Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Actual Water - She's A Priest 7"

Plastic Idol (2012)

What sold me on this band initially was their connection to Marvelous Darling/Young Governor leader Ben Cook. He recorded this 7" and went to bat for the band. That lead me to picking up the band's first release the Latoya lathe cut flexi that was released on Scotch Tapes Records (A label that disappeared into the night with a pile of my money for a club subscription that never happened).

Well, Lotoya finds its way onto the B-side of this 7" and sounds better than it ever did on that lathe. The A-side, She's A Priest is the hit on this record for me though. It's such a fun bouncy song with a great riff and big hooks. I would say that sound a bit like the band Mother's Children and perhaps similar to the aforementioned Marvelous Darlings as well. Plastic Idol only pressed 330 of these 7"s, so you best grab it quick if this sounds like something up your alley.

Actual Water - She's A Priest (via Bandcamp):

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blank Pages - Unseen 7"

Blank Pages - Unseen 7" by Tim PopKid
Blank Pages - Unseen 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Taken By Surprise (2011)

One of the best records I bought in 2009 was the debut LP by a band from Germany called Idle Hands. Sadly, that band has broken up, so I'll never see a follow-up. But, a new band has risen from Idle Hands' ashes and that band is Blank Pages. They're definitely going down the same path that Idle Hands were and are playing downstroke heavy Wipers tinged punk rock with killer hooks. To me, the main difference between the bands is that Blank Pages are working in a slightly slower tempo, and I can say I actually think it's an improvement. The songs have a bit more time and everything doesn't just fly by, it has time to sink in. This is a fantastic debut 7" and I eagerly await more rock from this band.

Blank Pages - Unseen 7" (Via Bandcamp):

Monday, February 27, 2012

Billy No Mates - Duck Duck Goose LP - Yellow Vinyl

No Idea (2012)

Billy No Mates is the other band that Duncan from Snuff has been doing for quite a while. Even though the previous Billy No Mates albums all had some great songs on them, Duck Duck Goose is probably the best and most consistent album that has been released under this moniker. While some of my usual complaints about Billy No Mates do come up on this record (Wish there were a couple more super poppy songs, a few too many songs have really noticeable double vocals), there are way more hits than misses this time out. In fact, this would have been a great follow up to the last Snuff album, Disposable Income. With Snuff back in the studio, hopefully cranking out another masterpiece, you can absolutely get your fix with Duck Duck Goose while you're waiting.

Billy No Mates - In Between The Truth And Dreaming:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tenement - Napalm Dream - Double Cassette /100

Drugged Conscience (2012)

As always, I tend to get annoyed with tapes, but here's an instance where it was really done right. First off, I already own the album on LP, so cassette isn't my only option. 2nd, they went all out and made a custom box with new artwork. Finally there's an entire extra cassette with 19 tracks of demos and unreleased songs. Plus it's limited to 100 copies and was only $10. That is how it's done, future cassette labels. This is how you get me to buy a cassette and not complain about it.

So the maim album itself, Napalm Dream, is one of the very best records from last year. Go get it right away in whatever format you prefer. The 2nd cassette of demos is what I'm here for. For the most part, they're rougher versions of the album tracks, some have different solos or vocal arrangements and there's a few out and out unreleased tracks. It's a really cool listen, though at the end of the day, I'll probably grab the few unreleased songs and only go back to those repeatedly. I believe this is sold out already, but if you happen to stumble across a copy, especially at a good price, it's definitely worth grabbing.

I can't find any of the demo tracks online to link to, but the band is streaming the entire main record on their Bandcamp page.

Tenement - Napalm Dream (via Bandcamp):

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mr. T Experience / Gigantor - Split 7" - Clear Orange Vinyl /500

G Force Records (1999)

You can absolutely file this under "Huh, I had no idea this record came out," but I guess this actually came out way back in 1999. I'm not totally surprised I missed it, by then I was starting to lose interest in the Mr T Experience a bit (And I've never been much into Gigantor at all, truthfully). The 7" is really for MTX completists only as the one song on the 7", King Dork, is also on the extended version of the ...And The Women Who Love Them CD. But who am I to judge people that buy records just to complete their collections...

Speaking of which, the Mr. T Experience is definitely a band that I'll be featuring in a collection photo at some point as I have an awful lot of records by them. So, stay tuned for that.

The Mr. T Experience - King Dork:

(Even though I don't have much to say about Gigantor, I did look for their song that's on this 7", but couldn't find it anywhere, sorry)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Archers Of Loaf - Vee Vee LP - Green Vinyl w/ Pennant

Merge Records (2012 Reissue)

While for me, Vee Vee never quite reaches the heights of Archers' debut record, Icky Mettle, Vee Vee is easily the 2nd best album in their arsenal. They're still playing bombastic noise filled pop songs, chugging away beneath Eric Bachman's raspy howl. Truly great stuff, but for me, this was the last Archers of Loaf record that I loved. Everything that followed Vee Vee was a notch below, but instead of dwelling in that doom & gloom, let's celebrate what a great record Vee Vee is.

Merge's reissue is pretty good. Green vinyl, I like it. Re-done artwork, looks pretty good. I like the original art better, but I do really like it when labels make reissues definitively different than the originals. Where Merge drops the ball is the same way they dropped the ball on their Icky Mettle reissue. The CD version has an entire 2nd disc of bonus tracks, on the vinyl these tracks are relegated to download only status. That infuriates me. I cannot imagine there is a single person buying this album that wouldn't have happily paid more for a 2xLP with all the bonus tracks. Lame Merge, very lame. But on the plus side, kudos to Merge for making the pennant again, I'm going to hang it up at work and mystify my co-workers...

Archers Of Loaf - Harnessed In Slums:

Archers Of Loaf - Greatest Of All Time:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Stereo - Three Hundred LP

Another album that has been in the collection in CD form for quite some time. It was not a priority to get on vinyl, but when I come across a good deal, I'm not going to pass it up. I loved this record when it came out in 1999, but for me it was a record with diminishing returns. Once you heard the big hooks and choruses repeatedly, they started to lose their appeal for me a bit. Don't mistake that for me saying this isn't a good record, it is a good record, with a handful of great songs, it just doesn't have the kind of long lasting appeal that other records have had for me (Also, live the singer did lots of weird hand motions and pointing to things when he played, so that threw me off a bit back then as well).

Still, I'm not sure there are any bands right now putting out slickly produced pop records as good as this, so if you've never heard The Stereo, I would definitely check them out.

The Stereo - Devotion:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Royal Headache - Eloise 7"

Royal Headache - Eloise 7" by Tim PopKid
Royal Headache - Eloise 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
R.I.P. Society (2010)

The 1st Royal Headache 7" that came out before their 1st album. I was a little late to the party, so this guy was long sold out by the time I was hipped to this band's full length at the very end of last year. One Sunday night a couple of weeks ago the band threw a few of these 7"s up on their webstore. Of course, I jumped at the chance and happily paypalled some money down to Australia. It's a good thing I did too, as these 7"s sold out in what seemed like minutes later.

I don't know that this is as strong as the band's full length, even though 2 of the songs from this 7"s are also in the full length. The recording quality is a little rough, at least where the vocals are concerned. Even though the LP is far from what I would call slick, that record really showcases what a soulful and dynamic singer the band has. it's a bit muddier on the 7". Songs are good, but the production keeps them from being great. Still, happy to add the record to the collection, and for now I'm up to date and complete on this band. Hopefully they put out some more records for me to chase down very soon.

Royal Headache - Eloise (via SoundCloud):
Royal Headache - Eloise by Bears and Bullets

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lookouts - One Planet One People LP

Lookout Records (1986)

This LP right here is Lookout #1, the first release of what became one of my favorite record labels as a younger guy. Granted, the reputation of this label was eventually sullied (by releasing records by bands like The Reputation, ironically), but there was a time where this label was just cranking out hit after hit after hit.

For me, having this record is like having a little piece of history and that's the main reason I picked it up and will keep it in the collection. As far as the music goes, it's not for me. At least it's not for me now. Maybe i would have enjoyed it more when I was younger, but it's pretty much a bunch of super short, super fast punk songs. I guess they're kind of poppy, but most are over so quick it's hard to tell. Lyrically, not blowing my mind either.

Regardless, I'm psyched to have this record as part of the collection. Like I said before, it's a little piece of history and sometimes that's enough to warrant a little bit of shelf space.

Lookouts - One Planet One People (First 1/3rd of the album):

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Collection: Built To Spill 7"s

Time for another collection picture, this time focusing on a long time indie rock favorite, Built To Spill. The first Built To Spill record I bought was out of the used bin at Flipside Records in NJ. I took a chance on the So & So So & So From Wherever Wherever 7" for 2 dollars. Well, I'm sure you can see by the picture above that I was immediately taken by this band and set out to get everything else. As Built To Spill has grown and changed over the years, they're one of the very few bands that has never lost me. I can always appreciate the direction they're going and while I don't think that they're one of the better live bands I've seen (a bit too jammy for me these days) their records are pretty flawless.

Built To Spill - Car / Girl - Face The Music -Green Vinyl
Built To Spill - Car / Girl - Face The Music - White Vinyl
Built To Spill - Joyride - K - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - So And So So And So - Saturine - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Distopian Dream Girl - Up - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Car / Scarin - City Slang - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - In The Morning - City Slang - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill / Marine Research - Split - K - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Untrustable - Warner - Clear Vinyl
Built To Spill - Center Of The Universe - Warner - Clear Blue
Built To Spill - Center Of the Universe - City Slang - Black
Built To Spill - Strange - Warner - Clear Blue
Built To Spill - Conventional Wisdom - Warner - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Don't Try / the Source - Warner - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Water Sleepers - Warner - Black Vinyl
Built To Spill - Ripple - Warner - Picture Disc
V/A - Spunk Issue 6 - Spunk - Black Vinyl

Missing: Actually, I don't believe I'm missing anything. If you know of any wacky variant that's not in my picture here, let me know.

Built To Spill - So and So So and So from Wherever Wherever:

Built To Spill - Joyride:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sonic Avenues - Television Youth - Blue Vinyl (/200) & Black Vinyl

Dirtnap Records (2012)

2012 is starting off really strong if you ask me. and things don't come much stronger than the 2nd Sonic Avenues album, Television Youth. I absolutely loved their first record that came out on Going Gaga records in 2010 and the new one picks up right where the first one left off. Insanely catchy and the band has such a crazy knack for chord progressions. They never go where you're expecting them to go, but the results are always fantastic.

They get compared to the Marked Men a lot, probably because both bands employ similar distortion on their vocals and both have a well deserved reputation for high energy songs. Where I find they differ is that the Marked Men tend to push a more aggressive attack, while Sonic Avenues have a penchant for soaking their songs, especially the choruses, in melodies. No matter how you slice it, both bands are at the top of their game and I feel pretty comfortable in saying that as of right now, Sonic Avenues are in the lead for album of the year.

Sonic Avenues - Television Youth (2 Songs via Bandcamp):

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dan Sartain - Crimson Guard LP /200

Cass Records (2012 Reissue)

Though I do have a copy of the original pressing of this album (, as something of a Dan Sartain super fan and completist, I had to pick up this new reissue put out by Cass records. Like the original, this version is limited to 200 copies and the artwork is hand stamped on to the cover. It was a bit pricey at $30 shipped, though the odds of finding an original at all, let alone at that price are pretty much non existent. That being said, for $30, the least they could do is put the track list or something on the otherwise blank back cover of this.

Musically I love these Dan Sartain songs. Early demo quality recordings, full of youth & exuberance. Sartain's trademark rock-a-billy swagger and soulful crooning on top of slick guitar riffs and just the right amount of fuzz and feedback. At the end of the day, I'm pleased with this purchase and can only hope it leads to someone reissuing Dan Sartains other lost album, Romance In Stereo, on vinyl as well.

Dan Sartain - Walk Among The Cobras:

Dan Sartain - Telegram Sam:

Dan Sartain - A Place To Call My Home:

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full Of Blues LP (w/ a long story about childhood)

Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full Of Blues LP (w/ a long story about childhood)
The top picture is my original copy that I have had since I was a kid, the bottom
picture is the new copy I just picked up on eBay.
Atlantic Records (1978)

This will be a bit lengthy. You probably would not be looking at this website if it wasn't for this record. I may not have even ended up with a record collection if it wasn't for this record. I imagine that virtually no part of my life would be what it is now if it wasn't for this record. This is the very first record I ever owned. The picture on top is my original copy that I've had since I was 3 or 4 years old. I have never not had this record going back as far as my brain can recall. I was obsessed with this album. I listened to it nearly every day for years and years.

The record player I had when I was a kid was this giant beast. It was called the Disco Dance Machine. It sat on the floor and the bottom half was all speakers. Then on top was the turntable itself as well as a wired microphone so you could sing along. Which I did. Often.

Disco Dance Machine
A picture of me getting my Disco Dance
Machine record player for my birthday.
I made a tape of Briefcase Full of Blues on my Fisher Price tape recorder. It was one of those lunchbox sized tape players with a microphone, so I had to hold it up next to my record player and be really quiet so I could record the best possible version. I would then put the tape recorder in my bedroom window and play it as loud as I could so my neighbors & anyone walking by the house could also hear it. I just wanted to share this music with everyone. 

One year for my dad's birthday I bought him a copy of this record, because in my head I just couldn't think of anything in the world that would be a better gift than that. This is by far the record I have listened to more times than any other.

Sadly, a 30+ year old record, played to death by a 4 year old is going to show some wear and tear. The record doesn't really play well anymore, lots of pops & hissing and a couple of pretty minor skips, but it's scratched up to bits and the cover is severely mangled. Now, I would never get rid of this record, you'd have to pry it from my cold dead hands, but I've been thinking for a while that it was time to get another copy so I can actually listen to this on vinyl again. Well, I was trolling around eBay and I came across a fellow that was selling a copy of the record still sealed! And at a pretty cheap price too. So I grabbed it.
I feel pretty much the same when
 I get a new  record to this day

Now, this may upset some record collectors, but the first thing I did was open my new sealed copy. I'm not looking for some wacky "Mint On Card" collectible. This record is likely not worth anything to anyone other than me. I wanted a new clean copy to play. My original tattered LP will be the one that goes unplayed now. Sitting down and listening to this record on vinyl again, a brand new copy with no flaws, was amazing. Everything was so bright and all of the instruments just beamed out of my speakers. It totally brought me back to being a child, squirreled away in my bedroom, listening to the Blues Brothers. A magic moment. 

Musically, this album gets a lot of flack from critics & historians. Some call it a joke; two actors singing old songs. But you know, they surrounded themselves with some of the greatest rhythm & blues musicians of all time. This record just smokes from start to finish. The band is so tight, John Belushi is so obviously having such a blast singing these songs and Dan Aykroyd legitimately plays a hell of a harmonica. This record is what opened my eyes to Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett and everything that went on in the Stax world of the 60s. Not only that, but it was my very first taste of how a record, how music, could just really affect you.

Again, I apologize for the lengthy, somewhat sappy nature of this particular entry, but I just wanted to convey how incredibly important this album has been over the years. Just typing this makes me want to go out and buy more records!

The Blues Brothers - Rubber Biscuit (not the exact version from the record, but it's all I could find):

The Blues Brothers - Almost:

The Blues Brothers - B Movie Boxcar Blues:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Little Cuts - Plastic Disaster 7" - Red Vinyl /200

Dirtnap Records (2011)

Fronted by Dave Hernandez, a man who has served time in Scared of Chaka and the Shins, this Little Cuts 7" is nothing if not diverse. The A-Side & title track is a 50's throwback, with a sound that builds up with treble-y guitar along with borderline doo wop vocals. The 2nd track, He Finally Must Eat His Own, takes a catchy guitar riff for the verse, builds it up and then breaks the song into chaos during the chorus. The last track, RRHS, is a super sped up shouty assault. It's kind of a crazy ride over the course of 3 songs, but somehow it manages to work. I dig the title track the most personally, and if the band keeps putting out records, I hope that's a sound they spend more time exploring.

Little Cuts - Plastic Disaster (via Sound Cloud):
Little Cuts "Plastic Disaster" by 230MP3

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Steve Adamyk - Goodbye California CD

Lost Cause Records (2003)

So like I said yesterday, here's a little surprise. An artifact lost in time. The very first Steve Adamyk CD (before there was a THE or a BAND) from 2003. It was released on a label called Lost Cause records, but that's about all of the information you're probably going to find about this record online. The only other hits that I found were a few college radio station playlists and message board posts from way back when.

Now, if you are expecting this to sound just like the more recent Steve Adamyk Band releases, you're barking up the wrong tree. This came out nearly 10 years ago and Steve Adamyk has had 10 additional years of perfecting his craft. What this CD does show is a time capsule, a work in progress. You can absolutely hear echoes of what is to come. From the dynamic chord progressions to the slick use of backing vocals, the pieces are here. There's some great songs on here, and a few that seem like Steve was still finding his way. Regardless it's an absolutely fascinating listen, especially if you are as obsessed as I am with the current incarnation of the band.

Sadly, I cannot find any of these songs streaming in any capacity and as I said when I started posting song links, I don't find it to be my place to be uploading anyone's music. But I will provide the track listing, who knows, if you search around, you may get lucky.

Track list:
1. 3 Miles And Back
2. Makeshift Lane
3. Got A Light
4. I'm Only Inspired By My Own Self Destruction
5. I Need Fire
6. Automated Man
7. Strychnine
8. Reality Dan
9. Without You
10. Celebration

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Steve Adamyk Band - S/T CD & Forever Won't Wait CD - JapaneseVersions

Waterslide Records (2011)

I don't buy a ton of CDs these days, and I really am a vinyl guy at heart but there's 2 reasons why I had to pick up these CDs. 1: I am hunting down every single variant of every Steve Adamyk Band release there is. And 2: I'm a sucker for Japanese CDs. I love the Obi, I love the lyrics printed in Japanese. The cool factor is just through the roof for me. If you've been paying attention at all to this website or anything I have posted on twitter you have to know how amazing I think these 2 records are. Easily 2 of the best records of the last couple of years and if you haven't already bought them, I don't know what else to say other than you are a fool.

For the folks that already know this band, I've got a fun treat that I'll be posting tomorrow, so stay tuned. It'll be like when they found all of those lost Honeymooners episodes...

The Steve Adamyk Band - Your Only One (from S/T):

The Steve Adamyk Band - Forever Won't Wait (from Forever Won't Wait):

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sloane Peterson - Why Go Out LP /300

Dead Broke / Art of The Underground / Hip Kid / Hang Up (2012)

A band that is sadly releasing their debut full length after they have already broken up. I give credit to all of the labels involved who ensured that this received a proper vinyl release and kept this great record from ending up as MP3s floating around in the ether. Sloane Peterson put out a handful of 7"s over the last couple of years that really caught my ear and had me eagerly awaiting more music. Catchy, energetic punk pop with a slightly nasal-y lead singer that really just sounded great. This LP is more of the same and it's a real shame that the band isn't going to keep going. As mentioned, there's only 300 of these pressed, with screened covers. While not a huge band by any stretch of the imagination, they have a good little following, so if you are interested, I'd grab a copy sooner than later.

Sloane Peterson - Why Go Out (Full Album Stream from BandCamp):

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grass~Show - Something Smells Good In Stinkville LP

Food Records (1997)

This is something of an oddity, and I really just happened to stumble across this band. I was on eBay, doing what I normally do, looking for records. Well, I was searching for Wannadies LPs, and a listing for this album came up. The listing said they were from Sweden and the record came out in 1997, so I started looking into the band a bit more online. Well, sure enough, these fellows sound an awful lot like the Wannadies to me. Perhaps the songs are a little more polished, a little bit more simplistic and kind of screaming for mid 90s radio airplay, but I have no problems at all with a nice slick pop record. A mild warning, there is a pretty goofy Ace of Bass cover that sneaks up on you in the middle of the record, but even that is kind of fun if you remember the context that this record is 16 years old, and wacky covers were 16 years less overdone than they are now.

Grass~Show - 1962:

Grass~Show - Out Of The Void (Live-ish?):

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wormburner - S/T LP

Wormburner - S/T LP /200 by Tim PopKid
Wormburner - S/T LP /200, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Tapes Not Bombs (2011)

There's something about this record that makes me think of old times. Something that just feels mid 90's to me. I don't know that I can say that Wormburner is aping the sound of another, older band, but there's just something about their music that takes me back a bit. Though Wormburner's songs are at a faster tempo and significantly more poppy, aesthetically they really remind me of the band Boys Life. I don't know that a huge Boys Life fan is going to read that, buy the Wormburner record and then tell me I'm out of my mind, but both records just take me to that same place. That being said, I probably like this Wormburner LP better than Boys Life due primarily to the aforementioned faster tempo and poppier songs. I would bet fans of RVIVR may also enjoy. The record itself looks & sounds great, with a super slick glossy cover. Definitely worth a look, but they only made 200 of the, so look fast.

Wormburner - S/T Full Album Stream on Bandcamp:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sick Sick Birds - Chemical Trains 7" - Yellow Vinyl /87

Toxic Pop Records (2007)

Very pleased to see this record sitting in someone's for sale list on a vinyl message board that I frequent. I already had this 7" on black vinyl and I already had the super limited transitional black & Yellow blotchy vinyl (There were only 13 of those). Finally I have the regular limited (if such a phrase exists) version of this 7". Sick Sick Birds are such a great band, and their limited discography is absolutely essential. So far they have this 7", a split 7" and 1 full length, though their 2nd full length is due out very soon. There was a super limited version of their first full length, Heavy Manners, limited to 9 numbered copies, right now that's the last record of theirs that I need, so if you have it and want to part with it, by all means get in touch. Tunes below!

Sick Sick Birds - Chemical Trains (Stream of entire 7" on Bandcamp):