Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 9/8/2010

[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 is based around rarities compilations. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Crime in Stereo’s Selective Wreckage (2008) on black and white, Jawbreaker’s Etc. (2002) on black, and My Bloody Valentine’s Before Loveless (1991) on black and clear blue.

Place of Purchase: Hot Topic. Repo Records. Grass Roots Music Store in Ocean City, N.J. In that order.

Thoughts: I’m a huge Crime in Stereo fan, and I’m still mourning their break-up, but at least they went out with a solid discography. I can’t say much about Explosives and the Will to Use Them, but The Troubled Stateside, Crime in Stereo is Dead, and I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone are all amazing post-hardcore records. Crime in Stereo has left behind a stellar catalogue. What they haven’t left behind is a whole lot of rarities. B-side collection Selective Wreckage is awfully skimpy – 10 tracks in 23 minutes, and one of ’em is an instrumental intro. While it may have been prematurely released – I’d love to hear what went on during the Describe sessions – it still contains some of my favorite CiS songs, like “When the Women Come Out to Dance,” which jumps from one punishing hook to the next.

Jawbreaker, however, received a thorough rarities collection back in ’02 courtesy of drummer Adam Pfahler. He’s always been protective of Jawbreaker’s legacy, going out of his way to preserve the band’s releases. Etc. is packed with choice cuts, like “Kiss the Bottle,” which is probably one of the most overrated Jawbreaker songs despite being so obscure. Then again, it’s overrated for a reason. “Kiss the Bottle” sums up everything great about JB – being alone even when you’re with someone, drunk as hell, and having only some very dissonant, thundering chords to sum up how that feels. The rest of the collection is great too, delivering a bevy of Dear You outtakes before Pfahler was able to convince Geffin Records to let him re-release that album. “Caroline” is another early gem, as is the cover of R.E.M.’s “Pretty Persuasion.” Fans of the Unfun years are well-fed by this compilation.

My fandom for My Bloody Valentine continuously grows. Loveless is one of my favorite albums of all time, so much so that it’s led me to check out the band’s entire canon. While nothing tops the sheer weight of Loveless, it’s still fun hearing how MBV evolved from a bunch of horror-punks to shoegaze originators. Of the MBV rarities collections available through Lazy Records, Before Loveless is the better overview. It reveals the group’s debt to bands like the Birthday Party and Jesus & Mary Chain in their early years before evolving into a more twee group. By the fourth side, you can hear the waves of Loveless lapping not too far away.

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