The Very Best of Éthiopiques (mantcd245) (2007)

SAM_1719HIPSTER DECLARES “CDs ARE THE NEW VINYL”

(Columbus, Ohio) – Citing the lack of decent second-hand product and a higher retail profile, area coffee shop employee Claude Barnet has declared the “era of the vinyl revival” over.

“With of all these Johnny-Come-Lately overfishing,” Barnet explained, “there’s nothing worth having at any of my Thrift Stores or Flea Markets.”

“I mean, I can only look at so many Kenny friggin’ Rogers records,” he added bitterly.

Barnet also blamed the internet for allowing people to research their Lp collections and sell them at inflated prices. “I had hoped that there would be a ‘race to the bottom’,” the bearded barista recalled. “You know, with a huge stock, prices would be forced down as everyone competed for sales.” But it hasn’t panned out that way and Barnet claims record sellers are charging “like ten bucks for a crappy, used No One’s Gonna Change Our World budget line re-issue. It’s a joke.”

When you add to that new and re-issued vinyl’s increasing market share, the hipster is being squeezed out.  “And, of course, now big High Street retailers like HMV have gotten in on the act and started selling vinyl again,” complained Barnet. “I mean, Christ, you can buy Kylie Lps and ABBA re-issues these days!”

The good news is that now everyone’s getting rid of their compact discs.  “I’ve bought loads lately,” he enthused. “Including a sweet two-disc Éthiopiques comp and a deluxe Trouble Man soundtrack CD that I’d never have gotten on stupid old vinyl.”

Barnet also praised CDs’ digital clarity (“none of that awful, distracting crackle”), convenience, ability to hold a considerable number of songs, bonus tracks as well as their informative booklets and scholarship.

“Yep, CDs are definitely the way of the future,” Barnet said thoughtfully, adding, “At least until the cassette thing takes off.”

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Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 11:34 am  Comments (6)  

Syd Arthur – On an On (DCRC007) (2012)

SAM_1709Hirsuiteness, conspicuously able musicianmanship, tortuous, ever-changing time signatures, long instrumental passages and a name which alludes simultaneously to the Pink Floyd’s founder, a Kinks rock opera and Hermann Hesse’s 1951 enlightenment-attaining icon.

And yet, sometimes when a band looks like prog, walks like prog and quacks like prog it’s not necessarily prog. The amiable On an On‘s nimbleness and folk-jazz (but not blues) colouration suggest a latter-day Pentangle, albeit one whose churning, interlocking world rhythms also recall post-punks fIREHOSE. For me, the only thing missing is more vocal harmonies/counterparts to match the music’s intricacy.

Poster included with the On an On vinyl. The Lp was purchased using guilt-free birthday money.

Poster included with the On an On vinyl. The Lp was purchased using guilt-free birthday money on the recommendation of a friend who also played me the first few songs as we drove along Normandy backroads on our way to buy a mountain of spirits while on holiday there this summer.

Syd Arthur are, at this point, a local Canterbury band*. Nevertheless, they do seem to tour around the country (and even on the continent) quite a bit. Their confident production and arrangement decisions mark them out as future festival headliners. Thrifty Vinyl readers may wish to check Syd Arthur out here.

*Despite this proximity, I have yet to see them live, but plan to.

Published in: on September 17, 2013 at 8:24 am  Comments (2)  

 

Published in: on September 10, 2013 at 9:14 am  Comments (3)  

Tammy Wynette – Tammy’s Touch (BN 26549) and The Ways To Love A Man (BN 26519) (1970)

SAM_1704‘OPPOSITE DAY’ WYNETTE BATTERS SPOUSE, ‘NO-SHOW’ AT HEE-HAW GIG 

(Nashville, TN) — Country Music legend Tammy Wynette observed the nation’s annual Opposite Day celebrations yesterday by physically battering husband George Jones and refusing to attend a taping of Hee Haw while getting blackout drunk and having herself committed to a sanitorium. Laughed Wynette of her topsy-turvy 24 hours, “It’s kind of fun to enter a bizarro world where I’m not the one receiving blows or having table lamps being thrown at my head.”

“Add to that my Hee-Haw non-performance and waking up hungover in a mental institution covered in vomit and piss stains,” continued the “Stand By Your Man” singer, “and, well, I can tell what Ol’ Possum sees in it.”

In related news, hubby Jones plans on spending the entire evening knocking them back at the Dew Drop Inn on Park Street with fourth-born girl-child, Tamala Georgette for next Monday’s Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work Day. Thumper’s Grand Ol’ Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium that night will be rescheduled and later cancelled.SAM_1703Editor’s Note: A lovely pair of lachrymose country balladeering elpees by one-time Mrs. Jones. Perfectly played and delivered, only a pound a piece at the Cats Protection chaz in Hythe last week. Country music is much bigger business in the UK than I’d ever imagined.
SAM_1705Lovin’ the vintage, yellow Epic label.

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 9:05 am  Comments (2)  

Blues At Sunrise – Gerry Lockran, Redd Sullivan, Dave Travis, et al. (FID2165) (1969)

SAM_1702These are the kinds of old-timey British blues players, championed at the time by reactionaries such as Alexis Korner (who composed  defensive liner notes for the project) and no doubt venerated these days by the likes of Jools Holland as indigenous pioneers, who provoked Sonny Boy Williamson II’s gloriously comic diss of the English scene: “Those British boys want to play the blues real bad…and they do!”

Actually, Gerry Lockran’s phrasing, timbre and picking are pretty good, but the rest is uptight, tepid boogie woogie by people who couldn’t rock their way out of a wet paper bag. A bit of a disappointment because I thought maybe I’d found a gem at Demelza House a couple days ago.

Published in: on September 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Burial – Untrue (HDBCD002) (2007)

SAM_1698Thanks to blogger and one-time musical partner Gutterbreakz, I developed an uncharacteristic jonez for the Dubsteps long about late 2005. I say uncharacteristic since, not only am I a gentleman of a certain age who should leave such racket to the yout’, but my electronic music library/understanding is relatively small and uninformed. Nonetheless, something about the music touched me (perhaps its links, sonic and physical, to dub reggae and Bristol, respectively) and, over the next 4 years I set about regularly buying Tectonic plates, Punch Drunks, white label refixes, etc., etc., entertaining myself with lonely bass weight sessions in the stereo room at Chez Asbo. None of my contemporaries or neighbours were interested. The few times I ventured into DS club nites were certainly musically edifying (the punishing volume adds impact, weight and substance), but socially less so.
SAM_1699Anyway, I often wondered when I would make my first Dubstep-Charity Shop purchase. And so it has come to pass. Of course, in my reveries, the buy involved copies of the first ten DMZ 12″s, but a £1.25 cd from The Shelter in Hythe of Will Bevan’s woodblock bothering second (and, at present, last) album which sent Boomkat into such paroxysms half a decade ago will do. (Other reveries involve finding J. Coltrane’s complete Impulse! oeuvre, so let’s say my daydreams don’t hew very close to reality–still, I get chills thinking about the possibility). I already own Untrue on 2xLp, but the cd, in decidedly oldskool fashion, has four tracks not on the vinyl. I hesitate to call them bonus tracks since, interestingly, the cd’s playlist has been given a reshuffle, offering a different listening experience to this unique, crepuscular record.SAM_1700

This quote from Derek Walmsley in The Wire explains Burial better than I can: “Inspired by the darkside drum’n’bass of the Metalheadz label, Burial decided at the outset to avoid at all costs the rigid, mechanistic path that eventually brought drum ‘n’ bass to a standstill. To this end, his percussion patterns are intuitively arranged on the screen rather than rigidly quantized, creating minute hesitations and slippages in the rhythm. His snares and hi-hats are covered in fuzz and phaser, like cobwebs on forgotten instruments, and the mix is rough and ready rather than endlessly polished. Perhaps most importantly, his basslines sound like nothing else on Earth. Distorted and heavy, yet also warm and earthy, they resemble the balmy gust of air that precedes an underground train.”

Published in: on September 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm  Comments (2)