Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 1/19/2011

[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 is dedicated to The Measure [SA], a pretty nifty punk band in the process of breaking up. E-mail with your own big finds!]

The Measure [SA]’s seven-inch split with The Modern Machines (2007) on black, Songs About People… and Fruit N’ Shit (2008) on clear orange, and seven-inch split with The Ergs! (2009) on purple marble.

Place of Purchase: THE INTERNETS. I’m pretty sure all three came from No Idea Records.

Thoughts: While they only have two full-lengths to their credit, The Measure [SA] was constantly putting out material via seven-inches. This split with The Modern Machines is a good example of their style – “Portland” kicks off the release with pep and insight. The Measure was really good at covers too (They once joked that people always liked them more anyway). Here, they take on Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” It’s sloppy, silly, and totally rocking. I love when they switch to cut time near the end of the last chorus. So good. While they’ve since released a seven-inch collection (with a second volume promised for this year), “It Ain’t Me Babe” has never been re-released, so this baby is a treasured find.

My favorite Measure release, though, is Songs About People. It’s perfect at eight songs, and while the band was shitting gold at this point, I love that they chose not to mess with such a solid tracklisting. Side One is pretty catchy, with rockers like “Drunk By Noon” and “Drama-Free Youth,” but I prefer the flipside. “singleseriesnumberzero” is the rare political tune from the band (It’s anti-Bush, natch). I feel bad for “Roof Beers” because it’s nice, but it gets in the way of “Hello Bastards,” probably one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s about growing up and trying to find a place in the punk community that raised you, and it’s catchy as all heck. “practice jam” is half the speed and just as emotionally resonant.

The Ergs! broke up in 2008, but much like Notorious B.I.G., they keep putting out releases. While That’s It… Bye contains their final recordings, they recorded four songs for a two-part split with The Measure prior to that. They cover each other’s songs, with the highlight being “Workage,” a Measure tune. The original appears on the second seventh-inch. While The Ergs! turn it into a big rock production, thereby juxtaposing the sad lyrics, Lauren Measure just lets the words hit full force. The chorus is “It’s the winter streets that kill me / And all the bars we hide in / ’Cause I know you won’t be there / And I get so much more done now.” This song reminds me of a lot of people.

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