Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 1/20

[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 just discussed the top 30 shows of the decade this week, VV will be looking at three treasured vinyl purchases from those concerts. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Dresden Dolls’ “Good Day” seven-inch reissue (2005) on black, Paint It Black’s New Lexicon (2008) on white, and Secret Machine’s Now Here is Nowhere (2004) on white.

Place of Purchase: The Dolls seven-inch was actually purchased at a show at the TLA that didn’t make the top 30, but since B-side “Night at the Roses” was such a pivotal part of my #16 concert pick – and since I got to ask pianist/vocalist Amanda Palmer about it after they opened for Nine Inch Nails (#14) – I feel like this seven-inch spreads across every Dolls show I’ve attended. Paint It Black’s New Lexicon was purchased at PiB’s show with Strike Anywhere at the First Unitarian Church (#22). Secret Machine’s full-length debut came from their North Star Bar appearance (#30).

Thoughts: I heard “Night at the Roses” at the first Dresden Dolls show I ever attended. It wasn’t like anything in the Dolls catalog, which turned out to be deeper than their self-titled studio debut let on. They mentioned re-releasing it at the time, and I knew I had to have it, although a live bootleg of the song from a fan site helped ease the wait. I got a chance to meet the band after they opened for Nine Inch Nails and asked Amanda Palmer about it; she said it would be coming out soon. Fast-forward a year or so, and I finally got my chance to own a physical copy of “Night at the Roses.” This was also the time is saw the Dolls twice in one day – once for a Y-Rock Sonic Session taping, and again for a full set later that night.

New Lexicon is the best Paint It Black release (so far). Yeah, I’m big on the two seven-inches they dropped last year, but the synthesis of punk and hip-hop, thanks to PiB’s collaboration with producer Dälek of Oktopus fame (and J. Robbins! I loves that guy!), is something that few folks have been able to achieve (I’m looking at you, Dee Dee Ramone). The band’s live shows live up to the records, too, as evidenced by their set with Strike Anywhere at the First Unitarian Church. PiB absolutely decimated the crowd. What really knocked me out, though, was having to interact with frontman Dr. Dan Yemin at the merch table. See, I’m not good when it comes to talking to my idols. Last time I spoke with someone in Paint It Black, it went so poorly THAT HE QUIT THE BAND. Oh, but how I wanted to own New Lexicon on vinyl (and The Philadelphia Sound compilation, featuring early PiB and Loved Ones frontman Dave Hause’s old band The Curse). So, I went in there, called Dr. Yemin’s band “zesty,” bought my stuff, and got the eff out of there before I acted a fool. Of course, I still ended up looking like a jackass when I ran into him at Repo Records like a week later and got my credit card declined. Even when I win, I still lose.

Oh hey, have you read Dr. Yemin’s blog, Songs to Learn & Sing?

I dig The Secret Machines. They make my kinda psych-rock. Even better, they’re cool dudes. They sold their own merch during their North Star show and, tempering my courage to the point of adamantium, I purchased a vinyl pressing of their first record, talked about how their second, Ten Silver Drops, was totally underrated (It is), and then got them to autograph my vinyl. I even asked new guitarist Phil Karnats to put pen to cover, even though he didn’t enter the band’s recordings until their self-titled third album. The show was pretty good, my friends and I got to talk to the band even more after the show, and the vinyl plays splendidly. I mean, it doesn’t compare to hearing “Nowhere Again” or “First Wave Intact” live, but it’s pretty close. Speaking of which, my favorite part about the album is probably the fact that, at 45 rpm, Reprise Records could only fit “First Wave Intact” on the first side of the vinyl. It just makes the song that much more monolithic.

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