Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 12/1/2010

[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 installment is an epic yarn about Record Store Day, which came twice this year with the inclusion of a Black Friday celebration. Here are three vinyl finds from RSD 2010, Part Deux. Viva la vinyl and, as always, e-mail with your own big finds!]

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s Higher Than the Stars Remixes (2009) on black, Jimi Hendrix’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (2010) on clear green, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Save My Love” b/w “Because the Night” on black.

Place of Purchase: Higher Than the Stars came from a.k.a. music. Hendrix and Bruuuuuuuuuuce came from Repo Records.

Thoughts: a.k.a music…you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, at least as far as indie record obsessives go. Still, they hooked me up with that exclusive Bruce 10-inch back in April for Record Store Day proper. So I decided to stop there first, even though my loyalty lies with Repo. The clerks at a.k.a. tend to be wieners, but the selection is so good. It’s like hate-sex on black wax. I arrived right when they opened, hoping to beat the RSD crowd, only to find out that a.k.a., for whatever reason, wasn’t participating. I asked an employee if they had anything in stock. “Oh, we don’t do that,” he chortled. What a dick-bungler. Still, they had a pretty neat remix 12-inch from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart that had been discounted (T or F: The Pains sound even better with haunting dance beats? Discuss), so I bought that, went to Brave New Worlds Comics, because hell yeah I love comics, and then called up Repo.

“Hey, I was wondering if you guys still had any of the Record Store Exclusives in stock?” I asked, lips trembling.

“Hell’s yeah we do. Supplies are limited, but we actually care about customer service, so I’ll set aside whatever you need, Joe Pelone. You are one cool guy,” the voice on the other line said [NOTE: I’m paraphrasing. Capote did it!]. A quick drive to Sixth and South yielded like $70 in records and CDs, because that is how I do. Among my haul was a Christmas 10-inch from Jimi Hendrix. It’s a goofy curio to hear Hendrix play psychedelic versions of “Little Drummer Boy,” “Silent Night,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” Turns out he wanted to record some demos as reference track for a string of December shows he was playing. Ever the showman, Jimi tossed in some holiday goodies. The result is exactly what you think would be: Christmas standards mixed with Jimi’s psych-rock noodling. Dude would have hosted an awesome Christmas special. “Three Little Bears” is thrown in to, because why not? The tunes are good, but the back cover is priceless.

I also picked up a new single of old songs from Bruce Springsteen. “Save My Love” and “Because the Night” come from Springsteen’s new vault-clearing The Promise, which boasts two discs songs discarded during the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town. I get why these songs didn’t make it on to the album, but the fact that Bruce just left “Save My Love” to rot is insane. It’s such a catchy, radio-ready anthem. At least “Because the Night” got to live on with Patti Smith (Who, let’s be honest, perfected the song). I can’t wait to hear The Promise based on these recordings, though. I mean, Springsteen basically dropped a double-album for the hell of it.

Post-script: After Repo, I ate victory falafel from Maoz on Second and South. It was delicious.

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