Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 5/5/2010

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. This week’s edition celebrates Cinco de Mustache, that one day of the year when having a mustache is not creepy. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Joe Jackson’s I’m the Man (1979) on black, The Lawrence Arms’ The Greatest Story Ever Told (2003) on black, and O Pioneers!!!/By the End of Tonight’s split (2007) on black.

Place of Purchase:
Jackson came from Disc World (R.I.P.). TLA was an impromptu purchase from Hot Topic’s clearance bin. I bought the split when is saw O Pioneers!!! play at the Main Street Baptist Church in Doylestown. Good show.

A mustache can make or break one’s social standing. If it’s too patchy, one risks looking like a pedophile. Ah, but if it’s just right, BAM you’re Burt Reynolds and you are the coolest guy in all the dang world.

Also sometimes mustaches are just funny-lookin’.

Such is the case with Joe Jackson on the cover of his second album, I’m the Man. It’s meant to be funny, as the ’stache complements the grafter pose he strikes. While his later output got increasingly spotty, Joe Jackson’s first two albums are got-damn unimpeachable. Considering they came out the same year, it’s easy to think of them as one really awesome power pop double album. I’m the Man takes the nervous energy of Look Sharp! and keeps on rocking, although Jackson’s love of piano begins to creep into his songwriting, as tunes like “Kinda Kute” reveals. Still, though, songs like “On Your Radio” and “I’m the Man” rock hard.

The mustaches on the cover of The Greatest Story Ever Told (one of the best albums of the new millennium) are much more serious. Gordon Shumway, Ivan Nikolayevich, and Ferdinand Magellan adorn the cover with a variety of ’stachetude. Shumway’s looks a bit shaggy, while Nikolayevich clearly waxes. Magellan doesn’t shave at all, hence the beard. Truly majestic. And hey, the songs contained within are good too! The Lawrence Arms remain one of my favorite punk bands, and The Greatest Story Ever Told remains my favorite album by them. The way Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan intertwine songs about drankin’ and screaming into telephones still does it for me. And as we can see, the trio supports ’staches. Now excuse me while I listen to “The Disaster March” 30 times in a row…

…and I’m back! On the O Pioneers!!!/By the End of Tonight split, we a close-up of a pretty gross pedo-stache. I really do cringe every time I see this seven-inch. The tunes are good though. BTEOT delivers a nice post-rock tune, while OP!!! is still into the whole folk-punk thang. “Sweet Junk” is another ramshackle rabble rouser, and while it’s a wee bit sloppy, it’s sure got spirit.

So yeah… this one’s for you, people with hairy upper lips. Today… is your… INDEPENDENCE DAY!

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