Monday, March 20, 2006

New Releases Tomorrow! (3/21/06)

Image stolen from

Once again, Tuesday is upon us. Well, tomorrow, that is. But we thought you might like a briefing as to what excellent new discs will be on our shelves. Here goes...

Prince - 3121
The mysterious artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince who is now known as Prince again releases his best record in several years. We've been listening to this one in the store, and have to say that we were surprised how good it is. Special bonus: There are seven purple tickets randomly spread out across the intial pressing of this album. Anyone who finds one wins a trip to Prince's house for a special performance. Good luck, everyone.
Read a review of 3121 here.

Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
Many of you have asked about this, the side project of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. Well, ask no more! You can pick up the band's sophomore release here tomorrow. We haven't heard any songs yet, but we're eagerly awaiting this release nonetheless.
View the video for "Hey Chicken" here.

Ben Harper - Both Sides of the Gun
The sticker on the case of Ben Harper's latest says, "an album in two parts." Which is to say his new release is a double album of sorts. Luckily enough for all of you, it's still reasonably priced. Both Sides of the Gun also comes in a deluxe version for anyone willing to spend the extra dough.
Read a review of the album here.

Liars - Drum's Not Dead
For their third album, these avant garde Brooklynites moved to Berlin and created a bizarre, drum-laden ode to the creative process. Say what you want about the weirdness of this band, but they're not content to repeat themselves like so many modern day acts.
Read a review of the album here.

David Byrne and Brian Eno - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (re-issue)
At long last, this legendary and genre-defying record crafted by two of pop music's finest geniuses finds re-release (with several bonus tracks, no less). Everyone should hear this album.
View the track listing here.

Howe Gelb - Sno Angel Like You
For his latest, the man who wowed those who were paying attention at the Paste Rock 'n' Reel festival last fall recruited a gospel choir out of Canada. The result is a triumphant album, one we've been playing every day here in the store. Ask us...we'll play it for you.
Read a review of the album here.

Bands of Horses - Everything All the Time
Fans of My Morning Jacket, R.E.M. and Built to Spill, listen up: You may have a new favorite band. Their debut on Sub Pop is already hauling in truckloads of praise, so don't be the last on your block to check out these Seattle rockers.
Read a review of the album here.

Mclusky - McluskyismDon't it always seem to go... Indeed, this smart-ass, Welsh trio broke up last year, and as such, we're left with this retrospective which comes in both a one-disc (A-sides) and three-disc (A-sides, B-sides and C-sides) versions. Be warned, though: These dudes play heavy, hilarious and excellent music along the lines of Nirvana, The Jesus Lizard and Pixies. So if you're not ready for it, it might knock you over.
Read a review of the album here.

Mates of State - Bring it BackHow does this all-too-adorable indie couple keep up the steam on its latest album? More of the same, it seems. And yet, many are calling Bring it Back the band's latest. We'll let you be the judge.
Read a review of the album here.

Phew. Because The Security Chicken's wings grow tired, here's a catch-all (or, at least, most) list of some other new stuff coming out tomorrow. We'll have albums from each of the following: Sondre Lerche, Elvis Costello, Southern Culture on the Skids, Gary Numan, Madlib, My Chemical Romance, Animal Collective, Television Personalities, The Essex Green and The Sounds, to name but a few...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

We want YOUR blog!

Look over there on the right side, and you may just notice a new set of links. That's right, we've taken the liberty of adding a blog section to our blog. So if you have a blog and would like for our blog to link to your blog, let us know, and we'll forge some kind of crazy blog community. Yep. Blog.

Having trouble leaving a comment?

It has come to our attention that a few of you have had trouble leavings comments. This is understandable, so don't feel silly or anything. Here's a quick and easy rundown on how to leave a comment for those unfamiliar with blogs.

At the bottom right of every post is a link that reads "__ comments." In order to leave a comment, simply click this link. This will take you to another page with a blank space to leave your comment and some options. Type your comment in the blank space and click the circle next to "Anonymous."

That's it. You're all set. Click "publish your comment" and what you typed will appear. Alternately, you can click "Other" and enter your name if you want us to know who you are. It's up to you. Any questions? Leave them in the comments.

The Decatur CD Art Project

At Decatur CD, we value artistic expression. And you should too. In fact, when you purchase CDs from the store, feel free to stick the labels to the trash can that's outside on the sidewalk. It's accumulating quite a collection, and honestly, we like the way it looks. To us, it says, "Come inside, for there are quality tunes galore." So be sure to make your contribution to the art project. Thanks...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Scottish Beer, Legendary Madmen and FOOTBALL

Recently, Decatur CD's good friend Ali made a trip to Scotland. He sent us a lengthy and amusing story of the trip, which you can read below, complete with photos. Enjoy:
Some of you who visited Decatur CD between March and August last year may have noticed a guy with a funny accent and a Clash/Rezillos/Stiff Little Fingers etc t-shirt expounding on the virtues of British punk rock from 1976-1978 behind the counter. That was me. Warren was kind enough to allow an exiled Scottish music fiend to live out a dream by allowing me to spend a bit of time working in a super-cool-and-groovy independent music store for a while. In return for that, I promised him some words for the Decatur CD website. Which now, I’ve finally got round to.

Warren asked me for two things – a little bit about my recent visit back to the auld country, and a piece about soccer. Which we pronounce FOOTBALL. Which is a game you play with your feet. Unlike the aberration that you Americans seem to be so fond of, where the use of feet seems to be restricted to little celebration dances when an egg shaped thing is thrown (that’ll be by hand then) across a line and caught (that’ll be the hands again) by a team mate. Anyway I’m ranting. Sorry.

So, on 22nd February, I, along with an American friend who had never set foot outside this continent flew up to Newark airport, and then on across the Atlantic, where, six and a quarter hours later, we touched down in my home city of Edinburgh. The weather was as I expected. Dreadful. The contemporary Scottish poet Kenneth White once started a poem about that fair city with this line: “the wind was blowing Edinburghly hard”. Anyone who has ever visited the city between the months of October and March (and often including April – September) will know exactly what that means. The wind that whips through the city comes directly of the River forth, which flows into the North Sea, which is the Arctic Ocean with a less ominous name. Although the temperature was pretty much the same as the temperature I’d left behind in Atlanta the day before (around 39-40 degrees Fahrenheit), the wind chill factor did exactly same as the humidity here does in the summer – made it unbearable.

The purpose of my visit, apart from seeing friends and family, eating fish suppers and decent Indian curries, drinking Scottish beer etc was to see my football (actually the correct Scottish pronunciation is fitbaw) team Hibernian play a quarter-final tie in the Scottish Cup, and to see the godlike genius that is one of my all-time musical heroes, Julian Cope play. Both these events occurred in one long, wonderful day. I’ll start at the beginning.

Firstly, I have to go back to the night before, or more correctly, the afternoon before, when I met some friends in one of Edinburgh’s most famous drinking establishments, The Café Royal. This is, without doubt my favourite pub in the city. It is beautiful to look at and I have so many happy memories of wonderful times spent in there over the last 20 odd years. Above all, it was the place where my lovely wife (the reason I live in this country) and I shared our first kiss. Anyway, much fun was had reminiscing and drinking. After that, we toddled down to my home town proper, Musselburgh, just outside the city, to my favourite pub in the world, Staggs Bar for an evening with my best friend and a few others. I’ve been going to Staggs since before I hit the legal drinking age (which in my country is 18) and I love the place. It’s a wee community rather than a bar, and it was really nice to see some familiar faces. Eventually, we ended up at my pal’s house listening to Tom Waits wonderful Nighthawks at the Diner and having a few more beers. I finally crawled into bed at my parents’ house at 3.45am.

So, at 8.30am, I received a phone call from the friend I was going to the football game and the concert with, Sean, who somewhat sheepishly said “oh, by the way, did I mention that the bus we’re on to go to the game leaves at 10am?” The game was in a town called Falkirk, and 30 miles from Edinburgh and about 20 minutes drive from the city. The game kicked off at 3pm. It was going to be a long day…..

Anyway, I should give you a little information about my team. Hibernian, or Hibs as they are affectionately known have been, for most of my life pretty awful. When I was very young, they were a great team and had a couple of little spells where they were moderately successful but these have been like little islands of delight in an ocean of otherwise drab mediocrity. Still, they’re my local team, and once you’ve picked a team, you have to stick with them through thick and thin. However, since I departed for pastures new, they have become revitalised, with a very young team that show no fear and go out and attack, playing attractive fast-flowing football and score goals that are things of beauty. They are a joy to watch, and I’ve had some very pleasant Saturday mornings in the bar at Fado in Buckhead this season watching them. However, the chance to actually catch them in the flesh was a mouth-watering prospect.

There are three main domestic football competitions in Scotland. The most important is the League Championship, especially the Scottish Premier League, which has 12 teams – at the moment they are Hibernian, Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Dunfermline Athletic, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Livingston, Falkirk and, our local city rivals, Heart of Midlothian. Hibs and Hearts have been fierce rivals since our inception. In fact the first game Hibs ever played was against Hearts on Christmas day 1875. Unfortunately, they won. I’ll explain more about the league set-up and the teams in the next piece! The other two are knockout competitions, the less important League Cup, which Hibs last won in 1991 (one of those little islands of delight!) and the far more important and prestigious Scottish Cup. The Scottish Cup is for Hibs the ultimate example of the ocean of drab mediocrity. The last time we won it, Queen Victoria had only been dead for a year. The Boer War had just finished, and Buffalo Bill had just famously brought his Wild West Show to London. 104 years ago. 1902. Since then, we’ve come close on several occasion, but more often than not, blown it in the early rounds against opposition that didn’t deserve to be on the same field as us. What, me? Bitter? Damn right!

Anyway, the game I was going to was in the Scottish Cup, and this year represents the best chance we’ve had in a long time of actually winning the damn thing. The two strongest teams in Scotland, Rangers and Celtic had both been knocked out already, Rangers by us, by a 3-0 scoreline in the previous round. If we could dispose of our opponents, Falkirk, the only thing that really stood between us and glory was – our nemesis – Hearts.

And so to the game. It was a strange affair. Not only were we playing opposition from our division, away from home, in dreadful conditions, but we somehow failed to get out of 2nd gear for most of the game. We went 1-0 up due to a dreadful goalkeeping error, but never seemed to take control of the match. By half time, we were still 1-0 up, but I was foreseeing yet another exit from the cup, yet another wasted opportunity, yet more disappointment.

We won 5-1. In the second half, they finally got their act together and swept a spirited resistance from Falkirk aside. It was in very high spirits that we left the stadium to head through to Glasgow for the gig! The only nagging doubt at the back of our minds – who would we get in the semi-finals? The only other teams left were Hearts, Gretna (a team from the lowly second division, two divisions below us) and Dundee and Hamilton, who fought out a draw, and will have to replay the game. At the time of writing, this has not yet happened. Anyway, both of them are from the division below us. Realistically, either Hibs or Hearts should win the cup this year. Would we get the first all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final since the 1890s??? And if we did, would my heart be able to stand it????

And so to the gig. Julian was fantastic as ever. It was the first time I’d seen him perform with a band since 1996. Every other occasion since the has been just him and a guitar (and occasionally a mellotron), and, while they’ve been great gigs, I was particularly looking forward to seeing him play with other musicians. It was just him on bass and vocals, a guitarist and a drummer. It sounded a bit like a cross between Julian Cope, the Stooges and the MC5 and was fabulous. Not only is he a hero, but he is also the latest in a long line of rock musicians who has the distinction of being barking mad. It’s like Syd Barrett, Roky Erikson and a whole host of other legendary madmen rolled into one.

So, the rest of the visit went off really well. My American friend loved my city. He was bowled over by the friendship offered unquestioningly by everyone he met, and by the hospitality and generosity offered to him by my family and friends. I’m always very proud of where I come from, but this made me exceptionally proud. So, on Wednesday 1st March, I flew back across the Atlantic to my home from home, to the love of my life that I’d missed so much while I was back in Scotland, and to markedly better weather than I’d left behind. On my last night in Scotland, I stood at a bus stop waiting for the last bus home, a little the worse for wear, in temperatures that had dipped to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, that’s something I don’t miss about Scotland.

So, you’ll (hopefully) have noticed that I haven’t mentioned who we were drawn against in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Well, it’s Hearts. The entire support of both teams will be having many sleepless nights leading up to the game, which is to be played on Sunday 2nd April. I’m hoping it’ll be on in Fado, even though it will mean getting to the pub for 7.15am in time for an early kick-off. I’m still hopeful that we can do it. After all, isn’t that what supporting a sports team is all about? The triumph of hope over adversity?

Well, dear patrons of Decatur CD, I hope you enjoyed this. Next time, I’ll be doing Ali’s introduction to the World Cup, which takes place in Germany in June. The biggest and best national football teams in the world will be represented. And England. Unfortunately, Scotland did not qualify, but that’s another story…

Monday, March 06, 2006

Meet our new release chef.

The magical, as-of-yet-unnamed pig chef who rules new releases is preparing to drop some sweet, sweet magic on you all tomorrow. That's right, one of the best Tuesdays of 2006 (so far) happens tomorrow, and we don't want you to miss out, so come visit the pig and pick up one or more (or all) of the following records:

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
*She needs no introduction, but we've been listening to this one for a while, and can say that it keeps up with her excellent last proper album, Blacklisted. One of the best of the year.

Mogwai - Mr. Beast
* The Scottish masters of quiet-loud dynamics and incredible guitar songs are back, and they aren't afraid to get a little pretty on us. Get this one before the band plays two shows in Atlanta this weekend.

Van Morrison - Pay the Devil
* Legendary songwriter drops an album with three original tracks and a dozen covers of his favorite country tunes, including a great version of "There Stands the Glass."

Of Montreal - The Early Four Track Recordings; The Bedside Drama a Petite Tragedy; The Bird Who Continues to Eat the Rabbit's Flower
* Behold! For one of Athens' finest indie pop exports has released three more re-issues.

Pink Mountaintops - Axis of Evol
* Bearded genius Stephen McBean (also of Black Mountain fame) offers up his second album under the Pink Mountaintops moniker, and it's a fuzzed-out blast of good ol' rock 'n' roll.

James Hunter - People Gonna Talk
* We put on this English, blue-eyed soul singer the other day, and three people instantly wanted to buy it. Unfortunately, it wasn't in yet. We'd be happy to play him for you when the record comes out tomorrow, though.

Mudhoney - Under a Billion Suns
* It's been four years since one of the few bands that still exist from a time when Seattle was Seattle! has released an album, and this Sub Pop release breaks that silence.

Matisyahu - Youth
* You know all those (there's one in the store, actually) photos of the up-and-coming Hasidic rapper/reggae guy? Well, this is his super highly anticipated new album. Be the first on your block to sing its praises.

Also, don't miss new albums by The Rogers Sisters, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Figurines, The Little Willies, David Gilmour, Goldfrapp, The Buzzcocks, Centro-matic and Stereolab, amongst others.

Want to name the pig? Would you like us to hold one of these albums for you? Just say the word below...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Roll call!

Anyone out there checking in? This blog is still a baby, but we're curious how many of you are actually reading. If you're looking at this post, could you do us a favor and drop a quick note in the comments? Much appreciated. Oh, and if you have a blog of your own, we'd be happy to link to it. In fact, we'll do just that when we read your comment. Thanks again.