Intermission V [End of "E" Part 1, Or: Intermission MCMXXVIII]

Ah, “E”. If it isn’t a big enough giveaway to see how uniform the image above is, it ought to be. Considering 5 of those are the same artist, 3 are another artist, 2 are one more artist…well, it’s not really a shock how little there is. How many artists do you like that start with “E”?

Now, I did almost buy the new Electric Six album on vinyl when I saw them a week ago, and that would’ve made a difference to be sure. A Dave Edmunds album wouldn’t be out of the question, either–heck, I’ve got plenty of Nick Lowe’s Edmunds-infused albums, and Rockpile’s Seconds of Pleasure, so it wouldn’t be too surprising, either. Edsel’s records were never released on vinyl, to be fair–though I sure as heck would not turn down their split with Jawbox. Some Brian Eno? Heck yeah. Eyedea & AbilitiesBy the Throat? Actually, may do that. I look at Bill Evans records pretty regularly, as I do at The Extra Lens (John Darnielle’s non-Mountain Goats side project). I almost picked up a copy of Explosions in the Sky‘s Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever.

But, all that aside, it’s pretty well destined to be a pretty shortlisted letter all the same.
Man, to be honest, if I could get my hands on The Elephant Kashimashi’s stuff on vinyl–those first two albums, or one of those singles…but, well, those are ridiculously difficult for an American with limited funds to get a hold of. Alas!
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Intermission IV [End of "D" Part 1, Or: Intermission MCMXXVII]

It has been much slower than before–my last intermission (not counting John’s little deviant one) was four months ago. It’s been a busy year suddenly–two new jobs, and more hours at one of them than I had at the one I started with when this blog started six months ago, a trip out of town, a new turntable, and a variety of odd occurrences in their own little ways have had their effects on my ability to keep this thing up-to-date. Of course, the addition of many records to my collection as I find new stores, make trips, and feel a collector’s passion ignited isn’t helping either. You may even notice I have seven artists uncovered in that collage above, and only two of them are singles. Some (Dead Kennedys) I’ve been looking for, some I’ve known for a while, and some I’ve been meaning to look further into than I have–and one was part of my large purchase of records from the Arctic Rodeo label in Germany.

It’s a bit of a weird letter, D. It does tend to include an awful lot of metal–dark and death alone start with “D” so it does kind of fall to reason, even if only one of those bears out in my own collection of records. I wouldn’t be averse to a copy of Death‘s Symbolic or Dark Tranquility‘s The Gallery, but the former has only received narrow European pressings, and the latter is not unreasonable for the various 2xLP etched incarnations, but is a lesser desire. A little more Dead Kennedys would not go amiss (Plastic Surgery Disasters, perhaps–skipping the copy of Frankenchrist I once saw was silly of me), and I occasionally ponder copies of Depeche Mode‘s Black Celebration and Deep Purple‘s Fireball when I see them. I could easily rock some Dinosaur Jr. or happily a copy of The Dismemberment Plan‘s Emergency & I ($75 and up! Somewhat lower and I might be watching it…). I’ve had an eye on Doomtree‘s self-titled release for a while, after stupidly passing up on it when it was released. Finding either Drive Like Jehu album would be cool, too–especially snagging a copy of Yank Crime that includes the 7″ it originally did!

E’s a short letter, unsurprisingly, with a whopping four artists hiding in it, only one of which might be surprising to people who know me–or, at least, unfamiliar. It does happen to contain my most valuable record of all, though–at least, based on what people will apparently pay for a copy!

If you feel like it, take a vote on the first artist to appear under that letter’s umbrella: Echo and the Bunnymen, who may, at this point, be most famous for “The Killing Moon”, which was already a single, but was also featured in the theatrical cut of Donnie Darko.

Intermission III [End of "C" Part 1]

We’re at the end of another letter–however belatedly–and with it at a nice, round fifty different artists touched on. Left behind are handfuls of alternate albums, a scattering of singles, and, in this case, nothing but more singles and albums from the artists touched on. It’s likely not a surprise that Coheed and Cambria compose a reasonably large amount of the remaining items. The Clash were the only band that matters (are the only band that mattered? How do we deal with that now? Is it still in the present, even though they are not? With, of course,  Requisite requiescat in pace for Joe). In fact, beyond them, there’s a bit more of Elvis CostelloCursive, and The Church, no one left much to linger.

If I had my druthers–some of which I’m working on for future letters intentionally, sometimes just as coincidence of normal purchase, sometimes deliberately  to see them here in the future. Of course, my friends ask me about artists here and there–no, sadly, I don’t have any Can on vinyl (I did get into them through vinyl, interestingly–while I was not big on John’s copy of Tago Mago in college, I grew into it after appreciating my dad’s copy of Ege Bamyasi on LP), Carcass would continue to run a bit counter to the tastes of, well, almost everyone I know of reading this but I’d welcome appearing (and looked into, but Earache doesn’t do heavy pressings, and there are some albums I’d be less pursuant of), I’m sure a few friends would appreciate a bit of Wendy Carlos‘s work appearing (and my friend Kyle who passed me Wheels of Fire does have some himself), and a copy of Cocteau TwinsGarlands would not go unloved in my hands either. CCR is a long-time love, but, like a lot of ’60s artists I grew up appreciating, I’ve never run after their material on vinyl. It probably wouldn’t be too much trouble to run into The Crucifucks (it’s self-titled, if you’re wondering), which I guess proves it doesn’t quite hop into the “needs” pile for my records.

It would be nice to have the self-titled Clash or In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3–but at least those two bands did get to have a chance under the needle.

A mess of real life is intruding on my ability to do this–devoting the 30-90 minutes to listen, the handful of hours to write is not always easy, though some days a few could be worked in, I’d prefer not to rush through or half-ass any of them, as I own records I like, and I don’t want to disrespect those works in comparative effort to those I give the time they deserve. Certainly, there are  releases and bands I like more and less, and albums I like more and less, but I’ve never had much truck with trying to run extreme comparisons between largely unrelated works, so that doesn’t much factor into it for me.

So, bear with me if you’re in for this–I am still on it, and working out the timing kinks as best I can. I do get recommendations on occasion, but haven’t always got the funds to throw at them (or even the ones I’d like myself!), though I’m not as opposed to them as I may come off. Thank you kindly to anyone sticking around here–and, most importantly–to anyone who has given one of these records a chance upon reading. I love a nice affirmation like anyone else, but I write this for the music, not for my writing.

We’ve got 23 letters to go, and I imagine a good number of both expected delights and surprises.

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):

  • Bash and Pop – Friday Night Is Killing Me

In the grand scheme of things, there are handfuls of albums I would buy (at a reasonable price) without thinking if I saw them on vinyl. Unfortunately, this is not only rare but non-existent. Because it was released on a major label in 1993, there was never a vinyl issue. There is a semi-rare 7″, but it’s just not the same. Though I’d like to track it down if I could.

  • Brazil – A Hostage and the Meaning of Life
Much like the above, this one just doesn’t exist. But it’s the kind of post-hardcore release in the right time frame to make the vinyl a unique sort of release–if it existed. Many great albums can be found quite readily used, if not reissued–albums that generally didn’t succeed and were released in the late ’90s or ’00s, though, before vinyl really started taking off again and becoming semi-standard–that’s a find!
  • Ryan Bingham (and the Dead Horses) – Junky Star or Roadhouse Sun
Reissued/issued at the same time as Ryan Adams’s Gold, I’ve been tempted a few times. But they’re on a comparative backburner.
  • The Black Keys – Chulahoma
Another perfectly reasonable one (still in print, or at least still easily available new), but one that has taken a backseat to more rare or unusual releases. While Thickfreakness or Brothers could be cool, Chulahoma is the one I think calls out for vinyl.
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy
I’ve started to really dig Tobacco’s work, as well as his previous band. The “union” of the two (wherein BMSR is actually just him) is pretty ideal, and a good album. There are some pretty variants out there, too.
  • Botch – We Are the Romans
There are worse–read: more expensive and rare–albums to desire, but Botch’s stuff in general is not fun to try to collect, financially speaking. Still, it’s that hardcore-relative, 2000-ish stuff. And, of course, Dave Knudson later joined Minus the Bear. There’s also an amazing coloured version that works with the cover art’s colour scheme quite effectively.
  • Brakes – Touchdown
It’s a short but absolutely stellar album. Obviously I like ’em–see above 7″.
  • Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician
I always welcome another excuse to try to convince people they need to listen to an album they will almost-guaranteed hate. Especially one this good.
No, I don’t feel an overt craving for any Byrds LPs, nor Bee Gees. I’ll be okay with my CDs there. Naturally, there are others I’d pick up under the right circumstances, but these are ones I kind of wish I’d had to talk about. (And yes, I own them all on CD–a sure sign of how I feel about an album to consider that kind of “double” purchase)

Intermission: The End of "A" (Part I)

Rather logically as I’m running in alphabetical order, we’ve hit the end of the “A”s (and the #s, though 86 was alone there) . What’s somewhat interesting is that I covered all the artists under “A” and the numbers without an exception–my casual decision to drop in Barry Andrews’s “Rossmore Road” single actually covered the ground I’d’ve otherwise left unmentioned. The above collage is composed of all of my records from the beginning of the alphabet, including those I did not review. You’ll see a number of them with circular cover art, as many are without any “real cover art”, if you will. that pink one is the At the Drive-In/Sunshine split, and most of them are actually the Analord series of EPs that Richard D. James released as AFX (nearly indiscernible, if pronounced, from his most famous pseudonym, Aphex Twin). Even the others remaining are primarily live albums (AC/DC‘s If You Want Blood You’ve Got It) and EPs (the aformentioned AFX ones, Atmosphere‘s The Lucy EP86‘s Minutes in a Day). Only a handful of albums are left, which I suppose I’ll cover at a later time to avoid fatigue (on your part, dear reader, or mine) with single artists–thus this being only “Part I”.

I don’t really think this will happen again with another letter–certainly not with that ratio of remains being EPs and live albums–so, while I feel like marking this occasion anyway, it seems like a bit of fun in-and-of itself anyway.

Now, there is one title in there that I’ve not covered, nor anything else by that artist. I did just deal with a relatively short EP today, though, so I’m hoping to get into it later.

Still, it’s a milestone! Hooray for milestones! And excuses to use the Picasa collage feature!