Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 2/9/2011

[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. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Paul McCartney’s Ram (1971) on black, Torche’s Meanderthal Demos ten-inch (2009) on black, and The White Stripes’ “Conquest” single (2007) on clear red.

Place of Purchse: McCartney came from a recent Siren Records run. Torche was delivered to by my door step via No Idea’s wonderful mailorder system. White Stripes came from my other lover, Repo Records in Philadelphia.

Thoughts: I like The Beatles a whole lot. I like that I can put on any of their albums and get a string of well-crafted pop songs. Getting through the members’ solo records, meanwhile, has been a stumble. I’m at a point where I think I own all of the essential George Harrison and John Lennon albums, but up until now I’ve stayed away from Paul McCartney. I always planned on getting Band on the Run at some point, but generally speaking, I haven’t really liked any of his post-Beatles songs. How could he top John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band or All Things Must Pass?

CUT TO A MANAYUNK SOCIAL GATHERING. I’m slaying some wine with Sam Fran Scavuzzo and Pat Rush (of Pat Rush Band Fame). We’re talking about records, as nerds are wont to do, and I casually said something to the effect of “I do not enjoy the works of Paul McCartney post-1970.” I can’t remember if I mentioned “The Girl is Mine” from Thriller as an exception or not. Anyhoozle, Rush looked me straight in the soul and told me to check out Ram. He told me it wasn’t as great as other records in the Beatles universe, but that it would be a pleasant listen. He was right. Ram consists of a bunch of silly love songs, but it flows nicely and the arrangements manage to be epic and slight at the same time. This is how I wish more twee bands sounded.

So… any recommendations for a Ringo Starr record?

I fell for Torche pretty hard in 2010. Songs For Singles dominated my ears, and I quickly tore through their discograpy. This year, I’m filling in the margins, starting with Meanderthal Demos. I love all of the group’s full-lengths (Right now the self-titled is my favorite), but I was surprised by how much I prefer these demos to Meanderthal proper. The tunes here aren’t too differently, just slightly fuzzier ‘n’ grainier, which suits Torche’s knack for penning metal tunes that blend sludge, alternative, and acid rock. I really, really need to see this band live.

Speaking of getting hip to old acts, I didn’t really appreciate The White Stripes in their heyday. Icky Thump turned me around on them, though, and I eventually found myself delighting in the band’s sense of humor. I dig the album version of their cover of Corry Robbins’ “Conquest,” but the acoustic Mariachi version on this single is pretty great too. B-side “Cash Grab Complications On the Matter” complements the song well. The single also comes with a poster and trading card!

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