Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 9/22/2010

[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 entry celebrates Blake Schwarzenbach’s return to music with PUNS. IT’S SCHWARZENBACH SCHEVEN-INCHES DAYYYYYYY.

…e-mail with your own big finds...]

Records: forgetters’ forgetters double seven-inch (2010) on black, the Jawbreaker/Samiam split (1992) on clear red, and Surprise Your Pig: A Tribute to R.E.M. (1993) on black 12-inch with a clear yellow seven-inch, featuring Jawbreaker, Jawbox, and a lot of bands who butcher R.E.M.

Place of Purchase: forgetters was pre-ordered through No Idea “found” a box of Jawbreaker/Samiam splits earlier this year and sold for half the price they go for on eBay, which is funny to me since this seven-inch was originally included for free with a copy of No Idea Magazine. No Vinyl Vednesday feature would be complete without a reference to Siren Records in Doylestown, which just so happens to be where I found Surprise Your Pig.

Thoughts: I have listened to forgetters about 40 or 50 times since I got it in the mail on Monday. That means I’ve dedicated about 11 hours to listening to four songs. I really, really like this EP, and it means so much to me that Schwarzenbach is still making music. “Too Small to Fail” has been stuck in my head; it was one of the two songs that stood out for me during their set at the Barbary last year, along with “Vampire Lessons.” That bit at the end when he screams “Someone’s gonna love me someday” is quite cathartic. I had a lot of trouble trying to focus my feelings into a review, and I’m not entirely happy with what came out, but Schwarzenbach is just one of those writers that has shaped my life for so many years that it’s hard for me to find new ways to explain how much he means to me. I’ve been a fan since I heard Four-Cornered Night in 2001. I guess the best way I can put this is, “Too Small to Fail” and “Vampire Lessons” mean as much to me as “Accident Prone” or “You’re the One I Want.”

I bought the other two records featured today simply because they were available to me. I generally don’t pursue rarities like this, especially since in this case, Jawbreaker’s songs “Split” and “Pretty Persuasion” are both available on their rarities compilation Etc.. Stilll, when No Idea offered me a rare Jawbreaker seven-inch, I couldn’t help myself. And hey, it turned me on to Samiam, a punk band that blends a lot of different styles into their sound. I guess my short description would be that people who like NOFX’s snot and Sunny Day Real Estate’s guitars could both enjoy this band. Overall, a good purchase.

Surprise Your Pig, however, was a bad idea. It’s telling that the liner notes for Etc. say “Our first and last tribute record. It seemed like a bad idea at the time. And it was.” Most of the compilation consists of terrible indie rock and punk. Of the 17 bands featured three come out looking OK. Jawbreaker and Jawbox, who covered “Low,” went on to include their renditions on their respective rarities comps, Etc. and My Scrapbook of Fatal Accidents. That leaves The Mr. T Experience. Poor, poor MTX. I like their version of “Can’t Get There From Here,”, but not enough to try to find its groove for the needle. The only thing keeping me from selling this back is the bonus colored seven-inch with Jawbreaker on it. When I inevitably start scaling down my vinyl collection, this’ll be one of the first records to go. Argh.


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