Tag Archive for 'LP'

The Blackhole Album Story – What We Know (and Ultimately Don’t) About Ryan Adams’s Unreleased Masterpiece

Amidst all of the activity surrounding the release of Ryan Adams’s latest self-titled album (big full-band tour, high-profile TV and radio appearances, many interviews) the latest news about a legendary (at least amongst the Adams faithful) unreleased album titled Blackhole has started to resurface, prompted by Ryan talking about it as well as performing a couple of songs from it.

To understand the Blackhole story, one needs to start in the middle of it. In 2010, Adams released the first of his post-Lost Highway Records releases.

A quick synopsis of his career at that point is that he was famously at odds with his label who had a different idea about what the very prolific Adams should be releasing than he did. A feud was waged in public resulting in compromises on both sides of the relationship– quick cash-ins from the label who put out a compilation record of unreleased material squashing the promise of probably three full albums of songs, Adams spitefully releasing Rock N Roll which he regards as “jokey” as a result of Lost Highway not wanting to put out Love Is Hell as one release. He was let out of his contract following 2008’s Cardinology and granted ownership of all of the unreleased recordings he had created during that time.

But, in 2007 there were plans afoot to put out a box set of the unreleased songs while he was still on Lost Highway. Although I can’t find a direct source for the article, everyone quotes a September 2007 article for Q Magazine where he talks about 20:20 which among other rare albums he would include Blackhole, saying, “It’s like a real serious effort to make a rock record, really epic and big. None of those absurdist jokey lyrics like on Rock N Roll. You listen to it and think, ‘My God, this guy is gonna die.’ That was the last record I made in the last days of the drugs.”

In 2010 he spun up a full version of his Pax Americana/PaxAm imprint– one that he had used to release a few tour-only 7″es with the intention of releasing some of his vast archives of recordings as well as new. The hardcore fans knew about a lot of the unreleased archives due to rampant bootlegging of sessions (likely a result of the mismanagement by Lost Highway– a few of these made it out the door as promotional CD’s).  In Spring of 2010, Adams put out a vinyl/digital release of a “metal concept album” called Orion. Recorded in 2006 during the recordings of Easy Tiger the punky metal album would likely never have seen the light of day under the curation of Lost Highway.

Riding a wave of unexpected productivity, Adams announced shortly after the delivery of the orders of Orion what he had planned next. A 2 LP compilation of Cardinals-backed leftovers songs from the Easy Tiger sessions, titled III/IV (meaning the 3rd and 4th LP’s following Cold Roses which was labeled “I” and “II”) which eventually came out in December of 2010 after Adams inked a distribution deal with Orchard for the album (likely surrendering to the pains of independent distribution and mailing releases) and Blackhole– an album he started working on in 2005 and revisited in 2010 with some additional overdubs, mixing and mastering with Jamie Candiloro (who was part of Orion as well).

Thanks to the fans over at the Ryan Adams Boards of tobeyoung.org (who are carrying the sole flag of RA Fandom since the demise of the ryanadamsarchives boards) we have some concise bits of the history through Ryan’s own posts to social media. Poster mustbeburt provided most of the 2010 posts about Blackhole as well as a picture of the test pressing, which I augmented with other sources from the boards:

03.2010
“Congrats Jamie C… After 4 years of production work we finished the infmous never-ending BLACKHOLE Record tonight! What a trip! Big love to the Candyman… WOOP WOOP ( or woot wut or something one of those kind of football noises here!!!”

03.15.2010
From a post to Facebook: “Why Does This Come Out LeftHanded? Gtr Stuffz at BananaChicken… So FUN!!!”

06.11.10

RA Blackhole Test Pressing

“oh yeah, p.s. the “Blackhole” LP ( recorded over Christmas in 2005 ) is also back from the mastering plant. I f’n love this thing. It took 4 years to make it and to me it is basically Love is Hell Part 3… lots of shimmery guitar love on this. Exciting times!!!

06.19.10
No. You never heard BLACKHOLE. only two songs ( the demo versions or rough versions of DiscoQueen and Tomorrowland ) were every out there.

09.04.10
total bullshit. Blackhole will go to preorder after III/IV.
don’t listen to these sites with this shit or the one’s that have “tour dates” or made up guarantees- they are full of shit.
The people I work with don’t have websites they have telephones and they do business the old fashioned way, over lunch and in great detail.
hang in there, all 6 of you, who are still excited.

WAIT– what? We already heard two songs? Indeed it seems as though Ryan slipped us a couple of Blackhole tracks during his aborted attempt at doing a “Digital Singles” series in 2009. The third and final of these was “Tomorrowland” and “Disco Queen.

Also, that video from 3/15/2010 shows Ryan adding guitars to what is very likely “S.O.S.” which he released as a song on the “fake” Sad Dracula album Fasterpiece as part of the avalanche of music (24 albums) he released to his website in 2006/2007.

S.O.S. by Ryan Adams (Sad Dracula) on Grooveshark

Ultimately, we never saw the preorder for Blackhole, and it seemed that the issues surrounding getting III/IV out the door for the pre-orders took a toll on the future of the PaxAm releases. Ryan announced on the ryanadamsarchives boards that he was through trying to release albums on his own. I have the full quote in this article. He did release a few amazing Record Store Day 7″es and also the massive Live After Deaf compendium box set of his 2011 solo acoustic tour independently. Ashes & Fire was a PaxAm release jointly with Capitol which established his free agent method of releases– similar to how Prince is handling his catalog. Adams’s new self-titled album is PaxAm jointly with Blue Note Records.

The recording and releases of Ashes & Fire in 2011, touring, an aborted followup to Ashes & Fire and his new album would continue to hold up the release Blackhole. Ryan isn’t really much for dwelling on the past. He records so much new material he would likely never need to go back and revisit old material, unless he needed some closure.

But nobody forgot about Blackhole. During interviews about Ashes & Fire, he was asked about Blackhole.

From Record Collector magazine (and clipped by alt.country.org):

RC: “And what about those people who’ve been waiting for Blackhole?”

RA: “It’s all done. It’s all mastered,” Adams says. It’s also been five years in the making, with Ryan going in to the studio at the end of 2010 to finish it. “When I started demoing for the new record, my intention was to go finish Blackhole — which I did.” he says. “There were guitars missing and a few vocals that were just too fucked up at the time to put out.” Adams and his drummer even found sound effects and song fragments that they’d entirely forgotten about. Eventually, several extra songs were added to the mix, and the album was finished with the help of old notes and photographs taken when the project began. “All of a sudden, we knew that that was the real record. Like that was exactly what we had intended,” he enthuses, adding, “It’s historical how it was put together.” As “easy and as beautiful and as natural” as recording Ashes & Fire was, Adams notes: “Rescuing Blackhole was like rescuing my past. It’s like Love is Hell’s sister. In every way. In the most profound way. My most beautiful electric guitar: Johnny Marr-inspired guitar. It’s just all in there.” 

Here is what he said to Onion’s AVClub around the same time about it:

AVC: Speaking of putting out more records, you’ve talked about finally completing Blackhole, which dates back to the mid-’00s. What’s its status?

RA: The art is done. The album is mastered. It’s so ready to go. But the thing is, I just did this Ashes & Fire record, and there’s also a live box-set thing. It sounds so brutal and old-school and great. People were good enough to not bootleg the shows. We asked them not to. I’ve always let my fans tape all the shows. I was like, “Just let me do it right.” So we did this really cool set list, and did that, so that’s sort of waiting. And Blackhole is badass, man. I fucking love it. It’s like Love Is Hell, but more up. It has that same feeling and texture, the way Love Is Hell sounds. It’s definitely [Love Is Hell producer] John Porter 101, although the record was not recorded with John Porter, it was tracked with [producer] Tom Schick, and then finished with [producer and Cardinals member] Jamie Candiloro, and also this guy that works with The Strokes sometimes, Gus [Oberg]. It’s sort of like everybody that I’ve ever worked with has a little bit of engineering on it.

We mixed it for four months just to get it exactly right, like adding guitars, subtracting guitars. I even went to New York with [bandmate] Johnny T, who I originally recorded it with, and we opened up all the sessions. We put all the reels back on; we found pieces of songs that were only kind of done that were so good, we were fucking finishing things, but really respectfully. By the time it was done, we got it down to 11 songs, leaving a bunch of shit off. But I was like, “I want it to be exactly what it should be.” A few of my friends have it, and it reduced a few of them to tears. It is so much of [that] time. And it’s cool, too, ’cause it’s sort of like the last party. [Laughs.] So it has beauty, but it has a darkness. But what’s really cool about it is, it has the darkness and it has the wisdom, but to me, it has the feeling of the one fucking thing all of my records were missing, the one part of the story, which is a record that’s sort of just reveling in youth, and reveling in life, as it is. It’s not a “Go to the beach” record, but it’s like, “Let’s go out at night and let’s fuckin’ be werewolves of chaos in New York.” It had that fuckin’ reckless-abandon feeling, and I love it for that.

I love that there’s this great picture of that time. It feels really good, and it’s super, super-connected to all the post-punk records I loved growing up. It’s probably the best electric guitar-playing I’ve ever done, the best bass-playing I’ve ever done, and the most consistently psychedelic rock record that it could be. But it’s not hippie stuff at all. It’s a record that you could listen to if you were listening to The Lemonheads or listening to My Bloody Valentine, or Hüsker Dü. It really is an alternative record.

Another quote from Paste Magazine

“…the long-gestating, finally completed Blackhole, on which he played all the instruments other than drums, just like 2003’s Rock N Roll,  although he describes it as Love Is Hell’s “rock sibling.” Adams started and recorded most of it in 2006—“It was the last sessions I did before I knocked all that crap out—drinkin’, partyin’ and all that stuff. So it was the tail end of that crazy winter, so it has that energy, which is really beautiful. I haven’t decided when or how I’m gonna put it out, but there are songs on that people in my life really love—my wife digs it, my best friend thinks it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done—and my other best friend is the only other person on the record: Johnny T played drums on it. Whatever it was that wasn’t done, we just finished it off, and it’s one of the coolest things ever, man.”

And, with those interviews in 2011, that was the last we heard about Blackhole until the recent interviews in support of Ryan Adams.

Adams had been performing a new song titled “Catherine” which was not on the tracklisting for the new album. The first time we got to hear it was for the Newport Folk Festival appearance in July. While the song seemed to fit with the rest of the songs on the new album, its appearance with no initial explanation sparked some debate on the boards about what it was. One leading theory was that it was possibly a song that would be included in the recently announced PaxAm 7-inch Singles series, or possibly it was a bonus track for an import version of the album.

Then Adams spilled the beans on “Catharine” on last weeks’ World Cafe performance– it is a track from Blackhole, and then performed another song “The Door” from it! Here is the exerpt of the interview with David Dye:

DD: “Is there anything that hasn’t seen the light of day that you want to get out?”

RA: “Yeah, I think I’m finally ready, maybe, to release the Blackhole record that’s been on the shelf for a long time. It’s been hiding, and there’s been actually two versions of it which is pretty interesting. But it’s actually gotten to the point where I think I’ve gotta let it out there. I’ve got to let it out in its weird context. I’m going to try to do it in a way where the finished thing of what I’ve always dreamed it was is released and maybe I’ll make some kind of pocket of the really raw and crazy from before because it was the last record I made when I was on drugs and I say that in like a sweet way. I took drugs to stay in the studio longer and to play music I didn’t take drugs to wander down the street or sit at a bar or whatever. I always just wanted to play and there was something about that you know? And that record particularly– it’s the finale of that time that met with tracks that happened just after. So, there is a real tempest there.

When you put together your setlist– do ever do any of that stuff live?

OK, this is cool because people don’t know this yet, but they keep asking about this song. This song “Catherine” that we have been playing live is from Blackhole.

Is there one you can do for us?

Yeah, we’re gonna do one that’s never played live before called “The Door.”

In Summary:

Blackhole is mastered, has cover art and will be 11 tracks. Of the 11 tracks, we have five songs confirmed: “Tomorrowland,” “Disco Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Catherine” and “The Door.”

As far as the liklihood that Blackhole will come out soon, it’s anybody’s guess and as we see with all of the quotes I’ve included here, he’s been talking about the album for many years. At least the basic work has been done to prepare the album for release so it is ready to go to manufacturing. In an interview with Bob Mehr for Buzzfeed.com, Adams says that he might consider releasing it for the next Record Store Day (probably the April 2015 one and not the Black Friday one considering he’d still be touring through the end of November for the new album). In an upcoming interview with Chris Familton of fasterlouder.com, he says, ““I think I might release that, though I haven’t completely decided. It’s my own label, my own studio and my own rules so yeah, I’m open to releasing stuff that hasn’t come out but right now it’s about stuff I’ve been making in the last few years because there’s so much of it.”

New Hiss Golden Messenger Album “Lord I Love The Rain” Expands on Bonus EP – Out 10/28

I wasn’t expecting a new release from Hiss Golden Messenger so soon after the release of the brilliant Poor Moon. Though I guess it has already almost been a year since it’s limited vinyl release on Paradise of Bachelors, but in that year Poor Moon received a reissue of sorts in April as a CD on Thompkins Square giving it the distinction of being one of the few contemporary releases on the label.

For the pre-order campaign for Poor Moon, MC Taylor tried a kind of Indiegogo/Kickstarter approach by providing tiered bonuses, which included a digital download of a live recording, and a 6-track EP called Lord I Love The Rain that was made up of solo acoustic tracks from Bad Debt, and a “conceptual soundtrack” called He Wore Rings on Every Finger. It was a welcomed, if a bit uneven collection of songs serving as bonus content.

This week it was announced that Lord I Love The Rain would get an expanded and improved treatment to serve as a bridge to the “proper” follow up to Poor Moon titled Haw to come out March 2013 on Paradise of Bachelors. This release will be produced by the German label Jellyfant in a limited run of 600 with only 240 making their way to our shores. The LP is mixed by Scott Hirsch of HGM and mastered by Anthony Puglisi who has done an amazing job with a few of the last vinyl releases in the HGM catalog. The cover will be Folkways-style paste-on jackets designed by Brendan Greaves, with liner notes by folklorist, curator and guitarist Nathan Salsburg. Brendan also designed the LP jacket for Poor Moon.

In addition to remixing the songs from the EP for this release, it also gains some additional tracks, loses a track and gets re-sequenced into an album where one side is made up of the Bad Debt lo-fi recordings, and the second side is made up of full-band songs in a kind of Rust Never Sleepsfashion. The new songs are a couple of covers– “The Revenant” from Michael Hurley, and “Tell Everyone” by Ronnie Lane, plus an instrumental “War” on the full band side, and “Karen’s Blues,” “He Wrote The Book,” “Roll River Roll” on the solo acoustic side. On the changes made for this release Taylor said, “We weren’t satisfied with the original version [of the EP], especially “Bright Phoebus” which was just flat and dumb. So it’s really nice to get another crack at it. I think the whole collection hangs together nicely. It’s nice to have the physical divide of sides A and B to separate the lo-fi from the higher fidelity [songs.]” Having listened to the collection a few times, I completely agree. The collection goes from being a kind of odds-and-sods to a release that works as a whole.

Side A
Karen’s Blues
He Wrote the Book
Roll River Roll
Father Sky
Westering
Fox and His Friends

Side B
Born on a Crescent Moon
The Revenant (Michael Hurley)
War
You Never Know
Tell Everyone (Ronnie Lane)

To get in on this rare release, you can pre-order from Taylor and Hirsch’s label Heaven and Earth Magic for $20 plus shipping, which is a pretty good deal. Plus, you get a copy of the split 7″ with Elephant Micah for freebies! You also get three songs you can download right away, and will get a link to download the rest of the release when it comes out on October 28th.

You can listen to three of the tracks here:

While you’re at it, you should check out the Hiss Golden Messenger Daytrotter session!

Pieta Brown Drives “Mercury” to Town on 9/27

Red House Records and Pieta Brown announced today that her new album titled Mercury– her second for the label will release on September 27th with an iTunes download of the title track available immediately.

There is also a pre-order on iTunes with two-minute samples of every track on the 13-song album.  At first blush the album continues the honey-drenched laid back bluesy folk sound that is her trademark sound.

Pieta’s first album on Red House Records, One and All, marked the re-entry of the label back into vinyl records, and although the e-mail sent out today doesn’t specifically mention Mercury vinyl, I know the label is supporting more releases in the future, so it stands to reason that this album will be too.

I’ll post more information as I get it!

Tracklisting for Mercury

  1. Be With You
  2. Butterfly Blues
  3. Mercury
  4. How Much of My Love
  5. I’m Gone
  6. I Want It Back
  7. Blue Rider
  8. Night All Day
  9. Closing Time
  10. I Don’t Mind
  11. Glory to Glory
  12. So Many Miles
  13. No Words Now

Upcoming shows:

8/20/2011 Bayfield WI Big Top Chautauqua
John Prine
8/21/2011 Bayfield WI Big Top Chautauqua
John Prine
9/10/2011 Iowa City IA Iowa Women’s Music Festival
9/25/2011 Santa Monica CA McCabe’s Guitar Shop
Jim Lauderdale
9/29/2011 Minneapolis MN The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
10/7/2011 Evanston IL SPACE
Nora O’Connor
10/8/2011 Iowa City IA The Englert Theatre – 99th Anniversary Celebration
10/14/2011 Pella IA Pella Opera House
10/20/2011 Rockford IL Severson Dells Nature Center

B-Sides in the Bins #53 – Rubber Soul Restoration

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Over Christmas I took on a project– the restoration of a Mono Beatles Rubber Soul.

A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law Sarah gave me a stack of LP’s that she picked up at a thrift store in the Twin Cities. The stack was a colorful collection of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s pop, tropicalia, hair metal and Phil Collins. I pulled out the records that I thought I’d want to keep and got ready to carry the lot of discards to Half-Price Books. Thankfully, I looked closer at the Firefall sleeve in the pile as it had The Beatles Rubber Soul on rainbow Capitol label in it! As happy as I was to find this treasure, I was saddened that it was missing its jacket. I found a paper sleeve and put it in a crate with other records that I don’t store with my main collection.

In December I was doing some work in the room where we have our furnace and storage and happened to notice the record. I picked it up and looked closer at it and realized that it was not just a 60’s Capitol Beatles release, but it was also a MONO!

The reason why the monaural release is desirable, is that it is generally accepted in the collector’s circles that the Capitol monaural versions of the Beatles catalog are superior to the stereo releases. To explain why, there is some history to cover.

The Beatles had kind of a shaky start in the US as far as record labels were concerned. They were signed to EMI/Parlophone in the UK and when EMI’s US counterpart Capitol was initially approached to release the Beatles albums, they declined– thinking that the US teenagers were more interested in the clean-cut portrait of The Beach Boys (on Capitol) than they would be with the shaggy snapshot of the Beatles. The center of the mess was a man named Dave Dexter, Jr. who is quite possibly the most controversial person in the history of the Beatles recorded output. Dexter’s job was managing EMI’s releases in the US for Capitol and was  the guy who was in charge of screening the releases, and ultimately made decisions about everything from cover art, to production and mastering to what tracks were included on a given release.

Incidently, Dexter was also the guy who made the decision that initially squashed releasing the Beatles on Capitol. This is why the first Beatles album released in the US was handled by a typically R&B label out of Chicago called Vee-Jay (which is a whole other story). Eventually, Capitol couldn’t ignore the force of the Beatles and signed them in November, 1963.

Capitol and Dexter felt that the way EMI was releasing the albums in the UK was not what their customers wanted and changed almost every packaging of Beatles material up until Sgt. Pepper’s when the Beatles renewed their contract and blocked this practice. Capitol changed track lists, generated new “greatest hits” collections and the most egregious aspect of all was the remixing of the music that George Martin and his engineers so masterfully recorded at Abbey Road. EMI/Parlophone would release singles and LP’s in the UK and then tapes would be shipped to the US for packaging and release by Capitol.

When the Beatles would finally make it to compact disc in 1987, it established that the standard for their catalog would be the UK EMI/Parlophone/Apple versions. Well, and stereo for those releases that were in stereo.

Rubber Soul ends up being the poster child for Capitol’s changes to the Beatles releases with a dramatically different track listing than the UK version in sequence and in content!

The “proper” UK version of Rubber Soul tracklisting (from Wikipedia):

No. Title Length
1. Drive My Car 2:25
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 2:01
3. You Won’t See Me 3:18
4. Nowhere Man 2:40
5. Think for Yourself(George Harrison) 2:16
6. The Word 2:41
7. Michelle 2:40
Side two
No. Title Length
1. What Goes On(Lennon/McCartney/Starkey) 2:47
2. Girl 2:30
3. I’m Looking Through You 2:23
4. In My Life 2:24
5. Wait 2:12
6. If I Needed Someone(George Harrison) 2:20
7. Run for Your Life 2:18

So, this brings us to my copy of Rubber Soul, which as I stated, is a Capitol mono original pressing from 1965 (Catalog number T-2442).

Side one
No. Title Length
1. I’ve Just Seen a Face 2:07
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 2:05
3. You Won’t See Me 3:22
4. Think for Yourself(George Harrison) 2:19
5. The Word 2:43
6. Michelle 2:42
Side two
No. Title Length
1. It’s Only Love 1:55
2. Girl 2:33
3. I’m Looking Through You 2:31
4. In My Life 2:27
5. Wait 2:16
6. Run for Your Life 2:18

You can see from these two track listings that the UK and US releases are substantially different! According to sources, the US release was deliberately resequenced to make Rubber Soul more of a “folk rock” album in hopes of cashing in on the emerging genre which included popular releases from bands like the Byrds and Dylan which were both having an effect on the Beatles new– and I think– more mature writing style. As a result, the more upbeat, and likely representative of the “Rubber Soul” moniker– songs were removed from the track listing and would be released on the following US-only compilation Yesterday… and Today. These songs “Drive My Car” and “Nowhere Man” which are considered notable songs in the Beatles canon, as well as “What Goes On” and “If I Needed Someone.” These songs were replaced with two songs removed from the UK version of Help! (the US version of Help! was also different in the US where it served more as a soundtrack to the movie and included score music)– “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “It’s Only Love.” The result drops the album to just under 30 minutes in total.

There is a debate that continues over whether the Capitol changes actually improve the album. One side of the argument is that it does. The replacement of the pumping piano kickoff of “Drive My Car” on the UK version with the acoustic guitar-driven immediacy of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” is a vote for a more balanced release. The counter-argument is that it varies too much from the UK release in favor of an album that seems to clumsily try to pander to the US market. For me, the differences are more of an interesting curiosity. My first exposure to Rubber Soul was with the 1987 CD releases, so my experience is a stereo UK version for all intents and purposes.
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After I stumbled across the lone sleeveless copy of Rubber Soul in my basement and realized what it was, I thought that it would be nice to find a cover for it. It was a gift, and it was in pretty good shape for a 44-year old record– some slight scuffing, but otherwise the vinyl had a really nice black luster to it. On play, it has some slight crackle, but the recording itself is loud enough to hide it.

It was as if the universe wanted this record to have a new jacket. The first search I made for a Capitol Rubber Soul jacket turned up ONE eBay auction from a seller in Arizona whose ID was “scampy”– it was for a mono, too! It was a Buy-it-Now for $39.95 plus $4 shipping. It was kind of expensive, but if the condition was good, then it would be worth it because the record plus the jacket would have a greater value than either alone. The seller and I exchanged a couple of messages and he pointed out that mono sleeves were rare and that this sleeve was in very good shape. I was sold, but I also wanted a period-correct inner paper sleeve.  On a whim, I asked him if he had a correct inner sleeve. He responded that he thought he did. He quickly responded that he had one!

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I found the correct one, it lists albums up through the #2355. It is in real nice shape except a small split at the bottom that is hardly noticeable, it also has the pitch to upgrade your old albums to the new stereo discs that was only put on the mono ones. I will include it at no charge.”

Wow! That was a lucky coincidence! He quickly shipped the package to me and I had it in my hands within the week– it was in amazing shape with very little ringwear. I was able to assemble the record, sleeve and jacket to a set that I was very happy with!
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It is noted in the Wiki article on Rubber Soul, that the sleeve colors in the US were a variation on the UK sleeves due to some color saturation differences, resulting in the title logo being more of a brown or gold than the UK orange logo. I like the color of the sleeve I got a lot– maybe more than an orange one.

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According to the Spitzer book on the Beatles on Capitol, the “5” in the lower right indicates that the record sleeve was printed by Modern Album in Terre Haute, IN.

Overall, this was a very satisfying project for me. Maybe the word “restoration” overstates the effort, but that is what is really is, I think. I have a small vinyl Beatles collection that was started for me by my aunts back in the early 80’s– on purple Capitol label but didn’t include Rubber Soul, so this sits proudly next to those releases, but a mono Yesterday… and Today I picked up on Black Friday last year.

(Upcoming Release) Neil Young Brings “Le Noise” With Daniel Lanois

Neil Young’s new solo album Le Noise will be released on September 28th. A collaboration with studio-genius and five-time Grammy Award winner Daniel Lanois– the album promises to be sonically one of Neil’s most distinctive releases in a catalog that spans over 50 years and 40 albums if you only include titles credited only to him!

Although Lanois has a notable career as a musician, he is probably best known for his work producing or co-producing such bands and artists as U2 (Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, All That You Can’t Leave Behind), Bob Dylan (Time Out of Mind), Peter Gabriel (So, Us), Brian Eno (Apollo, Thursday Afternoon), Emmylou Harris (Wrecking Ball), Willie Nelson (Teatro), Robbie Robertson (Robbie Robertson) just to name the big ones. Even though you can see from just this list how Lanois and Young worked in the same music circles (Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and Robbie Robertson), this is the first time they’ve collaborated on a record.

Le Noise– which has to be a pun on Lanois’ name– was recorded in Silverlake, CA at Lanois’ home which itself is a key to the sonic textures that were brought to this recording. No band, no overdubs– “[Neil] walked in the door and I put an acoustic guitar into his hands,” Lanois says “– one that I had been working on to build a new sound.”

Considering that Lanois’ on solo recording as well as records by guitar-loop wizard Michael Brook are typically built up around a single instrument, I have an idea how this record might sound. Neil Young is generally not regarded as an artist who varies much in his sound– he’s either running full-tilt distortion with his 50’s vintage Gibson Les Paul known as “Old Black” or in a stripped down acoustic folkie mode. Certainly he has painted very complex paintings with just these brushes in his passel over the years– but he’s never to my knowledge worked with a producer that leaves such a distinctive signature as Lanois does.

Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, digital download, and as a deluxe CD/DVD. The DVD portion, shot by cinematographer Adam Vollick, will feature eight black and white films of Young performing each song solo on acoustic and electric guitar live in the studio. In November, Reprise will also release a Blu-Ray edition, featuring Lanois and Vollick’s beautifully shot films of Young.

It is comforting to know that an artist with such a legacy and history who is being forced to look back on his career in the form of the work surrounding The Neil Young Archives is also looking forward– and really would we expect anything less?

Tracklisting for Le Noise:

Walk With Me
Sign of Love
Rescue Me
Love and War
Angry World
Hitchhiker
Peaceful Valley Blvd
Rumblin’

Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street Reissue Variations

Looking through the Sunday fliers in the paper this morning I noticed that Target is going to have an exclusive CD available on Tuesday May 18th in conjunction with the widely-anticipated reissue of the Rolling Stones landmark 1972 album Exile on Main Street. In true fan-exploitative fashion there will be many versions of this release to choose from. Since I was looking into this, I thought I’d help break this down for the casual shopper.

Exile on Main Street in the new century is largely regarded as  influential in popular music as Sgt. Pepper’s or Pet Sounds. I think that the Rock/Country/Soul/Blues fusion on Exile singlehandedly created what would be known as “Americana” or “Alt.Country. According to Wikipedia, Exile quickly hit #1 on the UK Top 50 and the US Billboard charts, and charted into the Top 10 in the Hot 100 with “Tumbling Dice” and tracks like “Happy” and “Loving Cup” are regarded as standards.

I picked up a used copy of Exile on CD used many years ago. The version I have is the CBS CD pressing from the 80’s (CGK 40489) which proudly announces “2 RECORD SET ON 1 COMPACT DISC.” When the Rolling Stones Records catalog went to Virgin Records they did a remaster of Exile along with the rest of the catalog which was released in July 1994 based on Amazon’s information and came in packaging that looked like the original LP. When I heard that a reissue and remaster was forthcoming, I was interested in replacing my CBS copy. The sheer number of options is surprising, but likely caters to anyone’s needs.

Exile on Main Street (1 CD “Original Recording Remastered”) This is the one that should tide over most Rolling Stones fans. This is the original 18-track album remastered and– according to Amazon.com– is in a special jewel case which will allow it to fit in the “Remasters Box” which was missing Exile. Should be $9.99 this week.

Exile on Main Street Deluxe Edition (2 CD “Deluxe Edition, Extra Tracks, Original Recording Remastered”) This release expands the 1 CD version to include a second 10-track CD of previously-unreleased tracks that were recorded around the same time as the music on Exile. Should be $19.99 this week. Note: If you buy the Deluxe Edition from Best Buy you will get a bonus interview CD.

Exile on Main Street Super Deluxe Edition (2 CD, 1 DVD, 2LP, Hard Cover Book, Original Recording Remastered) This release expands the 2 CD Deluxe Edition to include two LP’s and a 30-minute DVD which has a documentary on Exile which includes footage from “lost” documentary Cocksucker Blues and Ladies and Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones and Stones in Exile. The Ladies and Gentlemen film was a film which “toured” movie theaters in 1974. The film was based on the Exile tour. Also included is a 50-page hardcover book. A really nice package for certain. Should be around $179.98 list price, with Amazon listing it at $139.

Exile on Main Street 2 LP (2 LP, Original Recording Remastered) This is the 2 180g vinyl LP edition of Exile on Main Street in a double-gatefold sleeve. These are the same LP’s included in the Super Deluxe Edition. Should be $34.99 or less.

Exile on Main Street Rarities Edition (1 CD Target and iTunes Exclusive) This is a Target and iTunes exclusive release. This is effectively the second CD in the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. Ten tracks recorded during the same time as the Exile on Main Street songs. These songs have been produced and mixed by The Glimmer Twins and Don Was especially for the Exile reissues. The Sunday Target flier says that the Rarities Edition will be available for $9.99. Target also is offering a “Limited Edition Exile on Main Street Rarities Fan Pack” which bundles the Rarities Edition with a cool teeshirt and guitar pick– all for $19.99.

The cool thing about the Target Rarities Edition is that I can pick this single disc up and buy the LP edition and I get a kind of blend of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions. I get the main album on LP’s and the bonus tracks on a CD.

Whichever version of Exile on Main Street you choose, it is an essential album for anyone’s collection.

Upcoming Show: Local Natives are Back! The Mill in Iowa City on 5/18, RIBCO on 5/15

Local Natives perform "Sun Hands"
It was last July when Local Natives graced our bucolic farmlands as part of the inaugural Daytrotter Barnstormer tour. I saw them twice– once in Bellevue at Mooney Hollow Barn and once at the Secrest Octagonal Barn. I recount my experience here. It was the case that at least for the two shows I saw, the Silverlake, CA group really stole the show in my opinion, and which is why I’m really excited to announce that they will be back in the area in May!

Since they played the barns last year, the Natives have seemingly been on the road non-stop. They had a package tour with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Fool’s Gold that brought them to Madison, Chicago and Minneapolis at the end of November and beginning of December. It seems like they’ve been to Europe a couple of times already, and are currently there through March 11th before coming back to do a run of dates in the US which include some high-profile festival shows: SXSW on 3/18-20, Coachella on 3/18, and Sasquatch! on 5/30 and Bonnaroo on 6/10!

Local Natives’ album Gorilla Manor released in the US on French Kiss this week (2/16) and is available as CD, mp3 (with bonus tracks) and vinyl LP! I received my LP yesterday and because I pre-ordered I got a bonus 7″ of “Sun Hands” with a Daytrotter version of “Airplanes” as its b-side.

Local Natives will be hitting the very cozy Rock Island Brewing Company on Saturday, May 15th, The 400 Bar in Minneapolis on Monday, May 17th, and The Mill Restaurant in Iowa City on Tuesday, May 18th. That gap on Sunday makes me wonder if they might be sneaking in an encore Daytrotter session?

Click Here for the Facebook Event for the Rock Island Brewing Company.

Click Here for the Facebook Event for the Mill Restaurant Show.

Live Dates (from MySpace)

Feb 17 2010      8:00P SOLD OUT Maroquinerie     Paris
Feb 18 2010     8:00P Le Grand Mix     Tourcoing, Lille
Feb 19 2010     8:00P Le Normandy     Saint Lo
Feb 20 2010     8:00P Route du Rock Winter Festival     Saint Malo
Feb 24 2010     8:00P Thekla     Bristol
Feb 25 2010     8:00P Rescue Rooms     Nottingham
Feb 26 2010     8:00P Concorde II     Brighton
Feb 27 2010     8:00P Brudenell     Leeds
Feb 28 2010     8:00P Arts Centre     Norwich
Mar 2 2010     8:00P SOLD OUT Heaven     London
Mar 3 2010     8:00P Academy 3     Birmingham
Mar 4 2010     8:00P Club Academy     Manchester
Mar 5 2010     8:00P King Tuts     Glasgow
Mar 6 2010     8:00P Academy 2     Newcastle
Mar 10 2010     8:00P Academy 2     Dublin
Mar 11 2010     8:00P Limelight     Belfast
Mar 18 2010     8:00P SXSW     Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010     8:00P SXSW     Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010     8:00P SXSW     Austin, Texas
Apr 18 2010     3:00P Coachella     Indio, California
Apr 20 2010     8:00P Solar Culture     Tuscon, Arizona
Apr 22 2010     8:00P The Cavern     Dallas, Texas
Apr 23 2010     8:00P Emo’s (inside)     Austin, Texas
Apr 24 2010     8:00P Mango’s     Houston, Texas
Apr 26 2010     8:00P Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack     Little Rock, Arkansas
Apr 27 2010     8:00P Thirsty Hippo     Haittesburg, Mississippi
Apr 29 2010     8:00P Cafe 11     St. Augustine, Florida
Apr 30 2010     8:00P The Basement     Nashville, Tennessee
May 1 2010     8:00P Masquerade     Atlanta, Georgia
May 4 2010     8:00P Local 506     Chapel Hill, North Carolina
May 5 2010     8:00P DC 9     Washington DC, Washington DC
May 6 2010     8:00P Bowery Ballroom     New York, New York
May 7 2010     8:00P Kung Fu Necktie     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 8 2010     8:00P Great Scott     Allston, Massachusetts
May 11 2010     8:00P Beachland Tavern     Cleveland, Ohio
May 12 2010     8:00P The Basement     Columbus, Ohio
May 14 2010     8:00P Schubas     Chicago, Illinois
May 15 2010     8:00P Rock Island Brewing Company     Rock Island, Illinois
May 17 2010     8:00P 400 Bar     Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 18 2010     8:00P The Mill     Iowa City, Iowa
May 19 2010     8:00P Mojo’s     Columbia, Missouri
May 21 2010     8:00P Larimer Lounge     Denver, Colorado
May 22 2010     8:00P Kilby Court     Salt Lake City, Utah
May 25 2010     8:00P Empyrean     Spokane, Washington
May 26 2010     8:00P Neurolux     Boise, Idaho
May 27 2010     8:00P Mississippi Studios     Portland, Oregon
May 28 2010     8:00P Media Club     Vancouver, British Columbia
May 30 2010     8:00P Sasquatch!     Seattle, Washington
Jun 3 2010     8:00P Bottom of the Hill     San Francisco, California
Jun 10 2010     8:00P Bonnaroo     Manchester, Tennessee
Jun 15 2010     8:00P Shepherds Bush Empire     London

Click Here for Local Natives Website

Click Here for Local Natives MySpace Page

Click Here for Local Natives Facebook Fan Page

Click Here for Local Natives Blog

Click Here for the Local Natives Daytrotter Session

Upcoming Show: Mountains at The Picador in Iowa City 2/1/10

Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg of Mountains
Last year on April 24th, Mountains made their first Iowa appearance at The Picador headlining a lineup of experimental electronic musicians. They performed a piece that would become Etching, which was released by Thrill Jockey on limited edition vinyl only and is currently out-of-print.

Koen told me via e-mail they will be playing a new composition for this tour that they debuted during their recent tour of Europe. This new composition does not include their laptops  as they implemented in past shows, which will be interesting. More knob twiddling in their extensive effects pedal arrays, I imagine!

Mountains is returning to the Midwest at the end of January as part of a tour that will kick off in Buffalo, NY and wrap up with a run of East Coast dates ending on February 11th in Boston. They’ll be hitting Chicago at the Empty Bottle on January 28th,  Omaha on the 29th at the Bemis Center, Northfield, MN at the Cave which is on the Carleton College Campus on the 30th, The Project Lodge in Madison, WI on the 31st, then Iowa City at the Picador on Monday, February 1st. The Empty Bottle show will have David Daniell and Doug McCombs whose Thrill Jockey release Sycamore (still available on LP!) is one of my favorites from TJ last year! I wish they were continuing on tour with them so I could catch them in Iowa City! (update: David said that they are planning a trip out here in early March! Stay tuned!)

Supporting Mountains on this run is Swedish trio Tape. Tape is an ambient band that features guitars in kind of an Eno-esque fashion. They’ve been producing their music since 2000 and has been steadily growing their fanbase. They have a penchant for vinyl and their last brilliant release Luminarium and their upcoming release with Bill Wells Fugue are both available in limited vinyl pressings on Immune Recordings. I’m hoping they bring some with them on tour! Be sure to check out some of Tape’s music on their MySpace Page. I’ve been listening to their songs for the past couple of days and really like the dreamy atmospherics.

Click Here for Mountains’ Website

Click Here for Mountains’ MySpace Page

Click Here for Tape’s Website.

Tour Dates (from Thrill Jockey)

Wed    Jan 27    Buffalo, NY     – Soundlab    w/ Tape
Thu    Jan 28    Chicago, IL    – Empty Bottle    w/ Tape
Fri    Jan 29    Omaha, NE    – Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts    w/ Tape
Sat    Jan 30    Northfield, MN    – The Cave @ Carleton College    w/ Tape
Sun    Jan 31    Madison, WI    – The Project Lodge    w/ Tape
Mon    Feb 1    Iowa City, IA    – The Picador    w/ Tape
Wed    Feb 3    Louisville, KY    – Skull Alley    w/ Tape
Thu    Feb 4    Lexington, KY    – Al’s Bar    w/ Tape
Fri    Feb 5    Knoxville, TN    – The Pilot Light    w/ Tape
Sat    Feb 6    Chapel Hill, NC    – Nightlight    w/ Tape
Mon    Feb 8    Washington, DC    – Bossa    w/ Tape
Tue    Feb 9    Philadelphia, PA    – The Chapel @ First Unitarian    w/ Tape
Wed    Feb 10    New York, NY    – Le Poisson Rouge (Unsound Festival)    w/ Tape, Radian, Tim Hecker
Thu    Feb 11    Boston, MA    – TBA

B-Sides in the Bins #48 – Best Buy & Half Price Books – Cedar Rapids 5/19/09

I was at Best Buy for the release of the Iron and Wine collection of rare and b-sides called Around the Well.  I had a $15 Reward Zone certificate. But, since the 2 CD release was $9.99 I needed to buy something else to bring it over the $15. I picked up Woman King by the Iron and Wine as well which was $7.99.  Ever since I picked up the live Iron and Wine Record Store Day release, I’ve been trying to get caught up with Mr. Beam.

Since I was on that side of town anyway, I stopped in to Half Price Books to see if anything interesting was in the bins.

BestBuy Purchases:

Around the Well – Iron and Wine (2 CD, SubPop SPCD 808, 2009) ($9.99) Great collection and replaces the need to try to track down all of the singles, soundtracks (The “Twilight” soundtrack… “In Good Company”… yikes) as well as the iTunes Exclusives, which have now been pulled down, presumably because of this release. Lots of great songs on here– Sam Beam is so prolific that even his b-sides are quality tracks.

Woman King EP – Iron and Wine (CD, SubPop SPCD 665, 2005)($7.99) This is probably my favorite release next to 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog. Every song on here is a keeper.  Jim Becker from Califone is on this release which helps fill out the sound of the band.

Half Price Books Purchases:

The Bumper Crop – Pell Mell (LP, SST 158, 1987)($2.98) Holy crap! Certainly wasn’t expecting this in the bins. A corner-cut cut out. The bad cut job also caused a tear in the cover. You might know me in my other internet job as the guy who runs the official Pell Mell website so I collect things Pell Mell. The work for this album started in 1982 after the remaining members of Pell Mell moved to Berkeley, CA following the tour for their debut EP Rhyming Guitars. The songs for this release came from some outtakes recorded for the EP and some new material with new members Greg Freeman and Steve Fisk. This trio of Fisk, Freeman and Bob Beerman would form the basis for the remainder of Pell Mell’s career which ended after their 1997 album Star City. Pell Mell was influenced by the instrumental rock bands of the sixties and a lot of the instrumental rock bands around today (El Ten Eleven, The Six Parts Seven come to mind) owe Pell Mell for blazing the trail for them.

(self titled) – The Cars (LP, Elektra/Asylum 6E-135, 1978)($2.98)

Candy-O – The Cars (LP, Elektra/Asylum 5E-507, 1979)($2.98)

Panorama – The Cars (LP, Elektra/Asylum 5E-514, 1980)($2.98)

Shake It Up – The Cars (LP, Elektra/Asylum 5E-567, 1981($2.98)

Heartbeat City – The Cars (LP, Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch ST-E-60296-1, 1984)($2.98) This was a pretty impressive haul! Someone dumped their Cars collection apparently. All of the records were in  fantastic shape with little to no cover wear. All inner sleeves were intact and the vinyl was pristine! There was actually two copies of Heartbeat City there, so I picked the best-looking one. The copy of Heartbeat City that was around my house when it came out was a cassette. The vinyl version was a very nice gatefold sleeve. The only records that were missing were the Greatest Hits and their last record Door to Door.

We also had Candy-O on cassette at the house.  With its combination of pop and New Wave sensibilities coupled with the Alberto Vargas pinup cover it was an intriquing album. That was their second album, and  it had the big singles “Let’s Go” and “It’s All I Can Do.” It seemed that the Cars were all over the radio and movie soundtracks. Some of the big hits from The Cars are still some of the great pop songs of all time. This selection of albums represents the peak of The Cars creative output. Just looking at the track list from 1985’s Greatest Hits album proves it: “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Good Times Roll”– all from The Cars; “Let’s Go” from Candy-O; “Touch and Go” from Panorama, “Since You’re Gone” and “Shake It Up” from Shake It Up; and “You Might Think,” “Drive,” “Heartbeat City” and “Magic” from Heartbeat City. Quite a run of singles!

Out of these, however, Panorama is probably the one that faired the worst. It only had one single– it was considered The Cars’ “experimental” album. I picked up an 8-Track version in some cutout bin a long time ago and listened to it maybe one time and dismissed it. I think that I’ll give it a fair shake now to see what I think.

B-Sides in the Bins #43 – Record Store Day 4/18/2009

Record Store Day Crawl #1 for Record Store Day 2009 went mostly without a hitch and certainly I look forward to next year! My friends Erik and Alex were my companions for the trip which made for a pretty great day.

The plan was to hit the two record stores in Dubuque and the one in Iowa City since those were the closest to Cedar Rapids. I had originally hoped to hit Zzz Records in Des Moines, but that would have made for a very long day. I had called the three stores last week to see which of the special release items they were planning to get. Only Mike at Moondog Music was able to give the the full list as he had gotten most of his ordered inventoried already, the other two stores hadn’t gotten theirs, yet. Based on the reported opening times of the stores, I decided to hit CD’s 4 Change in Dubuque first since they were going to open at 10AM, followed by Moondog Music at 11AM and then we’d beat it to Iowa City to hit Real Records and hopefully be wrapped up before 4PM.

I got up early and picked up Erik and Alex. We hit Croissant du Jour to get coffees and French pastries for the road. We made it to CD’s 4 Change at 9:30AM and hung around for a bit to see if they’d open. 10AM rolled around and no sign of anyone opening. So, we walked over to Uncle Ike’s Music which was kitty-corner from the record store. When I lived in Dubuque in the 90’s I spent a lot of time at Uncle Ike’s when they were downtown. The store was pretty busy for early on Saturday morning and they had a very impressive collection of guitars at great prices. Erik picked up some patch cables and Alex bought a neat Oscar Schmidt OU2 ukulele while we waited. Ike’s had a pretty interesting collection of used Stratocasters including A white ’85 MIJ with black head and locking nut for $369, and this pristine ’94 40th Anniversary for $899, complete with 40th badging.

We headed back over to CD’s 4 Change and at that time someone pulled up and opened the store. I asked about the special orders for today, and they had a very small collection of items. The owner stated that he didn’t order any of the major label releases and didn’t order any of the Sub Pop either. He didn’t get any of the Thrill Jockey Records Toreism 12″s. He had the Pavement Live LP as well as the Touch and Go Jesus Lizard Inch 7″ box set, and had both of the Sonic Youth split singles. Not a great showing of those releases, but he was having a $2-off of all new vinyl, which was great, and Erik bought a slug of records as they have an impressive new vinyl release selection. Erik was able to pick up The Sea and Cake Everybody album, which was cool as it has been out-of-print for a couple of years. I would have picked up the SY singles, but I knew that Mike at Moondog had them for $1 cheaper.

Flipping through the new and used LP’s I found a bunch of interesting pieces, and if I wasn’t trying to stay under a budget that needed to include the exclusive releases I would have picked up some of these: a still sealed Ventures Walk Don’t Run on United Artists! ($50, even with the $2 off, it was a bit too pricey for me), R.E.M. Reckoning and Life’s Rich Pageant for $8 and $10. I don’t have these on vinyl today, but I’m holding out for ones with better covers, The Moody Blues Days of Future Past for $2– Minty cover and LP with plastic inner sleeve. It’s a later pressing under PolyGram. I just about bought it, but do I need a fourth copy of this? They also had the Beastie Boys 2 LP reissue of Check Your Head, which I’d like to pick up at some point. They also had Pink Floyd The Wall and The Final Cut for over $10 apiece. I have neither of these, and would have snagged The Wall if it weren’t for the scratch on one of the LP’s. I had briefly considered picking up some Ryan Adams vinyl– they had Demolition and Gold which would have been $10.99 during their sale.
Moondog Music
We departed for Moondog Music while the sky started spitting. We never did get the real rain that was predicted– just enough to piss you off and make it muggy. We stopped in around 11:30ish and although Mike wasn’t in yet, he had a bag prepared with “MIKE (CEDAR RAPIDS)” written on it with all of the pieces that we discussed on the phone as well as a bunch of really cool freebies! Talk about service! We flipped through the used and new vinyl in the store, Moondog has a great selection of new vinyl as well. I’m beginning to think I need to make some runs to Dubuque just to go record shopping. In the bins: The new crazy reissue of Beck’s Odelay in a box set with 4 LP’s for $99. I’d love to have this piece in my collection but it didn’t fit in my budget. Here is what I picked up at Moondog Music:

Various Artists – Records Toreism (12″, Thrill Jockey 12.30, 2009) ($12.99) Gorgeous hand-screened cover, four tracks from TJ artists old and new. Brand new Tortoise track “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In” from the upcoming Beacons of Ancestorship album, “Window” by Mountains is unreleased as well as the Double Dagger track “Stagger Lee” and the Trans Am track “Wounded Monkey.” This is the first Thrill Jockey appearance of recent signings White Hills with “Eye to Eye” which was previously on a tour-only CD-R called Abstractions and Mutations. Included in the sleeve with the record are two photocopied booklets. The first little booklet is a manifesto of sorts called “Recordstoreism” on visiting your record store frequently and is apparently an anti-iPod perspective as well with iPod-and-crossbones logos and “..knock down to the Pod Peddlers!! Zombies tethered to headphones. Wandering Wastrels whose auditory corridors are clogged with wax.” The second booklet called “Whatisinstore” is emblazoned with a bunch of indie record store names inside of which are essays by artists and store workers alike about record stores. I think I found most of the stores I’ve been to: Jazz Record Mart, Cheapo’s, Electric Fetus, Moondog Records (s.i.c.),  Hard Boiled, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Reckless Records, The Record Collector, Mad City Music Exchange, Treehouse Records, Zzz Records, Newbury Comics… They included Rolling Stones, but I didn’t see any Thrill Jockey at their store when I was there last month. I didn’t see Real or CD’s 4 Change on there. Maybe you can special order TJ there. A very cool piece very much in the spirit of the day.

Tom Waits – Live Glitter & Doom Tour 2008 (7″, Anti- Records 87018-7, 2009) ($5.98) I don’t really collect Tom Waits, but this was a pretty neat release. “Lucinda / Ain’t Going Down To The Well” from Atlanta, backed by “Bottom of the World” from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bob Dylan – “Dreamin’ Of You” / “Down Along the Cove” (7″ Columbia 8697-50225-7, 2009)($6.98) “Dreamin’ of You” is from last year’s great Tell-Tale Signs – Bootleg Series Volume 8 release. It was the lead off track that was sort of a single. Produced by Lanois as part of the Time Out of Mind sessions. “Down Along the Cove” is a John Wesley Harding track that Dylan did for his 2004 Bonnaroo appearance. This track previously appeared on the Bonnaroo 2004 compilation CD. Includes a photo of Dylan.

Whiskeytown – “San Antone” / “The Great Divide” (7″ Geffen B00128170-21, 2009)($5.98) “Limited Edition Produced Exclusively for Record Store Day 2009″ – two unreleased tracks from Ryan Adams’s pre-solo, pre-Cardinals band Whiskeytown. These are two tracks from the Baseball Park sessions that would make up Whiskeytown’s first album Faithless Street in 1995. When Faithless Street was reissued in 1998 by Outpost, it included Baseball Park tracks which were produced by Chris Stamey (from the dB’s). These two tracks were not part of those. Really nice hard sleeve that reproduces the Faithless Street cover photograph taken by Ryan.

The Sonik Youth / Beck – “Pay No Mind” / “Green Light” (7″ Matador OLE 865-7, 2009)($5.98) Limited edition (2500) split single. Sonic Youth covers “Pay No Mind” from Beck’s Mellow Gold, and Beck covers “Green Light” from Sonic Youth’s EVOL album.

Iron & Wine – Norfolk 6/20/05 (CD, Sub Pop SPCD 839, 2009)($7.99) Super-cute CD made to look like a mini-Sub Pop singles club release. Iron & Wine live during their 2005 tour after the release of Woman King EP. A sticker on the wrap mentions the upcoming release Around the Well, which will be a compilation of B-Sides and Rarities due out May 19th and will be followed by a tour. The cover art also mentions playedlastnight.com which is a place where you can purchase shows by Iron & Wine as well as The Swell Season.

The Jesus Lizard – INCH (8 x 7″, Touch and Go tg347, 2009)($29.99) Limited, numbered edition (256 / 2000) I will admit that I haven’t been a big fan of The Jesus Lizard, but will readily admit their influence on a lot of bands that I’ve listened to. Touch and Go records created this amazing “box set” of all of the singles release during The Jesus Lizard’s time on Touch and Go. All of the singles have been out-of-print for over six years, apparently. The singles have been remastered by Bob Westin and include reproductions of the original sleeves and are included in this really great clear plastic package that houses them, or could be used to display them as it has metal eyelets at the top. Gorgeous, if bittersweet release from Touch and Go as this will be one of the last new releases from the label until economic times improve. They are hoping to do reissues of the Jesus Lizard LP catalog in August, too.

In addition to the releases I purchased, Moondog included a recycled bag from WEA made of 60% post industrial and consumer recycled content full of freebies which included:

Various Artists – Happy Birthday to Me – SP20 – Terminal Sales Vol 3 (CD, SubPop SPCD 779, 2008) ($0) Super-cool CD celebrating 20 years of Sub Pop Records. Comes in a neat gatefold sleeve. 18 tracks of Sub Pop artists including Mudhoney, Wolf Parade, No Age, Blitzen Trapper, Flight of the Conchords, as well as a birthday card we are supposed to fill out and mail to Sub Pop and an SP20 sticker taboot!

Various Artists – Bloodshot Catalog Sampler (CD, Bloodshot Records, 2008)($0) Compilation of artists on Bloodshot Records. Bloodshot is the home of Jay Farrar of Son Volt, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, Split Lip Rayfield and Andre Williams among others. Bloodshot is also handling the vinyl reissue of  Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker. Reissued as a 2 LP gatefold! Home of Dexter Romweber Duo and Ha Ha Tonka, too.

Various Artists – Live Your Life with Verve (CD, Verve Music Group VERR01591-2, 2008)($0) A compilation of artists on the Verve label(s). Includes the Diplo remix of Mariena Shaw’s “California Soul” which was on the Verve Remixed 4 compilation. “California Soul” was included in Brainfreeze by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, too.

Beat Union – Disconnected (CD, Science Records 426428-2, 2008)($0) Pop-Punk outfit from the UK. Disconnected is their debut release under the band’s new moniker as Beat Union. They used to be called Shortcut to Newark. This release was produced by Goldfinger frontman John Feldman. I haven’t listened to this, yet. If it rocks, I’ll review it.

“You Think You Really Know Me – The Gary Wilson Story” (DVD + CD, Plexifilm 032, 2008)($0) Wow, this is a pretty cool freebie. In 1977 Gary Wilson recorded a crazy outsider-art experimental album and effectively dropped off the face of the recording industry. A bunch of noted artists including Beck start talking about him and the renewed interest in him causes folks to look for him. This is the documentary about his return to recording and includes the seminal You Think You Really Know Me album. He apparently recorded an album for Stones Throw in 2004 as well.

Other goodies in the bag included a Touch and Go Records sticker, a Bloodshot Records Sticker, a drink coaster promoting the Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul, a sticker promoting the Hank III record Damn Right, Rebel Proud, a rolled poster for Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky album, a folded poster for Mogwai’s The Hawk Is Howling album, and a temporary tattoo that says “Jesus Loves Scott H. Biram” with praying hands that is a Bloodshot Records promo for Scott H. Biram. Also got the Dec ’08/Dec ’09 Paste Magazine.

What a very cool collection of freebies! Thanks Moondog Music!

From there we headed to Kennedy Mall to get burgers and beers at the Mining Company. Still the great burgers and fries I remembered from the 90’s. Our hunger sated, we made the hour-and-a-half drive to Iowa City for the Real Records stop. We listened to the Iron & Wine CD on the way there.

Real! CD's and Records

I hadn’t been to Real since it’s coming back in business. Real! originally opened in 1986, and I remember frequenting it along with The Record Collector and BJ’s back then. Sadly, BJ’s is gone, and Real! was gone for a while, too. It’s been back for three years (I think) under new management by Craig Kessler, who is also a DJ on the Jazz station KCCK-FM.

Real is now abutted with a book store, which is pretty cool. When we stopped there I didn’t spend any time in the book store, but certainly will next time I’m in town. The store itself is jam-packed with product, but has a laid-back cozy kind of feel. Lots of new and used vinyl and CDs. Craig still had some of the Record Store day exclusives in although he said a lot of it was already bought. He had the Talking Heads 77 180g vinyl as well as the Jane’s Addiction vinyl reissues of Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual (which aren’t really exclusive, but were released Saturday), and had the Columbia 7″es for Dylan and Springsteen as well as the Rhino 7″es making this the only place I saw these. Here’s what I picked up:

MC5 – “Kick Out The Jams” / “Motor City Is Burning” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21481, 2009) ($5.99) Very cool reissue of the seminal 1969 MC5 single on Elektra for “Kick Out The Jams.” Notable for the use of word “motherf*uckers” in the intro shout. The flipside is a cover of the John Lee Hooker song “Motor City is Burning.” According to the Wikipedia article on the MC5, there was a single for radio that replaced the intro explitive with “brothers and sisters.”

New Order – “Temptation” / “Hurt” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21479, 2009)($5.99) Another cool reissue from Rhino. This is a repressing of New Order’s 1982 Factory Records single for “Temptation” and “Hurt” (aka Fac63) This represents the first time this single has been released domestically in the US. The notable fact being that New Order used different mixes for every version of a release, so any version released in the US could be different from the UK versions. I have the original Fac63 12″ which is die stamped, so this is a nice companion to that.

Pieta Brown – Flight Time (CD, T Records, 2008)($11.99) Not a Record Store Day exclusive. Kind of pricey for a 7-track EP, but I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to pick this one up since Pieta’s touring schedule doesn’t seem to mesh with my life schedule. This EP is a really good companion to her last album Remember the Sun. This is self-released. I wonder what this means about future releases? One Little Indian seems to be staying up-to-date on her touring schedule, so that implies a current relationship.

While I was flipping though the bins, I found a copy of the out-of-print Mountains vinyl for $16.99 which I was tempted to pick up. They also had the last Sea & Cake album Car Alarm and the Human Bell LP. So, this is a good place to pick up Thrill Jockey releases. Craig was playing the relatively obscure Miles Davis Big Fun album. I’d never heard of it, but recognized it as Davis. The release had been regarded at it’s 1974 release as being a filler release. The sessions were recorded in 1969, 1970 and 1972. These session included quite a few jazz heavyweights: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin and Ron Carter amongst the large list of performers. The version he was playing was a Japanese Sony version of the original album. In 2000 it was re-released with other sessions recorded between Bitches Brew and Tribute to Jack Johnson expanding the release to a 2 CD version. So, this particular visit did what a record store visit should do– educate! I’ve already done some looking into Big Fun and will probably at least download it, and keep an eye out for a vinyl version.

So, all-in-all a sucessful day! I’m glad I got to do this run and big thanks to Erik and Alex for coming along and making it much more fun than it would have been by myself. Stay tuned for next year’s Record Store Day Crawl!

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