[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 in anticipation of the punk rock festival Riot Fest East. As always, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your own big finds!]
Records: The Holy Mess’ Benefit Sesh seven-inch (2010) on white, The Menzingers’ Chamberlain Waits (2010) on clear blue, and X’s Wild Gift (1981) on black.
Place of Purchase: Benefit Sesh was sent to me for review. Chamberlain Waits didn’t actually come out on vinyl until 2011 for Record Store Day, at which point I picked it up at Repo Records in Philadelphia. Wild Gift came from Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill.
Thoughts: I’m pretty darn stoked for Riot Fest East. The Chicago festival finally added an East Coast variant, one that covers punk rock from the ’70s (X, even though they didn’t get to release a studio album until 1980), ’80s (Descendents, Naked Raygun), ’90s (Hot Water Music, Weston), and today (The Menzingers). I’m pretty darn excited to see The Holy Mess live again. Dudes are hilarious, and they write some pretty catchy punk rock jamz. Curiously, my love all began with a two-song seven-inch their publicist sent me. I was intrigued by those tracks, and a year later consummated my romance with the group’s self-titled Red Scare debut. Now that Riot Fest East has announced set times, I’m going to begin my day at the concert with The Holy Mess (after hitting up Blackbird for lunch).
I haven’t seen The Menzingers live in a long time. Before they blew up – relatively speaking – the Clash enthusiasts played through my stupid little piece of Pennsylvania plenty of times. I saw them play all over Doylestown on the strength of hot shit debut A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology. But it’s been years since I caught them – I still haven’t even heard the Hold On Dodge material live yet. Menzingers, then, are the band I’m most excited to see live. Since the halcyon days of playing Siren Records, the group has gone on to write one of my favorite albums of, well, ever, Chamberlain Waits. I made copies of that record when I received it digitally for review on CD-R AND cassette. I spent more hours on the road with Chamberlain Waits than any other album in 2010. And it still gets me pumped up a year later. Yeah, I’m excited to hear Lesson live again, but I’m just so dang excited to hear Waits in a live setting. I need the crowd to be a good one for my boys in the Manslingers.
A close second in anticipation is X. Arguably the best West Coast punk band of all time, I saw the legends live a few years ago, and they were still amazing. I hope that, health problems aside, the band can still deliver the same energy. They’re going to play Los Angeles live in its entirety, which should go over well with the crowd. But I’m just as excited to hear later material. I’d love to hear some See How We Are cuts, but that’s doubtful. Wild Gift might make an appearance, though. Songs like “The Once Over Twice,” “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch,” and even the comedic “Back 2 the Base” have a haunting anger to them. Steeped in a kind of rock ‘n’ roll that was retro even for ’81, Wild Gift is better than most records, punk or otherwise. Yeah, people are probably going to leave early to catchy Descendents’ set, but fuck ’em.