My copy of the new Desaparecidos “Marikkkopa”/”Backsell” 7” arrived. The $12 price was a little steep, but it’s really pretty. Saddle Creek also addressed it to Lewis and his Blog on the back. Neat.
Listening To: Everyone Everywhere - Everyone Everywhere (2012)
The Pennsylvania punk group Everyone Everywhere have mastered the art of the underground hype train. In a marketing sense, they’ve done literally everything right to promote their new full length album, which was released earlier this month. In addition to releasing the LP on their own rather than going through a record label, they made the album available as a pay-what-you-want vinyl pre-order, which I think is a brilliant idea that may or may not shape the future of physical album sales. I got my vinyl copy in the mail recently, and I’m loving the presentation of it. Mine came on pretty sky-blue vinyl, and the package included a lyric sheet, a download code, and a CD copy of the album, which is always a nice touch. I completely love the name, the gorgeous cover art, and the beautiful packaging. Now let’s see if the music holds up.
I picked these up yesterday at the Chirp Records tent, which will be set up for all three days of the Pitchfork Music Festival. I’ve been looking for these two (Bright Eyes’ Letting Off The Happiness and Desaparecidos’ Read Music/Speak Spanish) for quite a while now, and I managed to find them at the Saddle Creek Records table.
Listening To: They Might Be Giants - Flood (1990)
I graduated 11th grade today. Celebrating with this absolutely legendary LP. People don’t give They Might Be Giants enough credit, because they totally rule.
Also, this may have been the very last vinyl record that my dad ever bought. After 1990, when Flood was released, he didn’t see the point in buying records anymore.
Fittingly, this arrived on the first effective day of my summer vacation. The record label also threw in a free Post-Nothing poster and an Owen promo CD. Thanks again, Polyvinyl!
(Taken with Instagram)
Here are some of my recent vinyl acquisitions. I bought four of these (the two Bright Eyes records, the Shins’ 7” and the Smiths s/t) over the span of the past two days at Cutler’s Records, which is closing down after 64 years in business. It was bittersweet buying them; on one hand, everything was marked down 25%, but on the other hand, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything else from the store after the end of June. The employees seemed to be in fairly high spirits nevertheless.
The other record I bought is the new Self Defense Family 7”, which came in the mail earlier today. The a-side is one of my favorite tracks of the year so far, so I’m very excited to own it. Hopefully my pre-ordered copy of Japandroids‘ Celebration Rock will arrive soon.
Clockwise from top left:
- Bright Eyes - Fevers And Mirrors
- Bright Eyes - There Is No Beginning To The Story
- Self Defense Family - Iceland 7” (“Self Immolation Family” b/w “World Virgins”
- The Shins - “Simple Song” b/w “September”
- The Smiths - The Smiths
Many months after I preordered it, I’m happy to say that my copy of Topshelf Records’ Fuck Off All Nerds compilation in memory of Mitchell Dubey has arrived. When I saw My Heart To Joy play their last show ever last May in honor of Mitch, I new that it was a truly special occasion and a once in a lifetime performance. I was so happy and proud when I found out that Topshelf Records had recorded the entire show and was planning to release a vinyl record featuring highlights from the sets of the eight fantastic bands that performed that night. Almost exactly a year after that show, I now have the record in my hands. Reliving that night brings back so many great memories, and I’m incredibly grateful to Mitch, Topshelf, and all of the bands that played for that.
The vinyl packaging is beautiful, featuring gorgeous art prints, a gatefold, and inspiring liner notes about Mitch. My copy came on shiny coke bottle blue vinyl, which features “Fuck Off” on the a-side and “All Nerds” on the back. Ben Sears did a great job with the layout. I really couldn’t be happier with this record. Just look at that tracklist and tell me you’re not upset that you didn’t get to go to this show. The best part of all of it is that all the proceeds from this record go directly to the Dubey family. If you want to, you can purchase a copy yourself and stream it over at the Topshelf Records bandcamp page. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release. It would have made Mitch very proud.
Listening To: Hostage Calm - Hostage Calm (2010)
Tonight at Milford’s Point Beach Club House, the one and only Hostage Calm (aka the five proudest dudes in Connecticut) will headline a seriously stacked punk show. They’re kicking off a tour that will include dates with big names I Am The Avalanche and Anti-Flag (ugh). Also on the bill tonight are Baby Grand, Manners, Night Owls, and Defeater. I’m gearing up for the event by giving their 2010 self-titled record a spin, as you can see above. I bought my copy the last time I saw Hostage Calm, when they played a special ensemble show at The Space in celebration of the album’s 1st anniversary. It came on clear vinyl with a special card-stock cover designed specifically for that show.
If you haven’t listened to this fantastic band yet, it’s kind of hard to describe the entirety of their appeal to someone who’s not integrated into the Connecticut scene. Basically, they make slick, anthemic power pop with hardcore punk sensibilities. Think Big Star in a mosh pit, or The Replacements without all the grit. If that sounds like your thing, head over to the Run For Cover Records bandcamp page and give Hostage Calm a listen. I’ve embedded the album below if you want to try it out.
To anybody who’s planning to come to the show tonight, say hi if you see me! For more information about it, check out the facebook event page HERE.
Listening To: Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (2005)
Some days I think that this is my favorite album ever. Today is one of those days. No other record fills me with the wonderful and warmly nostalgic sense of understanding that Illinois does. As much as I love all his new projects and musical ventures, part of me wishes Sufjan Stevens would make another record like this. Just one more. Please?
Anonymous asked: if you had to pick ipod or records which one would you pick?
As long as I can still have the option of listening to music digitally on my computer, I would trade the convenience and easy use of my ipod for the tangibility and sound quality of my records and record player any day. I appreciate my ipod, but I love my records.
So, my vinyl copy of Have A Nice Life’s Deathconsciousness came in today…
This was the first time Deathconsciousness has been issued on vinyl since its extremely limited original release in 2008. For those of you who aren’t aware already, this was my favorite album of that year and one of my absolute favorites of the past decade. I’m so unbelievably excited to finally own it.
One notable difference between the vinyl and digital release is the cover. The digital/CD version has David’s The Death Of Marat as the cover, but this vinyl issue features a different cover image. The Death Of Marat instead appears doubled in the gatefold. This record also came with a short book/pamphlet filled with lyrics, Medieval-style drawings, and cryptic prose.
If you haven’t listened to this record yet, I highly recommend you do so. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but I can definitely speak for its quality. It has the sonic density of shoegaze, the scorched-earth aesthetic of black metal, mixed with the propulsive drive of post-punk. Frontman Dan Barrett’s ghostly vocals and disturbing lyrics are a highlight. Readers of this blog might be more familiar with Barrett from his work as Giles Corey, which produced my #1 album of 2011. Believe it or not, Have a Nice Life is even better.
Now I’m going to listen to this now on vinyl for the first time, and I honestly never thought I’d say that. Needless to say I’m excited.
You wake up feeling like shit, lie in bed for hours terrified of your dreams about the past, take a shower and notice the bruises and scratches all over your body, drink bad coffee, sigh too much, and realize that From A Basement On The Hill is the best Elliott Smith album.
Try it sometime.
Listening To: Grandaddy - Sumday (2003)
I’m unwinding after a long day of living my dumb boring life with a relatively recent vinyl purchase, Grandaddy’s 2003 full length Sumday. This album was released as the followup to their 2000 opus The Sophtware Slump, which received widespread critical accolades and propelled them to a new level of relevance upon its release.
In light of that album’s legacy, I think that Sumday stands as somewhat overlooked in their discography. This is kind of unfair; as great as The Sophtware Slump is, I’m starting to believe that Sumday is an equally great record. Although it lacks the convenient turn of the century release date and expansive concept of its predecessor, Sumday is just as delightfully weird and psychedelic, and features catchier melodies, better production, and a generally more confident sound. More than on any other Grandaddy record, frontman Jason Lytle sounds genuinely in control of his band’s creative vision. It must feel great to be able to get the sound that you want so perfectly in studio.
Listen to the album cut “El Caminos In The West” below:
I’m currently listening to the Run For Cover Records compilation Mixed Signals on vinyl for the first time. It arrived the other day with my new TWIABP shirt. Sorry for being a lazy blogger these past couple days. I’ve been physically and mentally drained with all that’s been going on at school — Even as I’m listening to this, I’m in the process of registering for the SATs. Ugh.
Anyway, this is the first time I’ve actually given this record a full listen. I was already familiar with a number of the tracks on it, but with this listen I’ve discovered some new favorites. Far and away the best track is still the closer “To The Janitor, To The King,” by The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, but I also really love Hostage Calm’s “The M-Word.” Are they purposefully quoting “Single Ladies” on this track, or am I reading too far into the lyrics?) End Of A Year Self Defense Family’s unusually low-key “I’ve Got An Idea…” is also a definite highlight, with its surprisingly tuneful vocals from Patrick Kindlon and collaborator Caroline Corrigan. Other standout cuts include Make Do And Mend’s “Coats” and the acoustic guitar-based “Die Alone” by The Tower And the Fool, which features a dad rock-ish guitar solo at the end.
The rest sounds like kind of generic pop-punk to me, and I’m not really feeling it. Needless to say, I’ll be giving this record a few more spins in the coming days.
It’s also worth noting that although my copy didn’t arrive in great condition, the vinyl packaging of this compilation is wonderful; it features a full sized booklet featuring photos of each band included on the compilation with the lyrics to their respective songs.
Purchase Mixed Signals from Run For Cover Records HERE.
Up “early” (10 AM is early for me now), drinking coffee and listening to Andrew Jackson Jihad’s Knife Man LP from last year. Is it weird that I already feel nostalgic listening to this? It brings me back to a time right after it leaked, literally a matter of days before I met my ex for the first time in person. I remember being really frustrated and listening to this record for guidance, and then hearing “Distance” and feeling some solidarity because of that. I can’t identify with that song anymore, but the rest of the record still holds a lot of meaning for me. “Hate, Rain On Me” is the best hate anthem I’ve heard since Titus Andronicus’ “Richard II” (which, on the vinyl copy of The Monitor, is actually subtitled “Responsible Hate Anthem”). “If You Have Love In Your Heart” is surprisingly inspirational and calming, despite its short length. “People II 2: Still Peoplin’” is a great followup to the standout track from 2007’s People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World. And of course, album closer “Big Bird” remains one of the very best songs of 2011 in my mind. Thanks for being great, Andrew Jackson Jihad.