Friday, April 30, 2010

Bangles @ Fine Line, 4.29.2010

What a great show. Last night was (according to Vicki Peterson) the opening night of The Bangles' brief Midwest tour. The trio looked amazing, happy, and relaxed as they rocked through a set of tunes spanning from their first LP all the way to the present. Highlights included a **new** song, which appeared to be called "Under a Cloud", a super tight cover of the Nazz song "Open My Eyes", and "September Gurls" (sung by Susanna), dedicated to the late Alex Chilton.

The Bangles 4.29.2010 
Fine Line Music Cafe Minneapolis
Hazy Shade of Winter, Restless, Manic Monday,
Live, Rain Song, If She Knew What She Wants,
Some Dreams Come True, He's Got a Secret,
Here Right Now, Under a Cloud (NEW),
Going Down To Liverpool, Eternal Flame,
September Gurls, Watching The Sky, Open My Eyes,
Get The Girl/Outside Chance, Be With You,
Ride the Ride, In Your Room, Hero Takes a Fall
encore: Walk Like an Egyptian/Magic Bus, Silent Treatment 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On my turntable: Hole - Nobody's Daughter

According to industry sources, the new Hole LP Nobody's Daughter (2010) comes out this coming Tuesday, 4/27.  I wasn't about to argue this point when I saw it in the racks for $11.99 this afternoon at one of my stores. 

Expectations have been pretty high for this record, and I've already seen some disappointing reviews which I'm choosing to disregard. Personally I would have been happy with Celebrity Skin II, but that's not what we got.  Nobody's Daughter sounds like a Hole album should sound, I suppose. It's angry, raw, raunchy, and at times lovely and vulnerable.  There's no denying that "Skinny Little Bitch" is one of the catchiest damn fist-pumping tunes of the year. Other highlights include "Samantha", "Pacific Coast Highway" and "Letter to God". 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On my turntable: Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever

Prior to buying this LP yesterday I doubt that I ever listened to it outside of the record store where I worked in 1989. When you work at a record store there's a fine line that gets drawn between loving an album and wanting to inflict harm upon yourself and others if you're forced to listen to it one.more.time. Full Moon Fever (1989) was one of those albums; It just got played to death.

Hearing it 21 years later I'm able to appreciate it with less tainted ears. In these post-Traveling Wilbury days I'm also able to see how much this sounds like a solo album by Charlie T. Wilbury Jr..  One thing that I like about the album is that it doesn't sound like the Heartbreakers.  I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with the Heartbreakers, I just figure if you're going to make a solo album it should sound different than the band you play with.  Does that even make sense?  I need coffee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

On my turntable: Colin Blunstone - Never Even Thought

One thing that I love so much about Colin Blunstone's early solo works is that they basically sound like Zombies records. Never Even Thought (1978) features Rod Argent on some background vocals, but that's the extent of Zombie involvement. Overall the album is pretty bland, although "You Are the Way for Me" sounds like it could have been a Zombies song (which explains why it's my fave cut on the record).

The musicians on the album are mostly pulled from Toto and Elton John's band, and the record label is Elton's own Rocket Record Company. Despite the album's blandness, I can't complain about having another collection of Blunstone songs in the house. His voice is truly one of a kind, and there's something uniquely special about discovering a whole batch of songs he recorded 32 years ago.

Look through my window

4.23.2010, originally uploaded by jeff's fancy blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On my turntable: Beach Boys - Smiley Smile

Every so often I get a hankering for the soft, drugged-out simplicity of Smiley Smile (1967). I have three different pressings of the record, but I'm not particularly pleased with any of them. There's a Simply Vinyl audiophile pressing that I'll probably buy before the summer's over.

Look through my window

When I got home from work yesterday this is 
what remained of the two houses to the right of ours.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Stone Temple Pilots cover art

Stone Temple Pilots (2010), street date 5/25/2010. 
No word yet on a vinyl version (although I'm hopeful).

Correction: LP available for pre-order!

RSD Revisited

Yesterday afternoon I hit a couple of stores just to see what was left, and it was interesting to see the differences in the product that remained at two different shops. I am so glad I went, because I got a couple of records that I sincerely wanted: R.E.M.'s Chronic Town EP (blue vinyl), and the Stones' "Plundered My Soul" 45.

In super-exciting related news (from the official RSD website):
"The Beatles want to extend your Record Store Day high, and to do that they’re releasing THE FIRST PIECE OF REMASTERED VINYL to participating Record Store Day indie record stores on May 18. It’s a LIMITED EDITION 7” featuring “Paperback Writer” b/w “Rain” and it’s coming to the United States in May."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Record Store Day booty

What a friggin' awesome morning I had.

My Record Store Day started at one of my fave indie stores, Roadrunner.  When I arrived at 8:58 there were already over a dozen customers in the store. I saw the Lennon Singles Bag on the wall, and after not seeing any of the other RSD exclusives I was hunting for decided to venture to another shop .
Although I suspected that the store would be packed, I headed over to Treehouse records. As I approached I could see that my suspicions were right - there was a line of people growing outside of the door, and the store was jam-packed with customers.
Knowing how I tend to get easily annoyed with crowds I briefly debated whether or not to go inside, but then decided it was going to be fun, especially if I found the other records I wanted.  Luckily I made the right choice!
The line leading to the register was already wrapping through the store by the time I got inside. I don't remember the last time I saw so many young people in a record store at the same time, buying actual records!  There were dozens of unwashed 20-somethings there, mostly male, searching for new music on vinyl;  It was so sweet to witness, and something I never thought I'd see again in this lifetime.

By the time I got out of the store I'd found the Ramones and DEVO records I wanted, along with the NEW Hole single  "Skinny Little Bitch" on 10" white vinyl. I called it a day.

Happy Record Store Day!!

Today is Record Store Day!

Record Store Day started back in 2008, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year. Check out the special exclusives being released TODAY at participating stores across the country:  

For those of you who plan to celebrate today at your local shops, I hope you all score some sweet booty for your collections (and let me know what you got!).  As for me, I hope to get my mitts on the Lennon singles box, RamonesMania on blue & green vinyl, and DEVO's new 12", "Fresh". 

Have fun!  Let's keep our record stores alive & thriving!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

On my turntable: The Beatles - Rubber Soul (UK version; 1988 Capitol pressing)

In 1988, around the time when The Beatles UK catalog was initially being issued on CD, Capitol issued vinyl versions of the same albums on vinyl for the first time in America.  The label would release the LPs once again in '95 to maximize on the hoopla surrounding Anthology.  These would prove to be the last domestic pressings of the original catalog on vinyl.

This '88 LP of Rubber Soul is truly one of the best that I have ever heard, and that includes the Mobile Fidelity version.  The clarity is stunning, especially the bass, which seems a bit louder than what I'm used to hearing.  It's interesting to me that Capitol chose to use the original UK stereo mix for this pressing rather than the newer, "modernized" George Martin remix that had just been utilized for the '87 CD release.

1:21 PM

On campus for most of the day today, working on a 
paper and attending a special political psychology lecture.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On my turntable: The Partridge Family Notebook

Overall, Notebook (1972) is more Adult Contemporary than previous Partridge LPs; Missing is much of the original youthful spirit that helped to make earlier efforts such irresistible ear candy. Still, while being far from the Partridges' best work, the album does include a number of excellent tunes that were featured in seasons 3 & 4 of the show: "Friend and Lover", "Walking in the Rain", "Together We're Better", "Looking Through the Eyes of Love" (the group's last top 40 single), "Storybook Love", and "Love Must Be The Answer". The album's greatest embarrassment: a completely unnecessary cover of the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out of This Place". Nobody ever needs to hear this song ever.

New BLONDIE cover art: "Panic of Girls"

Release date pending. According to Chris Stein (via the disc is expected to have 15 tracks. My bet is no vinyl version, unless it's a double (which would be sweeet). I hope my instincts are wrong -- this artwork deserves to be larger than CD size!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On my turntable: Mamas & the Papas - People Like Us

Even though I consider myself a longtime fan of The Mamas & The Papas, I avoided buying People Like Us (1971) for years, based mostly on reviews that deemed it, for the most part, uninspired. If you think about it though, 1971 in itself was pretty uninspired, especially if you compare it with 1967, the year the sun shone most brightly on the Mamas & Papas. This is my second or third listen of People Like Us, and I admit I consider it a rather pleasant record; It's more of a cozy sunset than a sunny hot afternoon.

Many of the tunes are a bit lackluster (especially on side 2), but they still manage to shine because of the vocal blend of Cass, Michelle, John & Denny. Stylistically the LP sounds like much of the bubblebum that was happening in the early 70's, stuff like The Hardy Boys or even the Brady Kids' records. One possible explanation for the similarity is that many of the records created during this era, especially those that came out of L.A., shared the same studio musicians (Louie Shelton, Ed Greene, Jim Horn, etc).

People Like Us was a reunion of a legendary and much-loved group, so the expectations for this music were probably unrealistically high. The fact that the reunion happened at all was probably no small miracle; John was already a junkie at this point (even on the cover he looks as high as a space shuttle), and Cass was a bonafide superstar on her own as a solo artist. The album was truly a last gasp for the group -- Cass died in July '74, and John continued a downword drug spiral that lasted for at least the rest of the decade.

Friday, April 09, 2010

On my turntable: Various - Nothin' But The Hits


This album could not be more 80's if it tried. The colors, the stripes, the makeup. The PINK. All that's missing is some Swatch watches and a can of New Coke.

I bought this gem/relic earlier today at Half Price Books for 50 cents. All 80's cheesiness aside, it is a pretty sweet collection, released in '86 by CBS Direct in Canada.

"Images of LGBT America"

Something I finished last night for my Human Rights Education class:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

2010: Best of Quarter I

20. "Magnolia Simms (Stereo Remix)" - The Monkees
19. "Nobody's Someone" - Bee Gees
18. "Cause and Effect" - Prince
17. "Love Jumped Through My Window" - Love
16. "How Old Are You" - Robin Gibb
15. "Master Cleanse (California)" - Josiah Wolf
14. "California Beach Boy" - The Dollyrots
13. "Put Me Back Together" - Weezer
12. "One on One" - The Bird & The Bee
11. "Change the World" - Ace Frehley
10. "Pick Up the Pace (run)" - De La Soul
9. "Dirty Girl" - Bruce Kulick w/Doug Fieger
8. "Walk with You" - Ringo Starr w/Paul McCartney
7. "Gold" - Emmylou Harris
6. "Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful" - Prince
5. "(I want to) Come Home" - Paul McCartney
4. "Swans" - Camera Obscura
3. "Fresh" - Devo
2. "Lucy"- Julian Lennon w/James Scott Cook
1. "Relator" - Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson