Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
For Hurricane Sandy: Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain LP, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Hurricane Sandy is barreling down towards us and they closed down my work for the day. I thought it would be appropriate to break my usual rule about only posting newly bought records in order to take a picture of a record that fits the spirit of the day. Honestly, I'm surprised how few records I own that mention storms or weather, there were not plentiful options here.
Anyway, this is the 180g reissue of Crooked Rain, Crooked rain that came out a few years ago. I had the original version of the LP, but I actually traded it to someone back in the early 2000s. I don't remember what I traded it for, other than I knew if would be way easier to replace that Pavement record than it would have been to find the record that I traded for. When the reissue came out, I opted to grab it, though I probably will try to hunt down another copy of the original pressing at some point.
While my favorite Pavement album is Wowee Zowee, Crooked Rain is an ultra close #2. Pavement really define that poppy, wacky indie rock of the 90s that I just love so much. While I never saw them play a good show (and I gave them ample chances to do so, but always left disappointed), few bands can touch Pavement on record. If you don't have this record in your collection, that is a problem you should fix right away.
Pavement - Range Life:
Pavement - Cut Your Hair:
Pavement - Gold Soundz:
Friday, October 26, 2012
After I heard the more recent Ballantynes 7" that I posted about last week, I knew I had to get their debut 7" right away, especially as it looked like it was out of print. It actually wasn't all that hard to find a copy at a distro so I grabbed it. I'm not sure I like it quite as much as the new 7", but it is still pretty fantastic. As a longtime follower of The Blues Brothers, I've always had a fascination with 60's rhythm & blues and it sure seams like The Ballantynes do too (though I can't comment on their level of respect for The Blues Brothers).
I really hope they have a full length in the works, as I would love to hear more from these guys. If I'm recommending, you should start with the Misery 7" of theirs, but the B-side on the Message 7", in particular, is a hell of a song.
The Ballantynes - The Message 7":
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Art Of The Underground (2012)
Another single from the great Art of The Underground 7" Series, this one from a band call Deep Pockets. I'd never heard of them prior to this 7", but they deal in a currency I appreciate; Noisy 90s influenced indie rock. "Knitting Circle" is a pretty good song, chugging along with a good chorus and some chunky guitar riffs, but unfortunately the band ruins it with a totally unnecessary breakdown toward the end that literally starts with the lyrics "Here's the serious part of the song." I then falls into a spoken word mess. The B-side is a Silkworm cover, "Wet Firecracker." Though it mostly makes me think I really need to go back and check out Silkworm again, because this song rules.
There some hits and some misses with the Art Of The Underground series, this one being kind of in the middle, but whenever I see a package from them in the mail, I'm always very glad I'm a subscriber.
Deep Pockets - Knitting Circle 7":
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Typically, If I am buying a record from someone off of Discogs, I will often go through the rest of their list, just to browse and perhaps save some shipping costs by adding to the order. That was the case with this 7". I snagged it from the same guy that I bought the vacant Lot LP from a few weeks back. I enjoyed the 1 Nuisance LP that I picked up a while back and figured adding a 7" was the right thing to do. It's pretty similar to the LP, maybe a bit rougher, but definitely in line to what I was expecting. Wouldn't have gone crazy hunting it down, but absolutely worth the pick up since it was just begging to be bought. Couldn't find any of these songs streaming online. Sorry.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Trouble In Mind (2012)
Another Trouble In Mind 7" and this one I like a lot more than the Jacco Gardner one I wrote about a few days ago. Woolen Kits play basic, fuzzed out pop songs. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel, they're just picking up their instruments and cranking out good catchy tunes. The production might not be for everyone, but I'm into this 7" enough to check out the bands next release, which I believe is an upcoming full length. Try the song below and see what you think.
Woollen Kits - Shelly:
Monday, October 22, 2012
O from fluf was in Olivelawn before he was in fluf. I was listening to fluf a few weeks ago and thought to myself, I wonder if Olivelawn is better than I remember them being. it's been years and years since I had given them a try. Like an idiot, I couldn't quell my curiosity by listening to the one Olivelawn record i already have, I had to go and buy their first full length. After all, it's a record I didn't have.
All these years later, I still don't really like Olivelawn all that much, though probably more than I did when younger. I think it's the vocals that put me off on a few songs. In some instances (like the song Roses) they're great, but in other songs they're a little too screamy-scratchy-hardcore-ish for me. Music is pretty good though, I may have a completely different opinion of the band if O was singing instead of just playing guitar. I do feel like this record deserves a place in my collection though, as I really am all about documenting as much of the early 90's San Diego scene as possible.
Olivelawn - Roses:
Olivelawn - Hooray for Flipping:
Friday, October 19, 2012
Out On A Limb hail from Germany and released this 8 song LP last year. Didn't really hear anything about them until this year though, The band plays the sort of downstroke plenty rock that you can hear hints of the Wipers in. As far as current bands go, I would definitely count them as brethren of the Estranged, though a bit more subdued.
The band tends to go for a more mid tempo approach to their music as opposed to a pedal to the metal in your face assault that other Wipers influenced bands like Hot Snakes dish out. It's a very good record, not great, but absolutely worth picking up if you see it at a distro you are already picking something else up from.
Out On A Limb - Drowned:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I'm not certain if there is an actual buzz out there for Jacco Gardner or if I just hear about him a lot because I follow Trouble In Mind on twitter. Regardless, I feel like his name is out there quite a bit for a fellow with only two 7"s to his name. When phrases like "baroque" and "chamber pop" are being used to describe music, I immediately assume I can just replace those phrases with "pretentious garbage." While that is not the case with Jacco Gardner (I don't find him pretentious at all), this is a record that's absolutely not for me.
I guess I just don't like psych. The music or the TV show. There's just something about the swirling, underwater sounding, hippie vocals that just rubs me the wrong way. I think the music on this record is OK, but the vocals just kill it for me. Not a fan. I am happy to buy the record and keep my complete collection of Trouble In Mind 7"s going strong, but I'm going to pass on his upcoming full length.
Jacco Gardner - Where Will You Go 7":
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
This is another record I've been trying to find for a while. I first heard of the band from the label Sandwich Man records. For the longest time they had been listing a Potential Johns/Tulsa split 7" as coming soon. The record never saw the light of day, but it made me curious about the band. I picked up a Tulsa split 7". I liked it, but honestly it didn't really make a lasting impact. Fast forward to now, I finally managed to find a copy, and while not disappointed in the record, i guess I'm just not as in love with it as I would like to be considering how long I was trying to find a copy.
Tulsa play sloppy, ramshackle pop punk. I don't want sloppy to be taken as a completely negative description here. It's very obvious the band has a ton of energy and the passion they put into their music really comes through. I prefer a band that goes with reckless abandon as opposed to one that's overly concerned with making everything perfect. Where the record falls a little short for me is that when I'm done listening to it, I can't remember anything I just heard. The songs are so short that I feel like they never really have time to truly craft that memorable hook.
I like the throwback sound, I love the energy; I just wish Tulsa took their time a bit more and allowed themselves to really take their songs that one step further. Why are punks always in such a hurry?
Tulsa - Thunderbird:
Tulsa - Drunk In The Supermarket:
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - A Reverse Willie Horton LP, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
With the new Blues Explosion album out, I've also been going back to some of their older releases to see how they stand up. Some hold up pretty well, others, not so much. During this time, my buddy @swamipat started posting on twitter about his copy of A Reverse Willie Horton. Frankly, record collectors are a jealous bunch and when he started talking about this record again, I decided I needed to get it in the collection. I had been on the hunt for A Reverse Willie Horton back in the 90's, but the expensive price tag always kept it on the "next time" list.
Well, times have changed in 2012, and I was able to grab a copy off Discogs for $36. Compared to the prices this thing went for in the 90's, SOLD. Musically, this was never my favorite Blues Explosion release, as I have had the vast majority of the songs from the S/T LP and Japanese Crypt Style CD. The songs are all rough, loud and crazy and while I do appreciate the energy, I have always been partial to the band's more polished work.
It's still a mighty fine record to have in the collection though, especially since it completes a long abandoned quest.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Rachel:
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Lovin Up a Storm:
Monday, October 15, 2012
This, for me, was kind of a bonus record when I ordered the La-Ti-Da pack of five 7"s so I could get the limited versions of the Tranzmitors & Needles//Pins records. I had never heard of this band before, so I went in not really expecting anything. Pretty darn impressed when all is said and done.
The Ballantynes play a total 60s soul throwback. Complete with female backing vocals and the sort of swagger you haven't seen in music for a few decades. This is a band I'm going to keep an eye one and I already found an online shop that was still carrying their out of print first 7", so that's been ordered as well.
The Ballantynes - Misery 7:
Friday, October 12, 2012
More Or Less 7" - Heavenly (2010)
Gagdad 7" - Mexican Summer (2010)
Tallboy - Mexica Summer (2012)
When I heard that The Soft Pack had a new full length coming out this year, I did the obligatory search to see if there was a new single leading up to it. What I discovered was I somehow managed to miss 2 7"s of theirs that came out in 2010. I guess i just wasn't paying close enough attention. Gagdad was the tougher one to find. From what I read, it was primarily sold on tour, but I did manage to find an online shop in the UK that had it in stock, so I grabbed it along with a copy of More or Less.
I was quite lucky obtaining the Tallboy 7". On the artwork it says promo only, though I can't say for sure how limited/rare/hard to find it actually is. I received it as a bonus when I bought the new full length Strapped directly from Mexican Summer. I suppose I was one of the first handful of people to pick it up as I think they said only the first 50 would get a copy. These 3 keep my Soft Pack collection complete, I just need to make sure I don't miss out on anything else they release this year.
The Soft Pack - More or Less:
The Soft Pack - Gagdad (Live):
The Soft Pack - Tallboy:
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Jawbreaker / Steel Pole Bath Tub / The Punchline - Surprise Your Pig Split 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Staple Gun (1992)
You don't see me posting much about Jawbreaker on this website as that is a collection I tackled a long time ago. At this point I'm mostly just looking for weirdo variants of the Jawbox split. This, however, is the one record of theirs that has been eluding me for ages. This was a bonus 7" that came with the LP version of the Surprise Your Pig REM tribute album. I've been keeping my eye out for it forever. I even bought once on eBay several years ago, but the seller never sent it to me.
As luck would have it, this guy popped up on Discogs and $9 later, it lives at my house. I wouldn't have minded having the entire LP & 7" set, to be honest, but I was much more concerned with making sure this 7" had a home. I don't really need the entire LP that bad, maybe if I see it on the cheap. I know there must be quite a few of them out there that had the 7" separated from the set. I found the Jawbreaker & Steel Pole Bath Tub covers online and have shared them below. No luck for the Punchline song. Sorry guys.
Jawbreaker - Pretty Persuasion:
Steel Pole Bath Tub - We Walk:
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Soft Pack - Strapped LP - Flamingo Edition (/300), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
I first heard of The Soft Pack back when they were still called The Muslims. They had opened for The Night Marchers on a few shows and had earned the praise of some West Coast friends. I picked up their LP, and just kept on buying their records. Through the band's name change and over the course of all of the records they've put out I have enjoyed the ride, but the band never quite captured the magic of the first LP in my opinion.
The same can be said for Strapped. It's good and the great songs are really, really great. But there's some 80s sounding filler on here that's not my cup of tea. Not to mention the production and recording is definitely more noticeable than their early stripped down affairs. This is the very definition of a good record. Nothing special, nothing bad, but a perfectly serviceable record to put on when you want a change of pace.
The Flamingo Edition was only sold on the Mexican Summer website. It comes gift wrapped in flamingo wrapping paper. It's actually a really cool idea and I don't know that the picture does it justice, but I am very happy I decided to buy this direct from the label. Plus, I got a bonus 7", but that's for another post.
11/19/12 Update: I don't really do this often, but I wanted to update this. The more I listen to this record the less I like it. I still contend that there are a handful of pretty good songs on here, but the filler ones I mentioned in my initial review, I flat out hate a lot of these songs now. Never a good sign when a record decays over time.
The Soft Pack - Strapped:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Inspired by the recent Sugar reissues, I started looking around for the 1 Sugar 7" that has eluded me all of these years, the Gee Angel Live Promo 7". Lo and behold, I found a copy and even got it pretty cheap. $6 is nothing to take a record off the wants list. To be honest, there's nothing all that special on this 7". Good live versions of Gee Angel and Clownmaster. Not essential, but something I needed to complete the collection. Plus unlike yesterday's Jealous Sound record, at least the songs aren't the exact same version of what is on the full length. Not to mention, Gee Angel is my favorite Sugar song.
I was reading about some Sugar vinyl box set that's coming out in the UK that I believe has an exclusive 7" in it. I'm going to have to look into that. I certainly don't want to buy a box set of records just for 1 7", but I've done crazier things before...
Sugar - Gee Angel (Studio Version, couldn't find this live version anywhere):
Monday, October 8, 2012
The Jealous Sound / Daytrader - Split 7" - Tan Vinyl, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
This was meant to be a tour only 7" released for these 2 bands going on tour. Well, lucky for me the label then put some for sale on their website so I grabbed a copy right away. It's pretty disappointing to get the record int he mail only to discover that The Jealous Sound song is also on their full length. What's the point of this 7" even existing? For the Daytrader song? Who could care about that?
Additionally, this came shrink wrapped, and I somehow managed to screw up the top left side of the record cover when I was trying to open it. Shrink wrapping 7"s is so unnecessary. But since this 7" is also unnecessary, I guess it makes perfect sense in some way. Regardless, even though I'm annoyed I damaged the record a little bit, I'm certainly not about to go buy a 2nd copy of a record that has no purpose.
The Jealous Sound - This Is Where It Starts:
Daytrader - Rita (Live):
Friday, October 5, 2012
Seaweed Friday is back, for our last week for a while I imagine. This record represents the very last Seaweed piece of vinyl that I needed. I only wish it had arrived in time for last week so there wouldn't have been a week gap between Seaweed posts. What started out by picking up a record on a lark to give the band another chance turned into rediscovering one of the great bands of the 90s that I had previously written off for reasons I sure don't understand at this point. I now have a copy of every one of the band's records. There's a couple of compilation 7"s I want to pick up and I'll probably grab a few variants here and there, but the basic core of the collection is complete, and that's a good feeling.
Musically, this is a 7" compilation, so I have the songs already. It's the early days of Seaweed when the band showed a lot of promise, but was not releasing anything close to as exciting as what they achieved on Weak and Four. Still, it is nice to listen to everything all at once on an LP. Thanks for following along while I amassed this collection. I wounder who the next band will be. Any suggestions?
Seaweed - Deertrap:
Seaweed - Patchwork:
Thursday, October 4, 2012
In The Red (2002)
While we're on the Blues Explosion kick, I also recently picked up the Ghetto Mom 7". This is 7" #5 in the Explosion Jukebox Series. Since i had 1 through 4 and #6, it made sense that it was time to grab #5 to complete the series. I found it on Discogs for cheap and there you have it. It's an OK song, it was recorded during the Plastic Fang sessions and has a similar vibe. Good, but nothing amazing. I am excited to complete the series however,
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Ghetto Mom:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Mom & Pop (2012)
One of my favorite records of all time is Orange by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. When that record came out I played it to death. Hit after hit after hit. BLUES EXPLOSION! I've spent the last almost 20 years waiting for them to put out another record that good. While I wouldn't say that Meat and Bone reaches the level of Orange, it's easily the best thing that the band has done in a long, long time.
There's energy on this record. Frenzied, manic, rock & roll energy. The songs just fly by with driving percussion and great back and forth guitar play between Jon Spencer & Judah Bauer. If I had a qualm, it's that I wish the production was a bit cleaner. There's more vocal distortion than I would prefer and the recording seems a little cluttered to me. But that doesn't take too much away from the killer songs on Meat & Bone. Is this record perfect? No, but it probably the best Blues Explosion record since Orange and is certainly one of the better albums of the year. Blues Explosion!
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Meat & Bone:
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Nude Beach Records (2012)
Yeah, this is the first pressing that the band released themselves, not the new reissued version on Other Music/Fat Possum, so that's nice. I've been sitting on this record for a little bit, not exactly sure what I wanted to say about it. I could throw out some of my favorite adjectives like poppy and catchy, but if you really want to boil down the essence of this band, all you really need to know is they sound just like early era Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. That's a compliment, because this record is outstanding.
It's one of those records that just feels warm and comfortable, like an old friend. I don't have the bands first record, I remember checking out a stream of it somewhere and not being too impressed, I should probably revisit. But with II, this is a band I will be looking out for going forward. It is simply a great record.
Nude Beach - II:
Monday, October 1, 2012
2nd single from the great Blank Pages, a band formed from the ashes of the dearly missed Idle Hands. Though there are absolutely similarities between the 2 bands, on this new single, Blank Pages take a turn to the darker side of the Wiper catalog. The A-Side is a energetic, downstroke heavy song, with something of a sinister overtone. The B-side is more upbeat, with a punchy anthem of a chorus. Though I still miss Idle Hands, the more I hear from Blank Pages, the more I eagerly await a full length record from them.
Blank Pages - Blind Faith 7":