Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 6/1/2011


[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. In celebration of punk rock cartoonist Mitch Clem’s new comic Turnstile Comix AND his new seven-inch with his band The Tigermilks, this week’s installment discusses three bands he introduced to me. E-mail pelonej1@gmail.com with your own big finds!]

Records: Discount’s Crash Diagnostic (2000) on clear, Jawbreaker’s Bivouac (1992) on black, and The Mountain Goats’ The Coroner’s Gambit (2000) on white.

Place of Purchase: eBay. Here’s the funny thing about bidding: You never know how it’s going to work out. I’ve overpaid for records, the most expensive being a Joe Strummer bootleg that went into triple digits, but I feel like I underpaid for all three of these. I guess the economy doesn’t lend itself to record shopping these days, especially when all three albums are available on compact disc. PISHAW.

Thoughts: Discount was already caput when Nothing Nice to Say started talking about them, and by “them,” I mean Allison Mosshart. Before The Kills blew up, Mosshart was known for Discount’s introspective pop-punk tunes bordering on emo. Crash Diagnostic marked a slight shift away from pop-punk towards something a little more instrospective. At the time it was “more emo;” today it would probably be called more indie rock, as the band started to take on some of Sleater-Kinney’s characteristics by this juncture. It’s still mighty fine though; “Broken to Blue” is my jam.

While I’m sure it would have happened at some point in high school, Clem’s comic about Jawbreaker introduced me to one of my favorite bands (and songwriters) of all time. As I get older, I keep revisiting Blake Schwarzenbach’s discography and finding new things to love. Jets to Brazil definitely sounds better in my twenties. Jawbreaker hasn’t aged much at all, although I’ve started gravitating towards the songs for different reasons. In high school, I was about the lyrics. Now I’m more obsessed with the moods and band dynamics. Jawbreaker was such a great power trio, and I love hearing what each player brings. Bivouac is probably Jawbreaker’s loudest album. Unfun and 24 Hour Revenge Therapy are more grounded in pop-punk, and Dear You has this almost shoegaze-like quality to the guitars. But Bivouac has the throatiest yells, the most thunderous low end, and the rawest guitar tone. That it could still pack in a love song as great as “Chesterfield King” is a bonus. The bassline on “Big” has always been a highlight for me. Lately, though, I’ve taken to yelling “Bivouac!” to myself when I’m bored/tired at work.

I don’t think Clem has done a Mountain Goats strip to date (not tru punx, although TMG is gonna cover Jawbreaker’s “Boxcar” soon for A.V. Undercover), but he used to post these compilations called “Liquid Paper” on his site. One of them featured “Baboon,” from TMG’s seminal lo-fi masterpiece The Coroner’s Gambit. That record kicked off a string of artistic and commercial successes for TMG, as each album found a larger and larger audience in the new millennium. I was subsisting on a diet of pop-punk and Tool at the time, so “Baboon,” which is just such a bitter divorce song [Sample lyric: “I’d be grateful my children aren’t here to see this / If you’d ever seen fit to give me children.”], came on like a shock. But I was intrigued and, after writing an e-mail to Clem, followed his suggestion to pick up All Hail West Texas. Coroner’s Gambit followed soon after.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

New Diet Taps into Innovative Idea to Help Dieters LOSE 20 Pounds in Only 21 Days!