Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Oh, You Haven't Heard!? Honest/ly: Tame Impala - 'Cause I'm A Man (2015)

Tame Impala - 'Cause I'm a Man

Tame Impala's first single from their new album, Currents.  Due out June 15, 2015.  If you haven't heard of these guys, I have a feeling you will soon.  This is their 3rd album, and so far they're sounding kinda close to Sebastian Tellier* circa 2008 on his album, Sexuality.   In any event, these Aussie Psych-Rockers have definitely found a more grown up sound.  It's like, The Black Angels meet Neon Indian.  Seriously, great stuff that you're missing here.  

*Haven't heard of Sebastian Tellier either huh?  Then you tell me how awesome he is now.  (Can't find this on vinyl no matter how hard I try...)

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Dresden Dolls - The Virginia Monologues - 2015 (2006/2008)

Yup...  That happened.

In continuing my month long picks from the "haul" of  RSD 2015, this one is literally the dark horse.  The dude responsible for the hopefully soon to return video series, Vinyl Patrol, gifted me this incredible 3 LP RSD exclusive Dresden Dolls release last week.  It was part of my original list of stuff to wake up for that morning, but it quickly fell out of my vision as it was quite expensive and actually sold out before I could even get to that area.  Thank the vinyl gods for The Telegraph in New London CT for having one left on my recent tour to the shoreline record stores of CT last week.

The Dresden Dolls are a duo straight outta Boston that many would categorize as a cabaret band.  I had to ask, what the hell is a cabaret band, even after being a fan of these guys since before they were founded about 15 years ago when they called themselves Out of Arms.  Turns out, they're not a cabaret band.  They're Dark Cabaret.  So, what's that?  In my most humble of opinions, if Riot Grrl music was created during the steam punk era, these guys would be icons of the genre.  I mean that both is message, and style.

At first glance one would think that the Dolls were from the end of the New Wave or mid Goth/industrial era.  You're not wrong for thinking that.  Matter of fact, if it wasn't for Nine Inch Nails, The Dresden Dolls probably would have been relegated to regional fame as a niche act opening only for dark wave musicians.  Instead, the Dolls brought something new to music that the sub genres of dark wave hasn't seen before.  They simply removed the electronics.  The duo features Amanda (Fucking) Palmer and Brian Viglione.  Viglione an accomplished musician playing a wealth of instruments including the ukulele, and Palmer, and outstanding vocalist and performance artist.  Combined they relied on their strengths.  In a crowded field of music that was recovering from the alternative, "I wanna die" Nirvana style, The Dolls actually chose to glorify the absurdity of it through performance.  The Dolls have a darker bordering more on punk than manufactured industrial sounds, yet nowhere near the anarchy and anger of punk.  Sounds weird right?  Check this out.

Coin Operated Boy

I'm not going to begin to dig deep enough to sell you on how amazing these two are.  You're either a fan or you're not.  I would encourage you to at the very least listen to some of their lesser known songs to get a feel for just how alternative they really are.  Frankly, The Dresden Dolls are far too easy to mistake for a goth band and to that end a lot of people dismiss them for something they're not.  If you ever had an affinity for adult punk, or were ever in a dark place, or ever just enjoyed a great cabaret show, you'll love them and their message.  For bonus points, find some of their live footage.  It's seriously on the level of Cirque du Soleil.

This release from RSD 2015, The Virginia Monologues, features music from their 2nd studio album, Yes Virginia from 2006 and another album of B sides released in 2008, No Virginia.  Sing, which is easily one of the greatest songs ever performed really rounded that album out.  But, other songs of note from this release include, Backstabber, Dirty Business, and Shores of California.

Shores of California

From No Virginia, which was a menagerie of music that if left on Yes Virginia would have probably messed with peoples heads.  Songs like, The Kill, and the Psychedelic Furs cover of Pretty in Pink are must listens, but you would be doing yourself a disservice by not hearing Night Reconnaissance.

Night Reconnaissance

As you can see from above, this is an absolutely beautiful release.  It was pressed as 3 separate 12" pieces of wax, each marbled in red, white, and blue.  It's a shame I'm so backed up in listening to a ton of everything else, otherwise I would have opened this one already.  Heck, for what it's worth, it's just fun to look at right now.  If you can find this one anywhere, grab it quick while it's still reasonably affordable.  I recommend your favorite local record store.  Bonus if you're in CT.  You might spot one in Wallingford perhaps...  Just sayin.

Next week, Some people call him the space cowboy....  Or perhaps it'll be Strange Day's indeed.  Haven't decided.  #TooMuchAwesomeVinylToChoose

Monday, May 18, 2015

The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan 1995 (Sort Of)

RSD 2015

The day this was announced as a Record Store Day exclusive, plenty of people noticed.  Fans of The White Stripes, fans of vinyl, haters of Jack White, a lot of people.  Why would this many people have so many mixed feeling about The White Stripes 5th studio album?  Maybe because it featured a much stronger presence from Meg White and much less soaring of the guitar riffs from Jack.  Perhaps it was because it was a lot more commercial than Elephant that was released 2 years prior.  Just as easily it could be simply because of the now eccentric status of Jack White.  Frankly, I think has a lot more to do with the fact that it's the only White Stripes album never released on vinyl originally.  -Wait, what!?

If you recall the random post from March 3, 2015

Indeed, Get Behind Me Satan had no commercial vinyl release simply because Jack White is for lack of a better word, a bit eccentric.  In this case that's a very good thing.  If it wasn't for Jack being Jack, we would never have gotten such genius as Lazaretto, The Raconteurs, or my personal favorite, The Dead Weather.  (Come on, The Kills + Jack White = Some Serious Shit²)  As usual with Jack, he's got a flair for perfection and exotic methods.  If you've ever seen him live you probably know that he's immensely talented.  He plays multiple instruments, he can sing, he can manipulate sounds with both production tools and  pure mastery of the instrument.  On this album, he plays the mandolin if you can fathom that.  That said, The Stripes had every intention of releasing this on vinyl, but knowing how superior the medium was, Jack wanted to re-record the whole album in a specific studio specifically for vinyl as opposed to CD or even worse, electronic quality.  Unfortunately for him, by the time The Stripes got around to recording it, in Brazil of all places, the studio was basically shut down and therefore the decision was made to just go with it and not have a commercial vinyl release.

Seeing as though the album has sold quite well, and won the Grammy for Best Alternative album in 2006 from the CD/Tape/mp3 sales, it isn't like vinyl would have broke them.  The album was release for promotional purposes on vinyl limited to 600 copies, however to own one of these meant that you either were someone of great importance in the music scene, or saved the life of someone high up in the music scene.  For the 10 year anivarsary of this, one of their best selling albums, it was (re)released for Record Store Day as a limited edition release for the masses.  Of course, following Whites last major Third Man Records release, Lazaretto, he went a bit over the top with the production value of this vinyl.

Yep, that's the whole thing.  2 records, 1 red, 1 white.  Sealed in a gatefold cover with a lenticular cover.  (That's a hologram for you non witch folk).  And it's damn incredible.  The pictures don't do it justice.  It sounds just as awesome as it did originally taking me back to my high school days when I first heard it. 

Blue Orchid

So obviously, the lead track, Blue Orchid is the winner on this album.  I'm sure the intro to Blue Orchid is what turned a lot of people into Stripes fans that year too..  You would do well to remember that there were some other epic tracks on there like The Denial Twist, (Great video BTW), Take, Take, Take, Ugly as I Seem, and of course, The Nurse.

The Denial Twist

If you couldn't get your hands on this particular vinyl release version, it's no big deal.  It will be released later on this year as a standard release, probably without breaking the bank.  Consider also joining Jack Whites Third Man Records Vault.  It's a subscription based "crate" of sorts where 4 times a year you get a metric fuck ton of ultra rare and supremely cool Jack White and Jack White related swag.  

Next week, more RSD 2015 stuff.  If you paid attention to a recent random post you already got the obviously obvious hint. 

Friday, May 15, 2015


Monday, May 11, 2015

Johnny Marr - The Messenger (2013) + RSD Exclusive!

*Appologies for no updates for the past 3 weeks.  Lots of grief literally and other assorted stuff.  The good news is, I still have my RSD cache to feature and everything else I had planned through the spring*

Are there any Smiths fans among us?  If you lived through the 80's and didn't get even a little excited over a Smiths/Morrissey air play, you're just not human.  If your knowledge of The Smiths is limited to "The Charmed Song" I feel sorry for you.  I will however forgive you if at the very least you appreciate the individual achievements of the individuals behind The Smiths.  I'll do a Morrissey pick sometime much later this year, but with a great single released this past Record Store Day, and having lucked into his first solo release I have to pick Johnny Marr's 2013 The Messenger.

Johnny Marr, in my opinion anyway, is among the greatest living alternative guitarists right now.  He was the other half of the lyrical genius that was The Smiths, and was responsible for the soaring technical riffs as the groups lead guitarist.  Check out The Smiths Girl Afraid.  

It also wouldn't be a career unless Johnny was part of a super group.  Soon after The Smiths imploded sometime around 1987, Johnny Mar got together with what is essentially The Pet Shop Boys, New Order and Kraftwerk to form the group Electronic.  That collective hotness gave us 4 albums and a ton of singles both recorded and bootleg between 1988 and 1999.  You'll want to listen to Get The Message from their first album, and you'll have to listen to Tighten Up as well.  

Ahead of his solo release in 2013, he dropped the single Upstarts which teased what he was capable of on his own, and it was nothing short of incredible.

Upstarts - The Messenger

The Messenger is probably best classified as Indie Rock, somewhere out there with Echo and The Bunnymen, The Smiths obviously, and to a degree shades of late in life New Order.  While nowhere near as dark, it's still just as deep.  With Johnny destroying tracks on this album it also kinda makes you wonder if this dude ever even ages.

We're not stopping here though.  This past Record Store Day a few weeks ago, he released a 7" vinyl,  I Feel You which is his cover of Depeche Mode's epic 1993 album Songs of Faith and Devotion.  Frankly Marr's version is significantly grittier and his guitar work is just plain filthy.  I mean, listen to both versions and you tell me.  On the flipside of this single is Marr's take on a Smiths classic, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.  Again, when left alone, without the group and Morrissey bring him down, Marr wreck this track something fierce.  
I Feel You - I Feel You 7" Single

Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want - 7" Single Live

All things considered, if you never knew how good Johnny Marr was outside of The Smiths, you need to get to know it now.  I'm not going to suggest you run out and grab The Messenger on Vinyl right now, though you can get it fairly cheap new, I would encourage you strongly to find  copy of I feel you ASAFP!  Trust me.  You will, like me, wear this out.  I really wish I had a 2nd copy.  Damn.   Next week, more RSD hotness hologram style.