Category Archives: New Additions

So, I guess I got to make some space…

I realised that I haven’t posted anything in a while.  I’ve just been a bit busy with some other stuff and I just can’t seem to find the time, or motivation, to get around to writing something here.  Truth be told, I’ve wondered whether or not just to quit posting, as I’d still feel part of the community; what with all the conversation off the back of interesting posts elsewhere.  But, y’know, here I am.

I recently bought some more of those nice ‘dust sleeves’ to put the vinyl in and I thought “maybe I’ll post a wee ‘here’s some new records’ type of post”.  I also spent a bit of time going through the collection.  I realised that I have a few of albums I don’t really bother with, cause I really kinda forgot that I had them.  There’s also a ton of stuff that I haven’t really gotten to yet… and there’s some stuff that I really should get to.

Anyhoo, what are the new additions?

Mythic Sunship – Upheaval

Yup, it’s that El Paraiso lot again.  Some incredible stuff on this one (naturally) and seriously, this is the soundtrack to Kaiju and Jaeger’s flattening cities.  I suggested this one to a pal of mine and he said it reminded him of yon Godspeed You! Black Emperor lot.  I don’t get that myself, right enough, but that should please some of you Canadialanders.

Walking Papers – WP2

As much as I loved the first Walking Papers album, this took me by surprise.  It’s really pretty brilliant… the sound of that first album replaced with all sorts of one-two punches.  And they roll with them.  It’s great hearing Duff McKagen’s playing on this kind of album and it highlights just how good that guy is.  Not just cause he’s Duff McKagen, but cause he’s one of the best bass players out there.  Fact.  As well as having some excellent lyrics (again) Angell’s playing is focussed and intense and Barrett Martin, as always, lays down some incredible percussion.  I’m really hoping the GN’R reunion doesn’t spell the end for these guys, cause it sounds like they’re just getting started.

Sacri Cuori – Douglas & Dawn / Rosario

Two Sacri Cuori releases that I didn’t previously own on vinyl.  Only cause I wasn’t vinyl daft at the time and instead opted for the smaller, compact disc variety.  Anyhoo, I found these cheap and I figured now was the time to buy them, as Sacri Cuori are brilliant and, regardless of how much I like them, I just keep liking them even more.  Although both albums are different sonically and texturally, they’re unmistakably the work of Antonio Gramentieri.  Plus, the Rosario cover was always one of the most beautiful looking in my CD collection.

Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance

I don’t think I’ve ever really spoke much about the Drive-By Truckers.  They’re a ridiculously talented bunch of songwriters and we’ve obvioulsy been seeing that over the last few years with Jason Isbell’s solo stuff.  Well, Patterson Hood has a couple, too.  The last of which was this one.  And it’s brilliant.  I dare say I love it more than Isbell’s stuff… but they’re different in subtle ways.  Anyhoo, the Isbell praise got me thinking how I’d love to own this one on vinyl.  I happened to find a copy cheap.  So here it is.

Blind Melon – Soup

Quite possibly my favourite purchase this year so far.  I was delighted to see this was reissued fairly recently, as I’ve been waiting for it since the reissue of the debut a few years back.  Turns out that it was reissued by not one, but two labels within months of each other.  I opted for the slightly more expensive remastered Analog Spark release over the Music On Vinyl one, cause I had read such good things about it.  I ordered from a US based seller on Discogs (with very, very reasonable postage costs) so it took a few weeks for it to arrive.  As you can imagine, I was pretty excited when it did, but I was a bit disappointed by some tearing on the front cover.  I hummed and hawed about sending it back (helluva wait, copies now more expensive), but the offer of a part refund, meant that all in all it cost me £14 and change.  How does it sound?  Great.  Genuinely pretty brilliant.

Damien Jurado – Where Shall You Take Me?

This is the 10th Anniversary Edition of my favourite Jurado album.  This 2 LP set includes some bonus material (a handful of reel to reel demos and the Just In Time For Something EP that was never made available on vinyl) and, while I’m not sure how often the second slice of vinyl will be played, I can tell you that the main album has already received a couple of spins.  This also happens to be an album that my wife is fond of, too… so it was extra special adding this one to the collection.

Blind Melon – Tones of Home EP

This was a surprising gift from my pal.  The second side includes very different tracks than advertised, and as much as I was looking forward to hearing the live version of Drive, I’m happy with the alternatives (a live version of Time – likely recorded at The Ritz in 1992 – and the unreleased Wooh D.O.G).

Earthless – Black Heaven

The (very early) contender for album of the year.  It’s like Black Sabbath meets The Black Crowes.  Can you imagine that?  It’s one that really gets its hooks in you and I dare say it will win them some new fans.  As I said elsewhere, there are plenty vocals, but the guitars still scorch the Earth.

As always, I’ll have plenty more to say about these when I get the chance.  Feel free to let me know whether you have any of them, dig them / don’t dig them, and tell me what the Hell you’ve been buying and gotten excited about recently.

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“Man, this looks great”: December Record Round Up

Happy New Year, folks!  Figured a post about some new additions was a suitable first post of the year.  Just so happens that one of them is one of my favourite additions of 2017, while the other is my favourite addition of 2018 so far (arrived just last week).  So, here goes.

*edit: I forgot Duran Duran’s Rio*

Nicklas Sørensen – Solo

It was my good buddy, and El Paraiso Records enthusiast, JH who recommended this one.  Had I heard it when it was released, I’m fairly certain it would have made my best of 2016 list.

I snapped this up cheap on Discogs on, eh, Christmas Eve (a wee gift to myself, y’know?) and it’s easily one of my very favourite additions to the record collection.

Timing is perfect, too. I get to know this one a whole lot better ahead of the release of Solo 2 (which I need to buy now, right?)

Ash – Live On Mars

Not really recorded on Mars, which is disappointing. In actual fact, it was recorded over 5 nights at the London Astoria 1997. As you can imagine, all the hits from 1977 are included.

Although I don’t listen to much beyond Nu-Clear Sounds, this one was too good to ignore given it was recorded in 97. All the hits are there and the band are on great form. Better still, it was £6. It’s a double LP, translucent red vinyl, and limited numbers, too.

Goon Moon – Licker’s Last Leg

I’ve been after this one a while and I had a wee Amazon voucher to spend, so I decided to ignore all the albums that I had added to my list last year (and the year before) and purchase this one. It arrived a few days ago, but it’s technically a December purchase, hence why it’s here (though I dare say it’ll appear in 2018’s Favourite New Additions round up).

The LP (double) is a really beautiful thing, so I’m glad I ‘upgraded’ from the CD. It’s ‘Moon coloured’ and, though not really representative of the moon, both slices are really quite beautiful. No download code or suchlike, which is okay given I have the CD.

Also, did I mention that this album features a cover of the Bee Gees’ Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You? No? Well… y’know, it does.

Duran Duran – Rio

I’ve always been fond of this one and saw it cheap on, you guessed it, Discogs.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like a few tracks a helluva lot… none more so than The Chauffeur.

And I’m really liking the tracks I knew less well.

I’m also just about done compiling my 2017 favourites lists, so you may well see two posts from me this January! Zoiks!

“Found them on That Discogs”

Two new additions waiting for me when I arrived home from work. Bonus pick-me-ups at the end of a difficult week.

I’ve been after these for a while and decided to snap them up when I saw them on Discogs for a couple of quid (including postage, I got them both for little over £6).

Cruzados – Cruzados

Tito Larriva’s outfit before Tito & Tarantula. I’ve read some interesting stuff about these guys, so I’m looking forward to dropping the needle on this one in particular.

The band also includes Tito & Tarantula’s guitarist Steven Hufsteter and Chalo Quintana, who would then go on to be a Ju Ju Hound).

Van Halen – Fair Warning

My buddy JH’s favourite Van Halen album (he wrote a great piece on it a while back) and Mike Ladano had also recommended that I make it a priority purchase (it scores a 5 over at Mike’s site). So, it might have taken a while, but that’s it in the collection now.

So, aye, more new records. Are you familiar with these? Thoughts?

“Do I really need the Deluxe version…”: The June to November Record Round Up

Been a while since I posted a Record Round Up, so figured I’d do so now.  I love new records… not just dropping the needle, but looking at the artwork, the track listing, the credits, placing the record on the turntable and browsing for the right spot on the shelf.  All that good stuff.  Anyhoo, I realised that it’s been a while since I shared some of my new additions, so here goes.  These made their way into the collection between June and now.

The Very Best – Makes A King

This was an impulse purchase from Fopp one lunchtime.  Mostly cause I liked the cover and it was £3.  Turns out it’s one of my favourite additions.  They’re a Swedish-Malawian duo who create a strange traditional Malawian dance pop thingy.  Even when I think it’s a bit too dance-y for me I’m won over by it’s infectiousness.  Really great stuff.

Danny & The Champions of the World – Brilliant Light

I know I’ve spoke about Danny & Co. before and I’d like to think that some of you have maybe checked them out.  If not, well, it’s not too late.  Brilliant Light is their newest, and possibly, best.  A sprawling double album, which might just be my album of the year.

I’ll jot down some thoughts soon(ish), but here’s a great review from my buddy Paul over at Blabber ‘n’ Smoke.

Duke Garwood – Garden of Ashes

Another new release from of my favourite artists.  Garden of Ashes is really pretty special.  If Heavy Love was scorched and sun-bleached, this one is all smoldering ash.  Again, Alain Johannes and Mark Lanegan handle the mixing duties and they do a great job bringing Garwood’s vocal to the front.

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains

Is this my favourite album of the year?  Who could possibly say.  What I can tell you, though, is that I haven’t spoken with too many folks who have been bowled over by Homme & Co’s most accessible album yet.  I opted for the Deluxe set with the 12″ prints with artwork and lyrics.

I’ve been writing some stuff about this in a notepad and I’m certain I’ll share my thoughts here at some point in the near future, however, here’s two great reviews from my pals Mike and JH.

JH – “the consistency of greatness just isn’t here like you think it should be.”

Mike has been won over.

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

One of my favourite albums from last year.  I had picked up the standard edition when it was released, but had asked myself a few times whether I should have went for the Deluxe set (gatefold and booklet).  That question inevitably led to another question –do I need the deluxe set?  The answer, of course, was yes.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Plastic Fang

I’ve been on something of a JSBE kick over the last while and spotted a copy of my favourite album of theirs.  Now, I know it’s not considered to be their finest moment, but I’ve always loved it.  The CD is a really nice item and I figured the LP would be too.  And it is.  I snapped this up for a reasonable price and the 12″ comic style booklet is in great condition (as are the slices of vinyl).  Probably my favourite purchase this year.

Junior Kimbrough – All Night Long

One of the absolute best, most important, but overlooked bluesmen.  I’ve been after this one for a while and couldn’t resist when I saw this reissue for a tenner.  An all timer.

Causa Sui – Vibraciones Doradas

The new album from one of my current favourite bands.  I was pretty certain I knew what my favourite album this year was until this came along.  It’s all sorts of magnificent.  And on mint green vinyl, too.  Go get some.

I’ve yet to fully get my head around the awesomeness, but my buddy JH shared his thoughts.

Mind that guy?

Back to work today after 6 weeks. A killer. But, I figured the best way to celebrate (and work off 6 weeks worth of jelly beans and Fry’s Creams) was to stretch the legs at lunch and stop by the Record Fayre. A successful trip, too.

Terence Trent D’Arby – Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D’Arby

Been interested in picking this one up for a while. Not an all-timer or anything like that, but a friend and I got talking about him a few months ago for one reason or another (The Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords anyone?) and so when I spotted this I thought “hey, I’m gonna get this”.

Sugar – Beaster

Now here’s an (mini) album. My favourite Sugar release and not one I’ve seen in the wild. Didn’t hesitate to pick this up… probably Bob Mould’s finest moment if you ask me (though I know many of you haven’t and won’t, but you’re here and I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer any potential “what’s Bob Mould’s best moment?” questions).

As always, I’ll report back on these at some point.

Some Like It Hot

My fondness of Duran Duran comes from my fondness of Guns N’ Roses.  Not a link that some would make, so I’ll risk boring those who can make that link by, well, detailing the link.  No need for any of that 6 degrees of separation shenanigans, either.  Here goes… GN’R’s Duff McKagen and Matt Sorum were in the Neurotic Outsiders with Duran Duran’s Johnny Taylor.

Learning about Duran Duran in the early 2000s (as you do), I quickly found out that Johnny Taylor was a) interesting and b) cool.  So too was Andy Taylor.  They were right into their rock and roll.  The Power Station, however, wasn’t really on my radar.  I knew Harvest For The World, but that was about it.  That just really wasn’t my jam.  Anyhoo, I’d seen the album often enough for £2.99 in the Record Fayre over the years and I had been tempted to pick it up, but each time I picked it up I heard the chorus of Harvest For The World.  So the LP went back in the rack.

The Power Station album cropped up during some online social media chat about Andy Taylor’s Thunder and I set off on a journey through the dimly lit alleyways of YouTube.  I decided that Some Like It Hot was one of the greatest songs I had ever heard.  It’s a truly outstanding piece of music.

Typically, the Record Fayre – where I have seen a copy during every single visit over the last several years – no longer had it.  To recap episode #144:

“… ah, the Duran boy? Went a while ago” said the chap as he stood up, “strange, cause I had about 10 of them downstairs… couldn’t give them away for so long”.  By this point he’s flicking through the 80s and 90s LPs.  I told him about how I’ve recently discovered its awesomeness.  He nodded, “I think a few others discovered that too”.  He did look through the Palmer records just to see if a copy was in there.  But there wasn’t.

So, naturally, I cursed the skies and whoever was out buying up 80’s Duran Duran related pop-rock albums.  How very dare they ruin my day life like that!

Fortunately, one of the friends involved in the chat a few months ago happened to have a copy.  He asked me a few weeks ago while we were in the studio working on some musical stuffs if I ever picked it up.  “No”, says I (relaying the tale of woe from episode #144).  “Well, here you go”.

The first side is perfect in every single way.  One of the finest sides of music I have ever heard.

I genuinely love this album and I’ll write more about it when I get the chance.

 

Heavy Meet-up Overload

When I started this whole blogging thing a few years back, the purpose was really just to write about what I was listening to.  I didn’t really give much thought to whether or not folks would be interested enough to enter into discussions and I certainly didn’t imagine that I’d meet a whole bunch of great folks.  Over the last few years I’ve gotten to know a few folk a bit better and I genuinely would call them friends (we even call ourselves friends on facebook and suchlike).

I guess these connections are a positive example of social media actually working.  There’s no bullying and we’re not in the business of radiating genuine negativity.  We’re supportive and, y’know, it’s okay if we don’t agree on some things (I have decided that I don’t much rate AC/DC and I’m of the opinion that the Foo Fighters are no better than Nickelback).

During these last few years I’ve been introduced to a whole bunch of different sounds.  I fell in love with Van Halen, have become a fan of Sloan, rediscovered Iron Maiden, and have explored The Tragically Hip discography (among many others).  The friends I’ve made here have also been generous; sending music my way that they reckon I might dig (Left Lane Cruiser, Sloan’s A-Sides or Gallon Drunk) or know I’d dig (Scott Weiland’s 12-Bar Blues promo, Neurotic Outsiders or The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly).

Anyhoo, last week I met up with Mr HMO at one of Glasgow’s finest public houses.  He was there before me (again) and I found him propping up the bar.  It was another great night filled with laughs and good chat about music, writing, budgie training, oxymorons, and all the good stuff that life throws at us.  He also came with a bagload of records for me.

As I flicked through them I thought “oooft!” (that’s the positive use of the word).  I’m still somewhat overwhelmed by his generosity (I’m not so sure if I traded my soul for these, right enough).

What was in the bag? Well, this lot.

​Honestly, this gift is beyond awesome. So far I’ve enjoyed a hit of Humble Pie, The Allman Brothers Band and Scorpions’ Tokyo Tapes.  As you can see, there’s so much more to delve into! (I’m looking forward to checking out Dokken and Hanoi Rocks and rocking that Maiden live set).

Anyhoo, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m genuinely stoked to have met so many great people here. Folks who not only dig music, but are genuinely engaged with what’s going on with those around them. So thank you to you all.

As our pal Aaron says, Community!

“New records are good, right?”: New Additions

I got some new records last week.  New records are good, right?  They are indeed.

I popped into the Record Fayre on Thursday afternoon determined to snag a copy of The Power Station LP that I’d seen in there during all my visits over the last few years.  Did I find it, though?  No I did not!

“… ah, the Duran boy? Went a while ago” said the chap as he stood up, “strange, cause I had about 10 of them downstairs… couldn’t give them away for so long”.  By this point he’s flicking through the 80s and 90s LPs.  I told him about how I’ve recently discovered its awesomeness.  He nodded, “I think a few others discovered that too”.  He did look through the Palmer records just to see if a copy was in there.  But there wasn’t.

Attention turned to a copy of the Burning Tree album he had priced at £2.  “Never heard of them” he explained ” …came in with a bunch of other stuff”.  Given my enthusiasm for the album, I suggested he change the price.  Told him all about it (stopping short of pointing him towards my piece of blah blah blah a while back).  He nodded approvingly “Is that right?”.  Sure is.

Although there was no Power Station goodness the dig wasn’t a disaster.  I spent £10 on two albums I’ve been after a while – Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Happy Trails (£8) and Guy Clark’s Old No. 1 (£2).  They’re 80s reissues, but they were in great condition (the Guy Clark LP looks like it’s never been played and came with the lyric inner).

Truth be told, I didn’t much enjoy Happy Trails as much as I remembered.  Maybe I just wan’t in the right frame of mind?  Great cover, though.  Plus, J. Jnr. was certainly enamoured by it.  Old No. 1 is brilliant, though (and a record I would have paid over £10 for on Discogs anyway if I hadn’t found it).  So it was a good record buying day.

I also met up with my ol’ pal (and right grumpy bastard™) Craig later on. It was the first time I’d seen him since his band, Dog Moon Howl, launched their new EP and the first chance we’ve had a chance to chat properly for quite some time.  Anyhoo, we discussed all sorts (with a focus on music, vinyl and Steven Seagal) and Craig had explained that he found another Jerry Reed album for me.

Now, there’s a fair chance that an album cover and title combo like this wouldn’t exist nowadays, but the music on here is really pretty wonderful.  Now, I dont know whether I mentioned this before, and I may not have, but Craig had gifted me Reed’s Ko-ko Joe a few years back and it’s established itself as a real favourite in the collection.  It also boasts one of my favourite album covers.  So yeah, I was really pretty delighted about this one (cheers, Craig!)

I got home late, listening to Soundgarden’s Superunknown on the train and thinking “fuck”.  But, y’know, I had records.  Records are good.

Caught in the spell of stormy weather

Did I mention that the new Afghan Whigs album came out last Friday?  I pre-ordered it and, aside from hearing the three tracks shared by the Whigs prior to its release, I managed to avoid the album stream until I got my hands on the LP.  It arrived Monday, so I had a bit of catching up to do.

I’ve listened to this thing a few times (I’ve taken advantage of the digital download post-haste and it’s been the sole soundtrack to my commute the last few days) and it’s a darker record than 2014’s Do To The Beast.  I’m still wrapping my head around it, but it’s a pretty incredible piece of work.  Hearing the three tracks within the context of the album really brought something quite powerful to the tracks that I didn’t appreciate.  I can’t quite explain it, but I know you know what I mean.

The whole thing is wonderful, though.  From the artwork right to the sequencing (spot on and brings out the best in each track).  It’s short too; weighing in at 10 tracks and 36 minutes.  The shortest Afghan Whigs album to date.

Dulli & Co. have made something special.

I dare say I’ll write about this properly, but this is an album of the year contender for sure.

 

“Check on Amazon cause it’d be roughly that much”

 

So, Mark Lanegan Band‘s Gargoyle was released on Friday.  I actually pre-ordered it a while back via that Amazon, but I cancelled the order on Friday as it hadn’t been dispatched and I needed my Lanegan fix.  So, I figured I would nab it while I was in town (I work in the city centre, y’see).  Seeing an opportunity, I heading to the local independent retailer at break (just a 5-minute walk from the office).

Now, I won’t go into it in too much detail, but despite having bought many things from that place over the years, I’ve had reason to avoid it for the last, well, a good few years.  Mostly cause they’re a bit rude and not even in the Jack Black from High Fidelity type of way.  Anyhoo, a few folks I know like the place and I figured I’d give them the benefit of the doubt.  Plus, I was gonna be the winner, cause I’d have Lanegan (plus I would have supported the indie brick and mortar place – go me!).

Anyhoo, I browsed the racks and didn’t see it.  Actually bumped into a chap I know who was also looking for it.  He was buying something else, so I ventured to the till with him and we enquired about it.  Hadn’t come in yet.   I could have visited another one of the record stores, but I thought I’d get it there if he was expecting it, so I asked the likely price (as you do).  Incredibly, he didn’t know!  What?  Don’t be absurd, I thought.  He actually suggested I “check on Amazon cause it’d be roughly that much”.  Clearly inconvenienced by the question (despite there being only two of us in the store).  I really shoulda said I would do that and I’d order it there while I’m at it, but I looked at my fellow Lanegan hunter and wished him well.

Fortunately, my fellow Lanegan hunter dropped me a line to say it was in Fopp for £20.  Pretty much the exact price it was on Amazon.  So, I got it.  Go me.

So much for supporting your local independent record store.

As for the album, well, initial thoughts are that The Guardian / The Observer are easily impressed.  It’s good, but, well, I keep hoping for one of Lanegan’s dusty records.  Don’t get me wrong, while there’s nothing as great as Phantom Radio’s I Am The Wolf or Torn Red Heart, it might just be more consistent overall.  There are some nifty vibes and a few outstanding songs… but I suspect it’ll really start revealing itself over a few listens.