Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 1/13

[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. Since Picasso Blue is posting the top 50 EPs of the decade this week, VV will be looking at three of those picks on wax. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: The Gaslight Anthem’s Señor and the Queen (2008) on black, Shorebirds’ Shorebirds (2007) on clear orange, and Static Radio NJ’s One For the Good Guys (2007) on blue.

Place of Purchase: TGA came from Hot Topic. Shorebirds and SRNJ were both mail order (It’s still fun, kids!)

Thoughts: I hopped on the Gaslight Anthem Org-wagon circa Señor and the Queen, and man was it a good time to do so. The band’s debut Sink or Swim is OK, but Señor made me appreciate the band’s rabid following. Everything the band does well – Springsteenian tales of lovers and losers stuck in the swamps of Jersey, punk rock – clicks into place thanks to bigger hooks and better production values. I received a press copy of the CD version and picked up a vinyl pressing a few months later just because I loved the EP so much. My lone complaint is that I flip this double-45 after every song, which kind of kills the energy. That said, these remain the best songs Brian Fallon and co. have written so far.

Got-dammit, Shorebirds. I was obsessed with the band when they first turned out tunes. Shorebirds has been repressed a few times and sells at inflated prices on eBay now, but in ’07, it was a little-known seven-inch that you could only purchase via mail order. And when I say “mail order,” I don’t mean “ordered online,” which was the case with One For the Good Guys. I had to mail the band some discreetly hidden cash and, thankfully, they sent me the album. Not only that, but they wrote me a letter! I kept a correspondence going with frontman Matt Canino for the next year or so, which was pretty cool and retro and fun. That dude put up with my goofy bullshit and terrible handwriting for a long time.

My introduction to Static Radio NJ is about the same as Gaslight Anthem – their publicist mailed me their album, I liked it, and then I bought it on another format because I’m dumb/devoted like that. Plus, I have a tendency to keep adding things to my orders until they surpass $20. My favorite thing about Good Guys on vinyl is that the songs are so short that the band made the seven-inch one-sided. That’s right, you get seven songs on one side of a seven-inch. Throw in the part about SRNJ being president, vice-president, and treasurer of the Kid Dynamite Appreciation Society, and Good Guys becomes, scientifically speaking, one of the best EPs of the decade.

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