Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Save it for a rainy day

First I want to say thanks to Eric and Sara for inviting me to guest blog on Vinyl Vagabonds. I’ve been working at Smash Records for a while now and have always gotten a kick out of watching them come in (typically looking for Devo records) then seeing their response via this blog. So thanks again!

Now down to the dirty work. As I sit in my apartment on this overcast day contemplating my first entry, one album comes to mind, American Football’s self titled LP released in ‘99 by Polyvinyl. This band was active in the late ‘90s and only had two released (the LP being proceeded a by a three song EP in ‘98). This is true emo, there are no silly haircuts, no guyliner, and no nail polish involved with this music. American Football is simply three incredibly talented musician laying down tracks that evoke memories in anyone who has ever felt heartache or lack there of. Lead singer and guitarist Mike Kinsella’s (Joan of Ark, Cap’n Jazz, Owen) melancholy voice and nihilistic lyrics resonate in your head for hours after listening to even a single song. Personally there are two stand out tracks on this album. The fist track “Never Meant” is about falling out of love, the line “you can’t miss what you forget” pretty much sums up the mood of this song. Track #7 “I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional” is a bit faster in tempo then the rest of the album. The lyrics speak of selfishness but not in a relationship but the lack of one. It is as if Kinsella is justifying loneliness. This album is not going to put you in a good mood, it may very well make you a Nihilist haha, but it is well worth the listen because of its sheer musical qualities. If emo sounded anything like this these days it would surely have a different reputation in the music world. Sadly you are not likely to find this on vinyl at your local shop but Mp3’s and CD’s are still available. Drop some dimes for the downloads and save them for a rainy day

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Medicine County

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - Medicine County

This album made its way to our turntable from the pretty damn awesome city of Milwaukee, WI, where we saw Holly Golightly play a boozy show at Mad Planet. While in town for a random "check out the city" vacation, we stumbled across the listing for this gem in a local free paper and got tickets on a whim. Definitely a good choice! We trekked to a northern neighborhood despite the rain and tornado warnings and caught this great duo in between honking back many cans of Blattz and games of pool with some nice locals.

So who is this Holly Golightly lady anyway? Well, shes been making retro tunes since the early 90's and is currently touring with "the Brokeoffs", her longtime US bandmate Lawyer Dave.  She describes her music as a "
a mixture of pre-rock electric country blues, folk and less frantic rock & roll".  Less frantic is right.  This stuff is the opposite of frantic.

The album sounds like it was written after a lot of smoking and drinking took place, but in a good way. "Two Left Feet" and "Forget It" get this album going with a stuttering swing that fits in perfectly with the duo's off-kilter vocals.  There are bright and sunny spots, but not in a cheesy way.  "Escalator", "When He Comes", and "Medicine County" are good examples of a goofy, deadpan, skiffle cheerfulness.  It seems these two know their share of boozin', screwin', and losin'.  
Some lovely fiddlin' on "I Can't Loose" also.  How about that?  A least they seem to have a powerful appreciation for old school country.

The show itself was very cool as the band really seemed to have a solid sense of doing a show without any BS.  Holly and Dave had a stellar rapport with each other and the audience.  They also stuck around for a while post show (on a Monday!) to talk music, sell/sign records and were both absolutely cool.

Cover Notes: The quaint cover art was painted by Holly's mom and the back cover sports a creepy/cool picture with a male/female merged image of the duo.

Inside the Sleeve: Tie-dyed lime green vinyl w/ hot pink...SCORE!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Same Records Everywhere, A Proposal

Every Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, and Neil Diamond album ever recorded, is found in every record haunt we scour. Imagine how much better life would be for everybody if these records were gone. Nobody is looking for these records and all they do is act as time consuming obstacles for music hounds everywhere. "I'm looking for a DEVO record, not Manilow LIVE!" On a side note, last night we ventured into Smash! and were later found enjoying a drink at a nearby bar and basking in the fact that we just went to a record store and didn't dig through any of the aforementioned crappy albums. Some stores are ahead of the curve. Where did these abundant and discarded records come from in the first place? Older music aficionados surely jettisoned them when they made the conversion to tape/cd in the 80's. These Manilow fans are not likely to be trawling the record bins at thrift stores. Why? Because if they were, these records would not be EVERYWHERE. Not only are these records everywhere, but more importantly, there is little chance they will ever relocate. So what is to be done?

Here is one plan:
-all albums made by Manilow, Streisand, Diamond (are there others I should be adding to this list?) will be gathered in a central warehouse by state.
-gathering these albums will be a piece of cake as they are EVERYWHERE.
-each crappy record warehouse will be sealed off to protect generations of people with taste from potential harm.
-the warehouse will only be accessible in case of emergency (such as ... that star trek movie, you know the one with the whales)
-once the warehouses reach capacity, any additional albums will be loaded into a giant rocket and shot into the sun. Awesome!