ridge
4. Going Clear
5. Tears and Saints
Listen to "Gone Clear" above, and pre-order the 12" LP now.
Upcoming Tour Dates
13- Eaux Claires Festival- Eau Claire, WI (full band)
14- Bluestem Center for The Arts Amphitheatre- Moorhead, MN (full band w/ Wilco)
16- CrossroadsKC- Kansas City, MO (full band w/ Wilco)
17- The Fabulous Fox Theatre- St. Louis, MO (full band w/ Wilco)
12- The Troubadour- Los Angeles, CA (solo w/ Margo Price)
13- The Troubadour- Los Angeles, CA (solo w/ Margo Price)
14- Great American Music Hall- San Francisco, CA (solo w/ Margo Price)
17- Mississippi Studios- Portland, OR (solo w/ Margo Price)
19- Imperial- Vancouver, BC (solo w/ Margo Price)
21- The Olympic- Boise, ID (solo w/ Margo Price)
22- The State Room- Salt Lake City, UT (solo w/ Margo Price)
24- Bluebird Theater- Denver, CO (solo w/ Margo Price)
28- Ancienne Belgique- Brussels, Belgium (w/ Wilco)
29- Centrale- Gent, Belgium (w/ Bombino)
2- DR Koncerthuset- Copenhagen, Denmark (w/ Wilco)
3- Sentrum Scene-Oslo, Norway (w/ Wilco)
4- Annexet- Stockholm, Sweden (w/ Wilco)
5- Pustervik- Goteberg, Sweden
7- Tempodrom- Berlin, Germany (w/ Wilco)
9- TivoliVredenburg- Utrecht, Netherlands (w/ Wilco)
12- Fabrique- Milan, Italy (w/ Wilco)
14- Museumsquartier- Vienna, Austria (w/ Wilco)
15- Volkshaus- Zürich, Switzerland (w/ Wilco)
16- Casino de Paris- Paris, France (w/ Wilco)
20- Bush Hall- London, United Kingdom (full band)
It has been four years since UK based Michael Kiwanuka has bequeathed the public with a proper full length record - so naturally when we heard that his upcoming album Love & Hate debuts today we had to find a way to share our pure excitement with the world. For a limited time we are offering Kiwanuka's soul swelling Blue series that first graced our turntables back in February 2014 for the nice price of $4, grab one today!
Who are you reading this Summer?
Bliss is reading Phillip Pullman. Blackwell likes Chuck Klosterman. Kim relaxes to Nayyirah Waheed, and Swank is motivated by Chris Hedges & Joe Sacco.
THIRD MAN BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS SUMMER SALE 20% OFF @thirdmanbooks.com
This month, L&SM offers a pairing of two hour-long documentaries, which - despite having been made more than 30 years apart - find striking commonality in their study of the personalities and hardships of two New York neighborhoods. On one side is Khalik Allah's staggering FIELD NIGGAS, a hypnotic exercise in video-portraiture which affords an unsettling but wholly empathetic depiction of the nighttime corner-dwellers at East Harlem's 125th Street & Lexington Avenue. On the other side is Diego Echeverria's rediscovered 1984 study of the historically Puerto Rican and Dominican area of South Williamsburg known as LOS SURES; an area that has been subjected to drastic gentrification in the decades following the film's production.
Together, these works exemplify cinema's ability to function as a milepost for the ever-evolving culture and landscape of a community, while concurrently offering proof to the adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
HD Video, 60min
"The combination is simple: a lot of slow motion portraiture combined with a soundtrack of snippets of people's conversation and interview. This straightforward method yields one of the most powerful and compassionate statements on race, on politics, on class, on policing, on drugs, that I've encountered in contemporary American cinema."
- Zach Campbell, Critics RoundUp
"The result is an intimate movie with a metaphysical grandeur, a detailed local inquiry that displays the crushing power of societal forces as well as the passion and vitality of those who endure."
- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Praised in the pages of of The Guardian and The New York Times, and christened by Time Magazine as Harlem's "official" street photographer, Khalik Allah has earned notoriety for his ability to capture visceral, unflinching images of marginalized subjects in a manner that is untethered to liberal or conservative proselytization. By expanding his still photographic work to the realm of video, he allows his subjects to speak for themselves, offering a rarely extended form of agency to those in front of his lens. The resulting work is every bit as contextually complex and is it visually mesmerizing. Most recently, Allah has earned mainstream acclaim for his work as a contributing cinematographer on the near universally-celebrated filmic accompaniment to Beyoncé's LEMONADE.
HD Video, 57min
“An authenticity that has been captured by no fiction film I’ve ever seen.”
– L.A. Weekly
“Both an invaluable record of pre-gentrification Brooklyn and an ode to a community’s resilience.”
In the early 1980s, Diego Echeverría took a 16mm camera into the streets of the Southside of Williamsburg, then a primarily Puerto Rican neighborhood and one of the city’s poorest, most crime-ridden areas. Still, amidst the urban blight, Echeverría finds a thriving street culture in which music, breakdancing, and graffiti abound.
Los Sures skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.
Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Today, it is the site of a battle between local identity and luxury lifestyle. With the restoration of LOS SURES, a brilliant work of cinéma vérité filmmaking as a starting point, the project has developed into a collection of 40 short films, the interactive documentary 89 STEPS, and the cinematic people’s history SHOT BY SHOT, demonstrating new possibilities for collaboration between an arts institution and its surrounding community to collect memories and share local culture.