Friday, February 8, 2013

Day Thirty-Nine: Eric Clapton - Slowhand

RSO Records ■ RS-1-3030
Released November, 1977
Produced by Glyn Johns

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Cocaine
  2. Wonderful Tonight
  3. Lay Down Sally
  4. Nex Time You See Her
  5. We're All the Way
  1. The Core
  2. May You Never
  3. Mean Old Frisco
  4. Peaches & Diesel
I'm not going to pretend my age doesn't show in some measure in these writings (and particularly in what records I actually own on vinyl), but in noting that I grew up with Eric Clapton's Unplugged on cassette in my family's vehicles, I'm going to date myself a little more explicitly than I might have previously. Clapton has always been one of the most fixed sounds in my musical experience of the world--not so much in the sense of constant appearances, but in the sense that there has never been a moment that his work seemed to be either bizarre or uncomfortably trite. I did grow up with the "blasphemous" notion that the acoustic version of "Layla" was better, hearing it a million times before I ever heard the electric one, which was a jarring experience, let me tell you. I'm often left sputtering that including the instrumental outro as proof of the original's superiority is just "cheating". Of course, what I really mean is, "Yeah, you're right, and I just like the pacing and sort of bluesier feel of the acoustic one. Sue me."

Day Thirty-Eight: The Church - Untitled #23

Unorthodox/Second Motion Records ■ LP-SMR-012

Released March 6, 2009
Recorded by Jorden Brebach, timEbandit Powles, David Trump, and David Skeet
Mixed by David Trump with timEbandit Powles(S1-1,2,3; S2-4), Jorden Brebach (S1-4; S2-1,2,3; S3-1,2,3,4), timEbandit Powles (S4), and Marty Willson-Piper (S3-3)

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Cobalt Blue
  2. Deadman's Hand
  3. Pangaea
  4. Anchorage
  1. Happenstance
  2. Sunken Sun
  3. LLC*
  4. Operetta
Side Three:Side Four:
  1. On Angel St
  2. Lunar
  3. Insanity*
  4. Space Saviour
  1. So Love May Find Us*
Back when I wrote about Burning Airlines' Identikit, I decided to be a smartypants and ask J. Robbins and Peter Moffett for opinions on where to go with that entry, and got different responses from each. It did, however, help to decide which release to go with that time. When I started planning ahead for my next polls (after the onslaught around artists starting with "B") I saw that I had the Church in the running. I actually typed up that poll (Untitled #23 vs. Starfish) and then decided that, since he had actually passed along my previous writing about the Church (now and forever the most popular post on that blog, as a result!), I would ask Steve Kilbey for input here. After doing so, I started pondering asking Marty Willson-Piper, and maybe even Peter Koppes, just to get a well-rounded set of responses, if I could, but I was surprised to get a response from Mr. Kilbey almost immediately. Without any demands, he simply told me he'd prefer I write about Untitled #23, without question (as I had asked specifically if he had a preference). When that response came in, I thought about it. I realized that, most likely, he said this because, well, if there's a Church album people know about--it's Starfish. It seemed, then, like it would be the right thing in all senses to follow his wishes. I took down the poll (few if any even saw it), and marked Untitled #23 for writing today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day Thirty-Seven: The Chemical Brothers - Brotherhood

Virgin Records ■ 5099923481817
Freestyle Dust ■ XDUST9LP

Released September 2, 2008
Produced by The Chemical Brothers

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Galvanize
  2. Hey Boy Hey Girl
  3. Block Rockin' Beats
  4. Do It Again
  1. Believe
  2. Star Guitar
  3. Let Forever Be
  4. Leave Home
Side Three:Side Four:
  1. Keep My Composure
  2. Saturate
  3. Out of Control
  1. Midnight Madness
  2. The Golden Path
  3. Setting Sun
  4. Chemical Beats
I believe I have managed, at this point, to cover my reluctance regarding compilations, so I'll let that pass. Part of that is because, more importantly, I'd never listened to the Chemical Brothers (Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons) before this. In fact, I slit the shrinkwrap just today to listen to this. I respected groups and artists like the Chemical Brothers or the Crystal Method or Daft Punk from afar, but was generally reluctant to touch on the intentionally repetitive segment of electronic music (also touched on briefly, this time with the Caustic Window compilation). I didn't understand it, really, and associated it strongly with actually going and seeing electronic artists perform, which I'd never done. Having actually done it now (to see French synthpop artist David Grellier, aka College), I don't know if the whole process makes sense to me personally. I enjoyed it, but man was that a confused audience. No one was sure how to clap or respond in general.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day Thirty-Six: Caustic Window - Compilation

Rephlex Records ■ CAT009LP
Released June 1, 1998
(EP release dates below)
Produced by Richard D. James

Let's just get this out of the way up front: I'm cheating. While the credited artist for this release is "Caustic Window", that is, in fact, one of the (many) pseudonyms of one Richard D. James, whose most famous monikers are AFX and, of course, The Aphex Twin. If you've been reading here a while, or if you just click that link, you'll see that this is not the first of his releases for me to cover here. However, because I feel it's legitimate to treat this as a "C" release (alphabetically speaking), it avoids the issue of clustering multiple days around a single artist and allows me to cover more of my collection while not (strictly) violating the alphabet. It's not the only time this will occur, but this is the time they'll come closest together (the other I can think of off the top of my head is Leon Russell, who will obviously appear much later, but who released two albums with Marc Benno, at least the first of which was credited originally to The Asylum Choir).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day Thirty-Five: The Cars - Shake It Up

Elektra Records ■ 5E-567
Released November 6, 1981
Produced by Roy Thomas Baker
Engineered by Ian Taylor (with Walter Turbitt and Thom Moore)

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Since You're Gone
  2. Shake It Up
  3. I'm Not the One
  4. Victim of Love
  5. Cruiser
  1. A Dream Away
  2. This Could Be Love
  3. Think It Over
  4. Maybe Baby
The reasons for this particular purchase might be, in their way, kind of stupid. There was a period of time in high school where I began to raid my father's rather extensive poster collection, which was largely made up of the theatrical ones from his time managing a theater in the early 80s (I've got some real doozies, actually, like the ones for Blade Runner, Life of Brian, Poltergeist, Escape from New York and Wrath of Khan), but had a tiny smattering of music-oriented ones. One somewhat wrinkled, partly ripped but extraordinarily large one was the cover art for Shake It Up. While I originally began to put whatever posters I liked up (in some cases the link being semi-tenuous, as I'm not huge on Halloween II, but the poster is good, and I do like Halloween), I started to decide I should own the works in question before advertising them, as if it were disingenuous to say, "Look at my Shake It Up poster, what a good album!" and then not even own it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day Thirty-Four: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Safe as Milk

Buddah Records ■ BDS-5001
Released September, 1967
Produced by Richard Perry and Bob Krasnow
Engineered by Hank Cicalo and Gary Marker

Side One:Side Two:
  1. Sure Nuff 'n Yes, I Do
  2. Zig Zag Wanderer
  3. Call on Me
  4. Dropout Boogie
  5. I'm Glad
  6. Electricity
  1. Yellow Brick Road
  2. Abba Zaba
  3. Plastic Factory
  4. Where There's Woman
  5. Grown So Ugly
  6. Autumn's Child
On the heels of an album for which my college and high school best friend and roommate is responsible, here's another one that fits that same bill. I'd already mentioned that John started listening to Captain Beefheart in those days, but this is actually the only chunk of it that carried over to me. While he was experimenting with Can, Beefheart, classic 60's rock (which I grew up on and, for a little while, knew better as a result--though he eclipsed my passing, rudimentary knowledge quickly), and other more experimental music, I was delving further into extreme metal, my obsession with a Japanese band (whose albums were not released on vinyl after about 1989, and would require a complicated process to order on vinyl, nevermind their rarity even in their home country), and periodically picking up much "safer" releases in the same fashion of semi-impulsive, but educated purchases.

Intermission II: The Intermissioning [End of "B" Part 1]

And now we've ended another letter of the alphabet, the next in a series of rather large collections, letter-wise. There's a lot of variance letter-to-letter, too, so we may have already crested on number of artists. That's more numbers and data than I can compare mentally without thinking, and it's not something I feel the need to put brainpower into.

Still, this time some artists were left a bit to the side when all their releases I own are singles--Brakes, who I mentioned just briefly with Bad Veins, the Black Keys who were present in all but absolute artist name in Blakroc, and Bis, who didn't really come up at all. A few off-place schedules did choke the flow off at a few inopportune moments, but I'm nearly back on track, as I'm working on my Safe as Milk entry in the background of this very entry. Rather than get my alphabet all garbled, I decided to mark the end of "B" first, though.

Naturally, I intend to figure out--at some point--how to work back through the albums currently omitted by artists that were represented, too, but I also have a few records in the mail. Some should arrive in time for their placement (if not long, long before), but others it's already too late to put in the right place. If you have any thoughts or preferences regarding how you'd like to see me approach either of those components--when to hit on I Against I, Stage Fright, and so on, or when to hit alphabetically-missed artists I don't physically possess yet--drop a comment below and let me know.

As a more amusing sort of aside, some omissions due to complete absence of stock (which I would change if I could):

Day Thirty-Three (and a Third): Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady

I.R.S. Records¹ ■ SP 001

Released September, 1979
Produced by Martin Rushent
Engineered by Alan Winstanley (S1 - 1,8; S2-1,8), Doug Bennett (S1 - 2,3,5,6; S2 - 2,3,5,6), and Martin Rushent (S1 - 4,7;S2 - 4,7)
¹International Record Syndicate. Abbreviation not used on this record, but used on most releases from this label.

Side One (A-Sides):Side Two (B-Sides):
  1. Orgasm Addict
  2. What Do I Get?
  3. I Don't Mind
  4. Love You More
  5. Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?
  6. Promises
  7. Everybody's Happy Nowadays
  8. Harmony in My Head
  1. Whatever Happened To...?
  2. Oh Shit!
  3. Autonomy
  4. Noise Annoys
  5. Just Lust
  6. Lipstick
  7. Why Can't I Touch It?
  8. Something's Gone Wrong Again
As we go, if you were to check, you'd find there are very few compilations in my record collection, and an even smaller percentage amongst my CDs. I don't normally go in for compilations, as, sometime around Rubber Soul, the album became the preferred format and was eventually considered as the construction in which people bought, enjoyed, experienced, and were provided music. Of course, not everyone (including some artists) had any interest in the idea, but it's less harm to have an album that isn't definitively an assembled, crafted set than it is to have parts excised from one that is and doled out by popularity. As it stands, a single compilation has appeared here. Another was mentioned in polling, and a small number will appear later. Largely, though, I leave them be, for fear of missing interesting interesting deep cuts, or getting things out of context that have very real contexts like Kate Bush's The Ninth Wave. Still, Singles Going Steady was my introduction to Buzzcocks, at the hands of--to the surprise of no one--my friend John.

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