30 March 2009

In Vinyl

Reunited and it feels so good.

Some parts of moving are fun. We consolidated bits and pieces of our life from a few places around the globe including our house in Elko. After a seven year absence I'm happy to report that our house is once again filled with the warm sounds of the 33 1/3 rpm Long Play record album (and several 45s). So, while running around the house packing, unpacking, moving, and adjusting, all in our efforts to settle into Switzerland, I've been sometimes randomly and sometimes very strategically pulling out some albums to throw onto the turntable. Here are a few that have made me smile:


Les Baxter: Skins! (1957)

This is the first album I threw on to "test the system" after I set up the stereo. Not the most amazing album but the cover art is worth the price of admission. Plus, as the back liner notes say: Here's the album that young America has been asking for... Skins! a bongo party with Les Baxter.

Pell Mell: Flow (1991)

I thought I had this on white vinyl but I must'a been thinking about something else. I'll search for that, too. Great instrumental music and classic SST. Memories of my Music Directatorship at K-UTE.

The Church: Remote Luxury (1984)

I know the Go-Betweens are recognized as Australia's finest pop band (even when they moved to London) but, come on, this is great stuff. Forget the goofy goth dude on the cover, the shimmering and luminous songs will bring the Spring birds chirping to your window.

Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (1971)

This was a Saturday night, post meal, post bottle of wine listen. Admittedly, I only listened to the title track but the twelve-minute song is better than many albums. It reeks of the '70s but the jazzy, jammy, rocky thing works like a charm. Bonus: the cover is the shape of the 3D cube, meaning the two white corners shown on the picture aren't really there. It's like art, man.

U2: The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

This was before I settled into twelve minutes of Traffic, which is just before I staggered off to bed. I don't care what anyone says, this, for me, is the best U2 album. Yea, sure, it's a bit pretentious but ever since War what U2 album isn't pretentious. I don't own The Joshua Tree and I don't think I've even listened to a full U2 album recorded after The Joshua Tree. Why would I? I own their best album already. On vinyl.

DJ Shadow: Endtroducing... (1996)

Though I also own this on CD, I bought the album first and it's probably best listened to on LP. It's a double LP with only two or three songs on each side. Thus, you participate in the music more--becoming your own personal DJ--because you have to flip the album over several times. Um. Exactly.

Bonus: I also own the "Stem" single, a 45 that features a different version (the Cops 'N' Robbers version) than the album, with cool Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino samples from the film Heat.

Calexico: Descamino (2000)

Vinyl-only single of remixes from the Black Light album. Very mellow and ambient, I think this was the Friday night, post meal, post bottle of wine selection.

The Band: The Band (1969)

I think this was the Saturday morning with coffee selection. In the sunroom. With Wendy. Iconoclastic Americana, from Canada!

The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy: Distressed Gentlefolk (1986)

Often hilarious, often heartbreaking and beautiful, the Jazz Butcher epitomizes the teenage years, of which they were a staple. Robyn Hitchcock is usually credited with the Eccentric or Quirky Brit title but when the Jazz Butcher were on they were madder than mad. Bonus: my version of the LP came with the Conspiracy EP 12", that is credited to The Jazz Butcher Vs. Max Eider and contains the swank "Peter Lorre".

Many more to follow. In fact, hundreds. Perhaps a thousand. Who needs to ski when you have beauty, scenery, romance, drama, and superstar action all in the confines of your very own basement? Who needs to ski when you have Herb?

Album images were swiped from The All Music Guide.


Anonymous said...

Found Remote Luxury on CD a couple years back. It's by far my favorite Church release.

Was actually just filling Blackberry Whiskey to Unforgettable Fire last week as Spring snow was pelting the distillery.

And, of course, Distressed Gentlefolk rode proudly in the jukebox until the day we closed up shop in Ann Arbor. Got a nice note from some bloke from Chicago who played the whole damn album on a Saturday night at the bar...he was out of his mind that it was in a jukebox.

More, please. How long have you been without your stash?


Carlos said...

Hi Steve,
I have the Joshua tree in vynil and it is great. I kind of agree regarding unforgetable fire.
How is skiing in switerland. I had move to Australia, Melbourne. There is few snow here but we will see, NZ is close with some mountains.