Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 8/17/2011

[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. As always, e-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Terence Trent D’Arby’s Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby (1987) on black, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, as performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra with William Steinberg, conductor (1970), on black with a sweet shiny, trippy cover, and the compilation The Right to Assemble Volume Two: A Hardcore Punk Compilation From New Brunswick, N.J. (2008) on clear.

Place of Purchase: D’Arby was purchased at Disc World (R.I.P.) in Conshohocken. Holst was obtained from Impact! Thrift Store back when it was still located in East Norriton. Right to Assemble came from my homies at Chunksaah Records.

Thoughts: While he burned himself out creatively pretty quickly, Terence Trent D’Arby put out one hell of a debut record. Yeah, it’s a little ’80s-ish in production, but the dude had a clean, soulful voice and a songwriting style that skipped along the border between pretentious and hilariously awesome (Sample lyric, from “Dance Little Sister,”: “GET UP OUTTA YA CHAIR GRANDMA! / Or rather, would you prefer to dance, grandmother?” This is a spoken word into, by the way. D’Arby loves spoken word intros). While the guy never quite topped Prince or Michael Jackson, he certainly had the confidence needed to try on this first album. Plus it’s got the super catchy “Wishing Well.” That song is so sparsely arranged but so infectious.

While I haven’t done this in a while, for a period of time I used to love digging through crates of vinyl at thrift stores. The success ratio was practically nil, but the few finds were so cheap that it felt validating. Also I love looking at all of the crappy Christmas records people donate. One day, a creepy dude saddled up to me and started going off about how classical is the best musical genre. He talked at me for maybe 10-15 minutes, long enough to scare my then-girlfriend, now-fiancée, Michelle. I was looking for classic rock and ’80s pop on the cheap, but this dude kept pushing Holst’s The Planets on me with a vengeance. I finally caved – it only cost a few cents anyway. Besides, hey, maybe I could dig classical too. While I’ve come to since love the orchestral works of Hans Zimmer, Planets is merely one of those once-in-a-while kind of albums. It has some amazing swelling moments. Those strings are, um, really stringy. Also, I kind of like the random looks it gets when people flip through my collection.

OK, back to the punk rock. Man, 2008 was a great year for Hub City Hardcore, and Right to Assemble boasts exclusive tracks from a ton of bands that I was obsessed with then: The Ergs!, The Measure [SA], Static Radio NJ. There’s a bunch of other shouty, distorted guitary type groups, and the whole thing is just a real fun listen. Throw in a cool zine and a download for the first volume of Right to Assemble, and you’ve got yourself a real deal in stereo. Punkrockneverstop.

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