Friday, March 19, 2010

Record Store Day 2010 Update/RIP's/Incoming...

I: 1950-2010/RIP(s)

While we don't like to turn this into an obituary page, rock and roll lost 2 important figures earlier this week--both born in 1950.
We were stunned and saddened to here the news of Alex Chilton passing away suddenly from an apparent heart attack. His work in the almighty Big Star and as a solo artist--and the teenage with the raspy "2 pack-a-day" voice in the Box Tops before all that. Their biggest and most memorable song, "The Letter" has been a personal favorite of mine since I was a always seemed too short. I wanted that song to go on for 5 minutes. Maybe more. Of course, that was the age of 2.5 minute pop songs. Chilton's work with Big Star is legendary, and you can read (or have already read) and heard all about them by now. We hope. Needless to say, Big Star was criminally overlooked in the public eye during their existance--but their stubborn genius too great to be overlooked by the bands they influenced. But this is not an entry to sell records. That will come below. RIP Alex Chilton.
The same day, at nearly the same age (59,60 respectively) longtime Maximum Rock and Roll columnist who, though not a "Robert Christgau" award winning music journalist--his wild enthusiasm for punk rock, both old and new, made him a legend at MRR. Even if you weren't down with his tastes, he made it fun to read anyway. He was admired and well loved and our sympathies go out to his family, friends and his biggest fans.
Certainly, with the passing of Vic Chesnutt, Mark Lincus/Sparklehorse and Doug Fieger--it's been a downer of a few months for some of our loyal customers and we share in your misery. Trust us, we do. Between the lot of them...someone must have lost at least one person they admire, and that's never fun. RIP Bruce!!!!!!! and RIP Alex.

II: RECORD STORE DAY : April 17, 2010
Shit, that's all i got. Here's some of what's been offered--but not promised to us here.
Live performances, free mini-corn dogs and other bullshit stillbeing let us know if you're after anything in particular. Matador is also offering a limited Pavement retrospective lp, a Ted Leo 7". That's all for now...

III: Incoming: New Releases and Re-stocks, re-issues and loads of previously enjoyed records.

Red House Painters - Songs For A Blue Guitar This one went fast the first time around and has bee tough to track down, like much of Mr Kozelek's records. A double lp's worth of Songs For A Blue Guitar--freed from his fiormer bandmates, baring his soul and a little legal red tape, this batch of songs dates back to 1996 and has been handsomely re-issued by Plain Recordings. Also finding it's way back to 2531 is Sun Kill Moon's "Tonight The Sky"--a full length companion piece to his acclaimed "April" lp from 2008. As is often the case with Kozelek's limited and disappears quick. We'll try and keep 'em around as best we can.

The Baby Huey Story - The Living Legend Ironically (is that proper useage? let me know in the comments section, creep) released after his untimely death, Baby Huey was 400+ pounds of pure soul...another situation where he didnt attain the popularity his incredible music warranted. of course, dying didnt help his cause. Regardless, this album is an essential that we just can't get enough of over here at the Scratch. Produced by the almighty (and also the co-writer/writer of several tracks here) Curtis Mayfield, the giant fell victim to his vices (eating and heroin) at the tender age of 26. Another example of a massive (no pun) talent overlooked until years after it's release--the Living Legend is a soul classic.

Lifetime - Hello Bastards The mid-90s benchmark for melodic-hardcore, in an overcrowded genre, Lifetime's debut became a cult classic almost in an instant. As it went out of print after it's initial release on Jade Tree in 1995, it also became a pricey collectors jewel. The fine folks at No Idea Records have made this slab affordable for the common folk with this re-issue (they have since re-issued all of Lifetime's lp's--Jersey's Best Dancers should be arriving next week or so).
Unlike many of their counterparts in the genre, Lifetime has stood the test of time with their fans and are even making new ones with these re-issues.

Die Kreuzen s/t - "The Crosses". Milwaukee's die Kreuzen's self titled LP was, and remains, the cream of 80s hardcore, though not given nearly enough credit for their self titled powerhouse of midwestern creepiness backed with not-so-typical sounding musical outbursts--making it sound perfectly timeless and a forerunner to noisy indie rock/post-punk, "grunge" and the weirder side of punk rock to this day. Truly deranged vocals and guitar meandering that goes beyond the 1-2-3 go power chording. (not that that was a bad thing, by any means) As with a lot of mid-western hardcore, there were no barriers to remain inside of and as a result, these bands have aged with perfectly fucked up grace. A true classic of the genre that could have come out last month and sounded right in place. Released, and re-released with an mp3 download by Touch and Go Records, these also seem to come and go. Fans of aggressive music should not be without one. Barrells has put it in his top 2 hardcore records and that is a 5 star statement.
Thomas Function - Celebration The debut lp after a couple of acclaimed singles from this hard-to-pin down band from Alabama.
Though embraced by the garage rock community perhaps the most, they are anything but. They have a catchy as all hell clean sound that fuses perfectly jangly (i swore i'd never say "jangly" again...i lied) guitars/acoustic guitars, a young augie myers on cheapo organ and a warbly vocalist that sounds like a teenage tom verlaine from Television. Confused? That's just the beginning.
Rootsy? They're cooking up something here and it's equal parts rock and roll, old r&b, bluegrass/country...shit, each song seems to have a personality of it's own. I kinda regret passing on this band at first, as this was released in 2008, but it's never too late to mend.
See for yourself HERE

IV: More restocking action!
  • Screamers - Demos LP Seminal LA synth punk band's only studio recorded material.
  • Bad Religion - How Could Hell Be Any Worse?/Suffer/No Control LP's
  • Patti Smith - Horses LP
  • Velvet Underground LP's--including the "mono banana". All 180 gram vinyl.
  • Dead Boys - We Have Cum For Your Children LP
  • Blue Cheer MONO reissues of Vincebus Eruptum and InsideOutside on Sundazed
  • Grant Green - Green Street LP
  • Thelonious Monk - Monk LP
  • Alkaline Trio - This addiction LP/mp3 card
  • Agnostic Front - United Blood 7"/Victim In Pain LP
  • Cramps - Off the Bone LP
and more coming. next week...including the highly anticipated brand new Eddy Current Suppression Ring lp, She & Him Volume #2, Jawbreaker "Unfun" reissue and more... (there's always more).
Well, that's about it for now folks. Don't forget TUESDAY, March 23 is a FREE IN-STORE show with: Bill "Tracy Morrow" Nehill, Singleman Affair (Chicago) and A Relative Term. Show at 6 pm, sharp.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Marching Into March

From the makers of fine radio and thee finest rock and roll record boutique this side of Delaware Avenue! Out now and available at all Spiral Scratch Records locations! (and select shows)...soon elsewhere:
Scratch N Sniff zine: Music writing from America's diseased underbelly .
Issue:1 features the ramblings of ROT SHIT (pittsburgh), features on late 60's obscure rockers of indigenous decent, LINCOLN STREET EXIT, BRAINCAR, some columns, grainy photos and record reviews you really should be giving credence too. These people like records, like rock and roll, work in record stores and broadcast their favorite records every saturday night in a small fm radio booth while the rest of the world slurps down overpriced drinks in urine soaked taverns...or worse.

Issue #1 is out now and available here NOW.

  • Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me 3x lp box ($24.99) [cd available upon request]
Fans of Joanna Newsom know she transcends folks-pop music. A surprisingly extensive follow up to her acclaimed 2006 effort, Y's-Have One On Me is over 2 hours long. According to recent's not enough. Packaged as a box set and priced to sell! Hurry before they vanish.

  • High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine 2x LP/CD
The fifth studio album from ex-Sleep guitar wizard Matt Pike and the power-trio shows no signs of letting up or settling into a formula. Instead, the band is said to have made a progression on this double-yet avoid the familiar concepts and technicalities that are all too evident on today's more popular metal bands. They would rather pummel you, instead. And that, they do.

  • Infest - 10" - Mankind [deep six records]
Ventura, California's INFEST blazed a trail for one of the hardcore offshoots we now know as 'power-violence'. To the untrained music nerd, Infest is just brutal hardcore-and damn good-n-fierce at it. This 10", originally released in 2004, compiles the Mankind 7", as well as 4 compilation racks. The band existed from the mid 80s, dissolving in the mid-to-late 90s. Their recordings are much sought after and we hope to have the reissue of No mans Slave back in as soon as the people in charge make that possible.
*In case you missed out the first time around, Deep Six is sending us directly, more copies of the mind blowing Low threat Profile 7".

  • King Khan & His Shrines - Three Hairs and You're Mine LP
Following the dissolution of Montreal based garage punk band, the unpredictable King Khan (of the amazing King Khan & BBQ Show!) worked in several projects--the Black Jaspers (recently reissued for the first time) and just prior to that, formed the amazing Shrines in late 1999. Unlike his garagey, lo-fidelity pre and post projects, this is well produced soul/funk with a full horn section. This here is a repress of their elusive first album.
Check it out if you dont trust me: "Don't You Walk Away Mad"

other stuff in this week:
  • Ted Leo & the Pharmacists -The Brutalist Bricks LP - Brand new, just in as I was about to wrap this shit up--The Brutalist Bricks finds "the Pharmacists" as a 4 piece (including Teddy). This ex-punk/Chisel vet effortlessly writes infectious pop songs, a 10 year solo career finds him landing on his third label--Matador, of which these came straight from. Tune.
  • High On Fire - Art Of Self Defense LP Their debut album. Compare & Contrast. Includes a bonus 7".
  • Desert Sessions Volumes 1-6 LP/euro import versions,2 volumes per LP. A long out of print concept led by QOTSA/Kyuss leader Josh Homme, a cast of familiar names and a big sack of mushrooms collaborate in a desert studio. Rare and limited.
  • Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum/Insideoutside [deluxe 180 gram MONO reissues.] Just released on the fantastic Sundazed label. We still have "budget" versions of Vincebus Eruptum and Oh! Pleasant Hope on standard vinyl. Don't let the "budget" scare you off--these are just as likely to blow your head off as the fancy mono audiophile ones.
  • V/A - Our Boy Roy [Roy Orbison Tribute] Today's BEST garage rock/punk superstars pay homage to the mighty Mr. Orbison, all with their own unique twists. Features: Cheater Slicks, Ty Segall, Demons Claws, Jacuzzi Boys, Charlie & the Moonhearts and more!
  • Wasted Time - Futility lp Highly acclaimed hardcore-punk band returns heavier than ever. Real deal stuff here for those still board. No throwback, revival type stuff here...just what it says.
  • GISM - Detestation - High quality "reissue" of Japanese hardcore classic. limited units.
  • She & Him 7" - Two new tracks in anticipation to forthcoming Volume 2 LP.
  • Do Make Say Think - Other Truths LP Canadian post-rock outfits sixth album, on Constellation Records.
  • Mos Def - The Ecstatic - Critically acclaimed "return to form" journalism's way of saying it's his best in quite some time.
  • Priestess - Prior To The Fire LP Signed to TeePee Records, this is the long awaited second album from Montreal based hard rockers.

Make sure to check out the Matador debut of Philly acclaimed singer/songwriter/spaceman/noisemaker Kurt Vile's latest (and first for Matador), Childish Prodigy. It's a favorite of ours, too.

Lastly, Matador has graced us with lower priced reissues of the Pavement catalog--including Wowee Zowee and Brighten The Corners.

More to come.