Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vinyl Vednesday 11/18

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it kinda is. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Alkaline Trio’s Goddamnit rerelease (2008) on grey marble with an alternate cover, David Bowie’s Space Oddity rerelease (1972) on black with an alternate cover, and Hüsker Dü’s Candy Apple Grey (1986) on black with, um, a normal cover?

Place of Purchase: Goddamnit was purchased at Hot Topic in Montgomeryville. Space Oddity was the first vinyl record I ever bought, at Legends in Plymouth Meeting (R.I.P.). Candy Apple Grey came from Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill. They specialize in classic rock and jazz, so anytime they get an underground rock record, they price it to move, which is awesome for me. Also, everyone reading this knows I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, right?

Thoughts: I went a little bass ackwards when it came to experiencing Alkaline Trio. They didn’t hit my radar until From Here to Infirmary; didn’t bother checking them out until my roommate Eric made me buy Maybe I’ll Catch Fire in like 2005. The last Alk3 release I purchased was Goddamnit. Holy crap, I totally get why people love this album. These are some zesty tunes about drunken sexcapades (or lack thereof), I tell you what. “Clavicle” is such a sweet song. This is Chicago punk at its finest (Lawrence Arms notwithstanding). I’m kind of bummed the cover came in such questionable condition, but I’ll deal.

I was a decent-sized Bowie fan in high school, in that I loved Labyrinth and Changesbowie. After I got my first record player senior year, I decided to start exploring Bowie’s discography further. I figured I’d start with Space Oddity because, well, I liked “Space Oddity” a lot. Those hand claps are awesome. Time would reveal that it probably wasn’t the best starting point, but I think Space Oddity is still a pretty underrated Bowie record from his brief psych-folk period. Sometimes he gets a little too needlessly wordy, but jams like “Janine” and “God Knows I’m Good” are keepers. I think my favorite track, though, is the closer, “Memory of a Free Festival.” It’s a lengthy recounting of a festival Bowie attended. It’s pretty free love-y, but by the time the band hits the refrain – “The sun machine is comin’ down and we’re gonna have a party” – I don’t care. I have always wanted to cover this song.

Side note: I really miss Legends. It was a comics store in the Plymouth Meeting Mall that also sold games of the RPG and CCG variety, as well as records. The prices could be a little debatable at times, but the quality was always good. And they sold indie comics! It brings me to tears (TEARS!) that small suburbanite children aren’t reading Hate or The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

Hüsker Dü is a band I got into pretty much because every music critic ever told me to. Sometimes those folks are right. My introduction to the band came via Zen Arcade, but I’ve always found Candy Apple Grey to be more palatable. That’s probably because it was the band’s major label debut. Where Zen was all about being sonically punishing, Candy combined melancholy lyrics with catchy hooks, as illustrated by the single “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely.” I get a bit of an Elvis Costello vibe, especially on tracks like “Dead Set on Destruction” and “Sorry Somehow.” This record is perfect from start to finish, although I do often find myself skipping to “Hardly Getting Over It” quite a bit. Saddest song to sing to yourself while drunk? Ebyam.

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