Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 10/13/2010

[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. Here’s part two of a two-part installment about 10-inches, in honor of 10/10/10. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Rage Against the Machine’s People of the Sun EP (1997) on black, Silversun Pickups’ Pikul (2005) on black, and Bruce Springsteen/Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream split (2009) on black.

Place of Purchase: Hot Topic, Repo Records, Siren Records.

Thoughts: Do you know what is ridiculously awesome? Screaming like Zack De La Rocha. Dude’s cadence is violent and direct yet so, so fun. People of the Sun has two of Rage’s best songs – the title track and “Bulls on Parade” – but the live tracks are what make this EP essential listening. “Zapata’s Blood” rocks hard. “Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebox,” an Allen Ginsberg cover, is epic at eight minutes. De La Rocha opens it by chiding the audience “Ya’ll look like a bunch of frat boys at summer camp” before dropping a poetry jam on their heads. Rage’s cover is pretty great; it’s a shame it wasn’t worked into their actual, somewhat terrible covers record Renegades.

Silversun Pickups have garnered a bevy of fans over the last few years, and they deserve it. They put a lot of effort into their songs and presentation. Their videos are usually great, and the same goes for their album art. I picked up an original pressing of Pikul from Repo a little while back, and the DIY nature of the EP does it for me. I have record number 73 out of 1,000 of hand-screened albums on cardboard, with a lovely 10-inch shiny black vinyl inside. These are the stupid details music geeks obsess over. I love this record because it’s so handcrafted and comes from a band I like a lot. Oh, the music? Yeah, it’s good. SSPU started off more acoustic-based, but generally Pikul sounds exactly like what it is: A trial run for Carnavas. Most of the band’s trademarks were already in place: vocals that go from androgynously soft to barking, atmospheric guitars, huge drums. There’s just more cello in the mix this time, which makes “Kissing Families” that much better.

Limited pressings are a relative thing. Pikul had a limited run of 1,000, but didn’t sell out for a few years. Dream Baby Dream had a pressing of 8,000 and sold out in days. That’s just the drawing power the Boss holds. This 10-inch is a hodgepodge of a sanctioned bootleg. The A-side has Bruce Springsteen covering the title track during his “Devils & Dust Tour” from 2005. It’s Bruce and an organ for seven minutes, which should come off self-indulgent but doesn’t. Like Rage, Springsteen is a master interpreter, turning the song into a Bush era plea for a return to sanity. It’s haunting. The flipside has the original, from Suicide, and for no particular reason, “My Ray” by Beat the Devil. I seriously think they were friends with the label.

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