Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vinyl Vednesday 12/2

[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: Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass’ Whipped Cream & Other Delights (1965) on black, Dave Edmunds’ Tracks on Wax 4 (1978) on black, and NOFX’s They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live! (2007) on black.

Place of Purchase: Whipped Cream was purchased at the Impact! Thrift Store back when it was still located in the Dekalb Plaza shopping center in East Norriton. Tracks on Wax was a gift from my Uncle Mike after I got my first turntable in high school. I bought They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live! on vinyl at a.k.a. music in Philadelphia because it was $1 cheaper than the CD version even though the vinyl came with a CD anyway.

Thoughts: I pretty much bought the Herb Alpert record because of its iconic cover. Records are so cheap at the thrift stores in my area that, in the unlikely event that I find something of note, it’s pretty much an instant buy. Sometimes it pays off (my entire Pat Benatar collection cost less than $0.50), but most of the time I’m just diving through crates of old Christian LPs. eBay is the best way to find used records, but the price flux (other bidders, shipping and handling) makes hitting up the occasional thrift store worth the effort. Whipped Cream is pretty peppy. It makes my head go “yeah!”

My Uncle Mike was already pretty cool, but I feel like our relationship hit a new level once I got more into music. Once I got my first record player, he handed me a box of albums by Bruce Springsteen, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, the Clash, and more. My uncle had a thing for well-crafted pop music, like Dave Edmund’s Tracks on Wax 4. It’s pure pop a la Elvis Costello or Nick Lowe (both of whom were in my uncle’s box as well), blending rockabilly, new wave, pub rock, and a touch of folk. Edmunds was never as big as Costello, but for a while he kept pace with him creatively.

NOFX takes shit from people (myself occasionally included) for not switching up their style often, but got-damn is their live show hilarious. They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live! sounds like a big drunken party. The band tears through their shortest songs rapid fire simply to see how quickly they can do it. They play “What’s the Matter With Parents Today?” and then make fun of kids for wanting to hear “My Vagina.” And they stumble through incoherent stories. It’s a decent live record, and a great comedy album.

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