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.