The Right Time
Listen to the song "Vibrations"It’s one thing to make a 60’s throwback record. It’s another thing to have been there in real-time singing backup alongside legends Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and James Brown, to name a few. In the case of 78 year old Ural Thomas, it’s never too late to find The Right Time.
- 1. Slow Down
2. No Distance (Between You & Me)
4. You Care Very Little
5. Smoldering Fire
6. The Right Time
7. Gotta Say (I Love You
9. Show Ya
10. Eenie Meenie
- If life was at all fair Ural Thomas would be a household name, his music slotted into countless sweet, seductive mixtapes between James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder (all of whom Thomas has performed with.) Straddling the line between hot soul shouter and velvety-smooth crooner, Thomas released a few singles in the late 60’s and early 70’s; most notably “Can You Dig It”, which featured backing vocals from soul luminaries Merry Clayton, Mary Wells and Brenda Holloway. Thomas played over forty shows at the legendary Apollo Theater before turning his back on an unkind business and heading home to Portland, OR. It goes without saying that a man practically built out of rhythm would never stop playing music. Thomas began hosting a regular Sunday night jam session at his home that ran for nearly twenty years. A de facto mentor to many of the younger players, Thomas reminds us all that “If you care about what you’re doing, you need to build those muscles and do the work. Don’t get discouraged, do it for love. Even if you’re digging ditches, do it with passion.” In 2014, local soul DJ Scott Magee sat in on drums. The two became fast friends and at Magee’s urging Thomas decided to give his musical career another shot. Magee became the musical director, they put together a band, and in 2016 released a self-titled album on Mississippi Records. In 2017 Thomas signed with Tender Loving Empire and began work on what, in many respects, will be his debut full length. Diving deep into lifetime of melodic creativity, Thomas and his band got to work. Recorded in Magee’s studio Arthur’s Attic, The Right Time features the air-tight work of Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax, Portland jazz scene fixture Brent Martens on guitars and vibraphone, Arcellus Sykes on bass, Steve Aman (Lady Rizo) on piano and organ, Dave Monnie on trumpet, Willie Matheis (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) on tenor sax, and Jasine Rimmel, Joy Pearson, Sarah King, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals. The Arco Quartet performed the strings, and the record was engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones, Ty Segall). One might think after a sizeable taste of early success Thomas would be more than a touch bitter – yet the opposite is true. “We have to be positive if we want the world to get better” Thomas advises. “We’ve come a long way, but if you carry a grudge with the whole world you’ll stop your growth. We’re a family, all just brothers and sisters, descendants of Adam. You can’t get anywhere without an open heart.” A developing artist at nearly eighty years old, for Thomas music has always been about bringing people together. “If we play for twenty people we cook it like it’s twenty thousand” says Thomas. “If we make someone smile we’re satisfied. They’re ain’t no difference between us. It’s all love and brotherhood. If folks listen to my record and feel that I’ll feel very blessed.” Standing in bold defiance of the idea that aging is a reason to slow down and stop living, for Thomas the right time to get down is the next time someone plugs in a guitar or puts on a record. Ural is ready – are you?
Listen to the song "Gloria"
For The Shivas, the show has always been the thing. That thing being a bombastic, explosive and thoroughly communal live rock and roll experience where barriers between the performers and their audience seem to dissolve into the sweat and sound. It’s the stage—or the basement, or the living room—that’s the Portland band’s true element. It’s their raison d’etre. It’s their religion..
The album is a defining sonic achievement for the band, which began booking their own tours in high school. The group blasted their way through Portland’s storied and unsanctioned mid-aughts house show scene. Since then they have played over 1,000 shows spread over 25 countries, meeting new fans and friends from Belgrade to Mexico City. But The Shivas—guitarist/singer Jared Molyneux, bassist Eric Shanafelt and drummer/singer Kristin Leonard have all been with the band since its earliest days; guitarist Jeff Boyardee joined in 2017—still speak about their project with a DIY humility that sounds like their native Pacific Northwest. They talk up their own favorite bands, play all-ages shows whenever possible, and they bring a sort of blue-collar humanism to the live performances they relish so much. “We just want to make people feel good,” guitarist/ singer Jared Molyneux says. “We want them to forget they have to work tomorrow.”
Dark Thoughts is the sound of a tight-knit band whose members have learned not just how to trust each other, but how to grow together. “Being adults now,” Leonard says. “We’re starting to talk a lot more philosophically about why we do what we do. Some of my favorite music came from people needing to find a space. Music is just such a visceral place to find a release.”
That’s what The Shivas are here for: to help people get free, if even just for an hour.
If they drop a few great albums along the way, so be it.
- 1. Gloria
2. Turn Me On
3. Playing On The Radio
4. If You See Me
5. Start A Fire
6. IDC Lucky #13
7. Sometimes II
8. Can't Relax
9. I Want You
10. Feels Surreal
11. Over & Over
12. It's All In Your Head
13. Can You Feel It Too?
- The Shivas are a rock and roll band from Portland, Oregon formed in 2006. In the 10 years since forming they have brought their raucous dance party to almost all 50 states, and over 25 countries worldwide, meanwhile releasing five full-length albums and three EP. The bands fifth studio album is due out fall of 2019.
Entre Los Dos
Listen to the song "Rios Sueltos"
How far does our sentimental strength go? When do we turn to the other without any resistance? What is the breaking point? By showing emotional connections we become vulnerable. Existing together, we can not conceive without the other. "I am another you" is a Mayan thought that blurs the limits of personal bonds, extending individuality to any being that we choose to look in the eyes, allowing us to find something shared in each others stare.
Entre Los Dos is the follow up to critically acclaimed Mujeres (NPR, Pitchfork, Billboard), Y La Bamba's most recently released full length album (February 2019). This EP comes as a collection of portraits, affinities, and new visions birthed during Mendoza's frequent stays in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. These are songs and powerful prayers, created with their purpose being to protect the land and its people, recognize the ancestry that burns in our hearts, and treasure wisdom weaving healthy bonds that reflect self-love with dignity.
Through the veins of front person Luz Elena Mendoza, runs Purepecha blood. Adapting to new environments over and over again, she has become someone who constantly questions and empowers through music: her great teacher and tireless companion.
The creative flow of Entre Los Dos moves without stopping, without resisting its own form. It adapts, migrates, and fuses with its environment and receptors. The adrenaline of a new beginning moves us, but also leaves a fragile space where the fear of being cornered and devoured may exist. When you float in foreign waters, you can not do more than surrender to doubt and become one with the death. The world is dangerous, and even more so when it comes to surrendering blindly to love.
- 1. Gabriel
2. Entre Los Dos
3. Rios Sueltos
6. Las Platicas
7. Los Gritos
- Entre Los Dos is the follow up to critically acclaimed Mujeres (NPR, Pitchfork, Billboard), Y La Bamba's most recently released full length album (February 2019). This EP comes as a collection of portraits, affinities, and new visions birthed during Mendoza's frequent stays in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. These are songs and powerful prayers, created with their purpose being to protect the land and its people, recognize the ancestry that burns in our hearts, and treasure wisdom weaving healthy bonds that reflect self-love with dignity.
Friends and Friends of Friends Vol 12
Friends & Friends of Friends is an annual 2-disc compilation of music curated by Tender Loving Empire. We collect submissions from our friends and (as the compilation title might suggest) from their friends. We request specific songs that we love and include our favorite jams from bands on our own record label. This year it's time for number 12, and we've put together 40 songs that reflect the best of what we're into now.
1. Vita and the Woolf - Sun Drop
2. Bells Atlas - First Gen Pisces
3. Ural thomas & the Pain - Smoldering Fire
4. Arthur & The Antics - Jennifer Said
5. The California Honeydrops - Live Learn
6. Aftercare - Still Love
7. Slow Corpse - Lonely 3000
8. Blossom -Moi å Moi
9. Ripley Snell - Manifinessea (ft. Old Grape God)
10. SISTERS - Y Do U Take So Long ft. Sol (Budo Remix)
11. Brijean - Show And Tell
12. PALMCO - Don't Let Me Down
13. Small Skies - Faces
14. Pure Bathing Culture - Moonrise
15. New Body Electric - Peaceful War
16. Human Ottoman - Maraca Who
17. Martha Stax - Rock and Roll
18. Jeff Bond - We Are Getting Closer
19. Little Wins - Let Me Into Your Heart
1. Y La Bamba - Boca Llena
2. Neptuna - Las Margaritas
3. The Shivas - Turn Me On
4. Elly Swope - Habits
5. Balto - Black Snake, Mojave Blues
6. The Rare Forms - Under The sheets
7. Help - Skeletons
8. Mega Pacific - Weed Police
9. Laundry - Junkyard Robot
10. Patrician - Your Friend
11. Sama Dams - Mounted On The Wall
12. Rum River Cult - Strangers Now
13. Melt - Snow
14. Shadowgraphs - Sun Is Rising
15. Mo Troper - Never Dream Of Dying
16. Perhapsy - 34th & West
17. Souvenir Driver - Admire
18. The Jerry Cans - Makiliqta
19. John Craigie - Virgin Guitar
20. Kelly McFarling - Pacific
21. Perlo - Masters
- The players: Vita and the Woolf, Bells Atlas, Ural thomas & The Pain, Arthur & The Antics, The California Honeydrops, Aftercare, Slow Corpse, Blossom, Ripley Snell, SISTERS, Brijean, PALMCO, Small Skies, Pure Bathing Culture, New Body Electric, Human Ottoman, Martha Stax, Jeff Bond, Little Wins, Y La Bamba, Neptuna, The Shivas, Elly Swope, Balto, The Rare Forms, Help, Mega Pacific, Laundry, Patrician, Sama Dams, Rum River Cult, Melt, Shadowgraphs, Mo Troper, Perhapsy, Souvenir Driver, The Jerry Cans, John Craigie, Kelly McFarling, Perlo