Category Archives: Vinyl Adventures

New Additions: Where’s the Danzig?

It was my Birthday at the end of March there and, naturally, some new records have somehow found their way into my collection (nestling snugly into the ‘need to listen’ pile).

I also decided to pick up an album that’s been on my list a wee while.

What are they?  It’s funny you should ask.

Rainer – Worried Spirits

Fire Records has been releasing Rainer’s albums at a bit of a snail’s pace, though they made some serious progress last year.  I had picked up Barefoot Rock a while back, but I’ve been waiting (im)patietly for my very favourite Rainer album to receive the vinyl release it deserves for a couple of years.  I had contacted Fire Records last summer to query whether it was on the cards and they didn’t let on that there were any imminent plans.  It was only via a vinyl group earlier in March that I learned it had been released… in December!!

Anyhoo, my wife picked it up for me and it was surprising to see that it’s on really lovely sun yellow vinyl.  This replaces an old Demon Records CD copy I had which was somehow misplaced or lost.  I love everything about this one and unreservedly so… from the front cover, the text, the album title, the song cycle.

My only gripe with the Fire reissue is that the track-listing on the back includes tracks that are available only via the download.  The release really could have benefited from a second slice of vinyl for the bonus cuts they’ve included.

Still, I’m not gonna complain, cause I have one of my absolute favourite albums and it sounds pretty brilliant.

These next two were purchased using a wee voucher I had got and they just arrived yesterday.

Earthless – From The Ages

Black Heaven has been on heavy rotation here and I’m on an Earthless kick (no bad thing).  I was looking for a copy of Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky on vinyl, but it was sold out and I thought I’d have a look for their last one instead, cause I wasn’t all that familiar with it cause I never really found the time to sit down and consume all 60+ minutes (30 minutes of that are the title track!).  I’ve yet to drop the needle on it, but I have been consuming all its enlightening glory via the instant download I’d received at the time of purchase and I’m looking forward to hearing how they split that title track!

Jeff Tweedy – Together At Last

This was a bit of a no-brainer, really (though I did ask JH if he’d heard it and if he’d recommend it).  It’s not often you see a record for less than a tenner, let alone one that was a) just released last year, b) by an artist you like a whole lot, and c) features a half dozen of your favourite tunes by that artist’s band.  Together At Last ticks all those boxes (or at least it did when I purchased it).  It’s basically Tweedy and his acoustic guitar performing tracks from his career (Golden Smog and Loose Fur, as well as Wilco).

Admittedly, I had been on the fence about this one, cause, well, I have the songs I really like and didn’t know what benefit having them again would be.  But this is pretty exceptional.  Intimate and fragile… and the versions of Via Chicago, Ashes Of American Flags, Muzzle of Bees, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart and I’m Always In Love are really pretty special.

Lastly, that album I finally decided it was time to pick up?

Screaming Trees – Last Words: The Final Recordings

Like a lot of records, this has been on my list for a long time.  That Mr. Yellowface guy kinda got me looking at copies online.  I spotted one for a tenner on eBay and thought “yeah, it’s time”.  There’s not much to look at – no liner notes or detailed credits, etc – but it’s a lovely slice of red vinyl (and the songs sound amazing).

And that’s it.

I reckon there’ll be something of a record buying break for a while as we weigh up life stuffs.

But I’ll definitely be writing stuff more often, though.

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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.

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.

“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.

I’m so far inside you I’m your silhouette

So, I pre-ordered In Spades today.  What’s that?  Well, it’s only the new album from The Afghan whigs.  The news popped up on one of the social media feeds yesterday and I’ve been hitting the video for the lead single, Demon In Profile pretty hard.

As you’ll no doubt know about me already, I’m a bit of a fan of this band and I’ve been pretty excited about the prospect of a new Whigs album for a while now.  However, I wasn’t expecting one until a bit later in the year, so this has come as a bit of a treat and there’s now a big enthusiastic circle around May 5th.

Here’s a wee bit of what Sub Pop have on their site:

“Cleromancy” isn’t a word one normally finds in rock lyrics. Then again, In Spades – the forthcoming album by The Afghan Whigs, from which the new song “Oriole” hails – is defined only by its own mystical inner logic. The term means to divine, in a supernatural manner, a prediction of destiny from the random casting of lots: the throwing of dice, picking a card from a deck. From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery.

On the one hand, In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording.

Sounds pretty great, right?

Well, I thought so.  I also reckon the first Demon In Profile is a pretty brilliant track.

And the video’s pretty great too.

… oh, and they’re swinging by Glasgow on their European Tour, so that pleases me no end.

Hurrah!

“Look, there’s fluffy bunny rabbits on this one”

I might not have an awfy lot of time, but the time I do have I spend listening to records.  Or talking about my favourite albums or stuff that interests me at that particular time (like Houdini, the performance of my Fantasy Premier League team, the latest Steven Seagal flick, the new Rogue One trailer, or when I’m likely to sit down and watch The Walking Dead or Jessica Jones).  Just stuff, y’know?

I recently bought some new records.  I already mentioned that I was pre-ordering the 20th Anniversary Edition Black Love, so I’ll not say any more about how it’s one of my favourite albums by one of my favourite bands.  It arrived yesterday.  Really pretty excellent looking 3-LP set.  The album remastered and spread over two LPs, which is ideal for an album with that kinda run-time (52 minutes).

The Afghan Whigs - Black Love (20th Anniversary Edition)

Another album that I managed to snap up was Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls of the Soul by Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter.  It’s a fair few years old now, but it’s one I’ve been after a while.  Not one I’ve ever seen in the wild (or was likely to see), but I found it on Discogs for £10.  Another £5 on the postage costs, but even at £15 it was a no-brainer.  Typical of Southern Lord, really.  A great sounding record on a quality slice of vinyl (well, two slices, both pink and peach marbled vinyl, too) and housed in a heavyweight sleeve.  Only 300 of these, so I was mighty chuffed to find a copy.

Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls of the Soul

Anyhoo, these are two swell albums.  Real favourites.  I’ll talk about them a bit more some other time.  Right now I’m gonna listen and catch-up with some of the stuff you guys have been writing that I’ve missed.  I may even have a cup of tea.