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Sunday, February 09, 2014

February Record a Day (First Week)

This month, I've decided to take on an enjoyable hashtag thread on Instagram called February Record A Day. Basically, it's posting pictures from your vinyl LP collection every day of the month, but it's not a random sampling. There are "rules" for each day of the month, like a record that's on marbled swirl or a box set or a "white whale" record you looked high and low for.

As much as I enjoy social media like Instagram, I do miss writing longer blog pieces on a regular basis. In an attempt to get back into this, I'd like to share some stories about each record I post -- and I hope to post about every record I picture this month.

February 1st: "Oldest Record You Own"
Pet Shop Boys, Actually (pic)
Technically, this is not the "oldest" LP I own. I have some Frank Sinatra records and various re-presses of older albums. This Pet Shop Boys record has been in my collection the longest. I got this back in 1988 at the Sam Goody in the Deerbrook Mall. I believe it was a case of, didn't have the CD so I got the vinyl instead. This was the only 12-inch that I owned for a couple of decades, as I did not acquire another 12-inch until college.

February 2nd: "Marbled Color Album"
Cave-In, Until Your Heart Stops (pic)
Got this last year for Record Store Day at CD Source. It was not cheap and there was no download code (First World Problems, Vinyl Edition), but I am happy to have it. I know more of Cave-In's work after this record (aka, when Stephen Brodsky sang more than screamed) and I haven't listened to Until Your Heart Stops very much. Maybe this is a reminder I should change that. 

February 3rd: "Album Released in 2014"
various (pic)
I have yet to pick up an LP that was released this year. I have been to Half Price Books a few times, and three of these were picked up said chain store. I already have digital versions of the Sloan record and the Split Enz best-of, but I decided to pick them up for extremely specific reasons. I love Sloan and I found the record sealed for only $5. With the Split Enz record, the digital version does not sound very strong as it wasn't remastered. I don't have to worry about remastering for vinyl, and it's great to have fuller-sounding versions of "History Never Repeats" and "Six Months in a Leaky Boat."

The Dwight Twilley record was, more or less, an impulse buy. I had seen You're Next a few nights before I went to the store and I instantly fell in love with Dwight's "Looking for the Magic," as it is played frequently in the film. I called 80s power pop expert Noel Murray about this record, asking him if I would like it. (Noel has written about Dwight before but didn't touch on Jungle) He wasn't a big fan of the record, but he recommended it, as a $3 purchase is a small risk. Giving the record a spin, it has some of the worst of mid-80s radio rock production values (make those drums and guitars sound as treble-y as possible!) but the tunes are still catchy. Dwight has a knack for taking country and rockabilly and adding in a Beatles tinge. Reminds me of George Harrison and Rick Springfield for various reasons.

And the KVIL Christmas record was a gag gift from a co-worker of mine named Julie. Her daughter loves vinyl and she found this record on a clearance shelf. I like a lot of Christmas music and KVIL was an Dallas-area radio institution in the 80s. With its morning show host being someone I later worked with (and I have some rather amusing stories about him), this record is a reminder of how things were done in the 80s. Choral and pop arrangements of Christmas standards, done by local artists? I'll give it a listen.

February 4th: "Album From a Local Band"
True Widow, As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth (pic)
I picked this up at the record release show at the Double Wide. I think this is the first double-LP that I own where the music is only on three sides. 

February 5th: "Boxset"
Braid, Movie Music (pic
I already had this on CD, but when I found a barely-played copy for only $14, I figured it was OK for a double-dip.

February 6th: "Record That is a Re-press"
Braid, Frame and Canvas (pic
Once again, had this on CD, but when it was re-pressed for Record Store Day 2013, I double-dipped. 

February 7th: "Any 7-inch"
Jimmy Eat World/Blueprint split 7-inch (pic)
Interesting story on this one. When I was in college, I collected a lot of 7-inches. I'd get into a band and find out there were songs on 7-inches that weren't on any other format. I had to know what face to face did for Blondie's "One Way or Another" and songs not found on H2O's first record. You know, stuff that seems vital when you're at such an impressionable age. 

Getting into Jimmy Eat World in spring 1998, I quickly became obsessed with them. When I heard them play songs that were only on 7-inches, I tried to get as many as I could. I wasn't going to pay high prices for out-of-print 7-inches on eBay, but I would pick one up at a show or mail-order. 

I bought this Jimmy Eat World split release with Blueprint when I saw Jimmy Eat World and At the Drive-In play at Rubber Gloves in Denton, I asked Jim Adkins to sign my copy. He obliged and I now had a record I was hesitant to ever take out of the sleeve. 

That said, not knowing how sensitive vinyl is to heat, this 7-inch warped when I left it in my car one summer afternoon in Lubbock. Ever since then, I rarely leave vinyl in my car for more than an hour. 

February 8th: "A 'White Whale' Album"
Tom Waits, Blue Valentine (pic
It's pretty easy to find Tom Waits' stuff on vinyl, but you have to be ready for some sticker shock. His first four albums were reissued on 180-gram vinyl by Rhino a few years ago, but good lord are they pricey. Sorry, but $30 is way too much for any individual album. Luckily, Half Price Books periodically has great sales and I have been fortunate to pick up some of Waits' stuff for relatively cheap. 

Unbeknownst to me, Blue Valentine (which features one of my all-time favorites, "Kentucky Ave") was reissued in Europe. Randomly finding a sealed copy in a "new arrivals" bin (and armed with a 50-percent-off coupon), I got this for $15. 

February 9th: "An Artist's Solo Album"
Peter Gabriel, So (pic
I often see Gabriel's solo records in stores. Usually, it's the first four self-titled records he put out after leaving Genesis. I still haven't picked those up, but I have picked up So mainly because of "In Your Eyes."

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