Friday, July 23, 2010

The Vinyl District Takeover | Tereu Tereu

Our Best (and Worst) LPs | There are always certain albums that hold a special spot in a collector's heart. Usually, that's because they're particularly exceptional and probably have some sentimental value. Sometimes, however, it's because they're especially terrible but we just can't bare to part with them. We decided to list both.

BRENDAN POLMER, Drums | 3 Favorite LPs:
Beatles - Revolver
It's just an awesome record all around. I think of "Tax Man" every time I look at my paycheck and "Eleanor Rigby" every time I ride the Metro. The iconic black and white cover illustration is particularly cool, and it's just one of my "go-to" records when I don't want to think for more than 15 seconds on what piece of wax I want to listen to.

Dr. John - Destively Bonnaroo
Perhaps not as well known as some of his other gems, but this record is positively funky and reeks of 1970's classic New Orleans Meters. One of my all-time favorite drummers—Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste of the Meters—is all over this record. He plays so deep in the pocket that you can't even find your keys OR your lighter.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet - Mercy Mercy Mercy
All you need to know about this recording is that, while it certainly sounds like it was recorded in a nightclub, it was actually done in a studio with an invited audience and, perhaps most importantly, an open bar—giving the jazz-soul classic the perfect tinge of "nat sound" WHOO!'s, YEAA!'s, catcall whistles, and sporadic applause. It'll take you back to church in an instant—even if you're an atheist.

Awful Album I Can't Part With: Herbie Hancock - Futures Shock
Of course I love me some Herbie Hancock, he's a genius after all. But this record is just terrible. Sure it was revolutionary in 1983, what with its futuristic synthesizers and sample-worthy "Rockit" breakbeats, but to me it's just not listenable. Unless perhaps you happen to be on LSD and think you've been turned into a robot, in which case it's the most awesome record EVER.

THOMAS ORGREN, Bassist/Guitarist | 3 Favorite LPs:
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Besides the sonic advantages of vinyl, sometimes the biggest advantage is the packaging. The 12" vinyl version of Funeral features a lyric / credits sheet that actually looks like a program from a funeral.

Wolf Eyes - Fuck The Old Miami
I found a live Wolf Eyes record at a music store in Wisconsin, printed on beautiful green vinyl. Side A is a live set, which I once listened to while watching a jewelery show on HSN - absolute consumerist Hell. The B side is the pièce de résistance. It features a hand-engraved skull, and if you play that side of the record you get a crazy noise loop that sounds like nothing you've ever heard, and varies depending on which part of the etching you drop the needle on.

Grandaddy - Sumday
I just love this record, and playing it on vinyl seems to up the whole people vs. technology theme that runs throughout the album.

Awful Album I Can't Part With: Shaquille O'Neal - ???
All my records are packed away right now and I can't remember the name of the song, but I have a Shaq single that's as good as it sounds like it would be. Which means not really. But what's not to love about Shaq rapping instead of learning to shoot free throws or conditioning himself so that he can actually run up and down the court?

RYAN LITTLE, Singer/Guitarist | 3 Favorite LPs:
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
This is not an every day record; I don't just throw it on at a party. I usually put it on when I'm by myself and can turn it up loud, at which point the whole thing just sucks me into it's dreamy vortex completely. It's massive and unearthly and absolutely unmatched. It sounds better on vinyl, period, and because it's such a "special occasion" type of record for me, having a physical object is important. That ritual of picking it up and putting it on makes the trip that much more immersive.

The Byrds - Sweetheart of the Rodeo / The Louvin Brothers - Satan Is Real
So when my former bandmate/roommate Adam started getting into Gram Parsons really hard, Sweetheart of the Rodeo started getting a lot of play in the house. In fact, all of us who lived there loved it, and anytime people would come over to drink, it would get played. I can't listen to it on an iPod or whatever because if I put it on I immediately want to grab a cheap beer and hang out. It's like a Pavlovian response at this point, and digitizing the album just seems pointless to me.

After hearing that record so many times, I really wanted to know where some of the songs came from. That lead me to The Louvin Brothers, and I promptly picked up Satan Is Real. It's a classic bizarre album cover (and possibly racist? I'm not sure, but the devil looks disconcertingly similar to an Asian caricature...), and the music is great. Awesome harmonies, deeply religious "we'll scare the devil out of you" lyrics, and it just captures a specific era/mentality so perfectly.

Bob Dylan - Freewheelin'
This was the first LP I ever bought, as well as the first proper Dylan album I owned (aside from greatest hits and such), and when the needle hit the wax that first time, it felt like pure fucking magic all the way through. "Bob Dylan's Dream" left me in tears, and I actually laughed out loud during "Talkin' World War III Blues." I think most musicians, or at least most songwriters, have had that Dylan moment (or moments), and this was mine.

Awful Album I Can't Part With: Phil Keaggy - Ph'lip Side
In the days of my youth, when I was still a part of the Christian music world (it still exists, and it's still enormous I think), there was this ongoing completely fabricated story that when some journalist asked Jimmy Hendrix what it was like to be the best guitarist in the world, he responded, "I don't know, you'll have to ask Phil Keaggy." For some reason, in that world, it was somehow a persistent and believable story. Phil Keaggy is in fact an incredible virtuoso, but most of his songs are about as corny as they come. This record is no exception.

The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows (Mp3)
The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies) (Mp3)
Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Dream (Mp3)

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