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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two New and Three Soundtracks from the Stacks...

As promised (but sadly delayed), I've gathered a couple more LPs that recently tripped my trigger.  Also, I've been cleaning guns.

The first two are brand spankin' new, and still have that 'fresh from the plastic' smell.  As well as the manufacturing debris that requires immediate cleaning.  All I ever do is bitch and moan.  Poor baby has to clean his records before he listens to them....I could be donating my record funds to the starving and disease-ridden peoples of third-world nations.  Nah.

I'll begin with the Radiohead 12" single release of "Supercollider" b/w "The Butcher".  Released by Ticker Tape/XL and pressed on a beautiful slab of 180 gram, this sum bitch sounds exquisite.  It's the perfect continuation of King of Limbs, and recommended for any Radiohead fan out there with a turntable.  Granted, the digital versions accompanied the deluxe release, but having a beefy physical copy sure looks pretty next to it on the shelf.  Also, note the extremely clean bass on both tracks.  Well produced, again, much like the aforementioned album.

Radiohead 12" Single on Black 180 gram

Radiohead - King of Limbs 2x10" on Clear Standard - Newspaper Edition Set

Next, I have for you the AMAZING new Beastie Boys release entitled, Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two.  This set includes two 180 gram white vinyls slipped in sturdy paper stock sleeves featuring full lyric sheets.  As an added bonus, a white 7" is included, with the tracks "Pop Your Balloon" and "B-Boys in the Cut."  And, an additional digital download code as well as an iron-on t-shirt image are included.  BONER!  For about $20, this set cannot be beat.  Speaking of beats, this album has 'em by the handful.  See what I did there?  White street cred, bitches.  Sounds good, by the way.....excellent for people that hear and/or hipsters that can only relate to those that lived through the 80s.

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two 2x180 gram on White with bonus 7" and Iron-on

Digging into the summer stacks, I decided to get my soundtrack fill.  And fill I did get....I have no idea what that fucking means.  Anyhoo, I kicked off my cravings with some good old Ennio Morricone, the master of scoring Spaghetti Westerns.  Featuring whip-cracking, cowboy chanting, lonely harmonicas, and glorious horns--oh, the beautiful horns--on both A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  Yet, I continue to search for the one remaining Leone/Morricone missing from my collection....Once Upon a Time in the West.  One day you will be mine.  One day.

A Fistful of Dollars OST on Standard Black

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly OST on Standard Black

And finally, the tour-de-force that is Stand By Me.  What an amazing summer movie and a fantastic compilation of 50s rock and bubblegum pop.  I don't want to get too reminiscent here, but the goddamn movie changed my existence and the music always takes me back to a place where friends were actually friends, problems were fleeting, and leeches on your balls was the most horrifying thing ever.  Kicking off with Buddy Holly and ending with Ben E. King, this LP is essential...each track a bygone classic.

Stand By Me OST on Standard Black

Also, I love the deep press label on Stand By Me (Atlantic)...which reminds me of another deep groove label I always look forward to finding (Dot).  Both are pictured below.

That's all folks.  Enjoy the tunage.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Two from the Summer Stacks...

When summer hits, I get the itch.  I take to the streets in hopes of finding a garage/estate sale with a choice selection of vinyl stashed in the back.  Granted, nine times out of ten I'll find a crate filled with beat to hell polka, Streisand, and The Graduate soundtrack.  But, every once in a great while I find a goldmine.  This summer would be no different.

Over the next few weeks I'll post some of the more excellent discoveries, ranging from Morricone Spaghetti Western soundtracks to 60s Psychedelia to 80s synth rock.  Good shit.

To begin, I was most excited to find a clean copy of Graham Nash's unbelievable solo effort entitled, Songs for Beginners.  The sleeve is beat, with extensive edge wear, and some solid ring wear...but the vinyl itself is well kept and pop-free.  For $1, you can do no wrong.

The album kicks off with a whimsical, marching sing-along anthem called "Military Madness" only to be followed by a quiet, dark examination of lost love, titled "Better Days."  Each song that follows has aged amazingly well--thanks to an excellent production.  Other standouts include: "Be Yourself" (a catchy plea to resist conformity), "Man in the Mirror" (a drunken Country Western toe-tapper), and "Chicago" (an organ heavy cry for help).  Definitely worth a listen if you have the time and/or are a fan of CSNY.

Another LP I was ecstatic to find was Mama Cass' (Elliot's) Dream a Little Dream.  Her first solo release, and an exceptional example of her musical abilities.

The album smacks of off-kilter, poppy psychedelia with an excellent sound design.  Recorded almost completely live, the tracks will drift from stage performance (with chattering, chanting, clapping, even howling audience participation) to beautiful studio production (with lush guitar work and deep, rich bass).  All-in-all, a concept album that pleases on many levels.  Standout tracks include: "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "Talkin' to Your Toothbrush" (love the bass here), "Rubber Band," and the Graham Nash penned "Burn Your Hatred."

Next week I'll pull a few more from the Summer Stacks.  Hope you enjoy the tunes.