Monday, April 30, 2012

Record Store Visit: Flipside II - Pompton Lakes, NJ - Record Store Day2012

Once upon a time I spent more hours in this little hole in the wall record store than I spent almost anywhere else. This store is so intimately intertwined with how my taste in music developed, I honestly couldn't tell you where I would be without it. Of all the places I've been, this is one of the most important.

Back in the 90's my friend Alan worked at Flipside. I used to go and hang out for hours at a time. We'd bs, go through promo CDs (throwing the bad ones into a giant fan resulting in impressive destruction) and just immerse ourselves in all of the great music pouring into the store. It was here where I found out about labels like Crackle, Snuffy Smiles and Rugger Bugger. This is where I first heard Chester Copperpot, Starmarket, Leatherface and so many, many more.

Well, Alan left this store a long time ago, and little has changed. That's not the compliment that it sounds like. Little has changed because the stock hasn't been updated since the 90s. It's literally the same records. Now for some, this will probably be like walking into a treasure room (especially if you're looking for Schleprock 7"s for some weird reason), but for me, it's just nostalgia. Sure I picked up a Flop LP and some cheap Edsel Auctioneer LPs, but for the most part, it was just kind of sad being in this place. It's dirty, it smells kind of funny and the records are really old, but damnit I spent my 20s in this place and I am happy it's still standing even if it's a shadow of its former glory.

Oh and even though this store doesn't seem to advertise in any way shape or form that they participate in Record Store Day, they did have about 12 RSD releases. Nothing worth getting, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bum - The Bum Go Crazy 7" - Red Vinyl

Au Go Go (1992)

Another addition to the Bum collection. Again, when I posted my collection picture of this incredible band, I thought I had caught them all, but no, there were variants out there. I have had the black vinyl version of this record for quite a long time, so it's nice to add a colored vinyl version. Picked it up on eBay for what could probably be considered collector's pricing, but it certainly didn't break the bank. Your Disciple is one of my very favorite Bum songs, though I'm pretty sure the version on this 7" is the same as what's on their LP Wanna Smash Sensation.

Bum - Your Disciple:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sick Sick Birds - Gates Of Home LP - Yellow (/100) & Black Vinyl

Toxic Pop (2012)

I have been waiting for this record to come out for such a long time. Sick Sick Birds' 2009 release Heavy Manners was my absolute favorite record of that year. I feel like I've been counting down the days for this one, plus the fact that my record took a bizarre detour to Tennessee thanks to the post office only built my anticipation even more. The end result? I'm not totally sure, to be honest.

I'm sure a lot of what I write is going to be interpreted as me not liking this record, and that's simply not true. I love these songs. They build in such clever ways, catchy in the right parts, yearning in other parts and everything gets a bit quiet at just the right moments. It's a beautifully written album. My issue comes down to the recording. I'm just not thrilled with how the final product sounds.

The thing that gets me is the vocals. And while I don't like the slight distorted effect that is present on a handful of songs, that's not a deal breaker for me (I think the number of Marked Men records I own will back up this claim). I think what I don't like is how loud the vocals are in the mix. They just seem so much louder than everything else. They don't blend into the music, it seems like a lot of times the vocals simply overpower the music. I'm not sure if it was a recording issue or a mixing issue, but I vastly prefer the way Heavy Manners sounded, production wise.

Don't think that means this record isn't worth picking up, it is a really, really good record. I just think with a little knob fiddling, it could have been perfect.

Sick Sick Birds - Gates of Home (Via BandCamp):

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Richard - Here's Little Richard LP - Red Vinyl

Specialty (2012)

Yeah, I know it's a reissue, but it turned out to be a nice, pretty inexpensive way to pick up a clean copy of this record. The red vinyl looks nice too, but for me it was all about being able to grab some classic rock and roll without a destroyed cover and scratched up vinyl. Don't have a lot to say about this record, as I would imagine most people know the hits, but it does bring back a lot of memories of listening to the oldies station on the radio when I was a kid. Also, it's high quality. The cover is super strong cardboard stock and the vinyl is hefty and sounds great, worth picking up if you dig these tunes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Otis Redding / Aretha Franklin - Respect Split 7" - Gold Vinyl

Rhino (2012)

This was one of the only records that struck my fancy on this years Record Store Day list, and since it's pretty much a novelty, I'm sure that speaks volumes for how completely unexcited I was for this year's list. I will say this, I love Otis Redding and I really like Aretha Franklin, and having their versions of the song Respect on a 7" just sounded like a neat idea to me. I still contend that labels haven't really figured out how to do gold vinyl (looks almost green and swampy to me), but as an interesting record to have in the collection, this one fits the bill for me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Record Store Visit: Vintage Vinyl - Fords, NJ - Record Store Day 2012

The 2nd installment in my visiting a record store posts.  While I would like to get out to record stores more often than I do, frankly I just do way more mailorder these days.  So many labels have exclusive versions of their records only available directly from them, and as much as I like supporting the record stores, I also like to support bands and labels as directly as possible.  In an ideal world I'd split my time 50/50, but times have changed since I was young.

Anyway, Vintage Vinyl is a store I am very familiar with.  I've been coming here since the mid 90's.  It was one of those stores that commanded a special trip since it was about an hour away from where I lived at the time.  By far the biggest store in the area, plus they had some pretty smart buyers, so you'd always find something unexpected in the racks.  It's a pretty good mix of vinyl & CDs.  Old stuff, punk stuff, indie stuff and from what I gather a pretty impressive metal section, though that's not really my bag.  Big enough to cover all genres, but smart enough to stock good records in every section.
For the past 4 years, Vintage Vinyl has been my Record Store Day stop. They get more stock than anyone in the area and every year I manage to get just about everything I need there. 2012 was more of the same.

The Record Store Day 2012 releases were pretty underwhelming this year, so for the 1st time in 3 years, I didn't line up early in the morning before the store opened.  I wandered in around 11:30 in the morning and only had to wait in line for about 10 minutes.  Went up to the counter and sure enough, they had 2 of the 3 records I wanted.  Picked up the Little Richard LP and the Otis Redding/Aretha Franklin split 7" (both will have their own posts in the next couple of days). After that I dug around for a bit, but didn't come across anything else that was worth picking up that day.  I did, however, take a fascinating picture of the CD section inside.  At least on this day, there was no one there; everyone wanted vinyl!

This wasn't the only store I stopped at on Record Store Day, but it was the one I went to explicitly for RSD releases.  I also went to another old time favorite, but I'll post about that next week so I have a few days to post about records.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Collection - Chopper - LP & 7"s

Chopper was a great buzzsaw fast punk pop band from the mid 90's that called the UK home. Coming from a scene chocked full of incredible bands, they immediately stood out to me back in the day with their lightning fast guitar playing and super melodic vocals. Though they didn't end up releasing records for an extended period of time, they managed to churn out a nice little discography. The singles are essential and the album is quite good too.

I was pretty lucky and got to see the band play in 1997 (along with Skimmer and Crocodile God) at a show in England, I only wish my Chopper shirt had held together better after all of the washings it went through over the past 15 years.

Chopper - Last Call For The Dancers - Crackle - Black Vinyl

Chopper - Said And Done - Crackle - Black Vinyl
Chopper - Self Preservation Society - Crackle - Black Vinyl
Chopper - Porcelain - Crackle - Black Vinyl
Chopper - For Youth And Valour - Crackle - Black Vinyl
Chopper / Broccoli - Split 7" - Crackle / Rugger Bugger - Black Vinyl - w/ Photocopied Sleeve
Chopper / Blew - Split 7" - Crackle - Black Vinyl - Black and Yellow cover
Chopper / Blew - Split 7" - Crackle - Black Vinyl - Black and Green cover
Chopper / Blew - Split7" - Snuffy Smile - Black Vinyl

Last Call For The Dancers on colored vinyl (I've seen it, but never had the chance to buy it. Get in touch if you have one to sell).

Chopper - One More Day:

Chopper - Porcelain (live, kind of crappy though)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dan Sartain - Too Tough To Live LP

One Little Indian (2012)

First off, kudos to One Little Indian for putting this out on vinyl. When we never got Dan's last album, Dan Sartain Lives, on vinyl, I was worried the label would keep letting me down. But now that we did get Too Tough To Live on vinyl, it would be great for One Little Indian to backtrack and put out Dan Sartain Lives as well.

On to the record. This is a very different Dan Sartain record. It's full of short, fast Ramones-y punk songs. All of which are catchy as hell and delivered with such genuine enthusiasm. It's a fantastic record, and if it were by anyone other than Dan Sartain, I'd be totally thrilled. However, it's a lot different from Dan's usual twangy output and if I'm being truthful, I prefer those songs. Again, not saying anything bad about this record, but I hope Dan goes back to his more soulful material next time around.

Dan Sartain - Indian Massacre:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bum - Debbiespeak 7" - Yellow Vinyl

Lance Rock (1992)

First off, how crazy is it that this 7" came out 20 years ago. Man, I'm getting old. Anyway, this is the 2nd record that Rob from Bum sent me to help fill out my collection. This version of Debbiespeak has a Red & Yellow cover (My copy has a Blue & Yellow cover) and comes on Yellow vinyl. I'm not sure how limited the colored vinyl was, but I had never even heard that it existed, so I'm going to assume it's fairly limited. Someone uploaded Debbiespeak to YouTube, so I'll link that below, it's one of my favorite Bum songs. Thanks again to Rob Nesbitt for hooking me up with this rad record!

Bum - Debbiespeak:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bum / Pingu / Novaks - Magic Teeth Record Number 2 7"

Magic Teeth (1997)

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of what I thought was my complete Bum collection ( ). When I posted it, I ended up getting contacted by one of the singers from Bum, Rob Nesbitt. Rob was kind enough to let me know that I was actually missing a few things. A cover variation here, a color of vinyl there, but the main thing was I was somehow missing an entire 7"! Well, in addition to providing some great information, Rob also went above and beyond the call of duty and sent me 2 of the records I was missing. One of them is the picture above, the 7" that was missing entirely from my collection.

Magic Teeth Record Number 2 came out on the Magic Teeth label and featured 1 song by Bum, 1 song by Pingu and 4 songs by the Novaks. I hate to be unfair to the other 2 bands, but I'm really here for the new Bum song. I'll summarize briefly. The Pingu song is a pretty decenty, slightly lo-fo garagey pop song. It's alright. The Novaks songs aren't terrible, but they kind of remind me of that band that forms in everyone's high school (complete w/ Misfits cover). The Bum song on here is a treat. yet another in their line of awesomely catchy pop classics. That band has always had such a knack for writing incredible hooks.

I can't find a version of this song online anywhere to share, so I'm sorry about that. And I also want to publicly thank Rob again for getting in touch and hooking me up with some amazing records. I'll be posting about the other record her sent me on Monday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snuff / Cokehead Hipsters - Split 7" - Picture Disc

Cokehead Records (2008)

Despite considering myself as someone with a pretty large knowledge base when it comes to Snuff records, I don't really know much about this release at all. I never heard about it when it came out. I don't really know why it came out or anything about the label. I'm going to assume that the band on the flip side, Cokehead Hipsters, released it themselves. Maybe they toured Japan together in 2008? The world my never know.

What I can tell you is that there are only 500 copies of this out in the world and that I've been aware of it for about a year. Been keeping my eyes open and finally was able to grab one. The Snuff side is an old song of theirs from the Not Listening 7" (or CD version of Snuff Said...) and the Cokehead Hipsters is a cover of that song. Not an essential release musically, but when someone with a Snuff tattoo doesn't have one of their records, that's just a crime.

Snuff - That's Enough (Crazy live performance from 1989!):

Couldn't find the Cokehead Hipsters version online anywhere.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Collection: Chisel - 7"s & LPs

These days, Chisel is most famous for being the band Ted Leo fronted before he hooked up with the Pharmacists, but when I was buying these records, Chisel was simply one of the best bands going. Chisel had a jangle-y, mod-pop sound that really stood out at the time and it absolutely formed the basis for the tunes that Ted Leo is crafting these days.

The first album I ever heard by them was 8am All Day, and from the first few notes of the first song, "Hip Straights," I was hooked. I scurried around trying to pick up whatever vinyl I could. And while I still absolutely love everything Ted Leo is churning out these days, I'll always have a special place in my heart for these records

Chisel - Nothing New EL 12" - Gern Blandsten - Black Vinyl
Chisel - 8am All Day LP - Gern Blandsten - Black Vinyl
Chisel - Set You Free LP - Gern Blandsten - Black Vinyl

Chisel - Swamp Fox - Assembly - White Vinyl
Chisel - Sunburn - Gern Blandsten - Black Vinyl
Chisel - The O.T.S. - Darla - Black Vinyl
Chisel / Brian, Colin, And Vince - Split 7" - Sudden Shame - Black Vinyl
Chisel - It's Alright, You're O.K. - Gern Blandsten - Black Vinyl
Chisel / Van Pelt - Split 7" - A.K.A. - Black Vinyl
Chisel / Velocity Girl - Split 7" - Shute - Black Vinyl
Chisel / Tuscadero / Frodus / Bloodnation - Squirrel Compilation 7" - Level - Clear Vinyl

Chisel - Hip Straights:

Chisel - On Warmer Music:

Chisel - The Mutable Mercury:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hex Dispensers - Razorcake Sister Series III 7"

Razorcake (2011)

This 7" is one half of a Sister Series release from Razorcake. The other half is a 7" by Young Offenders, though I haven't picked that up. I will always pick up Hex Dispensers 7"s though (I have another on order from Europe, actually). They play fast, downstroke heavy punk rock in a very similar vein as The Marked Men. However, the Hex Dispensers lyrics are more focused on darkness and evil (In a Halloween sort of way, not in a devil worshiping way). Regardless, 3 great songs, which you can hear below.

Hex Dispensers - Razorcake Sister Series III 7" (Via Bandcamp):

Monday, April 9, 2012

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Relative Ways 12"

Interscope (2001)

When I went to Texas with my wife this past Christmas, she pulled out a pretty substantial stack of records she had received as promo items from various labels when she was the music director at her college radio station. Upon leaving, they ended up in a closet at her parents' house. We dug through them for a while and found some real eBay worthy things in there, but what I also found was this Trail of Dead EP that I didn't have on vinyl.

Let's be honest, musically, it's kind of silly, The 2 awesome songs on the A-side are both on their full length Source Tags & Codes. The 2 songs on the B-Side aren't even really songs, mostly just noisey stuff. But it doesn't matter to me, they're a band I like (Especially this era of their releases), so I'm very happy to put it next to their full length in the collection thanks to my wonderful wife!

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Relative Ways:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rusty James - Save The Last Dance For Me LP

Love (1996)

When I get a new record, it lives at my desk for a while. I have a 12" case and a 7" case there. I take a picture for this website, give it a few high priority listens and the eventually it gets filed into the main collection. When I was going through the records at my desk this weekend and was filing them in their permanent home, I realized I never took a picture of this record when it came into my possession a few months ago. Now, I wouldn't even go so far as to say this record is mine. In my mind I'm just babysitting it for now. @AlanRappa gave me this record so I could make MP3s of it for him (and for me), but he didn't want it back when I tried to return it. Well, rest assured it will be well taken care of while I'm keeping an eye on it for him.

I can't say I know much about Rusty James. They're a German band from the mid 90s. This is the only full length they released, they also released 1 7". I do not know where Alan heard of them originally, but I do remember him looking for this record when we went to England in 1997 (though I can't remember if he actually found it on that trip or if he came across it later). Well I can say that this is a really strong record, and it's sad that the band only released 1 full length. It's super melodic, slightly melancholic rock. You might want to stick that emo tag on it, but they have way more energy than the typical emo band of the time. They remind me a bit of that Australian band Caustic Soda, but Save The Last Dance For Me is far superior to anything that band released. Amazingly I found a couple of songs on YouTube, so you should check them out. The first one has a pretty long movie sample at the start of the track, but trust me it's worth it once the music kicks in.

Rusty James - Birthday:

Rusty James - Bow:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poppets - Do You Know? 7"

Poppets - Do You Know? 7" by Tim PopKid
Poppets - Do You Know? 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Sneakers (1996)

I am having quite the good run finding records lately and hunting down this 7" is the culmination of another decade plus search. Even though few will probably realize how crazy it is to have found this record (aside from @AlanRappa), picking this 7" up is a huge deal to me! I first heard of Poppets from a 7" they released called Down & Out. It was on a Spanish label and boy oh boy did I love that record. I knew they had another 7" and have been looking for it for years. Well, thanks to the want list function on, I was notified that someone had this and put it up for sale. Sure $30 for the record and $18 to ship it from Japan seems like too much money, and for most people, it probably would be. But when I have the chance to grab a record that has been eluding me since 1997, I will happily pay that.

The songs on the record are just what i expected since I have their other 7" and the CD they released in '98. We've got 4 Zoinks!/early Green Day-ish songs from this sadly overlooked Norwegian band. I cannot find any songs from this band (from any of their records) hosted online anywhere, so I am sorry I can't share any of their music. Rest assured that this is good stuff and it really takes me back 15 years or so...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ultramagnetic M.C.'s - Funk Your Head Up LP

Polygram (1992)

I was very pleased to see this record pop up on eBay with a low price tag attached to it recently. I had the CD version of this back in high school. I went to Spain my sophomore year and while on a 7 hour layover in Heathrow airport in London with some classmates, I picked up the CD version of Funk Your Head up at a store in the airport. I absolutely loved it. Such innovative beats, and Kool Keith in particular just had the craziest cadence and delivery. While most people hail Critical Beatdown as the best Ultramagnetic album, I always thought Funk Your Head Up was the one.

Fast forward to 1998, Snuff was staying with me while they were on tour with Less Than Jake. Their guitar player Loz was looking through my CDs and came across this one. I told him he could have it, thinking I'd just pick up another copy. Little did I know it was long out of print, and I'd never see it again. Well, no worries about that anymore as now it takes its rightful place in the vinyl collection, even if the cover is a little beat up.

Ultramagnetic M.C.'s - Poppa Large:

Ultramagnetic M.C.'s - Funk Radio:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Masked Intruder - First Offense 7" - 4 colors of vinyl & box

Hang Up (2012)

I will admit, I'm a sucker for wacky packaging like this. 4 different colors of vinyl (limited to 75 copies for each color) plus a logo box to hold them all (which was limited to 30 copies) PLUS it was only 12 dollars shipped for the whole shebang. That's variant collecting done right, my friends. Masked Intruder seem to be doing a luchadore/burglar gimmick with masks (4 colors - the 4 vinyl colors), but they're playing some pretty catchy & hooky pop punk. I do not like the 2nd track on here, "Stick Em Up," but the other 4 songs are pretty fun. Lyrically the songs are mostly about petty crime, but in a tongue in cheek sort of way. This may get old as the band moves forward, but it makes for a good 7".

Masked Intruder - First Offense 7" (Via Bandcamp):

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Men - Open Your Heart LP - Screened Cover /250

Sacred Bones (2012)

There are so many reasons I shouldn't like this record. Long guitar solos, Songs where the singer yells a lot, a large amount of predominately instrumental tracks. But for some reason, I love this record. It probably helps that there's 3 absolutely killer songs over the course of the LP, but even the ones that I normally wouldn't be into fit perfectly in the context of the album. The album is bristling with energy, slipping into chaos every so often, but it always comes back around and delivers. Definitely one of the bigger surprises for me this year.

Definitely check out the title track, which I have embedded below. I liked this song so much, I went out and hunted down the wacky, limited version of this record.

The Men - Open Your Heart (Via Soundcloud):
The Men - Open Your Heart by sacredbones