We've got more than 90 titles discounted right now during our annual holiday blowout--and you might feel a little overwhelmed with all the fantastic options for aural merriment we have. So, why not start with some of our staff picks from the sale? Check out what Nan, Rob and the rest of the Bloodshot crew have highlighted!
Cowboy in Flames is on my desert island juke box and may just be my favorite album. The first time I heard this record I knew the Waco Brothers understood Bloodshot better than we (my partners and I) did. The Wacos sound is still unique today, plus Cowboy In Flames is witty, humorous, and it rocks. --NAN, Empress Cowgrrrl
I pick Waco Express: Live and Kickin' at Schubas Tavern not only because I was at that show but also because the Wacos are my favorite Chicago band period. Their live performances alway leave a big gaping hole where the roof used to be. When you jump aboard the Waco Express hold on tight and get ready for a ride like no other.
--CAMILLE, Intern extraordinaire
I picked Viper of Melody because its an album that elicits an overwhelming feeling of pop music's early rooted background--jazz and blues rhythms and melodies, subtle danceability, and carefree lyrical content. It doesn't take much to get into this album, but it does take you to a place that few other recent records can. Plus, heck, it's Wayne The Train. --JOSH, Publicist
"You Dig a double grave out in the meadow, and you curse the rain / that turns the earth to mud." --A fantastic line from one of the greatest murder ballads ever written, "The Other Shoe," from Old 97's Wreck Your Life.
"The Other Shoe" is only one of 12 reasons why this disc is one of my all time favorite discs, not just by the Old 97's or from Bloodshot, but in my overall collection. The opening cut "Victoria" contains the classic line: "This is the story of Victoria Lee / She started on Rohypnol and ended up with me." "W-I-F-E," "Doreen," "Dressing Room Wall" and "Big Brown Eyes" (" …'cause if Robert's dad is right, we might not make it through the night…") are all stellar songs that are completely packed with Old 97's-esque clever banter, witty repartee and line after line that any songwriter worth his salt, is wishing he or she had written the moment they hear it. As a bonus, we get the Old 97's kicking a hole through a Jon Langford ditty "Over The Cliff" with America's favorite Welshman along for the ride. --SWANK, Radio Guy
Without question, Alejandro Escovedo's A Man Under the Influence is one of the most seminal records in the Bloodshot catalog. The first time you hear it, you can't help but think "Damn... I am in for something real fine here." But for years, you also couldn't help but think "This would sound incredibly amazing on vinyl." We delivered (and how!) and it does, indeed, sound incredibly amazing on vinyl!
This 2LP version is way deluxe- snazzy gatefold cover with extra artwork, and two whole hefty platters of incredible timeless music. You'll get the entirety of A Man Under the Influence as well as most of the tracks from our other little Escovedo gem, Bourbonitis Blues pressed into shiny, shiny vinyl.
We're selling this for $10. Even if you already have one, get one to give to a friend! If you DON'T have it, at this price you'd have to be stupid not to take this bad boy home. Don't have a turntable? It comes with a digital version of the whole record and the album itself is suitable for framing ... ya sold on it yet? Once they're gone, they're gone, friends ... Don't snooze on this one. --PETE, Retail Guru
While it is impossible and undignified for me to pick any one child over the other, this release highlights the great dilemma facing artists and labels these days. This is a fantastic record, but, because of various family and monetary obligations, Mark is unable to tour much (if at all) behind it. So the whole "freeloading" ethos of "I'll buy a ticket or a T shirt to see X artist when they are in town" falls apart. Should we stop supporting such artists? Should they stop making music? That would be sad. --ROB MILLER, Il Capo
Let's cut to the chase: This is JP's pick cos she is in love with Ryan Gosling and The Slaughter Rule stars Ryan Gosling. But in all seriousness, The Slaughter Rule soundtrack is one of those rare soundtracks that complements the movie, yet still stands on its own, via Jay Farrar's (Son Volt) score, as well as rare songs from Freakwater, Pernice Brothers, Vic Chesnutt and Uncle Tupelo, and contributions from Ryan Adams and Neko Case. It's a great snapshot of the No Depression scene from the early Oughts, something that should make any Americana fan on your gift list happy. And of course, there's the little picture of Ryan Gosling in the liner notes (swoon). --JP, Publicist
Personally, I feel like the only tolerable bluegrass I hear anymore, is extremely non-traditional bluegrass. Anyone who adheres to the "rules" of any genre in this day and age, is wasting valuable art space. The Meat Purveyors are not guilty of this. The covers on this record take a scan over vast swaths of musical heritage from the likes of John Conlee, Human League, Loretta Lynn, Foreigner and The Monkees, but don't bother mining the genre's tired and true Monroe/Flatt/Scruggs warchest. The originals are quality Meat Purveyors, with two in particular that really stand out to me as some of the best of the best. "Liquor Store" is a barn burner of a uptempo plea for any way possible to make it to the booze shack before prime drinking time is lost. "666 Pack" is the jangly clarification that oft times, a little bracer will help the day go a lot smoother. "It'll get me through the next show. I'll pay you back tomorrow." Unabashed and unapologetic drinking songs, the way it ought to be. --SWANK, Radio Guy
I have been a long time fan of this ever-evolving musical collective, and have since become personal friends with some of the musical mad scientists, masterminds and misfits who have enjoyed tenure here. Musically, and conceptually, I feel that The Golden Hour is one of the most important and ambitious titles in the esteemed Bloodshot catalog. Recorded in India, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel, this is more than a mere collection of sequenced songs: it is both a cultural masterwork, and a piece of fine art. It is unlike anything else. --SCOTT, Label Manager
The first time a female friend heard Ben sing, she said, "God, he should work for a phone sex line". Of course, the words and music are equally moving, but his voice just makes it all that much better. --ANTHONY, Royalties dude