Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 10/12/2011

[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. Now that things are unpacked, I might as well talk about my move, through the gift of song. As always, e-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Toi Amos’ Boys For Pele (1996) on clear, Jimmy Eat World’s “Pain” b/w “Shame” (2004) on clear sky blue, and The Meters’ Struttin (1970) on black.

Place of Purchase: I gave Michelle Boys For Pele as a gift. I obtained it through secret means. Jimmy Eat World came from Spaceboy Records in Philadelphia (R.I.P.). The Meters were part of a trade-in with Siren Records in Doylestown.

Thoughts: During the move, some records came to us by chance. Others were clearly going to get massive rotation. Boys For Pele falls in the latter category. It’s one of Michelle’s favorite records, if not her absolute favorite. I find the record to be a little uneven and intense, but got-damn does it sound good on vinyl. It’s Amos at her most unhinged, powered by nothing but harpsichord, drums, and rage. Tunes like “Caught a Light Sneeze” and “Hey Jupiter” are pretty darn intense and rocking. What’s funny about this record is that every time a woman comes out with an experimental pop record, be it Bat For Lashes or Joanna Newsome or even that upcoming Bjork album, people call daring and weird and great. And all I can think is, “None of you have listened to Boys For Pele.”

I’m up to the Js for myPod, in which I try to edit down my music collection by ripping through the whole dang thing. I spent a lot of time during my first week in the house listening to Jimmy Eat World. My emo collection in general is shrinking, and I figured I would cut some more albums here, but I hit a snag with Futures, the first JEW album to come out after the classic run of Clarity and Bleed American. For years, I argued that Futures was an underrated classic. It combines Bleed’s hooks with Clarity’s more luscious arrangements. But I found myself kind of neutral on the record all these years later, and I rarely played it anymore. But something forced me to stick with it. I lived with the album for two days and came out loving it all over again. Futures is a lot angrier than Bleed American, as evidenced by the single “Pain.” The B-side, “Shame,” is a little more giving, and I would gladly have rotated it onto the final album’s tracklisting in place of “Drugs or Me.” Chase This Light is gone, though.

The Meters are a funky, funky band. I like to listen to music when I do just about anything, but especially when I cook. Struttin makes for excellent cooking music. Propelled by “Zigaboo” Modeliste’s freewheeling drumbeats, The Meters could find a groove and make it last for as short or as long as they wanted. Struttin has some choice cuts, like “Go For Yourself” and “Hand Clapping Song,” but I kind of prefer the weirder cuts like “Chicken Strut,” in which the band, funkily, imitates roosters, and “Ride Your Pony,” in which the group is very insistent that you ride that pony right now. This record really helped me figure out how to use an electric stove.

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