Monday, December 19, 2011

December Report: Car Crash, Holiday Party, Incoming...

I don't hate the holidays...but I sure can't wait until they are over. Everyone above 30 years old has a bad memory (or misty eyed good one) re-ignited during the joyous season of consumption, getting together and eating and/or drinking. I try not to be a winter whiner. Wino, maybe. They don't have to suck (read below about our Holiday Miracle™ Xmas Party at Spiral Scratch '11) and so far, they don't. Quite an accomplishment given the current surroundings. My holiday season received a jolt at he hands of a 100+ year old tree in Kenmore, NY about 5 houses down from Chateau D'Anchovies. (did you know it's an automatic traffic ticket if you strike a tree in kenmore, Ny with your vehicle? well. it is. funfacts!) It was a day like any other...I was running late to open the shop--pre-empting a shower, coffee or splash of water to the face I began the coast to the stop sign in the vehicle I received after my beloved father unexpectedly passed away in 2008. A 2005 Ford Explorer. USMC bumper stickers and various religious items planted inside by my mother which I didn't dare remove.

I never particularly cared for 'the truck'--except when i could engage 4 wheel drive and drive through snowbanks with the greatest of ease. But i felt part of the old man in that vehicle with me, which I shamefully let become my office on wheels. It had a particularly annoying feature: a constant beeping until all seatbelts were engaged. I backed out while lighting a cigarette, slammed it in drive and checked the time as I turned to buckle up for safety. How fast was I going? No idea. I was approaching a stop sign. or so I thought. A surreal jolt and the world had turned on its side. In addition, I felt my head wet (two streams of headblood) and my side pierced with a sudden pain. I drifted off the road and struck a tree, flipping "the truck" on to it's side. no air bag deployment...just the sound of vehicle fluids pouring from a huge open wound on the right front end. I thought it might blow up as I began crawling through broken glass and trying to salvage a box of my favorite records which was riding shotgun.
Fuck it! She's gonna blow while I'm picking up records, trapped inside a vehicle on a quiet Tuesday afternoon. Physical Graffitti! Alladin Sane! Perfect copies! Back into the box. Still, nobody had arrived on the scene. I could see a local baby sitter just looking from the safety of her porch as I tried to open a door. None were cooperating. I turned back to gather more cherished items. Well into shock and "what the hell just happened?" mode, I was somewhat clear thinking (for me, anyway) I hoped nothing "sketchy" or even..."illegal" had been left inside that could make the worst situation worse. I checked the usual spots. Clean as a whistle. (what does that even mean? you'd think a whistle would be filled with old spittle and gross shit. I've never thought about it. Idioms. Maybe it's the sound?) "Unlock the door!" i tried, but it wouldnt work. Put the truck in park, more records seperated from broken glass, more blood. Eventually I'm helped out and dusting myself off it sinks in. I'm not hurt enough to not be "up shit creek" (now there's an idiom i GET). I've destroyed the truck. My dad's truck. Now the last time I was in a serious car accident, I was a tiny child of sorts. I don't even remember it. This, my cherry popper. The ugliest sound, a ton of metal and rubber slamming into an immovable object (or, in some cases, another ton of metal and rubber which is movable--but devastating still.)
The police arrive, the fire department and eventually a meat wagon crawls to the scene on all fours. Think i'll just take my records and go home for the day. Some guy is helping me carry stuff to my porch before they take it away. It's early afternoon and I'm clearly sober, but if you hit a tree 50 feet from your driveway, you get the drills. the light to the eyes. the sobriety tests, the option to get a free ride to kenmore mercy™ or walk home. i go home, aching and the neighbors still aren't speaking to me. Happy Holidays, neighbor. 3 days later i make sure i haven't popped a lung ( 2 cracked ribs which, in case you are not aware, hurt like a motherfucker /HLMF. (sorry folks).

Holiday Miracle at Spiral Scratch (beta) December 17th, 2011

An offhanded idea due to lack of holiday party invites blossomed into the first Spiral Scratch Holiday Miracle & Xmas Party! (but...the deals? it said super deals!)

Thank you to all who attended the holiday gala in our newly civilized dungeon/storeage & showspace. We were, again, humbled by all who atteneded and hope your time was as good as ours. Though we remained open until passed 1 a.m., it wasnt about records so much as it was hanging out, listening to music, eating, drinking, sulking with good people. And make no mistake, you're all fine folks for walking through those doors. Pictures forthcoming and will be edited into this post.

Music supplied by Teo (papa t) Lazar and Anchovies.

We hope to do more events like this without a reason in the future, too.



Thee Oh Sees/Total Control split 12" By now, if you read this blog or shop at SS, theres a good chance you are familiar with at least one of these bands. Upstart aussies (featuring Mikey from Eddy Current) Total Control unleashed a whopper of a debut album on an unsupecting public (Henge Beats) while Thee Oh Sees continued to dominate in many ways. remaining consistent at the fever pitch of releases must be a daunting task...but Thee Oh Sees seem to have plenty of gas in the tank. Here are 4 killer tracks from each band who recently toured North America.

CULO - LIFE IS VILE...AND SO ARE WE! (Deranged) Yes you are, Culo...just not Kurt Vile. He has a new 12" out which is the bonus disc of the recently repackaged "Childish Prodigy" LP. Culo have very little in common with the Philly songwriter and I'd imagine not too many people own both albums! This here is a collection of Culo's singles (trendy thing this report). Goddamn. Culo are a spastic, punk-type hardcore band from Chicago. A slew of singles to their credit are gathered here on a fine introductory singles comp. Punk ain't dead, ya big jerks. And if you long for the good ol' days, here's a good band to check out who, while influenced by the past, are just using it as a guide while creating NOW sounding punk rock. Check 'em out HERE (mp3).

EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING- So Many Things (Goner) One of three croooooshial [sic] singles comps that were released in December, So Many Things carries you through the very early days of the band (started on a lark by 4 australian record plant employees at a work christmas party back in 2003). Bare bones rock and roll, ECSR have released a slew of singles (most oop and hard to find) and 3 stellar lp's. While members seem to be taking time off to work on other projects, get acquainted with a chronilogical collection featuring a killer pagans cover, the bands tendency to release longer, hypnotic jammers that showcase their live show and chemistry as a band. Shit, I could talk all day about this of my favourites of the last few years. A must own for all fans of the band.

TY SEGALL - SINGLES 2007-2010 (Goner) - I recall, at the advice of consultant/guru Richie "Chuck Barrels" K. of terminal-boredom fame, ordering Segalls debut 12" in the early days of the shop. "This kid is a wunderkind. He's gonna get big." Well, I may often absorb credit for great music barrels turned me on to (but thats the way its supposed to be, anyway) and spreading it to anyone who would listen to me. Many did and in 2011, Ty Segall is pretty big considering the genre, not to mention he has excelled as songwriter in that time. Here, this double album chronologically lays down Segalls rise in both songwriting and fidelity; the early days were killer, yet pretty lo-fi. He loves covering songs and putting his own stamp on them (if you are lucky, you own a killer lp's worth of T-Rex covers aptly titled "Ty Rex") along with ace b-sides (and a sides). Some of his finest moments came off these 7" records over the last few years.

OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANS - s/t (dischord) Featuring DC figurehead J. Robbins, this band started off as a one-off live show and ended up as a collaborative band who have recently released their debut album. Good looking men with very little hair, but a fine pedigree. They also have a 7" out, and this should make fans of the band and/or its members (drummer darren zentek was also in kerosene 454). Straight from Dischord Records along with a hefty restock from the labels back catalog, and Helmet's "Strap It On" & "Meantime" and Sonic Youth's "Evol" & "Sister" reissues.

MIKAL CRONIN - s/t Cronin fronts a garage rock band (who kick ass, by the way) called the MOONHEARTS and while this album was produced by Ty Segall and features wildman John Dwyer (thee Oh Sees) blowing into a flute--this ain't no garage rock record as much as it is a killer rockin' pop album, well produced by Segall. seemingly coming out of nowhere (and suggested to us by Matt Byrne, a buffalo-to-chicago distro sales guy), Cronin has people talking after rave reviews (including an 8.1 poke from Pitchfork) and a buzz from the internet intelligentsia. And that's a good thing when you know the album is gonna hold up, you can't stop listening to it.
Another bright spot in the very prolific SanFran garage scene, Cronin tends to lean more towards psychedelic pop, catchy harmonies and sometimes rocking out. But it's an accomplishment for such a young man and top notch album released by the thoroughly awesome 0 label, based out of Chiago and big helpers following our shop fire.

SIGUR ROS - INNI Sigur Ros vinyl has been no easy task to stock, except for the "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust" lp which you will usually find in stock, it's been hard to obtain. Inni is a 3 lp set detailing the Icelandic post-rockers live show in both audio (3xlp or 2x cd) and visual (dvd) form. With an unbeatable price, we proudly have a few of these to go around--though they were first thought to be limited.

other incoming new things of note:

Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
Mark "BBQ" Sultan - Whenever I Want/Whatever I Want (clear)
Torche/Part Chimp split 12"
the Saints - Eternally Yours (reissue)
Kylesa/Victims 7"
Waste Management 7"
Deafheaven (and a healthy Deathwish™ restock)
M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming
Real Estate - Days
Jesus Lizard - Club
Guilty Pleasures lp
Screeching Weasal - Carnival...
Spits - V
Brain F
Brown Sugar lp/7"
White Whale/Mallwalkers split 7"
Drug Party cassette series: Dirt Eyes, Utah Jazz, Mallwalkers, Rat Mask

plus loads of previously enjoyed product, new Melted Record Bowls, lp+7" sleeves, 45 spindles, and GIFT CERTIFICATES good on anything in the store--including special orders.

thanks for reading.

5:47 a.m.

and happy birthday to one of the most solid dudes i've been privileged to know since i was 10 days old. J.Zampano turns 41.